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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-21-08, 01:31 PM   #1
pcmike
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New bike, sore butt saddle question

I've got a new Trek Madone 5.5 and have a dilemma. I went througha detailed and precise fitting yesterday at a LBS that specializes in professional athlete training. Not that I am anything near that, even in my wildest dreams.
But as part of the fitting, I was presented some compelling evidence that saddles like the old Brooks B-17 that I had broken in over the past couple of years can cause some, ah, serious numbness and, over prolonged use, even damage to, ah, a very important part of my anatomy.
So I bought a new saddle. I’ve had no symptoms or problems with the Brooks but the health warning, and the lightness of the new saddle and, yes, even the cool looking white color that complements the white handlebar wrapping on the Madone, convinced me to bolt it on. It was precisely adjusted to position and angle.
But now it’s like all those weeks and months of getting my butt into shape went right out the window. There are new spots that need to get acclimated again and, after 30 miles this morning, I was pretty sore. Not horrible… but enough to keep me from doing a third 15-mile loop of the route.
Which begs the question: Do I just pedal and bear it? I have a metric century (62 mile ride) coming next Saturday and, unless I can get my rear end reconditioned to the new saddle, I’m sorely (a pun, get it?) tempted to put the old Brooks back on.
Logic tells me to stick with the saddle recommended by the fit experts. My question is, in putting another 50-60 miles between now and the Ride For Hope, will I be reconditioned enough for 62 miles next Saturday?
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Old 06-21-08, 01:41 PM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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i don't know what to tell you. I have the narrowest butt hatchet Specialized makes on my Allez, and have no pain issues whatsoever, and it was nearly as comfortable as my well broken in leather touring saddle on my Schwinn. Then again, my sit bones are best with a 135mm saddle.

Go with what makes the kiester happy is my best advice, though.
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Old 06-21-08, 01:44 PM   #3
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They told you a scary story about your existing saddle in order to sell you a new one. That's how LBSs stay in business.
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Old 06-21-08, 01:44 PM   #4
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I'm thinking that Brookes has been around since Fred Flintstone slapped a stick between two rock wheels and did the Tour de Bedrock.

Everyone who has a Brookes and has kids, raise your virtual hand.

I do agree that the new saddles look cool though. Dug through the swap box recently myself and a Specialized seat or two caught my eye. Then I remembered my Fredness...........

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Old 06-21-08, 03:03 PM   #5
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I'm not convinced that us middle aged clydes getting fitted by a shop that specializes in racerboys is a good fit. We ride in the real world. Keep the brooks if you liked it before. Old school baby!
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Old 06-21-08, 03:59 PM   #6
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I agree with the scary story! I paid $109 years ago for some sleek looking racer saddle that was spposed to pretty much massage me while riding. Turnd out to be a brick, I gave it away after 1000 miles!

I installed a Terry Fly which turned out to be a sweet ride right out of the box. I believe my first ride was a 60 miler no problem! But most guys with roadies want the racer look so they shy away from the comfort modles. Means more to me keeping the boys happy!
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Old 06-21-08, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcmike View Post
I've got a new Trek Madone 5.5 and have a dilemma. I went througha detailed and precise fitting yesterday at a LBS that specializes in professional athlete training. Not that I am anything near that, even in my wildest dreams.
But as part of the fitting, I was presented some compelling evidence that saddles like the old Brooks B-17 that I had broken in over the past couple of years can cause some, ah, serious numbness and, over prolonged use, even damage to, ah, a very important part of my anatomy.
So I bought a new saddle. I’ve had no symptoms or problems with the Brooks but the health warning, and the lightness of the new saddle and, yes, even the cool looking white color that complements the white handlebar wrapping on the Madone, convinced me to bolt it on. It was precisely adjusted to position and angle.
But now it’s like all those weeks and months of getting my butt into shape went right out the window. There are new spots that need to get acclimated again and, after 30 miles this morning, I was pretty sore. Not horrible… but enough to keep me from doing a third 15-mile loop of the route.
Which begs the question: Do I just pedal and bear it? I have a metric century (62 mile ride) coming next Saturday and, unless I can get my rear end reconditioned to the new saddle, I’m sorely (a pun, get it?) tempted to put the old Brooks back on.
Logic tells me to stick with the saddle recommended by the fit experts. My question is, in putting another 50-60 miles between now and the Ride For Hope, will I be reconditioned enough for 62 miles next Saturday?
They sold you a scary story so they could sell you a saddle. If you get numbness during a ride, with your old saddle, then you have a problem, if you do not get numbness, then you don't need the new saddle. White tape and saddle look nice, but they also get dirty quite fast. So you will probably dump the white tape within a few months, and the white saddle along with it. If you like the Brooks, and don't get numbness issues, then go back to it. Get tape that matches your Brooks when the white tape gets too dirty to look at anymore.
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Old 06-21-08, 07:44 PM   #8
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I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet (no pun intended), but it's probably not a good idea to switch new equipment just before an upcoming long ride.
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Old 06-22-08, 12:31 AM   #9
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you could give your madone to me...that might stop it from hurting your butt...maybe?
..
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Old 06-22-08, 08:57 AM   #10
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Ah, the quest for a comfortable saddle. I've had saddles where I was starting to get sore after 20 miles and going numb after 30. I had a saddle that never once made me sore, ever, even on several centuries. Alas, they don't make them anymore. I've bought highly-touted saddles that I found horrendous!

I now have a Brooks Champion Flyer. I read all the hype about Brooks and decided I had to at least try one. I like it. I've done one century with it and, although I felt soreness beginning a few times, after a rest stop it was gone. At the end of the century I was still comfortable. I'm leaving on tour in a few days. I'll have a final opinion after I see how it feels on many successive days.

I recently saw some Serfas saddles. They looked similar in shape to my old, discontinued model (except they have the obligatory channel down the middle.) I may try one on my mountain bike.

I wish they had a place that would let you try a saddle for a few weeks before committing to purchase. Oh, wait, Wallingford Bicycles does that now.
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Old 06-22-08, 10:21 AM   #11
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Ride what you like and what works for you.

Also rather than compare the weight of the new and old saddles directly, compare total weights, that's you, the bike, water, everything with the old saddle then with the new one. Pretty small percentage huh?

I'm brooks saddle fan from way back (early 80's), if you want to hurt on a plastic POS saddle, that's your business, but I've never found one that compares to a brooks. The wife just went on a many saddle hunt before she would try a brooks, and now she won't ride anything else.

Sheldon
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Old 06-22-08, 10:22 AM   #12
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Listen to your keester! Go back to what you know and like. I would adjust it properly according to the way you had it, or how comfy it feels. I also think they sold you the story to sell you a new part, Brooks hasnt been in buisless for a billion years for nothing!
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Old 06-22-08, 11:49 AM   #13
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But as part of the fitting, I was presented some compelling evidence that saddles like the old Brooks B-17 that I had broken in over the past couple of years can cause some, ah, serious numbness and, over prolonged use, even damage to, ah, a very important part of my anatomy.
So I bought a new saddle. I’ve had no symptoms or problems with the Brooks


Which is more compelling:
a) LBS' presentation of evidence purporting anatomical damage?
b) Your personal experience which proves otherwise?

I've got over 6000 miles in the past 18 months on Brooks saddles (B-17 Champ. Std. and B-17 Imperial), and there's no problems with my dangly bits.
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