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  1. #1
    Senior Member rduenas's Avatar
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    Help A Fellow Clydedale With Saddle Questions

    Hi all, I'm over from the Track bike forums. And as a disclaimer, I'd like you all to know that I have searched and read many of the past threads on the topic of saddles. But, I have some specific questions that have gone unanswered.

    Like many of us Clydes (I clock in at 225lbs), I have spent a lot of money trying to find the right saddle. When I'm saddle sore, it's is mainly a result of chaffing, rather than pressure on the wrong parts. Now is this a sign of poor saddle fit or is it because I might be wearing the wrong kind of underwear (boxer briefs)?

    I have had great success with a Brooks Team Pro, I've experienced that cherished "disappearing saddle" feeling with it. Though my problem with it is its weight, and vulnerability(to weather, and theft). And this might sound cliche but I do want something lighter.

    I used to ride a Regal, but that gave me horrible chaffing. From reading more and learning more about bike fit, from what I can remember, I think I used to sit too far back on the Regal (Nearly on the rivets) and I was heavier (250lbs). Could these have been factors in my bad experience with the Regal?

    This raises my next question, about saddle width. The Team Pro is advertised to be 160mm, while the Regal is 150mm. Can 10mm (5mm on each side) really make or break the fit?

    Lastly, has there been anyone here had any cross-over success? Reading past saddle threads, people were very polar about Brooks. They either loved a Brooks, and hated newer technology(gel, foam, etc) saddles or vice versa. I ask this because I am considering some Specialized Body Geometry saddles.

    I know many of you have more experience with this stuff than I do, I would appreciate any insight.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Road Bike Riders Do Not Wear Underwear.
    Bike Shorts with Chamois Padding.
    Most use some kind of Chamois Cream.
    How many miles or hours do your ride in a day?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rduenas's Avatar
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    I should've provided that.

    I commute about 4 miles (round trip), and also do a lot of recreational rides. It is the way I get around the city and do sometimes go on longer rides.

    All of my riding is done in regular clothes.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Any seam in your pants will cause problems.
    Go to a bike shop look at the shorts and feel the chamois padding.
    I use $15 shorts and $1.00 cream.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  5. #5
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    Well for short riding around the city to go places or run errands, you don't have to wear bicycle shorts. I surely do not wear bike shorts for a 4 mile ride. Have you considered getting another bike?

    What works best for me, living in a city where bike theft is a threat, is to have one bike that I use to park in public places and use for utility purposes. Ideally this should be an old beater bike that isn't very well known and wouldn't be worth it for a bike thief. The more superficial dings in it the better. A bike with lights, fenders and racks works well. I've also got folding wald racks on mine. I don't put a good saddle or any attractive components on such a bike.

    Then I have another good bike that is my fast bike, that I use for longer rides and rarely if ever lock in public places. I have a good saddle on that bike.

    About the weight of the saddle, I'm a little heavier than you and I figure that as long as I'm carrying a 30 pound spare tire, it makes no sense for me to worry about the weight of my wheels, tires, saddle etc. I'm not got to be setting any speed records at this weight so what makes sense for me is to make my bikes so comfortable that I'll want to ride as much as possible, and then I'll continue to loose more weight. In the last 6 months I've lost more weight than I could lose by ditching my vintage steel bike in favor of a $5000 carbon fiber wonder bike. And I can stand to lose twice that much even now. So I stay stick with your comfy Brooks saddle and ride the heck out of it.

  6. #6
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    I wear bike shorts whenever my rear touches my seat, even if i wear a pair of basketball shorts over them for short rides. Wear them use them you will thanks us later. As for reccomending a saddle good luck everyone has a different opinion on that.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
    I wear bike shorts whenever my rear touches my seat, even if i wear a pair of basketball shorts over them for short rides. Wear them use them you will thanks us later. As for reccomending a saddle good luck everyone has a different opinion on that.
    Same here. I don't wear lycra because I look good in it
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  8. #8
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    I don't wear biking shorts or jerseys if I'm just going for a short ride, but under my "regular" street clothes I wear these.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  9. #9
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Road Bike Riders Do Not Wear Underwear.
    Bike Shorts with Chamois Padding.
    Most use some kind of Chamois Cream.
    How many miles or hours do your ride in a day?
    What kind of cream do you get for $1.00?
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

    Lemond Buenos Aires(Broke) Madone 5.9 for sale,Navigator 2, S-Works Roubaix

  10. #10
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Same here. I don't wear lycra because I look good in it
    My wife thinks my 270lbs is cute in bib shorts. But then I've always been pretty
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

    Lemond Buenos Aires(Broke) Madone 5.9 for sale,Navigator 2, S-Works Roubaix

  11. #11
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    I get the butt paste, company starts with a b from CVS for 5 bucks. One tube lasts forever.

  12. #12
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    What kind of cream do you get for $1.00?
    From the local Dollar Store.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    That stuff doesn't totally melt when you are riding in the TX heat?

  14. #14
    Senior Member lubers's Avatar
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    I go 270, ride in regular shorts no cream whether I do ten miles or eighty miles. I have a Brooks flyer on one bike and a Selle An-Atomica seat on the other bike. Both seats have been great.
    Jeff

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  15. #15
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  16. #16
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    I'm 250lbs and my favorite saddle is the fizik arionne. It has "wings" that flex that REALLY cut down on the chaffing...and I ride in blue jeans, not proper cycling gear. I can't recommend that seat enough.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
    JRA. BikEthan's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but chances are the only way you're going to get a lighter saddle that will give you the comfort of a Brooks would be to drop the seriously heavy chunk of change on a Ti Swallow or Swift. But even then you're looking at something a lot heavier than a plastic saddle.

    I'd say give the BG saddles a try, maybe some others. With plastic saddles you're trying to find that one saddle out of hundreds if not thousands that fits your body instead of getting one that will conform to your body. Unless you're competitive I don't know that it's worth the weight.
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  19. #19
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikEthan View Post
    I hate to say it but chances are the only way you're going to get a lighter saddle that will give you the comfort of a Brooks would be to drop the seriously heavy chunk of change on a Ti Swallow or Swift. But even then you're looking at something a lot heavier than a plastic saddle.

    I'd say give the BG saddles a try, maybe some others. With plastic saddles you're trying to find that one saddle out of hundreds if not thousands that fits your body instead of getting one that will conform to your body. Unless you're competitive I don't know that it's worth the weight.
    I've been riding for years and I'm not sold on Brooks. I think it's good, but only after you spend hundreds of hours in the saddle breaking it in. Then it might only be as good or marginally better than one that's off the shelf. Also, if Brooks saddles conform, then why do they offer a dozen models. God forbid that you spend years breaking in the wrong one.

    The same goes for baseball gloves. You can take a raw one and spend years getting it to feel right, in the mean-time you've got balls bouncing out...same goes for brooks.

    This is why some pros will have their gloves to college players to be broken-in. But, we don't have that luxury.

  20. #20
    JRA. BikEthan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I've been riding for years and I'm not sold on Brooks. I think it's good, but only after you spend hundreds of hours in the saddle breaking it in. Then it might only be as good or marginally better than one that's off the shelf. Also, if Brooks saddles conform, then why do they offer a dozen models. God forbid that you spend years breaking in the wrong one.

    The same goes for baseball gloves. You can take a raw one and spend years getting it to feel right, in the mean-time you've got balls bouncing out...same goes for brooks.

    This is why some pros will have their gloves to college players to be broken-in. But, we don't have that luxury.
    Which model(s) have you tried, and what kind of riding are you doing on it? I've heard that the Pro takes an eon and a half to break in. You've also got to match the riding to the saddle. I wouldn't want to do a tour or ride upright on a cruiser on a Swallow, and I wouldn't want to put a B-hemouth on a road bike. Just one of those things. That being said I've had great luck with B17s especially the newer Imperial. But to each their own.
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  21. #21
    jcm
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    "...if Brooks saddles conform, then why do they offer a dozen models. God forbid that you spend years breaking in the wrong one.

    The same goes for baseball gloves. You can take a raw one and spend years getting it to feel right, in the mean-time you've got balls bouncing out...same goes for brooks."


    They do conform, and they offer several models to suit different riding styles and levels of activity. Last time I checked, Specialized and other brands do to. Brooks saddles do not take hundreds of hours to break-in. Maybe up in the dozens, but that's not very much riding. Some high performance models, like the Team Pro, can take longer.

    The analogy to baseball gloves is a poor one. In the case of a ball glove, the idea is to soften, crimp, bend, and generally break down the leather, which is very much thinner than a saddle blank. Usually this is done with gobs of mink oil and other unguents that could destroy a Brooks saddle. It has been done.

    And, my balls have never bounced out of a Brooks... so there.

  22. #22
    jcm
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    OP:

    Chafing is caused by one thing: Friction.

    The proven best defense against chafing is a saddle that is smooth and slick, along with lycra riding shorts. Sweat causes friction to build up. Since you can't stop sweat, you have to mitigate it's effects on the skin by removing as much perspiration as you can. Do this by wearing shorts with a wicking pad and using the saddle that best fits the above description. Equestrians know this. Their saddles are leather and they wear appropriate clothing for their activity.

    Butt creams are for people who have not discovered this long-lost Medieval Mystery.

  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    They do conform, and they offer several models to suit different riding styles and levels of activity. Last time I checked, Specialized and other brands do to. Brooks saddles do not take hundreds of hours to break-in. Maybe up in the dozens, but that's not very much riding. Some high performance models, like the Team Pro, can take longer.
    I fully agree. I have Brooks Professionals, B17 narrow and Champions. None of them have taken 100s of hours to become comfortable. The B17 narrrows were comfortable out of the box. The Professional took a little longer...3 or 4 rides. But the Professional is stiffer then the B17 to begin with.

    Plastic saddles never break in. You might but the plastic will stay the same shape from cradle to grave
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  24. #24
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Oh for chris' sake. Just get another Team Pro and quit yer hand wringing over stoopid shiite.
    If you are really concerned about weight, get the ti-railed version, but at 225lbs and not racing, just wtf do you expect to gain by shaving a couple of grams from your saddle? As far as weather...cover the darned thing when it rains, like the rest of us have done for decades. Theft? Plueeze.

    Sorry to be harsh, but you got something that works and no good reason to make a change that I can see, so I don't see your problem.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Oh for chris' sake. Just get another Team Pro and quit yer hand wringing over stoopid shiite.
    If you are really concerned about weight, get the ti-railed version, but at 225lbs and not racing, just wtf do you expect to gain by shaving a couple of grams from your saddle? As far as weather...cover the darned thing when it rains, like the rest of us have done for decades. Theft? Plueeze.

    Sorry to be harsh, but you got something that works and no good reason to make a change that I can see, so I don't see your problem.


    Sorry, but I just CAN'T take you seriously with that avatar staring out at me!

    BTW, not harsh. Funny!

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