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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 08-13-09, 03:21 PM   #1
Jay Beast
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Saddle Measurements

Does anyone know the proper way to measure a saddle's width? Are the posted measurements posted for saddles based of the surface area of the saddle or the true width not taking into account the saddle's curvature?

I've recently purchased a Trek 4300 and the saddle is killing things down below almost as soon as I get on the bike. I've managed to adjust the height and fore/aft adjustment for my pedal stroke, but no matter how I tilt the nose it makes things go numb and fall asleep quickly. I know that part of the feeling comes from being out of the saddle for 6 years, but I know this isn't healthy.

I know I need a wider saddle and I'm trying to compare things online to my current saddle, but depending on how I measure the saddle's width is between 125-140mm. I can't find the actual dimensions on Trek's/Bontrager's site. I tried going to my semi-local Specialized dealer to get measured, but they pretty much laughed when I told them I was seriously trying to ride and they didn't seem have a clue about Specialized's system. They pretty much steered me to either a super wide grandma-cruiser style saddle with the disclaimer that I would pretty much bend it and should consider losing 100 plus # before I think about riding. While I may be large at 6'4" 350#, I know there are plenty of people in the forum have experienced a similar situation. My LBS Trek dealer doesn't have a wide selection (pardon the pun) of saddles in the shop plus its a 30 mile trek (pun intended) across town to the shop as I live in the middle of tacky tourist town, so its not relatively easy or quick to get there.

Does anyone know how to properly measure a saddle's width so I can compare on my own?
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Old 08-13-09, 04:09 PM   #2
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Have you measured your sit bones? Just because you are a big guy doesn't mean that your sit bones are wide as well. You can measure that on your own by sitting on a high density foam pad. Place it on a curb or something low that makes you really bend to sit on it. Measure the indention's that your sit bones make. I suggest you start there.
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Old 08-13-09, 04:18 PM   #3
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i used an Ass O' Meter at a LBS in Denver CO... pretty freekin sweet!!

but I forgot my measurement!!!

280mm I think!!

as I am a rather large ass!!!
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Old 08-13-09, 05:11 PM   #4
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Have you measured your sit bones? Just because you are a big guy doesn't mean that your sit bones are wide as well. You can measure that on your own by sitting on a high density foam pad. Place it on a curb or something low that makes you really bend to sit on it. Measure the indention's that your sit bones make. I suggest you start there.

Done that. I "borrowed" the roommate's prized memory foam pillow from Ikea while they were at work after the fiasco at the LBS. I'm just trying to figure out the relationship for comparison's sake.
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Old 08-13-09, 05:25 PM   #5
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i bought the Haro and it's saddle has a more flat profile from fore to aft...

looking at the Trek's saddle and the Preims' saddle i replaced it with the Premis stock suede saddle!

little dip where I was getting hurt and a little adjustment forward did wonders...
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Old 08-13-09, 05:35 PM   #6
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Try this, Sit bone measurement = Y,
Y + 2(15mm)
where (15mm) is the distance from the sit bone to the perimeter/edge of the saddle at its widest part or a bit over 1/2" from sit bone to saddle edge which should center the sit bones between the cutout(if there is one) in the center and saddle perimeter edge.

I think that will get you pretty close. I believe that is a Specialized formula.
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Old 08-13-09, 05:37 PM   #7
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Got the sit bone measurement.

I'm trying to figure out how to measure my saddle.
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Old 08-13-09, 07:27 PM   #8
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Apparently all you have to do is measure the seat at it's widest point. That is what you are looking for and how they measure seats. So if you take your sit bone measurement and add 2x15mm you should have the width of the seat you need (at it's widest point).

Try getting a hold of a Selle Anatomica or Brooks dealer or google their websites for lots of good seat info. They will be much more helpful than your LBS was.
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Old 08-13-09, 08:17 PM   #9
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Got the sit bone measurement.

I'm trying to figure out how to measure my saddle.
around 1980 Frank Berto wrote about this. He compared saddles with 2 measurements - width across the widest point, and width at 50% length. The first measurement has to do with the width of the support platform, and the second with inner thigh chafing.

For your numbness issue, try a saddle with a cutout.
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Old 08-13-09, 08:29 PM   #10
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The foam in the ass-o-meter is of much higher density than most. You generally need to sit on it for about 5 to 10 mins to get the proper indentations of your sit bones. Your buddy's foam pillow may not be giving you an accurate measurement.

As for seat width, all I can say is it needs to be wider than your sit bones. 130mm seats won't work for a 130mm sit bones.

Good luck! Seat selection can be a real PITA.
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Old 08-13-09, 08:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
Try this, Sit bone measurement = Y,
Y + 2(15mm)
where (15mm) is the distance from the sit bone to the perimeter/edge of the saddle at its widest part or a bit over 1/2" from sit bone to saddle edge which should center the sit bones between the cutout(if there is one) in the center and saddle perimeter edge.

I think that will get you pretty close. I believe that is a Specialized formula.

^^^This^^^
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