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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 01-31-10, 01:25 AM   #1
rykoala
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Uber-Clyde, 330ish pounds, need to ride upright- need saddle help

I'll try to be brief. History: used to bike commute 12mi/day, fixed gear with 26x1.5" tires, old Specialized MTB. I had to quit riding when I broke my left hand when I biffed it really hard about 3 years ago, and I never got back on this one. I built a big huge recumbent but have since sold it because it was way too huge.

The bike currently has a B17 saddle and butterly/trekker bars. I can't ride like that anymore, and I'm going fully upright to save my hands and shoulders. I am getting different handle bars, but I need help with the saddle section. Lets not bother addressing those issues, I've been around the block a number of times already on those. I just need to figure out what saddle will work.

I'd like to get a springer saddle that will support my weight over bumps and what not. I need suggestions. I don't care if it has a hard surface or soft, as long as I can ride it in street clothes for 10-20 miles at a time without too much discomfort. My sit bones can't take that with my B17 saddle, its just too much jarring throughout my body.

Is there a particular saddle that'll work best? Alternatively, should I get a suspension seat post for my B17?

Thanks so much to those who have experience in this. I appreciate it!
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Old 01-31-10, 02:22 AM   #2
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You might like a wide, sprung saddle, such as the Brooks B135 or B190. And balloon tires at least 2" wide, such as the Schwalbe Big Apple, would help tame the jarring ride.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgePaul View Post
You might like a wide, sprung saddle, such as the Brooks B135 or B190. And balloon tires at least 2" wide, such as the Schwalbe Big Apple, would help tame the jarring ride.
When you are in a leant-over stance on your bike, your legs are nearly vertical and you need a narrower saddle to prevent it from digging into the backs of your legs. Als, most of your weight is on your 'taint', which is narrow, so a wide saddle will be more of a hinderance than a help.

Since you are going to a more upright posture, you should be looking at a wider saddle because the wider portion of your arse is now available to carry the load. So I reccomend you not continue using your B17 - find something wider. THe sprung Brooks models are, IMHO, the cat's pyjamas. The B33, according to the Brooks Website, is good for heavier cyclists.

edit: Regarding a saddle that will allow a comfortable 20mile ride in street clothes.... this wll be tough to find. Street clothes are generally not good for riding more than a mile or two. YMMV.

If you are shopping for good clothes for riding and walking around you should get something in a light synthetic fabric - especially underwear, and a few seams as possible. My favourite street/biking clotes are a pair of leg-zippable travel pants and stretchy nylon/spandex underwear. I can do regular 15km (~10 mile) rides without too much problem... but I prefer baggy cycling shorts myself. SOmetimes I wear loose synthetic mat'l pants over top of lycra bike shorts w/chamois.
But if the clothes are not cycling clothes then

Last edited by LarDasse74; 01-31-10 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:50 AM   #4
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Look around the motor mounted on this, I'm referring more to the banana seat on it. This could give you a similar position to a Rans, putting a banana seat on a mountainbike. If you put a set of North Road bars, or Ape Hangers, you'll also get a very upright stance, and if you opted for the ape hangars, you'd get a really interesting Alt Bike look.

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Old 01-31-10, 06:39 PM   #5
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I started at 290 lbs. and use a Specialized Milano Gel Saddle on a hybrid where the stem height is the same as seat height and bars have 1" pull back and rise. I usually ride in khaki pants and about 7-10 miles with out seat issues. I was using a Bontrager (butt breaker) Nebula saddle and at the end of 5 miles, it would have me near to tears.

I was told by a Specialized guy that their Recreational Saddles were designed to be used with street clothes and their other seats were designed for use with padded chamois riding clothes. Specialized has a 30 day satisfaction policy. Buy it, ride it, hate it, return it.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...enuItemId=9302

+1 on the Schwalbe Big Apples

Last edited by MikeWinVA; 01-31-10 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 01-31-10, 10:12 PM   #6
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I'm also an uberclyde, and I highly recommend the Specialized Body Geometry (BG) series of saddles. I've got the Specialized Sonoma 175 and LOVE it, and they've got the Specialized Sonoma Gel out now that sounds even better.

If you want to soften the ride, you might also want to go to a 1.75 / 2" tire.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala View Post
I'll try to be brief. History: used to bike commute 12mi/day, fixed gear with 26x1.5" tires, old Specialized MTB. I had to quit riding when I broke my left hand when I biffed it really hard about 3 years ago, and I never got back on this one. I built a big huge recumbent but have since sold it because it was way too huge.

The bike currently has a B17 saddle and butterly/trekker bars. I can't ride like that anymore, and I'm going fully upright to save my hands and shoulders. I am getting different handle bars, but I need help with the saddle section. Lets not bother addressing those issues, I've been around the block a number of times already on those. I just need to figure out what saddle will work.

I'd like to get a springer saddle that will support my weight over bumps and what not. I need suggestions. I don't care if it has a hard surface or soft, as long as I can ride it in street clothes for 10-20 miles at a time without too much discomfort. My sit bones can't take that with my B17 saddle, its just too much jarring throughout my body.

Is there a particular saddle that'll work best? Alternatively, should I get a suspension seat post for my B17?

Thanks so much to those who have experience in this. I appreciate it!
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Old 02-01-10, 03:03 PM   #7
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Is the problem the B17 or getting the positioning to be upright on the bike? I'm 270 and find the B17 works for me on a pretty upright position.... I use swept back bars and high stem. I know saddles are very personal...so just sharing what works for me.

I also would second the observation that once you get beyond a certain distance (say 5 - 8 miles someplace) bike specific clothing makes a huge difference in overall comfort.....

Any way here is a pic of my set up in case it helps

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Old 02-03-10, 02:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for everybody's replies. Here's how the bike is was set up with drop bars, but right now it has nashbar trekking ('butterfly') bars.



I appreciate everything a lot. Looks like a pair of bicycle shorts are in my future, but they're so expensive!

I'd love one of the Brooks springers, but I cannot afford one at this time. Is there another brand? I've been looking to buy it here:

http://www.bikeworldusa.com/index.ph...ebddc96136fccc

I'm also looking at handle bars there, they have some sweet cruiser-specific stuff.

Last edited by rykoala; 02-03-10 at 02:32 PM. Reason: never added the picture. d'oh!
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Old 02-03-10, 01:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rykoala View Post
I'd love one of the Brooks springers, but I cannot afford one at this time. Is there another brand? I've been looking to buy it here:

http://www.bikeworldusa.com/index.ph...ebddc96136fccc
Every one of those saddles is GARBAGE. You do not want a cruiser seat if you're going to ride the bike regularly.

Get a regular bike saddle, that fits your sit bones (ischial tuberosities) properly, and realize that it's going to take a few rides to get used to.

Go to an actual bike shop or two, find one that will let you trade saddles until you find one that fits, and go from there.

Buying a $12.99 cruiser seat over the internet, at 330lbs, is a recipe for discomfort and not riding the bike.
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Old 02-03-10, 02:35 PM   #10
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If you read the first post, I HAVE a B17 saddle that works great but is too harsh when all my weight is on my butt. I'm no newbie at this, I have thousands of miles under my belt, 99% of it commuting year round for 3 years. I know about finding a saddle that fits, but I also know what will and won't work, and that B17 will NOT work for me. I need something sprung, and I can't afford a Brooks sprung saddle.

So, then what do you recommend? I don't think there's a suspension seat post out there made for a fatso like me.
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Old 02-03-10, 05:50 PM   #11
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You do not need a "sprung" saddle, you need a saddle that fits you properly without being too hard.

Adding springs / suspension seatposts will just make you bouncy and inefficient without necessarily adding comfort, and cruiser seats tend to be overly cushioned, which puts the weight on your soft tissues and not your sit bones, which is exactly what you don't want.

My recommendation would be, again, "Go to an actual bike shop or two, find one that will let you trade saddles until you find one that fits, and go from there."

The Specialized Sonoma Gel 175 might be a good place to start.

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So, then what do you recommend? I don't think there's a suspension seat post out there made for a fatso like me.
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Old 02-04-10, 12:19 AM   #12
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I'm confused. I have a saddle that fits. Are you saying simply "find a *softer* saddle that fits"?

EDIT: Should I just keep the B17 and get padded bike shorts?
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Old 02-04-10, 12:30 PM   #13
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Find a saddle that fits and is comfortable for you. You may need a little more padding than the B-17 offers, so whether you get that via a somewhat more comfortable seat or via bike shorts is up to you.

There's a difference between getting a seat with enough gel / padding to be comfortable, and getting a seat that's got so much padding it takes the weight off your sit bones and puts them on your soft tissues (e.g. don't buy a cruiser saddle or a Forte Softail).

This is why I recommended finding a shop that will let you try saddles out until you find the right one. When you're an uberclyde like us, it sometimes takes a while to get something that's going to work, as the average saddle is designed for someone about half our weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala View Post
I'm confused. I have a saddle that fits. Are you saying simply "find a *softer* saddle that fits"?

EDIT: Should I just keep the B17 and get padded bike shorts?
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Old 02-04-10, 12:44 PM   #14
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If your saddle fits then why are you in pain (even after breaking it in)? It's possible that in your riding position (3 years ago) that your legs and arms were taking more of the load so the fit wasn't as much of a problem. I'd suggest going to a Specialized dealer, they have a thing you sit on to determine where your sit bones are located. Once you are positive that you have the correct size saddle then you can look into other solutions (springs, handlebar positions, etc.). Also, get a cheap pair of bike shorts immediately. They make a large difference (wear them under sweatpants or shorts w/o seams if you are self conscious). Performance / Nashbar has good starter options.
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Old 02-04-10, 12:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rykoala View Post
I'm confused. I have a saddle that fits. Are you saying simply "find a *softer* saddle that fits"?

EDIT: Should I just keep the B17 and get padded bike shorts?
Or you could get one of those groovy woolly sheepskin covers! I'm not much lighter than you, and I can do pretty well on my B17 with bike shorts on an upright bike.
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Old 02-06-10, 02:53 AM   #16
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Thank you everyone, your input is very much appreciated. I have some shopping to do and some options to look at!
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Old 02-06-10, 11:53 PM   #17
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I'm over 450 and I love my Sunlite Cloud-9
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