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  1. #1
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Getting fed up...Any suggestions?

    I have always felt that trying to find the right saddle was so frustrating. no matter what you ask, what you research it wont do any good until you try it. There are those people out there that can basically ride any saddle without problems and then there are people like me where every saddle seems to have a problem with my anatomy.....to stiff, to much padding, to flat, to wide, nose is to wide....etc.

    Last month the wife bought me the cobb V flow plus saddle that I had researched and I thought would be the answer to my issues. I have been trying this Cobb V flow plus saddle for the month and have about 350-400 miles on it. Still haven't given up on it yet but dangit I'm about to. I have played with damn near every position on it, had it looked at with my body position with my LBS to try and get some proffessional help instead of me just toying with it. Still, here we are 5 saddles tried and returned (about to be 6) in less than a year. I had good feelings about this Cobb saddle as it started out great but as of late I find myself wishing I was sitting on something different. Now that I am riding more aggressive, longer average rides and pushing myself to ride more throughout the week my bum is starting to hate me! 2 weeks ago it was front pain, yesterday it was my sit bones. Its like no matter which adjustment I make a part of my anotomy ends up in pain. I did a 70 mile ride yesterday and the last 20 miles hurt like mad. I layed in bed last night which was like 9 hours after getting home from my ride and felt like I was still sitting on my bike. I felt like my sit bones were bruised.

    on a side note My riding buddy thinks I should stop using chamois cream and see what happens. (assos cream) This is in more regards to the abrassion like burns I have gotten lately under my sit bones and in the crease of my crotch and leg. Any thoughts on that?

    I am going to give this saddle till the end of July and if it doesn't change for the better, it is going back and I am going to look at the Specialized phenom or the specialized Romain. I hear the Phenom is made to be more of a mtn bike saddle but road bikers seem to like it as well as it is shaped like the toupe but has a little bit more padding and doesn't have the plastic nose and tail pieces which are notorious for breaking. The Romain seems to be a little bit wider at the nose than the toupe but has a little bit of a curl up shape in the back. I had sat on a couple bikes that had a curl up rear and they feel comfortable right away. Maybe that will help give some support?

    I tell ya, I love cycling. But I am starting to get very frustrated in the lack of comfort and abundance of pain I have felt through all these wrong saddles.

    Any suggestions? Other than sell the bike and take up another sport

  2. #2
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    I have a Phenom on my mountain bike. Most of my rides on the MTB are short (~1hr) and it's fine for that. It's quite similar to the Toupe, which is the worst saddle I've ever ridden. Very little padding, very little flex. It works on the mountain bike because I spend most of my time off the saddle, either standing to climb or with my butt back while descending. The Specialized Romin looks interesting, but I've tried a number of BG saddles and none of them have worked for me so I've pretty much given up on the brand.

    One of the things that helps when selecting a new saddle is knowing why your current saddle is giving you problems. Do you have pain when you lean forward and put your hands on the drops? Your current saddle might be too long. Sit bones feel bruised? You might need a bit more padding. Lots of chafing? Your saddle may be too wide. Soft-tissue pain? Your saddle might be too narrow. Sliding forward and backward too much? Your saddle may be too flat. Of course, these are just some of the possible problems and explanations. There are large number of factors that can affect saddle comfort; everything from the shorts you wear to the way you fit on the bike...

    Still, when you say that your sit bones are sore and you've got pain from abrasions, my first thought is that your saddle may be a bit too wide and that you could use a bit more padding (or possibly better shorts?). If you haven't done so already, you might want to see if any shops in your area have demo programs. I know that shops in my area have collections of demo saddles sponsored by WTB and Selle SMP. My local Specialized dealer doesn't have a demo program, though they do have a pretty liberal return policy. Both of these shops are located near a 15-mile loop ride that I do regularly, so it was pretty easy for me to try out 2-4 saddles in a day. Unlike many people, I don't believe in "break in": if there's even a hint of discomfort on an hour-long test-ride, the saddle is dropped from consideration.

  3. #3
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    A crank forward.. trust me once you try one you will never go back. or a recumbent if you want to really get comfy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    I can do a 70 miler now sans cream. After that point I do start to want it simply due to the sweat.
    I do believe in a break-in period but only on leather saddles, I don't believe in a 1000 mile break in period however. Saddle comfort for me comes from shaped and position, and it might take longer than a 1 hour ride to find the correct position.

    You say your sit bones are bruising but then you also say you are getting burns from your pad. I will tell you that if you are having abrasion burns that's all it takes to point to a saddle and that could be wrong. How are your shorts fitting and how old are they? When the padding in my bibs starts to go (break down) they give me burns. Also to much cream tends to soften my skin so that I get burns/abrasions in my sit bone area, especially if I use it before the 60-70 mile mark, after that mark though it is heaven. Also worn loose or new tight bibs can cause the same problem for me. I am unfortunately in-between sizes right now, XXL is to big and XL is really snug.

    I also had problems around the 85 mile mark with my saddles, that tends to be the defining mileage for comfort, but after spending 300 bucks in saddles I finally found one that I can live with and enjoy riding for longer periods and that was an uncut Selle An-Atomica saddle. After I had it for a while I did do a partial cutout on it and it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever had. I sold both of the Brooks I had and didn't look back. But I did have to experiment with tilt and tension to get it truly perfect.

    What other saddles have you tried?
    What shorts are you riding? Bibs?
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  5. #5
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    I tried the selle smp, specialezed toupe, wtb silverado, selle italia flite, selle italia max flite gel and now this cobb v flow plus. My bib shorts aren't the greatest because i can't afford to drop $150 on a set. I wouldn't doubt that a better pair o shorts would but ultimately i feel that the problems are about my saddle. I am wanting to try a saddle with a more traditional curve up on the tail. I have yet to try a saddle shape like that.

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I've tried the Selle Italia gel and they suck, IMO! Specialized BG doesn't work for me either. That cob flow looks weird and uncomy IMO. I have a WTBRocket V that works (Silverado looks uncomfy in comparison) ok but I think the Terry Fly is much better than the others that I have tried.

    Too many guys looking for saddles seem to be too macho to use Terry because Terry is a designed for women brand (Fly is the male version), but hey, I want to ride my bike! Some riders on their last hope tried and now use them too. That sporty race look will only go so far sometimes!

    Another thing is try a different cream. I used the BagBalm so many raved about but it seemed to work as a lubricate aiding the shorts into cutting into my skin! I tried the Uddercream (much lighter mix) and it works much better with my sensitve skin!

    You might try a different pair of shorts too. I used to use the PI Ultra Sensors. Last pair I bought was $110 and theey sucked bigtime! Quality has gone down and price has gone up. I used to love them but not anymore!

  7. #7
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Are you purchasing these saddles or trying them out? You aren't trying cheap saddles so maybe spending a little more on 1 pair of bibs just to try wouldn't kill you. Also you keep trying Gel saddles which in the world of LD riding for most riders, not all but most, is a big no-no. Gel tends to put more pressure on your soft tissue and cause more pain than it solves.

    You have also tried so many newer saddles that much of what you are complaining about has been solved by traditional leather saddles. Now I am NOT telling you go out and get a Brooks, I don't fit them either, but I do believe in the comfort of a leather saddle and two of the most comfortable saddles I have ridden have been leather. There are quite a few different options for leather saddles now, some even come on colors, white included.

    You never did say what the LBS found. Were they qualified fitters?

    There is also this option:
    My week with a bike saddle demo kit from Competitive Cyclist
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  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I don't have much to offer except that I would never ride 300+ miles on a saddle I didn't think was comfortable to begin with. Recently I thought about switching away from my B17 Imperial and all it took was a 2 minute roll around my parking lot with the new saddle to realize it wasn't going to happen.

    I'm with Beanz in that you might need to switch cremes. Assos isn't for everyone, with it's unique blend of napalm and liquid nitrogen that simultaneously ignites and freezes your tenders. Chamois Butt'r or Udder Creme are good, non-mentholated, non-witch-hazel containing options.
    If you're getting serious skin issues on longer rides, you might also consider using Lantiseptic, which is an emmolient protectant. It's more Bag Balm-ish in consistency and made specifically to protect thin skin from chafing and abrading.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    I tried many saddles as well. What I ended up with was a Brooks B-17 on my more upright cyclecross / light touring bike and the Brooks B-17n (narrow) for my more agressive road bike. The B-17n took a bit longer to break in than the B-17, but both are great. I don't think about my bottom anymore, it's my legs that give out now. I did a 5 hour ride on the B-17n a week ago Sunday. I was a little sore from rubbing in between - didn't use any cream, but my sit bones were fine. I think it's Wallbike that sells the Brooks and gives a full refund upon return if you don't like it. I bought my first B-17 from them until I was sure Brooks was for me.

  10. #10
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I'm wondering whether you are trying so many adjustments you aren't giving yourself a chance to get used to anything. The important thing is that most of your weight is on sit bones rather than soft tissue. Once you've got that sorted, those sit bones are going to ache, feel as if they're bruised etc. That ache is going to take a while to go away, and you won't be doing yourself any harm as you endure the process.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Just a couple of thoughts. Do you let yourself heal before trying a new saddle. You won't get fair test on a saddle if you're already in pain when trying it for the first time. Also, sometimes riding style changes and saddle needs change too.

  12. #12
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I use a Brooks Swift on my roadie and B17s on my other bikes. I wear bike shorts once in a while on longer rides on the roadie, but I've gone 50 miles in regular clothes and felt fine. Brooks aren't for everyone, but they're worth a try.
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  13. #13
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    I also tried the Specialized Phenom Gel with poor results. I was having problems where my sit bones were bottoming out through the padding and I was being supported by the underlying shell. I was having this problem using padded riding shorts too. It seems most of the gel is in the seat nose for seated climbing sitting on the forward edge of the seat.

    Bike shop guy recommended staying away from the Specialized "performance" saddles and recommended the "endurance" saddles like an Avatar Gel. Have one on order now.
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  14. #14
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Are you purchasing these saddles or trying them out?
    Yes I have purchased them. My LBS has a fairly generous return on saddles. Plus it helps that I am friends with most of them. If I buy a saddle, I give it a good 300 miles before ever bringing it back. I feel like I need to give them a chance or else I could be missing out. Some may even say i'm not giving them anough of a chance, but personally if a saddle hurts the first 300 miles, it probably aint gonna be the saddle for you. Maybe I'm wrong?

    I'm wondering whether you are trying so many adjustments you aren't giving yourself a chance to get used to anything
    This could be a possibility. I usually dont do much of the adjustments myself. since I am friends with most of the people at my LBS, I usually tell them my issues and have them make adjustments for me. This eliminates stupid errors from me.

    Just a couple of thoughts. Do you let yourself heal before trying a new saddle.
    Yes I do. Generally speaking, if my bum is sore (which when I'm sore, it usually consists of abrasions and saddle sores) I wont ride for several days to heal up. I ride because it's fun, jumping on the bike when my butt still hurts is painful, which isn't fun.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I am getting a refit done this saturday and I am going to see what they recommend for me to try for a saddle. One of the salesman had mentioned trying one of the fizik saddles. Not sure about that one, but I'm not a pro and they are.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    I tried the selle smp, specialezed toupe, wtb silverado, selle italia flite, selle italia max flite gel and now this cobb v flow plus.
    Don't know about the Cobb or which Selle SMP you tried but all of the other saddles you've tried are: very firm, relatively narrow, and have very little padding. No wonder your bum is sore! I wouldn't last 20 miles on any of those ass hatchets...

    If I were you, I'd be looking for a wider saddle with a bit more padding. Take a look at the WTB Rocket V or Terry Fly that Mr. Beanz mentioned. Or one of the wider Selle SMP models (Lite 209, Pro, etc). Specialized saddles don't work for me, but if you want to give them a try I'd suggest looking at the Alias or Avatar not the Romin or Phenom. Most likely, you want an "enthusiast" saddle not a racing saddle like the models you've been trying.

    Also, shorts don't last forever. If yours are old, it may be time to replace them. You don't have to spend a fortune, but you do need something where the chamois hasn't been through the wash a few hundred times. My favorite shorts are the $37 Falconi Deluxe Bibshorts from love2pedal.com. For me, they work great for anything but the hottest, long-distance (75+ mile) rides.

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    The most comfortable saddle I've owned is the An-anatomical LD Clydesdale version.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    I have always felt that trying to find the right saddle was so frustrating. no matter what you ask, what you research it wont do any good until you try it. There are those people out there that can basically ride any saddle without problems and then there are people like me where every saddle seems to have a problem with my anatomy.....to stiff, to much padding, to flat, to wide, nose is to wide....etc.

    Last month the wife bought me the cobb V flow plus saddle that I had researched and I thought would be the answer to my issues. I have been trying this Cobb V flow plus saddle for the month and have about 350-400 miles on it. Still haven't given up on it yet but dangit I'm about to. I have played with damn near every position on it, had it looked at with my body position with my LBS to try and get some proffessional help instead of me just toying with it. Still, here we are 5 saddles tried and returned (about to be 6) in less than a year. I had good feelings about this Cobb saddle as it started out great but as of late I find myself wishing I was sitting on something different. Now that I am riding more aggressive, longer average rides and pushing myself to ride more throughout the week my bum is starting to hate me! 2 weeks ago it was front pain, yesterday it was my sit bones. Its like no matter which adjustment I make a part of my anotomy ends up in pain. I did a 70 mile ride yesterday and the last 20 miles hurt like mad. I layed in bed last night which was like 9 hours after getting home from my ride and felt like I was still sitting on my bike. I felt like my sit bones were bruised.

    on a side note My riding buddy thinks I should stop using chamois cream and see what happens. (assos cream) This is in more regards to the abrassion like burns I have gotten lately under my sit bones and in the crease of my crotch and leg. Any thoughts on that?

    I am going to give this saddle till the end of July and if it doesn't change for the better, it is going back and I am going to look at the Specialized phenom or the specialized Romain. I hear the Phenom is made to be more of a mtn bike saddle but road bikers seem to like it as well as it is shaped like the toupe but has a little bit more padding and doesn't have the plastic nose and tail pieces which are notorious for breaking. The Romain seems to be a little bit wider at the nose than the toupe but has a little bit of a curl up shape in the back. I had sat on a couple bikes that had a curl up rear and they feel comfortable right away. Maybe that will help give some support?

    I tell ya, I love cycling. But I am starting to get very frustrated in the lack of comfort and abundance of pain I have felt through all these wrong saddles.

    Any suggestions? Other than sell the bike and take up another sport

    Another saddle thread, I'm just starting this nonsense with my road bike, the saddle that was on the bike when I got it, can best be described as [bleep] anything over about 10km and it turns into a sharp pointy stick, switched it out for the saddle that came on the wifes bike, it's good for 30km, I found this out on a 37km ride switched to the saddle we got for the wifes bike, because she didn't like the 30km saddle, and it's worse, but I need to monkey with the position on it, move it forward and slightly nose down before I give up on it. This is the problem with short saddle testing, you don't have the opportunity to try a different saddle position to try and get it dialed in, some saddles are better nose up, some nose down, some are better a little forward, others a little back. Saddles themselves may have different heights, from rails to top, so changing the saddle may require a seat post adjustment. The first saddle I tried was from when the bike was new in 1975, the second from the 1980's and the third was nearly new, and it's more then a centimetre higher then the first one, the middle one was about the middle.

    If you sit on a saddle and feel like your sitting on the nose, then you need to move the saddle forward a bit, and see if that helps, if it feels like your junk is getting interference from the nose, then try tilting it nose down a little, in many ways saddle fitting is a black art, you adjust it forward slightly, if that makes it worse, try moving back a little, if you can't find a position where a saddle is comfortable, then you need a different saddle. However, you may also need a different style of saddle, it's not always easy, because sometimes two saddles look amazingly different to your eyes, but are identical to your butt. If you try 5 different saddles that are all a** hatchets made of plastic with a .5mm layer of gel on them, then trying a sixth with .052mm of gel on top, will most likely give the same result. Perhaps you need something radically different, so maybe try a Brooks. What makes this even harder is that a saddle that feels perfect on a mountain bike, will in all likely hood not feel the same on a road bike....

  18. #18
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    so the terry fly saddles....Are these saddles geared toward performance or more towards touring or cruising? I am interested but it reminds be of the cobb saddle I am about to return.

    this is the one I was interested in...(OF COURSE the one I like has to be the most expensive!)
    http://www.ride-this.com/index.php/t...ource=googleps

  19. #19
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Here you go http://mantasaddle.biz/ Heh

    How can anyone put themselves through this. I cringe just thinking about going through your saddle swapping process. Do you really think you'll find the magical saddle to solve all the problems? I guess some people do.

    Just curious why you ignored my comment about switching to a different style of bike. To me if something was causing that much pain time and money I would be reconsidering the direction i was going in especially when there is a solution. After years of butt pain and bike fittings switching to CF geometry solved all the problems. I ride 100 miles for days on tour with no butt pain or saddle sores and I don't need butt cream or padded shorts! + it looks enough like a bike, you don't get noticed like on a recumbent, if that is an issue.
    Last edited by Aquakitty; 07-20-10 at 10:44 PM.

  20. #20
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Here you go http://mantasaddle.biz/ Heh

    How can anyone put themselves through this. I cringe just thinking about going through your saddle swapping process. Do you really think you'll find the magical saddle to solve all the problems? I guess some people do.

    Just curious why you ignored my comment about switching to a different style of bike. To me if something was causing that much pain time and money I would be reconsidering the direction i was going in especially when there is a solution. After years of butt pain and bike fittings switching to CF geometry solved all the problems. I ride 100 miles for days on tour with no butt pain or saddle sores and I don't need butt cream or padded shorts! + it looks enough like a bike, you don't get noticed like on a recumbent, if that is an issue.
    I didnt ignore you, sorry if you felt like I did. I didn't answer back to everyone, just answered some keypoints. I am to vain to ride a saddle like that as well as a bike like that. I will give up riding all together before riding either. Sorry just being honest. I buy the saddles yes, but my LBS has a return policy which allows me to jump from one to the next if it doesn't work, So I'm not really wasting money. I'm simply trying to find a combination of shape and comfort that my body will like. Cant make an omlette without breaking some eggs. I'm not wasting time either, I'm gaining knowledge to know what I like and what to look for that I want to stay away from. I hope there will be a saddle that I will come accross (sooner than later hopefully) that will solve my issues. Some people ride for YEARS before ever finding a saddle that works for them. I have been riding for less than a year so I think of it as learning and the trials and tribulations of cycling.

  21. #21
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    I didnt ignore you, sorry if you felt like I did. I didn't answer back to everyone, just answered some keypoints. I am to vain to ride a saddle like that as well as a bike like that. I will give up riding all together before riding either. Sorry just being honest. I buy the saddles yes, but my LBS has a return policy which allows me to jump from one to the next if it doesn't work, So I'm not really wasting money. I'm simply trying to find a combination of shape and comfort that my body will like. Cant make an omlette without breaking some eggs. I'm not wasting time either, I'm gaining knowledge to know what I like and what to look for that I want to stay away from. I hope there will be a saddle that I will come accross (sooner than later hopefully) that will solve my issues. Some people ride for YEARS before ever finding a saddle that works for them. I have been riding for less than a year so I think of it as learning and the trials and tribulations of cycling.

    Well at least you are honest . Oh well.. I will enjoy my buttcremeless ride and think of you.

  22. #22
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Here you go http://mantasaddle.biz/ Heh

    How can anyone put themselves through this. I cringe just thinking about going through your saddle swapping process. Do you really think you'll find the magical saddle to solve all the problems? I guess some people do.

    Just curious why you ignored my comment about switching to a different style of bike. To me if something was causing that much pain time and money I would be reconsidering the direction i was going in especially when there is a solution. After years of butt pain and bike fittings switching to CF geometry solved all the problems. I ride 100 miles for days on tour with no butt pain or saddle sores and I don't need butt cream or padded shorts! + it looks enough like a bike, you don't get noticed like on a recumbent, if that is an issue.
    Not everyone finds bents and trikes more comfortable than uprights. Also, replacing a hundred dollar saddle is a tenth of the starting price of an entry-level bent.

  23. #23
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Not everyone finds bents and trikes more comfortable than uprights. Also, replacing a hundred dollar saddle is a tenth of the starting price of an entry-level bent.
    Its the same cost as buying a new bike... Not sure what you are looking at but you can get crank forwards for the same price as a bike. I am not saying it is the answer, just wondering why anyone would go through that pain and blisters. I ride uprights and crank forwards but I sure wouldn't if it was causing me butt to explode or taking "years" to get rid of the pain.

    Just putting it forward as one option(no pun intended) personally nothing could make me quit cycling. if my legs fell off I would try a hand cycle

    but seriously, how could you be embarrassed to ride this

    http://www.ransbikes.com/Alterra%20Road%20large.htm

    Granted, its a wee bit more expensive then new saddle Thats assuming you do find the right saddle.

    As far as saddles go, I foudn the right one by measuring my sit bones, and purchasing the corresponding width. Never had a saddle sore but I do get bad bruising on the sit bone flesh.
    Last edited by Aquakitty; 07-21-10 at 12:15 AM.

  24. #24
    Member jgwilliams's Avatar
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    I would certainly recommend trying the Fizik saddles. Personally I've never found a saddle that I'm completely comfortable with, but the Fizik Arione is the best yet. I agree with the comments above about gel saddles: if you're just riding occasionally a gel saddle is great, but the more miles you do the less gel you should be using. The Arione is designed to 'break-in' in the same way that a Brooks leather saddle does, so in theory you shouldn't return it once used, but that's down to your LBS.

    A few years ago I started cycling to work - 22 miles each way. For a year I was fine with it, but then suddenly started to get saddle sores the following year. I spent a mint of money on saddles, shorts and creams and a great deal of time at the doctor trying to find a solution. Since I didn't want to give up the ride to work I eventually went down the recumbent route as well. I love my road bikes and wouldn't give them up, but all the big mileage is now done on the 'bent.

    Personally I don't find that RANS CF bike cool or attractive. This one on the other hand I think is very cool:

    http://photos.gwatkin-williams.com/i...e=IMG_0688.JPG

    Each to their own though. My girlfriend thinks recumbents very uncool and wouldn't even get on a tandem one with me, so I know where you're coming from.

    I wish you the best of luck with your saddle, etc. Incidentally, one of the things I spent a lot of money on was a pair of Assos bib shorts, but I actually found them worse than the cheap Lusso ones I had been using. And the padding came unstitched after six months, so I was pretty unimpressed.

    John

  25. #25
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    I do find it a bit amusing you are discussing whats cool or not cool on a forum dedicated to (among others) overweight cyclists. A fat person on a bike looks rather silly to begin with, especially on an expensive carbon fiber one, stuffed into lycra. And I don't think your girlfriend would consider your saddle sores cool either. So really its just being hypocritical to brush off a suggestion because it might look funny. Chances are half the world already thinks you look funny just because you are a cyclist. I mean this lightheartedy as I have no idea what the Op looks like but I doubt it is very "cool". Since you look stupid already you might as well be comfortable

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