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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 10-19-10, 10:28 PM   #1
newbugdriver
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Saddle tips for a Clyde?

I currently ride a Trek 7100 and have a upright position with it. I would like to upgrade the stock saddle. I hear that selecting a saddle can be a trial and error thing. Any tips?
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Old 10-20-10, 05:34 AM   #2
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Take into consideration your riding style. If you ride long rides (1 hour+), you'll want a firm(er) saddle. If you just tool around for 20-minute, short, relaxing rides, a posh saddle should do.

Get measured. Specialized (and some other saddle manufacturers) have a little gel pad that you sit on (a butt-meter). Your "sit bones" will leave indentations in the gel. Measure the width of these to find out how wide you'll want your saddle to be.

It will take a bit of time for your body to acclimate to the saddle and the saddle to "break-in" to your body's shape. So, look for shops that will allow you to try the saddles out and return them if you're not happy with them. As long as you don't damage them, you should be good. It takes me anywhere from 150--350 miles to decide if I'll like the saddle. The Specialized Toupe, for instance, I just never got accustomed to after 200-miles. So I returned it to the LBS before deciding on the Fiz'ik Arione a couple years ago within about 100-miles. This year, my new saddle, the Selle Italia TurboMatic, took even longer to get accustomed to (300-miles) but I now love it.

The C&A group is very big (no pun intended, but it sounded good) on the Brooks leather saddles. I've never tried them so can't give first-hand feedback, but someone will soon.
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Old 10-20-10, 06:54 AM   #3
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You can, and should, collect all the tips and suggestions you can solicit, but you're right - in the end it really is trial and error. Everyone is a little different, be it in physical structure, weight, type of bike, position on the bike, riding style, riding duration, etc. All those things combined mean that after you take everyone's advice into consideration, you'll just have to go try them for yourself.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:14 AM   #4
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newbugdriver, It takes me about ten hours with a saddle to properly evaluate it. For me a wide(ish) saddle works better for my bike with a semi upright position. It used to be that each saddle maker had a slightly different design, now they've all expanded their lines so there's even more choices making more than one saddle that's appropriate for you.

Evaluating a saddle will also include it's angle, what you wear during cycling (gym shorts vs. cycling shorts vs. amount of the cycling short's padding) and fore/aft positioning of the saddle. Tinker with what you have first.

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Old 10-20-10, 02:31 PM   #5
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First why do you want to upgrade? If something is working, don't change it.

If the saddle is not comfortable see what adjustments you can make in order to help. First adjust the saddle height. Mine is adjusted so I am sitting on the saddle and my leg is fully extended when my heel is barely resting on the pedal at the 6 o'clock position. Next adjust the fore/aft position. Some like it the saddle dead center, others a little further forward or back. Next adjust the tilt. I prefer mine with the nose tilted slightly upwards. Also give your body time to adjust to the new positioning and don't make to many adjustments at once.

Saddles are personal. The most recommended seem to be Brooks, BG, WTB, Terry, and quite a few others. Your saddle height in relation to your handlebar height will also come into play as to which style you prefer.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:47 PM   #6
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I usually ride anywhere from a half hour to one and half hours which can be anywhere from 5 to 25 miles. Usually after a half hour, I start getting uncomfortable on the saddle.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:01 AM   #7
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The Bontrager SSR saddle, A 25.00 saddle was surprisingly comfortable + it was firm and wide. I would also look at some old school saddles like the San Marco Rolls or Selle Turbo saddles, they been around for 20+ years for a reason..

The saddle that comes with that bike is plush.. Soft saddles are just plain terrible, you want a firm saddle with a little cushioning.. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to buy a firm saddle. just remember softer saddles = pain..

http://bontrager.com/model/08381
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Old 10-21-10, 07:48 AM   #8
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I don't know if my saddle experiences are typical or not, but in my case, over many years of riding, and several different brands and styles of saddle, there was only one I couldn't live with - a Brooks Team Pro that refused to break in. All the others were fine. But keep in mind that by "fine," I mean only that they were servicable - no pain of any kind, and no initial discomfort. But every one of those saddles has caused at least some degree of discomfort after 20-30 miles at a time. Nothing bad enough that I wanted to change saddles, but enough to feel it, and to need to move around a bit every few miles. I've never found one that felt like a Barcalounger for an entire ride, and I doubt I ever will.
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Old 10-21-10, 08:21 AM   #9
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newbugdriver, Discomfort after only 30 minutes needs to be addressed. What and where is the discomfort? This info can help us help you and don't be shy about the discomfort area.

Brad
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Old 10-21-10, 01:29 PM   #10
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There is more of a pain issue around my thighs.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:38 PM   #11
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Is it like a friction issue or something? A lot of times, the pain is back on the sitz bones. Or maybe the nose is too wide?
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Old 10-24-10, 01:43 PM   #12
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I don't know if my saddle experiences are typical or not, but in my case, over many years of riding, and several different brands and styles of saddle, there was only one I couldn't live with - a Brooks Team Pro that refused to break in. All the others were fine. But keep in mind that by "fine," I mean only that they were servicable - no pain of any kind, and no initial discomfort. But every one of those saddles has caused at least some degree of discomfort after 20-30 miles at a time. Nothing bad enough that I wanted to change saddles, but enough to feel it, and to need to move around a bit every few miles. I've never found one that felt like a Barcalounger for an entire ride, and I doubt I ever will.
http://www.bikeforest.com/cb/cb8.php

Behold the Couchbike!

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Old 10-24-10, 02:35 PM   #13
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I'm barely a Clyde (6'5, 205lbs), but I've been up to 300 and down to 195, and I can tell you I've tried over $500 in saddles over the last few years. About 2 weeks ago, I finally gave into the hype and got a Brooks B17 a week before my first century ride. It was great. The break-in period is overstated, especially for people our size, and the comfort is second to none over 30 miles. Like everyone else has said though, it's really up to you. See if you can find a shop that will let you try out multiple saddles.
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Old 10-24-10, 02:37 PM   #14
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That couch bike looks awesome
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Old 10-24-10, 03:50 PM   #15
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270 here and I have a Specialized Alias 150mm. I was fitted for it when I bought my Stump Jumper, and when I traded in that bike for my new Roubaix Expert last week, I kept that saddle. Wear good cycling shorts and let your body adjust to a properly fitted saddle, and you'll be comfortable IMO.
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Old 10-24-10, 04:25 PM   #16
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Probably not the best way to go about it, but I just dropped ~$125 on 4-5 high quality used saddles on ebay that are all roughly my size (~145-155 mm) that I'm going to have shipped off to me. When I figure I'll try them all and the ones I don't like I can sell for about the same as I spent only losing shipping, so I'm doing my own sort of exchange programs.
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Old 10-24-10, 05:13 PM   #17
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Would that be classed as a bent?
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Old 10-24-10, 08:31 PM   #18
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it's at least a tandem. Maybe a quad as I think there are 4 wheels?
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Old 10-25-10, 03:42 AM   #19
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I had to try a number of them before I found one that 'worked', the only problem is it took me a LOT of miles to find if it worked or not! I found that, for me, the best ones were rather hard, no padding whatsoever other than the leather covers. The only exception to this was the last one I tried- which I REALLY like now- It is a F-1 from nashbar. First one that I've tried with a cutout, and I really like it- at least as well as some of the $100+ ones with fancy Italian names that I've tried.

I've also found that it's a combination of things- A good saddle, properly adjusted, and proper riding attire- If I'm putting on serious miles, baggies just don't cut it!

I am lusting after a brooks saddle now- Might have to try that route for the next bike... Seems like there are a LOT of happy owners out there
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Old 10-31-10, 10:26 PM   #20
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I have a Cloud 9 Suspension Cruiser saddle on my 3-speed that is BETTER THAN A BROOKS!* It has a FIRM gel top (most gel is soft and gets uncomfortable) and large springs that work well with my weight on gravel roads. The longest ride I've taken on it has been about 3 hours and my butt was still comfortable afterwards.

Blah blah blah personal fit, etc: This particular saddle has high rounded bumps on the rear that may be uncomfortable if you have narrower seat bones than me.

*By better I mean cheaper. I doubt it will hold up for a decade or more like a good leather saddle.
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