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  1. #1
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    How long does it take before I should consider a new seat?

    So I just set up my new commuter bike and I've ridden about 20 miles. I know that's not enough time to break in the seat, but seriously, it's bad. A trusted LBS tech said to wait two-four weeks before considering a new seat. Should I wait until my sit bones are used to the load before trying a new seat, or should I just go for it now?

    I may end up doing half commutes in the mean time just to get my sit bones used to the weight.

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TysonC View Post
    I may end up doing half commutes in the mean time just to get my sit bones used to the weight.
    If you consider doing this, it's more than likely not the seat. You need more saddle time to adjust your butt.

    I guess it would be fair to ask how much riding you have been doing recently (before the new commuter)?

    After having my butt conditioned to riding, I can easliy do a 20 miler with no discomfort on a bad saddle.

    If your butt is conditioned, I'd say give it 1000 miles of use. I've had saddles that I hated (Cannondle Coda) but ended up relaly liking it after a good breakin period. Terry FLy was great right out of the box but I had a ton of miles in the saddle already and my butt was well conditioned.

    I say use it if you yourself don't have many miles on your butt. You might spend money then find it wasn't the seat. If you do have a few thousand miles under your belt, I agree, give the saddle a good 3-4 weeks before you ditch it.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-19-11 at 12:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Sometimes its not even the saddle. Do you have the saddle height correct? Is the tilt and fore/aft positioning correct?

    Before getting a new saddle make adjustments. Also, give yourself some time to get used to the adjustments.

    If you feel nothing is working, then look for a new saddle.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TysonC View Post
    So I just set up my new commuter bike and I've ridden about 20 miles. I know that's not enough time to break in the seat, but seriously, it's bad. A trusted LBS tech said to wait two-four weeks before considering a new seat. Should I wait until my sit bones are used to the load before trying a new seat, or should I just go for it now?

    I may end up doing half commutes in the mean time just to get my sit bones used to the weight.
    If your new to cycling, then yeah, it takes some time to get used to a saddle after a period of soft, cushy sofas.... However, you need to get the saddle as close as possible to ideal fit, before you consider switching it. First find out what kind of tool you need to adjust the saddle, some use an allen key, some use an open ended wrench. First you set the height, you need help to get this right, sitting on the bicycle, in sock feet, put your heel on the pedal and stretch your leg out, you should just make it if the saddle is the right height, do both sides, shorter leg wins. Most people start with the saddle too low. You set the height first for a simple reason, bicycle tubes are on an angle, so height affects fore and aft. Next set the saddle dead level, half way back on the rails,
    sit on the saddle, in a natural position, and go for say 2 miles, now note where you sit bones are, your butt will always find the natural position, but you can sit in the right spot at the beginning, and notice a mile or two later, that your not sitting in the right spot. Say you find yourself sitting on the nose, this means the saddle is too far back, so take your wrench, and put the saddle forward, since we started half way back on the rails, move it half way between that and the back of the saddle, and do another 2 miles, still on the nose, move it back again, do another 2 miles. If you now find your too far the other way, then shift back half the distance. Once you have the saddle in the right spot, and still level, you can try tilting it a little to see if you can get it right. Often times, getting the saddle set right, will make it usable. If you find you can't move the saddle forward enough, then the top tube is too long, if you can't move the saddle back enough the top tube is too short.

    Having said all this, some saddles just don't work for some riders, every body is different.

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    i agree with the others, last year at this time i was new to cycling and 15 minutes on the bike was MAJOR Pain! It took me 3 solid weeks to get my butt conditioned and there were days where I really couldnt even ride cuz my ass hurt too much. I should add that I did not start with padded shorts either since i never had them as a kid. Once my butt got conditioned, I would easily do 20-40 mile rides without shorts but usually would wear them. I did find that making certain adjustments like saddle nose up and down did play a major role in comfort.

  6. #6
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    Honestly, I don't really believe in the "break in" theory for saddles... or butts.

    If you've never ridden a bike before you might give yourself 5-6 rides to get used to sitting on a saddle. When I'm evaluating a new saddle, I use shorts that I know work well for me and I set the new saddle at the same height as the old one. I ride around the block a few times to make sure the positioning is correct then take the saddle for a spin around my normal 30-mile training loop. Within the first 3-5 miles I can have the adjustment spot-on. At the end of the ride, if there's even the slightest hint of discomfort, I consider the saddle a reject. I used this method to pick my current saddle, which worked well when riding 60-90 miles/day for 8 days in a row down the Pacific Coast among other things...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Honestly, I don't really believe in the "break in" theory for saddles... or butts.

    If you've never ridden a bike before you might give yourself 5-6 rides to get used to sitting on a saddle. When I'm evaluating a new saddle, I use shorts that I know work well for me and I set the new saddle at the same height as the old one. I ride around the block a few times to make sure the positioning is correct then take the saddle for a spin around my normal 30-mile training loop. Within the first 3-5 miles I can have the adjustment spot-on. At the end of the ride, if there's even the slightest hint of discomfort, I consider the saddle a reject. I used this method to pick my current saddle, which worked well when riding 60-90 miles/day for 8 days in a row down the Pacific Coast among other things...
    lol your crazy. I hadn't ridden a bike with any regularity in 15 years when i started last year. It absolutely took me 3 full weeks for the MAJOR pain to go away. maybe some clydes have more fat in those regions so they don't feel it but I'm built like a linebacker. also, a lot of people new to biking don't start with shorts because average people hate the association of spandex with cycling. it's not til they begin to really enjoy it and put down miles that they make the investment.

    perhaps if we are talking about people starting with very large saddles it's not an issue but my bike came with a regular old sadde like most road bikes do and my ass HURT like hell, believe that!

  8. #8
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    You guys were right. It took a few days of riding but the discomfort is getting significantly better. While I would not say my seat is comfortable, the bike is definitely ridable for 10 miles or so (with some old baggy mtb shorts).

    I will probably still want another saddle at some point but I do concede that there is an adjustment period for your sit bones.

  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TysonC View Post
    So I just set up my new commuter bike and I've ridden about 20 miles. I know that's not enough time to break in the seat, but seriously, it's bad. A trusted LBS tech said to wait two-four weeks before considering a new seat. Should I wait until my sit bones are used to the load before trying a new seat, or should I just go for it now?

    I may end up doing half commutes in the mean time just to get my sit bones used to the weight.
    Unless you're riding a Brooks all leather saddle that needs break in time you're breaking in your butt not the saddle!

    Modern synthetic saddles won't break in since they are not organic.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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