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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 03-22-11, 06:36 PM   #1
bianchi10
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Saddles: Soft or Hard?

OK, let me first clarify...I KNOW what works for you may not work for me. MY bike is set up properly and I have gone from lots of saddle trouble to currently loving my set up. I am just thinking out loud here and creating some conversation. I am also not a clydedale, I am in great shape and am a fit cyclist. I come to the clydes section because I can the same great feedback without the arrogance of the road section.

I have had the worst of luck in the past with my saddles. went through close to 10 saddles in about a year and a half and FINALLY found a saddle that seems to fit my geometry well. (fizik arione) I have finally experienced that glorious ride feeling of getting home and my arse not hurting. Even though I am not having any issues, I still wonder in the back of my mind if there is something else I am missing out on that would be even better. (With my horrible luck with saddles I doubt it though!)

SOOOO.....Even though I am currently loving my set up and not having any trouble I was thinking to myself. One of my riding buddies has a cheap velo pronto saddle that he uses. It is very soft (almost like that cheap foam you would find for camping and putting under your sleeping bag.), not like a thick density you find in most saddles. He can sit on that thing all freaking day and not have any issues what so ever. Its like he is sitting on this lazy-boy chair while spinning while I'm on my thinner more traditional race saddle. After 75 miles I can start to feel the pressure on my sit bones and I was curious as to wether his saddle would work well. I know most people say you dont want something to soft because it will push your muscles into your sit bones which can cause more pain than sitting on a hard saddle. one of my concerns about a saddle like his was the material breaking down quickly, but he has been riding on it for 3 years now.

I have been thinking about picking one up since they are only $30 or so and trying it out for a week. Obviously there is nothing to loose but I wanted to get some opinions before taking any step.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by bianchi10; 03-22-11 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 03-23-11, 06:55 AM   #2
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eliminate what hurts first. If you're comfortable with one keep using it until it's not. There are a million out there to choose from, and you can't try them all. Worse than that you can't judge with someone else's butt! Here's the sum of my forty years of experience, for what little it's worth:

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...onspiracy.html

Marc
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Old 03-23-11, 07:04 AM   #3
nfmisso
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I find that shape, tilt and height are far more important for me than soft or hard.

Nigel
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Old 03-23-11, 06:04 PM   #4
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I've been fit. Fit professionally. Fit by gosh. Fit by gum.

My most recent [Babefish/video analysis] refined my position a small amount and my already pretty comfortable saddle disappeared underneath me.

I believe there are saddles that make poor position comfortable.

FWIW.

Last edited by Agave; 03-24-11 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
I have been thinking about picking one up since they are only $30 or so and trying it out for a week. Obviously there is nothing to loose but I wanted to get some opinions before taking any step.

Any thoughts?
Saddles are like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you want one that's not too soft and not too hard, but just right. If you've got a saddle that's good for 75 miles, my guess is you don't need a different one. Maybe just better shorts, a slightly tweak to the bike fit, or just more experience doing long rides.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:54 PM   #6
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So, you found a saddle that works; why are you gonna try and fix what isn't broken?
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Old 03-23-11, 08:58 PM   #7
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So, you found a saddle that works; why are you gonna try and fix what isn't broken?
Yep
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Old 03-23-11, 09:36 PM   #8
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Here's all you need to know about saddles:

No one has ever ridden over one mile on any saddle other than a Brooks and not had severe pelvic bone injuries. Anyone non-believer who claims differently should be burnt at the stake.

Velo Orange saddles are like Brooks saddles, but of far inferior quality. If someone owns a VO saddle, they're trying to repent for their insult to the English cycling god.

Plastic is for weight weenies. If saddle companies really wanted to make money they'd just sell roadies a carbon fiber plug to put at the end of their seat posts.

Gel is for people buying BSOs. Its entire marketing appeal revolves around being squishy, which makes it comfortable enough to ride down the street once and say "I'm a cyclist." This statement is often paired with some sort of weight loss goal.

There is a yearly competition to make novelty saddles that people can take pictures of and post on the Internet. Note that no one is ever actually shown riding the new separate butt pad saddle.

---

Seriously, though. If the saddle you have works, but you think different padding may be more comfortable, try to match the new material to the saddle shape you have now.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:30 PM   #9
bianchi10
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So, you found a saddle that works; why are you gonna try and fix what isn't broken?

mabe you didn't read it all....
Quote:
Even though I am not having any issues, I still wonder in the back of my mind if there is something else I am missing out on that would be even better.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
Here's all you need to know about saddles:

No one has ever ridden over one mile on any saddle other than a Brooks and not had severe pelvic bone injuries. Anyone non-believer who claims differently should be burnt at the stake.
So there might just be a legitimate reason Brooks has been around since 1866 ?
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Old 03-23-11, 11:25 PM   #11
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Here's all you need to know about saddles:

No one has ever ridden over one mile on any saddle other than a Brooks and not had severe pelvic bone injuries. Anyone non-believer who claims differently should be burnt at the stake...
Give me a break. Brooks makes fine saddles but they do not (by a long ways) make a saddle that works for everyone. I ride over 10k miles a year including a number of ultra distance races and have no problems riding on something other than a Brooks.

Last edited by Homeyba; 03-23-11 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:37 PM   #12
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Give me a break. Brooks makes fine saddles but they do not (by a long ways) make a saddle that works for everyone. I ride over 10k miles a year including a number of ultra distance races and have no problems riding on something other than a Brooks.

..........I missed that statement. Really! Everyone is different. I know riders who have ditched the Brooks saddles. I myself have hopped on a Terry Fly and done a very comfy 75 miles on the saddle right out of the box,. Intended 50 miler but it was so comfy I just kept gong.

Burn me at the stake baby!
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Old 03-23-11, 11:42 PM   #13
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Titanium seat rails make a seat very comfortable. He...he...he.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:54 AM   #14
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So there might just be a legitimate reason Brooks has been around since 1866 ?
The brief influx of gel saddles in the 80s was caused by a contingent of Freds suffocating the faithful with Lycra. It is said that the secrets of drillium were lost in this battle.

I recently found that I could comfortably sit on just the nose of my giant and entirely unfashionable gel saddle, allowing me to kick my bike along. This was good, as the crank ate a bearing about ten miles from home.
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