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  1. #1
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    New Bike - Saddle Needed

    Hello all!

    I posted a while ago when I was looking for a new bike - well, my first bike as an adult!

    Yesterday I bought a 2011 Specialized Dolce Elite - so excited!!

    In all of my test riding of various bikes, I found that the OEM saddles were awfully painful!

    My question is, once I collect my new bike on Saturday, should I stick with the OEM saddle, or immediately try something different? How long will it take me to get used to these things?

    I'm a 255lb athena, so my poor sit bones do have to hold some weight, but surely there's a solution!!

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Hi. I'd try to give the new saddle a little bit of time brfore looking for a replacement. This is especially true if you haven't ridden for quite some time. Any saddle that you use will need a little "break-in" time for your butt to adjust.

    Having said that, OEM saddles are notoriously uncomfortable (I know, I just contradicted myself, lol). I'm breaking in a new bike as well and I honestly can't make up my mind about the factory saddle. It feels AWESOME on my butt, but my fiddly bits don't always agree. I prefer a cut away saddle and, eventually, I'm sure I'll swap.

    I'm a big fan of Cloud 9 saddles. Very comfortable and extremely affordable. Should you decide to switch, they may be worth checking into. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicface View Post
    In all of my test riding of various bikes, I found that the OEM saddles were awfully painful!

    My question is, once I collect my new bike on Saturday, should I stick with the OEM saddle, or immediately try something different? How long will it take me to get used to these things?
    The easiest way to increase your comfort is to buy cycling shorts with a nice chamois.

    In my experience if a saddle is painful, you'll never get to the point where you're comfortable riding it. If the saddle is uncomfortable, then you might eventually get to the point where it is comfortable. This is especially true if you haven't been riding regularly.

    If you haven't been riding regularly, I'd give the stock saddle a week or two of riding before you make a decision. If the saddle is physically painful to ride, I'd give up on it sooner rather than later.

  4. #4
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Everyone is different. My wife is a bit lighter than you, and just started riding - on the back of our tandem, as she has balance problems. The tandem (1994 Trek T50) came with Terry Liberator http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Womens-L...918933&sr=1-11; a highly rated women's saddle - she hated it. Next we tried a wide Avenir cruiser saddle http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Womens-...9918901&sr=1-5 that was better, but did not last a mile. Then she got this wildass idea: http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Stress...9919021&sr=1-5 that did not last 100 ft. The fourth, which she now has over 40 miles (well over 95% of her time on the bike) is this: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-1006442-D...919116&sr=1-14 with this on top: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Base-Bicy...9919148&sr=1-2

    bottom line, you are going to have to try several different styles of seats to find what works for you, don't get discouraged.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there is no silver bullet when it comes to bike saddles.

    As has been mentioned, a decent pair of biking shorts should help a lot. Also, if you haven't already done so, make sure you have the height/fore/aft/angle etc. position of your saddle adjusted properly.

    Start off with short rides as it will take some time to get your backside accustomed to any bicycle seat if you are a new rider. You will be able to increase your time on the bike as you become more accustomed, but it will take time.

    If your saddle is adjusted properly and you have a decent pair of shorts you are giving yourself the best chance of giving the/any saddle a fair trial.

    As sstorkel noted, if it continues to be painful, then it's time to go shopping.

  6. #6
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Everyone starts off with pain from saddles. For the brand new rider it's way more of an issue of breaking in the butt than breaking in the saddle. Your soft tissues under the sitbones get bruised on the first couple of rides (the only thing more painful than the first ride is the second) and it takes a little time and exposure for that problem to go away. The OEM saddle may not work for you, but I think there's also a reasonably good chance it will, and tossing it immediately could mean you've just wasted some money. I'd give it a few weeks before looking around for a replacement.
    Craig in Indy

  7. #7
    Senior Member JT Burkard's Avatar
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    My wife was having the same issue. The first ride (8 miles) she was in total pain on the inner front. That was a Magna MTB with a Bell Gel cover over the oem seat. She hated it. We went the other day about 3.3 miles and she tried my Specialized MTB and she said the seat was better. . . actually the whole bike was better. I ordered a Cloud9 for her as it has great reviews on Amazon as well as a few people here. Tonight we went back out again. she was on the Specialized again, and the seat did not bother her as much. She actually positioned herself to put most of the weight towards the rear of the set and not as much on the front. With the stock seat she was able to do 5.3 miles today with ease. I am sure once the Cloud shows up she will have an easier time with that one as its a wider seat to accommodate her better.

    Try the stock seat for a few rides and change your position fore/aft to see what is best for you. Once you get more comfortable with the stock seat, then you can start to look for another seat that will fill that last need of comfort. Either way, welcome to the world of cycling and the most important thing is to get out there.
    ~ JT ~
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    Some other cheap old bikes I've held onto for years for no reason

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...iml/weight.png

  8. #8
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    Give the OEM saddle about ten hours of riding before looking for a replacement, Nicface. Don't shy away from making adjustments either to the tilt and height... fore and aft is primarily to position your legs.

    Brad

  9. #9
    Retired C.O. RandoneeRider's Avatar
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    Make me an offer, this is a "short" for women:
    http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/2477342169.html

  10. #10
    MAK
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    I don't know anything about women's saddles but for what it's worth...I bought a Specialized Roubaix a few months ago. The OEM on my bike is a BG Avitar and I love it. Go to your dealer and sit on his butt-o-meter to measure your sit bones. Try the OEM that fits properly and you may be surprised. The Specialized BG components really live up to their advertising.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    I don't know anything about women's saddles but for what it's worth...I bought a Specialized Roubaix a few months ago. The OEM on my bike is a BG Avitar and I love it. Go to your dealer and sit on his butt-o-meter to measure your sit bones. Try the OEM that fits properly and you may be surprised. The Specialized BG components really live up to their advertising.
    It all depends on your butt: I've tried numerous Specialized saddles (Toupe, Avatar, Phenom, etc) and would rate them all as being absolutely horrible! The Toupe was the worst saddle I've ever ridden! Also, keep in mind that the measurements taken with the Specialized ass-o-meter really only apply to Specialized saddles; the numbers don't necessarily translate to other brands of saddle.

  12. #12
    MAK
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    It all depends on your butt: I've tried numerous Specialized saddles (Toupe, Avatar, Phenom, etc) and would rate them all as being absolutely horrible! The Toupe was the worst saddle I've ever ridden! Also, keep in mind that the measurements taken with the Specialized ass-o-meter really only apply to Specialized saddles; the numbers don't necessarily translate to other brands of saddle.
    I agree that it all depends on your butt and some will be happy with a particular product and others may not be satisfied; but, if your sit bones measure 155 on the Specialized meter, you're a 155. A cm is a cm just like an inch is an inch. We're not talking variances in shoe lasts which are not standardized, we're talking about an internationally recognized measure of length.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    I agree that it all depends on your butt and some will be happy with a particular product and others may not be satisfied; but, if your sit bones measure 155 on the Specialized meter, you're a 155. A cm is a cm just like an inch is an inch. We're not talking variances in shoe lasts which are not standardized, we're talking about an internationally recognized measure of length.
    I think you're confused about what the Specialized Ass-o-meter does.

    It does not tell you the distance between your sit bones, at least not with any accuracy. Rather, it is a highly inaccurate piece of foam that suggests which width Specialized saddle you should purchase. Contrary to what you seem to think, the measurement of saddle width is not standardized. For some manufacturers, it's the width of the piece of leather that covers the saddle (i.e. it includes the sides). For others it's the width at the rear of the saddle. And for still others it's the width of the saddle at some ill-defined seating position. Because of this, there is no guarantee that the saddle width suggested by the Ass-o-meter is going to apply to any saddle brand other than Specialized. Trust me: I've been measured on the Ass-o-meter and the saddle I now ride, and find comfortable, has nothing in common with the width recommended by Specialized.

    Also, keep in mind that the Ass-o-meter's recommendation is merely that: a recommendation. While the Ass-o-meter suggested that I need a 143mm-wide saddle, the only Specialized BG Fit saddle that I found remotely comfortable was the 130mm-wide Phenom that came stock on my Specialized mountain bike!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    There is a thread here on BF that is about the Selle An-Atomica saddle, you may wish to check out the comments. My wife likes hers

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