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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 04-27-12, 06:33 PM   #1
Big Pete 1982
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I know there are lots of saddle threads, but I've gotta ask....

OK, I know this subject can get a little old, but I'm having some issues and would like some Clyde/Athena opinions. So I started riding about a year ago and at the time I weighed 310lbs. I started on a Cannondale CAAD9 and upgraded a few months ago to a CAAD10 with better components. The stock saddle on both CAAD's were complete ass-hatchets. 10 mile rides and I would be hurting for 2 days. I bought this saddle (tried to upload pic, file too large, but it's a ZoneX Plush saddle, fairly short, but with a bit more cushion than most road saddles) and have been using it, first on the CAAD9 and then once I sold that bike I put it on the CAAD10. It has been great. I would regularly ride 30-40 miles, even consecutive days of 30-40 mile rides and there was no pain, soreness afterwards, or chafing issues whatsoever. Now a year later, I have slimmed down to 260lbs and my last couple of rides have been a bit brutal. Granted, these problems started on a weekend where I rode 40 miles on Friday, 60 on Saturday, and another 40 on Sunday. Now it seems that every time I ride, it hurts. Still no chaffing, and generally not sore afterwards, but while I'm riding it's not as comfy as it used to be and is sometimes down right painful.

Sorry about all the long backstory, here is my question: Is it the weight loss? Have I just been riding too much? This saddle used to be like butter! I don't want to have to start another saddle search, but I've got my first century coming up in a few weeks and I don't want to be in a massive amount of pain! Has anyone else ever had a saddle that was awesome, but over time became uncomfortable?
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Old 04-27-12, 06:53 PM   #2
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Yes, now you need a real road saddle, not a couch to sit on.

Harder is generally better

Get the shop to measure your sit bones (if you sit on something the points where your butt bones hit)

Go from there. See if you can test ride some.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:22 PM   #3
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You might want to consider getting your fit adjusted since you have lost a lot of weight and I'd guess your flexibility and such has changed as well. Both of which may be a factor in your seat/riding issues.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:37 PM   #4
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I dunno - at 260lbs you are doing great but I would hesitate on a buying a "racing saddle". I needed a long distance saddle and bought the recommended Specialized saddle after sitting on the buttometer. The thing was awful and cost me $160 to find out.

I then went the brooks b17 route and have been thrilled. However, I recently won a Titanico X saddle that seems similar to a brooks but more "sporty" looking. Jury is still out on the Titanico X (http://www.selleanatomica.com/produc...ico-x-details/) as Ive only been using it a week. Im riding a 50 miler tomorrow and so I will see how it does on longer distances. It will have big shoes to fit as the brooks is just awesome. Ive ridden 100 mile days at 290lbs on the brooks and hardly felt a thing.
We will see
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Old 04-27-12, 07:52 PM   #5
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Has anyone else ever had a saddle that was awesome, but over time became uncomfortable?
Yes. I've noticed that as I've lost weight, choosing the right saddle became more critical. Now that I have less built-in padding, I need a saddle that fits right rather than just OK...
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Old 04-27-12, 08:09 PM   #6
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Get the shop to measure your sit bones (if you sit on something the points where your butt bones hit)

Go from there. See if you can test ride some.
Just keep in mind that the measuring device is usually correlated with a specific saddle brand. I've been measured on the Specialized ass-o-meter. It told me I need a 143mm wide saddle. Neither of the saddles I currently ride is made by Specialized and neither is anything like 143mm in width. And yet, they're both fantastic!

Every manufacturer measures their saddles differently, so knowing a measurement from one saddle doesn't necessarily translate directly over to a different brand.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:30 PM   #7
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as you know saddles come in different widths. finding the one that fits your sit bones correctly can be frustrating. Im of the belief that "hard is better",as trojan horse said, this is because if you have a lot of extra padding on your saddle, that material needs to go somewhere when you sit on it and it will tend to bunch up in the wrong spots causing pressure points which lead to pain, sores, or numbness.
I spend some time and money finding my saddle, based partially upon what I learned here I tried a FIZIK antarez. I also learned that padded shorts work better for comfort than an overly stuffed saddle. the shorts work because the pad has material on either side which allows one surface to move with your butt as the other side stays in place on your seat, they are separated by a thin layer of foam so there is little to no friction which means less irritation.
good luck I hope this helps alittle.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:34 PM   #8
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At 250 pounds I switched to a completely unpadded saddle, the Selle SMP Forma. Best thing I've tried so far. IMO, more padding = more soft tissue pressure. As you get more fit you may start to ride in a more aggressive position which will may call for adjustment of saddle angle (nose up/down).
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Old 04-27-12, 10:08 PM   #9
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I dunno - at 260lbs you are doing great but I would hesitate on a buying a "racing saddle". I needed a long distance saddle and bought the recommended Specialized saddle after sitting on the buttometer. The thing was awful and cost me $160 to find out.

I then went the brooks b17 route and have been thrilled. However, I recently won a Titanico X saddle that seems similar to a brooks but more "sporty" looking. Jury is still out on the Titanico X (http://www.selleanatomica.com/produc...ico-x-details/) as Ive only been using it a week. Im riding a 50 miler tomorrow and so I will see how it does on longer distances. It will have big shoes to fit as the brooks is just awesome. Ive ridden 100 mile days at 290lbs on the brooks and hardly felt a thing.
We will see
The Brooks B17 is one of the ones I'm considering. I was going to try the ass-o-meter at the shop in Olympia, but they only really sell a few saddles anyway and they all look like race saddles. I want comfort over long distance and lots of people seem to like Brooks saddles. Is it a one size fit all or are there different widths?
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Old 04-27-12, 10:43 PM   #10
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Heck, my butt's been planted on a Selle San Marco Rolls for the last 14 years. This thing has to be a full pound.

http://www.amazon.com/Selle-San-Marc.../dp/B000NOO5T0

I got sick of trying seats out and checked out what the riders int he TDF were using, and in 1998 it was that. It's a stupid way to pick a saddle but it works for me.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:05 AM   #11
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Brooks saddles. Is it a one size fit all or are there different widths?
Pete, there are many different options.

Start with the type of bike you have, road, touring etc. and have a look at the options.

http://www.brooksengland.com/catalog...-shop/saddles/

As TrojanHorse noted there are other options and I have also found that Selle San Marco Regal was a great saddle. http://www.sellesanmarco.it/en/Vinta...109/Regal.html and I still own one.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:28 AM   #12
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Well, it seems the Brooks B-17 is more suited for an upright riding position. My bars are a few inches below my saddle so that might not work for me. The Selle San Marco is narrower, maybe I'll try that out.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:35 AM   #13
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Pete, don't discount the Brooks their seats are suspended/stretched leather, Selle San Marco are not.

Check out http://www.wallbike.com/catalog/saddles they have a 6 month no hassle return policy if you are unhappy.
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Old 04-28-12, 01:49 AM   #14
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+1 on both Brooks and Rolls Saddles. I use the Team Pro on my road bikes and B17 on my MTB and Cross bike.
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Old 04-28-12, 02:11 AM   #15
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I really love the Brooks B-17. When I bought my road bike, I went through a lot of saddles and I remember when I was younger my parents did the same thing. They had the gel saddles and all that crap. But as others said, Brooks is amazing and now I have one for both bikes. LOVE THEM BOTH!
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Old 04-28-12, 08:52 AM   #16
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Well, it seems the Brooks B-17 is more suited for an upright riding position. My bars are a few inches below my saddle so that might not work for me. The Selle San Marco is narrower, maybe I'll try that out.
My Roubaix with the B17. Purists might not appreciate the B17 on an all carbon road bike but at mile 50, their opinions are outweighed by my "happy buns"
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Old 04-28-12, 09:57 AM   #17
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Well, it seems the Brooks B-17 is more suited for an upright riding position. My bars are a few inches below my saddle so that might not work for me.
I tried a B17 on a bike that had the bars lower than the saddle and the results were terrible! I could see the B17 working on a bike with a fairly upright riding position, if you were willing to suffer through the break-in period. I believe Brooks does make saddles designed for bikes with a more aggressive riding position, but I haven't tried them. My experience with the B17 was enough to convince me that dead-flat, concrete-hard saddles aren't for me! I like WTB, Selle SMP, and ISM saddles.

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Old 04-28-12, 10:25 AM   #18
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I had a B-17 on a road bike with about 6cm saddle to bar drop. Horrible. It's on my commuter now, and it's fine.

I really wanted to like Brooks, so I tried the Swallow Select. I really loved it at first. But I couldn't get it set back quite far enough. And the more broken-in it got, the less I liked it, oddly enough. It just felt like a total hammock, and it creaked. I tightened the tension bolt, it would be fine for about 200 miles, then it would creak again. Then it got wet in a freak rainstorm and I had to let it dry out for a few days. Then it was fine, until it started creaking again. So i gave up on it.

I ended up with a Selle San Marco Regale. It's really firm and supportive, and has a similar shape to the Brooks Swallow (I liked the shape, just not all the "quirks"). The longest ride I've done on the Regale is about 55 miles. And i had no pain during or after. There are a couple of other saddles I'd like to try, but I don't see any reason. I like this one a lot.

Here's a pretty good review:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...ing-team-44465
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Old 04-28-12, 11:01 AM   #19
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I think I'll try the Brooks Swift. Seems a little more suited for road riding in a somewhat aero position. Thanks Seve for the link. I will order from them and if it sucks I'll return it!
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Old 04-28-12, 11:58 AM   #20
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I think I'll try the Brooks Swift. Seems a little more suited for road riding in a somewhat aero position. Thanks Seve for the link. I will order from them and if it sucks I'll return it!
Just a caveat with the Swift- it's one of the more divisive saddles that Brooks makes. It can take quite a while to break in, and even then a lot of people don't find them comfortable. The B17 and Team Pro are by far the most popular models. I have a B17 on one bike and a B17 Imperial on the other and both were very comfortable right away once I got the position and angle of the saddle set properly. I have a Swift on another bike that doesn't have a lot of miles on it, and it's always been just somewhat comfortable for me. Maybe it will be better once it finally breaks in completely.
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Old 04-28-12, 12:08 PM   #21
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OK, I know this subject can get a little old, but I'm having some issues and would like some Clyde/Athena opinions. So I started riding about a year ago and at the time I weighed 310lbs. I started on a Cannondale CAAD9 and upgraded a few months ago to a CAAD10 with better components. The stock saddle on both CAAD's were complete ass-hatchets. 10 mile rides and I would be hurting for 2 days. I bought this saddle (tried to upload pic, file too large, but it's a ZoneX Plush saddle, fairly short, but with a bit more cushion than most road saddles) and have been using it, first on the CAAD9 and then once I sold that bike I put it on the CAAD10. It has been great. I would regularly ride 30-40 miles, even consecutive days of 30-40 mile rides and there was no pain, soreness afterwards, or chafing issues whatsoever. Now a year later, I have slimmed down to 260lbs and my last couple of rides have been a bit brutal. Granted, these problems started on a weekend where I rode 40 miles on Friday, 60 on Saturday, and another 40 on Sunday. Now it seems that every time I ride, it hurts. Still no chaffing, and generally not sore afterwards, but while I'm riding it's not as comfy as it used to be and is sometimes down right painful.

Sorry about all the long backstory, here is my question: Is it the weight loss? Have I just been riding too much? This saddle used to be like butter! I don't want to have to start another saddle search, but I've got my first century coming up in a few weeks and I don't want to be in a massive amount of pain! Has anyone else ever had a saddle that was awesome, but over time became uncomfortable?
Weight loss will help some but a good 100% leather saddle will always be the best money can buy for the human butt.

Yes, leather.......

Saddles such as the Brooks line will break into your butt like a good pair of leather boots/shoes will break into form to fit your feet.

Leather saddles soften to become like a hammock to form fit to your butt to carry your weight and allow for free movement just like any good hammock will.
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