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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 08-29-12, 06:53 PM   #1
Axiom
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New Bike!

My 1.2 was stolen, so I bought a 09' Specialized Hardrock for $250, sold it for $300, got a job, bought this 1.1 (thought it was a 1.2 because the seller only had one picture) for $350. Came with an unused camelback water bottle, trip 1 computer (yes, it's set up correctly), and look pedals. Things worked out so well and I am so excited. The guy bought it for a triathlon and never used it because they canceled it so he put it in climate controlled storage. It had 30ish miles when I bought it two days ago.

I get my full paycheck next week so I'll be buying a brand new Brooks B17 from a guy of CL, and I'll also buy a helmet. Next paycheck I'll buy shoes, another water bottle and maybe a quick-dry sport shirt instead of a jersey. It's fits so well! Ironically, the guy who sold it was literally the same weight, height and build as me, so it fits like a dream except for the narrow saddle.







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Old 08-29-12, 07:20 PM   #2
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Congrats to you! Lovely looking bike and you have a plan

+1000 on the Brooks
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Old 08-29-12, 08:00 PM   #3
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Glad to hear you've got a new ride! Looks like you may have scored a deal.

If you don't already have a helmet, you definately should. With regard to the saddle: I would be so quick to give up on it and replace it with a brooks. From the photos it appears as though it may be a bit nose high. I would try adjusting it a bit to see if you can find realative comfort and invest the money into some shoes first.

And, man, no leaving it outside of class or out of your sight for that matter.
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Old 08-29-12, 08:10 PM   #4
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Glad to hear you've got a new ride! Looks like you may have scored a deal.

If you don't already have a helmet, you definately should. With regard to the saddle: I would be so quick to give up on it and replace it with a brooks. From the photos it appears as though it may be a bit nose high. I would try adjusting it a bit to see if you can find realative comfort and invest the money into some shoes first.

And, man, no leaving it outside of class or out of your sight for that matter.
If I adjust it, how long should I give it before I decide to buy the Brooks? I e-mailed the guy and he said he has only used the Brooks a few times before he decided he didn't like cycling. $70 for a new saddle. I might be able to squeeze in a decent pair of shoes if my budget allows. I'm not taking classes right now, but when I do I'll probably have a cheap commuter to take to class.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:53 PM   #5
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If I adjust it, how long should I give it before I decide to buy the Brooks?.
It's not so much a matter of "time", but, number of adjustments to achieve fit before abandonment. If you don't already have one, go purchase a cheap torpedo (9 inch) buble level. The basic rule is to start with the saddle level.

However, there is nothing that prohibits you from running a saddle with the nose slightly lower. Say 4-12mm. The level saddle phenomenom is largely a recent one as a result of the UCI mandating that saddles must be "level". If you look at some of the older saddle designs, Concours, original flight, etc. they almost have a spoiler to the rear and were intended to be run with the nose portion level but the rear ridge considerably elevated. Even some of the newer designs ISM Adamo's and SMP's have been designed with varying degrees of sloping noses. It was probably this movement that the UCI was looking to stop with their realatively recent rule. Which doesn't apply to you or I, but, which has resulted in saddles increasingly being designed to be functional when "level".

So, with your bubble level start with the saddle level, or, up to 8mm nose down. Go for a short ride. If it feels fine take it for a slightly longer ride. If it doesn't feel fine, make a small adjustment (2-3mm) up or down to suit the issue that you're experiencing. Repeat.

I would only purchase the Brooks if you're somewhat certain that it's the right saddle for you.

By coincidence, I've been trialing new saddles for the last week and a half. The old Flight Gel had finally worn out.

Started with a Fi'zik Antares Vs. First hour ride was o.k. Made a slight angle adjustment. Next Hour and a half ride was fine. Took it for a 4+ ride and started to experience some soreness. Also noted that while it was comfortable when in the correct position, it did not allow much if any fore aft adjustment while riding. The sweet spot was very small.

Next up was a Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow, very close to what I had so got the angle nailed first try. First hour on the trainer, much better than the Antares. Took it for a 2 hour ride this morning. Complete failure. Started fine. But, an hour and a half into the ride, really started to suffer.

Just came back in from the garage, where I pulled an old Turbo off an old bike and installed it. Only spun on the trainer for a few minutes. But, Wow, it's like slipping your foot into a long forgotten custom made shoe. Hits my sit bones just right (even though they're still sore from this morning). Provides three useful positions between generic middle, aft power, and forward on the nose. It appears as though the Turbo is slightly more T shaped compared with either my existing Flight Gel or the new Max Flight. Which are both slightly more V shaped. The Max Flight being the most V shaped and the old Flight Gel in the middle.


The message to you Axiom, is that the Brooks could be $70 wasted if it doesn't fit. This is one area where I'm happy to spend a couple bucks with an LBS in exchange for the opportunity to try several different saddles. Go in to your favorite. See if they have "Test" saddles. Or, if they're willing to let you try a few from the "take off" box. With regard to saddles, figure out what you need,.....before spending your money. Otherwise, the quest for the correct saddle for you can become an expensive one.
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Old 08-29-12, 10:18 PM   #6
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Nice bikes!!! Solw down on the stuff on the back or ull end up like Lance!
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Old 08-29-12, 10:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
It's not so much a matter of "time", but, number of adjustments to achieve fit before abandonment. If you don't already have one, go purchase a cheap torpedo (9 inch) buble level. The basic rule is to start with the saddle level.

However, there is nothing that prohibits you from running a saddle with the nose slightly lower. Say 4-12mm. The level saddle phenomenom is largely a recent one as a result of the UCI mandating that saddles must be "level". If you look at some of the older saddle designs, Concours, original flight, etc. they almost have a spoiler to the rear and were intended to be run with the nose portion level but the rear ridge considerably elevated. Even some of the newer designs ISM Adamo's and SMP's have been designed with varying degrees of sloping noses. It was probably this movement that the UCI was looking to stop with their realatively recent rule. Which doesn't apply to you or I, but, which has resulted in saddles increasingly being designed to be functional when "level".

So, with your bubble level start with the saddle level, or, up to 8mm nose down. Go for a short ride. If it feels fine take it for a slightly longer ride. If it doesn't feel fine, make a small adjustment (2-3mm) up or down to suit the issue that you're experiencing. Repeat.

I would only purchase the Brooks if you're somewhat certain that it's the right saddle for you.

By coincidence, I've been trialing new saddles for the last week and a half. The old Flight Gel had finally worn out.

Started with a Fi'zik Antares Vs. First hour ride was o.k. Made a slight angle adjustment. Next Hour and a half ride was fine. Took it for a 4+ ride and started to experience some soreness. Also noted that while it was comfortable when in the correct position, it did not allow much if any fore aft adjustment while riding. The sweet spot was very small.

Next up was a Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow, very close to what I had so got the angle nailed first try. First hour on the trainer, much better than the Antares. Took it for a 2 hour ride this morning. Complete failure. Started fine. But, an hour and a half into the ride, really started to suffer.

Just came back in from the garage, where I pulled an old Turbo off an old bike and installed it. Only spun on the trainer for a few minutes. But, Wow, it's like slipping your foot into a long forgotten custom made shoe. Hits my sit bones just right (even though they're still sore from this morning). Provides three useful positions between generic middle, aft power, and forward on the nose. It appears as though the Turbo is slightly more T shaped compared with either my existing Flight Gel or the new Max Flight. Which are both slightly more V shaped. The Max Flight being the most V shaped and the old Flight Gel in the middle.


The message to you Axiom, is that the Brooks could be $70 wasted if it doesn't fit. This is one area where I'm happy to spend a couple bucks with an LBS in exchange for the opportunity to try several different saddles. Go in to your favorite. See if they have "Test" saddles. Or, if they're willing to let you try a few from the "take off" box. With regard to saddles, figure out what you need,.....before spending your money. Otherwise, the quest for the correct saddle for you can become an expensive one.
I might just do that. However, I literally feel sore after 8 miles on this saddle because I have to switch cheeks because the seat is so narrow. Is it still worth adjusting that saddle, or should I try out the Brooks? I can always sell the saddle on Craigslist for what I paid. I know the Trek dealership doesn't have test saddles, let alone a decent selection. The other LBS has a tiny stock, so my last resort is a shop about 15 miles away. 15 isn't a lot, but it seems like it when you have a really bad saddle.
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Old 08-30-12, 04:24 AM   #8
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There are plenty of other saddles out there then a Brooks. Many of people here in thos sub-forum love to harp on about their Brooks saddles like its the halleluiah chorus of saddles. Fact is, many of us dont ride them, and never will.

Before you spend $70 on a saddle that doesnt work for your needs, or the shape of your pelvis, i highly recommend you go to the LBS you got the bike from, or another LBS and see if they have a demo saddle program you can use, and try out different saddles with. I also suggest that, if you can, you go to a Specialized dealer, and sit on the "butt-o-meter" and have your sit bone width measured. Whether or not you go with a Specialized BG saddle or not, having this measurement to help nail down what size to look for in a saddle is very helpful.

Once you find a store when a saddle demo program...ride everything. Try to focus on shapes that work for your style of riding, and body shape. Find whether you like a flat saddle, or one with kick up for the sit bones in the back, or a curved or flat nose, or with or without a soft tissue relief channel.

The only way to find out what will be the best saddle for you, is to ride as many saddles as you can, and find the final fit that suits you.

DO not fall lock step with the terrible advice of "this is a saddle for big/fat people...you need a Brooks", thats complete hog wash.
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Old 08-30-12, 06:04 AM   #9
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You got THAT for $350??!? WOW!! Nice find, what a gorgeous bike!
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Old 08-30-12, 06:11 AM   #10
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Try the brooks you can sell it on ebay for most or all of your money back. Very little to lose trying a used saddle that has a good resale value.
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Old 08-30-12, 09:29 AM   #11
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My advice is don't buy the brooks...even if you can resell it for full value you need money now for things you simply don't have.

You have a saddle. You haven't given it near enough time for your bit to break in. It took me two months for me to adapt to the saddle that came on my bike.

The brooks or any other saddle is not a magic bullet and is going to instantly make it stop hurting.

On top of that, you are young, and if you keep at this, your going to thin down relatively quickly and your going to want a different saddle then anyway.
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Old 08-30-12, 09:45 AM   #12
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I agree with vesteroid. The butt takes time to break in. The only way to do it is to ride often. It will get better. Once your butt is used to it, THEN figure out what saddle you like.

Now, with that said, if you like the idea of a brooks and you feel it's a good deal, buy it and use it. Let your butt break in on it. You may love it, you may not. Only one way to find out.
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Old 08-30-12, 10:08 AM   #13
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I am still on my stock bontrager saddle. My first ride with the 4.5 and the brand new saddle was very uncomfortable which was sort of surprising as it should have been similar to my 3.1's saddle. Maybe the 3.1 got test ridden a bit and the saddle got some break in? Not sure...but I just kept riding and now it feels pretty good and I am not in the market for a new one. I would like to get a WSD saddle that is also the right size based on my sit bones but for now...I am fine with what I have as I don't absolutely need a different saddle to get out and ride.

My opinion is to get items that are needed such as shoes and helmet instead of a seat that is not an absolute necessity to ride the bike at this point in time. Heck...even the helmet is not a "absolute" necessity for some folks. For me it is but other have a different opinion. You defnitely need shoes tho.

Nice bike and great deal...congrats!

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Old 08-30-12, 10:51 AM   #14
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+1 on the don't get the Brooks. On my Schwinn the oem saddle got torn. I went to the LBS and replaced it with one of slightly narrower shape and was greatly comfortable. Then I bought a new bike, Specialized Secteur with much narrower saddle, within a few rides I was really liking the new saddle. Now the Schwinn feels wierd. Give your sit bones a fair chance to become used to supporting you on the bike. Your cheeks should not be doing anything but hanging out.
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Old 08-30-12, 12:15 PM   #15
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+1 on the "go to a Specialized dealer and sit on the butt-o-meter".

Brooks B.17, the most common type, don't work for me, my sit bones are 185 and it's a 170 width saddle. I have a B.68 on my city bike, which works fantastically, I love the brand, I love what they're doing, the craftsmanship, and the look, but you need to see what fits for you before you lay down the cash. I found I was sitting on the metal bit at the end of the saddle too much, and was getting stupidly sore.

Go, sit on the butt-o-meter. If you feel guilty about going in and taking their time and not buying anything, pick up some honey stinger waffles or a patch kit on the way out or something.
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Old 09-06-12, 05:11 PM   #16
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Axiom,

How goes the saddle quest? Have you come to terms with the stock Bontrager? Purchased the Brooks? Or, found a third option?
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Old 09-06-12, 06:22 PM   #17
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Axiom,

How goes the saddle quest? Have you come to terms with the stock Bontrager? Purchased the Brooks? Or, found a third option?
I took it to the shop today and got a tune-up. The guy at the LBS told me the same thing - "You should ride at least 3 times a week for two weeks for about 10 miles per trip to get more used to it. If it still doesn't fit we have a thing to measure your sit bones for our saddle, but that doesn't mean other brands like specialized will fit (the seats are bontrager)."

So I am going to keep riding and adjusting it until I make up my mind. I don't really want to spend a ton of money on a saddle until I know I need one.
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Old 09-06-12, 06:27 PM   #18
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I took it to the shop today and got a tune-up. The guy at the LBS told me the same thing - "You should ride at least 3 times a week for two weeks for about 10 miles per trip to get more used to it. If it still doesn't fit we have a thing to measure your sit bones for our saddle, but that doesn't mean other brands like specialized will fit (the seats are bontrager)."

So I am going to keep riding and adjusting it until I make up my mind. I don't really want to spend a ton of money on a saddle until I know I need one.
Have you made any angular adjustment to it?
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Old 09-06-12, 06:40 PM   #19
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Have you made any angular adjustment to it?
I've tilted it down just a bit to relive pressure in the groin.
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Old 09-06-12, 07:12 PM   #20
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I've tilted it down just a bit to relive pressure in the groin.
And, has that helped at all?
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Old 09-06-12, 11:17 PM   #21
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And, has that helped at all?
Only a little. When I go on a ride tomorrow I am going to keep adjusting it until I get the best position possible.
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Old 09-06-12, 11:35 PM   #22
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Only a little. When I go on a ride tomorrow I am going to keep adjusting it until I get the best position possible.
Be forewarned, that the "best" position in the short haul, is not always the "best" position for the long haul. I raise this point, because, short term a lower noise often feels "better". But, this can lead to a slight tendency to slide forward on the seat which puts additional pressure on the hands and can lead to numb or sore hands on longer rides.

If you have access to a spirit level, I recommend you start by placing a book or ruler across the length of the saddle and adjusting it until the nose is level to a maximum of 6mm down, as a "starting" point. Ride that "a bit". Generally speaking your nose shouldn't end up down by more than 8-10mm max, when used in conjunction with only moderate or less bar drop. If the saddle is in that starting area, you should be able to tolerate a reasonable ride (10-20 miles).

Best of luck. I hope you bum comes to grips as quickly as possible with your desire to cycle.
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