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  1. #1
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    How comftorable should a bike saddle be?

    I have a Trek 7.2 FX, with the stock seat. I'm fine with it for about 22 miles, but then it starts to get really uncomfortable. I'm not sure if a new saddle would help, or if I just need to suck it up.

    I do wear bike shorts, and I weigh 275. I realize that being a big guy I'm putting a lot more weight on the saddle than a smaller rider. I rode some last year, but stopped mid season, and I have about 180 miles in this season. I feel like saddle pain is limiting me from going on rides of 30 miles or more, but I'm not sure if a new saddle would help.

    I've looked around and I don't think any of the bike stores near me have a saddle testing program, so I would probably have to buy one new and hope it helps.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Saddles are really a personal thing. I rode a Velo saddle with springs for years. Still have it on my hybrid, though it is starting to wear out. Some years back, put a Serfas saddle on a Schwinn Le Tour I bought. It was OK, but I never really loved it. My wife, however, loves it and is using the Serfas on her bike. I am currently breaking in a Brooks on my Salsa Casseroll I bought last year. It feels pretty good now riding for a couple of hours at a time. I am not sure though if it is the saddle breaking in, or my butt getting used to the feel of a hard leather saddle, or some mix of the two.

    One tip I picked up from someone is to get up out of the saddle every so often, just to give your butt a mini break. I try to do this every so often on a long ride and it seems to help.

  3. #3
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    hmmm.

    A few questions -- is it level? Is it the right height? Are you using chamois creme? do you move around at all on the bike? you're not wearing undies under the chamois are you?

    It's a saddle, not a seat. Think of it as a perch for power transfer. It's not supposed to feel like an easy chair.

    It takes time to develop muscle and flexibility, and more advanced riders will place less weight on the saddle and more on their feet pedaling, and on their hands especially when standing (sprints, climbing).

    If the saddle is level, at the right height and setback and you are using creme, it may simply not be right. Can you describe the pain, and where it is?
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    no shame in a break off the bike every hour or so, it's not like being teen girl in a Dhaka sewing factory.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Saddles.... oh man. btw, here's a good recent thread on the subject

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...worked-for-you

    Keep in mind some saddles are intended for more upright bikes so not all saddles are suitable for your bike.

    I'd suggest buying saddles on ebay... you can resell them if they don't work. Loads of clydes seem to enjoy brooks saddles or selle anatomica, and those are intended for a more upright riding position. There are sites that sell brooks with a full money-back guarantee if you don't like them do I really encourage you to not just buy a saddle in the blind.

  6. #6
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    I agree with everybody - it's not intended to be cushy, but you should be comfortable. First thing to look at (because it's the least expensive option) is saddle adjustment. Fore/aft, tilt, and height. Experiment over a period of time. If you can't dial it in over the next couple of weeks, then think about getting a new saddle.

    A very good option for a 275 pounder is a Brooks B17. I've used one for 8 or 9 months, and it is very comfortable. The B17 is intended for more upright riding positions, which is probably what you're doing on a Trek FX at 275 lbs. When I was 275 it was a godsend. Whatever happens, even if you have to sit on a bed of nails, don't quit riding -
    **************************************************
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  7. #7
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    All I have on the subject is here.

    Marc
    Read Simply Cycle

    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ZManT's Avatar
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    As a trek 7.2 owner, and lover - that's a good bike, I can say without reservation to ditch that OEM torture device. You have done well trying that POS out for a few long rides.

    Get something else - I went with a Brooks B17 and couldn't be happier.


    A saddle should largely be unnoticed. Comfort = lack of pain and numbness.

  9. #9
    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    factory saddles are generally torture devices. i went through 5 different saddles until i settled for terry fly. i was lucky that i had friends that had used saddles i could try out. i personally got lucky that my lbs didnt like his terry fly with ti rails. got a killer deal on it. he prefers selle saddles.
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

    Some days your the windshield and some days you are the cyclist. either way it doesn't look like its going to be a good day for you.

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  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZManT View Post
    As a trek 7.2 owner, and lover - that's a good bike, I can say without reservation to ditch that OEM torture device. You have done well trying that POS out for a few long rides.
    I must say I don't waste my time riding stock saddles anymore. Years of new bikes only prove the stock saddles are good for about 20 miles IME. Not that they are painful, my issue is more of irritations. Stock saddles give me sore spots, pimples etc.

    A good saddle will always have some discomfort at some point. I get uncomfy at maybe 50 miles. I have to get off but remounting is not a problem, like my arse recovered.

    With a stock saddle, it would be more that my arse can't take anymore irritation.

    Only stock saddle I kept is the MTB saddle as most those rides aren't over 10-15 miles and lots more lifting off the saddle vs bikes designed for pavement.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tiger187126's Avatar
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    quick note, write down where your saddle was at before you start tinkering with positioning. you don't want to take a saddle that was ok for 20, make it unbearable for 5, and then forget how to make it comfortable again.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    I bought a Brooks B-17 last year and it was a big improvement over a bunch of other saddles that I've tried in the last few years. However it wasn't perfect as I often ride on aerobars and the B-17 is designed for more upright riding. I was having some soft tissue problems. Therefore I just bought a Brooks B-17 Imperial with the cut-out. I rode it for the second time yesterday and have 80 miles on it now. Once broken in, I think this is going to be THE saddle for me.

    As for my other B-17, it's going on my touring bike. I have a 5-day 250 mile ride on it in June and it's going to be much better than last year.

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Brooks may not work for you.

    I bought one $165.

    Gave up on it yesterday after 440 miles.

    Selling it on the local CL.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  14. #14
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I personally noticed more of an improvement when getting a new pair of shorts than I did with saddles. But all mine are used and really comfy. I have a RavX on my roadie that is perfect for that, and a stock LBS Bontrager a co-worker gave me off his Trek single speed when he bought it that is on the MTB. Both bikes I ride daily and neither are uncomfortable for me.

    BUT I used to ride with an old, and well loved pair of Canari biking briefs (they go under shorts) with my road bike and was really uncomfortable. But since I got my new Canari lycra shorts (once you go lycra, it's the only way to bike-ra) the road bike is super comfortable for any distances. The old Canaris are now my MTB under short briefs and really happy there, although they are falling apart.

    Just my $.02.
    Proud builder of a frankenbike: My Shrek Antenental Contilope named The Dirty Gertie

  15. #15
    Senior Member SeanBlader's Avatar
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    When I got my BG Pro Fit, the Specialized trained expert who fitted me asked me so many questions I couldn't keep track. My primary reason for visiting was because of saddle soreness, but with my fitting like 3 weeks after I got my bike and having pushed through the initial 2 weeks of soreness, that wasn't even as big of an issue. And after measuring my behind, he said, that my stock saddle on the Allez was actually fine. So he didn't end up recommending that I spend any extra money in the store for that. If it still hurts or rubs you wrong after 2 weeks definitely do something/anything to fix the situation. The only thing I'd suggest is visit an expert who can check your structure vs. the structure of various seats they already have experience with.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    comfortable? ... they ain't.
    http://theoutsideinsideout.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    Senior Member fatguy_ona_bike's Avatar
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    There will always be some level of lack of comfort, as long as it's not truly painful. I've been having a lot of issues with saddle pain and think that was a big distance killer until my recent saddle. But what is truly key is set up. I hear a lot of talk about leveling and straightening a saddle, however, at least two seat manufacturers known for comfort speak to the contrary. Here's the two I'm referring to:
    Cobb Cycling Set up
    Selle Anatomica Set up Video
    Selle Anatomica Set up Instructions
    I followed Cobb's guide for an old seat and it helped dramatically, but it wasn't enough for me. I bought a Selle Anatomica NSX and set it up their way and that was the ticket for me.


    Cliff notes: Try to fit your current saddle and see if that works. If not, try a few others and set them up right as well. It's iterative and annoying, but when you find a good saddle, it'll be worth it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ronno6's Avatar
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    I have used the Selle SMP Extra saddles on my road bikes for the last 6 years and I love them!
    The Selle SMP saddles are available in various widths and padding options, but they can be expensive.
    They do take an adjustment period,tho. Once you get the right one and get used to it,
    it seems like it is not even there. (And, I've ridden them while weighing as much as 270#)
    On my touring bikes I use the venerable Brooks B-17. Once broken in ti provides me with all-day comfort.

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