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Old 06-25-07, 01:36 PM   #1
gholt
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Do right kind of seats make a difference

I ride about 40 mile a day to work and back, and by the end of the week my but gets sore. I was wondering if having a different seat can make a difference?

I also wear the Mt. bike shorts that have the inner linning with the padded seat

I think I have just one of the stock Bontrager seats on my Giant bikes (it is a narrow one, I believe) and a specialized BG seat on the mt bike.

I have heard quite a bit about the Brooks saddles and some of the sellas, and I wondering if a new seat could make a difference, or if I just need to wear new short.
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Old 06-25-07, 01:57 PM   #2
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In my experience saddles are much more important than shorts. Wearing casual shorts while cycling can cause excessive chaffing but a saddle and bicycle fit are the important factors in seat comfort.
I prefer Brooks saddles in general but I have used a few others that were not bad. However until you adapt to cycling most bicycles will become uncomfortable after a long ride. Your weight and fittness are also factors in bicycle comfort.
Get a Brooks and break it in. By the time you have it broken in (100 to 500 miles) you will be in better shape and both you and the saddle will be adapted to each other. At that point you saddle will cease to be a limit on your bicycle rides. My limits are fitness and my hands.

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Old 06-25-07, 02:10 PM   #3
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It never made a difference to me.



Until i got my Brooks B.17.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt
I ride about 40 mile a day to work and back, and by the end of the week my but gets sore. I was wondering if having a different seat can make a difference?

I also wear the Mt. bike shorts that have the inner linning with the padded seat

I think I have just one of the stock Bontrager seats on my Giant bikes (it is a narrow one, I believe) and a specialized BG seat on the mt bike.

I have heard quite a bit about the Brooks saddles and some of the sellas, and I wondering if a new seat could make a difference, or if I just need to wear new short.
While a good saddle makes cycling more comfortable, a properly adjusted one is an absolute necessity. Many people go through 3-4 saddles without ever taking the time to have their seat properly adjusted. Even my brooks can be a pain in my a$$ (literally) if not adjusted properly.

Assuming a proper bike fit, the most important aspect to a good saddle IMHO is a sufficient width. You need a saddle wide enough to actually supprt your sit bones. Someone like me, who, bone-wise, has wide hips, cannot ride on a narrow saddle because all of the body weight is pressed into the edge of the pelvis where it contacts the edge of the seat.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:15 PM   #5
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Definitely, a recumbent seat should fix all your problems.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:19 PM   #6
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I can ride well over 100 miles on my brooks without bike shorts with no sores.

I highly recomend a brooks saddles. With the type of miles that your putting in you owe it to your butt.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt
I ride about 40 mile a day to work and back, and by the end of the week my but gets sore. I was wondering if having a different seat can make a difference?

I also wear the Mt. bike shorts that have the inner linning with the padded seat

I think I have just one of the stock Bontrager seats on my Giant bikes (it is a narrow one, I believe) and a specialized BG seat on the mt bike.

I have heard quite a bit about the Brooks saddles and some of the sellas, and I wondering if a new seat could make a difference, or if I just need to wear new short.
My hat's off to ya! I only do 16 miles RT and consider it pretty tiring often.

In my experience, saddles are a very capricious thing... everyone likes something a little different. You will have to try a few models, I have personally found that I like a saddle which is (a) quite hard, (b) has a specific width, and (c) tilted with the nose slightly downward (which I think is typical for male riders?).

Brooks are expensive, cool looking, and can be comfortable in my experience... but you might find a $20 saddle at PB or Nashbar that will suit you just as well. Shorts don't make an ounce of difference to me in terms of comfort... I ride to and from work in running shorts, and I only put on spandex for long group rides where air resistance and not having the legs flap around is important.
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Old 06-25-07, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Brooks are expensive, cool looking, and can be comfortable in my experience... but you might find a $20 saddle at PB or Nashbar that will suit you just as well.
The B-17 isn't really expensive. I spent $68 on mine, and I've spent over $100 on other saddles which didn't last nearly as long as a well-treated Brooks will last.
Now, the limited edition Ti rail 1930's Swallow reproduction... That's an expensive saddle!
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Old 06-25-07, 03:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
Definitely, a recumbent seat should fix all your problems.
+1
The ultimate "fix" for comfort issues with bicycles. In addition many are very fast and efficient.
Craig
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Old 06-25-07, 03:32 PM   #10
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I'm about 2,000 miles or so this year, so about 10 weeks of riding. I just thought eventually I would get used to it. If I remember right, I thought this last year as well, So, I guess I will get another saddle and see how that works.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:56 PM   #11
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A different saddle may make a difference for you.

As far as skin-soreness I have found a great solution, one I started using during my month-and-a-half as a full time bike messenger. I use vaseline "water resistant skin protectant lotion", which I believe is sold at pharmacies and kmart-type stores. (any lotion using more or less the same ingredients should work- the listed "active ingredient" is dimethicone.) I just put lots of the stuff in the spots where my skin gets chafed the most. OFten, pain that's not at the skin level will go down at least some if you make a conscious effort to relax muscles whenever they aren't really needed to keep you balanced and moving forward on the bike. For example, you have a lot of muscles that are there to control your leg's position but can't contribute to the forward-down-back-up motion of the foot- don't stiffen them up.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gholt
I'm about 2,000 miles or so this year, so about 10 weeks of riding. I just thought eventually I would get used to it. If I remember right, I thought this last year as well, So, I guess I will get another saddle and see how that works.
If you have that kind of mileage and still have discomfort you probably need a different saddle and you may need to look at how you fit on the bike. In my experience Brooks are well worth the price however many people find inexpensive saddles that work well for them.
I have also found that a Brooks really reduces the chafing. But if you do have so of that problem (like when I ride my bike without the Brooks) then just put plenty of Vaseline in your shorts. Fancy, expensive creams are not necessary.
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Old 06-26-07, 07:10 AM   #13
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After hearing all of the hype, I finally broke down and bought a Brooks B-17. Sweetness, although I might go for the narrow version on my racier roadie. I bought mine local, for only a couple of bucks more than mail order. He gave it an initial proofhide treatment, and said to bring it back in 6 months for more.

Just a quick caution. They are quite slippery when new and dry. I've had to adjust more nose high than any of my other saddles, and while it looks a bit goofy, it fits perfectly.
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Old 06-26-07, 07:26 AM   #14
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I just tried my new Brooks B-17 for the first time today. It did feel slippery and strange at first, but after stopping a few times to adjust it, it seemed comfortable, right off the bat. I can't imagine how much more comfortable it will be after it breaks in.

I bought my Brooks new for $50 + $10 shipping off of e-bay. Lichton bike shop (www.lickbike.com) has a fantastic deal on them right now... I would have saved money by getting it there instead of e-bay, since lickbike only charges $6 shipping.

My brooks is a bit nose-up too... yeah, it looks wierd, but rides well like that.
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Old 06-26-07, 09:12 AM   #15
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I'm realizing that there's definitely a reason for all the "nose-up" lookin' B-17 outfitted bikes I've seen. I put my Brooks on last night and levelled it out dead flat. I gave it a Proofide treatment (top and bottom) and polished the saddle to a high shine. This morning on its inaugual commute, while very comfy on the sit bones, I did feel like I was sliding forward a bit too much. I'll readjust and tilt it nose-up a bit tonight and see how it feels on tomorrow's commute.
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Old 06-26-07, 09:29 AM   #16
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I have a WTB saddle. I'm fine with it. Possibly it matters what kind of shocks/forks you have on the bike. I stand/ lean mostly when I'm riding.
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Old 06-26-07, 01:35 PM   #17
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Well which saddle actually helps you pump more power to the pedal? Must be a study somewhere for that...haven't found one?
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Old 06-26-07, 01:52 PM   #18
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Well which saddle actually helps you pump more power to the pedal? Must be a study somewhere for that...haven't found one?
IMO a saddle that is comfortable for you will help you ride stronger. With that in mind, saddles that do not chafe or excessively rub the inside of your thigh can make you a bit more efficient. Saddles with flexing "wings" on the sides rob some efficiency but can be more comfortable. Many "racing" saddles are made to be as light and minimal as possible - the goal is to make the saddle suitable for short rides, often at the expense of comfort. But in my opinion, performance differences (as opposed to comfort differences) between different saddles are minimal.
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