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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-29-08, 09:03 AM   #1
bigwoo
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Question about saddles, for guys

There is a huge discussion going on over in Classic & Vintage about a new "anatomical" Brooks leather saddle and it renewed my interest in slotted seats.

Now I'm not sure what to believe......I ride nearly every day of the year to work and have always used non-slotted saddles...

Several professional athletes who ride/train in Boulder,CO for several weeks per year in the area which I often ride, NCAR, have mentioned in passing that the important nerves between the male scrotum and anus do not run parallel with the cutout slot but rather, run across it.

This cutout supposedly takes away valuable surface area in the area between the scrotum and anus and increases pressure per sq mm on very delicate nerve fibers.....

I work in veterinary medicine but pulled out some of my old human anatomy charts and they appear to be correct...

What are the implications of this?? I guess now I'm unsure of which is better for the male body...Add to this the fact that I'm a Clydesdale at 200lbs and 6'

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Old 02-29-08, 09:31 AM   #2
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i switched to a specialized toupe about 8 months ago and i have not had a single bit of discomfort since. in that time i have ridden over 8000 miles. your results may vary, but the cutout seems to work well for me when traditional race saddles have needed adjustments and perfect setup in order to not cause issues.
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Old 02-29-08, 09:31 AM   #3
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This cutout supposedly takes away valuable surface area in the area between the scrotum and anus and increases pressure per sq mm on very delicate nerve fibers.....

I work in veterinary medicine but pulled out some of my old human anatomy charts and they appear to be correct...

What are the implications of this?? I guess now I'm unsure of which is better for the male body...Add to this the fact that I'm a Clydesdale at 200lbs and 6'
As Tom would say; at only 200 pounds, you're not that big among this group so weight is going to factor very little into this.

The anatomic cutout isn't going to put undue pressure on the nerves by removing distributed contact area, unless you're positioned incorrectly on your seat to begin with.
The contact area with the seat should be the ischial tuberosity (your sit bones). A cutout under the perenium will alleviate pressure on those cross-running nerves without increasing the edge contact pressure at the nerves.
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Old 02-29-08, 11:06 AM   #4
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What ^^^^^^^ he said

I said it in C&V, but I'll say it again here: on my B17 I have three points of contact. My ischial tuberosities (sit bones) sit on the saddle and my taint is pressured by the nose. If the nose wasn't there or I had a cutout then the only thing that would touch would be my sitbones, and it would be awesome!
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Old 02-29-08, 11:20 AM   #5
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What ^^^^^^^ he said

I said it in C&V, but I'll say it again here: on my B17 I have three points of contact. My ischial tuberosities (sit bones) sit on the saddle and my taint is pressured by the nose. If the nose wasn't there or I had a cutout then the only thing that would touch would be my sitbones, and it would be awesome!

I have a similar experience with my Brooks...B72 I think it is - it's at home in garage right now...that I inherited with a used bike I bought. It seems to me it would be more comfortable if it was a bit longer. It's comfortable enough, and I am still manly , but as I ride I am aware of the nose giving me a bit of a mid perineal wedgie. So the nose is where the cutout should be (!?)
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Old 02-29-08, 11:28 AM   #6
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My only experience with slotted saddles was a first generation Specialized BG Comp saddle. I bought it as a gesture to my wife, mom, and mother-in-law, if you catch my drift. It was too heavy, too soft, and too uncomfortable. Once my wife was pregnant (with twins!), I ditched it for my old Selle Italia Flite.
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Old 02-29-08, 11:35 AM   #7
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My tarmac has a toupe on it. I have ridden a few centuries and many training rides on it with 0 issues.
I had fizik arione before that and it was a pain. Somehow I managed to make it somewhat acceptable. Anyhow, I like the cutout in my toupe and plan on purchasing another for my fixed gear.
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Old 02-29-08, 12:46 PM   #8
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I recently purchased a koobi au chrono. I only have about 45 miles on it so far but the difference between it and my old non-slotted saddle is night and day, I love the new saddle!

On my racing bike I had a selle italia flite (IIRC, could have been a different model) with a small cutout, the koobi cutout extends all the way through the nose.

I don't think koobi manufactures the au chrono anymore (got it on ebay for $21 shipped) but most of their seats share this same design.

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Old 03-01-08, 12:39 PM   #9
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When it comes to theory vs what works, I'll go with what works.
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Old 03-01-08, 01:07 PM   #10
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Do people in Asia ever have these discussions? They cycle a lot more than we do and they have literally millions of offspring. What about in the low countries....I wonder if this topic ever comes up.
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Old 03-01-08, 04:08 PM   #11
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Do people in Asia ever have these discussions? They cycle a lot more than we do and they have literally millions of offspring. What about in the low countries....I wonder if this topic ever comes up.
How often do people in Asia ride centuries recreationally...or further?

I think I read a statistic somewhere that said the average SE Asian commuter (Japan, China, Thailand, etc...) rode 15 miles a day. I do more than that one way on my commute. I beat the crap out of that distance every single weekend.

It was a good thought, though...
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Old 03-01-08, 06:10 PM   #12
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How often do people in Asia ride centuries recreationally...or further?

I think I read a statistic somewhere that said the average SE Asian commuter (Japan, China, Thailand, etc...) rode 15 miles a day. I do more than that one way on my commute. I beat the crap out of that distance every single weekend.

It was a good thought, though...
You may do that but you are not a normal commuter. In Asia commuting by bike is almost the norm or at least far in excess of NA standards. This for normal commuters not avid cyclists. I only ride 3 miles to work. I would bet that the average for NA bicycle commuters is a lot less than 15 miles. This forum is for bicycle nutbars and geeks. I bet alot of not so serious bicycle riders are not posting on sites like this.
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Old 03-01-08, 06:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
My only experience with slotted saddles was a first generation Specialized BG Comp saddle. I bought it as a gesture to my wife, mom, and mother-in-law, if you catch my drift. It was too heavy, too soft, and too uncomfortable. Once my wife was pregnant (with twins!), I ditched it for my old Selle Italia Flite.
I had one of the first (or around there) Specialized BG saddles also, and hated it. Now I run their Alias one, and the difference is like night and day. I am very happy with my saddle.
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Old 03-01-08, 07:46 PM   #14
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I had one of the first (or around there) Specialized BG saddles also, and hated it. Now I run their Alias one, and the difference is like night and day. I am very happy with my saddle.

I also switched to a Spec. BG comfort saddle when they came out and I have
ridden it for years, It seemed ok to me mostly, until recently I have begun to think that it was impeading my downward leg stroke hitting into my Ham String --Penal speaking it was ok-Now I am riding an Alias and getting used to it--
it does not impead my stroke that I can tell yet - but I am still getting used to the new hard seat.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:32 PM   #15
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I have ridden a regular saddle for years 10+ miles a day and never any issues even on centuries, etc. I try to keep a lot of my weight on my feet, not my nether regions.
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Old 03-01-08, 10:13 PM   #16
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I have a good friend who competes at the CAT 1 level and he rides the same saddle every year and it goes with him on every bike (he gets a new one every year). It does not have a cutout in the center. This is a guy who rides at least 5,000 miles each year between training and racing. I can't remember the brand but it is no longer in production, it is kind of banana shaped and is fairly average looking as saddles go.

Personally, I ride a Fizik Arione which does not have a cutout. I've ridden thousands of miles including a couple centuries on it with no numbness and only the usual amount of discomfort associated with spending 5 or so hours on a bike.
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Old 03-01-08, 10:35 PM   #17
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brooks are said to be comfy, they just look hideous.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:50 AM   #18
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When it comes to theory vs what works, I'll go with what works.
Always with what works..... I never could find a saddle made for guys that fit me right. I always ended up with one made for women - as long as it wasn't pink, no one ever knew. Now I'm riding a bent as I get too much shoulder and neck pain from the DF..... so no more saddles.
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