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  1. #1
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    Replacing Stock Saddle

    TL;DR: can I get a comfort saddle for my road bike?

    I just purchased a SS cyclocross bike (motobecane fantomcross uno) from BD for commuting/touring/cardio. The saddle is KILLING me. I couldn't sleep last night because of groin pain. My LBS's only fitting advice was "make sure the saddle is lined up with your tailbone when you're straddling the bike" (I'm going to look for better advice).

    I need to order a new saddle, and I've been reading good things about Specialized's body geometry. So, here I am, choosing between 3.

    Targa
    Milano
    Sonoma Sport

    I'd obviously prefer one of the thicker, cushier ones, but I'm worried that it would be a bad idea with my frame's more aggressive geometry compared to most commuters and the relatively high cadence I have to set as a SS. Also, my stem is a little too long for me, and it might be a while before I feel proactive enough to shell out for a more upright position.

    Should I stick to a road saddle?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyiu23's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't trust any padded or gel saddles. The only saddle I like are the Brooks saddles. I have done multiple 40+ miles rides, and the saddle comfort is the least of my worries. With regular saddles you are sitting against something, whatever might be in the saddle you feel after a while. With the Brooks saddle it's the leather that keep you suspended, so you aren't sitting against anything. That's the logic I think. That's my 2 cents. Good luck hinting for a saddle.

  3. #3
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    I can't say it better than Sheldon Brown. From the link:

    "When a cyclist finds a saddle uncomfortable, the first impulse is often to look for a soft one. This is often a mistake. Just as the softest mattress is not necessarily the most comfortable to sleep on, the softest saddle is not the most comfortable to cycle on."

    My guess is that you're actually straddling the nose of the saddle. If you're putting all of your weight there, then yes, you're going to be in agony. Read the article at the link, then go to your LBS (or a different one) and ask for help having your saddle properly adjusted for you.

    ETA: Seconding the Brooks recommendation. But do try having your current saddle adjusted before replacing it.
    Last edited by debit; 07-13-12 at 06:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    I'm actually sitting as far back as I feel I possibly can. A good portion of my butt is hanging over the edge. The worst is when I try to lower onto my drops. It's not even possible.

  5. #5
    Intrepid Bicycle Commuter AlmostGreenGuy's Avatar
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    First, get the fit of your bike right. If the fit isn't right, no amount of money will buy you saddle comfort.

    Then save yourself some time and money, and try the most popular saddle on the market. If the Brooks B17 doesn't send you to heaven and back, you can sell it for close to what you paid, and look at the rest of the billion different saddles out there. Lots of people foolishly buy saddle after saddle, and then finally buy a Brooks B17 and never look back. Be smarter than them (and me). Just start with a B17.

  6. #6
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Any reason why all three of the ones you are looking at are Specialized? There are other brands out there too.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epamek View Post
    I'm actually sitting as far back as I feel I possibly can. A good portion of my butt is hanging over the edge. The worst is when I try to lower onto my drops. It's not even possible.
    Can you post a picture of your current set up? It honestly could be a matter of your nose too far up, your seat height or your saddle's fore and aft position being off. And it's not a matter of how much of your butt hangs off the back; you want to have your seat bones supporting your weight. You can't feel it as well on a cushy saddle, but you'll know right away if you try a harder one.

    ETA: I want to add that it could be you have a crappy saddle, or if you yourself have a larger frame, perhaps you simply need a wider road saddle. In any case, the best solution to your problem, I believe, is to go to a bike shop and have them fit you to the bike and do a saddle adjustment. Yeah, they'll charge you for it since you didn't buy the bike there, but it will most likely be cheaper than a new saddle.
    Last edited by debit; 07-13-12 at 08:49 AM.

  8. #8
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Whoa. Back Up and Start From The Beginning...

    Quote Originally Posted by Epamek View Post
    ...I just purchased a SS cyclocross bike (motobecane fantomcross uno) from BD for commuting/touring/cardio. The saddle is KILLING me. ...frame's more aggressive geometry compared to most commuters and the relatively high cadence I have to set as a SS...stem is a little too long for me...shell out for a more upright position.

    Should I stick to a road saddle?
    Later, you posted that you're scooted all the way back off the rear of the saddle.

    You've gotten good advice to bring the bike to a competent shop and ask them to help to fit you to it. There may be several things amiss here.

    Regarding the saddle, you probably don't have a good match between the saddle support points and your sit bone width. Maybe the saddle is too arched, so isn't supporting as much as pressing between your sit bones.

    How experienced are you as a rider? You mentioned cadence - do you unweight the saddle periodically as you ride? As others have said, a good saddle disappears beneath you (mostly).

    If the positioning is "aggressive" the Brooks B17 isn't what you want. You might look at the Swallow, though. If you go to a Specialized saddle dealer, they have a fit system that measures your sitbone width. This is useful, even if you don't use one of their saddles, ultimately.

    Sheldon Brown knew what he was talking about...

  9. #9
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    I'm scheduled for a fitting on tuesday. One of my family jewels is starting to hurt now, too, and I haven't ridden in a couple of hours. I'm positioned all the way back because I feel it's the only way I can get my tender area off the large hump on the front of the saddle.


    I'm inexperienced, but I'm riding less than two miles at a time, so I feel that unweighting shouldn't have to be an issue (?)

    to Debit: I'm very slim and underweight. Here's a pic:img0351uk.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    I really like my Specialized Body Geometry Phenom Comp Gel - it is a svelte, firm saddle, with a thin layer of gel. I had previously been on a Brooks B17 Narrow that I quite liked, but it was too flared at the back for my needs (occasional mountain biking).

    BD offers excellent value for the money on their bikes, but anything less than $500 from them likely has a crappy saddle. A replacement is definitely in order, and will make your ride much more enjoyable.
    That said, any saddle requires some time to adjust to - your body has to become accustomed to being on a bike.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
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  11. #11
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    I'm glad you're going in to get a fitting. Your saddle looks level to me, so it could be a matter of bringing it forward a bit and possibly adjusting the height. Your set up also looks like it puts you in a fairly aggressive posture; perhaps a cut out is called for. In any case, a comfort saddle is not going to help you. A comfort saddle is designed to be comfortable sitting up, so it has lots of padding. As you are not sitting upright, all you would get out of it is even more material compressing your, er, sensitive tissues.

    Good luck. I hope you're able to enjoy your bike soon; it looks like a very fun ride.

  12. #12
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debit View Post
    I'm glad you're going in to get a fitting. Your saddle looks level to me,...
    Actually, that saddle looks like it needs to be ridden a bit more nose up. The rear support areas are slanted quite a bit, and appear to be downward in the photo. Just to my eyes...

  13. #13
    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epamek View Post

    [...]

    I need to order a new saddle, and I've been reading good things about Specialized's body geometry. So, here I am, choosing between 3.

    Targa
    I don't have much advice to give you, but FWIW my Specilized Sirus Sport came with a Targa saddle and I am very happy with it.

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