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Old 06-08-07, 05:01 PM   #1
Yen
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Found a new saddle

I took my bike to the LBS which is on my way home from work, not very close to our house but they sell the saddle I was looking for. I stopped in there on my way home 2 weeks ago to buy the saddle, and Stan, the owner, suggested I come by this weekend with my bike so he can see my fit on it, suspecting the problem may not be my saddle (which agrees with the thought of many of you who responded to my earlier post about needing a new saddle).

So we went today. First thing he noticed is that my 21" bike (the Giant Cypress) is a little too big for me. Not too tall, but too far of a reach even with the stem as forward as it can go. But he worked with what I have. First he moved the saddle forward a little, and lowered it a tiny bit. That helped, but I was still sliding forward on that big fat satin pillow. So he put on a Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle and WOW!! WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! For the first time on this bike, I could feel my sit bones on the saddle, and I didn't slide forward one bit while riding it.

And.... it's cheaper than the saddle I went in there for. Stan did not just hurriedly sell me the saddle I wanted. Instead, he suggested another one that is less expensive, but very popular, and spent about an hour making adjustments and making sure I was happy, at no cost to us (we did pay for the saddle).

I highly recommend Stan's Monrovia Bikes (in SoCal). Can't wait to take off on my next ride to test-drive my new saddle this weekend.

Jen
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Old 06-08-07, 05:07 PM   #2
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Glad you found one. Sounds like a good, helpful LBS. There should be more like that!
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Old 06-08-07, 05:12 PM   #3
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Yes, if all bike shops would think that they are serving people by trying to help, actually help them. Glad you found your comfort peice of equipment...
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Old 06-08-07, 05:31 PM   #4
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Glad you found a saddle that work for you and a good bike shop.

I have a Specialized saddle and love it.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:34 PM   #5
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Glad you found a saddle that work for you and a good bike shop.

I have a Specialized saddle and love it.
Specialized are the new Brooks.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:51 PM   #6
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Sounds like a great fit. One never knows what saddle will do the job for them, it is such a confusing array of choices.

You have a 21" Giant Cypress? That's a rather large frame. I'm just a hair under 5'8" and I ride a 17.5" to 18" hybrid frame. Have ridden bikes from several manufacturers and that's the frame size that fits from all of them. Tried a 19.5" once, because it was on sale at a great price, but it was just too large.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:51 PM   #7
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There is so much written about saddles I hate to even opine - but here goes anyway. Make sure you ride the saddle for the distances important to you - a saddle good for one hour may not be to your liking after 3. And it may not last as long as you think - it gets too soft too fast and ends up putting too much pressure where you don't want it. I just got rid of a Fizik Arione - made me numb. Switched to a Specialized Alias - numbness gone - but pretty hard on the sit bones after 3 hours (6 was killer) and it "pinches". Switched to a Terry Fly - no numbness or pinching and comfortable for longer distances. But apparently it breaks down reasonably quickly and needs to be replaced after year or so. Have ordered a Selle An-atomica on recommendation of many in Long Distance forum - anxious to test it out. Sent in a Brooks saddle I had for same company to anatomically cut it out. Fortunately I have a number of bikes so I can optimize the saddles to meet the need - the Terry Fly is on my fast bike, the Brooks/Selle is going on my rando bike, and I'll put the Specialized on my single speed - although if it keeps pinching out it goes!
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Old 06-08-07, 07:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Specialized are the new Brooks.
Time will tell.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:58 PM   #9
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WTG Jen, that change sounds like a key to more time on the bike which = more fun time.
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Old 06-08-07, 08:25 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone!

Tom: The bike felt big from the start, but not necessarily too big. I had nothing to compare it with and, not being on a bike for years I thought I just needed to get used to it. After the last few rides, I felt a lot more comfortable, but that seat had to go. Stan at the LBS said I should be on a 17" bike, maybe 18 or 19. He thought the bike was Hubby's who is several inches taller. I chose it because it had all the components I wanted on the style of bike I wanted, the brand is good, and the price was right (15% off last year's model, never used), and I liked the shop (also very local). And, the guys at the store believed it fit me. Anyway..... after a new seat which is a little lower and a little more forward, I feel much more comfortable now.

Merlinman: Points well taken, thanks. I don't expect this seat to last a long time, but I needed something to get me off the other cushy satin pillow. I don't ride often, mostly weekend recreation, so I won't be putting 10 miles or more (or anywhere near that) on it daily. I'll pay attention to how I feel after longer rides, I promise.

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Old 06-08-07, 08:50 PM   #11
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If this LBS guy, who sounds like he knows what he is doing, believes you should be on a 17"-18" frame, then the guys who thought you fit a 21" must be totally incompetent.

I've test ridden bikes at 7-8 different shops and every one of them put me on the right sized frame immediately (like within 10-20 seconds).

Getting this right is one of the first lessons of Bike Shop 101. (Or at least getting to within 1" or 2cm)
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Old 06-08-07, 09:01 PM   #12
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Wrong size and 15% off last year's model. A marriage made in heaven.
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Old 06-08-07, 09:13 PM   #13
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I have been sayin this forever. Saddle comfort has more to do with proper bike fit than the saddle itself. Theory confirmed.
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Old 06-08-07, 09:27 PM   #14
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Wrong size and 15% off last year's model. A marriage made in heaven.
Yeh, I wondered about that.....

Actually, my gut feeling at the time I bought it was that a 19-inch frame would be best for me. I told Hubby I'd get it and if it seemed too big, it would become his bike (it fit him). So it seemed like a win-win deal. After getting it home though, he seemed to want a different bike................

So, what should I do? My excitement over the saddle is a little crushed at the moment.......
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Old 06-08-07, 09:38 PM   #15
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I have been sayin this forever. Saddle comfort has more to do with proper bike fit than the saddle itself. Theory confirmed.
That's pretty much what Stan said at the LBS where we bought the saddle, and that's why he asked me to take the bike to his shop one weekend to let him check my fit on it before buying a saddle from him. He could have sold me a more expensive saddle without seeing the bike. Once he saw my bike today he immediately knew it was too big for me.

That said......... I still believe the original saddle was a problem. The satin-like finish and plump cushy rear part just pushed me forward too much. I was sitting on the nose, and I won't go into any more detail. It was just impossible to stay positioned on that seat even on a ride around the block.

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Old 06-08-07, 09:45 PM   #16
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At this point, I think you should see how the new saddle and positioning configuration rides for you. In general it is very difficult to ever feel right on the wrong sized bike. But some people pick up wrong sized bikes from garage sales and ride them for years. So while you may never sit on it and feel that it is perfectly dialed-in, you might be able to jimmy it around to where it's a reasonably comfortable ride.
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Old 06-08-07, 09:50 PM   #17
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Just checked the geometries. A 21" men's Cypress has a 1.8" longer top tube than a 17" women's Cypress.

No wonder you were having problems with the saddle position.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:11 PM   #18
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Tom - Yes, it's the length of the tube that's the issue, not the height of the bike. I have become accustomed to the height and no longer feel like I'm sitting too high. My legs easily clear the tube. Though you and I are about the same height overall, our legs and/or arms may be different lengths which factors into the reach to the pedals and bars.

Hubby just reminded me of an important fact: When we bought the bike, they adjusted the seat and stem to accommodate my wrist. I did sit on a shorter bike but we couldn't raise the seat any higher for my legs. There were other details that I can't remember now, but what I do remember for a fact is that we chose this size over the 19" because I would have more room to make adjustments to help my wrist. I cannot rest a lot of weight on my wrist because it has a prosthesis, and therefore I need to sit more upright with the stem raised toward me. On the shorter bike we could not raise the seat any higher and I didn't want to sit lower than the bars. So........ the shop did not push the bike on me, I chose it because the size was "the lesser of the two evils" (so to speak) because of greater concerns about my wrist and more flexibility to make adjustments with this size. I'm sorry I didn't remember this important point before. It's possible that a completely different bike would have been better for me, I'll never know. What I do know is that I have this bike now and I'm going to continue enjoying it. I have a blast when I ride it (in spite of constantly having to "scoot" back on the previous satin-pillow seat), so I will not allow myself to get upset anymore over this. I'll try the new saddle this weekend and if it doesn't work, we'll look for a different solution.

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Old 06-08-07, 10:18 PM   #19
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That's interesting reasoning, because a longer top tube would have you leaning forward more, which would put more weight on your wrist, not less. Usually someone who doesn't want to put weight on their wrist will put the bars higher than the seat, in order to achieve a more upright seating position.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:24 PM   #20
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This reminds me that when I riding on Thursday, the nose of my saddle was once again up one notch too high. It must be slipping because I've had to make the same adjustment three times now.

Anyway, the two guys I was with talked me into trying it two notches down, so that there was an obvious downward slant to the nose. I was reluctant but tried it. Within about 3-5 minutes I could feel much more strain to my shoulders, to the muscles in my upper back, and my hands started aching. So I got off, adjusted it up one notch, and was instantly more comfortable. I not only completed the last 9 miles of that ride, but did another 33 today, in comfort.
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Old 06-09-07, 06:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
If this LBS guy, who sounds like he knows what he is doing, believes you should be on a 17"-18" frame, then the guys who thought you fit a 21" must be totally incompetent.
When I decided to buy a new bike the LBS owner asked me to bring in my old bike to see how it fit. He took one look at it and said that it was way too big. (I didn't tell him that one of my older bikes was bigger still. ) Anyway, he put me on a smaller frame and so far it has been perfect. From the first ride I have been able to ride much longer rides with absolutely no pain.

I think that some of the LBSs where I have been in the past have been incompetent. In the past, the test for fit was to stand over the bike and see if there was any room between the frame and my crotch. I bought the bike and walked out of the store. (There was no fit for seat height, stem length, seat placement . . . . nothing)

I guess I am lucky to have a LBS where the owner knows what he is doing. (RightGear, Concord, North Carolina. Thanks.)
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Old 06-11-07, 06:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
I don't ride often, mostly weekend recreation, so I won't be putting 10 miles or more (or anywhere near that) on it daily.

Yen
If adjusted with the right amount of tilt, just about any saddle will work for rides of that duration.
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Old 06-11-07, 06:48 AM   #23
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Yen, you could try at a relatively low cost a "forward rake" seat post commonly used on Triathalon bikes. This will allow you to move the seat more forward than currently possible. Because you sit so upright I do not think that this will result in excessive forward weight bias. It may not be the best solution but it is much less expensive that starting with a new frame. If you are comfortable with the height of the current frame then there are still options left to try.
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