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Old 01-05-08, 08:20 AM   #1
pel
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Spongy Wonder Bicycle Seat - any one used it?

Getting to the point (dual reference unintended) where eliminating numbness and possible prostate problems is becoming crucial.

Would appreciate comments from anyone who is or has used the Spongy Wonder.
Many thanks
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Old 01-05-08, 09:33 AM   #2
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No knowledge of the wonder seat. It does pay to ask how many miles you ride though. These ultra soft saddles seem attractive at first but if you ride a lot, after a while they become a pain because you move around on them while riding and they don't support well.

If you are a casual rider, they may be just the ticket. Later you may not like them so much.
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Old 01-05-08, 09:48 AM   #3
John E
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The concept and design of the Easy Seat, Spongy Wonder seat, et al. are fundamentally flawed. The saddle of a non-recumbent bicycle needs to provide a secure reference point to keep the cyclist positioned properly above the cranks. With the SW and its kin, I see nothing which can keep you in position, which implies more stress on your hands and arms and the very real chance of actually falling off your perch.

Regular readers know that I use and endorse only two types of saddles:
1) traditional tensioned leather, of which my personal favorite example is the Brooks Pro or Team Pro;
2) modern lightweight padded with either a slot or a depression for the perinaeum. I have been very happy with the Serfas ARC saddle I put on my Bianchi several years ago.

What really gave upright bicycles and bicycle saddles a bad reputation was the 1970s bike boom and the emergence of the padded vinyl saddle. As the pelvic bone presses into each side of the saddle, its crown puffs upward, maximizing pressure right where it can do the most harm. My sole bad experience with a bicycle saddle was the narrow padded Marin that the first owner had installed on my Bianchi -- that thing was a torture device and a pain in the prostate.
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Old 01-05-08, 02:13 PM   #4
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I did try an Easy Seat but the pads were not solidly secured to the seat frame. Seat pads had a slight rocking and that was just too awkward for me. Spongy Wonder pads appear to be secured. But I have to agree with John E, without the traditional horn, I don't see how you stay properly centered on the seat. I should also add I went thru seats very fast. The Easy Seat may have gotten a mile test ride before it was on ebay. I finallize on a WTB Comfort V Sport Saddle. Wide enough for my fat butt, it is firm, but has some padding unlike the Brooks, and the depression for the perinaeum has worked fine. Price wasn't bad either $25.
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Old 01-05-08, 02:18 PM   #5
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I've taken brief test rides on the Easy Seat, Spongy Wonder, and a couple of others. Not enough to really say one way or the other. The Spongy Wonder did seem reasonably comfortable for the 5 minutes I sat on it.
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Old 01-05-08, 03:24 PM   #6
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The Easy Seat is quite dangerous, and the Spongy Wonder, from the look of it, should be equally bad. In addition to the quite valid points made above, I would like to add that the nose of the saddle is actually a part of the steering, esp. so on fast descents.

With no nose, there is nowhere to lean your leg against to help steer the bike. As others have recommended: Don't do it.

Like John E., I have found the Serfas (yes, with the hole-slot in the middle) to be quite kind to my prostate/perineum even on long rides (yes, even on double centuries up to 17 hours long).

Specifically, I use the Serfas Terrazo Gel, but whatever you get, make sure it has a nose/front, or whatever you like to call it.

None of this applies to recumbents, of course, but only to DF (diamond frame) bikes and similar.

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Old 01-05-08, 10:30 PM   #7
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They're Baaack. I saw a varient die out 30 years ago. I use an old leather non-Brooks saddle.
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Old 01-06-08, 07:59 AM   #8
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Just don't see how a bike saddle without a horn would feel secure. Seems like you'd always feel like you wanted to slide off the side while turning. The Spongy part bothers me too. When I first started riding, I thought that a "soft" saddle would be more comfortable--wrong--all a soft saddle does is allow your sit bones to sink into it, which now makes the middle higher than it was originally, putting more pressure on the bits between the sit bones-and that definitely isn't comfortable!! Still looking for the right saddle for my road bike-going to try the Serfas Dorado next, as my sit bones seem to be spaced apart, and narrow saddles don't work for me-feels like my sit bones want to slide off the edge of some (and I'm an average sized person, so can't judge sit bones by the size of the person).
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Old 01-06-08, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Just don't see how a bike saddle without a horn would feel secure. Seems like you'd always feel like you wanted to slide off the side while turning. The Spongy part bothers me too. When I first started riding, I thought that a "soft" saddle would be more comfortable--wrong--all a soft saddle does is allow your sit bones to sink into it, which now makes the middle higher than it was originally, putting more pressure on the bits between the sit bones-and that definitely isn't comfortable!! Still looking for the right saddle for my road bike-going to try the Serfas Dorado next, as my sit bones seem to be spaced apart, and narrow saddles don't work for me-feels like my sit bones want to slide off the edge of some (and I'm an average sized person, so can't judge sit bones by the size of the person).
Just put a Profile Design Tri Stryke on the TT bike. Couldn't ride the Selle Italia Prolink due to the confluence of certain body parts with the nose of the sadle when in the aero position. Givin that this is a saddle designed for a specific purpose (upright seat tube and aero body position up on the nose of the saddle) it seems to defy traditional design. Its soft....very soft, the cutout is huge and it is very narrow, not exceeding 120mm at the very widest point. (but wider than most at the nose) Its sort of like sitting on a padded 2X4. It feels remarkably comfortable though. I wonder what it would be like on a normal road bike?
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Old 01-07-08, 06:39 AM   #10
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Thanks for comments Maddmaxx, John, Guybierhaus,Tom, Rick, Ken and Freeranger.
I cycle short spells to and from work during week - about 10 miles one way and 20 to 30 total over the weekend. Also planning a long touring trip in Europe doing from 30 to 70 miles per day with full kit.
Take your points on balance/positioning and steering enabled by horn and the short comings of the soft seat trap.
Suppose the fact that nobody currently using the Spongy Wonder or like has come forward speaks volumes.
I'll steer clear.
I'm looking at trying the Selle SMP Pro. The agent told me to lower my saddle by an inch so that it is firm in my instep with a fully extended leg. This has helped my numbness and general discomfort considerably.
Many thanks
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Old 01-07-08, 08:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
I would like to add that the nose of the saddle is actually a part of the steering, esp. so on fast descents.

With no nose, there is nowhere to lean your leg against to help steer the bike. As others have recommended: Don't do it.
Rick / OCRR
Thanks! I've been wondering about this. I have a women's brooks that kinda drives me crazy. It has a nose, of course, so I thought I was imagining that I was missing the longer nose on my other saddles, but I truly believe I use every inch of the longer nose to steer with.
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