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Old 04-15-12, 02:35 PM   #1
Bluestraveler
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Advice on saddle

I have an opportunity to purchase a used "like new" Selle Italia ProLink Gel Form saddle for under $90. I own a Trek Alpha 1.1 and the Bontrager R1 on it is not real comfy. I am new to road cycling and 61 years but feel like I'm 40. I've heard this brand of saddle is top quality and the cut out is to ease the peroneal area. Any experienced users here with a review? Also, as I only got my bike a few days ago, I am trying to ease into the training. First day, 5 mi., 2nd day, 7 mi. My next ride tomorrow will be 8 mi., etc. I know my sit bones and all the rest must get acclimated to this new form of exercise for me so what IS the best way to work into the sport? Any advice is appreciated and thanks in advance for your expertise.
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Old 04-15-12, 02:46 PM   #2
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Not many like the OM saddles fitted to bikes and Bontrager is that of those names that frequently comes up as needing changing. There are differing model of course but just like Brooks saddles- They do not suit everyone.

Problem is- What saddle will be comfy for you? I have a Selle Italia Max gel and I like it. The saddle is still a firm one but with a little bit of give in it to cushion pain. That was an expensive saddle when I bought it about 6 years ago- but other saddles are just as comfy for me and they cost a lot less.

As you only got the bike a few days ago- Give any saddle time to adjust. May have to be a long time with the Bontrager but even they can adjust to your butt. Ride just a few miles initially on any saddle and Make sure that the saddle position is set up for you.
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Old 04-15-12, 02:48 PM   #3
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The Selle Italia is popular, and many people find the cutout section helpful. But other people's experience, while interesting, is of only marginal use when selecting a saddle because what works for one rider is anathema to another. For example, I tried a Specialised Toupe racing saddle for a while on the advice of a friend who raved about its comfort. It cut me to ribbons.

Lots of people complain abut the Bontrager, however, so if I were a betting man I'd wager that the Selle Italia would suit you better. It's just guesswork, though, and you need to bear in mind that as a new cyclist with only a few miles on the bike, it would be very surprising of you found the saddle comfortable. It takes a couple of weeks, and rather higher mileages, before the "sit bone ache" goes away. However, you have the right idea in thinking about the perineum. If the ache is over your sit bones, that is fine and to be expected. If the soft tissue between your legs is hurting, you need to adjust your position on the bike so that you can sit properly on the wide part of the saddle. It's a saddle, not a seat, one sits on it rather than in it, if you get my meaning. If you have someone who knows what they are doing and can look at your position on the bike, that's a god idea.

As for working into it, there doesn't seem much wrong with your approach. A gradual increase in time on the bike until you are feeling comfortable. After that you can cope with bigger increases in distance. Because cycling is non weight-bearing, there's no real need to restrict yourself to the runners' formula of a 10% increase in distance per week. Once you can comfortably ride ten miles, you're quite likely to find you can cope with twenty.
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Old 04-15-12, 03:18 PM   #4
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I would only add that you should use some decent cycling shorts and some chamois cream to help with the process of "break-in-your-butt-to-riding-a-bike" that you need to do. This article may also help. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
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Old 04-16-12, 11:16 AM   #5
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Sorry, but IMO nothing beat a good Brooks saddle once broken in.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:41 AM   #6
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You have some good advice here, Just be sure you are sitting on your sit bones and if anything get numb, thats a danger signal. You will need to make some changes NOW. Either you saddle hight, or to far back, or the saddle itself. I can tell you that Numbness must be addressed before nerve damage occurs. If its just your butt thats sore thats to be expected when "breaking in your butt" to cycling. I have the Selle Italia SLX and have many thousands of miles on it and it still looks new. It's true when they say you get what you pay for. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-12, 12:08 PM   #7
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Bontrager on mine. No problems at all.
Have to look past the reason why people think they are "uncomfortable": Start biking. The seat hurts. Buy new seat. This one feels "better". What really happened was YOUR BUTT got used to riding. Mine is fine.
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Old 04-16-12, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
Bontrager on mine. No problems at all.
Have to look past the reason why people think they are "uncomfortable": Start biking. The seat hurts. Buy new seat. This one feels "better". What really happened was YOUR BUTT got used to riding. Mine is fine.
Not necessarily. I road the Defy 1 OEM saddle for 10 days before going into my LBS and trying a test seat. Realize, on the 11th day I road into the LBS on the OEM seat after 15 miles and then put on another seat--the difference was very apparent testing for 10 miles and then an additional 8 going home. So, yes, it may be a matter of adjustment, or more time to get your butt broken in, but there are times a different saddle makes a difference.

Now, I know I'm noobie...I'm just relating my experience...YMMV.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 04-16-12 at 04:11 PM.
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