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Old 02-27-13, 01:59 PM   #1
jim p
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seat width question

I just measured from center to center of my sit bones and their width is 110 mm. I am looking at a nashbar fr1 saddle which is 135mm wide. So how do I relate my sitbone measurement with the saddle width. Is the width of the saddle measured from the outside edge to the outside edge of the saddle. If the saddle is measured from the outside edges what are the chances that it would be wide enough that it would work for me?

Last edited by jim p; 02-27-13 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-27-13, 03:09 PM   #2
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Google brought up Art's Cyclery w/video and they say 25-30mm wider.
Look it up.

What interested me was sitting on cardboard then measuring the impression. Kewl!
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Old 02-27-13, 08:25 PM   #3
jim p
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I had to go and check out that site. It is very good. Thanks for the suggestion.

Oh, I checked my sitbone distance by taking a piece of printer paper and placing it on a yoga block and then sitting on it like in a riding position and then measuring from the center of the depressions. Sitting straight vertical gave a 115mm distance and leaned over gave a 110mm distance. So it looks like that I need a 145mm saddle just to be sure that it is not too narrow. My current saddle is 155 mm.

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Old 02-27-13, 08:37 PM   #4
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Yeah, it was worth the viewing.

Gonna check mine but I know they are wide, like my Mom's side of the Family.
I like a little wiggle room and just broke in my first Brooks Flyer (B17). It's 175mm wide. My next saddle for another bike will probably be 160mm wide.

The more racer's like bent over one is the narrower the saddle.

I never had fitted a two bolt seatpost that permits micro adjustment of tilt. What a blessing they are because a tiny adjustment can really be felt.
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Old 02-28-13, 01:17 AM   #5
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sitting up more often has people wanting wider saddles.

racers put their weight into the pedals, so the saddle becomes minimal.
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Old 02-28-13, 12:20 PM   #6
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And different saddles have varying amounts of "roll off" which can decrease the effective width of the saddle.
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Old 02-28-13, 12:40 PM   #7
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You guys are describing exactly what I have experienced. The roll off on my 155 mm saddles makes it feel too narrow.
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Old 02-28-13, 01:13 PM   #8
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The Brooks is wider which I believe will be more comfortable in the long run. I use a Ride Out Carbon which is even wider but very mini in size overall and a very very short horn which is also important for comfort. You don't need thick foam cushioning, width is more important. That narrow FR1 is a racing bike saddle. All those saddles that look similar are racing saddles. Touring and general riding and commuting has different requirements as you need to be more upright and more support in the saddle is a must.
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Old 02-28-13, 02:53 PM   #9
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Sit bone width should be supported by the saddle. Saddle width is measured side to side at the widest point, not the support points. Buy wider than your sit bones.

Even Romin and Toupe saddles vary. I need a 143 Toupe and a 155 Romin.
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Old 02-28-13, 07:44 PM   #10
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I have been experimenting with some of my saddles to see which one I like the best. I like the bell saddle that I have except I think that it would be better if it had a larger cutout in the center. This bell saddle has selle master written on the plastic bottom. This saddle measures 180mm wide and 250 mm long. It is built with a nose up when the larger section if level. I bet that this would be a good saddle for me with a level nose and a little larger cut out.

Since I know that a 180 mm wide saddle is not too wide, I will be looking for wide saddles from now own. I should have measured long ago.

I wonder why anyone would need the nose of the saddle to be pointing up when the back part of the saddle is level.
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Old 02-28-13, 09:16 PM   #11
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The distance between the ischial tuberosities (sit bones) of males in the ninetieth percentile varies by not much more than 4-5mm - less than 1/4". And it's quite likely they're not even symmetrical.

However, the tuberosities are not really points but two ridges arranged in a vee-shape which means that the distance between the effective points of contact on a bike seat vary according to the rotation of the hips. This is very much dependant on the rider's flexibility, age and general body type and can vary by much more than 4 or 5mm.

Using those 2D flat pad devices cannot replicate the degree of hip-rotation you might - or might not - achieve on a 3D bicycle saddle and results are meaningless in the real world.

I've just had the opportunity to ask a couple of designers and manufacturers of high end bike seats why they don't provide some sort of measuring device to guide purchasers to the right saddle for them.

The explanation in all cases was pretty much as I've outlined above.

Of course, generally it's true that those riders with exceptional hip-rotation (think of L@nce Armstrong) can ride an very narrow seat and mere mortals like us may need a wider one. But several years of association with expert bike fitters has shown me that there are plenty of exceptions to every rule when it comes to saddle comfort. I've see beer-bellied 60-year-olds happy on super-slim rails and near pros happy on a touring saddle.

I am happy for those riders who find bliss on a $15 plastic saddle as many do, but, if seat comfort is an issue for you then guidance and fitting by an expert who can assess your body type and flexibility is probably the only way to go. And be prepared for sticker shock.

Now, if you're going to ask what works for me, I'd say the Fizik Aliante and the SMP Dynamic are dependable and extremely comfortable. But I have a Trek OEM on my mountain bike which probably cost $15 and that works pretty well too. I've tried plenty of others which are torture.

Last edited by ThatBritBloke; 02-28-13 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Addition in italics ...
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Old 03-01-13, 01:46 AM   #12
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I think there are just too many variables to allow reducing saddle choice to some sort of formula. Things like how you sit on the bike at any point in a ride and your level of fitness at various times of the cycling season. At least these factors have always affected me. For me it's just a matter of trial and error. These days I'm riding a Specialized Avatar 143 mm and it's been pretty good.

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