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  1. #1
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Still Fighting Saddle Issues

    I'm still fighting saddle comfort issues. I've been through half a dozen saddles, on a Defy Endurance bike on which I have been fitted. It turns out my sit bones are far apart, and I need a wide saddle - the common 140mm and 150mm wide saddles leave the bones hanging over, and are horribly uncomfortable. I resorted to trying a Bontrager Commuter Gel CRZ+, and it resolved the sit bone pain I was suffering, and despite the fact that it has a channel for soft tissue relief, the sides of that channel are still putting some pressure on the soft tissue, despite wearing padded shorts. I've lowered the saddle nose by 2, and that has helped, but there is still pressure where, as I understand it, there shouldn't be any. I'm getting frustrated.

    I'm beginning to wonder if I need to tinker with the fit - something I have been reluctant to do. The seat is already all the way forward on a zero offset post, and it is KOPS correct - I can't imagine I need to be more forward. The handlebar is all the way up. The saddle height, arm angle, leg angle, etc. are all correct as per the fitting. I've considered tinkering with all those parameters, though. Maybe lowering the seat, raising the sweep on the handlebar to raise the hoods, etc.

    If anyone has any constructive suggestions or comments on things I might try, I would welcome them.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with that saddle, but if its width is what you need, so be it. But, how did you determine that? I don't know what Trek dealers have, but Specialized shops have a neat little device for measuring sit bone width. If possible, get checked at a Specialized shop and see what it shows.

    The theory behind the saddles is that there are wide "platforms" which are designed for the sit bones to rest on. Once this is achieved you should not have much pressure on the soft tissues, of either gender. One hitch is that if the saddle is too far back, your body is not in the position that best suits and it tends to reposition forward. This takes you of of the platforms. Another hitch is that if the saddle is tilted too far down you will tend to "fall down the slope" due to gravity. Again, your sit bones slide off of the platforms. I think you also could be falling off of the platforms due to reaching too far to reach the bars, for a third hitch. i think the final one is that if you have the saddle in the correct position and not tilted too far down, it could be tilted with nose too high. Even if everything else is fine, this could cause excessive pressure on the soft tissues.

    So for your pain I think there are these four possible causes, not a simple problem. I can suggest the following first step to begin to see what's what. I don't know your answer offhand.

    I'd suggest starting with the saddle all the way forward and dead level. Then try to pedal sitting bolt upright and notice if you tend to slide forward or back over say a 20 minute period. It's probably best to do this with the bike on a stationary trainer and with the front wheel propped up so the bicycle is level. We want to see if you need nose up or nose down from level.

    I'd also suggest posting a good-size picture of you on the bike in riding position, viewed from the drive side dead on straight. From it one can make an assessment of whether you are reaching too far forward, and just get an overall impression of fit. It's possible to help someone fix their fit remotely, but it needs some direct information, and some teaching moments.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    OK, try one of these:
    Revolutionary Noseless Bicycle Saddle -

    Yeah I know, money. BUT. I have a riding buddy who's been on one of these for many years. He's ridden many 1200k brevets and PBP. Says he can't ride a normal saddle at all, and that he has no control problems with this one. He's 6'5", so that may have something to do needing this adjustable approach. There are many of these things from different manufacturers on the market, but this one seems to work and be good quality.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    I've never ridden one of the nose less saddles but know others that have, they sing their praises. OTOH I do believe you could find a Brooks that would make you smile. Have you tried one of those already ? It may be worth your time to have a look at them, sprung or un sprung.

  5. #5
    Beardo
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    if youre looking for soft tissue relief and often sit on that part (i did on a selle italia slr for years), check out selle smp..they're ugly as hell, they let your pelvis rotate, they're wide(r), and they actually have some studies behind them more than the common "sit bones" bs. they take a few miles to get set up PROPERLY but worth a few miles of fidgeting
    -Tony

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  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Or something like the Concor or those SMP where the nose rises , and the 'saddle' curve between nose and tail

    holds you in , better ..

    Or a droopy Selle Anatomica they stretch out easily it seems ..

  7. #7
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    I'm not familiar with that saddle, but if its width is what you need, so be it. But, how did you determine that? I don't know what Trek dealers have, but Specialized shops have a neat little device for measuring sit bone width. If possible, get checked at a Specialized shop and see what it shows.

    The theory behind the saddles is that there are wide "platforms" which are designed for the sit bones to rest on. Once this is achieved you should not have much pressure on the soft tissues, of either gender. One hitch is that if the saddle is too far back, your body is not in the position that best suits and it tends to reposition forward. This takes you of of the platforms. Another hitch is that if the saddle is tilted too far down you will tend to "fall down the slope" due to gravity. Again, your sit bones slide off of the platforms. I think you also could be falling off of the platforms due to reaching too far to reach the bars, for a third hitch. i think the final one is that if you have the saddle in the correct position and not tilted too far down, it could be tilted with nose too high. Even if everything else is fine, this could cause excessive pressure on the soft tissues.

    So for your pain I think there are these four possible causes, not a simple problem. I can suggest the following first step to begin to see what's what. I don't know your answer offhand.

    I'd suggest starting with the saddle all the way forward and dead level. Then try to pedal sitting bolt upright and notice if you tend to slide forward or back over say a 20 minute period. It's probably best to do this with the bike on a stationary trainer and with the front wheel propped up so the bicycle is level. We want to see if you need nose up or nose down from level.

    I'd also suggest posting a good-size picture of you on the bike in riding position, viewed from the drive side dead on straight. From it one can make an assessment of whether you are reaching too far forward, and just get an overall impression of fit. It's possible to help someone fix their fit remotely, but it needs some direct information, and some teaching moments.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will post a picture ASAP. One local LBS has a pressure pad for measuring sit bone width, and it did indicate that mine are wide at around 135mm. I need at least a 160mm saddle. I did indeed try the saddle all the way forward, and level. I've also tried a 2 downward tilt. That helped, and I didn't seem to be sliding forward, but there was still some pressure. According to the fitter where I bought the bike, I'm not too far from the handlebar, but I'm beginning to doubt that.

    I've ridden a lot this week, trying different saddles. Perhaps I'm sore and need to give myself time to toughen up, but I thought there wasn't supposed to be any pressure at all on the soft tissue.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    OK, try one of these:
    Revolutionary Noseless Bicycle Saddle -

    Yeah I know, money. BUT. I have a riding buddy who's been on one of these for many years. He's ridden many 1200k brevets and PBP. Says he can't ride a normal saddle at all, and that he has no control problems with this one. He's 6'5", so that may have something to do needing this adjustable approach. There are many of these things from different manufacturers on the market, but this one seems to work and be good quality.
    I'm sure that would solve the problem, but it's just a bit out of the current budget! I would love to try one, though. Maybe after I get my savings built back up from buying the bike. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonski View Post
    if youre looking for soft tissue relief and often sit on that part (i did on a selle italia slr for years), check out selle smp..they're ugly as hell, they let your pelvis rotate, they're wide(r), and they actually have some studies behind them more than the common "sit bones" bs. they take a few miles to get set up PROPERLY but worth a few miles of fidgeting
    I think there is a local shop that sells Selle. I'm going to go by and see if they have one. I can't afford the $200 leather one, but they have some less expensive versions. Besides Selle SMP, Selle Royal has some options as well. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Catching Smallmouth BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    I can't afford the $200 leather one
    Don't be proud, check out a women's saddle. They are for wider sitbones. I picked up a leather Selle Italia made Terry Liberator women's saddle for $10, shipped, on ebay. It was in perfect condition. I put it on a bike for a female friend to ride. I see nice women's saddles all the time for a fraction of what the equivalent men's saddle goes for.
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  11. #11
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    The tricky thing about saddle comfort (or discomfort) is that everything effects everything else. A minute amount of saddle tilt can effect hand pressure on the bars and hand pressure can effect saddle pressure. A fitter cyclist pedals with more force which unloads saddle pressure. The handle bar even or lower than the saddle has the cyclist leaning further forward able to press the pedals with more force that unloads the seat pressure.

    Like yourself, early on I despaired for finding saddle comfort but eventually did find it. My longest rides these days are 50 to 60 miles and the saddle is only a problem if I've not been riding much such as Spring after being mostly off the bike during the snow months. This points to another issue - that there is a certain amount breaking in of the butt involved AKA as time in the saddle. Good luck and stay with it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member skycyclepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradH View Post
    Don't be proud, check out a women's saddle. They are for wider sitbones. I picked up a leather Selle Italia made Terry Liberator women's saddle for $10, shipped, on ebay. It was in perfect condition. I put it on a bike for a female friend to ride. I see nice women's saddles all the time for a fraction of what the equivalent men's saddle goes for.
    At this point, I have no pride. I'd ride a pink saddle if it were comfortable. The men's Liberator is wide enough, and it is on my list to try. I just picked up a Selle Royal Ellipse Athletic to try. It has a wider channel than anything I've tried. I also picked up a different stem, just in case. My current one is 110mm with an 8 rise. The new one is 90mm with a 25 rise, which will bring the handlebar a bit closer and a little higher. If the seat is still uncomfortable, I'm changing the stem. If that doesn't work, I might give up and take up golf.

  13. #13
    Beardo
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    Another one I rode that was decent was Fizik Tritone, it's meant for time trialing but it has a wide channel and you can sit further back on it if you'd like (unlike the Adamo), and it's meant for TT. They build most TT saddles to relieve or alleviate pressure on the soft tissue. Don't buy a saddle without trying it out for 20+ miles. Also, don't give up

    http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/...classic-shapes

    http://www.amazon.com/Fizik-Tritone-.../dp/B00GFDRK0Y
    -Tony

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will post a picture ASAP. One local LBS has a pressure pad for measuring sit bone width, and it did indicate that mine are wide at around 135mm. I need at least a 160mm saddle. I did indeed try the saddle all the way forward, and level. I've also tried a 2 downward tilt. That helped, and I didn't seem to be sliding forward, but there was still some pressure. According to the fitter where I bought the bike, I'm not too far from the handlebar, but I'm beginning to doubt that.

    I've ridden a lot this week, trying different saddles. Perhaps I'm sore and need to give myself time to toughen up, but I thought there wasn't supposed to be any pressure at all on the soft tissue.
    The only way I can do any work on my own saddle setup is to let everything heal before I go out again - takes quite a while! But my criterion is to reduce pain over a given distance, so it kind of needs to be that way.

    I have not found a fitter who can get me set right, but I have done it for myself a few times.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
    At this point, I have no pride. I'd ride a pink saddle if it were comfortable. The men's Liberator is wide enough, and it is on my list to try. I just picked up a Selle Royal Ellipse Athletic to try. It has a wider channel than anything I've tried. I also picked up a different stem, just in case. My current one is 110mm with an 8 rise. The new one is 90mm with a 25 rise, which will bring the handlebar a bit closer and a little higher. If the seat is still uncomfortable, I'm changing the stem. If that doesn't work, I might give up and take up golf.
    That new stem sounds like a good idea, and it sounds like you did well getting your butt "sized."

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    2 of my Bikes have Fizik's Vitesse HP a Unisex/womens saddle ..

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