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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-15-10, 03:07 PM   #1
Jeebu
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ergonomic saddle for folder

I just bought a used Brompton on CL. It doesn't have a brompton saddle, I think the bike shop of origin had some sort of package where they were selling them with some cheaper parts. Anyway, the saddle on it is terrible, so I'd like to replace it.

I wanted something cheaper and less worrisome than a leather brooks. I was thinking of one of those seat type hornless saddles. I'm wondering how they work with a folder. Specifically, people have said that those offer less control, since you can't use your thighs to help with balance. Compact folders already aren't the most stable (not that they're unstable, but they're just not like a beach cruiser or something), especially in an urban situation (NYC) so I'm wondering if its a bad idea to give up any stability whatsoever.

Other than that specific question, could anyone recommend a comfortable saddle for a folder?

Oh, I have the M style, so it's pretty upright.

thanks!
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Old 08-15-10, 04:40 PM   #2
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How long do you spend in the saddle?

It's very hard to recommend anything besides a Brooks because saddles are the one part of a bike which is extremely personal. The one thing to try and avoid is overly padded saddles which will cause lack of blood in the entire seating area, resulting in very unpleasant numbness. The best is to go to a bike shop and try out some saddles. You need to be able to ride it for at least 30min.
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Old 08-15-10, 05:33 PM   #3
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Do you have a penta clip? The Vitesse and the new Brompton saddle are comfortable. I've used them for over 100 miles so far and love them both.
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Old 08-16-10, 02:37 PM   #4
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A saddle is something personal . . .
My wife choice : http://www.flickr.com/photos/plooifiets/3665883547/
and I went for: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plooifi...n/photostream/
and than changed it for: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plooifiets/4458196330/in/set-72157603532527877/
this is the newer version, so for me it's RiDo, my wife won't go without her comfy Selle Royal, and you ?
As said before, it's personal . . .
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Old 08-19-10, 08:52 PM   #5
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Brooks B-66 or B-67. If you're looking for comfort on long ride, that's the one to install on your bike!
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Old 08-20-10, 12:02 AM   #6
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NYTimes had a column about nose less saddles .. last year..

You really have to ride them to sense any difference..
Im OK with regular saddles once I have the set up dialed in.
set up .. distance from the plumb-line thru the BB axis,
is part of it.as is angle of the top. and reach to the bars ..
all part of how your pelvis is rotated in relation to the saddle
how you sit on it.


I got a Vitesse CP 3[cube] its a Lookin gel padded version, then I got a Brompton Fizik Vitesse for another bike

they at the Brompton factory, got the rails bent so there is more setback available on the saddle , but it is not as cushy-comfortable .. reminds me of a leather saddle, but its all synthetic, so rain had no ill effects

customer is too far down the pipe to say I want saddle A with rail set B .. unfortunately. the CP3 with the Brompton Spec. profile rail would be great

Could not get enough set back on a Brooks for my Butt, sat on the rivets,

and with the handle function neither can you get that on the new Brompton saddle

I finally got a heavier duty Extended seatpost, plus a Saddle adapter pin,
which I turned backside facing , then bolted the
pentaclip so the seat is above the clip on the SAP.

now I finally have a decent setback behind the BB for the knee over the pedal spindle adjustment and a lighter touch on the handlebars [M]

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Old 08-20-10, 02:21 AM   #7
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... and there is the element of gender to consider. Wikipedieo tells me that the undercarriage of the male is different to that of the female.


Thus, without an indication of your gender, we are all hypothesising out of our bums.

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Old 08-20-10, 06:48 AM   #8
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Ummmmm....

Is there any difference between an ergonomic saddle for a folder and an ergonomic saddle?
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Old 08-20-10, 06:55 AM   #9
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I have a Brooks B17 on mine, which is also the saddle I have on my randonneuring bike. My wife, sporting different plumbing and wider sit-bone spacing, has a Brooks B66 on her weekend hybrid.

We're both sold on Brooks, but it's not possible to recommend the right one for you. The B17 is the one most people seem to have a good experience with, but you'd have to try out a few models to see which is most compatible with your personal butt.
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Old 08-20-10, 07:35 AM   #10
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I have a Brooks B17 on mine, which is also the saddle I have on my randonneuring bike. My wife, sporting different plumbing and wider sit-bone spacing, has a Brooks B66 on her weekend hybrid.

We're both sold on Brooks, but it's not possible to recommend the right one for you. The B17 is the one most people seem to have a good experience with, but you'd have to try out a few models to see which is most compatible with your personal butt.
+1 Brooks is worth the money, not a more comfortable saddle for the Brompton to be found. It might seem hard at the start but believe me that feeling soon disappears. It is very well contoured and moulds over time to your posterior (male or female). One type of Brooks might suit you better of course as in Mrs Noteon's case!
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Old 08-20-10, 07:36 AM   #11
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... and there is the element of gender to consider. Wikipedieo tells me that the undercarriage of the male is different to that of the female.


Thus, without an indication of your gender, we are all hypothesising out of our bums.
Yes and no. That depends how well-hung the man is
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Old 08-20-10, 07:44 AM   #12
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I own a Brooks and love it. However, it does require more care (and money) than the non leather ones. Since you are not into that, don't let others convince you and go with your gut. Check out Allay Saddles (owned by Topeak). I don't have personal experience with their products but heard good things about them. The "saddle finder" on their site seems quite helpful.

http://www.allaysaddles.com/?lkz=en
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Old 08-20-10, 07:49 AM   #13
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Never had to worry much about my Brooks as my Brompton rarely spends time exposed to the rain, except with my bum on it!
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Old 08-20-10, 09:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeebu View Post
I just bought a used Brompton on CL. It doesn't have a brompton saddle, I think the bike shop of origin had some sort of package where they were selling them with some cheaper parts. Anyway, the saddle on it is terrible, so I'd like to replace it.

I wanted something cheaper and less worrisome than a leather brooks. I was thinking of one of those seat type hornless saddles. I'm wondering how they work with a folder. Specifically, people have said that those offer less control, since you can't use your thighs to help with balance. Compact folders already aren't the most stable (not that they're unstable, but they're just not like a beach cruiser or something), especially in an urban situation (NYC) so I'm wondering if its a bad idea to give up any stability whatsoever.

Other than that specific question, could anyone recommend a comfortable saddle for a folder?

Oh, I have the M style, so it's pretty upright.

thanks!
I too replaced my 2005's CE3 Brompton saddle with another saddle after 6 months of hell with the stock one. The Dahon Piccolo (pictured below at left) had it's stock saddle more in tune with my body. So my Brompton with it's M type handlebars and soon my similar handlebars style Raleigh Twenty all has the same type of saddles-from both Nirve & Electra. The colors & patterns might be different, but it is the same type of saddle. In the future, I will continue to buy these cruiser beach bike type or style of saddle. They are inexpensive at about 40 US dollars & the outdoor elements don't seem to damage them in the least. And for my body type, they are perfect!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Folding Down Posi.jpg (103.3 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Raleigh Twenty Re.jpg (103.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Tucked Away On Cr.jpg (60.6 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by folder fanatic; 08-20-10 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:54 PM   #15
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check out Terry too.. several models and shapes.
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Old 08-21-10, 04:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeebu View Post
I was thinking of one of those seat type hornless saddles. I'm wondering how they work with a folder. Specifically, people have said that those offer less control, since you can't use your thighs to help with balance.
Quote:
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Ummmmm....

Is there any difference between an ergonomic saddle for a folder and an ergonomic saddle?
Not when you are talking about brooks etc. But the OP was thinking about something like this and wondered if there might be a problem on a folder.

It doesn't seem like any of us have tried such a seat.
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Old 08-21-10, 05:07 AM   #17
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A guy I see sometimes at the Central Park Moonlight Rides has a Brompton with one of those, and he says it's great. He works at Bfold on 13th between 2nd and 3rd, so you could even just go down there, ask him about it, and buy one if you wanted. His name's Steve.
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Old 08-21-10, 08:30 AM   #18
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If an employee from an expert shop like Bfold uses one on a Brompton then the op has their answer.

Sorry for harping on about the merits of the Brooks so much. The saddle in question looks very interesting.
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Old 08-23-10, 09:39 PM   #19
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I've been using a Selle-Anatomica Titanico on my M3L for over 2 1/2 years now. It is most comfortable saddle I have personally ridden; the cutout performs as advertised. Plus, it's their Watershed model, so no worries about Proofiding, water damage, etc.

ECB
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Old 08-25-10, 01:53 PM   #20
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Finally got some time to write a more detailed reply. I looked into slip-seat saddles a while back and here are some products that I found:

Spongy Wonder
http://www.spongywonder.com/

BiSaddle
http://www.bycycleinc.com/

SpiderFlex
http://www.spiderflex.com/

Hobson
http://www.hobsonseats.com/

DDwings
http://www.kefren.com/products.html

Whether or not these work for you depends on your riding style. You mentioned it yourself—the lack of thigh control can be an issue for some. Sheldon Brown, for one, was not a fan. What's more, some of these split seats are either heavy or expensive (or both). That said, I'm sure for the right cyclists these are great products and worth trying out.

If I have to choose an ergonomic saddle, I'd consider Selle An-Atomica (very expensive), Brooks Imperial line (expensive), and Allay (moderate to expensive).
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Old 08-30-10, 07:28 AM   #21
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Thanks for all the great replies. Answered all my questions and then some.

I ended up stopping by bfold and talked to Steve. Here's the saddle he uses.
http://www.ismseat.com/products_sport.htm

for my part, I ended up putting my brooks b67 on my brompton. This is because I ended up deciding to get a crummy old hybrid bike on CL to use as my daily workhorse ride, since I didn't like the feel of a tag-along trailer with the folder. So my brommie will be spending less time on the street. Now I gotta decide on an ergo seat for the old hybrid though...
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Old 08-30-10, 08:20 AM   #22
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Not when you are talking about brooks etc. But the OP was thinking about something like this and wondered if there might be a problem on a folder.

It doesn't seem like any of us have tried such a seat.
I tried this one http://www.hobsonseats.com/ (X2) and did not like it at all. I hope that it will be easier on my rear on long rides but could not ride on it more than 200yd. It just feels unstable or as the OP said, it has control issues.

Ended up with an Adamo http://www.ismseat.com/products_racing.htm based on a recommendation on this forum and it works very well for me. Got it here http://www.frontofthepack.com, they let you try it in store on stationary bike.
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Old 08-30-10, 11:04 AM   #23
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I use an I-Beam Bel Air ST and it works for me. Lots of fore-aft adjust.
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Old 03-17-11, 09:45 AM   #24
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Most ergonomic saddle ever? As seen at Taipei Cycle show:

http://twitpic.com/4aazz3
http://twitpic.com/4ab1gr
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Old 03-18-11, 11:15 AM   #25
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The nose of a saddle is part of the stability.. shifting weight will also steer the bike.
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