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workrider04 04-04-08 08:02 PM

Better bike saddle?
 
I have been riding three of the last four years, usually to work to and back. It is just over 7 miles one way. For the last couple of years I notice that by the time I have made that short distance I am usually numb in the groin area. I would like to start riding longer distances on the weekend but until I can keep from going numb I am not going to. I saw a seat online called the Spriderflex, does anyone have one of these or now if it or similar types help? Thanks for any help.

Retro Grouch 04-04-08 08:14 PM

Know why there are so many different saddles on the market? It's because somebody loves every blessed one of them. Finding the right saddle is a hunt and peck proposition.

Lots of people like Brooks saddles. I'm one of them. Other folks hate Brooks saddles. I suspect that, if you ask enough people, you'll find the same's true of just about any saddle you might mention.

Pick a saddle and try it for a month or so. If you decide it's not for you, try another. When you find the right one, buy 2 because, when it eventually dies that exact model won't be available anymore. Then you'll have to go through the process all over again.

workrider04 04-04-08 09:01 PM

Thank Retro, I will go by my local shops and see what they have and start trying them.

workrider04 04-04-08 09:03 PM

Thanks Retro, I will go to my local shops and start trying to find one that doesn't cause discomfort.

SweetLou 04-04-08 09:42 PM

Saddles can be very confusing. I have two saddles that are similar in look and feel (by touch, not on butt), one is great the other one hurts like the dickens. I can't tell you why one hurts and the other doesn't.

Saddles are one of those things that you can't really ask for recommendations. Well, you can ask about quality but not about how they feel. Though, the general rule is that those big soft, cushy saddles will hurt you on longer rides. They put pressure on parts that shouldn't have pressure.

BB49 04-04-08 11:27 PM

You could try a saddle that has a center groove, to avoid pressure on the nerve. I have a Serfas Men's RX. It has a full length see thru open groove. I like it a lot.

Retro Grouch 04-05-08 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BB49 (Post 6464834)
You could try a saddle that has a center groove, to avoid pressure on the nerve. I have a Serfas Men's RX. It has a full length see thru open groove. I like it a lot.

My wife uses the women's version of that saddle. Actually, she has 2 of them, one for her single and one on the tandem. I asked her last year if she was interested in trying a Brooks and she said no. I assume that means she is happy and they cost a lot less than a Brooks.

rodrigaj 04-05-08 05:06 AM

To make matters worse, when comparing Brooks saddles, they feel different from saddle to saddle, even within the same model. Leather is leather and as such, no two saddles will ever be the same. For example, I have two Pros, one has leather that feels harder and is thicker than than the other one. They are shaped the same, but they both "give" differently.

A good LBS will work with you to get a saddle that works. I have tried other saddles, ones with cut outs and ones without and find that I always go back to Brooks. They just feel right to me.

If you go with Brooks, avoid all of the "break in" methods that you find on the web. Stick with proofide and proper mounting position. And...Don't expect to sit on any saddle for long distances without standing occasionally to relieve pressure.

goldfishin 04-05-08 10:35 AM

wallbike.com gives you a 6 month return policy with a brooks.

Retro Grouch 04-05-08 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodrigaj (Post 6465247)
If you go with Brooks, avoid all of the "break in" methods that you find on the web. Stick with proofide and proper mounting position.

I agree. I've broken in 3 Brooks saddles and I find all of the stories to be hugely overstated. About 100 miles of ordinary riding and all 3 of mine were good-to-go.

bkaapcke 04-05-08 12:13 PM

I used a spiderflex for quite a while and it solved the groin area problem, although it took some getting used to. It works better for a road bike position (bent way over) than for a hybrid's more upright poition. Because of low back and wrist pain problems I went 'bent and have never looked back, concluding that DF is obsolete. bk

Butterthebean 04-05-08 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Retro Grouch (Post 6464167)
When you find the right one, buy 2 because, when it eventually dies that exact model won't be available anymore. Then you'll have to go through the process all over again.

This is true of so many different things...especially athletic shoes and underwear.

I know...TMI.

wahoonc 04-05-08 07:10 PM

I am a big fan of leather saddles in general and have had excellent service from my Brooks, even though the saddle I have had the longest is a Wright's 5N (similar to the Brooks B17) I will also second the difference in leather saddles, even if they are the same number. I will also highly recommend Wallingford Bike Parts as the place to get Brooks and other items of interest.

Aaron:)

CaptainCool 04-05-08 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BB49 (Post 6464834)
You could try a saddle that has a center groove, to avoid pressure on the nerve. I have a Serfas Men's RX. It has a full length see thru open groove. I like it a lot.

I have one of those too. It's not bad up to 20-30 miles. For distance rides, though, it's really bad on my sit bones.

I replaced it with a hard Forte/Velo saddle that I've used for my distance rides since. It's probably not my ideal saddle, but it works well. It's actually a bit less immediately comfortable than I remember the Serfas being, but it's pretty consistent out to 70 and 100 miles.

SweetLou 04-05-08 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Butterthebean (Post 6468039)
This is true of so many different things...especially athletic shoes and underwear.

I know...TMI.

And women!

I like the center groove. I have one that I can ride all day without any discomfort.

Doug5150 04-06-08 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by workrider04 (Post 6464096)
... I would like to start riding longer distances on the weekend but until I can keep from going numb I am not going to. ...Thanks for any help.

There's bicycles that will not cause this--recumbents (Sun and Cycle Genius make some cheaper ones--$700 or so) or maybe a RANS Dynamik ($1K).

The HUGE difference in riding comfort of a recumbent over an upright bike cannot be overstated.

The Dynamik is not quite as comfortable as a recumbent, but it is still a big improvement over a normal upright bike, and still handles and looks fairly normal.

-----

The problem is that a normal bicycle forces you to lean forward onto your crotch, and changing saddles is not going to make that position comfortable.
~

bkaapcke 04-06-08 10:30 AM

+1 on Doug5150's plug for recumbents. If it's comfort you want, it's the only way to go. The downside is the expense, even worse if you are partial to mid-high end bikes. Yep, I have 3K in my $1400.00 EZ Sport. Do I regret it? Not one dime of it. It's a real nice ride that is well fitted to me. bk

workrider04 04-07-08 02:02 PM

Thank you all very much for the replies. I will pay a visit to my LBS and see what they have. Until then I will continue to ride as much as I can.

Elkhound 04-07-08 02:07 PM

I use an Easyseat.

JanMM 04-07-08 08:03 PM

The WTB saddles I use on a couple of bikes have a Love Channel; might help lessen getting "...numb in the groin area". Is that where Mr. Johnson lives? Absolutely no similar issues with the RANS Comfy Chair.

HauntedMyst 04-08-08 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rodrigaj (Post 6465247)
To make matters worse, when comparing Brooks saddles, they feel different from saddle to saddle, even within the same model. Leather is leather and as such, no two saddles will ever be the same. For example, I have two Pros, one has leather that feels harder and is thicker than than the other one. They are shaped the same, but they both "give" differently.

Agreed. I have a couple of B-17's and all of them have had a different break in curve. Then you switch models/styles and they have a break in all their own. My B-72 is breaking in much faster but then again, my big butt is perched right on top of it compared to the angle that the B-17's have to support.

ottawa_adam 04-08-08 07:36 PM

I second the Brooks. I got a B17 for my birthday last May. It only took a couple weeks to break in nicely. Now it almost feels like part of my butt!

spinnaker 04-08-08 08:09 PM

The one thing that I did not see mentioned is to go to your LBS and make sure your current saddle is adjusted correctly, along with the rest of your fit. You can pay $200 for a saddle but if it is not adjusted correctly, it's worthless.

maddyfish 04-08-08 08:48 PM

I used a spiderflex, and a couple other noseless saddles after prostate surgery last year. They work, they keep pressure off your parts, BUT until you ride a noseless saddle you don't realize how much of a bikes stability is gained from you gripping the nose of the saddle with your thighs. Riding no hands was out of the question with noseless saddles for me, and I had to be very careful riding with one hand ( like when taking a drink). Also, I suspect the noseless saddles put a little more pressure on the knees. Try lots of different saddles and adjustments before going to a noseless saddle. They should be a last resort.


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