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Old 10-16-09, 01:36 AM   #1
gumbyy
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Bike saddle nose necessary? Thinking about going noseless.

I want to buy or make a saddle that will end the pressure problems in the crotch area. There are noseless saddles available, as well as other attempts at solutions. I think nose-advocates say that the nose is needed for stability.

By "stability" they mean your inner thigh needs to press against the nose to help steer the bike. That got me thinking. Is this only necessary when you lean into a turn? I ask because I'm a casual rider, not a racer, and I NEVER lean into turns. Since I was a kid, I've always been too nervous to lean into a turn, fearing I'd fall off the bike.

So...do I need a nose on my saddle or not?
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Old 10-16-09, 01:55 AM   #2
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Depends on how far forward or back you sit. What's your position on the bike?

This rider definitely needs a nose on his saddle.


This rider may be able to do without one.
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Old 10-16-09, 02:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gumbyy View Post
I want to buy or make a saddle that will end the pressure problems in the crotch area. There are noseless saddles available, as well as other attempts at solutions. I think nose-advocates say that the nose is needed for stability.

By "stability" they mean your inner thigh needs to press against the nose to help steer the bike. That got me thinking. Is this only necessary when you lean into a turn? I ask because I'm a casual rider, not a racer, and I NEVER lean into turns. Since I was a kid, I've always been too nervous to lean into a turn, fearing I'd fall off the bike.

So...do I need a nose on my saddle or not?
You... have to lean into a turn... Its physically impossible to make a successful turn without leaning over or somehow balancing your body's weight over the bike.

Also, what kind of bike do you ride?... If you ride a road bike, it'll just look silly and probably won't be very good for that kind of riding. Have you tried saddles with more cushion and a cut out? Try a triathlon saddle with loads of gel padding and a cut out.
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Old 10-16-09, 07:30 AM   #4
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Have you ever fallen off of a bar stool?

You wouldn't if it had a nose.

The nose adds control.
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Old 10-16-09, 10:42 AM   #5
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If you ride with drop bars, I've found the pressure (perineal) is nearly eliminated with a Selle Anatomica or a Specialized Toupe saddle, which both have well-designed cutouts.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:36 AM   #6
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You... have to lean into a turn... Its physically impossible to make a successful turn without leaning over or somehow balancing your body's weight over the bike.
Well, then I must have fallen off the edge of the earth by now and been eaten by dragons! But I seem to execute what appear to be successful turns by just turning the handlebars a little bit, several times, until I'm going in a different direction by about 90 degrees. But I am not leaning my body and bike the way racers do.


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Also, what kind of bike do you ride?... If you ride a road bike, it'll just look silly and probably won't be very good for that kind of riding. Have you tried saddles with more cushion and a cut out? Try a triathlon saddle with loads of gel padding and a cut out.
Right now I don't have a bike. I think what I want is a comfort bike or some kind of hybrid, definitely NOT a road bike. My preferred seating position is upright, like Metzinger's #2 rider above, and I drive slowly. I don't like stick handlebars because they make you lean forward and that puts more pressure on the crotch. I like old fashioned handlebars that move toward you and allow you to sit upright. I also don't like narrow tires, I like wide tires. So hopefully I'll be able to find something, or cobble something together, that meets all these needs, and then put a wide comfortable, perhaps noseless seat on it.

I have a cutout seat that I had someone modify from a regular 10.5 inch wide seat that I found second hand. But unfortunately the original frame was designed by pinheads, as so many of our bike seat frames are, and has a nose that arches up. Even with the extra padding I added to the rear half of the seat, the nose still presses against my crotch after I've settled into the padding a bit. So I'm looking for a replacement.

Where I live (in Asia), it's very hard to find innovative seats and bikes. I'd love a crank forward bike, but they're not available here.

Last edited by gumbyy; 10-16-09 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:41 AM   #7
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Don't do it, man!

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Old 10-16-09, 11:48 AM   #8
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I don't think you understand how saddles work. A wide seat doesn't add comfort. In fact, it can causes discomfort. A saddle is designed to support your weight on the sit bones. Your legs should extend down your side to the pedals must like running. If you have a wide saddle the saddle with irritate and chafe your sides.

The nose helps support your front and the wider part in the back supports your rear.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:54 AM   #9
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Well, then I must have fallen off the edge of the earth by now and been eaten by dragons! But I seem to execute what appear to be successful turns by just turning the handlebars a little bit, several times, until I'm going in a different direction by about 90 degrees. But I am not leaning my body and bike the way racers do.

Your bike and your body are leaning. I can't say you are exactly leaning "the way racers do", but you are leaning, whether you know it or not.


Right now I don't have a bike.

You would probably be happy with an Electra Townie, if that is available in your area. Alternatively, you could add something like a moustasch handle bar. Or get that noseless saddle, but I suspect you are going to spend a lot of money for something you are not going to like.
It's your body and your bike. It's also your money.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:58 AM   #10
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Try mounting drop bars (46 cm width) upside down on the seatpost, with a canvas hammock seat slung between the drops.
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Old 10-16-09, 01:29 PM   #11
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...or if he *really* has problems with the nose on the saddle, he could get... Nope, I won't say it! He can go to the other forum to get that advice. I already gave him my advice in #7!
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Old 10-16-09, 02:24 PM   #12
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Please do yourself a favor and read this article:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

It covers all you will need to know in an easy to read manner. You will walk away from the article with the ability to make the appropriate decision based on what is available to you.



Also, by "crank forward bike" did you mean a recumbent? A recumbent tricycle could be an excellent choice of bike based on the riding style you seem to like.
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Old 10-16-09, 02:32 PM   #13
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I wasn't going to say the word first; but no, a crank forward is not a recumbent. A crank-forward is kind of a recumbent/upright hybrid.

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Old 10-16-09, 08:20 PM   #14
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I have a Schwinn Comfort Seat, it doesn't appear to have a nose. I haven't noticed any problems with it. It is a pain to get properly adjusted.
I ride more like the guy on picture 2. semi-upright to upright position.
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Old 10-16-09, 09:04 PM   #15
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Choice, dimensions, and type of saddle is a very personal one. Only you know what's right for your body and why people may try/buy several saddles before they find the right one. And it may not be the most expensive either. Every body is different and getting the right adjustments (height, tilt, and f/b position) is also important.

I like women's springer saddles with it's shorter nose and slightly wider widths that fit my sit bones, but that's me (plus my GF can use/ride the bikes w/o complaints...lol). Finding a saddle that's comfy yet supportive and allows you to ride for hours on end can become expensive.
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Old 10-16-09, 09:08 PM   #16
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Don't do it, man!

Even worse:

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Old 10-17-09, 01:46 AM   #17
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Did you search for previous threads? This matter has been covered.

Anyway, I will say this part again: I own a RANS Fusion (another crank-forward model, with a nose-less seat) and I can assure you that RANS crank-forward owners have no problems at all turning corners on their bikes.

This talk of saddle noses being necessary to turn is plain idiocy. MTB trials bikes have no seats at all, and yet they can turn perfectly fine. The only time it might be an issue is if you were riding no-handed (I will admit that I don't see many videos of trials riders riding no-handed...).
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Old 10-18-09, 06:37 AM   #18
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Well, then I must have fallen off the edge of the earth by now and been eaten by dragons! But I seem to execute what appear to be successful turns by just turning the handlebars a little bit, several times, until I'm going in a different direction by about 90 degrees. But I am not leaning my body and bike the way racers do.
This will indeed work at a walking pace, but at speed, will not work; you will have a "high side" crash. Not only are two-wheeled vehicles, motorized or human-powered, steered by changing the balance of the vehicle, knowledgeable riders will counter-steer just a bit.

As for nose-less saddles, of course, they work fine for many folks. I recently purchased a Moon Saddle, for experimentation. I have yet to decide which bike will get to wear it. I want to really up my miles, and thought that if a develop a sore spot, I can keep training if an alternative saddle will me to keep pressure off of the sore spot.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by NoRacer View Post
Have you ever fallen off of a bar stool?

You wouldn't if it had a nose.

The nose adds control.
Due to surgery , my wife has a special needs saddle. Noseless. When I ride on it, i don't feel secure.. Who would ride a bike atop a bar stool. The nose gives one stability as they peddle. So I think.
But, then I don't share her problem as a result of her surgery....Her saddle is the ISM touring saddle. Pretty much nose less. You might find something of interest at this site should this be what you are looking for..
.
.
http://www.ismseat.com/products.htm
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Old 10-18-09, 07:19 AM   #20
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I wasn't going to say the word first; but no, a crank forward is not a recumbent. A crank-forward is kind of a recumbent/upright hybrid.

i like your ride. Can you give us some more info on this kind of bike?
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Old 10-18-09, 07:36 AM   #21
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I wasn't going to say the word first; but no, a crank forward is not a recumbent. A crank-forward is kind of a recumbent/upright hybrid.

Now to me that looks the most horrendously uncomfortable bike. Don't you slide forward?
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Old 10-18-09, 01:33 PM   #22
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Now to me that looks the most horrendously uncomfortable bike. Don't you slide forward?
It's not my bike; I don't have one. I got the pic from the owner's gallery at the RANS site. RANS seems the be the upper-end brand for the genre. The seat looks strange, but what it is, is a slightly modified base to a recumbent seat. It sort of cups your butt rather than putting your weight on your sitz bones. It only works because the rider's legs are out in front more.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:07 PM   #23
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Now to me that looks the most horrendously uncomfortable bike. Don't you slide forward?
There is a website (run by RANS) that is oriented just to them (and other similar bikes): http://www.crankforward.com/

I have a RANS Fusion, which is from the same company and basically the same frame style.
I went and looked at mine because I thought that my seat was not tilted forward so much, and mine's about the same as that..... You don't slide forward because the force of pressing against the pedals tends to push you back on the seat. You just adjust the seat tilt to your "normal" level of pedaling effort and you'll stay on it. To pedal harder, you can pull on the handlebars to make sure you don't slide backwards off the seat.

It is a great bike for casual riding, commuting and touring, but no so great IMO for racing. -But then again, I am not so great at racing, so maybe that's just me. It is suitable for long distances because it does pedal efficiently; the reason I don't think it's good for racing is the aero issue with wind catching one's chest, which you can feel a lot riding one. For the most part, you cannot stand and pedal at the same time.

The seat area is large enough that you do not need padded shorts at all to ride it--and while I have mine adjusted to lean forward a bit, it can be adjusted so that there is no hand pressure or neck strain.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:28 PM   #24
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Check out the Spiderflex seat. It has enough 'nose' to give control, but it has no effect on your tender parts.
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Old 10-21-09, 09:41 PM   #25
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This will indeed work at a walking pace, but at speed, will not work; you will have a "high side" crash. Not only are two-wheeled vehicles, motorized or human-powered, steered by changing the balance of the vehicle, knowledgeable riders will counter-steer just a bit.

As for nose-less saddles, of course, they work fine for many folks. I recently purchased a Moon Saddle, for experimentation. I have yet to decide which bike will get to wear it. I want to really up my miles, and thought that if a develop a sore spot, I can keep training if an alternative saddle will me to keep pressure off of the sore spot.
Right, well, I never turn at speed. I always slow down.

I'd be very interested to hear your opinion of the moonsaddle. When I looked at the pics of that one, I thought it should be mounted with the ends of the crescent facing forwards. I see from their site that they actually should be facing backwards. A very strange saddle indeed.
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