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Old 08-03-10, 06:09 PM   #1
mr,grumpy 
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There are SO many saddle choices! Confused.

After putting a couple hundred miles on the Old Leather Saddle that came on my ole Raleigh Marathon I have come to the conclusion that it's just not working for me. It's not breaking in. It's making my but uncomfortable and I'm not even sure that it was adjusted right. So I replaced it. I have a"trek" brand saddle that is pretty wide so of course I didn't use that one but a smaller one that I salvaged off of a Shogun 400. It took me a few tries to get it adjusted right but after a while I got the riding position right but it was only slightly more comfortable than the old leather one had been.

But what to do? Why, get a more comfortable one of course! Which one though? How can you pick one? There are all kinds of leather ones, and a billion kinds of synthetic ones. How do I pick one? I have no idea. I guess I'll try the one that's on there again since it IS marginally more comfortable than the other one. But I'm serious. How the heck DOES one pick a descent, comfortable bicycle seat?
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Old 08-03-10, 06:18 PM   #2
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Let me know when you find the answer.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:19 PM   #3
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in for solution.
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Old 08-04-10, 10:14 AM   #4
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Buy, borrow, trade, whatever.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is to not fall into a mental trap like I did when I was trying out a bunch of saddles from my LBS. During each test ride, I wanted to pay attention to what part of my butt hurt more or felt better. The trap was that, because I was focusing on discomfort, it seemed like EVERY saddle was uncomfortable.

Over in the Road subforum, they ran a saddle survey thread. Basically, you could name a road-marketed saddle, and it was in there. There were three types with more users than the others -- Fizik Arione, Specialized Toupe, and Brooks, each representing distinct philosophies -- but the full list was about a foot long.

Keep looking if you'd like. Don't feel bad if you end up with a half-dozen lightly-used saddles. Once you find one you like, sell the rest.
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Old 08-04-10, 03:48 PM   #5
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This may help:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
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Old 08-04-10, 03:53 PM   #6
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everyone i've ever met who has ridden a brooks saddle raves about it and says it's the most comfortable saddle ever. i've never tried one. all i know is, the only way to find a comfortable saddle is to keep buying them until you find the one that fits. then when it goes bad, you have to do it all over again.
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Old 08-05-10, 12:40 AM   #7
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the only way to find a comfortable saddle is to keep buying them until you find the one that fits.
That being said, don't be in such a hurry going through saddles that you don't give each one enough time, at least a few rides, for your body to get used to it. As mentioned in the above article, "In many cases, working your way up over the course of a few short rides of gradually increasing length is all that is necessary, if you have a decent-quality saddle, properly adjusted."
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Old 08-05-10, 10:44 AM   #8
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Now bike shops often have a small collection of discarded saddles whose owners just got fed up with them and gave them to the shop. You might swing a deal with you LBS. You put down a deposit. Try a saddle. If you don't like it, trade it in and try another. This procedure may give you an idea of the shape of saddle you prefer. But if you want a fancy comfort saddle, you will probably have to plunk down $$$ for it.
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Old 08-05-10, 11:03 AM   #9
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I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking (sadly no riding) on the issue. I have read that Sheldon Brown article before but was glad that I re-read it. I think that what I'm going to do is get some oil and give the old saddle a nice rub-down. Then I am going to take it off the OEM seatpost with the PITA saddle clamp and install it onto the nice fluted one with the one-alen-bolt-adjuster that made it so much easier to adjust the plastic saddle than it was to adjust the leather one and then see if I can make things better that way. If it's still not working I'll reconsider then.
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1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
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Old 08-05-10, 06:53 PM   #10
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everyone i've ever met who has ridden a brooks saddle raves about it and says it's the most comfortable saddle ever. i've never tried one. all i know is, the only way to find a comfortable saddle is to keep buying them until you find the one that fits. then when it goes bad, you have to do it all over again.
I think Jobst Brandt called Brooks saddles "leather ass hatchets". I was never able to come to terms with my Brooks, and I nearly gave up on uprights entirely until I tried WTB saddles. I ended up with a WTB saddle on each of my upright bikes. My collection is down to 2 recumbents and 2 uprights- time to start shopping around again.

Opinions about bike seats are like butts- everybody's got one.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:11 AM   #11
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1) Measure your sitbones. By measuring your sitbones you'll find out how wide your saddle needs to be.

2) Ride a fairly lengthy distance on an utterly flat saddle. Then ride a fairly lengthy distance on a saddle that curves up in the back. Decide which you prefer.

3) Notice your riding style ... do you like to ride in the drops, or do you prefer a more upright position? Certain saddles are better for each position.

4) Look up saddles on the internet, and read their specifications. Weed out those that are not wide enough or the right shape.


I like a slightly wider saddle that curves up in the back and works well for a more upright position ... the Brooks B17 is perfect for me.
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Old 08-06-10, 11:27 AM   #12
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After trying a Brooks B17, B68, and a Terry Cite (and returning all 3), I've spent about $60 just in shipping. Then I found a Zefal at Wal-Mart the other day. I rode it for the first time this morning, and as much as I hate to say it, this one is showing the most promise. If it works, I'm buying a second in case I wear this one out. I'll know in the next couple weeks I think.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:31 PM   #13
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I think Jobst Brandt called Brooks saddles "leather ass hatchets". I was never able to come to terms with my Brooks, and I nearly gave up on uprights entirely until I tried WTB saddles. I ended up with a WTB saddle on each of my upright bikes. My collection is down to 2 recumbents and 2 uprights- time to start shopping around again.

Opinions about bike seats are like butts- everybody's got one.
speaking of WTB saddles.....for me, the WTB is the most comfortable saddle i've ever tried, i prefer them to anything i've tried so far.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:32 PM   #14
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Which WTB model?
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Old 08-06-10, 04:09 PM   #15
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Which WTB model?
+1
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Old 08-07-10, 06:34 PM   #16
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OP, if you're getting a new seatpost I'd recommend one with a 2-bolt clamp. I found the single-bolt models hard to adjust and not as precise as I'd like.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:24 PM   #17
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Which WTB model?
SST X2 on the mountain bike:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...s/k2%20001.htm
Not sure if it's a model, but it says "Street Smart" on the (now) one-speed:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...tour%20004.htm

They're pretty close in shape, and considering Machka's comments I'd say that my position is pretty upright. My neck won't put up with an "in-the-drops" position.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:20 PM   #18
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I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking (sadly no riding) on the issue. I have read that Sheldon Brown article before but was glad that I re-read it. I think that what I'm going to do is get some oil and give the old saddle a nice rub-down. Then I am going to take it off the OEM seatpost with the PITA saddle clamp and install it onto the nice fluted one with the one-alen-bolt-adjuster that made it so much easier to adjust the plastic saddle than it was to adjust the leather one and then see if I can make things better that way. If it's still not working I'll reconsider then.
Good plan... my Brooks never broke in until I oiled them from the bottom. Do this judiciously.
Others to try IMO YMMV:
WTB Pure V
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Old 08-07-10, 09:26 PM   #19
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WTB speed v is my favorite

http://www.wtb.com/products/saddles/recreation/speedv/
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Old 08-07-10, 09:40 PM   #20
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WTB and Fizik both do test saddle programs with Bens Cycles(other companies and other sites might as well, but Bens is a great place with great service) Basicly you put down a depsit of $20 and pay for the shipping and they send you a test saddle you can ride it around for 10 days and see if you like it. Then send it back for free. If you decide to buy a saddle(any model not just the brand or style you tried) that $20 goes right to the price of it, if not you get the money refunded.
https://www.benscycle.net/index.php?...ndex&cPath=338
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Old 08-07-10, 10:50 PM   #21
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Time for my 2 cents! If you're lucky, you have an LBS that will work with you on trading problem saddles. There are also a few websites that will help you out and allow you to return them. Sometimes I feel like giving opinions on saddles is worthless, because NOBODY EVER AGREES ON ANYTHING. This is the most highly argued point in cycling. Rightly so, it's your taint we're talking about here. Riding style and body composition are the two biggest factors I believe. And you really need to give any saddle you try a little bit of time. a 10 mile ride isnt going to cut it.
As for myself, I only discovered Brooks about 3 years ago, and now I have 3, and am a loyal customer for life. Even so, I experimented around the lineup till I found the plain ol' B-17 regular is tops for me. I tried afterward for the B-17 narrow imperial and it hurt like a mother, even after 200 miles. I learned that my big ass needs a wide saddle. Keep in mind, they all need to be broken in. I'm also going to second a comment I read in this thread about putting proofide on the bottom of a new Brooks, not only does it help it break in quicker, it waterproofs the underside. Just don't polish it off! Apply and leave it.
You must also have your adjustments dialed in perfect, even the best saddle will rip you to shreds if incorrectly mounted. Be patient, take lots of test rides, making little adjustments here and there, and if possible, mark your rails once dialed so that if you ever have to change saddles (what I did until I bought another brooks for my other bike) you won't have to spend another week getting the fit just right. Having an equal balance of pressure on your saddle, bars, and pedals is also key, which leads into full bike fit.
I personally don't have the money to blow on a $400 bike fit, but I have the time and willingness to spend hours tweaking the bike till it's perfect. I'm sure pro fitters have their place, but at the end of the day, YOU are the one feeling things, not him. You just have to learn how to diagnose yourself like a doctor. Good luck in your quest!
p.s. I rode the STP (218 miles) on my B-17 withOUT a chamois ass pad. Try that with your "pro" 5 gram saddle
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Old 08-08-10, 06:30 AM   #22
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Unfortunately, I think that finding the right saddle is a hunt and peck kind of thing. Nothing, even Brooks, works for everybody. What one rider lauds as a comfy saddle another rider will curse as feeling like a picked fence.

Here's one thing that I do know: Once you find the right one, buy a spare. Eventually your saddle will wear out and, when it does, exact replacements won't be available anymore.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:24 AM   #23
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For testing purposes, Specialized dealers should still be doing a money-back test ride program. I think you get to ride it for a week before having to decide. It's been a while since I've checked, though.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:32 AM   #24
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OP, if you're getting a new seatpost I'd recommend one with a 2-bolt clamp. I found the single-bolt models hard to adjust and not as precise as I'd like.
Do you mean the old-style ones? That's what is on there now and I found it imposable to get the adjustment correct with it.
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Rides:
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


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Old 08-08-10, 10:47 AM   #25
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Do you mean the old-style ones? That's what is on there now and I found it imposable to get the adjustment correct with it.
I thought they were newer:
http://www.lhthomson.com/seatposts.htm

All three of my bikes have two-bolt seatposts now.
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