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Old 07-13-10, 07:55 PM   #1
Ward H
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Saddle Quality Question

I was wondering where stock Bontrager saddles fall as far as quality goes.

I have a Trek 7300 and after 80 miles (5 to 13 mile rides) I still don't feel comfortable in the saddle.
For my last ride, 13 miles, I tried raising the seat about an inch. This gave me what I thought was pretty good leg extension. As far as comfort goes, it went out the window. I was in a lot of pain after the ride.

Did I raise the seat too much?
Should I be looking for a better quality saddle?

I have been looking at the Terry Liberator Y and the Serfas Lycra Full Suspension Hybrid saddles.

Appreciate the help!
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Old 07-13-10, 08:33 PM   #2
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Out of curiousity, how long have you been riding in general? If your Trek is either your first bike or first one in a very long time, then you probably haven't conditioned yourself enough yet. Or, if you have been riding for a while, maybe you are unaware that saddles (like bikes) are not one size fits all.
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Old 07-14-10, 12:11 AM   #3
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i don't know trek 7300 but the stock saddle with trek fx 7.3 is also uncomfortable.

may be you may adjust the saddle angle so that the front slightly lower than the rear. but you should avoid extreme angles. because if you give a lot of slope than it may put a lot of pressure on hands.

and optimum seat height is : SEAT HEIGHT (cm) = Inseam (cm) x .883
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Old 07-14-10, 04:05 AM   #4
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I have a Trek 7200 and I presume that the Bontrager saddle is similiar, if not the same model.

Don't do trading of saddles, yet. If you are sore go ahead and get some "baggy" cycling shorts. These are not as funny looking as the inner lycra and padding are covered by a loose outer shell with pockets. Mt. Borah is one brand that I've tried and like.

Getting that pad under your bottom will be of good benefit for your early rides.

Since I still don't ride long distances I've since dropped out of using my cycling shorts. I can get by just wearing comfortable clothing for short rides of six miles or less.

You need to find your self sitting with your "sit bones" and not with your bottom cheeks. Since this is new to you then you will be sore at first but will get better fairly quick with practice.

I gave up doing stationary cycles at my gym because all of those exercise bikes had horrible, terrible, butt-killing saddles designed all wrong, recumbent and upright. I'd rather get on my bicycle and ride the longer, three mile route to my gym and do my workout and then ride the same path in reverse than spend five minutes on an exercise bike.

On non-gym days I just do that longer route without stopping to lift weights at the gym. Just grabbing a swig from my water bottle while rolling through the parking lot.
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Old 07-14-10, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quality and comfort are inversely proportional in bicycle saddles. You have to decide between a saddle you wouldn't mind being seen astride and one that feels OK.

That was a humorous reply, but one I believe to be true. Humour is only silly if it's just funny and not also true.

On a serious note, pain after your ride is not normal and I disagree with those who suggest you'll get used to it perhaps with the help of padded shorts. It is true that inexperienced riders will often feel discomfort where the sun don't shine (while riding) and padding will help, but I don't know why you're hurting down there afterwards. Seems odd, maybe someone else can shed some light on the subject.

Sorry, I can't stay serious butt for so long...

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Old 07-14-10, 03:12 PM   #6
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It can take a while for your behind to toughen up and adjust to the bike, but an inch is a gigantic adjustment on a bicycle. It sounds like you need to get some help in terms of fit and setup before you worry about the saddle. An obvious exception is if the saddle is too narrow to support your sit bones. In that case you need to get a different saddle right now.

People who ride much find a saddle that works and they will change out the OEM saddle on a new bike right away. Get your set up and fit figured out, then you can deal with the saddle issue with some confidence.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:20 PM   #7
Ward H
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I have been riding a Navigator 300 for about 3 years with some rides of up to 12 miles, several days a week, at the end of the season. No pain.
Did not ride as much last year. Started this year with some short local rides of a couple of miles and a couple of 6 and 8 mile rides.
Then I bought the 7300. I am trying to do a 10 to 12 mile ride once a week and 4 to 6 mile rides 3 times a week. ( I am out of shape and overweight, that is why I am riding)

I had done test rides on several 7000 series and FX series bikes but when I decided on the 7300 it was the end of the day and the guy who waited on me was actually worthless. The shop was a distance from home, the only one with a 7300 in my size that I could find.

My local shop said to try wearing bike shorts which I will do. They did not mention bike fit.

Reading this forum, many people talk about trying out the different saddles until they find the one that fits/feels the best. I am willing to do that but it sounds like maybe I need more riding time and experance before I do that?
My question about the quality of the Bontrager saddles is based on the fact that both shops carry only Bontrager saddles but they are rarely mentioned on the forum.

Sounds like maybe I should go back to my local shop and ask them to fit the bike to me, even though I did not buy from them? I don't even paying for a fit if it helps me get to a very comfortable ride.

BTW, during this last ride I felt vary comfortable. It was only after the ride did I feel that I had bruised my sit bones.
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Old 07-15-10, 12:37 AM   #8
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Did you perhaps have a seam crossing your sit bones? You don't mention how you were dressed for the ride.

It would really help if you could get someone to work on your fit who is a) experienced at bike fitting and b) going to give the time to looking at your complete set up. You may have to pay your LBS for such service since you didn't purchase your bike through them.

It is also possible that your seat post is too high, requiring you to rock back and forth when you peddle.

Please take a look at this article from Rivendell on saddle sores. http://www.rivbike.com/article/misc/saddle_sores
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Old 07-15-10, 07:14 AM   #9
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I'd never met a seat I didn't like...... until I bought my Trek 4300. That seat is freakin' evil. Makes my butt heart, and causes some very disconcerting numbing issues.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:53 AM   #10
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And, try to get the seat height and level correct.

Try to get the height correct first - or, at least a good approximation.

You should be able to pedal with your heels, without rocking in the saddle, but you should also be able to get full leg extension pedalling this way - doing this will give you the right bend in your legs when pedalling on the balls of your feet.

Start with your saddle completely level, from the nose to the back. Then adjust the tilt it until you stay planted, not sliding to the front or back. Next, make fine adjustments until the only place you feel the saddle is under your sit bones. Experiment with sliding the saddle fore and aft, on the rails.

Now, you've got a good starting point for other adjsutments.

Keep in mind, that any change anywhere, may require another change on something you thought you already dialed in.

It can take a lot of adjustments and fiddling, to finally get it right.
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Old 07-15-10, 10:52 AM   #11
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I had a Navigator 1.0 and never even thought about the saddle it was so comfortable. Then I bought my Jamis Coda and the stock saddle was awful. I bought one of these for $15 and it worked out fine, so you can try different saddles without spending a ton of money. I don't think bike fit will make much difference with saddle comfort unless things are way out of whack.
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Old 07-15-10, 01:50 PM   #12
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I was damn happy to spend $45 for a Serfas RX saddle for my Giant Cypress DX. No longer numb down there if you know what I mean. The Selles San Marco Island Elba saddle that came on my Jamis Coda Comp is very nice, but I see they originally cost $50 so it should be. They are an old model but I found an Internet source where they are $10.

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Old 07-15-10, 06:16 PM   #13
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I actually find the saddle on my Trek 7.5 fx to be fairly comfortable, which surprised me because I was all set to swap it for something that would cost me more money and I could pretend was more comfortable.

I have a feeling you were either too high with the height or you may have had a clothing issue (if you are wearing street clothes, sometimes the seams get in the way of some much needed bloodflow). Also, street clothes may be too tight or too loose which will bag up under your tush causing some issues. A good pair of cycling shorts can do wonders for you seat issues.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:42 PM   #14
Ward H
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After reading and rereading your replies, I think it was a combination of an ill fitting saddle but mostly I had the seat too high. Wearing street shorts did not help.
Last night I put the seat from my Navigator on the 7300 ( a little wider and more suspenson). I gave it a very slight down tilt and set the height lower than I thought I should. I did a quick 5 miles this am with no issues.
Tonight I did 6.3 miles, raised the seat about 1/4" and did another 6.3 without even thinking about the saddle. I am getting closer.

Today I called the LBS where I bought the bike. I got the sales/mechanic who did offer a lot of help over the phone when I was searching for a bike and store I could build a relation with. He appologized for not being there when I bought my bike and asked me to come in when he or the other experianced salesman was there. He is going to do a fitting of the bike to me and go over the bike thoroughly (which was not done when I bought the bike). He assured me he would make it right.

Thanks for the help!
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