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Old 06-13-12, 08:14 PM   #1
PatrickGSR94
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Convince me which saddle I should use

So after a few rides last Spring 2011 and suffering from sore bottom syndrome I decided to replace my narrow Specialized saddle with a fat@$$ Bell cushy saddle from Wally Mart. I've ridden the bike like that since then, though not much until a couple of months ago. The Bell saddle seems pretty comfy, and I don't have any soreness after rides (longest single ride so far has been 16 miles). Well tonight I thought I'd give the Specialized one another try, and boy does it ever feel hard as ever. How can anyone stand this? I've heard cushy saddles can actually be detrimental but I don't know.

Somebody please convince me why I should use the Specialized saddle, or perhaps go back to the Bell one.

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Old 06-13-12, 08:40 PM   #2
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This might sound basic, but are you sitting on your seat bones (as many call them)? I used to have discomfort and soreness until I realized that I wasn't actually sitting on the seat properly (who would have thought there was such a simple solution!). Now I have zero issues riding 30 miles; there is not any discomfort during the ride and there isn't any soreness after the ride. My saddle is a hard Specialized saddle as well.
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Old 06-13-12, 08:42 PM   #3
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hm well I'm not really sure how to know if I'm sitting on the sit bones or not. I mean it feels like there's some bones pushing on the saddle when I sit on it but I don't know.
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Old 06-13-12, 08:49 PM   #4
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You should know when you're on them. My problem was that I was riding too far forward on the saddle.

At the end of the day, it's hard for me to say ride with the hard one because it's better for you. If the Bell saddle is more comfortable, then that's what I would use. For me, those larger, cushy saddles aren't comfortable (but I'm not you). I would give the Specialized saddle a shot, though, and make sure that you're sitting on it properly--it worked for me!
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Old 06-13-12, 08:51 PM   #5
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A lot can depend on the fit of the bike, which is made up of many factors--seat height, reach to the handlebars, handlebar height, etc. Sometimes people end up putting most of their weight on their wrists, rather that on their butt. You don't say what kind of bike you have--that Specialized seat wouldn't make much sense on one type of bike, but on another the cushy seat would end up being uncomfortable (it happens).

Stick with what makes you comfortable, first and foremost, though. Why are you trying to force yourself to use the Specialized saddle?
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Old 06-13-12, 09:04 PM   #6
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Serfas RX

I've put about 100 miles on this now and it's great.

I love how it is comprised of 2 independent pieces that can rock with your sit bones as they come up and down.

Look at the reviews on amazon and then buy it on treefortbikes.com - the saddle was cheaper there, and they sent me a pint glass too!
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Old 06-13-12, 09:10 PM   #7
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Brooks. The answer is always Brooks.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-13-12, 09:13 PM   #8
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A lot can depend on the fit of the bike, which is made up of many factors--seat height, reach to the handlebars, handlebar height, etc. Sometimes people end up putting most of their weight on their wrists, rather that on their butt. You don't say what kind of bike you have--that Specialized seat wouldn't make much sense on one type of bike, but on another the cushy seat would end up being uncomfortable (it happens).

Stick with what makes you comfortable, first and foremost, though. Why are you trying to force yourself to use the Specialized saddle?
See my bike in my sig link. When I bought this bike as a straight up front-suspenison MTB back in 2006, it had an extremely hard, thin saddle on it. I took it to the LBS for a once-over and they set me up with this narrow, but softer (not by much) Specialized saddle. But then from about 2007 to 2011 I really didn't ride the bike much. I started to get back into it again in 2011, but decided even the Specialized saddle was too hard for me as I was quite sore after several rides. So I got the Bell saddle in 2011, but still wasn't riding much until just a couple months ago. Now I've been riding a LOT compared to previous years, over 100 miles just in the month of May alone. As I said, the Bell saddle seems pretty comfortable to me.

But to tell the truth, I like the LOOK of the Specialized better. Also when raising the bike rear tire by grabbing the nose of the saddle to maneuver the bike around my cars and stuff, the whole bike feels lighter with the Specialized. I don't know, I may give it another try.
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Old 06-23-12, 03:09 PM   #9
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The more I think about it, the more I want to go with what feels comfortable. It will enable me to ride longer. Today I was using my stock Specialized Riva saddle. I did 30+ miles. The last 10 miles or so my butt (sit bones) were killing me. It was not so much an issue of my legs as I got to where I could not stand to be on the saddle.

I went out this afternoon and bought a Serfas saddle. I'll put it on and see how that works.
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Old 06-23-12, 04:59 PM   #10
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If the Bell works for you, then I'd go with it. Looks are nice, but comfort is definitely more important.
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Old 06-23-12, 05:00 PM   #11
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I am having the same issue with my stock Trek saddle, my "sit bones" hurt after a short while and I find myself sitting sideways taking turns on each side to find some relief. I may not be sitting properly, does anyone care to explain how to properly sit on the saddle?
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Old 06-23-12, 05:58 PM   #12
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I don't know. There are so many factors that go into what happens on a... ahem!... fundamental level, while riding. For example, are you riding in a roadbike position that puts more of your weight on your feet/pedals and less on your butt-bones, or are you riding in cruiser position where your weight is pretty much all on your buttocks? You may need to adjust your handlebar/stem to give you a more leaning-forward position, and take the weight off your butt and more on your pedals instead. With even the cushiest of saddles, if too much of your weight is being supported by the buttock-to-saddle interface, I think your bum is going to feel discomfort. Most of the weight should be born by one's feet, I believe without evidence.

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Old 06-23-12, 08:26 PM   #13
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if your happy with the bell... ahh, whats the question again?
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Old 06-24-12, 07:31 AM   #14
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Well I've been using the Specialized saddle again since a couple of weeks ago, been on several rides with them since including 10.5 miles last Saturday and 9.5 miles yesterday. I think I'm going to stick with the Specialized one for now.
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Old 06-24-12, 11:14 AM   #15
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Brooks. The answer is always Brooks.
Beat me to it be two weeks!

Brooks. I don't even bother with those other "saddles". Yeah, I know, they are not for everyone.
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Old 06-24-12, 11:41 AM   #16
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Brooks. The answer is always Brooks.
No it is not. For me the answer was Specialized Sonoma.
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Old 06-24-12, 01:32 PM   #17
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No it is not. For me the answer was Specialized Sonoma.
Nor I. When the Selle Royale Look-in gel seat on my Coda wore out, the answer was a Ritchey WCS Marathon. It's waaaay light, and so much thinner than the Selle Royale that I had to bump the seatpost up. Harder, yet curiously comfortable, and I'm very happy with it.
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Old 06-24-12, 02:02 PM   #18
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I am having the same issue with my stock Trek saddle, my "sit bones" hurt after a short while and I find myself sitting sideways taking turns on each side to find some relief. I may not be sitting properly, does anyone care to explain how to properly sit on the saddle?
Your behind needs to get used to it. If your sit bones hurt, that's good; once they get used to it, they'll stop and you'll be comfortable.
Now, if your soft tissue hurts, that's a more serious problem and it can take multiple saddle swaps until one that doesn't hurt is found.

So, as long as it's just your sit bones, the solution is primarily to ride more until they get used to carrying your weight. That is, if your intention is eventually building up to fairly long rides. If not - see below.


To the OP, if your longest ride is just 16 miles, you might as well stay on the Bell saddle. Soft, squishy saddles compress more the longer you sit on them and end up putting pressure on all the wrong places - but it takes a while for this to happen. If you never ride that long, a softer saddle will be more comfortable than a harder one.
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Old 06-24-12, 04:43 PM   #19
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As I said, I've been using the Specialized saddle pictured above for a few weeks now and am liking it.
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Old 06-24-12, 08:49 PM   #20
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Brooks. The answer is always Brooks.
+1 for Brooks for me.
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Old 06-25-12, 08:14 AM   #21
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I was totally hooked on Brooks until I bought a bike and listened to the LBS owner who recommended Selle Anatomica. I now own three of them, one for each of the bikes I own, which BTW used to have Brooks on them.
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Old 06-25-12, 08:38 AM   #22
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If you are planning on riding 16 miles as your long distance effort, then it doesn't much matter. Ride what's comfortable. And, is suspect you are riding fairly uprght, which is not what that Specialized saddle was meant for, it is a torture device for those riding fully upright.

If you ride your bike like a horse, then a full sized saddle is appropriate. Expect a sore bottom and tailbone, look into a saddle with big springs. No disrespect intended, whatever works for you.

When 'distance' means 60 miles or more and/or you are riding is rotated pelvis position, that Bell memory foam saddle will become a torture device. In a rotated riding position, what you are sitting on primarily are bones about 2-3 inches wide at the contact area, that narrow toward the front. Take a look at the Bell saddle, it's fairly obvious that you will be riding on the nose, not on the saddle, and your butt/thighs are going to be banging into the saddle's bout.


If you are thinking you need a change, go to a quality LBS, get a fit, try demo saddles. Stay away from Wally World.

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Old 06-25-12, 08:42 AM   #23
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Thanks all, the Specialized saddle did indeed come from the LBS back when I first bought the bike and took it in for some work. Yes 16 miles may not seem long to some folks, but it's pretty long to me right now. I may go longer one day, but right now I don't foresee 40, 50, 60 miles rides in my near future. I plan on eventually trying to commute to work (29 miles round trip) but for right now I just like to ride around town or 10-15 mile group rides.

Later on if I get more seriously into it I may get more of a road bike for 50+ mile rides, if that's the direction I decide to take.
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Old 06-25-12, 08:53 AM   #24
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I bought the cheapo Nashbar "Touring" saddle (the one with springs), and though I sort of wish it weren't quite so rounded on top, it's my favorite saddle I've tried. The price ($15 on sale) was awfully hard to beat, too. If my budget were a lot bigger, I may have tried a Brooks Flyer.
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Old 06-25-12, 09:09 AM   #25
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Your behind needs to get used to it. If your sit bones hurt, that's good; once they get used to it, they'll stop and you'll be comfortable....
So, as long as it's just your sit bones, the solution is primarily to ride more until they get used to carrying your weight. That is, if your intention is eventually building up to fairly long rides.....
While I have heard the line of reasoning before that it is all about riding and getting used to the saddle, this has not been my experience. On the bike that I have been riding the last year, I have been riding regularly and gradually increasing mileage and have had no luck in getting comfortable on it. Once I am in the saddle for an hour and a half or so, it gradually gets to where the sit bone pain makes it where I cannot stand riding any longer. The other day I hit that point and the last hour was pretty unbearable.

I imagine that it will be a case of finding a saddle that seems to fit me and my style of riding better.
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