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Old 08-09-06, 08:24 PM   #1
Bacciagalupe
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Yes, Yet Another Saddle Question....

I've been doing short- to medium-rides (10-20 for daily training, 50-60 on weekends) and working up to touring and the good ol' First Century. I've been using a moderately wide and moderately firm gel saddle. When riding it feels pretty comfy and nothing goes numb, but there's a bit o' chafing and I suspect that, in the long run, it won't go the distance.

I figured it was time to step up and get a racing saddle, a Selle San Marco SKN. I did about 10 miles on it, and for 30 seconds it feels great, then I notice that I'm putting a lot of pressure right on the sit-bones and feel like I'm sitting on a 2x4. I'm sitting a little further back (1/4" - 1/2"), getting a bit wider range of movement, doubt I'm going to go numb or chafe, and I'm not sure, but I might be riding faster as well; but the lack of padding is decidedly unpleasant right now. I'm sitting at about a 45 degree angle, maybe a little less upright.

Finally, the question: Is this something that's going to take a few miles to get used to, and then will be fine? Can the saddle just be tweaked to feel better? Or should I assume that if a racing saddle is uncomfortable after the first 10 miles, I need something else?

Thanks....
- B
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Old 08-09-06, 08:52 PM   #2
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Saddles

Saddles are personal things.
Not everyone's ischial tuberosities (sit-down bones) are the same.
Gel padded saddles are good for very short distances.
The best saddle is a Brooks, solid leather, that has been broken in.

When I got my first pair of leather motorcycle boots, I was told to pour half a cup of water into each boot and walk around the mall for a while. I did it and those boots immediately became the most comfortable I have ever worn because they fit my feet perfectly.

The same principle holds true for a good leather saddle.
At first it will feel like a hunk of plywood; but after about 300-400 km it will become your best friend.
Other brands of leather saddles may be as good as Brooks, but most LD riders who have Brooks that they have broken in to match their "bottom."
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Old 08-10-06, 06:34 AM   #3
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cadillac is right. get a brooks immediately.
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Old 08-10-06, 06:48 AM   #4
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From how I understand your post, it sounds like you found a saddle that fits you well. Your sit bones may not be used to taking the weight, but that is where the weight should be. Give it time.

What a Brooks (or other saddle without a plastic base) will give you is it will mold to your sit bones.
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Old 08-10-06, 08:14 AM   #5
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I had tried a number of saddles. I tried the fizik arione and like it up to a point. I bought a Brooks saddle that felt like wood. I gave it some time, even rode through a rain storm without its cover. The saddle is so much more comfortable for long rides. The leather is somewhat flexible and it fits my particular behind
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Old 08-10-06, 08:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! I did another 10 miles this morning and it's a tiny bit better, hopefully it won't take more than 100 miles to get accustomed to it. But yeah, definitely not used to it. I may also talk to the LBS in a day or two to make sure it's in a good spot.

Re: Brooks, currently not my style. I may consider it at some point in the future. Although, 300km break-in...? Ouch.
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Old 08-10-06, 08:29 AM   #7
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I'll probably alienate a lot of my cycling brethren, but I am NOT a Brooks fan. Just didn't work for me. I bought a B-17N, rode it for 800 miles, proofided it...in short, everything one is supposed to do. After 800 miles, it was still as hard as granite and there was no visible sign of break-in. None. to this day it still looks brand-new.

Maybe I got a particularly thick saddle, but I just couldn't put up with the pain for another mile.

...which is a shame, because it's a pretty saddle and I really, really wanted it to work out. Based on the positive reviews, I was hoping to finally have my dream saddle.

I'm still looking, BTW.

Dan
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Old 08-10-06, 09:12 AM   #8
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+ 1 , though I was comfortable on my B.17 straight out of the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac
Saddles are personal things.
Not everyone's ischial tuberosities (sit-down bones) are the same.
Gel padded saddles are good for very short distances.
The best saddle is a Brooks, solid leather, that has been broken in.

When I got my first pair of leather motorcycle boots, I was told to pour half a cup of water into each boot and walk around the mall for a while. I did it and those boots immediately became the most comfortable I have ever worn because they fit my feet perfectly.

The same principle holds true for a good leather saddle.
At first it will feel like a hunk of plywood; but after about 300-400 km it will become your best friend.
Other brands of leather saddles may be as good as Brooks, but most LD riders who have Brooks that they have broken in to match their "bottom."
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Old 08-10-06, 10:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danimal123
I'll probably alienate a lot of my cycling brethren, but I am NOT a Brooks fan. Just didn't work for me. I bought a B-17N, rode it for 800 miles, proofided it...in short, everything one is supposed to do. After 800 miles, it was still as hard as granite and there was no visible sign of break-in. None. to this day it still looks brand-new.
Somebody report this guy to the moderators for posting in the LD forum.

Early last year I bought a B-17N. For a while, as in several hundred miles, it was quite a good saddle. As it broke in, however, I found out that it was not wide enough for my sit bones, and that I was sitting partitially on the rivets. Cutting out the gory details, the soft flesh around my sit bones got wrecked. Sorry, that was a gory detail. I had to switch to a gel saddle for a few months, which of course gave me chaffing problems.

Then I bought a regular B-17. That is much better, but I still barely fit within the arc of rivets. I only find this out as the saddle gets broken in. Still, it is very comfortable.

In short, there are several different models of Brooks. They all feel a bit different. If you do get one with thicker leather, and they say this is a variable, you could have problems.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:58 AM   #10
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The only way I know of to get a custom fitted saddle is to buy a leather one. No padding, no hull backing, and not one 'finished' with a glove leather top. It has to be thick hide blank. It seems that the heavier the rider, the faster the break-in period, which is logical. Also, the more upright the posture, the faster the the break-in.

17's don't break-in as fast as a 67. It's not that they are thicker, it's because they feel thicker, being narrower. Less weight distribution = percieved saddle stiffness.

EDIT: Brooks saddles do vary in thickness from model to model, but not very much within a model group. A Team Pro is thicker than a 17.

My ischials are fairly wide. The first 17 I tried just didn't work. Too narrow for the bones. However, my ride setup on that bike is fairly upright, using North Road bars. No way is a 225lb guy gonna be comfortable on a 17 while riding like an English constable. A switch to a 67 did the trick. Did the same switch on my old MTB. My rides are only limited by the need for food and the other neccessities. Pure symetry.

On my new Sequoia, I have gone back to a 17. This is because of the slightly more aggressive ride posture. A little more stretched out when on the hoods and the weight gets distributed around the bike more, less on the saddle.
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Old 08-10-06, 02:50 PM   #11
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do you have to worry about the fact that the Brooks dosent have the cutout to make sure blood gets to your privates?
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Old 08-10-06, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Brooks, currently not my style. I may consider it at some point in the future. Although, 300km break-in...? Ouch.
Whaaaaaat?

A Brooks IS style. Class without pretension, and a classic touch to a bike.

I don't know about a 300km break in. I knew I had discovered something special after the first mile on my B17. Yes, it does "break in" further...but after that first mile I had zero problems.
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Old 08-11-06, 01:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockadile
do you have to worry about the fact that the Brooks dosent have the cutout to make sure blood gets to your privates?
Nope.
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Old 08-11-06, 02:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac
Saddles are personal things.
Not everyone's ischial tuberosities (sit-down bones) are the same.
Gel padded saddles are good for very short distances.
The best saddle is a Brooks, solid leather, that has been broken in.

When I got my first pair of leather motorcycle boots, I was told to pour half a cup of water into each boot and walk around the mall for a while. I did it and those boots immediately became the most comfortable I have ever worn because they fit my feet perfectly.

The same principle holds true for a good leather saddle.
At first it will feel like a hunk of plywood; but after about 300-400 km it will become your best friend.
Other brands of leather saddles may be as good as Brooks, but most LD riders who have Brooks that they have broken in to match their "bottom."
+1 on the Brooks.

I could never understand how people say that sitting a Brooks is pure torture. I am only 150 lbs and both of my Brooks were basically comfortable out of the box. They just got better after riding. Brooks are the only saddles that fetch more money used on ebay than new. Seems people are willing to pay extra for a broken in seat. The standard B-17 is also very inexpensive. Good luck

Tim
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Old 08-11-06, 06:24 AM   #15
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my only "problem" with the b17-n i have on one of my bikes is that it's now "too" soft! but it feels great. i don't even wear a chamois most of the time.
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