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Old 05-21-07, 03:25 AM   #1
Butterthebean
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Selle Anatomica Question

Just received a Selle Anatomica for my new bike build. When I got the thing, it was so loose it was like riding on 2 hammocks. I tightened up the tension bolt several turns with no effect. I've finally got it to the point that there is a good amount of tension on the seat, but the bolt only has about 3 threads left showing. Not much room for any further adjustment. Is this normal?

My real question is, how much tension is normal for these seats. It is still not as taught as a Brooks, not even close, but it doesn't feel too bad. Trouble is, I'm afraid if there is any stretch in the seat in the furture, I don't have any more room for tensioning because the bolt is almost at the end now.

For you guys with this seat, how far did you have to adjust your tension bolt, and how taught did that make the seat???
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Old 05-21-07, 04:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterthebean
Just received a Selle Anatomica for my new bike build. When I got the thing, it was so loose it was like riding on 2 hammocks. I tightened up the tension bolt several turns with no effect. I've finally got it to the point that there is a good amount of tension on the seat, but the bolt only has about 3 threads left showing. Not much room for any further adjustment. Is this normal?

My real question is, how much tension is normal for these seats. It is still not as taught as a Brooks, not even close, but it doesn't feel too bad. Trouble is, I'm afraid if there is any stretch in the seat in the furture, I don't have any more room for tensioning because the bolt is almost at the end now.

For you guys with this seat, how far did you have to adjust your tension bolt, and how taught did that make the seat???

When I first got mine in March, the tensioning screw had about 1/2 inch of thread remaining. I like the tension at first; but, this was the first tensioned leather saddle I have ever used so I didn't know what may or may not be right. After a few rides I actually relieved some of the tension thinking that would help and it got too loose. Then I started the process of tightening it up until I had it fairly tight with about 3/8 inch of thread remaining. It seems like once I started adjusting the tensioning I lost what seemed like a good long distance saddle. I have put rides of 70 and 75 and 113 miles on this saddle and while it wasn't very painful, there was some discomfort. Be careful with your tension adjustments as it might be difficult to find the "sweet spot".
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Old 05-21-07, 07:36 AM   #3
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Suggest you contact the manufacturer with your questions. Without seeing your saddle, there's no way to know what you think is the "right" amount of tension.

Mine was comfortable right out of the box, so I've never fiddled with the tension screw. You can depress either "side" of the saddle under the sit bones by about 1/4" with about ten pounds of force. It's way less tense than a Brooks, thank goodness. I commuted a total of about 70 miles before riding it on a 400K with no saddle issues. I still can't ride my Brooks saddle comfortably for more than a 200K -- after about 2000 miles of it still not seeming to noticeably wear in.
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Old 05-21-07, 10:05 AM   #4
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In the videos on the website the seat looks like it has a lot less tension that a standard leather seat. So my guess is that tightening it too much could be a problem.
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Old 05-21-07, 11:07 AM   #5
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Mine came with the adjusting screw set about in the middle. It was/is definitely much "saggier" than anything I ever got from Brooks, which was a bit disconcerting to me. I just shrugged and went for a ride. Played with the tension a bunch and settled on two turns tighter than stock. It's still much saggier than a Brooks, but then I guess that's part of the point. I don't believe you could tension the thing enough to approach the tautness of a Brooks.

Like thebulls wrote, it doesn't seem like it's possible to tell if yours is out of whack without pics and/or video. Were I you, I'd just ride it. If it's comfortable, I wouldn't worry about it any further. Otherwise, I'd write/call the company.

BTW, mine squeaked like crazy after the first few days. I understand this is a common problem. On mine, at least, I traced the problem to the tensioner. I ended up slacking all the tension off (count the turns so you can put it back to where it was) which completely frees up the nose piece. I lubed the threads and the nose piece (a steel "mushroom" bit attached to the front of the screw, which fits into a matching cup riveted to the nose of the saddle) and this looks to have completely solved the trouble.

HTH!
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Old 05-21-07, 07:33 PM   #6
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I have had mine for about six months. The good news about this saddle is that everything is adjustable. The bad news is that it takes a very long time to get things right. I would contact the manufacturer. They are really good getting back in touch with you. One thing he did tell me is that because the saddle is leather, every saddle will be different. Some will naturally have more stretch in the leather than others, requiring you to turn the tension screw more. My saddle also squeaked like crazy. Be sure to oil the screw and surrounding areas. The bottom line is that this is a really good saddle. It just takes forever to get it right. After six months, I am still trying to get mine to be perfect.
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Old 05-22-07, 03:16 AM   #7
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I have been in contact with Tom over at Selle Anatomica....and you are right, they are quick to get back in touch with customers. I was nervous about riding the saddle like this, because if it is defective, I din't want to have issues getting a replacement. They told me to go ahead and ride it, and they would send me a replacement anyway. Very good customer support....something that's getting harder to find these days.

BTW...here's my ride with the seat. A mix of old and new.

Last edited by Butterthebean; 08-29-07 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 05-22-07, 08:56 AM   #8
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Best saddle I've ever used. Like everyone else, I have the requisite box of old saddles that I've tried but never solved the pain issue problem ( perineal pressure). The Anatomica did the trick. I found that I have to tilt mine down just a bit for proper comfort... and absolutely no sit bone pain after rides.
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Old 05-22-07, 10:05 AM   #9
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As a Brooks fan, I'm on the side, watching closely. A friend of mine has a new Anatomica. I expected him to be a bit more expressive about it. The cut-out is definitely a concern as much as it may be a design improvement. The stretch issue is what I am trying to observe as all of you begin reporting in. The other issue is the waterproofness. How does one waterproof leather while keeping the wicking action healthy? The only way I know of is to apply hot silicone, like a pair of winter hunting boots. But, that totally eliminates the ability of the leather to wick away body moisture. All saddlers that I have spoken to (well, three actually) absolutely condemn the use of silicones for working leather. Fine for purses and fine leather jackets, but not on something you want to be rubbing against for hours. To me, this looks like a great saddle. But, I'm wondering if any of you have a thought on these points??

EDIT: I have no knowledge of what compound Anatomica uses to waterproof their leather at the factory. I'm just going on what boot makers use.
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Old 05-22-07, 01:02 PM   #10
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Yeah, I've thought about it, but there's no substitute for experience. So far I only have a couple of hundred miles on the thing and no rain riding, so I can't speak to stretch or waterproofness. I'll report in when there's something to report.

So far I'd say it's probably the most comfortable saddle I've used. I've never seen anyone complain about pinching, so I might be the first guy to ever have had that problem. It's extremely minor -- nothing's at risk of being forcibly removed or anything -- but I do notice a slight pinchiness if I'm sitting just right. Or wrong, as the case may be.

Out of the box, the saddle is a slight dissapointment, considering the price tag. Right off the bat, I noticed the smell, which is identical to some very low-end leather products I've used in the past. This concerned me a bit, as I've never before smelled that particular smell on high-end leather. Also, I'm a bit allergic to it. It makes me queasy if exposed too long. Thankfully, the smell is abating and doesn't bother me while riding.

Additionally, the leather was not trimmed properly. Lots of ragged edges and loose flaps. Doesn't effect the functionality of the saddle, but again, I'd like better quality for that much money.

And the cause of all the reports of bent rails becomes terribly clear the instant you hold the saddle in your hands: the rails are very long and made of small diameter steel rod. The range of adjustability is great, but I cannot believe they'd let a saddle out of R&D with such skinny rails. Just a small increase in the diameter would bring the rails into line with other maker's products and solve the bent rail trouble entirely.

So, IMO, it's a $75 saddle with a $150 price tag and a serious engineering SNAFU. It's also the only game in town for this sort of design, and it does work, although I'd encourage folks to keep it in the middle of the rails. If mine got stolen or something, I'd probably hold my nose and order another one.
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Old 05-22-07, 05:39 PM   #11
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As a long Brooks user i tried the selle anatomica about 1 year ago, out of the box i defiently have to say the Brooks is by far more finished, no rouch edges etc. The ride of the selle anatomica was super soft, far to soft to me. It was also (for me) super comfortable out of the box.
I did a 200 km audax ride on it but i felt far more comfortable on my B17 by the end of it (i prefer the firmness of the Brooks). I do however weigh 180 pounds, perhaps if one was lighter the sag i felt with the saddle taking my weight would not be so pronounced.
I did however send them a relatively new B17 i own in which the slot was cut into it (ED from memory as well as having their extra reinforcing applied to the underside). Now this was a fantastic adaption to an already fantastic saddle. The slot does not pinch and when riden one certainly does notice the trampolining effect one sees in the video clip on the Selle Anatomica site. I did not feel this effect on the actual anatomica saddle, all it did was sag. How this will affect the life of the Brooks i dont know but after 15,000km i havent had any concerns.
I will be selling the selle anatomica saddle but as i live in Australia anyone from overseas will not wnat to buy it but for anyone in Australia can email me.

Hope this helps in someway,

Cheers Scott....
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Old 07-22-07, 11:54 AM   #12
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Update: With maybe 2000 miles on the thing, it's definitely experienced a degree of break-in. I can notice depressions where the ischial tuberosities go. Tried all sorts of tension settings and finally settled on "fairly tight" -- the screw is about 2/3 of the way extended. The "pinchiness" has dissapeared.

The squeaking dissapeared with lubrication and has stayed gone. Recently, the tension screw started backing out by itself, maybe 1-2 turns every few hundred miles. This has been fixed by adding a stop bolt, like on the Brooks. Yeah, it's metric. Have fun at Home Depot.

Overall, I still think it's too much to pay for a saddle with glaring faults, like badly trimmed leather and undersized rails. But it's unquestionably the most comfortable saddle I've owned, and I would absolutely buy it again.

Assuming, of course, that it's all out of tricks now...
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