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  1. #1
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    My first Century in 2 weeks - need new saddle

    Although I've biked casually for fitness for years, I only really got into road biking this past fall, trained hard all winter, try to do at least two fast 50-milers and one h.i.t. training session each week, but have not been able to overcome the sore arse syndrome that my saddle (or my anatomy, or a combo of both) creates. I have a Trek 2.1 Pilot with whatever Bontrager saddle came with it. So far, the advice I've heard has been along the lines of:
    (1) Buy a Fizik; or
    (2) Don’t ask for advice about saddles...it's a "personal" choice and you'll just know the right one when you find it.

    As for #2, my wife will kill me if I keep plopping down $150-$250 until I find that Goldilocks saddle. Before I go to the bike shop this weekend, any other advice for me (about saddles, that is)?

    One more point: is changing saddles two weeks before a Century too soon (e.g.- does one typically need longer to get used to the new support, or risk injury)? I appreciate any words of wisdom.

    Thanks.

    P.S.: I'm a 40-year-old male, 6'1-177, in case any of that is relevant to the topic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Terry has a good return/exchange policy, so does REI and Performance. Some bike shops have tester programs. May as well try, since you already know the one you have is no good.
    ...

  3. #3
    Randomhead
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    find a bike shop that has Fizik test saddles. Of course, that may make you broke. The Aliante seems to fit me like a dream.

    Specialized dealers have a saddle measuring system to see what width saddle you need. Most dealers have a couple of test saddle lines.

    For me, a century is short enough that I can live through the discomfort caused by a saddle that is comfortable at 50 miles. From what I've found is that I can sit on almost anything for 80 miles, and 20 miles of suffering is not all that bad. This is an intensely personal subject though.

  4. #4
    Ride & Smile
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    I've gone through ~6 saddles and am still looking at getting another saddle (Selle SMP) to see if it works better. This is what I have learned through this exercise, but YMMV.

    I've split 'saddle soreness' into three types: perineal pressure, chafing, and soreness due to improper sit bone support. IMHO, different parameters affect each of these types of soreness.

    1. If you experience perineal pressure, get a saddle from the Specialized Body Geometry or similar series from other manufacturers who offer it. If you happen to have the anatomical geometry that could use the cut out in the middle, then you will love the relief that it provides.

    2. Chafing: Chafing could occur due to having too wide a nose for the saddle and/or having a saddle that is just too wide for you.

    3. Sit bone support: The width of the saddle should match your sit bone width and provide a firm support (i.e, no soft cushioning - esp for long distance riding). Until my last saddle, all the previous ones were too wide. I didn't realize this until my second bike fitter explained it to me. The difference was like night and day!

    I don't believe in the Specialized sit bone measurement device, at least at the one at the LBS I went to. They just asked me to sit on a piece of memory foam and looked for the distance between some vague sit bone indentations. The size they recommended was too wide. Maybe the person who did the measurement did not know what they were doing.

    HTH

  5. #5
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful replies....this gives me some good information from which to start my search.

    Valygrl, I see that you're in Boulder. I'm actually going out there for 10-days at the end of the month to attend my sister's wedding, then just explore....first time I've been to the Rockies. I've heard that it's God's country for riding. Any bike shops that you recommend for decent road bike rentals?

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Senior Member curdog's Avatar
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    I don't believe in the Specialized sit bone measurement device, at least at the one at the LBS I went to. They just asked me to sit on a piece of memory foam and looked for the distance between some vague sit bone indentations. The size they recommended was too wide. Maybe the person who did the measurement did not know what they were doing.

    I got the Specialized measurement and was recommended a 155 mm. The saddle that ultimately has been the most comfortable is a Cobb Cycling, which is 130 mm. I'm still not 100% satisfied, and don't know if I ever will be. I have been looking in at SMP Selle Avant also. Expecting to take a test drive in a few weeks. The good thing is that I can live with the Cobb if the Selle isn't a major improvement.
    I'm afraid that I've become obsessed with finding the "perfect" saddle. Does it really exist?
    Cannondale Synapse, Electra Townie, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Indy Fab Factory Lightweight, Co-Motion Cascadia

  7. #7
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    You didn't mention if you use bike shorts, or what kinds. I have some shorts that are just no dam good at all. I think they cause more problems than if I wore jeans. What I am saying is this issue can be somewhat complicated. Then there are creams and lotions, and then some use Body Glide, there are chamois creams of every type and description. I hope I haven't boggled your mind to much, as it all works out in the end. (pun intended) It just takes some time and ... I have to say the saddle you are using is not noted for it's comfort. Good luck and happy ridding.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

    Now ridding a
    Felt AR4 with Mavic Super light Premium wheels
    Cannonade Hybrid

    If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

    In God we trust

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by goose70 View Post
    Thanks for the helpful replies....this gives me some good information from which to start my search.

    Valygrl, I see that you're in Boulder. I'm actually going out there for 10-days at the end of the month to attend my sister's wedding, then just explore....first time I've been to the Rockies. I've heard that it's God's country for riding. Any bike shops that you recommend for decent road bike rentals?

    Jeff
    Hi Jeff,
    University Bike http://ubikes.com rents high end road bikes. Also, http://bicyclevillage.com, http://fullcyclebikes.com, http://boulderbikesmith.com probably even some more. I would try University Bikes first, they're my favorite, and their show room is pretty spectacular.

    The riding here is pretty stellar, if you have more than a few days here it might be worth it to bring your own bike. There's no lack of awesome rides, let me know if you need suggestions.
    ...

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    There are a billion different saddles for a billion different anatomy's. The problem is that most saddles are focused on racing. racing = as light as humanly possible, usually either plastic with a thin leather cover, or pure carbon. Is this something that you want to put your rear on for 100 miles?

    I had rear soreness for a while (using a selle italia with a perinial cutout). Eventually I noticed that alot of the endurance riders that I saw on the road used saddles by Brooks. I picked up a brooks swallow (b-15). It took about 1000 miles to break in, but I don't get saddle pain anymore, including on multiple doubles this year.

  10. #10
    Randomhead
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    I would say the majority of the people I ride with on brevets are riding Fizik. There are a couple of Selle An-Atomica. I think if I was buying a leather saddle, I probably would go with the Selle An-Atomica, a Brooks Pro or Swallow since those saddles are meant for a lower position. The B17 works for a lot of people, but generally demands a more upright position.

    The LBS owner told me the Fizik Aliante fits him like a hammock, and I tend to agree. That's the one I would try first, no break-in. I have a vintage Brooks Select Pro, which is a beautiful saddle. However, I've never had the courage to ride it long distances.

  11. #11
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    a little late, but..

    I just did 62 miles on one of these, and will ride 100 on Sunday:

    http://andyjordans.com/product/speci...le-50594-1.htm

    $29.

    mine is about 9 or 10 years old.



    it's pretty firm. all my weight is on my sit bones and I feel no chafing even on a hot day like today. I was totally going to look into a brooks or one of the other oft-mentioned BF favorites, but this one kept proving itself to be plenty comfortable.

    It's probably best best when I'm on the hoods or tops, but I spent a lot of time -- probably about 25 of the miles-- in the drops today with no discomfort at all. My 66cm hi ten frame weighs about 26 or 27 pounds with the saddle on.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

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