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  1. #1
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    How crazy.....new berthoud saddle on a 300K

    Oragel for anticipated derriere pain is in the first aid kit.

    I did part of the Lon Haldeman breakin technique but substituted Leatherique for the 10w30 motor oil. Raining too much to ride it. The saddle is *slightly* more pliable with the aggressive breaking in technique.

    How crazy is it to ride the new saddle on a 300k on Saturday? One painful day and the saddle will be perfect is my thinking. Why spread the inevitable out over many weeks.

    Pack the old saddle just in case?

    Bring morphine?

    Crazy?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    This would definitely break the 'no changes immediately before a big ride" rule.

    Unless your current saddle is just killing you, and you feel like you have nothing to lose, perhaps just stick with it for the 300K.

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    This would definitely break the 'no changes immediately before a big ride" rule.

    Unless your current saddle is just killing you, and you feel like you have nothing to lose, perhaps just stick with it for the 300K.
    +1 Your plan sounds like a recipe for serious suffering
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
    +1 Your plan sounds like a recipe for serious suffering
    Maybe, maybe not. New equipment is always a little bit of a roll of the dice, especially something that is in direct contact with your body like a saddle. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. So the question is, do you feel lucky, Wheatherby? Do ya?

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    Just switched out to a new Cx saddly for the roadie myself. Commutes its been great with zero pressure on nerves and no squashing. But, its a tad more solid (carbon fiber shell) and I'm thinking the 200km brevet next Saturday might be... painful. Still it beats being numb for days like the old saddle.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    To me, the big question is, how comfortable is it now? If it seems perfectly comfortable, go for it, you may wind up with 250k of chafing or something, but at least have hopes of things working out. On the other hand, if it's just really not comfortable now, there's no guarantee that 300k of use will fix it, and it may very well get worse as you go.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
    . So the question is, do you feel lucky, Wheatherby? Do ya?


    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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    If it makes you feel any better, I plan to ride a 400K this Saturday. On a new fixed gear bike with a brand new Brooks B17. I have a total of 65 miles on this bike, and my longest fixed gear ride is 300K (three times). I also rode 350 and 200 miles the last two weekends. Yes, I am a little wary.

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    I have no idea how the new saddle feels. I have not ridden on it more than 2-3 miles.

    I might just bring the old saddle and place it in the bag. It weighs less than half a water bottle.....maybe 200 grams if that. I could swap it out in maybe 5 minutes if I don't get lucky.

    The 300k just seems like a perfect ride distance to break the saddle in. It is going to be painful no matter what why not get it over with on one ride.

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    is it actually painful now? I would do a 200k no problem, for a 300k I would have to ask myself if it was a good idea. Then again, I did the fleche on a saddle that was an experiment that failed. I had ridden it on 200k's with only minor issues, but the fleche was too far. I need to change back for the 300 this weekend
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    is it actually painful now? I would do a 200k no problem, for a 300k I would have to ask myself if it was a good idea. Then again, I did the fleche on a saddle that was an experiment that failed. I had ridden it on 200k's with only minor issues, but the fleche was too far. I need to change back for the 300 this weekend
    Is it painful, meaning the new saddle that I have not ridden more than 2-3 miles or the old saddle? The old saddle (Specialized Romin 155mm) is adequate until around 80-100 miles at which point I contemplate ibuprofen, which in my opinion is not a great idea due to its pronounced impact on the gut and gastric emptying while riding. Morphine has fewer immediate side effects. My old saddle has little give and therefore does not distribute forces sufficiently around the buttocks region. It is a good saddle and is especially excellent at keeping pressure off the sensitive anatomical part of the seating equation. I am trying to find an improvement over the flat somewhat unyielding seating accommodations offered by the Specialized Romin while still keeping the boys happy. In the end, I might revert back to the Romin and will probably tuck it into the bag as a backup during the ride.

    I have never owned an old fashioned, all leather saddle. Looking forward to the experience. There is always e-Bay for the next victim. All tongue in cheek.

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear about which saddle. My experience with leather saddles is minimal, but it's not always true that they hurt right away, mine didn't. Sure, it was hard as a rock, but it wasn't otherwise uncomfortable. The reason I asked is that if the Berthoud isn't that bad now, I would be more inclined to consider riding it on the 300k.

    Ibuprofin never really worked for me on the bike. I've never tried it for saddle issues though.

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    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
    I plan to ride a 400K this Saturday. On a new fixed gear bike
    Pic of your FG fully rigged-out for the distance?
    Need some ideas for a build.

    Thanks.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    My experience with leather saddles is minimal, but it's not always true that they hurt right away, mine didn't. Sure, it was hard as a rock, but it wasn't otherwise uncomfortable. The reason I asked is that if the Berthoud isn't that bad now, I would be more inclined to consider riding it on the 300k.
    I agree. In fact, I think this "breaking in" of a leather saddle is largely a myth. Both B17 and Team Pro have been comfortable for me off the box. In some cases it took over 5,000 miles before there was a noticeable give (or dimples) in the leather.

  15. #15
    Senior Member EdgewaterDude's Avatar
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    Which Berthoud saddle did you pick? I got myself a Mente last year and it's just now starting to soften up - even after daily commuting and numerous brevets and centuries. I can't say that it was ever really uncomfortable; but I remember it being stiff as a board in the beginning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude View Post
    Which Berthoud saddle did you pick? I got myself a Mente last year and it's just now starting to soften up - even after daily commuting and numerous brevets and centuries. I can't say that it was ever really uncomfortable; but I remember it being stiff as a board in the beginning.
    I got the Aravis in natural leather. The cork leather model seemed contrived and there is nothing better looking than natural leather. It is (was) pretty but this saddle on my rig is like wearing a fancy pair of Italian loafers with the Carharrt workbibs covered by the days work in the stall. No matter unlike the chain, the saddle is going to get rode hard and put back wet. It is well conditioned right now. After Saturday's breakin ride, I will put on some beeswax and lanolin to seal it up from rain and snow. Thanks and wish me luck.

    Unterhausen>

    I just did a quick 10 min spin after a brief 2 minute warm water soak. I planned to ride alot this week but work got in the way of life. The saddle feels like any other decent saddle under me. I expected it to feel hard. Not at all, it looks like the Lon Haldeman technique works (warm water breakin protocol). My riding position feels different even though I measured everything I could to 1/16 inch. I am just about 1/4 inch short (maybe 5mm) on the setback. The rails are shorter than the Specialized plus the saddle shape is different and the position feels more different then expected for a 5 mm difference in setback. Might need a bigger setback seatpost like the ugly but uber comfy Specialized COBL-GTR. I have it jammed all the way back. My body will let me know by Saturday nite.

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    Randomhead
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    sounds like the new saddle is definitely worth a shot, especially since you knew you were going to have problems with the old one. Are you doing the Eastern PA 300k?
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  18. #18
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    I just got a Berthoud Aspin and have put it through 2x200k events, plus a couple hundred more miles. FOR ME, the 200k events were fine for the first 80-90 miles, but were quite uncomfortable for the rest of the way. I find 80-90 miles to be my threshold for any seat, so it means it wasn't nearly broken in. The second 200k was slightly better, and I did a hot tap water treatment for 3 mins, rubbed proofhide all over it (top and bottom) and then immediately went for a 10 min ride. During the 10 min ride, the seat felt like it should. At the end of my second 200k, I couldn't feel my sit bones "rolling over" against the seat, so it is getting there. I plan to do another water soak, mink oil/proofhide treatment, 10 mile ride tonight followed by a 30-65 mile ride tomorrow. I'd rather do it gradually than over do it.

    With experience, a 300k with uncomfortable saddle is doable. But, it may not be fun.
    www.jefaisduvelo.wordpress.com

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    I finished the 320K (bonus miles....Pennsylvania Rando today) on the new Berthoud Aravis saddle. No problems or at least no difference compared to the old saddle. Wicked hilly as usual or maybe a little less hilly than usual but some pretty killer climbs nontheless.

    Makes me a believer in the Lon Haldeman breakin procedure. I have no pain or discomfort, just some chafing on the thighs from the heavy rain

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherby View Post
    I finished the 320K (bonus miles....Pennsylvania Rando today) on the new Berthoud Aravis saddle. No problems or at least no difference compared to the old saddle. Wicked hilly as usual or maybe a little less hilly than usual but some pretty killer climbs nontheless.

    Makes me a believer in the Lon Haldeman breakin procedure. I have no pain or discomfort, just some chafing on the thighs from the heavy rain
    Just to take the discussion on the Halderman procedure a little further, another trick is to wet a face cloth, turn the bike/saddle upside down, and place the cloth across where the sitbones would be. This wets the specific location where you want the dimples to form. Leave for around two hours, then ride. Repeat as necessary.

    I have a Ti Brooks B17 that has proved to be a tenaciously difficult saddle to get just right. The wet flannel trick is the only one that has got it to anywhere near submission.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Good idea with the wet cloth on the underside where the sit bones strike the leather. I did not think of that but I did rub some lanolin/beeswax just to that vulnerable area (on the underside). I serviced the bike early this morning since it got grimy and wet yesterday during my Garmin inspired bonus miles on dirt and muddy paths; anyways, I noted that the saddle has two nicely imprinted dimples ostensibly from my tuberosity of ischiumi aka sit bones. I have absolutely zero soreness this morning. YMMV. I accepted that such an aggressive treatment could ruin a saddle but I suspected Haldeman kinda sorta figured it out. Next up. 600K.

  22. #22
    Randomhead
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    you had a good ride. Where did you get lost? I somehow managed to load the wrong course on my Garmin, but I corrected that at the first stop. The saddle sores I got on the fleche opened up again and so the last 88 miles were less than pleasant, but I made it through.
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    you had a good ride. Where did you get lost? I somehow managed to load the wrong course on my Garmin, but I corrected that at the first stop. The saddle sores I got on the fleche opened up again and so the last 88 miles were less than pleasant, but I made it through.
    88 miles with saddle sores, yikes especially with those climbs and the poor chipped seal pavement. This thread probably jinxed your ride. I have never had saddle sores, I understand they are really painful. It was a pretty one but it seemed kind of a hard ride. Even those short 15%+ jams eventually add up and there is no real way for me to do them aerobically. I used to be able to go up those kills no problem in my younger days when I lived in that general area. It was sure nice to ride the area again even if bittersweet.

    On River road my Garmin routed me twice down the muddy dirt paths into the park and stupid me thought that made sense until I ended at what looked like a muddy campsite. I decided if the mud was the correct route, then I would DQ myself and I got back up onto River road and went North. The Garmin 800 froze for about 10-15 miles on River road and Rt 209 until I got up near Dingmans Ferry. I had to backtrack to get to Community road and then later it sent me the wrong way in between Hainesville and Millbrook but none of this was too bad. It froze and then would not reset somewhere back into PA and then I got it going again. Even on a local roads during training where there is no other road, it would sometimes tell me that I am off course. Funky. I decided to give the Garmin a time out at the Pizzeria, charge it up some, and had some pizza with salt, unfortunately, I left my backup MY clueless sheets on the table. I had made the decision to learn how to use the GPS system. Alls well that ends well, but I am now not sure about using it in an area where I did not know the roads at all. The misrouting must be getting a setting right but the frozen screen troubles me. Standing there in the pouring rain a mere 10 miles from the barn and although at least it would power off, it would not start up. Battery had enough power. Eventually I got it going again by just starting it up over an over again. I wasn't too cold in the 50F rain, so, it was ok.

    I did an easy 25 mile spin tonight, the saddle feels completely broken in....actually feels great. I am shocked.

  24. #24
    Randomhead
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    I'm impressed you finished in the time you did with all of those navigation issues. I am a CSPS sort of person most of the time (cue sheet positioning system). Tom R. is pretty scrupulous about his cue sheets.

    the Garmin problems sound like you have route recalculation on. I still haven't gotten everything I want out of the garmin, but we've settled into an uneasy truce. I like to hear the beep when I've just made the correct turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I'm impressed you finished in the time you did with all of those navigation issues. I am a CSPS sort of person most of the time (cue sheet positioning system). Tom R. is pretty scrupulous about his cue sheets.
    No reason you can't use both. If you happen to miss a cue-sheet turn, it can take a while to know you are off course and hard to return to the course. The Garmins can notify you very quickly that you are off course.

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    the Garmin problems sound like you have route recalculation on.
    That could be one big thing but there were other problems that seem unusual. The recalculation doesn't really work at all when using an uploaded route.

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I still haven't gotten everything I want out of the garmin, but we've settled into an uneasy truce. I like to hear the beep when I've just made the correct turn.
    I wonder what you want from it. They aren't "set and forget" devices, certainly.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 05-06-14 at 07:10 AM.

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