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  1. #1
    Air
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    Looking for a tiny padded woman's saddle

    If someone could even cross post this in the woman's forum unless there's a thread already (couldn't find one).

    My friend is getting back into biking. She's tiny - about 4-10" and maybe 80 pounds dripping wet. She's getting a folding bike (Downtube which has a more upright posture) but needs a good (& cheap) padded saddle thin enough that she won't chafe and small enough that she can actually sit on it (right now I noticed she's sitting on the very front part which is cause some bad discomfort in areas no one wants discomfort in ). By her description she's got a bony butt so some good padding would be great.

    Thought there might be a child's saddle that might do the trick - Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Yes. Take her to a Specialized dealer. They have this measurement tool which will tell you how wide your sitbones are. It's called the "sit-o-meter" or sometimes the "butt-o-meter". This is the key measurement that should be the foundation for saddle choice in women. She won't really be able to narrow down which saddles to try until she does this. Women's sitbone spans vary greatly - and it's not necessarily dependent on height or weight. You can be short with a wide sitbone span or tall with a narrow one. There's only one way to know for sure - measure.

    Brooks and Terry saddles are not cheap. I hear Specialized saddles can be reasonably priced and they have a range of saddles depending on the bike geometry and what position that puts one's rear. I would just let the LBS guide you to the range of saddles depending on the outcome of the sitbone measurement.

    One other warning to pass along - padding can cause more problems than they solve. Too much padding can result in irritation or even injury to the soft tissue of a woman's pelvic region. That would be bad.

    If you do a dealer search on the Specialized site and see a symbol for women's, I think the LBS is supposed to have someone there who actually knows about stuff like this.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  3. #3
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Yes. Take her to a Specialized dealer. They have this measurement tool which will tell you how wide your sitbones are. It's called the "sit-o-meter" or sometimes the "butt-o-meter". This is the key measurement that should be the foundation for saddle choice in women. She won't really be able to narrow down which saddles to try until she does this. Women's sitbone spans vary greatly - and it's not necessarily dependent on height or weight. You can be short with a wide sitbone span or tall with a narrow one. There's only one way to know for sure - measure.
    True - I probably should have been more clear. Do they even make seats that are that small (I did an informal measure - seemed less than 4" across)?

    One other warning to pass along - padding can cause more problems than they solve. Too much padding can result in irritation or even injury to the soft tissue of a woman's pelvic region. That would be bad.
    Yeah - we had that discussion. I don't know if she can spend a few hundred on a saddle plus a few pairs of padded shorts/pants just for cycling - the bike as it is now is a stretch for her budget. I actually don't own any padded shorts and just ride on a padded seat - been fine for me riding 10+ hours but everyone's different.

    If you do a dealer search on the Specialized site and see a symbol for women's, I think the LBS is supposed to have someone there who actually knows about stuff like this.
    Cool, I'll see if I can find one. Danka!

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    Do they even make seats that are that small (I did an informal measure - seemed less than 4" across)?
    Since that's the average span for most males of our species, I'd say they do. Still, I'd want a measurement to be sure. I noticed on the specialized site that they've got saddles ranging from $25 to over $100. That's a lot to choose from price-wise.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
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    Everybody's butt seems to be different, but in my experience (including a Downtube folder), it's awfully hard to get comfortable on a padded saddle. They feel good in the shop and around the block, but if you go more than a few miles, they don't do well. Could be my size and weight (6'4"/240) would give a different result than she'll get, but I'd see if I could get her to try a few different saddles based on their shape, not how squishy they feel in the store.

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