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Thread: Best Saddles?

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    Senior Member ddeand's Avatar
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    Best Saddles?

    I know there are myriad threads on the board regarding the pros and cons of different saddles (and I've read them all), but as a relative beginner, some basic help would be appreciated. There are so many different saddles out there and so little info about them other than the marketing hype. Some saddles are time-tested and some are so new that they have no long-term history. So my question is this:

    What saddle manufacturers and models seem to be regarded as the most comfortable and most performance responsive? What should I be looking for in terms of brands, models, construction, etc.? I need a starting point.

    I know I will have to try a number of saddles, but maybe your collective responses can help me narrow things down. For the record, I am 6'1", 225 lbs, 56 yrs old, use an old 70s Selle saddle on a '03 Lemond Poprad, ride mainly (90%) on the road at a decent (and improving) pace. The Selle is OK - much better than the stock saddle - but I think there are better saddles out there. I really don't want to have to buy a dozen saddles for my own tests, and I probably won't be able to spend the big bucks for a super-high-end saddle.

    Any suggestions?

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    Ok, I'll be the first to say that there is no saddle more comfortable than a Brooks. I have 2 bikes with a Brooks. I had no adjustment period. They were both comfortable right out of the box and were even more so after about 200 miles when my sit bone impressions were established in the leather.
    “He's all over his machine” - Phil Liggett

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    Love to Ride -CM-'s Avatar
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    >Any suggestions?

    Find an LBS that will let you try various saddles.

    Even if you get a consensous of what saddle everyone else thinks is the "best" it may be totally wrong for you.

    My preference is the Avocet O2, but those aren't available anymore. I also have the Selle Italia SLR on a couple of bikes and find it to be very nice for me, despite (or because of?) its minimalist properties.

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    I'm 6'1" ~200 lbs. I ride the Flite Trans Am and really like it. Many people really like the Brooks, but I've never tried it. I'd suggest either the Brooks or a saddle with a slit in the middle like the Trans Am.
    Pain is necessary, Suffering is optional

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    1/2 man,1/2 bear,1/2 pig ManBearPig's Avatar
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    Just walk into a bike shop, say "Fizik Aliante," and hand them a little plastic rectangle with some numbers on it.

    Statistically, based on the countless reviews I have read, you are very likely to love a Fizik Aliante (the Arione is a newer, less time-proven model, as you alluded), or a Brooks, the B17 model being regarded the most comfy, but the racing model also having good reviews and lighter weight.

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    Sick ... again MacMan's Avatar
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    Koooooooooooooooobi.

    Specifically, the AU Enduro - http://www.koobi.com/koobi/showdetl...._ID=11&CATID=3.

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    A friend just got the Fizik Arione and he really likes it, spoke with two other guys that have it and they say it is very comfortable. I've been doing a little research on the matter and have tryied a few saddles. I know many people stand behind the brooks, but looking at the seat, it is hard to believe...the thing is hard as a rock! but they say its great for them. I've spent more than ten years on my flite saddle and on long rides I wish I could stretch on it and for it to flex a little...from what people tell me and what I'm reading, this is what the Arione is designed to do. So, I'm planning to get on a bike that I'm putting together! But there are many other saddles that are comfortable for different riders and different needs.

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    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I like the Fizik saddle I have from the cannondale. Of course saddles are a personal choice.
    Just your average club rider... :)

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    I like my Terry Ti but not well enough that I wouldn't consider trying something else. I'd be open to a Selle San Marco Aspide too, not bad given how little of it there is. Specialized's latest Body Geometry saddles are light years better than the instruments of torture they sold a few years ago, which seemed designed primarily to keep urologists in business.

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    Are the Brooks saddles firmer? I'm new to all these saddles but wouldnt a firm one hurt more? What exactly makes them comfortable?

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    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    Brooks are definitely more comfortable IMO. I liken it to a matress. A firm matress is more comfortable than a soft one. As far as performance goes, they're not really light (unless you get one with a titanium frame) so if you're looking to shave a few grams off the weight of your bike, they might not be right for you.
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    The Selle San Marco is kind of plush so I have one with the fancy gold shield and black perforated leather on my Everest but all my other bikes have a carbon Flight w/Ti rails. That feels the best to me. I haven't tried any thing new for a long time.

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    For what it's worth a bike shop owner who rides a lot said the Arione was the most comfortable seat he has ever tried and I assume he (as a shop owner) has had many seats under his butt to try. He was a small person so don't know if they work for all body types.

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    Brooks is the most comfort but it weighs more. For me it's Brooks or recumbent. If your handlebar is lower than your saddle use a professional model, if your handlebar is higher than your saddle use B66!

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    Seats are really a personal thing. What's really comfortable for you may be miserable for me.

    Before you start swapping seats- make sure you've tried playing with the seat angle, position and have the rest of your bike set-up well. If you don't have an experienced LBS or buddy to help you out, look at www.zinncycles.com Zinn has a great website for determining proper fit on a bike. He also writes great books on how to keep you bike working properly.

    Assuming everything else is set-up properly- like stem length, height, seat angle and height, bar rotation, lever position, etc.. then start looking at seats. I've got some really spendy titanium seats like the Ti Flite Gel that I've traded with other guys I ride with. My personal favorite is the Performance Forte. It's actually a Terry Fly with a different cover for about 1/3 the price. It's a tad heavy- but it fits great for me.

    Although it gets a rap for being evil to your LBS- Performance is great for seats. If you're lucky enough to live near a physical store- you're set. They have a phenomenal return policy. Just about every other month the Forte seats are being blown-out for $25.

    Avoid something really squishy. It will push itself into places on your body a seat wasn't meant to rub on and it will end-up chaffing you badly. Along those lines- make sure you have a decent pair of shorts that fit comfortably but snug, not allowing any fabric to rub back and forth against your skin as you pedal. As you ride more, you'll probably find you want a narrow firm seat on longer rides.

  16. #16
    World Champion, 1899 Maj.Taylor's Avatar
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    Rolls or Turbo-matic
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMan
    Koooooooooooooooobi.

    Specifically, the AU Enduro - http://www.koobi.com/koobi/showdetl...._ID=11&CATID=3.
    Another enthusiastic vote for the Koobi AU Enduro!

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    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    No such thing as a best saddle except to the owner of the one that works for them.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maj.Taylor
    Rolls or Turbo-matic
    I've ridden a Rolls for over 12 years and its been good to me, but have recently been looking out for the "next best thing". The Fiziks (Aliante/Arione) have been getting good enough press that I have been tempted... That said, I agree with Shokhead.

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    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    I did try them because of all the best in the world reviews and wanted them to work but for me,they were the two most unrideable saddles i've used in a while and i adjusted,tilted,leveled and all that stuff to get them dialed in but didnt work for me.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  21. #21
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maj.Taylor
    Rolls or Turbo-matic
    Nashbar seems to have aquired some NOS Selle Italia Turbos's. I'm riding an old (~14 yrs) one I ressurrected on a bike I acquired. Toss up whether I like it or the Brooks more.

  22. #22
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    ........My personal favorite is the Performance Forte. It's actually a Terry Fly with a different cover for about 1/3 the price. It's a tad heavy- but it fits great for me.......

    .
    Incidentally, is it the Performnace pro SLX you're talking about ?
    That's the one I'be looking at but wanted to know more like:
    its width and weight

    Would you know that?

    Thanks

    Corsaire

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    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire
    Incidentally, is it the Performnace pro SLX you're talking about ?
    That's the one I'be looking at but wanted to know more like:
    its width and weight

    Would you know that?

    Thanks

    Corsaire
    You can reture saddles at performance which is nice.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jthj's Avatar
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    Fiziks are comfortable but the synthetic material they use to cover the saddle tears easily. For my next saddle I plan to go with leather.
    '04 Giant OCR-Elite

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    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    How about the Selle San Marco Arrowhead Aspide ?

    Has anybody had any experience with it?

    Corsaire

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