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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-02-13, 12:10 PM   #1
Slaninar
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Saddle width

I know it's a subjective subject, perhaps a bit naive to ask such things without measuring, but still:

I now have Fizik Antares saddle. It is 142 mm wide. I don't find it too wide. However, I find it a bit too hard in the middle - I'd prefer a saddle with a hole in the middle, for the groin area, you know?

Since it is hard finding a shop that allows testing of saddles, my question is just: if 142mm wide saddle isn't too wide for me (no scratching, no problems), does that mean that a 132 mm saddle would probably be too narrow?

I found this one:
http://shop4cross.com/komponenten/sa...2-schwarz.html
Ritchey Comp Biomax V2, but it is 132 mm wide.


Should I be looking at 140 +mm wide saddles and which ones are good (with a cutout middle)?

How can I measure the correct width for my saddle?


On hybrid bicycle I use Brooks Flyer, which is even wider, but I sit more upright on the hybrid.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
.....Since it is hard finding a shop that allows testing of saddles, my question is just: if 142mm wide saddle isn't too wide for me (no scratching, no problems), does that mean that a 132 mm saddle would probably be too narrow?....
I don't think so, it isn't all about width, at least based on my experience and the contours of my azz....

I rode an Antares for a long time and liked it a lot. About 1000 miles ago, I very happily switched to a Prologo Scratch Nack, which is more rounded and narrower (134 mm wide)...it is much more about finding the right place for my sit bones to balance where my legs can move freely and I can sustain long term position(s) then it is about supporting my weight....

....however, if you insist on a cutout (my azz doesn't) than you may need to pay closer attention to width...
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Old 07-02-13, 03:29 PM   #3
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Many have tried to scrutinize saddle fit and failed; it's simply "try it and find out," I fear.
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Old 07-02-13, 06:44 PM   #4
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You can also try an Aliante or an Aliante CX. I think Fizik also makes an Antares CX. But before you do all that, play with the saddle angle a bit and also the height of the saddle.
Even specialized is now making a saddle with no cut-out.
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Old 07-02-13, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Since it is hard finding a shop that allows testing of saddles, my question is just: if 142mm wide saddle isn't too wide for me (no scratching, no problems), does that mean that a 132 mm saddle would probably be too narrow?
Maybe. Maybe not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Should I be looking at 140 +mm wide saddles and which ones are good (with a cutout middle)?

How can I measure the correct width for my saddle?
Specialized dealers should have an ass-o-meter to check the width of your sit bones and many people have had positive experiences with their saddles, with the Toupe and Romin being the most popular (they're typically available in three widths).
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Old 07-03-13, 01:36 AM   #6
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My sit bones seem to be around 125 mm wide (+-5 mm - can't get it 100% exact). Center-to-center that is. Should I bee looking for a 130, or a 140 mm wide saddle?
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Old 07-03-13, 05:06 AM   #7
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For guys that try to equate sit bone width to saddle width with accuracy, I believe you may have a tough time. But to me having experimented with a boat load of saddles, width is perhaps the most important metric.
I rode Brooks saddles for years and in particular the B17 was the most comfortable but not in the drops with its tea kettle profile. I determined it was its shape...pretty flat side to side and width that made it most comfortable. Today I ride a Toupe 155. The Toupe is flat in most directions and wide in back in 155mm. I can ride a century with no discomfort. Can't do that on a narrower version or another more commonly narrow racing saddle.
How you ride also matters. If you ride upright, then a wider saddle works better because your sit bone spacing where it hits the saddle is wider. Rotate forward and the contact pts. narrow.
Trial and error. As a data pt. you could try the Spesh assometer however. If a lot of saddles don't work, a good chance you need to go wider...would be my suggestion.
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Old 07-03-13, 05:25 AM   #8
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For guys that try to equate sit bone width to saddle width with accuracy, I believe you may have a tough time. But to me having experimented with a boat load of saddles, width is perhaps the most important metric.
I rode Brooks saddles for years and in particular the B17 was the most comfortable but not in the drops with its tea kettle profile. I determined it was its shape...pretty flat side to side and width that made it most comfortable. Today I ride a Toupe 155. The Toupe is flat in most directions and wide in back in 155mm. I can ride a century with no discomfort. Can't do that on a narrower version or another more commonly narrow racing saddle.
How you ride also matters. If you ride upright, then a wider saddle works better because your sit bone spacing where it hits the saddle is wider. Rotate forward and the contact pts. narrow.
Trial and error. As a data pt. you could try the Spesh assometer however. If a lot of saddles don't work, a good chance you need to go wider...would be my suggestion.
+1. Width is indeed the most important factor in keeping pressure where it belongs on the sit bones, not down the middle.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:12 AM   #9
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My sit bones seem to be around 125 mm wide (+-5 mm - can't get it 100% exact). Center-to-center that is. Should I bee looking for a 130, or a 140 mm wide saddle?
I think that this puts you in the meat of the bell curve. You want to go wider than your sit bones, not as wide as your sit bones. Also, as C4L mentions, how upright you sit will impact width, so take that in to consideration when measuring.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
My sit bones seem to be around 125 mm wide (+-5 mm - can't get it 100% exact). Center-to-center that is. Should I bee looking for a 130, or a 140 mm wide saddle?
The cervelo seat science web page instructed that the saddle should be at least 2cm wider than the sitbone width. With that, I would say go with a 146mm
The form, shape, canal/no canal is up to you. try out different kinds
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Old 07-03-13, 12:04 PM   #11
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The cervelo seat science web page instructed that the saddle should be at least 2cm wider than the sitbone width. With that, I would say go with a 146mm
The form, shape, canal/no canal is up to you. try out different kinds
That's pretty good advice on that page. IT width plus 2cm. You can go wider as long as it doesn't chafe, but not narrower.

But that's only the starting point. Pelvic rotation and rider posture have a LOT to do with picking the shape and even the width of a saddle.

As far as Brooks saddles go (since it came up, and since I ride them too...)

Max sit bone widths to model are approx: 95mm for Swallow/Swift/Colt. 105 for B17N. 110-115 for Pro. 135 for B17. If that seems extreme, it's because you can only count the area BETWEEN the frame/cantle plate as "useable" saddle. So it's about sit-bones plus 4-5cm for a Brooks-type saddle, depending on frame size.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:08 PM   #12
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Re mesured my sit bones, as well as the places where my sit bones made "indents" on my Brooks Flyer saddle. It is more around 95mm.

Guess I can go for 130+ mm wide seats, with a cutout.

I run Brooks Fyer on hybrid flatbar bicycle and it is perfect.

On roadbike I now have Fizik Antares and it is OK, but the place between my legs gets a bit too hard pressed when I'm on the drops. Guess cut out saddle would relieve that problem?
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Old 07-03-13, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re mesured my sit bones, as well as the places where my sit bones made "indents" on my Brooks Flyer saddle. It is more around 95mm.
I would encourage you to just go get measured - I'm not saying that you're wrong, but you'd be an extreme outlier if you're correct, so the odds are against it.
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Old 07-03-13, 09:58 PM   #14
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I just bought a new saddle a few days ago bassed on what my fitter said I should try. Antares is the most sold saddle by Specialized. I went wider after trying 6 other saddles all at 143. I went to 155 and instantly liked how I wasn't "too full" in the crease. I wish I had tried a wider saddle earlier. I could have saved enough money to get another wheelset
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Old 07-03-13, 11:04 PM   #15
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It's not as simple as the outside width dimension of the saddle relative to your sit bone spacing; some saddles of the same outside width start "rolling off" closer to the centerline than others that are relatively flat almost to the edge. You should avoid saddles that begin rolling off nearer the centerline as your sit bones will likely be on the slope.

I'm 71 and used Brooks Professional saddles almost exclusively until a few years ago when I began experiencing numbness in the perineum soft tissue area and went shopping for a saddle with a center cutout and fairly flat surface with the rolloff beginning a centimeter or so outboard of my sit bones. For me the answer has been the Selle SMP line. There are models with different widths, degrees of padding, etc.

YMMV.
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Old 07-04-13, 05:35 AM   #16
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I tried this one:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb...ss-and-reviews

Got to test-ride it. It seemed VERY nice in the first 10 kilometres. The pressure in the middle is definitely gone. Tried 143 mm version. Had to take it or leave it for 50 euros, so I took it. It is WHITE, like my bike.
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Old 07-04-13, 01:21 PM   #17
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I just bought a new saddle a few days ago bassed on what my fitter said I should try. Antares is the most sold saddle by Specialized. I went wider after trying 6 other saddles all at 143. I went to 155 and instantly liked how I wasn't "too full" in the crease. I wish I had tried a wider saddle earlier. I could have saved enough money to get another wheelset
I thought the Antares was a Fizik model?
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Old 07-04-13, 09:05 PM   #18
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I thought the Antares was a Fizik model?
Sigh, I think he meant Avatar or something. Personally, I think the Fizik spine concept is a much better way to fit then the Specialized Ass-O-Meter.
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Old 07-04-13, 10:59 PM   #19
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Sigh, I think he meant Avatar or something. Personally, I think the Fizik spine concept is a much better way to fit then the Specialized Ass-O-Meter.
Me too. But Fizik didn't have a seat with a cutout. The cutout seat made an instant relief. Rode in with Antares, rode out with Specialized and took it for a ride around. No problems in the drops - got as low as I possibly could, high - no problems. It is a bit harder than antares, but will see if that bothers on a 100 km rides. Even if it does, better pain in the but then the "middle" I think. If I'm wrong - will look further, what else. :/
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Old 07-04-13, 11:55 PM   #20
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OP, if you dig the Antares, the Versus version might be worth checking out.

The relief channel seems to work well- it significantly reduced the numbness i was experiencing...

but it might not work as a saddle with a dedicated cut out hole- not just a channel.

i think ill be looking at specialized saddles for that kind of width + flatness + relief hole.
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Old 07-05-13, 10:24 AM   #21
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+1. Width is indeed the most important factor in keeping pressure where it belongs on the sit bones, not down the middle.
-1

Shape (curvature back-to-front, side-to-side as well as tear drop vs. T-shaped), padding and shell stiffness are at least as important as the max width of the saddle.

Case in point, the Antares did not work for me because it gets too narrow too quickly in the middle. I rotate my hips forward and rest most of my weight on my pubic rami, and the Antares did not support me properly, even though it is quite wide in the back. I also have an old USPS team replica SSM Aspide which supports my sit bones quite well even though it is around 15mm narrower than the Antares. Then there is a newer Aspide Racing Team saddle I picked up to replace the old worn one and it is around 5mm wider than the old one, but much more flexible in the shell and it doesn't support me as well as the old one - I'm actually thinking of retiring it prematurely and re-covering the old Aspide instead.

As a few posters already mentioned, how one sits makes a lot of difference.

Last edited by Fiery; 07-05-13 at 10:31 AM.
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