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Thread: Testing saddles

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    etw
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    Testing saddles

    How long (use any measurement of time or distance you like) do you give when trying a new saddle before deciding it is not for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    How long (use any measurement of time or distance you like) do you give when trying a new saddle before deciding it is not for you?
    You've got it backwards. What takes time is deciding the saddle IS for you. Giving up on a saddle hapens pretty quickly.
    Robert

    My hero: "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'..." (Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus")

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    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Depends. In what was is it uncomfortable?

    If your junk is going numb at reasonable saddle angles, you're just never going to get used to it. Well, not without damaging stuff that shouldn't be damaged.

    If your ass is sore because you're not accustomed to weight resting entirely on your sit bones, I'd give it a couple weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

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    About 1-2 hours assuming you're adjusting the saddle every 20-30 minutes. If you haven't found a comfortable spot after 3-4 adjustments, you aren't going to.

    As pointed out above, sit bone soreness is a little different than numbness. I ride a Selle SMP. The first demo ride was whole new world of pain. The next ride was much better.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    You never will know until after the 3rd hour. My practice is to ride a century on it. My wife just did that with a new stoker saddle. It worked fine.

    Before I do that, I give it a preliminary try on the rollers, say an hour. Frequently, I'll know in 10 seconds. If it passes the roller test, then I know it's worth really trying it out. If I'm looking for a new saddle, I usually buy three at a time and pick the best one for a longer test.

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    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    There are a lot of saddles you can tolerate; I think you have to get well past 3 hours to know for sure if it's going to work or not.

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    You have to at least get to third base.

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    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    There are a lot of saddles you can tolerate; I think you have to get well past 3 hours to know for sure if it's going to work or not.
    Sad but true. That is why there are so many saddles in my garage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    The first demo ride was whole new world of pain. The next ride was much better.
    Improvement is the key. If it keeps getting better, you can stick with it.

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    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    A tip OP...if you try a lot of saddles and you can't find a good one, look inward grasshopper...its you.
    I was off my road bike from late Nov thru end of Dec because I moved. When got back on the same bike I rode 4K miles on last year, my butt hurt...a Toupe 155mm, my favorite...a saddle I did a number of centuries on no problem. It was a combination of loss of butt conditioning and my riding position on the bike. 1K miles since the beginning of the year and my butt feels perfect after every ride. Took me about 3 weeks of riding. If you are riding too upright for example, your sit bones will be over loaded. You (we) all need to work on our position and pelvis position on the bike for the best saddle comfort.
    Good luck in your search.

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    etw
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    Thanks for the feedback. For the last year or so, I was on a Toupe. While it is ok, after a couple of hours I was squirming trying to get some relief from sit bone pain. On longer group rides and centuries, I would notice that others were happily on their saddle, while I was moving and often standing to get some periodic relief.

    I have done a bike fit and regular tweaking of position (both mine and the saddle) with no real change. I am currently trying a Kurve Bull and will see how that ends up. I will give it some time, since over this winter I have not been on the road bike as much as I would like.
    Last edited by etw; 03-07-14 at 09:21 AM.

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    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    I am currently trying a Kurve Bull and will see how that ends up..
    I had a Kurve Chameleon and it was magically comfortable but, like many others had reported, the shell cracked, in my case I only had 500 miles on it. I really hope Fizik figures out their material issue because I thought the Kurve was awesome.

    Did you actually select the saddle based upon spine flexibility as recommended?
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    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. For the lat year or so, I was on a Toupe. While it is ok, after a couple of hours I was squirming trying to get some relief from sit bone pain. On longer group rides and centuries, I would notice that others were happily on their saddle, while I was moving and often standing to get some periodic relief.

    I have done a bike fit and regular tweaking of position (both mine and the saddle) with no real change. I am currently trying a Kurve Bull and will see how that ends up. I will give it some time, since over this winter I have not been on the road bike as much as I would like.
    Bottom line, forgive the pun is...you have to rotate your pelvis to endure a racing saddle.
    There is a simple experiment. Find a clear patch of road, take your forefinger and place it under the sitbone on the same side while pedaling and holding on to the top of the handlebar with the other hand. You will feel a lot of pressure. If you rotate your pelvis more forward, this will dramatically reduce pressure from your sit bones. If you ride a road bike like a cruiser, you will never be comfortable on a racing style saddle.
    Also try rotating your saddle tilt back. The rear of the saddle should be relatively close to flat and not angled forward which adds pressure to the sit bones. Good luck.

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    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Also try rotating your saddle tilt back. The rear of the saddle should be relatively close to flat and not angled forward which adds pressure to the sit bones. Good luck.
    or....try a flat saddle. That's all that works for me so far.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    It may take quite awhile to figure out what works best for you by trying many different styles and riding each long enough to adapt to it enough to be able to tell. Once you know however, it's pretty easy to figure out if any given saddle is going to work. I can pretty much tell just by looking at them.

    And yes. Flat is what works for me too.
    Ride more. Fret less.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Sad but true. That is why there are so many saddles in my garage.
    Here too, but mostly old ones once I figured out to try a long distance right away, then send or take it back if it doesn't work. I don't do the "it may hurt now but it's going to get better" thing. If it hurts now, I send it back. If you're going to spend your daylight hours in the saddle, if it hurts at all it's going to become unendurable. The saddle should disappear, right now. That assumes you ride a lot, already have a good saddle butt, and know how to sit on a saddle.

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    Never had a saddle that didn't like my skinny butt. Does that mean I have a good saddle butt?
    Of late, I've even been using shorts without any padding - just chamois for sweat absorption.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Here too, but mostly old ones once I figured out to try a long distance right away, then send or take it back if it doesn't work. I don't do the "it may hurt now but it's going to get better" thing. If it hurts now, I send it back. If you're going to spend your daylight hours in the saddle, if it hurts at all it's going to become unendurable. The saddle should disappear, right now. That assumes you ride a lot, already have a good saddle butt, and know how to sit on a saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Bottom line, forgive the pun is...you have to rotate your pelvis to endure a racing saddle.
    There is a simple experiment.
    I recently slid my seat back 7-8mm (gradually) and I find my seat much more bearable after 2 1/2 hours than I used to. It feels like I'm sitting more in the middle of the saddle. I think a more upright and/or less stretched out position makes it harder to be comfortable on a road bike saddle.

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    Senior Member Avispa's Avatar
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    Sitbone pain i have never had much of, but perineum pressure, ache and numbness i have had and bad, really bad.
    I used Prologo Scratch CPC which i don't like. Selle Italia Super Flow which is quite good, Fizik Antares 00 which is no solution but better than Prologo.
    None of these offer much support to my sitbones while riding in the drops. Angling, lowering or changing distance was not the key to solution.
    Then again there is Selle SMP Dynamic crb. It require more thought and fiddling for precise angle, height and distance, but it's a great saddle, i am happy i finally got it.
    I am 110mm between sitbones.

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    etw
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    Some of the comments in this thread inspired me to do some tweaking to my Toupe. I have been making some small adjustments to height, fore/aft, angle and my own position. There have been some improvements. I'll see how it works out in the long term.

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    etw
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    I thought it might be useful to do an update. Because of an ongoing chafing issue with my previous saddle I switched to a Prologo Nago Evo. It is a nice saddle. I have had some sit bone discomfort over long rides, but that has been improving with regular use and tweaking of position (both mine and the saddle). I am going to keep it on there for a while to see how I settle in over the long term.

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