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  1. #1
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    Help me find a saddle thread (please!)

    I haven't got the resources to try out a hundred different saddles and I'm hoping your input will help find something that works.

    I'm riding a Bianchi Pista with a mid-range Specialized BG saddle. My handlebars and deep-drop bullhorns and are positioned slightly below my saddle. I removed the saddle from my flat handle bar road bike and it was perfectly comfortable there. My handlebars were slightly higher than my saddle though.

    Now, I can't ride for more than half an hour with my groin becoming a center of pain. The saddle dips slightly in the center and no matter where I ride, I can feel the elevated portions pushing into my crotch. It doesn't actually hurt, but it's very annoying. Ignoring that annoyance, this saddle is still killing me. I get really sore riding it for a length of time.

    Is this saddle inappropriate for my current setup? I've adjusted it up and down, left and right, and angled it to the highest degree in all directions that will still allow me to sit on it. No luck. I've been looking at Selle Italia and Fizik saddles and I see that most of their models dip at least in the front, and it many case the rear as well. Would this help? Help...!

  2. #2
    Fast and Danger Ill Mitch's Avatar
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    the Selle Italia SLR is a friggen sweeeeeeet saddle but it's pretty pricey

    But if a saddle is really comfortable for me it might be completely uncomfortable for you.

    It's hard to tell someone else what the perfect saddle is, because it's really a personal preference.

  3. #3
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    find yourself a LBS with a generous saddle return policy.
    some will let you return a saddle if the rails aren't all marked up (tape em with electrical tape) and if you haven't scuffed up the cover. Some even have test models that they'll let you take out on extended rides.

    Saddles are a really personal item. That said, I like my Aliante.
    SOmeone will eventually tell you to get a Brooks.
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  4. #4
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    Should switching to a different geometry / handlebar setup make such a difference? I don't see how something that was perfectly comfortable on my other bike could be such a source of pain now...

  5. #5
    Fast and Danger Ill Mitch's Avatar
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    maybe moving your saddle forward a little might help.

    maybe you're putting too much weight on that soft sensitive area.

    moving your saddle forward will make you put most of your weight on your sit bones which will releave a lot of pressure.

  6. #6
    Fast and Danger Ill Mitch's Avatar
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    Also if you are sitting more upright now you may be putting more weight on your sitting area and less weight on your handle bars

  7. #7
    Happy Cycling HexagonSun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ill Mitch
    the Selle Italia SLR is a friggen sweeeeeeet saddle but it's pretty pricey
    not so. i just bought one on ebay for $50 after reading absntr constantly praising it for the last 2-3 years.

  8. #8
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
    Help me find a saddle thread (please!)
    We can help you find a saddle thread (Or you could use the search button).

    We can't help you find a saddle, though. Everyone has a different ass. Many people like the SLR and the Flite. almost everyone likes that brooks crap, and many like the Arione and other Fizik ****. Go try them.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
    Bike on flickr and on FGG

  9. #9
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Bontrager CRZ+
    very comfy, but bigger and heavier than most fixie riders use

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  10. #10
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    my LBS has a trial Saddle program with Selle Italia where you can take home a used or slightly blemished saddle from their tester fleet, and make sure it's a good fit before you purchase. I talked to them about it, and apparently Selle Italia supplies them with the test saddles, so I imagine other Selle Italia dealers also have a similar deal. When you're trying to sell $100 saddles, this program makes a lot of sense.

    Call up a few of your favorite LBS and see if they have a trial saddle program.

  11. #11
    ganbatte! sashae's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of the Terry Zero Ti...



    Flites as well. Classic and comfy.

  12. #12
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    As posted, saddles are a highly personal choice. After having gone through 16 saddles in the last 3-4 years (and test riding the saddles of friends on top of that), I've come to notice that there are two general types of saddles:

    1) Flat saddles
    2) Rounded saddles

    Examples of flat saddles - Selle Italia SLR, Brooks. They tend to be minimally padded. The cutout saddles tend to also be flat saddles.

    Examples of rounded saddles - Selle Italia Flite, Turbo, more padded saddles.

    The main focus here are your sit bones/perinium. I find that for my arse, my sit bones/perinium never really get comfy on 'rounded' saddles. I find that with the Flite or Turbo, where there's a pronounced middle section (think of the middle channel as a broomstick or similar handle), I can feel it. It's like I'm sitting on a pole. The Flite was fine for me on short rides but it killed me on long rides.

    Turbos feel like I'm riding a horse. Very plush and padded, too much for me.

    I managed to score a used SLR a little over two years ago on Craigslist for $30. At first it was a bit shocking. The lack of padding, and the flatness were a bit rough at first. After 50 miles, it was heaven. My arse 'got it' and my sit bones were happy. My thighs are thicker at the top so a minimally padded saddle works for me and causes no chafe or rub.

    I've since switched over to the SLR Gel Flow with the cutout in the middle and slightly more padding (and picked up a Fizik Arione in a trade) but any flat, minimally padded saddle feels good to me. Brooks feel very similar to SLR's in terms of comfort and padding and flatness.

    The Fizik Arione, I've been using on the track and it feels really nice for the shorter sprints and the foreward and backwards adjustments on the saddle since it's the longest saddle out there make it really useful at the track. It's more padded but not uncomfortably soon but definitely has a slight 'broomstick' feel but not bad.

    Pricepoint has an SLR knock-off for $25 called the Sette Race that has a bit more padding than the SLR but has the same shape, ti rails and I believe is carbon as well. It's not as stiff or sturdy as the SLR though. Performance has a Forte Pro SLX which is a rebadged Velo Pronto S2 which is also a SLR knock off with more padding, less stiff feel and a cutout (which I have on another bike) which is typically on sale for $40 or so which is pretty good. Look at these as options if you don't want to throw down a lot on an SLR or the like.

  13. #13
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HexagonSun
    not so. i just bought one on ebay for $50 after reading absntr constantly praising it for the last 2-3 years.
    Have you ridden it yet? If so, how do you like it?

  14. #14
    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    what you described as perfectly comfortable on your other bike was 'flat handelbars higher than saddle'
    then you switched to 'bullhorns with deep drop lower than saddle'

    can't you see how this would effect your position on the bike and saddle ?

    for a baseline why not set up your new bike identically to the old ?
    make the saddle height (the actual distance from pedal spindle to saddle top) the same
    make the bar height the same (if you are uncomfortable only when in the drops then maybe the bars need to be even higher)
    make the reach the same (the distance from the saddle to the bars)

    i cannot see how a perfectly comfortable saddle set up the same way could become suddenly uncomfortable...


    Quote Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
    Should switching to a different geometry / handlebar setup make such a difference? I don't see how something that was perfectly comfortable on my other bike could be such a source of pain now...

  15. #15
    Senior Member sers's Avatar
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    Fizik Arione Ti. I'm surprised that this one hasn't been brought up yet. An absolutely amazing saddle in all respects. There are plenty of posts here and web reviews to support this. What I will say is that it is expensive, but well worth it. They can usually be found new for around $100. Buying a used Arione is not recommended as it is designed to conform to one's particular anatomy.

  16. #16
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    Thanks absntr, good information.

    Coelcanth - No, I can't understand why that change would cause so much discomfort. If it was just the annoyance of the saddle pressing in to my groin while in the drops, I would understand. But it feels like an entirely different saddle.


    I'm not actually looking for a specific saddle though.. I'm just trying to determine what "type" is best for me. Unfortunately, my LBS only stocks Specialized saddles.

  17. #17
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sers
    Fizik Arione Ti. I'm surprised that this one hasn't been brought up yet. An absolutely amazing saddle in all respects. There are plenty of posts here and web reviews to support this. What I will say is that it is expensive, but well worth it. They can usually be found new for around $100. Buying a used Arione is not recommended as it is designed to conform to one's particular anatomy.
    I brought it up in my overlong long post above.

  18. #18
    Senior Member maxknee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sers
    Fizik Arione Ti. I'm surprised that this one hasn't been brought up yet. An absolutely amazing saddle in all respects. There are plenty of posts here and web reviews to support this. What I will say is that it is expensive, but well worth it. They can usually be found new for around $100. Buying a used Arione is not recommended as it is designed to conform to one's particular anatomy.

    saving up some bones for the arione as well. only heard praise for it.

  19. #19
    Shadow Member simple312's Avatar
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    specialized dealers have a piece of foam you can sit on to measure your sit bones. Specialized also sells a few saddles with a variety of width options. (not that i have tried them or am endorsing them, it was something i found about after getting my Flite via ebay.)

    For me having a little bit of padding and a saddle that is the proper width seems to be key. I have a non jell Selle Italia Flite and a stock saddle from a 80's nishiki. the nishiki saddle is more conformable i think because it is a bit wider. im sure it helps that the nishiki is not nearly as stiff as my track set up with the flite saddle ( deep v's & a bare knuckle frame)

    edit: the flat vs round seat might also have something to do with it. the nishiki saddle is round vs the flatter flite.

  20. #20
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    I also recommend the F'i'zik Airone Team. Or, if you want something more cushy, try this.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    無上甚深微妙法 .... 百千萬劫難遭遇..... 我今見聞得受持

  21. #21
    Happy Cycling HexagonSun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absntr
    Have you ridden it yet? If so, how do you like it?
    it's still being shipped, but i'll give you my judgement once i get on it. i've noticed you talking it up for a long while now, and since i love my brooks i finally decided to pull the trigger. i ended up getting the SLR XP model (the XP stands for eXtra Padding) so it's a little cushier than the standard SLR model, but without gel inserts (which i've never liked).
    Last edited by HexagonSun; 05-23-06 at 02:39 PM.

  22. #22
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    Thanks all! I picked up a Fizik Arione tonight and it's perfect. It fits wonderfully.

    Props to anyone who suggested it.

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