Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-17-05, 08:25 PM   #1
stevef624
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Comfortable saddle for a female stoker?

My girlfriend's butt gets very sore after riding only a few miles on our co-motion tandem with a co-motion female saddle. She has a very small and unpadded butt. Any suggestions for a saddle that would be more comfortable on her rear? I don't want to start going out and buying a lot of different saddles for her to try. She can't ride more than 10 or 15 miles without a lot of pain and that has cut down on our ability to go on a lot of group tandem rides.
Steve
stevef624 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-05, 09:20 PM   #2
JohnnyCool
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My stoker wife uses a Serfas cruiser style saddle. I'm talking springs, gel, etc... She also has a suspension seat post. The only bad thing is we can't spin more than 95-100 rpm's without getting bouncy. Since we don't need to spin that fast, it's not that big of a deal. But most importantly - THE BIG SADDLE KEEPS THE STOKER HAPPY. And if there's one thing I learned about tandeming, it's to keep the stoker happy!! Get her the biggest, cushiest saddle you can find. You can always move to a more race oriented saddle later. Good Luck.
JohnnyCool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-05, 09:48 PM   #3
flipper
<>< <>< <><
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes: Giant OCR 3, GT Aggressor, & Trek T200
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like the Brooks B17 womens saddle. I have had many saddles and this is by far the best saddle I have riden. We just got back from a 520 mile road trip from the Grand Canyon to Nogales, Arizona (Mexico), which we did in 7 days and I still love the saddle.

~Kimberly (turtlendogs stoker)
flipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-05, 10:26 PM   #4
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Questions....

1. Was she a cyclist riding this many miles before you bought the tandem?
2. If yes to #1, have you made sure her riding position is the same as her personal bike and/or tried moving the saddle that she's used to using to the tandem?
3. If no to #1, are you sure she's properly fitted to her riding position, e.g., proper saddle set-back, saddle height, saddle nose tilt, and reach to her bars such that her posture is correct and weight is evenly distributed?
4. Is she wearing cycling shorts with a full chamois? If not, why not?
5. Have you incorporated short "butt breaks" into your riding? At least one short standing & coasting break every 15 minutes would be essential for a new tandem rider.
6. How long have you been working at this: Days, weeks, months?

General Observation: If she's not a cyclist who has logged many miles, even with a chamois and proper riding position her sit bones are going to be sore after the first couple of rides. It will take several days of riding -- albeit uncomfortable ones -- before the tissue between her sit bones and the saddle adapts to the saddle. This is normal, even for seasoned cyclists who stray from the bike for a few weeks. If she is a seasonsed cyclists, replicate her personal bike riding position and equipment and then do some fine tuning on one thing at a time until she adjusts to the stoker's seating position. This may require a more upright posture which, in turn, could also require a slight change in the tilt angle of her saddle.

Back to saddles.... Yes, you can certainly experiment with some different saddles and if she has a very narrow pelvis I would suggest starting with a mens racing saddle vs. the wider women's saddles like the one that came on your tandem. Best bet for "experimenting" is to shop from the Terry Cycling folks as they offer a 30 day guarantee that allows you to send back any saddle that doesn't work out for either a refund or to exchange for another model. They may excellent saddles and you can't beat their guarantee program.

Bottom Line on her bottom line: If she's new to cycling you need to work through this break in process with her such that she'll want to continue cycling. If she's a seasoned cyclist -- and even if she's not -- you may want to search out a professional bicycle fitter to make sure her riding position is correct. It is usually money well-spent.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-05, 10:48 AM   #5
lmzimmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a brooks afficianado but my wife likes the wide deep gel saddle- we actually moved the one on her hybrid bike because she preferred it to the womens specific saddle that came on the tandem. Even then it took consderable adjustment both in overall height as well as nose tilt before we got it just right. When this one wears out (she is on number 2) I might get her to try a sprung brooks such as the champion or Duchess models -Wallingford bikes used to have a SIX MONTH return option on their brooks ( they may not be operational yet- they are in New Orleans). Thesee are also available from Harris Cyclery although I don't know what their return policy is.
lmzimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-05, 11:53 AM   #6
auburnrider
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A good source of info for female riders is www.teamestrogen.com. They have many threads related to saddles. We switched the stock Sella Royale (crucifix!) to a Terry Butterfly and it was a vast improvement.
auburnrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-05, 07:44 PM   #7
Bruce Lowekamp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Bikes:
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rather than asking this on a forum, go to your LBS and see what they have. It sounds like your girlfriend is a new rider. It will take time for her to get use to the saddle and to figure out what she wants in a saddle. If you have an LBS that will let her try a few saddles and see what feels good, that's the best approach. My wife put about 300 miles on a wide gel type saddle before she started to get more comfortable on a road bike and realized she needed something narrower and firmer. She has a specialized women's body geometry sport and I ride the body geometry alias. But it's a very personal thing, and you can't ask the right questions until you break in your butt.

Bruce
Bruce Lowekamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-05, 07:58 PM   #8
turtlendog
Stoked
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: White Mountains of AZ
Bikes: S-Works E5, Trek T2000 Tandem, Giant Warp DS/1
Posts: 268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmzimmer
I am a brooks afficianado but my wife likes the wide deep gel saddle- we actually moved the one on her hybrid bike because she preferred it to the womens specific saddle that came on the tandem. Even then it took consderable adjustment both in overall height as well as nose tilt before we got it just right. When this one wears out (she is on number 2) I might get her to try a sprung brooks such as the champion or Duchess models -Wallingford bikes used to have a SIX MONTH return option on their brooks ( they may not be operational yet- they are in New Orleans). Thesee are also available from Harris Cyclery although I don't know what their return policy is.
I just heard from Bill at Wallbike.com today. I had just ordered some stuff from them ( a Brooks B67-S for my wife's cruiser/commuter among other things ) and Bill emailed to advise of a slight delay as he moves his operation back to New Orleans this weekend.
turtlendog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-05, 11:46 PM   #9
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,908
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Several stokers have been seen riding the ultra-wide but very short-nosed Halo saddle. Believe Mel at TandemsEast sells those for about $40. Favorable comments from all stokers that were riding one.
Kay rides a Serfas Cosmos after going through about a half dozen different saddles. She put 30,000 miles on a Brooks B-72 and broke one of the saddle rails on a century ride. Replaced it with same Brooks model and she never could get comfortable on it. She also put 30,000+ miles on a Vetta SL, which she literally wore out.
Saddles and butts are tough to match up. If she finds a saddle that suits her posterior be sure to buy a second one as a spare as saddle models change quicker than the weather!
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-05, 05:41 PM   #10
DrPete 
Dirt-riding heretic
 
DrPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Bikes: Lynskey R230/Red, Blue Triad SL/Red, Cannondale Scalpel 3/X9
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My fiancee/stoker is very happy with the Terry Butterfly, but BE WARNED--it's not all about the seat. She started out on the Butterfly and couldn't get comfortable at all. We went through 2 other saddles before I played a bit with the saddle height, fore/aft adjustment, etc and bar reach, and now we're back to the Butterfly knocking out pain-free 40-50+ mile rides.

I also put a Rock Shox suspension post in the stoker seat for the times I don't say "bump" fast enough... Just fine yourself the $100 for being too slow and your stoker will thank you

DrPete
DrPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-05, 06:30 PM   #11
stevef624
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's interesting that a few of you said that the saddle may need adjustment. I think I may need to ask her some more questions about where it hurts specifically and try some adjustments.
My girlfriend only rides the tandem and we have only ridden about 200 miles on it in a year+. She doesn't ride a bike other than that and I ride 2 to 3 times a week all year and have done so for 20+ years.
One of my problems is that I have NEVER ridden a saddle that I had problems with so I may be not looking at the problem completely from her point of view. My last road bike I had for 17 years and had the original saddle on it that came with the bike. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many miles were on that saddle. It was getting so slick that I would slip off it occasionally.
She definitely wants to ride because it creates some "quality" time on weekends when I am not out riding without her.
I went to my local bike shop and spoke with the owner who I have dealt with for as long as I've been riding and the saddles he suggested looked too narrow but maybe narrow might be better. I guess I can experiment a little this fall and winter to possibly get her comfortable for next cycling season.
I may go to Mt. Airy Bikes who specializes in tandems and see what they offer in saddles.
I've always heard that brooks saddles were hard to break in. It that true?
Thanks for all the good suggestions.
Steve
stevef624 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-05, 06:41 PM   #12
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
If you are anywhere near Mt. Airy make an appointment to meet with Larry and take both your GF and the tandem along. He'll be able to check her riding position and make some recommendations on how to address her saddle needs.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-05, 06:47 PM   #13
lmzimmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am on my third brooks saddle- actually first lasted 25 years, the las two are current- one on tandem one on 1/2 bike. interestingly the last two have broken in faster than the original. Each of the last two were quite comfortable (compared to my other two non brooks) within about 2-3 hours of cumulative riding. The last was really quite good out of the box. I am sure there are differences but again adjustment is a big part and I am more willing nowdays to tinker with my seat angle/fore and aft adjustment and height. Thats why a dealer/shop that will allow you to try for longer than thirty days is great. Both of my saddles have well over a thousand miles on them and each looks quite new. also don't be fooled when you go up and tap your knuckles on a Brooks- it sounds like a piece of wood but when your weight is on it it gives in all the right places.
lmzimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-05, 11:45 AM   #14
Tahoetandem
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Lake Tahoe
Bikes: Co-Motion CoPilot, Litespeed Ultimate, Ventana El Saltamontes
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My stoker has been very happy with her Terry Butterfly. She was so happy with it that I tried a men's Fly and loved it so much I bought another for my single. Also, suspension seat post is a must as a stoker is often unaware of sudden bumps or whatever ( I can't warn her of all of them!). Usually, if my butt is a bit sore, hers is too, so stand up breaks to coast or for a short climb are ALWAYS welcome.....
Tahoetandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-05, 12:06 PM   #15
Bruce Lowekamp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Bikes:
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevef624
I may go to Mt. Airy Bikes who specializes in tandems and see what they offer in saddles.
I've always heard that brooks saddles were hard to break in. It that true?
Thanks for all the good suggestions.
Steve
Mt. Airy might be one of the best places to look at saddles. They must have several hundred hanging on the wall there. I don't think you'll find many of the newer high-end saddles, but there's a huge range to try. But, yes, work on her riding setup first.

Bruce
Bruce Lowekamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-05, 12:20 PM   #16
DrPete 
Dirt-riding heretic
 
DrPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Bikes: Lynskey R230/Red, Blue Triad SL/Red, Cannondale Scalpel 3/X9
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The only downside I've found at Mt. Airy is that while there are a ton of saddles, they have very few actual NEW saddles in stock, so if you do find one that actually fits it might be old/used and you'll be paying at or near full price for it.

But hey--a comfy rear is important.
DrPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-05, 06:34 PM   #17
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Between the mountains and the lake.
Bikes: 8 bikes - one for each day of the week!
Posts: 16,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If your girlfriend has a small and unpadded butt, I suggest you get a new one. If you insist on keeping her, she will need to try a lot of different saddles to find one that suit her. As mentioned by others, you also need to look into making sure she is fit correctly and the seat is adjusted properly. You may also want to consider adding rice and beans to her diet. No beans for you though, assuming you are the captain.
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-05, 12:25 PM   #18
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,642
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 333 Post(s)
[shaking head] I can't believe you went there guy but sadly, I agree.
Leisesturm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-05, 02:55 PM   #19
ROJA
Pepperoni Power
 
ROJA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oaklandish
Bikes:
Posts: 1,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am trying to find a seat for my stoker as well. So is the verdict that big, padded gel-type seats are more or less comfortable? I thought the padding squishes and then it reduces blood flow and makes you uncomfortable. Mine won't wear bike shorts (yet).
ROJA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-05, 03:16 PM   #20
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Between the mountains and the lake.
Bikes: 8 bikes - one for each day of the week!
Posts: 16,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm
[shaking head] I can't believe you went there guy but sadly, I agree.
I wasn't serious though, it's all tongue-in-cheek.
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-05, 12:32 PM   #21
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 2,642
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 333 Post(s)
ROJA, that is the general wisdom, firmer padding, narrower within reason and suspension on the bike, saddle frame or seatpost to absorb shock. I have a cheap saddle budget and was looking at Nashbar's $24.00 gel seat as a possibility. The Terry Women's Liberator @ $39.00 was a possibility but they did not have the Men's Liberator. I would like the same model of saddle f/r if possible. Nashbar had the Men's Fly but I did not see the Womens Butterfly, those saddles are in the $50.00 range and I initially put them out of consideration but based on the positive reviews here I am prepared to give them another look. I can pretty much ride on anything but my GF is more particular. I'll buy the mens equivalent of whatever saddle she finds to her liking.

H
Leisesturm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-05, 07:55 AM   #22
stevef624
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Expatriate, what she lacks in the butt she makes up for in other areas. Seriously though, I spoke to her about her specific position and asked more pointed questions and I think that adjusting the saddle first may work out. Unfortunately, the weather is quickly changing here in the East and we may not have many days left to get out and try it.
stevef624 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-05, 04:13 PM   #23
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Between the mountains and the lake.
Bikes: 8 bikes - one for each day of the week!
Posts: 16,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I should point out that we went through 3 seats on the tandem before my wife settled on the Body Geometry Dulce. She's got one on her FS single now too.
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:04 PM.