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Thread: Stoker seat

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    Stoker seat

    Would like anyones input on what seat they use on the stoker post.
    Have tried 2 different models and so far they have not provided the comfort needed for my wife.
    Have adjusted the angles , height , distance, but seat still seems to be the problem .
    Would like to hear what seems to work best before buying another seat.

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    My wife has three bikes (Road, MTB, Tandem) and far and above likes the Selle Italia Lady Gelflow over any others.

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    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    I can't ride and Frown!

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    Selle Italia Women's TransAm. You'll note from the table on the saddle pages in the Colorado Cyclist catalog that it is dimensionally different from the other Selle Italia saddles, and that plus the strategically located groove down the center and hole all the way through make it the choice of a lot of the
    faster-riding women in the area where I ride. Many of them are perfectly willing to ride 100 miles on it. It could be that this would not be the choice of a petite woman with measurably smaller bone structure.

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    Selle Italia's TransAm line is/has been discontinued. It is being replaced by the "GelFlow" as a running change. My wife has the TransAm on her MTB and the Lady GelFlow on our tandem. In her opinion the the TransAm is about the same comfort level as the Terry Butterfly. The newer Lady GelFlow that replaced the TransAm is the most comfortable of all and was at a better price.

    Seeing as the TransAm is a close out one might find good prices on it if you look?

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    Hi

    When we started out my wife used the Hamoc saddle specifically developed for women. Have a look at www.hamoc.com . She swore by this saddle. As you can see it WILL not work for men!!!!!! Only problem that it prohibits the stoker to stand and pedal. My wife has since progressed to a Selle Italia WSD saddle and she loves this. It seems that all the kilometres in the Hamoc conditioned her.

    Keep those wheels spinning !!!!

    Big H
    The Big H rides:
    Raleigh T6000 road tandem
    el rapido road tandem
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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lonnie Seachris
    Would like anyones input on what seat they use on the stoker post.
    Have tried 2 different models and so far they have not provided the comfort needed for my wife.
    Have adjusted the angles , height , distance, but seat still seems to be the problem .
    Would like to hear what seems to work best before buying another seat.
    Questions, questions, questions...

    1. Prior to the tandem, did your wife ride a bicycle of her own?
    2. What are you riding (RT1000 is mentioned in another thread)?
    3. What size is your tandem and how tall is your wife?
    4. Does the tandem have a shock post? If so, how far down does it go when your wife sits on it, or more technically, how much sag does it have?
    5. Has your wife been properly fitted for her sitting position? Again, in other words, are you sure that her seat is the proper height, has the proper set-back, tilt and that her reach to the handlebars is appropriate?
    6. Which saddles have you tried so far?
    7. How many miles or for how many rides has she tried each of the different saddles?
    8. What brand/model/size of tire are you running and with how much air.

    The answers to these questions will help immensely with regard to making any recommendations.
    Last edited by livngood; 07-14-03 at 05:22 PM.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by brad
    Selle Italia's TransAm line is/has been discontinued. It is being replaced by the "GelFlow" as a running change.
    Have they discontinued the "TransAm" (anatomical cut-out) design or just eliminated the non-gel versions?

    Selle Italia had a separate line of "Genuine Gel" saddles that added some silicone gel along the nose and back edges of the saddles but no anatomical cut-out. I've got several Flite Genuine Gels.

    Next I seem to recall that they introduced the TransAm saddles which were all non-gel variations on the basic Selle Italia saddles, e.g., Flite, ProFlex, MaxFlite, Turbomatic, Century, etc.. Same leather cover on top of minimal padding and a hard shell base, but with a pressure-relieving cut-out added. I've got several of these; Flite, FliteMax and ProLink TransAms & Debbie Rides the Lady TransAm.

    More recently the "GelFlow" saddles started to show up which seem to combine the TransAm & Genuine Gel features into a single saddle.

    Just curious since we've become fond of the very durable, non-Gel TransAm Saddles and would most likely "stock-up" on a few extras if the non-gel version has gone away.

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    Unless Selle Italia re-introduces the TransAm you'll not find them anymore (other than places that still have old stock). The GelFlow is the new replacement saddle. As you mentioned the TransAm line had many saddles to chose from. They have all the same features as the TransAm line just are all gels now.

    On a personal note, I didnt like the TransAm line as it didnt fit my sitbones well at all. I tried them all too. The new gelFlow works great for me.

    My wife likes her old model Lady TransAm. She loves the new lady GelFlow. She tells me that the difference is not enough that she'd replace the T.A. but, says there is a difference after 2 hours and up rides.

    Steven/SELLE ITALIA has advised me the following riders have chosen to ride SELLE ITALIA "Gel Flow" saddles this year during the "100th Anniversary" of the Tour de France! (There are more but he just didn't list them!)
    Bauget/Lotto-Domo - Flite Gel Flow
    Peschel/Lotto-Domo - SLR Gel Flow
    Merckx/Lotto-Domo - Flite Gel Flow
    Garcia/Banesto - Flite Gel Flow
    Zandio/Banesto - Flite Gel Flow
    Fredrick/Credit Agricole - SLK Gel Flow
    Haupton/Vini Caldirola - Flite Gel Flow
    Exchabaria/Euskaditel - SLR Gel Flow
    Sanchez/Euskaditel - SLR Gel Flow
    Perez/Euskaditel - SLR Gel Flow
    Cooke/FdJ.Com - SLR Gel Flow
    Cioni/FassaBortolo - SLR Gel Flow
    Interesting to me because only two (2) short years ago not one rider would chose the "Transam" saddle! Does this mean comfort is becoming more important or have the riders finally realized there are alternatives that make sense?!
    Last edited by brad; 07-15-03 at 08:22 AM.

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    Thanks again for the replys!
    Part of the problem could be conditioning . The bike is a large/small with a suspension seatpost. My wife is 5'3".
    Just ordered a Terry Butterfly from Performance. They had factory seconds with the only problem being no embroidered butterfly on the back for $59.00
    Gal. 2:20

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Conditioning and “time in the saddle” are definitely considerations. We who are the “cyclists” in the family often time take for granted how well our base miles serve us until we’re off the bike for a few weeks or months and have to re-acclimate our posteriors and bodies to the rigors of riding an upright road racing bicycle (an inherently uncomfortable contraption). For spouses and companions who are not seasoned cyclists, the “breaking-in” period can be a distressing process. Patience and perseverance are sometimes the only thing required to bridge the comfort gap. However, that said…

    Make sure there's not too much bouncing going on with her seatpost. While a "cushy ride" might seem to be a good idea it's really hard on your body when your riding position remains in constant flux and your lower back remains in constant motion.

    Make sure she's properly fitted for her riding position. It was really hard for me to convince Debbie that riding in a more aggressive position was actually more comfortable over the long-haul than being more upright. My instruction proved correct and even provided the “need” to have a custom tandem made that gave her extra room in the back. Seriously, without assuming anything about your knowledge of bike fitting, I can’t stress enough how critical it is for her riding position to be spot-on with regard to saddle set-back (usually compromised when adjusting the stoker’s reach on a tandem) and tilt.

    As for the saddle, wider is better except for the most aggressive female riders who seem to adapt well to the really narrow men’s saddles. The Selle Italia GelFlow (formerly TransAm) womens model is one of the widest models available and, like the Terry saddles, has garnered positive feedback from many of its female users. Debbie worked her way through four or five saddles before we stumbled on the very wide womens’ Selle Italia model with the anatomic cut-out and she’s been very pleased with it going on two years and 8k miles now.

    Lastly, don't forget to take "butt breaks" when you ride. New tandem teams tend to spend nearly all their riding time in the saddle. For stokers who stay clipped in all the time -- which I recommend and which most stokers do -- they don't even get the short break that captains do at brief stops for intersections, etc... Constantly being seated can truly be a "pain in the ass". When we ride bikes by ourselves we tend to "stand" more often for a variety of reasons without even thinking about it so it's not always obvious why the tandem is more brutal. Therefore, try to make a point of taking a butt-break (stand and coast for a few hundred feet or pedal out of the saddle if you can) at least every 15 minutes or so. I usually set my alarm watch to do 10 or 15 minute count-downs so we're reminded to drink regularly and to take butt breaks. It makes all of the difference in the world.
    Last edited by livngood; 07-15-03 at 01:07 PM.

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    Mark:
    Thanks for the reply.
    My wife is fairly new to cycling. Her max. ride is 25 miles to date.
    I probably need to be more patient , I average 150miles a week on my Mountain Bike.
    However she is willing to try to increase her miles and I need to be thankful for that.
    Thanks again Mark for your input .
    Gal. 2:20

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    How comfortable should a seat be? Sounds like a newbie question and it is. I am getting into tandeming with my husband and the seat thing is an issue. While I have not experienced discomfort to the level some of the other lady stokers have out there I still am somewhat sore the next day. Is this just part of the normal breaking in period on a road bike???? My husband switched my seat from my MTB to my stoker seat on the tandem. He then adjusted it for me (up a little in the front) and it is definetely better than the seat that came with our Santana but doesn't feel super yet.
    I guess my point is ...... do I wait it out or go on the seat hunt?

  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Originally posted by brnigrl
    How comfortable should a seat be? ... do I wait it out or go on the seat hunt?
    See my comments a few postings up... Once you have everything adjusted properly (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm) you'll want to tough it out for a while just so you can be sure you're not chasing the wrong issue. I can't over-emphasize the butt-breaks for newbies to tandems who aren't used to logging long miles sitting down most/all of the time.

    If after logging a 100 miles or so (cummulative, perhaps with a 25 mi ride included) you find that you are experiencing pain or knumbness and you've been attentive to your bit fit and taking butt breaks then I'd go ahead and try a different saddle. I believe Terry offers a money-back gurantee with their saddles which are very popular with tandem stokers. As you can see from this thread, the Selle Italia GelFlow Lady saddle is also gaining popularity.

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    This is T., Brad's wife (and stoker on our tandem).

    It's been an interesting few years riding, and I've tried several saddles. What I've learned is that it's a fine line between an art and a science as far as saddles go. The industry tries to accomplish what they can - but they mostly miss.

    In order to compensate, the rider must use some 'art' in the ride. I find myself shifting to various positions. For example, if it's particularly hot outside, I have to get up out of the saddle just to cool off. If it's been a longer ride, I have to shift between having my sit bones take most my weight on the widest part of the saddle and alternate that by periodically shifting my weight forward and riding with more of my pelvic bone taking the weight toward the end of the saddle. This latter position means getting into my drop bars, and it's better if I'm on flats or downhills, obviously.

    I prefer to have my seat tiltled slightly upwards at the tip and aligned straight. Many people I've heard of have their saddle aligned slightly to one side and flat horizontally. As you may already know, it takes a little familiarity with knowing what your God-given bone structure is. We're all built differently - so no two riders will have the same response to a saddle, or to the position of a saddle. Understand what position your pelvic bones are tilted and you'll understand your more comfortable riding positions better.

    As far as actual brands of seats - I prefer the Selle Italia, Lady Gelflow. Go to a bike shop and sit on several - but to be honest that won't help much. Try all the positions for whatever saddle you have - understanding that shifting around is just part of the ride. If you're constantly hot and itchy and bruised feeling, then try something like chamois-butter next. Try not to drop lots of money on a saddle until you've learned your body and some techniques first. Then start mastering the various saddles.

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