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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!

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Old 07-02-07, 07:19 AM   #1
HMS
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Saddle question for female stokers

Help! I'm having tandem saddle issues. I've got a Terry Butterfly on my Terry single (Terry classic), and an old Terry Liberator on my symetry. Both these saddles are working fine for me. I've put a butterfly on the tandem, but I can not get comfortable. It seems I have to sit more upright, there is no way around it. The seat won't go any farther back, and if I lower the handlebars any more, my nose will literally be in hubby's crack (he's a foot taller than me, so I'm pretty much staring at his lower back/butt as it is). So, I'm sitting up more, and depending on the adjustments, I'm either in sit bone pain, or we make some changes and I get full-on numbness. Any ideas, or saddle suggestions for the more upright position?

hs
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Old 07-02-07, 09:06 AM   #2
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I'm not female but I'll reply.

When we 1st got our tandem I (male captain) had trouble finding a comfortable saddle. I tried several without sucess.

What I found was that I tended to stand less on the tandem than I did on my single. Sitting for long periods of time cuts off the circulation & causes discomfort. I went back to the original saddle & started standing more. We both often stand not to power up hills but to restore circulation. Talk to your captain about this. If you need to stand - even on flat terrain, have him shift up a gear or two and pedal standing for a few strokes. I find it helps to stand often for short periods of time rather than standing for long periods infrequently.
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Old 07-02-07, 10:53 AM   #3
Steve Katzman
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Sounds very familiar!

My wife had also been using the Terry Butterfly successfully on her single road bikes. When we got our tandem about 4 years ago, I just bought another Butterfly for the stoker position. As it turned out, no amount of adjusting could make her comfy on this saddle.

Noticing that her more upright position was likely causing the problem, we went saddle shopping at one of the LBS. The wider tailed Specialized Dolce woman's saddle with the now familiar relief hole looked like a good candidate since it supports the "sit bones" better. Moderate amount of padding and not too heavy. We installed the Dolce on the tandem (which has a shock seat post) and my stoker was very happy with the comfort afforded by the new saddle. Four years later, about a week ago, after noticing some minor seam splitting, I bought her another Dolce and installed it. Down side is that it is no longer available in the leather construction of the original saddle. The up side is that the shape has stayed the same and the comfort on our first two rides with the replacement has been good. For my wife, who prefers to avoid leather products (she is a vegetarian) it was actually a positive.

We were probably lucky to have hit the nail on the first try, but it may be a solution that works for you. BTW the saddle was only $40, which is much less than I am used to spending for one.

Disclaimer - I don't profit from anything Specialized sells. I'm just happy that my stoker found a solution to her sore bum problem.
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Old 07-02-07, 01:04 PM   #4
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Anybody try one of the woman specific Brooks saddles? I'm thinking of having HMS (my wife)
try a Brooks Champion Flyer. The Brooks saddles have been so much better than anything else I've ever ridden that I'm hoping it works for her as well. The Champion Flyer is sprung too.

The Cannondale has a suspension seatpost, and the seatpost has no setback. Her knee is over the pedal spindle (for what that's worth), but she feels a bit boxed in with my posterior in her face (occupational hazard with her being 5'2" and me being 6'2"). I'm thinking the sprung brooks would kill two birds with one stone if she finds it comfortabe, allowing us to use a non-suspension seatpost with setback, and using the seat springs for the suspension.

Sheldon
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Old 07-02-07, 02:03 PM   #5
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Keep the saddle and try a setback seatpost for a bit more room.
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Old 07-02-07, 02:03 PM   #6
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My stoker uses a Terry Zero on her single bike. Like others here, she found it didn't work at all for her on the tandem. In the end she found that an Italian (don't remember which one - probably a Sella Italia) women's saddle worked best for her on the tandem. Because of the tight quarters, stokers usually can't replicate the position they use on their single bikes and, thus, saddles that work on the single don't work on the tandem. I don't think there's any remedy other than to try some saddles and see what works best for you ....
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Old 07-02-07, 02:04 PM   #7
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Same problem here. Wife loves the Butterfly on her Bianchi Volpe but it didn't work on our Cannondale Road tandem. I bought her a Brooks B-17s. It is not broken in yet, but she was able to do the 54 mile ride on Saturday. She never would have made it on the Butterfly.
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Old 07-02-07, 06:42 PM   #8
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I went to a brooks b68s - womens saddle for my tandem. It's a little wider than some of the other brooks seats (perhaps a bit too wide) but it is so much better than all my other saddles. I had no break in period - they say the B68 often doesn't need breaking in. I can still get a little tender on the sitbones on longer rides, but nothing like the pain I had before-not even close. And I can get back on the bike the next day and still ride. I don't really even need butt-breaks anymore (Captain still does though).

Love my brooks, can't wait to get another for the roadie...
kari
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Old 07-02-07, 08:08 PM   #9
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I got the Championship Flyer S intending it for the stoker seat, but it isn't wide enough for me, however it is perfect and extra comfy on my road bike. I got a different Brooks for the tandem. I don't remember the model number, just that it is 210 wide. I love it.

Love your sit bones; make sure they each have a place to sit.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:09 PM   #10
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Oh, and the Brooks "S" feature is good, because I hate it when the front of the saddle pulls down the back of my pants!
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Old 07-02-07, 09:28 PM   #11
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Unless you go with a custom frame, it's pretty common for the stoker to end up with a shorter cockpit and thus a more upright riding position. If you've been happy with Terry saddles in the past, you might want to check out the Terry Liberator X. They call it a touring saddle, and their literature promotes it as being designed for a more upright riding position. If it doesn't work, all Terry saddles come w/ a 30 day return policy w/ no questions asked.

If you've got fairly short legs, I would be hesitant to suggest using a set-back seatpost unless you need one to get your fore/aft fit correct. You might be able to get your sit-bones better positioned, but at the expense of your knees.
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Old 07-03-07, 06:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd
Anybody try one of the woman specific Brooks saddles? I'm thinking of having HMS (my wife)
try a Brooks Champion Flyer. The Brooks saddles have been so much better than anything else I've ever ridden that I'm hoping it works for her as well. The Champion Flyer is sprung too.
Sheldon
My wife recently switched over to a Champion Flyer. I'm a big fan of Brooks, but she's always been hesitant to try them... she finally gave them a try with the B18 lady on her city bike. I think that got her over the mental hurdle of riding leather and she moved over to the Champion Flyer on the tandem (previously a Terry Beetle with thudbuster suspension post). Other than the normal break in period, she hasn't said a single word about the Flyer. Only on the first few rides did she comment about "riding a board" after about 20-30 miles. She only has about 250 miles on it right now, but it seems to have started breaking in nicely, no complaints from the rear of the bike on recent rides.

She only had about 75 miles on it before we took it to TN Tandem Rally and did 83 miles in one day (our longest single day ride so far). She was surprisingly quiet about her saddle the whole time. BTW, looks super slick on the bike too . She got the Flyer "Special" with larger copper rivets and such, mainly because the standard women's Flyer doesn't have vent holes.
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