My stoker has always had issues with saddles on her single, and the tandem is no exception, but since the stoker's role is different than the captain's I'm wondering if those funky "ergo" saddles might work for her.
One of the complaints I've herad about the hornless "ergo" saddles is that the lack of a horn makes controlling the bike tougher, but I'd assume that wouldn't be an issue for the stoker.
So my question is who has/uses a special saddle for the stoker, and what do you think of it?
My stoker went through about every Terry women's saddle made, and they just wouldn't work for her. She is now using the Specialized body geometry saddle, and did her first ever century last year with no saddle issues. Fatigue but no saddle issues. This was the first time after 11 years that she could "comfortably" even think about that kind of mileage. She only rides a tandem and mountain bike. Mountain bike isn't an issues as she will be up and out of the saddle at times. As you know, the stoker is so stationary, the saddle is more of an issues. There are different widths available now from a variety of manufacturers, and what work for one doesn't translate into success for others unfortunately.
Time to measure some sit bones to get an idea of where to start.
I've got a women's specialized body geometry saddle and like it. Also an old Serfas Cosmos (no cutout, just a weird dip, but it works) and a Selle Italia women's Nitrox.
I've found that if the shorts aren't right I'm going to end up hurting no matter what saddle I'm on. Getting the right shorts/saddle combo is important for me.
My current favorite shorts are Sugoi Evolution Shorties.
This works for me, but everyone's different. A quick visit to one of the women cyclist's forums proves that, though a more thorough search shows a few more popular favorites.
I am both captain on my tandem and occasional stoker on my husband's. I couldn't imagine not being able to change position on the saddle. Sometimes I'm on the back, sometimes on the nose, sometimes somewhere in between.
I have a male friend who does 1200k rides on his hornless saddle. He reports no bike control issues.
Stoker and I have both been through saddle issues recently. My issue was that if I don't have an adequate cutout, I get numb. Not good. But a good sized cutout often means a wider nose, and a wider nose gives me friction sores at the tops of my thighs. I finally settled on a Forte Classic, which seems to be a Terry knockoff with a wider cutout, but still the Terry T-shape, rather than the pear-shape of so many saddles. So far so good.
Stoker has the same numbness issues, but like most women is a bit wider in the pelvis and so doesn't have the thigh friction issue. Instead she has the "girlie bit" issue, which needs an even wider cutout. She has settled on a Specialized Jett, which has a seriously wide cutout, and is a hard saddle, suitable for distance riding. She likes it a lot.
Gives you some idea of trade-offs and what to look for next, anyway. Most LBS will allow you to bring back a saddle. Performance has a great return policy. I'll usually try one for 1/2 hour and if it seems close I'll take it out for at least a 3 hour ride. That'll tell the story, and they've always been returnable after a bit of a wash. I cut down on the transition time by ordering 3 at a time from Performance. You'll have to get Specialized from your LBS.