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  1. #1
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    A Sensitive Subject... Saddles!

    It's been posted before, and it will be posted again, for all eternity...

    I'm looking for a touring saddle. I've realized over 10,000 miles that maybe I can be doing better than the pain I'm feeling. I've also realized that in order to find the perfect saddle, I'll have to try a bunch and see what works.

    Let's start with crowdsourced info, shall we? What are you using, how did you pick it, and what else have you tried?

    Here are my hopeful parameters:


    - No Leather or Cotton (sorry Brooks!)
    - Under $120, cheaper the better
    - Good for Bony Hips/Sit Bones (I have no "human" padding back there)
    - Good for Off-Roading (Dirt Touring)


    Let's hear your rants and raves!

    I have tried:
    WTB Pure-V
    WTB Volt


    I am currently testing:
    Fizik Antares
    Ultralight Gear Lists and Reviews... MAXTHECYCLIST.COM

  2. #2
    aka: Mike J. treebound's Avatar
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    Brooks has a non-leather saddle series, but it does have a cotton cover of some sort:
    BROOKS ENGLAND LTD. | ROAD+&+MTB | CAMBIUM+C15+CARVED

    There is an older vintage touring saddle, Motobecane or Univega or something, that a lot of people seemed to have liked if you can find one.

    Otherwise trial and error due to everyone being shaped slightly differently down in the bum regions.
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Life happens, don't be a spectator.

  3. #3
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    WTB Silverado... came from a Brooks B17 and Brooks Swallow for rando stuff.
    This came on my Fargo stock, was prepared to toss it, but I like it, so I bought another one for my IF.

  4. #4
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I've been riding a Brooks Cambium C15 for a few months now, and really like it. No signs of wear on my cycling shorts or the saddle. It gets plenty wet from sweat and rain, and is no worse for wear. Recently did a 5-day trip, and didn't think about it once, which is what a great saddle should do. Saddle about level with the bar tops.

    Other bikes have WTB Rocket V (more upright MTB) and Specialized Toupe (fast road bike with a couple inches of saddle to bar drop), also very comfortable, for the position on those bikes.
    Last edited by alan s; 06-29-15 at 01:39 PM.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    1985 I liked the San Marco Concor Max, I doubt there are any made currently good luck on the auction site on that one.
    use a CP3 Fizik Vitesse , on my Brompton they're off the market too , likewise the densely. thin. padded HP Vitesse (in basic Black Pleather )

    but its really between your ass and the saddle , not a vote of popularity on this forum ..

    Selle Royale is also the owner of Fizik and now Brooks , thats probably 50 different saddles

    Selle Italia, has a dozen models, they made the saddles for American Avocet too.

    Taiwan's Velo makes saddles for other importers .. of different brands ..


    It's a crowded market bazaar. go forth and sit on more swaddles..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-29-15 at 02:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I like san marco rolls and sell italia turbo (vintage racing saddles but both still available) and the wtb pure v race saddle. The wtb pure v race saddle is inexpensive and it works. Looks like you don't like wtb saddles though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post

    - No Leather or Cotton
    Well, somebody has to ask, Why no cotton or leather?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex615 View Post
    Well, somebody has to ask, Why no cotton or leather?
    Probably because 90% of the posts will be about brooks saddles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex615 View Post
    Well, somebody has to ask, Why no cotton or leather?
    Because they are against killing animals or plants.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Let's start with crowdsourced info, shall we? What are you using, how did you pick it, and what else have you tried?
    (For a ride in a more upright position)
    I like my SQlab 604 airflow a lot. I just wish the nose was narrower and it would be the perfect saddle for me.
    I had to go for the narrower width (14cm) because of the nose. Going narrower decrease the surface i can sit on at the rear area, increase pressure and therefore decrease comfort slightly but it's still very comfy.
    According to the manufacturer it has a 85% perineum pressure relieve and i can feel it.
    Have ridden 12hrs non stop with no chamois on this one and started feeling discomfort after more than 9hrs riding which is pretty good.

    So the 604, not airflow (for dirt touring) is one
    http://www.amazon.com/SQlab-saddle-604/dp/B009GIHOBU

    The other one that i haven't tried yet but believe it could be the one is the 602 DS active touring
    the nose is narrower and padding seems just right (i have another saddle with the same firmness)
    The narrower nose should allow to get a wider version of this saddle and therefore increase comfort.
    Waiting for more reviews.
    http://www.amazon.de/SQlab-active-Tr.../dp/B00ODXM34G

    Just looking at the WTB Pure-V and WTB Volt i can see why those are not comfy.
    Last edited by erig007; 07-03-15 at 12:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    A riding buddy of mine loves his Specialized saddles and it comes in at least 2 or 3 widths. I'm guessing it is well thought of because I'm told they named a movie after it ?

    Specialized Bicycle Components

  12. #12
    Bike touring webrarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by rex615 View Post
    Well, somebody has to ask, Why no cotton or leather?
    Not the OP, but as a vegetarian (40 years, this year), I didn't want to buy a leather saddle either. Instead, I tried a couple different ones and never really liked any of them. On a tour from SF to Phoenix, the seat became very painful (at least it was a distraction from the scenery!) and I decided I needed another saddle.

    Knowing that a Brooks leather saddle was the recommended choice, I took a look at my beliefs and decided that I no longer was concerned about the bad karma using leather might bring onto my soul (and that buying a leather saddle likely didn't cause any more suffering for the specific cow supplying it). So, I bought the Brooks saddle and have been very pleased ever since.

    I try to repent by telling the cows I see on my tours to "Leave NOW! They are going to eat you." They don't seem very concerned but I don't know what happens after I ride away...
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    A riding buddy of mine loves his Specialized saddles and it comes in at least 2 or 3 widths. I'm guessing it is well thought of because I'm told they named a movie after it ?

    Specialized Bicycle Components
    Get great results in several reviews

    The Best Bike Saddle | OutdoorGearLab
    Saddles: Components Reviews - BikeRadar

  14. #14
    I love the rolling hills. ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    maybe I can be doing better than the pain I'm feeling.
    What kind of pain, specifically? The above doesn't help us at all, so you're just going to get a list of everyone's favorite saddles.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

    ISO: 49T 130BCD 3/32" road chainring, preferably silver and classic-styled.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    What kind of pain, specifically? The above doesn't help us at all, so you're just going to get a list of everyone's favorite saddles.
    Wrong a good saddle take care of most if not all kind of pain because of its design. There is nothing due to chance and little due to personal choices. I can see a good saddle just by looking at its design.

  16. #16
    I love the rolling hills. ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Wrong a good saddle take care of most if not all kind of pain because of its design. There is nothing due to chance and little due to personal choices. I can see a good saddle just by looking at its design.
    So it's left to you to explain why noseless saddles haven't dominated the market.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

    ISO: 49T 130BCD 3/32" road chainring, preferably silver and classic-styled.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    So it's left to you to explain why noseless saddles haven't dominated the market.
    It is again due to the design of those noseless saddles. It is to be expected. There is a trade off and not everybody is ready for it.

  18. #18
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    I ride Terry Flys. The ti railed ones will push your cost limit a few dollars but the steel railed ones probably run a shade under $100. Very well made seats. No issues at all in 9,000 and 12,000 miles. (I do treat the leather about once a year with Snowseal.)

    Ben

  19. #19
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Nothing others will say is all that likely to be helpful, saddles are just too much of an individual choice. That said, I like the my Prologo Kappa pretty well. I think I like the WTB Volt even better, but you say you have tried that one.

    I guess I am lucky because I am not especially fussy about saddle choice. I have not had a saddle that came on any bike I bought since the 80s that I wouldn't happily do a coast to coast tour on. I don't typically even bother to put on my favorite saddle for a multi week or multi month tour and just go with the one that happens to be on the bike I chose for the tour.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    The pain i'm feeling is in my sit bones. No pain in between.

  21. #21
    Member Orange Gato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    I'm looking for a touring saddle.
    - No Leather or Cotton (sorry Brooks!)
    - Under $120, cheaper the better
    - Good for Bony Hips/Sit Bones (I have no "human" padding back there)
    - Good for Off-Roading (Dirt Touring)


    I have tried:
    WTB Pure-V
    WTB Volt


    I am currently testing:
    Fizik Antares
    ISM saddles? The Century has a non leather cover. Haven't tried it though. And may be too $
    Century ? ISM
    Amazon.com: ISM Century Saddle Black: Sports & Outdoors

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by phughes View Post
    Because they are against killing animals or plants.
    That makes no sense? so you buy a petroleum product that pollutes both?

    this is a hard one... I think most of my saddles have included a bit of leather or cotton somewhere... you pretty much knock off all the consensus favorites there...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Probably because 90% of the posts will be about brooks saddles
    Well, I slightly prefer Ideale saddles to Brooks saddles. But you can't buy a new one, they've been out of business for at least 20 years. But I own and love, an Ideale Model 80, an Ideale Model 90, and a Brooks Swift. All three of these are superbly comfortable leather saddles. The Brooks Swift is the lightest, best looking, and most expensive of these, but it's not any more comfortable than the two Ideales. I also own and ride a Selle Italia Turbo and a Fizik Antares. I just bought a used Ideale Model 90 from a local CL seller, and replaced my Fizik Antares with it. After something like 100 miles in the course of less than 2 weeks (and my pre-soaking the underside with Lexol before installing it), I can already say that the Ideale 90 is my most comfortable saddle, and well worth the 12 ounce weight penalty compared to the Fizik Antares.

    BTW, if you buy a used Ideale saddle, you can take some solace in the fact that the cow it came from has been dead for at least 20 years, and they won't be killing another one to replace the inventory.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
    Well, I slightly prefer Ideale saddles to Brooks saddles. But you can't buy a new one, they've been out of business for at least 20 years. But I own and love, an Ideale Model 80, an Ideale Model 90, and a Brooks Swift. All three of these are superbly comfortable leather saddles. The Brooks Swift is the lightest, best looking, and most expensive of these, but it's not any more comfortable than the two Ideales. I also own and ride a Selle Italia Turbo and a Fizik Antares. I just bought a used Ideale Model 90 from a local CL seller, and replaced my Fizik Antares with it. After something like 100 miles in the course of less than 2 weeks (and my pre-soaking the underside with Lexol before installing it), I can already say that the Ideale 90 is my most comfortable saddle, and well worth the 12 ounce weight penalty compared to the Fizik Antares.

    BTW, if you buy a used Ideale saddle, you can take some solace in the fact that the cow it came from has been dead for at least 20 years, and they won't be killing another one to replace the inventory.
    You may like the rivet pearl saddle then
    Rivet Pearl saddle review | road.cc
    [...]the Pearl offers all the best features you might find in the Brooks range but in a single saddle.[...]

    I've owned any number of Brooks saddles and while I remain a fan, the Rivet is better finished and even more comfortable.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    You may like the rivet pearl saddle then
    Rivet Pearl saddle review | road.cc
    Well, that may be useful info for the OP, but for me, I've got several reasons why it doesn't do anything for me:

    1) I already have all the leather saddles I need, and all three of them have already been broken in to fit my personal butt.
    2) I personally don't like cutouts in my leather saddles - YMMV, certainly.
    3) Other than my Ideale 80, which I bought new 37 years ago for something like $10-15, my other two leather saddles were bought used for well under $100 each.

    That being said, given that Ideale is long ago out of business, and the various Asian Brooks copies as well as the expensive, hard to break in and rarely seen Gilles Berthoud saddles have gotten mixed reviews, it's always worthwhile that there be a high quality alternative to Brooks saddles in the marketplace.

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