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  1. #1
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    Non-leather touring saddles?

    So I'm in the market for a touring saddle, and it seems like Brooks has about a 100% share of this market. Only thing is, I've been boycotting leather for years now (even longer than I've boycotted McDonalds!) and would rather not change that now.

    Has anyone had good experiences with non-leather saddles on long rides? If so, I'd love to hear about them...

  2. #2
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    any saddle is a touring saddle. pick one that is comfortable and ride it. if you have one that you like right now and it is comfy, go for it.

  3. #3
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldener
    any saddle is a touring saddle. pick one that is comfortable and ride it. if you have one that you like right now and it is comfy, go for it.
    Exactly. Even as a dedicated Brooks user, it's what works for you. Check out this site for all the varied bits that people use to tour with...
    http://www.pbase.com/canyonlands/fullyloaded%20%20

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    This is my next saddle.... SSM Ponza. All fabric iirc.

    You could also try the Saddleco Flow, 100% synthetic. Might be kind of drafty for cold weather though.

    Whatever you do, try to avoid the big puffy gel saddles. They might feel comfortable for short rides, but they are too soft and, as a result, can cut off circulation in, err, "critical" areas.

    Unfortunately, saddles are a very personal thing, and LBS's are reluctant (or just won't) let you try it or return it, as mounting it on the bike can scuff up the rails and kill the resale value. Maybe some of the Internet retailers will be a little better?

  5. #5
    Macro Geek
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    I've gone through six or so saddles during the past several decades, and none have been made of leather. Some have been more comfortable than others, but in the end (no pun intended!) it's what works for you.

    Having a clear conscience about what you are sitting on also contributes to comfort!

  6. #6
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    I just finished about 1800km's of touring with a Specialized Alias saddle, worked well for me. It comes in 3 different widths, your lbs should be able to fit you. Having said that, as everyone else has said, it's what works for you, and unfortunately, there's really only one way to find out what that is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 58Kogswell's Avatar
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    Has anyone had good experiences with non-leather saddles on long rides? If so, I'd love to hear about them...[/QUOTE]

    Just a suggestion which I understand is what you are looking for. fizik Rondine non-leather works for me. It is wider, (137mm) which I need, than many of the other fiziks and flites. The microtex cover is fine and not a problem so far. I don't expect it to last as long as a leather Brooks, which is what I generally use. I tried this as a possible answer to riding in the rain on long tours which is not a good idea on a Brooks.

    see: http://www.fizik.it/catalog.aspx?sub...dine_wing_flex

    and: http://tinyurl.com/2t5g3l

    and: http://www.pbase.com/jblish/image/69590405

    YMMV and as they say it is a highly personalized and subjective issue. good luck

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I ride with a Specialized Body Geometry and find it very comfortable. Its pushing 2000 miles and I still enjoy it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 58Kogswell's Avatar
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    sorry. the fizik Rondine which I recommended is 148 mm wide at its widest point, not 137 as I stated yesterday.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkCoatsworth
    So I'm in the market for a touring saddle, and it seems like Brooks has about a 100% share of this market. Only thing is, I've been boycotting leather for years now (even longer than I've boycotted McDonalds!) and would rather not change that now.

    Has anyone had good experiences with non-leather saddles on long rides? If so, I'd love to hear about them...
    Just as a data point, I'm a vegan who uses Brooks saddles. The leather lasts several decades with care, and I know that our synthetic saddles, made from petroleum products, carry a heavy social cost as well, but *generally* need to be replaced with greater frequency. And at least for this bike rider, the Brooks is much more comfortable and inexpensive. I gave away all my non-leather ones. And I haven't eaten meat, nor been in McD for 11 years. But to each their own.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Ha, yeah, another vegan who rides a brooks. One day on Craigslist a guy was selling one he had used for a week, and I couldn't resist. You may want to go that route if you are cool with buying used leather. It is the best seat by far I have ever used.

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