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Thread: Saddle Choice??

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    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    Saddle Choice??

    It seems no matter what bike I'm riding, my saddle is never comfortable enough. Anyone have any good suggestions on a decent saddle? I'm a lightweight guy riding a steel cyclocross bike. Mostly road riding for me. Thanks!
    For the best riding south of Boston:
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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    You may be like me.
    I stand up alot and pedal.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    What sort of discomfort do you have, if it's not too embarrassing to discuss your nether regions?

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I get some irritation only the left side. Never on the right side.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Personally, I like Brooks saddles.

    But first, before you decide on a saddle, make sure you bicycle fits. If you have a bicycle that fits you well, you expand the selection of saddles that can work for you.

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    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
    It seems no matter what bike I'm riding, my saddle is never comfortable enough. Anyone have any good suggestions on a decent saddle? I'm a lightweight guy riding a steel cyclocross bike. Mostly road riding for me. Thanks!
    Hope you're not one of the many like me who endured a numbered of different saddles, including a B-17, for several years before switching
    to a bent. Problems solved.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    I don't have experience with a whole lot of different saddles, but I've found the Serfas RX is very comfortable for me. My rides are usually 15-30 miles, but I've done a 120 mile ride without much discomfort.
    Chris
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    weirdo
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    Asking about specific models seems to makes sense at first, but everybody eventually has to find one by trial and error. Check your LBS for a box of "take off" saddles and start going through them, hit up all your buddies for any saddles hanging around in their closets, look in used bike shops for bargains- in short, try as many as you can. Hopefully you`ll find one that does it for you. In addition to the saddle itself, try messing with the height, tilt, and fore/aft adjustments, try different types of shorts and/or underware, maybe butt cream or powder.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ruby13's Avatar
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    Assume you have a good pair of shorts or bibs and use a chamois cream. I've gone through a number of saddles on my mtb/hybrid and road bike. I have been using the standard Prologo that cannondale put on my Synapse but it was only good for about 20 miles and I started to stand a lot. Tried a number from my LBS including a cobb saddle that is more geared for triathalons and almost bought but kept looking. Recently picked up a Fizik Antares which is flat but gives in the middle and better padded than their other models. So far so good with my longest ride 40 miles and still comfy.
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  10. #10
    Grizzled Curmudgeon keithm0's Avatar
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    a) Try a Selle An-Atomica saddle. They're awesome.

    b) Irritation on one side may be due to a leg length difference. If that's the problem, it can be accommodated somewhat by rotating your saddle slightly (see http://www.selleanatomica.com/resour...structions.pdf). I had this very issue because my right leg is ~12mm shorter than my left. Rotating the saddle eliminated the irritation.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Selle Anatomica. made to be a long distance saddle.. in USA

    Or something like a Selle Italia turbo ,san Marco Rolls

    Recently I bought a Fizik vitesse. but I'm a fat old man.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-23-12 at 07:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    I get some irritation only the left side. Never on the right side.
    For years I have intentionally had my saddle turned slightly to the left (when looking down at the saddle, turned slightly counterclockwise) but I have been doing that for so long that I do not recall what caused me to start doing that. It was a sore spot somewhere but I do not recall exactly what was sore.

    Sore on only one side could mean one leg is longer than the other?

  13. #13
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    I get some irritation only the left side. Never on the right side.
    I use to have that. I shimed my right shoe with 2mm of shims and that took care of it. Tilted pelvic.
    George

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    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I use to have that. I shimed my right shoe with 2mm of shims and that took care of it. Tilted pelvic.
    Interesting. My saddles are very comfortable, but I still get occasional saddle sores, particularly when putting in a lot of miles. The sores are always on the left side. How do you know which shoe to shim or how much? Is it just trial-and-error? Also, how do you shim if you use SPD pedals and cleats?

    BTW, regarding choosing a saddle that fits, the best advice anyone can give you is to buy your saddle from a store with a wide selection that allows returns. Finding a saddle that fits is trial-and-error. I probably tried a dozen saddles before I found one that fit me perfect, and I've since bought about 5 of those saddles and installed them on all of my bikes. Proper set up is also important. Some saddles fit me best when perfectly level, others if slightly up-tilted in the front. Tilting the front down never works for me.
    Last edited by tarwheel; 05-21-12 at 07:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Also, how do you shim if you use SPD pedals and cleats?
    BikeFit.com and several other companies make shims that can be used to compensate for leg length discrepancies. Usually shims are inserted between the cleat and the shoe. Unfortunately, with SPD cleats you'll have the cleat protruding past the bottom of the shoe before too long. At that point, your choices seem to be shims placed inside the shoe or building up the sole of your shoe so that the cleat no longer protrudes. I've heard of people using DIY sole modifications or getting a local shoe repair shop to help out. Don't know that either is ideal.

  16. #16
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
    Interesting. My saddles are very comfortable, but I still get occasional saddle sores, particularly when putting in a lot of miles. The sores are always on the left side. How do you know which shoe to shim or how much? Is it just trial-and-error? Also, how do you shim if you use SPD pedals and cleats?

    BTW, regarding choosing a saddle that fits, the best advice anyone can give you is to buy your saddle from a store with a wide selection that allows returns. Finding a saddle that fits is trial-and-error. I probably tried a dozen saddles before I found one that fit me perfect, and I've since bought about 5 of those saddles and installed them on all of my bikes. Proper set up is also important. Some saddles fit me best when perfectly level, others if slightly up-tilted in the front. Tilting the front down never works for me.
    I used the plastic from a ice cream container for my mountain bike shoes and cut them the same size as the cleat. I used 2 shims on that, but I know I could use another one. If I did that I would need a little longer shoe. I bought the other ones for my Look pedals and the LBS. I forgot that 10 wheels doesn't use cleats and they do sell inserts for inside your shoes as well.

    To find out which side you need the shims. I layed on the floor and had my wife pull on my legs and she seen that my right side was longer than my left. Keeping my legs straight, doing a situp, my legs were the same length. That means that I have a tilted pelvic. I had to shim my right shoe to kick my butt over to the left. That way it quits rubbing on the saddle. Just for good luck I moved my cleat on my right shoe forward about 2mm.

    I got tired of the plastic saddles and I just put a Brooks Swallow on my bike and that also helps.
    George

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    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    I currently have a cheap Orbea OEM saddle that's surprisingly small and stiff. I also ride with chamois shorts. The discomfort seems to be mostly on my sit bones. I do have the saddle a bit low because of an achilles injury.
    For the best riding south of Boston:
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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I run Brooks saddles almost exclusively, but that is after 40+ years of riding experience and they work for me, usually right out of the box.

    Aaron
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  19. #19
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I run Brooks saddles almost exclusively, but that is after 40+ years of riding experience and they work for me, usually right out of the box.

    Aaron
    This is good to know. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger. Which model would you recommend?
    For the best riding south of Boston:
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  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    All my Brooks saddles are B17s, but my favourite right now is my green B17 with titanium rails. I've been riding B17s since 2004.

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
    This is good to know. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger. Which model would you recommend?
    Depends on the style of bike and your size. I prefer the sprung saddles. I use B66/67 on my upright bikes, city bikes and folders. I use the Brooks Flyer on my drop bar and touring bikes. It is the B17 top with a sprung frame. Next time I am going to try the B17 Imperial. I am a bit over 200# so the sprung saddles work well for my needs.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  22. #22
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    Go read the Brooks website. If your handle bars are a few inches below your seat, get one of the Road/MTB models. Otherwise it's the B17. Unless you are riding really upright (odd on a cross bike), in which case, go for one of the City/Heavy duty models.

    Suspended leather saddles are a whole other world, a previously unimaginable level of comfort.

  23. #23
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
    This is good to know. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger. Which model would you recommend?
    Posting and asking that question on this forum, I would think you would need the B 17. Shop around and you can get a pretty good price on one. If you don't like it you can sell it pretty easy on e-bay. Good luck.
    George

  24. #24
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithm0 View Post
    a) Try a Selle An-Atomica saddle. They're awesome.

    b) Irritation on one side may be due to a leg length difference. If that's the problem, it can be accommodated somewhat by rotating your saddle slightly (see http://www.selleanatomica.com/resour...structions.pdf). I had this very issue because my right leg is ~12mm shorter than my left. Rotating the saddle eliminated the irritation.
    Yes, the Selle Anatomica is the best!! It is worth every penny I spent for mine. The first ride after installing mine was a full century, NO discomfort, it was like I had been riding it for years. If you are looking for the most comfortable saddle, this is it, well worth the investment.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    The OP doesn't say how much he rides or the exact nature of the discomfort, other than that it involves sit bones and he has his saddle set lower than normal.

    Possible to post photos of the Orbea saddle? Orbea put many different saddles on their bikes, most of them of high quality. It's very possible that the saddle is too narrow for you. Bike shops will measure your sit bone width for you. That is a good place to start.

    It's also possible that you just haven't ridden enough. It takes months to achieve real comfort on a bike saddle. Sit bone discomfort is almost always just a lack of hours on a bike.

    Sometimes people will get sit bone abrasion, which means that they are rocking their hips when they pedal. This is usually because the saddle is too high, but I suppose it could also happen if one were not flexing the knees and ankles normally.

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