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Old 03-04-05, 04:37 PM   #1
ZackJones
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Tri-specific Saddle

Greetings,

I'm not sure I'm digging my tri-specific saddle. My Trek Equinox came with a San Marco Azoto Tri saddle and I just don't seem to be as comfortable on it as I would expect to be. On the Lemond road bike I had before I sold it, I had a Selle Italia Prolink Trans Am saddle that worked great. When I had my fitting done earlier this week we set the saddle to a level position (when the level was placed on the thick gel padding area). The problem I'm having is I feel I am constantly sliding forward on the saddle. I'm wondering if we should have set it level from the rear of the saddle instead. I can't count the number of times I had to slide back on it today during my 15 mile ride. I'll post a picture later but to me it looks like the way this saddle was designed the rear end is jacked up a bit and that's causing me to slide foward.

Questions:

1 - Do any of you use a tri-specific saddle or do you just use a regular road saddle?
2 - Is it normal to feel like you're sliding forward all of the time? On my road bike all of weight was on my sit bones and I could ride it for hours. On the Equinox I don't feel like I'm sitting on them which is putting pressure up front. On your tri bike, and in the aero position, are you sitting on your sit bones?
3 - Should I give it more time for my body to adjust? I've put about 100 miles on the bike since I bought it and 15 on it since I had the fitting done.
4 - Do you set your saddle to be level? If so do you just level the entire length of the saddle or do you level it at a specific point?

I'm going to tinker with the saddle some tomorrow when I go out to ride again. I'm going to start by leveling it from the rear of the seat instead of the gel portion up front and see if that makes a difference. I may end up switching saddles and trying my old Selle and see how that feels.

Hints/tips on getting this seat comfortable are appreciated.
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Old 03-04-05, 05:25 PM   #2
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Ok, I know this is a different animal because you have a tri-specific bike. I have a road bike with aero bars and regular seat post. I feel that I could be shifted a little forward, so I might get a forward seat post and try this. I always level my seat across the whole seat. This may have to change if I shift my body forward. Like you, I can ride for hours without pain right now, so I am concerned about changing my position. Ultimately, I would like to ditch the road frame and get something with a bit more aggressive geometry. I think it is just going to take you doing little micro-adjustments while riding to get it dialed in. Do you take a tool with you, so you can hop off and adjust mid-ride? That is how I found my best position (fore/aft, height and level). Just be patient, it will get there. You have an awesome bike!

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Old 03-04-05, 10:49 PM   #3
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Sounds like you need to "rock it back" a bit. You shoudn't be sliding forward. I have an Azoto and love it. You're probably only off by a few millimeters.
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Old 03-05-05, 01:42 AM   #4
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1. Tri specific on the Tri bikes, and road specific on my road bikes
2. No it's not normal.
3. Once a fitting is done - it's not a done deal. Feed back from the rider to the fitter should be allowed and expected after the initial fit. I must have done at least 5 or 6 small adjustments after my fit on my Trek-TT to get it to the point where it was what I would consider pretty good...at least for that frame. Your bars may need to be shortened maybe 1/4" - 1/2 ", which would place you more toward the center of the saddle. You may be just reaching too much to get you arms, hands to the right position. I must have cut my HED bars on my Trek 4-5 times (1/4" at a time) before it was better and more to my liking. I didn't want to cut too much at first because as you can't replace the material.
My Cannondale Ironman 5000 was a near 100% perfect fit after the initial fit and the bike just fit's me soooo much better than my Trek. The Trek seems to require more time and more adjustments to get it closer to correct or as far as I'm concerned closer to the Cannondale.
4. My fitter used a 3 foot level and placed it in the middle of the saddle (the level touched the tip and end of the saddle down it's center) to get it "level". Unless the seat is 100% flat, the level will show gaps due to the shape of the saddle.
** Your fitter should be able to take your feedback and make additional adjustments free of charge.

I use the Selle San Marco Aspede triathlon gel seat (almost 100 grams less then your model, but close to the same design and the same mfg) on both of my Tri bikes and think it's great. The seat is set so it's level, which should actually keep you from sliding forward. The large foam area of the saddle design should also keep you from sliding forward - and the dish/contour shape helps keeps you in the center or in a nutural position. Saddles as a whole are very much an individual choice - just like bike shorts. Everyone has to be able to pick their own diper. I know a friend who is very picky about his seat and bar position and perfers seats that are very very flat on his road and TT bike setups.

Last edited by MHR; 03-05-05 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 03-05-05, 10:06 AM   #5
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I, for one, prefer not to wear a diaper on the swim portion, as I feel it soaks up too much of the water and creates a drag ...just joking!

MHR, as usual, has the best advice in this forum... We should probably be paying a coaching fee for all of his knowledge.

RT
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Old 03-05-05, 08:19 PM   #6
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I spent some time tweaking the position of the saddle today before heading out on a 20 mile ride with some friends and think I have found a good position to me. I tried leveling the seat with the level on the whole seat but that put the nose up too high. I then leveled it based upon where the gel ends and that seems to work best so far. Thanks for the hints and tips!
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