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Women's racing saddles

Old 06-20-05, 09:54 AM
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alison_in_oh
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Women's racing saddles

One of the main things that held me back for so many years from riding recreationally was saddle pain. So fairly early this season I started experimenting with saddles, and on the third one I've ever ridden I finally got sweet, sweet relief. It's been so wonderful training more and more miles without severely chafing my most sensitive bits, or bruising my sitbone region.

But the saddle that paved the way for me into this brave new world of painless riding is not perfect. It's heavy, it's squooshy, and something about the shape is causing a lot of chafing at the butt-crease especially at race speeds and long duration rides. I'm suffering pretty badly from saddle sores, so now that I have my spifty new weight weenie bike, it's time for a nice light racing saddle for her, and I'll retire the squooshy one to my commuter.

Gals, what saddle do you race? Guys, what have you seen out there on the competitive ladies' bikes? Thanks for any and all ideas!
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Old 06-20-05, 02:17 PM
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Do you use any type of lubrication for your chamois???

Butt Butter or something like that???
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Old 06-20-05, 02:40 PM
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I started using Bag Balm when this problem first cropped up and it helped a lot, but didn't totally do away with the irritated skin in that area. And if I go a ride or two without it I've got a killer sore that takes days to battle (like the one I have now after I had just Vaseline for my race Saturday).
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Old 06-20-05, 03:22 PM
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I don't race but I won't buy a saddle unless it has ti rails, more expensive but lighter in weight and more supportive. I usually have to have the shop special order, they don't stock the womens versions. My current favorite is WTB Speed She.

I got my first one from Speedgoat.com. BTW, I'm small and cutouts do not work for me.

This saddle worked for 4 bike tours, club rides, centuries, etc. Have fun shopping.

Kathi
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Old 06-20-05, 03:42 PM
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Thanks, Kathi. My current saddle is a Speed She Comp, and I'm strongly considering the Laser She to satisfy my weight weeniness! I am just not sure that the saddle shape is right for me though, I think it's too deep which is why it interferes with my pedal stroke. But maybe I just need to use more chamois ointment, I dunno.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:53 PM
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Deep in what way? Who fitted it? I do know that if it's slightly off it can be the difference between a comfortable ride and a miserable one.
Kathi
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Old 06-20-05, 04:42 PM
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OK, so I'm not a lady...but my ladyfriend really likes the Koobi Xenon, as does April, the woman who runs biciveneto.it:

http://www.biciveneto.it/favorites.htm
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Old 06-21-05, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by lovemyswift
Deep in what way? Who fitted it? I do know that if it's slightly off it can be the difference between a comfortable ride and a miserable one.
Kathi
I don't know how else to describe it, the sitting area is wide enough but too deep, making it interfere with my extended leg. I have the adjustments fairly well fine tuned, and the ride is generally quite comfortable -- I wouldn't have put 2000 miles on it if it weren't -- but I am tired of bouncing off of the saddle every time I hit a bump, especially in a race, and these saddle sores have got to go. (On only my third real ride with this saddle I observed, "Saddle seems to be chafing where the buttocks and thigh meet, but hopefully some adjustments will help. Nudging the nose up helped a bit with too much weight on my hands.") The fact that it weighs 360 grams is not a plus either.
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Old 06-21-05, 09:15 AM
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Too deep and interferes with your extended leg? It sounds like the front of the sit area needs to be more perpendicular to the top tube. WTB saddles generally run a smoother, shallower curve as they widen to the sit area. Some saddles (like the Avocet Air 02) widen much more abrubtly and the nose is very narrow. This results in more area for your thigh both on the side and the back. Look at variety of saddles and compare the curves. Maybe this is the change you're looking for.
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Old 06-21-05, 09:16 AM
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Are your handlebars the proper height and what kind of seatpost do you have?

The reason I ask is because I was having saddle and shoulder problems and finally had a Serotta fitting done. There were 2 issues with my bike. The handlebars were 4 cm too low and I had a seatpost with a setback so my saddle was too far back. I have a short femur and the setback was putting me in a position to far away from the pedals. So we raised my handlebars and put a zero degree seatpost on my bike. Correcting those 2 things took away my issues. Now the saddle is flat and there is no discomfort. I rode about 4,000 miles after the change and was very comfortable.

I just put a new WTB saddle on my bike and there is no discomfort at all, even with it being new.

Kathi
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Old 06-21-05, 10:42 AM
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Thanks so much to everyone for the input! SadieKate and beppe, you are not the first to mention the Avocet and Koobi saddles, so I will keep an eye out for those!

Originally Posted by lovemyswift
The reason I ask is because I was having saddle and shoulder problems and finally had a Serotta fitting done. There were 2 issues with my bike. The handlebars were 4 cm too low and I had a seatpost with a setback so my saddle was too far back. I have a short femur and the setback was putting me in a position to far away from the pedals. So we raised my handlebars and put a zero degree seatpost on my bike. Correcting those 2 things took away my issues. Now the saddle is flat and there is no discomfort. I rode about 4,000 miles after the change and was very comfortable.
The last major adjustment I did to my old bike was actually to drop the handlebar and lengthen the stem for a more aggressive riding position. The new bike feels like the tops are higher than the old bike (it's a new stem, slightly shorter but I believe steeper), but I am riding in the drops a lot more. I will be raising the saddle as I don't get sufficient leg extension right now, and although my KOPS position is pretty good I'm finding myself skootching back on the saddle as I did before adjusting the fore-aft positioning on the old bike to have the saddle as far back as possible -- I like having my knee behind the pedal for power transfer. I'll attach the pic of my new bike that I posted to the Road Cycling forum, it's a tough one for looking at geometry because the bike is on a slanted driveway, I tipped the camera to make it level but that makes the bricks behind the bike provide a weird optical effect...

EDIT: I added a pic of the old bike setup.
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