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jaymobutterball 12-01-11 06:31 PM

Comfort Saddle
So I'm about 230lbs and almost every time after a ride longer than 20min my tailbone hurts. My padded shorts have been working okay but still need a comfortable/affordable saddle for my road bike. So what does everyone think? What's the most affordable comfort seat??

CACycling 12-01-11 07:00 PM

How long have you been riding? It takes a while to toughen up the behind. What you don't want is anything soft. A firm saddle that is wide enough to support the "sit bones" is what you should be looking for.

gyozadude 12-01-11 07:01 PM

Quite a few factors can cause discomfort when riding.

1. Infrequent riding. Actually, for many folks, this is the number one problem when they first start. I'm much heavier than you. But I commute often 20+ miles a day. My back side is pretty tough and handles just about any saddle I through at it. I swap bikes and ride a different one of 3 main rides during the week. Each has a different saddle. Gel and memory foam are about the same. I ride without padded shorts most of the time for any ride under 2 hrs. Don't need it. I just get boxer briefs with seams on the outside. That minimizes chafing at corners of the crotch area where traditional seams on briefs are.

2. Riding posture - how you sit might be the issue. If you sit very upright, then it puts all the weight on the back sit bones and the day after a long ride, you'll feel the flesh on either side of the anal area is pretty bruised and sore. Leaning too far forward numbs and causes sore/tingling in the frontal pubic area. That's not fun and try to be a man and take a whiz not feeling anything down there after a long ride. Shifting height, forward-aft and tilt of the saddle will help. Getting a saddle with a front "cut-out" will help also if you have frontal numbness. Adjusting handlebar height and stem length (more complicated) can also affect posture.

3. It is the saddle - you need firm padding. Not just sponge. Memory foam or gel and it needs to be glued and held in place by some fibre-reinforced matrix so it doesn't move under compression. But not expensive. Web search "Vuelta saddles" and these are really inexpensive. But I'm perfectly happy with them as are my kids. Nashbar has re-branded saddles where their name on it, but probably made by Vuelta or velo or some other manufacturer. Planet Bike ARS is okay too, but too me a while to get used to.

4. Saddle is too narrow or wide. Again, study the sit bones. Most folks I know actually start with a saddle that is too WIDE. Yeah. A narrow saddle reduces biker spread and for guys, it's easier on the sit bones. Ladies need a wider saddle usually in the back, and short/narrow up front. Try a narrower saddle. Stick to it for a couple weeks. Then decide if you like it or not.

Hope you find comfort!

XR2 12-02-11 10:53 AM

Can't buy it just yet but see here.

pg13 12-02-11 11:13 AM

Im currently using a Sunlite Cloud 9. Im about 320 and fits fine even if im on for 20 minutes easy.wide enough for pretty much any sit bones but not cruiser wide. You can put the seat post a little lower and still ride in the same position or for a more upright position. Moved mine a bit more forward and while leg extension is the same Im in a more upright position which helps.

exile 12-02-11 07:15 PM

To me leather saddles have been the most comfortable. I had a Brooks Flyer pre-aged but it was stolen and I replaced it with a VO model 5. When I first looked at them the sticker shock was like "are they crazy asking this much for a saddle ?" But since I kept hearing great reviews about them I splurged and bought them and its been the best purchase I made (after the bike). What do you consider affordable and what's your price range?

RidingRev 12-03-11 09:28 AM

You don't tell us what you're using now.

If you're a newbie, it does take time to break in both a saddle and your butt. That being said, make sure 1. you've gotten a proper bike fit. That can make a huge difference. 2. you don't use too soft a saddle. It's counterintuitive, but a firmer saddle is actually better for longer rides. 3. you realize everyone's anatomy is different, which is why there are so many saddles out there. A good bike shop will let you try a saddle for up to 30 days and exchange it for free if it doesn't work for you.

I got my saddle right on the third try -- a Bontrager Affinity RL. They come in different widths. The R is a little softer, the RXL firmer. The RL is just right for me. I've ridden it on a metric century with no soreness at all -- and did much better than my riding partner, whose highly touted Specialized Phenom left him in agony (which was my experience with that saddle, too).

Pretend you are Goldilocks looking for a saddle -- not too hard, not too soft, but looking for "just right" -- for you. Beware anybody's recommendations, including my own. You just have to go test and test and test.

opositive 12-03-11 09:47 AM

about 250, riding since the summer, and have gone through a number of saddles. my trend has been going from cushier to harder, wider to narrower--but not to the point of an itty bitty racing saddle--those die under horse weight, anyway. my favorites are terry fly and fizik aliante off of ebay. saddle fit is personal-- so, after you buy a used good quality saddle on ebay, you can sell it at about the same price if you do not like it (which is advice i need to follow to get of some of these extras).

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