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I think I need a new saddle

Old 05-14-15, 09:01 PM
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cdyer77
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I think I need a new saddle

so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.

So I'm thinking about trying another saddle, but as you all know, this can get pretty expensive "testing" saddles out until you find a good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good commuter saddle?
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Old 05-14-15, 09:27 PM
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Charge Spoon
Specialized MTB saddles.

I've used both the Charge is a super deal at $28 (Universal Cycles). Spec saddles can be found at decent prices on eBarf, but they are popular and go at relatively high prices compared to other brands. Maybe a testament to their comfort level. Maybe not.
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Old 05-15-15, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Charge Spoon
Specialized MTB saddles.

I've used both the Charge is a super deal at $28 (Universal Cycles). Spec saddles can be found at decent prices on eBarf, but they are popular and go at relatively high prices compared to other brands. Maybe a testament to their comfort level. Maybe not.
I had the charge spoon and it didn't do it for me.

And popular doesn't mean good.
The difference between those two word is most likely advertisement which has nothing to do with how good a product is.

Last edited by erig007; 05-15-15 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 05-15-15, 12:14 PM
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Time for a Brooks....hehe
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Old 05-15-15, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cdyer77 View Post
so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.

So I'm thinking about trying another saddle, but as you all know, this can get pretty expensive "testing" saddles out until you find a good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good commuter saddle?
What type of bike are you riding?
Is your saddle higher or lower than your handlebar?
How long is your ride?
Does saddle weight matter to you?
How about maintenance? (leather saddles)
Price?
...
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Old 05-15-15, 01:01 PM
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It might be a fit issue; and yes as you get more accustomed to a cycling position you change. What kind of bike is it? Road bike with drap bars?

Numbness "there" may mean that either your seat is too high or your seat is tilted up too much. Ie: is your seat hight *perfect* ? (I mean it, most important thing!), if it is then tilt your saddle nose down until it doesn't hurt anymore. It may be your saddle too, but make sure its not a fit issue first.
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Old 05-15-15, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cdyer77 View Post
so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.
Maybe, maybe not.

Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Every spring, bike shops sell scads of saddles to cyclists who come in because their old saddle has become uncomfortable since they stopped cycling in the fall. They went out for a ride or two, and found it much less comfortable than they remembered from the previous year. They've heard about the latest buzzword in saddle gimmicks, and they want one of those!

They buy the new saddle, put it on the bike, go for a few more rides, and find they're much more comfortable. They tell all their friends about their wonderful new saddle, and how they need one too...

But was it really the new, high-tech saddle...or was it just that the rider had become unaccustomed to cycling over the winter layoff? In many cases, working your way up over the course of a few short rides of gradually increasing length is all that is necessary, if you have a decent-quality saddle, properly adjusted. If you have previously been comfortable on your present saddle, don't be in a hurry to change.
https://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
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Old 05-15-15, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cdyer77 View Post
so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.

So I'm thinking about trying another saddle, but as you all know, this can get pretty expensive "testing" saddles out until you find a good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good commuter saddle?
You don't mention your age but yes, this is entirely possible. I know, because it happened to me.

After years of faithful service my beloved Terry Fly was making me unhappy. I tried a suspension seatpost but to no avail; I just wasn't comfortable sitting on the bike.

I looked at lots of saddles and finally decided on a Brooks Flyer, and it has changed my cycling life.

It's so comfy that I don't ride with pads anymore; plain shorts or jeans are just fine!

This may not be the right saddle for you but I suggest you give it a look.

Better yet, do some online research; Brooks is almost a religion for the enlightened...
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Old 05-15-15, 03:09 PM
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the which saddle hamster exercise wheel again?


Bike shop Take Offs are Cheap but still New . just the new Bike Buyer wanted a different saddle , than what came on the Bike as Shipped .

so a Cheap way to sit on a few, ride on them, maybe swap a few Out, and get your asses opinion of how it feels yourself.

I already have an Opinion..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-23-15 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 05-15-15, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
You don't mention your age but yes, this is entirely possible. I know, because it happened to me.

After years of faithful service my beloved Terry Fly was making me unhappy. I tried a suspension seatpost but to no avail; I just wasn't comfortable sitting on the bike.

I looked at lots of saddles and finally decided on a Brooks Flyer, and it has changed my cycling life.

It's so comfy that I don't ride with pads anymore; plain shorts or jeans are just fine!

This may not be the right saddle for you but I suggest you give it a look.

Better yet, do some online research; Brooks is almost a religion for the enlightened...
I am 43 yrs old and have this saddle for at least 6 or 7 years. Right now I'm riding a Trek FX primarily commuting to work 3 days or so a week. The commute is 12 miles each way. Last fall I didn't have these problems so I can only think that something has changed & I know it's not the saddle.

I do typically ride in bike shorts under cargo shorts and have never had the nerve pinching that I'm experiencing recently. I'm need I may need a saddle with the center relief area as that is exactly the area of distress. My saddle is pretty flat and I don't have any problems with my sit bones, just the nerve pinching in the center. The seat sits perfectly level and the seat height is pretty high but the right height for my legs via the cranks so I get the most out of my pedal strokes.

i guess it's time to start some shopping - send out your suggestions, I'm all ears. While I appreciate the quality and the love everyone has for their Brooks saddles, I'm not the most conscientious cleaner of bikes & parts, so I'd hate to ruin an expensive brooks saddle by not maintaining it.

Last edited by cdyer77; 05-15-15 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 05-16-15, 02:00 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Charge Spoon
Specialized MTB saddles.
I've got Specialized saddles on 6 of my bikes (4 Phenoms, a Henge and a Toupe). The only one that doesn't have one has a Charge Spoon.

Honestly, I'm not thrilled with the Spoon. I had convinced myself that picking the right saddle was at least 90 percent about getting the right width, but the Spoon is the same width as my other saddles and something about it just isn't as comfy. I think it doesn't flex enough. I'm not sure about the Henge yet either. It might have too much padding.
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Old 05-16-15, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I've got Specialized saddles on 6 of my bikes (4 Phenoms, a Henge and a Toupe). The only one that doesn't have one has a Charge Spoon.

Honestly, I'm not thrilled with the Spoon. I had convinced myself that picking the right saddle was at least 90 percent about getting the right width, but the Spoon is the same width as my other saddles and something about it just isn't as comfy. I think it doesn't flex enough. I'm not sure about the Henge yet either. It might have too much padding.
I believe the charge spoon is not flat enough which increase pressure on soft tissues (Pressure = Force/Area)
The seams are at the wrong spot.
It doesn't have a channel to relieve pressure.
Also for me it wasn't wide enough for my sit bones width mostly because of its curviness.


Last edited by erig007; 05-16-15 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 05-16-15, 06:16 AM
  #13  
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Some bike shops have loaner saddles that they’ll let you try out for a few days before deciding. My wife bought one that way.

That doesn’t do you much good in the case of a leather saddle, which gets more comfortable as it adjusts to you (and you to it). My primary bike has a Brooks B17 and I don’t even notice it, even after hours of riding.
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Old 05-16-15, 07:55 AM
  #14  
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I know you all may 'shoot me down' but hey - this is my second post in this forum....

Originally Posted by cdyer77 View Post
so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.

So I'm thinking about trying another saddle, but as you all know, this can get pretty expensive "testing" saddles out until you find a good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good commuter saddle?
Hi There (geez, I sound like Boom Boom Washington....)
I've been using the ....gulp.... here it goes.... Spiderflex seat for years. www.spiderflex.com
I'm 50 years old, drive 11 miles each way to work everyday. I've been doing this for years on a Trek 3500 MTB - wearing jeans! Never any chafing, never any pains, nothing. Also, while riding, no one 'sees' the saddle. I cannot speak highly enough of this seat. Absolute zero pain, absolute zero 'sweating and chafing' down there - well, okay, you do sweat but because you are 'ventilated' it dries up. Because it has dried, you can wait till you get home at the end of the day to take your shower.
I'm currently thinking of getting a road bike and putting a spider flex on it. I'm a little nervous because I'm not sure if I will be breaking any bike-culture 'rules'. I hear that roadies can attack you with a stare and that it is very painful. I refuse to wear bibs, spandex and other fetish wear. I just wear jeans and T-shirt when I ride. Seriously, check it out.
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Old 05-16-15, 08:03 PM
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That thing is probably uber comfy but it's almost as weird as a recumbent.

Still, as an engineer my religion is "form follows function" so if it works right on!
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Old 05-16-15, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cdyer77 View Post
so I recently started commuting again this year after taking the winter off (I'm a fair weather commuter) and have found that the saddle I've had for quite a few years now is causing me pain and numbness in the nether region, which gets aleviated when standing to pedal.

So is it possible that my body has changed in a way that my once comfy saddle (bontrager RXL) is now causing a lot of discomfort? I've tried adjusting the saddle in multiple different ways with no improvement.

So I'm thinking about trying another saddle, but as you all know, this can get pretty expensive "testing" saddles out until you find a good fit.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good commuter saddle?
2 of my LBS's actually now have a program where you can come in and check out a tester, ride it up to a month and check it back in. I'd give your LBS's a call and see if they're doing that too.
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Old 05-17-15, 06:18 AM
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Meh, if the seat was fine before, it'll probably be ok later this year. Your ass is just out of shape. Mine hurt like hell the first few weeks too. Nothing wrong with standing for a few seconds every couple miles. Give it time, your butt will adapt, IMO.
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Old 05-17-15, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by moobot22 View Post
2 of my LBS's actually now have a program where you can come in and check out a tester, ride it up to a month and check it back in. I'd give your LBS's a call and see if they're doing that too.
I will give this is a try & ask around - I have 2 good LBS's here
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Old 05-17-15, 06:44 PM
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Depends how you feel about other people's farts, I guess :-p
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Old 05-17-15, 08:47 PM
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No need to worry about maintenance with a Brooks. Do a proofide treatment before you install it, and forget about it. If you happen to remember, do another treatment the next year. Every now and then you might have to adjust tue tension...it's no big deal to do. I just got my 2nd one...it was used and definitely needed a bit of tensioning...took a few minutes, then I applied proofide, put it back on and don't expect to do anything for at least a year
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Old 05-17-15, 11:17 PM
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I'm getting back into cycling after many years, and some unfortunate weight gain (curse all you can eat dining halls!). I noticed that my butt was very sore and at first I thought it was my saddle. But after awhile I realized it was because the muscles in my butt are not used to working, causing me to think it was my seat. YMMV of course.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:18 AM
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Another Brooks recommendation here. Many bicycle seats are gimmicky, and put form over function. They have lots of drawings and descriptions about where your sit bones go, and how they don't pinch or push against this or that, but for the most part it's all marketing hype.

Brooks saddles are primitive and old fashioned, and are made of metal and leather. There is no padding, no gel, no space age plastics, no gimmicks, no silly diagrams or drawings. You simply bolt on the saddle, adjust it until it is right, and forget about it for a decade or two.

I have three bikes, and three Brooks saddles. Two are B-17's, the other is a Swift. I can ride on them all day without bicycle shorts or padding. My last non-Brooks saddle was a titanium Specialised Body Geometry model which I managed to wear the leather off in a year of hard riding. A Brooks will last much longer. Before buying a Brooks, make sure that you get on which is wide enough (or narrow enough) for your backside, they come in different widths and designs.

For you scoffers out there who hate anything old or "classic" (I was once one of you), you should really give them a try. I did, and now I am a believer.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
Another Brooks recommendation here. Many bicycle seats are gimmicky, and put form over function. They have lots of drawings and descriptions about where your sit bones go, and how they don't pinch or push against this or that, but for the most part it's all marketing hype.

Brooks saddles are primitive and old fashioned, and are made of metal and leather. There is no padding, no gel, no space age plastics, no gimmicks, no silly diagrams or drawings. You simply bolt on the saddle, adjust it until it is right, and forget about it for a decade or two.

I have three bikes, and three Brooks saddles. Two are B-17's, the other is a Swift. I can ride on them all day without bicycle shorts or padding. My last non-Brooks saddle was a titanium Specialised Body Geometry model which I managed to wear the leather off in a year of hard riding. A Brooks will last much longer. Before buying a Brooks, make sure that you get on which is wide enough (or narrow enough) for your backside, they come in different widths and designs.

For you scoffers out there who hate anything old or "classic" (I was once one of you), you should really give them a try. I did, and now I am a believer.
There are some people that tried brooks saddles and didn't like them though.
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Old 05-18-15, 08:41 AM
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I did not like my Brooks B17. Although there were things I liked about it, it bruised me. I haven't tried any other shapes of leather saddles, being fairly happy with the cheap synthetic saddles I have now.
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Old 05-18-15, 08:49 AM
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Most people who don't like Brooks didn't give it a chance to break in.

Once the leather softens up a bit it conforms to your rear, and the increased contact spreads your weight over a larger surface area, reducing the pressure on any given point.

As for Proofiding a new saddle there are two separate bits of instruction on the Brooks site; one says to Proofide the saddle first thing and the other says it is not recommended for at least six months.

I wrote in asking for clarification but never heard back; not too impressed with that but I do love my Flyer...
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