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The "O.M.G." seat moment!

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The "O.M.G." seat moment!

Old 06-13-11, 08:26 PM
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noisy.ant
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The "O.M.G." seat moment!

I think I finally found the winner today.

Pedaled up into the driveway after work this afternoon and noticed the box by the back door... my new seat.

After hemming and hawing over seats since last season and trying every type of inexpensive seat I could get my hands on, most from department stores or the LBS, and after trying every different combination of seat height and tilt I could think of, I finally pulled the trigger on a bit of an upscale seat. I had read good things about the Selle TRK, and everything about the look of the seat seemed to be what I was looking for, but after trying a LBS seat with a similar width and suffering some hip pain, I decided to move up one model to the SMP Extra. Looked to have a little less gel than the TRK and was a little narrower. Well, as soon as I saw that it had arrived today, I grabbed it and went straight to the garage. I put the new Selle on, adjusted the stem height just a bit and took the bike for a quick spin down the block. Oh man... This is the most comfortable my tush has been on a bike yet. It was like the seat wasn't even there. I am SO excited to ride to work tomorrow. This could finally be the seat I have been longing for. Stay tuned.

-T.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:43 PM
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Sounds like you might have a winner, let us know how the commute goes.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:50 PM
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I think you should be a little bit conservative with your findings until you have some long rides under your belt. Another thing you should try is riding smoothly over very rough pavement for at least a few miles. That's another good way to test the comfort of a saddle.

In general though, I have found it to be accurate that the more expensive saddles to tend to be more comfortable. At least for my rear end.
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Old 06-14-11, 06:20 AM
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Exactly how I felt when I first tried mine. Bought one for each of my five bikes and bought my wife two of the Ladies TRK. First saddle she hasn't constantly complained about.
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Old 06-14-11, 04:22 PM
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I felt the same way when I got my first Brooks B17. Hey, SOMEBODY had to bring up Brooks in a saddle thread!
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Old 06-14-11, 07:28 PM
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Almost any seat feels good for a ride around the block. Put some miles on and then let us know how it goes.

j.
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Old 06-14-11, 07:35 PM
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I want my VO leather seat to feel good, so badly. I dropped $140 on it with the leather care and all that crap! I've been adjusting the seat since I got it, and so far it isn't exactly what I expected. I hope it breaks in soon :/
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Old 06-14-11, 10:58 PM
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I have yet to have that moment with any saddle. For me, bike saddles are akin to medieval torture devices.
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Old 06-15-11, 03:23 AM
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For me that moment happened when I got of my Brooks B17 after 6 hours in the saddle, and felt fine.

z
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Old 06-15-11, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MijnWraak View Post
I want my VO leather seat to feel good, so badly. I dropped $140 on it with the leather care and all that crap! I've been adjusting the seat since I got it, and so far it isn't exactly what I expected. I hope it breaks in soon :/
The VO saddles look nice, and VO always puts out a good product. Leather saddles have a learning curve for some people. Don't mess with the tensioning screw! Leather care lotions are nice, but the best thing to break in a leather saddle is sweat and time. Just ride, bro. Just ride.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:33 AM
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Like so many, my moment occurred with a Brooks. But mine was a B68
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Old 06-15-11, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
I felt the same way when I got my first Brooks B17. Hey, SOMEBODY had to bring up Brooks in a saddle thread!
No, not really necessary

My experience with B17 was that of pain, discomfort and disappointment. Although, I gave Brooks another shot with the Imperial and it seems all right so far. It's still harder than I'd like but I hope it'll wear in and the lack of any seams is a plus. Although, I had to file off two of the rivets, they had sharp burrs at the edges, I guess Brooks quality control focuses on the leather not the metal parts. It's a bit too wide though, so the final verdict is till to come.
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Old 06-15-11, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
I think you should be a little bit conservative with your findings until you have some long rides under your belt. Another thing you should try is riding smoothly over very rough pavement for at least a few miles. That's another good way to test the comfort of a saddle.

In general though, I have found it to be accurate that the more expensive saddles to tend to be more comfortable. At least for my rear end.
+1

What can you tell from a saddle from a roll around the block? I can find most saddles comfortable for a few miles, once you start getting into 20, 40, 60+ miles, that's when you will know if it really works. The stock saddle that came on one of my past bikes was great til I went on my first overnight ride, day two and I was out of the saddle on most of the way home because of the pain.

I hope it works for you though!
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Old 06-15-11, 11:08 AM
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Well, I rode the to and from work yesterday, 15 miles total. On the way to work the seat felt much better than the seat I had removed, but I got just the slightest hint of some pain in my left hip/sit bone. No big deal for back and forth to work, but I'm planning for longer rides, so I always look at these little aches and pains in terms of, "how will this be in two hours?" So before I rode home I made a slight adjustment in the tilt of the seat. And that did the trick. The seat felt just... well it didn't feel like much at all and that is the key. But I would have to say that the most thrilling part of all was that I experienced zero numbness and/or shrinkage in my junk area!! Now I'm anxious to get out and put a nice long ride on this seat. The goal here is to complete a century ride on this bike at the end of this season FWIW.

You know, additionally, when it comes to finding the sweet spot with a seat, I can't say enough how much I like having this RaceFace seat post that has a separate, infinitely adjustable point for tilt. On my other bikes, even with those teeny, tiny little notches that allow you to change the tilt of the seat, one notch tends to feel like too much tilt one way or the other at some point. When I adjusted this new seat yesterday, the change in tilt was very, very slight, and it worked. I now want this seat and post on all of my bikes.

-T.
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Old 06-15-11, 01:07 PM
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You are really going to need at least a hundred miles or so to know. Even many seats with lots of plastic in them still take time to adapt to your anatomy (i.e. break in). I'd not draw too many conclusions until you've been riding for at least that much.

J.
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Old 06-15-11, 01:32 PM
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Yes, you do have a winner in the Selle SMP Extra. I've got several thousand miles on the SMP Extra. I do 50+ miles at a time on a regular basis.

I have it on my carbon road bike, my Vaya commuter/touring bike and my mountain bike. I have used them for going on three years and could not be happier with a saddle. No pressure, no numbness, no issues at all.

I never pass up an opportunity to recommend the SMP Extra. It is really that good of a saddle.

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Old 06-15-11, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You are really going to need at least a hundred miles or so to know. Even many seats with lots of plastic in them still take time to adapt to your anatomy (i.e. break in). I'd not draw too many conclusions until you've been riding for at least that much.

J.
Stop! I am not going to allow you nay-sayers to rain on my happy wiener parade!
Look, I've put 1000 miles on 3 bikes over the last 2 seasons with no less than 5 different seats and I have always had to deal with the issue of my little guy going numb and playing turtle to some degree. Some seats less than others, but still. So, while I may not have put many miles on this seat yet, the fact that I didn't have this issue yesterday is the best sign that I have found the right seat for me that I've had yet!

I'm home with a cold today, so no more seat time yet, but I'm hoping to get out this weekend for a 40 miler at least. Hopefully I'll have the same good results then.

-T.
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Old 06-15-11, 03:53 PM
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Just anecdotally, I went through the seat issue a few years ago for the same reason - numbness. Found the Selle SMP and thought it would be the end all/be all. Got one, the numbness went away felt great - really great - but by the end of a 25 mile ride, not so much. By mile 100 (multiple rides) I hated the thing. Felt like my package was getting extruded through the seat.

Switched to a Koobi - same idea but less radical. Much better. After 150 miles, and when it broke in (they warn about the break in period), had a similar issue but not as bad and found that a Koobi worked well on my mountain bike where you are not as static. My wife has a Koobi and loves it.

Finally settled on the Fizik Antares (the middle one) Versus with the relieved channel down the middle but no hole. That seat also feels quite different after 100 miles. Just got a new cyclocross bike (adventure bike) put one of the Fizik's on there and it felt funny. Rode it for bit more than 100 miles and it feels a lot different. Starting to feel like the one on my road bike with thousands of miles on it (about 5K).

Also, the more mileage that you do, it changes too. Ride 20 miles, things can be fine. Get to 50, you may hate the seat. It takes a bit to fully "explore" the seat - at least for me. Maybe I have a sensitive a$$, who knows?

Seats change as you break them in (more or less, depending on the seat). So after the thousand dollars or so I have into seats, those are the lessons I learned.

J.
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Old 06-15-11, 04:05 PM
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You get shrinkage?
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Old 06-15-11, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ZManT View Post
You get shrinkage?
Oh yeah. Definitely suffered shrinkage with some seats. Nothing that didn't go away after a couple of minutes off the bike, but it was still a bit concerning. Actually got in from a ride one day and showed my wife what was happening.

She was not pleased.

She said that if I wasn't able to remedy that particular situation, I was going to have to find a new hobby.

And that is precisely how I was able to pay 90-some bucks for a seat without her rolling her eyes at me and storming out of the room.
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Old 06-15-11, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
You are really going to need at least a hundred miles or so to know.
I have to say that I'm even more conservative then this. 100 miles is not a whole lot. You could go on a few short rides like 10-15 miles each and rack up 100 miles in no time. What I want is to go on rides where you are sitting on the saddle for hours on end. I need a few of those long rides under my belt, and in addition to that I want to see how it handles rough pavement as well (and at speed). If a saddle makes it through all that, only then do I feel like I can give it the thumbs up.
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Old 06-15-11, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ZManT View Post
You get shrinkage?
Been there, and it's not fun. Most of my stock saddles created massive shrinkage, and some left me with a completely numb wiener. It turned out that my seat bones are wider than normal, and I require a wider than usual seat. I moved to a wicked wide Brooks B68, and it has been a love story. I could get a woody while sitting on that baby.

As you can see, my butt is rather tiny looking. But butt size is no indication of seat bone width.

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Old 06-15-11, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthFLpix View Post
I have to say that I'm even more conservative then this. 100 miles is not a whole lot. You could go on a few short rides like 10-15 miles each and rack up 100 miles in no time. What I want is to go on rides where you are sitting on the saddle for hours on end. I need a few of those long rides under my belt, and in addition to that I want to see how it handles rough pavement as well (and at speed). If a saddle makes it through all that, only then do I feel like I can give it the thumbs up.
I agree with that.

Where I came up with the 100 mile thing is from the Koobi guys. They say that the seat will conform to you (plastic and leathers) in about 100 miles (minimum) - in other words, you had to sit on it that long to get it to conform properly. I still could be uncomfortable though.

I totally agree with you on the distance piece. Probably a good idea to do a 20 miler, step it up to 30-40 and then a 50 to be sure. I've found that as I break in shoes, the same thing applies. What's good at 20 has no guarantee of being ok at 40 mile distances.

J.

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Old 06-15-11, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Almost any seat feels good for a ride around the block. Put some miles on and then let us know how it goes.

j.
I think I'm just the opposite -- they all suck on a short test ride. But, I think that's only because I'm focusing on what feels wrong, so I'm only noticing the pain of every saddle.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:52 AM
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Update: Well, I put a 40 mile ride on the seat yesterday. At the end of that ride, my butt was getting pretty sore, but no issues at all in the wiener department. I think the other soreness is simply due to the fact that this is the longest ride I've taken so far this season, so pretty much all my parts were sore at that point. I think this is just matter of needing more seat time.

Although, AlmostGreenGuy I have to say that I am very nearly identical to you in build and butt shape (can't believe I'm comparing butts). So, if after at the end of a long season with a respectable amount of miles, I'm still getting uncomfortable butt bones during a ride, a wider seat my be worth a try.

-T.
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