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Saddle for Gravel/CX?

Old 03-10-21, 08:26 AM
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Saddle for Gravel/CX?

i'm working on a new bike and picking out the saddle for some gravel and cx riding. i know the size/width i like for road riding, but do people beef up a saddle (wider?) to hit the rougher terrain? or just go with the size the has always worked?

just curious if there is a rule of thumb there. thanks!
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Old 03-10-21, 08:29 AM
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I use what works on other bikes - no change.
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Old 03-10-21, 09:28 AM
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I also use what works on other bikes. Recently swapped out the Bontrager saddle on my Checkpoint for a Spesh Power saddle, in fact, because my butt agrees more with the Power saddle.
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Old 03-10-21, 10:45 AM
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Same saddle as my main road bike. And my other drop bar bikes have saddles that are basically the same shape, width, and length as my main road and gravel saddles.
Brooks C17 are on my gravel bike and main road bike.

A gravel bike is just a road bike for unpaved roads.

With that said, some gravel bikes can have seriously different geometry than a road bike and if you are significantly more upright then maybe a different saddle for your gravel bike would work well.
Is your setup on your road and gravel bikes basically the same?
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Old 03-10-21, 11:58 AM
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Yes - I do think they're going to be pretty similar. I was thinking more for dampening purposes - wondered if anyone went with something slightly larger. Sounds like I'll be good to stick with the sizing that I know I like. Perfecto!

I suppose if I don't like it after a few rides, you'll see an almost new saddle for sale on FB marketplace Midwest bike exchange. :-)

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Old 03-10-21, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede
Yes - I do think they're going to be pretty similar. I was thinking more for dampening purposes - wondered if anyone went with something slightly larger. Sounds like I'll be good to stick with the sizing that I know I like. Perfecto!

I suppose if I don't like it after a few rides, you'll see an almost new saddle for sale on FB marketplace Midwest bike exchange. :-)
I play the ebay saddle game (buying and selling saddles). Probably on my 5th used saddle now to find what fits. I am on a Specialized Power right now and my butt seems to like it.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
With that said, some gravel bikes can have seriously different geometry than a road bike and if you are significantly more upright then maybe a different saddle for your gravel bike would work well.
my road bike(torture machine) and gravel bike have extremely different geo and thus I use different saddles






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Old 03-10-21, 02:04 PM
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I have a well used Selle Italia Flite on my CX/gravel bike. It's a classic.
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Old 03-10-21, 04:44 PM
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Brooks B17 or C17 for me.
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Old 03-11-21, 03:13 PM
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Nope, I run the same carbon saddle that I use on my road bike. My compliance is in the seatpost (Giant d-fuse) and tires, so I just want my saddle to fit. So I would stick with whatever saddle you already know works for you.
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Old 03-11-21, 04:11 PM
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I use the same or similar saddle on every bike. Road, MTB, CX, Gravel
Dampening comes from other areas, like tires, seatposts, frame material, etc. I definitely do not want a squishy saddle.
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Old 03-11-21, 08:11 PM
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I'm very particular about the saddle on my road bike. The leaned-forward position means perineal pressure is a real problem if the saddle isn't shaped just right. So I tend to find something that works and stick with it for years at a time. For cyclocross and gravel, though, I'm a fair bit more upright and my hips aren't tilted forward so much, and I can tolerate a wide range of saddle shapes. Currently, I have a Ritchey WCS Streem, which seems pretty great so far. Previously I've had a Fizik of some kind (Antares, I think?) and an old Specialized Phenom on two different bikes and gone back and forth between them with no problems. Basically, so long as the saddle is fairly narrow, not overly padded or totally unpadded, and doesn't have too dramatic an arch across the top, it will work. It's also a good idea to not have weird peaks or doo-dads at the back that can snag on shorts when re-mounting or just moving around on the bike. I haven't gone out of my way to pick out a more durable saddle for gravel/cx, but the saddles I ride on the road aren't super-delicate either. I've avoided carbon rails but I'm not even convinced that's necessary. I just don't want to be disappointed for the cost of a carbon-railed saddle.
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Old 03-12-21, 07:11 AM
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I'll suggest getting your sit bones measured at a local bike shop if you haven't already. Changing to a slightly wider seat made a big difference in comfort.

I use Specialized Phenom Expert seats on my off-road bikes, and a Specialized Romin Evo on my road bike.
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