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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Saddles - Gravel vs. Road

Old 07-03-21, 06:54 PM
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Noonievut
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Saddles - Gravel vs. Road

I have the same saddles on my gravel and road bike. Fit is as similar as I can dial in giving different frame geo's, crank length, pedal type. I typically keep my long rides under 100km, and on my road bike those 80km+ rides leave my butt only the slightest bit uncomfortable. On my gravel bike, when riding mixed terrain, I'm sometimes more sore at that distance...but that can be due to the terrain (even though I run tubeless, low pressure, and get out of the saddle quite a bit). The other day I actually had some chafing; however, I also had a beach day afterwards with an 1hr ride there and back wearing a damp bathing suit (back), so that could have been the cause (but the chaffing was on the sit bones). So now I'm wondering if somehow, for me, I need a different style of saddle for gravel rides? I'm not going to make a rash decision, as I'm hoping the chafing was due to the beach day (damp bathing suit), but I'm not sold on the saddle. My main concern would be numbness and any issues down below, and (knock on wood) I've had zero such issues with this saddle, so this is really only a minor gripe...
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Old 07-04-21, 02:56 PM
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When I read the title I thought what a good question, do we need different saddles for different kinds of riding? What works on one bike may not work on another.

I think your chafing was caused, as you say, by your wet bathing suit. What I do on long rides and any ride when it is hot outside I use Assos chamois cream. There are different versions by other companies but so far it has stopped any chaffing issues that started to develop. Certainly cheaper than a new saddle. I would start with that then determine if a saddle change is in order.

This still leaves the question in it's bigger context, what do other do on two different bikes? Same saddle or different and if so why a different saddle? My endurance road bike is my gravel bike so I just change out the wheel set., the saddle is the saddle. I do like what I have, so much so I have a back-up and I have one on my Brompton. Now your question has me thinking.
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Old 07-05-21, 05:16 AM
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I use the same saddle on road and gravel.
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Old 07-05-21, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
I have the same saddles on my gravel and road bike. Fit is as similar as I can dial in giving different frame geo's, crank length, pedal type. I typically keep my long rides under 100km, and on my road bike those 80km+ rides leave my butt only the slightest bit uncomfortable. On my gravel bike, when riding mixed terrain, I'm sometimes more sore at that distance...but that can be due to the terrain (even though I run tubeless, low pressure, and get out of the saddle quite a bit). The other day I actually had some chafing; however, I also had a beach day afterwards with an 1hr ride there and back wearing a damp bathing suit (back), so that could have been the cause (but the chaffing was on the sit bones). So now I'm wondering if somehow, for me, I need a different style of saddle for gravel rides? I'm not going to make a rash decision, as I'm hoping the chafing was due to the beach day (damp bathing suit), but I'm not sold on the saddle. My main concern would be numbness and any issues down below, and (knock on wood) I've had zero such issues with this saddle, so this is really only a minor gripe...
100k on road could be a 3 hour ride.

100k on gravel could be a 6 hour ride... Distance =/= time in saddle

You also generally have a lot more bumps / vibrations in off-road riding, which causes more friction / impact on your sit bones and soft tissues
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Old 07-05-21, 07:48 AM
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“Rash decisions” “knock on wood”

Pun master.


My gravel bike has really been hurting me lately. My road bike I haven’t changed anything about the fit in several years and it’s comfy, so I took a yardstick and compared the two.

My gravel bike has a shorter reach and a wider seat. I replaced the 90mm stem with 110 and it helped a lot. I think I need to dial the seat angle a bit more (nose up another degree or two)
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Old 07-05-21, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
“Rash decisions” “knock on wood”

Pun master.


My gravel bike has a shorter reach and a wider seat. I replaced the 90mm stem with 110 and it helped a lot. I think I need to dial the seat angle a bit more (nose up another degree or two)
haha

My gravel bike’s reach is shorter by 10mm and the drop for the saddle is 10mm higher. Sometimes I feel cramped, but after riding it a few times I feel like it’s almost a better fit than the road bike. Lots of other factors at play though...
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Old 07-05-21, 03:56 PM
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I'm another who rides the same for both. In fact, I sold my road bike and transferred the saddle (Fizik Aliante) to the gravel bike. No issues, even at 106 Miles, and it's now a few years since I've worn lycra with a chamois. I now commute and ride trails and gravel (year round in Minnesota) with tight fitting underwear (Arcteryx Phas L boxers) and MTB shorts.
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Old 07-05-21, 07:45 PM
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Same saddle here also
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Old 07-05-21, 08:21 PM
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I ride enough long distance that a saddle that isn't comfortable at 100k is unacceptable.

All of my bikes have the same saddle, Fizik Aliante. Gravel, road, mtb, fatbike. They changed the design a few years back, which is unfortunate

It wasn't great on a mtb without a dropper post, but it's fine with one.
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Old 07-06-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud;[url=tel:22128680
22128680[/url]]When I read the title I thought what a good question, do we need different saddles for different kinds of riding? What works on one bike may not work on another.

I think your chafing was caused, as you say, by your wet bathing suit. What I do on long rides and any ride when it is hot outside I use Assos chamois cream. There are different versions by other companies but so far it has stopped any chaffing issues that started to develop. Certainly cheaper than a new saddle. I would start with that then determine if a saddle change is in order.

This still leaves the question in it's bigger context, what do other do on two different bikes? Same saddle or different and if so why a different saddle? My endurance road bike is my gravel bike so I just change out the wheel set., the saddle is the saddle. I do like what I have, so much so I have a back-up and I have one on my Brompton. Now your question has me thinking.
same saddle
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Old 07-06-21, 08:55 AM
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Same saddle- brooks c17

I have that on a couple road bikes and my gravel bike. 2 other drop bar bikes have Serfas RXRR saddles, which are basically the same width and shape.
I would think any bike with the same position/style would have the same type of saddle. So a beach cruiser may be different, but drop bar bikes would all be the same or very very similar in saddle shape.
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Old 07-06-21, 05:45 PM
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The main difference for me in saddle preference on roads vs gravel (and, more of the time, cyclocross) is that I can tolerate many more different saddle shapes on the off-road bike. My road position is much lower and I have more forward pelvic tilt, so I really need pressure relief features and just the right shape to be comfortable. Currently my favorite saddle is the Selle Italia SLR Flow and I actually bought a spare against the fear that the shape will change at some point. Off-road, the saddle needs to be easy to move back and forth on, and not too large or pointy to avoid snagging shorts when dismounting/remounting or when getting behind it on a steep descent. I don’t have any different needs for padding. On road or off, my preference for the saddle is to have some padding, but for it to be thin and firm. Chamois handles most of the cushioning duty. The saddle needs to have enough to take the edge off but not enough to sink into.
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Old 07-07-21, 10:29 PM
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Six bikes, six Brooks. The terrain makes no difference, but the conditions do. The bikes that get wet get Cambiums. The others get leather.
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Old 07-08-21, 09:37 AM
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Different saddles (and setup) for different bikes here.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:18 PM
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At this point, I think it is fair to say, unscientifically, to each their own.
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Old 07-09-21, 09:48 AM
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I use the infinitybikeseat.com model E1X on all my bikes now. Amazing saddle. What's nice is I don't even wear a chamois anymore with it.
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Old 07-09-21, 09:55 AM
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Interesting concept. The lack of pics and details makes it tough to say $300+ for a saddle is good. If I were local and could try it, maybe that would be a possibility.

Funny that the site declares the saddle isn't designed to be used with padded shorts, but a ton of pics are of people with padded shorts.
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Old 07-18-21, 06:25 AM
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Just got a demo Berk Dila saddle from Elite Velo after reading raving reviews about this lightly padded carbon saddle. The Berk saddle is easily the most comfortable I've ever ridden, and especially great for gravel as it feels like I added a suspension seatpost. It completely quiets the ride underneath me and feels like a changed to bigger tires. It's not cheap but man is it nice!
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Old 07-18-21, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chief9245 View Post
I use the infinitybikeseat.com model E1X on all my bikes now. Amazing saddle. What's nice is I don't even wear a chamois anymore with it.
Was curios and now I know they dont get much more expensive than your choice ...

Elite Series – E1X

Price: $337.00
Customizations: Leather Color
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Old 07-18-21, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
Was curios and now I know they dont get much more expensive than your choice ...

Elite Series – E1X

Price: $337.00
Customizations: Leather Color
I was wrong ... looking a little farther down this link I see a seat that is more expensive than some bikes ...

LOVE2RIDE

$734.00 – $834.00
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Old 07-19-21, 05:39 AM
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Yeah Joe it's kind of pricey, but I've seen some major name brands up in the 2 hundreds also. And not only that, but how many people spend big chunks of change for other components to replace the factory spec ones that work just fine? $2000-$3000 for a wheelset? Crazy. That's all about "look at me", where I wanted to find a solution to a problem that has plagued me for years. The one for $734-$834 is actually two saddles, as a package. But I gotta tell ya, riding with no pain, no need for a chamois, comfortable, and no saddle sores or other issues makes the $337 chump change for me. Just my two cents.
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Old 07-19-21, 05:14 PM
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fabric scoop is my go to. Has a good amount of flex
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Old 07-25-21, 05:12 PM
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I tend to use the same saddles between road/gravel/MTB.

So far I’ve found the Brooks B17 and WTB Volt wide to be pretty comfortable for my anatomy and riding.

My sit bones measure around 130mm and I weight 220 lbs.

Saddles that haven’t worked for me for are the Charge Spoon and Selle Italia Turbo.

It seems that saddles that are over 150mm wide and have a flat profile.
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Old 01-11-22, 06:07 PM
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I did a road fifty with a small group fellow olds last year. When we stopped and started the bike show I noticed a few were on some of the ugliest saddles I've ever seen. Turns out they were from Cobb and they loved them. Swore by them. I was on a pricey SQlab that was okay but nothing I would swear by. I tracked down the website and did some reading and wound up buying the Randee. Cutting to the chase, I have one on both road and gravel bikes. Not a handsome piece of gear but then neither am I and it really is possible to forget it's down there taking care of business.
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Old 01-11-22, 09:24 PM
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WTB mountain bike saddle after the road saddle broke. Works out great.
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