Notices
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.

Gravel Saddle recommendation

Old 09-16-21, 01:45 PM
  #1  
Dr1v3n
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Gravel Saddle recommendation

I have Giant Revolt Advanced, which came with a Giant Approach saddle. I actually really like the saddle for roads, and also have the same saddle on my road bike.

However, for medical reasons (dermatitis), I've been instructed by my doctor to not use bike shorts, or any tight-fitting clothing. I'm able to do this without much pain for the most part, especially on road. I've gone on some 1.5 hr rides so far and it seems my sitbone area is tough enough to not really have issues without the padded shorts.

However, on the bumpier gravel stuff, it's a bit concerning as if I accidentally forget to stand up on the bike before hitting something rough, it could jam the hard saddle into my nether-regions. Also, I'm wondering if 3+ hr rides even on road will be a different story as well.

That being said, I'm looking for a "slightly softer" saddle. I don't want one of those huge padded ones which restrict inner thigh movement, but something that is 1 or 2 steps above the Approach in padding might be nice to try.

Any other recommendations appreciated.
Dr1v3n is offline  
Old 09-16-21, 01:57 PM
  #2  
SilverRubicon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
I picked up a Bontrager Sport Saddle for my commuter after reading the Outdoor Gear Lab review. I haven't done any long rides on it but it's cushy without being too soft. It's inexpensive and doesn't look too out of place on a bike.

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/revie...r-sport-saddle
SilverRubicon is offline  
Old 09-16-21, 02:14 PM
  #3  
Flatforkcrown
Senior Member
 
Flatforkcrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Barboursville, Va
Posts: 286

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 391 Times in 154 Posts
Have you tried a leather saddle? I have a brooks pro and brooks swift and they’re great on gravel and trails.
Flatforkcrown is offline  
Likes For Flatforkcrown:
Old 09-16-21, 02:26 PM
  #4  
tangerineowl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Oz
Posts: 861

Bikes: Curve Grovel v2 ti

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 233 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 60 Posts
You could approach this another way, using a flexier saddle perhaps. Bontrager Avarda range have a decent amount of flex throughout.

Am guessing there isn't a suspension post out there with the D-shape fit.
tangerineowl is offline  
Old 09-16-21, 02:51 PM
  #5  
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,735
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1959 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 159 Posts
fabric saddles have noticeable flex. I run one on my cyclocross bike for this reason
redlude97 is offline  
Old 09-16-21, 03:31 PM
  #6  
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 2,025

Bikes: Soma Pescadero, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker, Gravity SS 27.5, Monocog 29er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked 204 Times in 146 Posts
Brooks B17 is my go to saddle for most bikes. I haven't had a pair of padded shorts in 10 years.
c_m_shooter is offline  
Likes For c_m_shooter:
Old 09-16-21, 03:58 PM
  #7  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,401

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2011 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 662 Posts
SQ Lab saddles my be worth looking at, particularly the flexible Active line:

https://sqlab-usa.com/collections/saddles
chaadster is offline  
Likes For chaadster:
Old 09-16-21, 05:28 PM
  #8  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 10,039
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2970 Post(s)
Liked 3,754 Times in 1,931 Posts
I like the Terry Fly Century. I have the rubber Brooks Cambium on my gravel-ish bike, it looks the part but not cushy. It seems lots of folks who don't wear bike shorts like the various Brooks.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 09-16-21, 07:44 PM
  #9  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,280

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7775 Post(s)
Liked 4,746 Times in 2,741 Posts
All my bikes have either brooks cambium c17 or serfas rx rr saddles. The gravel has a c17 and while it had no padding, it is very flexible.
They are similar width, but the serfas sadles have some firm cushion.

No shorts sounds rough- hope you find one that works.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-17-21, 05:44 PM
  #10  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,387

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 305 Times in 202 Posts
Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
You could approach this another way, using a flexier saddle perhaps. Bontrager Avarda range have a decent amount of flex throughout.

Am guessing there isn't a suspension post out there with the D-shape fit.
This.

A great and very flexible saddle is the Selle An Atomica (made in USA). Brooks started to copy it actually. I ride that on a RedShift suspension seat post and teh combination is fantastic on gravel.
dwmckee is offline  
Likes For dwmckee:
Old 09-20-21, 02:35 PM
  #11  
SilverRubicon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
This.

A great and very flexible saddle is the Selle An Atomica (made in USA). Brooks started to copy it actually. I ride that on a RedShift suspension seat post and teh combination is fantastic on gravel.
Brooks did not copy the Selle Anatomic. Brooks precedes SA by roughly 100 years (SA founded in 2006).
SilverRubicon is offline  
Likes For SilverRubicon:
Old 09-20-21, 02:39 PM
  #12  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 1,489

Bikes: Trek Verve E bike, Felt Doctrine 4 XC, Opus Horizon Apex 1

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 989 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 143 Posts
You should mainly consider that a saddle is not there to support your entire weight unless you are pedalling at low efforts.

When pedalling at a higher effort for whatever reason, you shouldn't necessarily be standing up, but with most of your weight just above the saddle and in the cranks for better leverage as well as weight distribution/centre of gravity.
Moisture is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 02:40 PM
  #13  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 1,489

Bikes: Trek Verve E bike, Felt Doctrine 4 XC, Opus Horizon Apex 1

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 989 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 143 Posts
As for saddles, over time I grew used to riding on very light padding without any discomfort. I like touring saddles with a priority on ergonomic shaping .
Moisture is offline  
Likes For Moisture:
Old 09-20-21, 03:26 PM
  #14  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,387

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 305 Times in 202 Posts
Originally Posted by SilverRubicon View Post
Brooks did not copy the Selle Anatomic. Brooks precedes SA by roughly 100 years (SA founded in 2006).
Sorry, to clarify - The Selle An Atomica with the cutout center section was offered by SA long before Brooks started to offer a cutout version.
dwmckee is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 03:54 PM
  #15  
SilverRubicon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
Sorry, to clarify - The Selle An Atomica with the cutout center section was offered by SA long before Brooks started to offer a cutout version.
From Brooks…. “For riders in search of pressure relief, the B17 Carved features a “registered cutting” which first appeared with Brooks saddles in the 1890s.”
SilverRubicon is offline  
Likes For SilverRubicon:
Old 09-20-21, 06:31 PM
  #16  
primov8 
V8s all day
 
primov8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NY.NY.
Posts: 1,003

Bikes: Lynskey Helix, SBC 6061

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 69 Posts
Just a copy and paste of my post earlier this year

I too favor saddles with huge cutouts. Since I've been cycling, my go-to saddle was usually the Selle Italia Superflow. That has all changed now because the Fizik Vento Argo and Fizik Tempo (huge cutout, short nose design) adds an additional level of comfort I didn't think would be noticeable. I spend the majority of my riding in the drops and the Vento Argo feels like the best of both worlds because it feels plush and comfortable but when seated a bit further up, hands on the drops, its still a firmer and stable feeling. The Tempo is slightly thicker in padding and the nose doesn't slope downwards when compared to the Vento. The Tempo Argo works well on my SBC 6061 all-road because just like the Vento, a very comfortable and supportive saddle, especially for those long days on the bike.
__________________
"I may think I have inalienable rights to be alive and happy but I don't - life is a blessing." -Terrence McNally
primov8 is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 09:16 PM
  #17  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,401

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2011 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 662 Posts
Originally Posted by SilverRubicon View Post
From Brooks…. “For riders in search of pressure relief, the B17 Carved features a “registered cutting” which first appeared with Brooks saddles in the 1890s.”
My first cutout saddle was a Brooks which came as a hand-me-down from my father on a ‘60s Hercules English racing bike. I remember it well; this was at least 40 years ago, and nearly three decades before Selle Anatomica was founded.

Maybe Anatomica can be credited with reviving the style, though…I’m not sure.
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 09:25 PM
  #18  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,401

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2011 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 662 Posts
Originally Posted by primov8 View Post
Just a copy and paste of my post earlier this year

I too favor saddles with huge cutouts. Since I've been cycling, my go-to saddle was usually the Selle Italia Superflow. That has all changed now because the Fizik Vento Argo and Fizik Tempo (huge cutout, short nose design) adds an additional level of comfort I didn't think would be noticeable. I spend the majority of my riding in the drops and the Vento Argo feels like the best of both worlds because it feels plush and comfortable but when seated a bit further up, hands on the drops, its still a firmer and stable feeling. The Tempo is slightly thicker in padding and the nose doesn't slope downwards when compared to the Vento. The Tempo Argo works well on my SBC 6061 all-road because just like the Vento, a very comfortable and supportive saddle, especially for those long days on the bike.
I have a Tempo Argo R3 too, and I just did my longest gravel ride on it yet a couple of weekends ago, doing about 65 miles. It had been good on shorter rides, and even after 4 hours on it I was still feeling pretty good. I think the way the sides flex on that saddle might make it of particular interest to the OP, kind of in the same way I was thinking the SQ Lab Active saddles flex and rock from side to side.
chaadster is offline  
Old 09-21-21, 01:05 AM
  #19  
Prodigy4299
Senior Member
 
Prodigy4299's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 444

Bikes: 1990 Trek 850, 2005 Cannondale R1000, 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 20 Posts
Caveat: saddles are very personal, so what works for me may not work for you.
With that out of the way, I have been *very* happy with the Bontrager Aeolus saddle I bought a year ago.
Prodigy4299 is offline  
Old 09-21-21, 09:16 AM
  #20  
chief9245
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Rutland, MA.
Posts: 45

Bikes: 2017 Argon 18 Krypton Xroad, 2017 Bombtrack Arise 2, 2019 Bombtrack Hook EXT-C

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 15 Posts
I'm 56 and have dealt with chafing, saddle sores, tenderness, etc, etc, for years. I've tried fittings and hundreds of dollars on saddles, all to no avail. Finally found the solution. A company run by a chiropractor out in California designed a saddle where it's recommended NOT to wear a chamois. It's www.infinitybikeseat.com. They're a little pricey but I've been running one for almost a year and have not had a single issue. I'll do a 50-60 mile ride on gravel no problem in just regular shorts and 3-4 hours in the saddle is actually pleasant now. Just my two cents.
chief9245 is offline  
Likes For chief9245:
Old 09-22-21, 01:45 AM
  #21  
Fentuz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 391

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream p8, customized Dahon Helios P18, customized Dahon Smooth Hound P9 & Plant X Free Ranger (modded of course)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
Liked 109 Times in 84 Posts
I run a fiziks terra argo x something (metal rail rather than carbon) in 160mm as fiziks advised me to run the larger for comfort.
i also run a fabric scoop 155 and it s a little more comfortable.
Fentuz is offline  
Old 09-24-21, 11:33 AM
  #22  
Craptacular8
Senior Member
 
Craptacular8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 23 Posts
A couple of suggestions for non-chamois saddles other than the afore mentioned (and rightly so) B17 and SA saddles. The B67 with spring takes a lot of bite out of the gravel. I use carved c17's on a few bikes, and stumbled onto Ergon SMC saddle. Have been using it fat biking/mountain biking, and could see it as a candidate for going without chammy.
Craptacular8 is offline  
Old 09-24-21, 07:49 PM
  #23  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,387

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 387 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 305 Times in 202 Posts
Originally Posted by SilverRubicon View Post
From Brooks…. “For riders in search of pressure relief, the B17 Carved features a “registered cutting” which first appeared with Brooks saddles in the 1890s.”
Sorry about my gaps in bike saddle history over the past couple of centuries, but on to what is important. The SA is extremely comfortable and one of the favorites among long distance riders. It has a firm but very flexible leather surface and is favored by many for its support with no pressure spots. It also relieves chafing for many.

Last edited by dwmckee; 09-24-21 at 07:56 PM.
dwmckee is offline  
Old 09-25-21, 12:57 PM
  #24  
pbass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,098

Bikes: 2016 Surly Cross Check singlespeed, 2019 Kona Rove ST

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked 251 Times in 174 Posts
For me a softer saddle leads to more rubbing/abrasion. I currently use an Ergon SR Comp: https://www.ergonbike.com/en/product...a=saettel#info
It's rather firm, and I feel like I'm just perched on my sit bones with very little pressure anywhere else. I find saddles like this with the lifted "whale tail" rear shape, narrow nose, plus a cutout are a win for me, like I'm floating over the saddle more. I gave up padded shorts, butt cream, etc a while back also - I wear merino boxer briefs and "gravel shorts" (essentially sleeker/shorter MTB shorts so they look OK on the road too). Nothing's very tight, you stay fresh and dry with the merino. Long days in the saddle are no prob.

Last edited by pbass; 09-25-21 at 01:28 PM.
pbass is offline  
Old 09-28-21, 10:54 AM
  #25  
Clipped_in
Rubber side down
 
Clipped_in's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Teh Quickie Mart
Posts: 1,725

Bikes: are fun! :-)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 124 Times in 79 Posts
FWIW I like the Fizik Antares saddles for all of my bikes.
Clipped_in is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.