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Need Saddle Recommendations!

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Need Saddle Recommendations!

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Old 09-08-18, 08:25 PM
  #1  
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Need Saddle Recommendations!

Hi All,

I'm sure this has been covered in other threads, Appoloigies. I'm just a few weeks from my 73rd birthday and got back into riding after a five year hiatus. At my current age, I seem to have lost any natural padding on my rear end (still have the gluteus... lost the maximus!). At just under 72" tall and weighing a tad over 180, I'm finding that returning to cycling my rides are now limited by my saddle!

I have what I believe is the perfect bike for me, a 2010 Jamis Commuter 4 (pic below). It came with disc brakes, Alfina 8-speed hub with dual crankset (for 16 gears), a front wheel dynamo w/light and 700X32 tires (I added the comfort seat post). I had to raise the handlebars to keep my forearm muscle happy and, everything seems to fit just right! Even the saddle feels great... up until about 10 miles. I'm on my third saddle (under $40.00) and, although it's one of the more comfortable saddles I've tried, I still can't go more than 10-12 miles without my derriere paying the price! That's with riding shorts (no jockies) and Chamois Butt-r. Chafing is not the problem... pain up through my (now) boney ass is. I would appreciate your wise counsel regarding saddle recommendations!



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Old 09-08-18, 08:51 PM
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I put a Spenco gel saddle on my bike 20+ years ago and have never looked back.
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Old 09-08-18, 10:58 PM
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Try a Serfas Dual Density Lycra over foam saddle, or an older model discounted Serfas Tailbones.

I have a couple of older style saddles with Lycra shells over progressive density foam, including one from Bell and another from Terry (the Terry saddle nose is a little short for me -- it was designed for women). They're very comfortable on hybrids. I just wear regular clothes -- underwear, shorts or jeans, whatever. Too much padding can cause problems, so skip the padded shorts with these saddles. The Lycra/foam saddles serve the same purpose, wicking perspiration away from the body -- very important with bony butts and thinner skin, both common as we age.

I prefer a firmer saddle and padded shorts on my road bike (Selle Italia SLS Kit Carbonio, very firm), but the riding position is completely different -- leaning forward, more weight directly over the ischial tuberosities. But it's tricky finding the right padded shorts. Thicker but softer pads on my Pearl Izumi and Baleaf shorts weren't quite right. I usually preferred the very thin microfiber pad in AeroTech Pro shorts. But recently I tried The Black Bibs and Przewalski shorts with thicker, denser pads that are very comfortable, especially on rougher pavement.

But on the more upright hybrids I still haven't found a saddle more comfortable than the Lycra over foam saddles, especially wearing regular clothing. And they're remarkably durable. Even after a couple of falls and scuffs the material hasn't come apart. They've been rained on and are still in good shape, even after 20 or so years.

I often recommend these but so far I don't know of anyone who's taken my advice. Possibly because they're associating these saddles with those cheap, floppy, ill-fitting gel foam covers some folks put on their older worn saddles or thick comfort saddles thinking more padding is better. But the saddles designed with Lycra over progressive density foam aren't the same at all.
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Old 09-09-18, 07:30 AM
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Some bike shops have demo saddles. These are from companies like Fizik and are road saddles but if you can try one it's free.
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Old 09-09-18, 10:36 AM
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No problem. It's not the saddle, it's your butt. Persevere. Details: What happens when one sits on a saddle which fits well is that the blood flow becomes much reduced in the tissues directly below the ichial tubererosities or the pubic ramus, depending on how one sits on the saddle, This means reduced oxygen particularly. Those tissues don't like that and complain. However the mammalian body is highly adaptable and over time those tissues get used to it and stop complaining.

So what to do? The best butt conditioning is to ride ~30 minutes every day or as close to that as one can manage. At my age, you should be able to manage every day. Just watch out for hurricanes. As your butt becomes used to it, extend the time a little each week, cutting back on the days as necessary for recovery. It usually takes about a month of consistent riding to adapt. In the PNW, people who don't ride all winter go through a bit of this every year.

Note that the above does not apply to cases of friction sores or genital numbness. In those cases, definitely a different saddle or different fit or both.
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Old 09-09-18, 11:28 AM
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A question that only you can answer.

I think that finding the right saddle is a hunt and peck process for many people. What works for me might feel like a picket fence to you. When I was still riding diamond frame bikes I personally liked Brooks saddles but they're on the pricy side and not for everybody either. Since I've started riding recumbents the saddle issue is gone but recumbents can also be on the pricy side and don't seem to be for everybody either.
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Old 09-09-18, 12:19 PM
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First of all, your butt needs to break in. That takes time in the saddle. Make sure your current saddle fits your sit bones (you can sit on a piece of corrugated cardboard to check). That said, as someone who spent over a year trying to get comfortable on a Brooks saddle (because people seem to love them so much!), there's a point where you need something different. I never got comfortable on the Brooks, and the first few months I had to ride home standing up because I was in so much pain, lol. But the process did toughen up my rear end and I did realize that more padding is not necessarily good. I ended up on a Fizik saddle, which is thin and has a limited amount of high density material for cushioning, hardly visible, but it's there. Most comfortable saddle for me, ever. Especially after the Brooks. So - my recommendation is ride what you have for a little while longer and toughen up your posterior, then find a shop that will let you try out some other saddles. But don't automatically go for ones with big fat cushions, start with the least padding and work up from there. Selle Anatomica gets great feedback, Fizik makes comfy saddles, Specialized has some good ones, too. Good luck!
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Old 09-09-18, 12:40 PM
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50K saddle threads , basically go sit on more saddles
(you cannot sit on an opinion).

Bike Shop 'take offs' , new, but bike buyer chose something else..
so low cost to you,
rotate through , try a bunch.

[Fizik Demos are in high end shops, to try $200 + saddles]

Here, customers usually go wider softer, rather than the narrower and firmer,
+ Lighter, which roadies go for . (like Fizik)





....

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Old 09-09-18, 10:27 PM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions! I'll continue to ride regularly to give my bum a chance to get with the program. And, I'll check with the local bicycle shops to see what's available in demo saddles and those left behind from new bike purchases.

Again... Many Thanks!
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Old 09-11-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDyno View Post
Hi All,

I'm sure this has been covered in other threads, Appoloigies. I'm just a few weeks from my 73rd birthday and got back into riding after a five year hiatus. At my current age, I seem to have lost any natural padding on my rear end (still have the gluteus... lost the maximus!). At just under 72" tall and weighing a tad over 180, I'm finding that returning to cycling my rides are now limited by my saddle!
Hi John. I'm 73 and live up near Crystal River. I'm about the same height and weight as you and have a Selle-Anatomica X series saddle on both of my bikes. I've been riding on them for about 3 years. They're very comfy.
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Old 09-11-18, 06:09 PM
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Brooks B17 has been great for me for years! I have ridden thousands of miles on mine the past 15 years and it still cradles my bum like a baby. It has been through rides across multiple states including Iowa twice on RAGBRAI.
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Old 09-11-18, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Hi John. I'm 73 and live up near Crystal River. I'm about the same height and weight as you and have a Selle-Anatomica X series saddle on both of my bikes. I've been riding on them for about 3 years. They're very comfy.
Hi Ron!

Appreciate your recommendation for two reasons. You're my age so you've probably lost most of your rear end padding (like me) and you turned to the Selle-Anatomica just three years ago. But OMG... $180! However, the day may come when I have a closet full of slightly used saddles and no other options.

Thanks, also to Kerk. However, Kerk's been on his B17 for 15 years so, even if he's in his eighth decade, his rear end has had the opportunity to become well acquainted with the Brooks.

I appreciate everyone's recommendations. I've been interested in Kontact saddles since reading many of his (Josh Cohen's) posts here on the forum (screen name: Kontact). But, I wasn't ready to spend $120.00 (even with his 30-day return policy). However, cruising on eBay two nights ago, I found a late model Kontact saddle in excellent condition for $60.00. So, that should be here some time next week and I'll report back as soon as I've had the opportunity to try it.
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Old 09-12-18, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDyno View Post
I appreciate everyone's recommendations. I've been interested in Kontact saddles since reading many of his (Josh Cohen's) posts here on the forum (screen name: Kontact). But, I wasn't ready to spend $120.00 (even with his 30-day return policy). However, cruising on eBay two nights ago, I found a late model Kontact saddle in excellent condition for $60.00. So, that should be here some time next week and I'll report back as soon as I've had the opportunity to try it.
John, is this a late model saddle, as in left over stock but never used or is it a late model used saddle?
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Old 09-12-18, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
John, is this a late model saddle, as in left over stock but never used or is it a late model used saddle?
Used, Ron.


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Old 09-14-18, 04:34 AM
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I agree with the less is more crowd.

One of my bikes has an old Cinelli Unicanitor saddle, which is just a hard plastic shell with no covering or cushioning, so of course I thought I would need thick padding in my shorts to be comfortable. Ouch! Was I wrong. Then I tried shorts with minimum padding through some advice I received and wow, all day comfort. To much cushioning makes your butt move around to much, kind of squishing around if you get my drift. That causes pain and irritation.

Also, if you can, get out of the saddle and stand on the pedals once in awhile. It will give your butt a minute to "breath".
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Old 09-14-18, 09:22 AM
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broke out my my Selle Italia Turbo Ive had for 30 years ,
its fairly weather resistant, because the thin leather is a covering over foam and Molded Nylon

not suspended like my Brooks Team pro,
(off the bike, stored inside, to take care of it from Mildew, rather than unheated basement)

As wet weather returns , I get out my bike with the 'Pleather', synthetic covered saddle [It's a Fizik Vitesse]

But I don't sit on my bike with your hips..

so this may not apply..


..
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Old 09-14-18, 09:38 AM
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I would give something like a Brooks a try. The lack of padding is more comfortable for many people describing what you are experiencing, counter-intuitively.
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Old 09-14-18, 09:45 AM
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I'm a big fan of Specialized saddles. I think saddle width, in particular, has more bearing on riding comfort than people sometimes recognize. After having my sit bones measured, I realized my prior saddles were too narrow. The Specialized Phenom I'm riding now is far more comfortable than anything else I've used.

I do also agree with the prior comments that part of this process is conditioning your hindquarters to sitting on a bike seat. Some initial discomfort is unavoidable until your body has adapted.
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Old 09-14-18, 10:54 AM
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Your bike is set up for more of an upright rider position. This is important as you rest on different spots depending on your posture. The Selle Co. takes this into consideration more than most other manufacturers. They have a "saddle finder" app on their website. My amateur assessment is that you would be best served by a "trekking" type saddle but, ymmv. Also "Ergon" gets high marks from some.

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Old 09-14-18, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
I agree with the less is more crowd... One of my bikes has an old Cinelli Unicanitor saddle, which is just a hard plastic shell with no covering or cushioning, so of course I thought I would need thick padding in my shorts to be comfortable. Ouch! Was I wrong. Then I tried shorts with minimum padding through some advice I received and wow, all day comfort. To much cushioning makes your butt move around to much, kind of squishing around if you get my drift. That causes pain and irritation.

Also, if you can, get out of the saddle and stand on the pedals once in awhile. It will give your butt a minute to "breath".
So, today I had an opportunity to try out my new (to me) Kontact Saddle. And, I came away with the thought that Giacomo (above) hit the nail on the head!

The Kontact Saddle is, at 5.25" wide, a full inch and a quarter narrower than my current Bikeroo saddle and, considerably harder to compress. When I first sat on it, I was afraid it was going to disappear right up my ass(!) and, it was MUCH firmer than my Bikeroo. However, the Kontact reviews are stellar so, off I went. To my surprise, I experienced only a fraction of discomfort after about 7 or 8 miles and I was confident I'd make the round trip okay. I also took Giacomo's advice and occasionally stood up on the pedals. That, too, works as advertised. That also helped to alleviate some of the heat in my crotch that my vented Bikeroo prevented.

All in all I did a bit over 13 miles, today, which, for me, is my second longest ride since getting back on the bike, three months ago... which brings up another question: After a 5-6 year hiatus, I started riding again at 72+ (I'm several weeks away from my 73rd birthday). I was never an avid rider, mostly recreational just to stay in shape (had been an avid runner years before). However, after retiring, I mostly just sat on a couch for the past couple of years. I had fully expected to be in reasonable shape after three or four weeks of committed riding. However, three months down the road and, although I've made some progress (10 miles/week to now over 30 miles per week), I still struggle up hills and occasionally find myself gasping for breath. Am I just expecting too much, too soon, or is a day of rest between rides too short a recovery period?

Many thanks for the great input you folks have already offered me. I feel being connected here is invaluable for my progress!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I would give something like a Brooks a try.
Tensioned leather saddle manufacturers/suppliers/re-branding outlets include: Berthoud, Brooks, Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Gyes, Lepper, Origin8, Papillionaire, Persons, Rivet, Selle Italia, Selle Anatomica, Selle Monte Grappa, Spa, Tops, Torelli and Velo Orange.

Fun fact: 'selle' is just Italian for 'saddles'. The numerous 'Selle' companies are separate businesses and may or may not be located in Italy!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Tensioned leather saddle manufacturers/suppliers/re-branding outlets include: Berthoud, Brooks, Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Gyes, Lepper, Origin8, Papillionaire, Persons, Rivet, Selle Italia, Selle Anatomica, Selle Monte Grappa, Spa, Tops, Torelli and Velo Orange.

Fun fact: 'selle' is just Italian for 'saddles'. The numerous 'Selle' companies are separate businesses and may or may not be located in Italy!
Hah! Live and learn. I thought Selle Italia, Selle SMP, Selle Anatomica, Selle Royale, et. al, were just separate product lines from the same company. What a maroon! Anyway, my current butt splitter is of the SMP variety. It's the best I've found FOR ME. I have spent a lot of money on saddles and have quite a collection. When I die people will think I was a saddle hoarder. Brooks never worked for me.
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Old 09-15-18, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDyno View Post
So, today I had an opportunity to try out my new (to me) Kontact Saddle. And, I came away with the thought that Giacomo (above) hit the nail on the head!

The Kontact Saddle is, at 5.25" wide, a full inch and a quarter narrower than my current Bikeroo saddle and, considerably harder to compress. When I first sat on it, I was afraid it was going to disappear right up my ass(!) and, it was MUCH firmer than my Bikeroo. However, the Kontact reviews are stellar so, off I went. To my surprise, I experienced only a fraction of discomfort after about 7 or 8 miles and I was confident I'd make the round trip okay. I also took Giacomo's advice and occasionally stood up on the pedals. That, too, works as advertised. That also helped to alleviate some of the heat in my crotch that my vented Bikeroo prevented.

All in all I did a bit over 13 miles, today, which, for me, is my second longest ride since getting back on the bike, three months ago... which brings up another question: After a 5-6 year hiatus, I started riding again at 72+ (I'm several weeks away from my 73rd birthday). I was never an avid rider, mostly recreational just to stay in shape (had been an avid runner years before). However, after retiring, I mostly just sat on a couch for the past couple of years. I had fully expected to be in reasonable shape after three or four weeks of committed riding. However, three months down the road and, although I've made some progress (10 miles/week to now over 30 miles per week), I still struggle up hills and occasionally find myself gasping for breath. Am I just expecting too much, too soon, or is a day of rest between rides too short a recovery period?

Many thanks for the great input you folks have already offered me. I feel being connected here is invaluable for my progress!
I'm glad I could help out. I learn things on this forum, mostly on C&V, everyday. There is a lot of knowledge here.

On performance, give yourself a break. Your not 30 or even 40 years old anymore. BITD, you would have come along quicker, but at your age, being out there is the main thing, not your performance. You will get better, but it won't get easier because your just going to go faster. Cycling never gets easier. Try and enjoy your time on the bike because many men our age could never do it at all.
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Old 09-15-18, 02:59 PM
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Italian biggies known in the Selle biz;... Royale, owns Brooks, and Fizik is one of their divisions,
and OEM Utility bike saddles, (The big sales is not aftermarket.).
San Marco , Concor and ' Rolls' and Italia ; Turbo, their 80s classic is now in revival..
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Old 09-15-18, 09:18 PM
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Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Bacchetta Strada, Rodriguez Tandem, Wheeler MTB

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Brooks B17, many miles. when I rains just put a plastic bag over it. Lasts a very long time and is comfortable, for me at least .
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