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Bike Saddles

Old 05-19-19, 05:23 PM
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Bike Saddles

I'm just getting back into riding after almost twenty years if not away, then somewhat removed (ie, 500 miles was a really good year). I spent my late twenties riding on nothing but Flite Titanium saddles. Now I've been experimenting with various pressure reducing saddles - twenty year old Flite Trans Am, Selle Italia C2, Fizik someting or other, San Marco Squarda, Astute Starline. I had my Colnago out today for 35 miles - it has the Flite saddle that I bought it with last year. I still find that saddle to be about the most comfortable one I've ever used. Anyone have any thoughts on saddles in your 50s?
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Old 05-19-19, 10:06 PM
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Another one?

Sorry, .. 5000+ existing 'which saddle '? threads.... read thu any, before starting another one?

basically .. get a saddle or 2 & sit on them .. it's physiology , anatomy ..

I am not sitting on a saddle with your hips .. other than that its a popularity contest..

Me My, drop bar tour & road bike Brooks Team Pro, SI Turbo, SM Rolls are similar ..

I'm sitting up more, not on a drop bar bike.. so

FWIW, I have several Fizik For Brompton Vitesse [ Pleather for rainy place I inhabit ]

C 17 was an option, but these ^^^ cost less.. at the time..

happy search plan..

NB: you may hate someone else's favorite saddle ..


Last edited by fietsbob; 05-22-19 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:23 PM
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Padding. I've always been biased towards padded saddles. Especially since I don't wear padded shorts.

Sciatica and a case of noassitol means I need more padding than I used to. If you see a guy riding a bike with a yellow donut, that might be me.

Seriously though, the last seat I bought was a Cloud 9 commuter saddle. It could be a bit firmer, but seems okay so far. Definitely better than the anal wedge "retro" saddle my last bike came with.

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Old 05-19-19, 11:19 PM
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The only thing to pay attention to is what works for you.
Results matter
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Old 05-20-19, 01:20 AM
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I have both a Selle Anatomica X2 (gravel bike) and a Brooks B67 (fat e-bike). Both are very comfortable.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:12 PM
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My butt keeps changing .When I was in my 20s, I liked the then-new Avocet Racing and Touring saddles. In my 30s I liked the Selle Italia "Turbo" saddles. Now in my 60s, I like Brooks "Professional" and Idéale leather saddles best.
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Old 05-20-19, 05:57 PM
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I just went through this myslelf and read through a gazillion saddle posts. Finally happy with my new saddle and no I am not goint to say which one it is. Read the gazillion posts and buy what sounds like it might work for you. Not being snarky, there just is a ton of opinions already.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:11 AM
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Like Mr. Thompson, my preferences have changed. I no longer ride what I did 20 years ago when I was in my 50's. Now, I'm only comfortable on Brooks or Selle Anatomica offerings. No one can predict what might be comfortable for you.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:33 AM
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As has been said, what works for you. With this addendum......your butt will change as you get more miles in the saddle. So, today's uncomfortable saddle might work just fine in a month or two.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:59 AM
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This is clearly a case of YMMV. For myself, I've tried a zillion different saddles and the most comfortable by far is the Brooks B-17 Imperial. Heavy, but oh so worth it. As they say, it "just disappears" under me. All those long distance bike tourists I see riding down Highway 1 on tensioned leather saddles can't be wrong.

Here's what the dearly departed great Sheldon Brown had to say about plastic versus tensioned leather (i.e. Brooks, Selle Anatomica, Rivet) saddles:

Plastic saddles have four advantages over leather ones:

  1. They are lighter.
  2. They are weatherproof.
  3. They do not require breaking in.
  4. They are cheaper.
Leather saddles have three advantages over plastic:

  1. The big advantage: they are much more comfortable!
  2. They are generally more durable;
  3. They can be repaired.
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Old 05-21-19, 02:01 PM
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Flat and Firm

Those are my requirements. There are many saddles that accomplish that. Flat refers to the portion on which I perch, across the saddle. Flat, not arched. Also, I adjust saddle pitch angle so that the seat portion is level, irrespective of where the nose is (usually pitched up to accomplish this).

Firm. This means that if there is padding, then it must be quite firm and minimal. That's why I like the Brooks Team Pro, Brooks B17N, the Gyes GS-17A cut-away laced, or any of the modern flat saddles like the Fizik Pave CX or anything with that profile. There are literally dozens that are fine.

Firm and Flat. Also, although I do wear cycling specific shorts most of the time, I don't need to for comfort. It's mostly for sweat management and reducing friction on the saddles. No need to wear holes in shorts that aren't meant for cycling.
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Old 05-21-19, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Flat and Firm
My old saddles were pretty barrel shaped...

So, like you, I have started gravitating to saddles with flatter wings on the rear.

I buy a lot of used stuff, and don't think I have any two bikes that are configured exactly the same including different saddles on each one.

I have started nosing down most of my saddles to relieve sensitive pressure points, and use my legs and body to keep myself in place.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:00 PM
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As I stated right up front, that old Flite Titanium is still comfortable, I was surprised to see. When I first started riding them in 93, I found a new one had exactly the feel of sitting on a 2x4, but they quickly broke in (or maybe I did) and were comfortable even on all day rides, albeit with some occasional numbness as I recall.

Ten years ago, I swapped my Flite for a Flite Trans Am, attempting to relieve pressure down there (after some surgery, for around two years I couldnt even sit on a saddle without pain, or at least discomfort after maybe an hour). I suppose my question was more regarding experiences of men of that age where prostate and other issues become more common. Anyone worry about the plumbing?

I remember around twenty years ago there was a rider in my club who rode without seat/post, I would presume because of some issues. That seems a little extreme, and dangerous, to me.

I wasn't really looking for a recommendation. I'm down to 5 different saddles on my 5 bikes - I use the trainer mounted one as test bed. All are some variation on slightly curved (for those of us who aren't flexible), and have about the same geometry of a Flite (width/length), but a cutout or groove. Now I'm thinking of just going back to the classis Flite.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:59 PM
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I'm 57 and rode Avocet O2 Racing saddles for more than 20 years. Had them on all my bikes. The shell on the O2's flexes and has a cutout under the perineal area to relieve that pressure point. On a lark this year, while kitting a new frame, I bought a new style Flite and a Fabric Race. Between the two the Fabric fits my backside better. The Flite is a flat saddle, the Fabric Race is more rounded, but not as much as my old Avocet's. What's the point? I guess just to say that each person needs to experiment in order to find what fits them best. You may end up with a saddle or two that needs to be offed (anyone need a Flite?) but that's a small price to pay for comfort.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:19 PM
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Everyone is different when it comes to saddles. My advice, is to try different saddles to narrow down what type of saddle you prefer. Try flat saddles, short-nose saddles, curvy saddles, less padding and more padding. I've been through a dozen saddles and for me, there is nothing more comfortable than the Specialized Power Saddle. I found many saddles can be comfortable on short rides, but when you are riding over 50 miles, you'll know if the saddle doesn't agree with you. Good luck and I hope you find the one.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingFool95 View Post
Ten years ago, I swapped my Flite for a Flite Trans Am, attempting to relieve pressure down there.
If pressure is a concern, it's worth checking out the Selle Italia SLR Superflow, which has the largest cutout of any saddle I've tried.

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Old 05-21-19, 09:06 PM
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I like WTB saddles. But everyone is different so trial and error.
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Old 05-21-19, 09:18 PM
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One thing that has not been mentioned, is that some bike shops offer a saddle library. You can take out a saddle for a few days or a week and give it a try. If it does not work, bring it back and try another.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:47 PM
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All of you are wrong.

Fabric Scoop.

Now you know. Don’t make me say it a second time.

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Old 05-22-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GailT View Post
If pressure is a concern, it's worth checking out the Selle Italia SLR Superflow, which has the largest cutout of any saddle I've tried.

Paint that sucker yellow, and I'm in.
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Old 05-22-19, 05:30 PM
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I mostly prefer Selle Italia saddles shaped pretty much like the SLR Superflow above -- fairly flat, not much upward flare at the rear, not too much padding. I like 'em. If I needed more perineum pressure relief I'd definitely consider one with a larger cutout.

My three saddles vary in padding and I've found it helps to adjust the nose angle a bit (level with some, downward with others), and padded shorts.

With my lightly padded Selle Italia SLS Kit Carbonio, I prefer the saddle level and thicker pads in shorts. The shell doesn't give much so it needs to be level and fore/aft set just right so my sit bones park naturally in the sweet spot. I tend to shift onto the nose for some sprints, back onto the flared rear a bit for some climbs.

With the more thickly padded Q-Bik I prefer the nose down a bit and thinner shorts. It has a more flexible shell that gives a bit, so when my body weight is on the saddle it's actually more or less level and doesn't feel nose-down. The small pressure relief cut out helps a bit, but works best with thin pads or unpadded shorts.

I've tried some more heavily padded saddles with flexible shells, and some with a sort of "hammock" feel, but the initial impression of comfort lasts only about 5-10 miles before the limitations become apparent.

I've found only a couple of saddles that couldn't be made comfortable. Sometimes they resembled saddles I do like, but there was something about them that wasn't quite right -- too much padding, too curved, etc.
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Old 05-23-19, 02:32 PM
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Been on SMP's for about 5 years, mostly the Lite 209 though I have a Drakon as well. Whenever I've tried a flat saddle, I find coming back to the SMP like a well shaped couch, just fits me nicely. Only thing about that 209 is that it is heavy, roughly 310 gms. They are also tough to set up right.
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Old 05-24-19, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by timothyh View Post
all of you are wrong.

Fabric scoop.

Now you know. Don’t make me say it a second time.

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Old 05-24-19, 04:23 PM
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Finding the "right" saddle is a very personal, and subjective thing, IMHO. I was always uncomfortable on the Turbos and Avocet copies back in the day, but as a casual rider I could put up with some minor discomfort. A few years back I bought an expensive Specialized model that got high praise, but still wasn't quite right. Later I bought a Secteur road bike, which came with the Riva model saddle. It was kismet! The Riva - Specialized's cheapest saddle - was made for my rear end. I bought several for my different bikes, but not enough, as the Riva was discontinued, of course, before I could equip my entire fleet. Sometimes they pop up on fleaBay.

Find a bike shop that has demo saddles to try out. Also ask if they have a "sit kit" to help measure your sit bones' width. That helped me determine I need at least 140mm width across the wings/rear of the saddle. I'm thinking about getting a used Brooks Professional for the Raleigh Pro, to keep it period correct. Have no experience with them, however.
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