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Brooks 17 Imperial.

Old 10-02-21, 04:33 PM
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Helderberg
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Brooks 17 Imperial.

Would like to know if the owners of this saddle could give me some input about how adjustable the seat is or isn't? It appears that I could adjust the width but looks can be deceiving. At any rate, could any owners or previous owners of this model please give me your opinion? Thank you.

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Old 10-03-21, 05:02 PM
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Unless it's changed from my 2015-ish version, You can lace the 'wings' tighter or looser, but that's about it in terms of width adjustability. It has the typical Brooks short front-back adjustability.

Actually, my Arius (probably Spanish Campagnolo knock-off) seatpost hits the lacing in a way that cuts the laces.
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Old 10-04-21, 05:24 AM
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I find that Brooks to be a little short. I like Selle Anatomica a lot. The nose has a pivot so the saddle moves with you. I've tried the one without the cutout, and the magic just isn't there.

https://selleanatomica.com/products/...16271900147814
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Old 10-04-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
I find that Brooks to be a little short. I like Selle Anatomica a lot. The nose has a pivot so the saddle moves with you. I've tried the one without the cutout, and the magic just isn't there.

https://selleanatomica.com/products/...16271900147814
The problem with Selle saddles is that, from what I can find, they are too narrow for my sit bones. Would like to try one but I need at least 150mm.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Frank.
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Old 10-04-21, 11:40 AM
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Philbob57 is exactly right. You can only adjust the splaying out of the flaps, not the width of the saddle. This serves to reduce sagging of the saddle that occurs due to the weakening of the spine of the saddle due to the cutout. The important aspect of the saddle's width is the back of the saddle where your sitz bones rest. That part is not adjustable at all.

Note that Brooks also makes the B17n Carved (the Imperial nomenclature seems to have been changed to "Carved") which is a narrower version of the B17 and they also make a B17 Carved Short (primarily aimed at women cyclists). Here's their lineup: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/...r-saddles.html

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Old 10-04-21, 03:44 PM
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There are a lot of people on Bikeforums that just love the Brooks saddles. Funny thing, I have never seen a Brooks saddle at any of the bike events I ride. I am tempted to try one, but they are soooo heavy.
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Old 10-04-21, 07:23 PM
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This how I have a B17 set up on my touring bike. I have between 6,000 to 8,000 miles of touring on it. It is a comfortable saddle, but is a little fussy to set up. There is not much adjustment room on the short rails, and getting a seatpost with the correct setback is a challenge. The saddle is set up with very small amount of nose up-tilt, about 1-2 mm. On multi-month tours comfort trumps a little extra weight.





I lace it tight, but it probably is not necessary to be that tight.

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Old 10-05-21, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
There are a lot of people on Bikeforums that just love the Brooks saddles. Funny thing, I have never seen a Brooks saddle at any of the bike events I ride. I am tempted to try one, but they are soooo heavy.
Back in my road days, I would have not used a Brooks; "too heavy". But in my elder years, I've found it to be just right, for me. Very comfortable. The "break-in" period wasn't as long as I had figured and I now ride mostly without padded bike shorts. Course, nobody really needs to see me wearing spandex anyway...
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Old 10-05-21, 09:37 AM
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I bought my last saddle from a Forum member at:
rhmsaddles.com



I have been experimenting with cutouts and RHM offered this style and others.
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Old 10-06-21, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Unless it's changed from my 2015-ish version, You can lace the 'wings' tighter or looser, but that's about it in terms of width adjustability. It has the typical Brooks short front-back adjustability.

Actually, my Arius (probably Spanish Campagnolo knock-off) seatpost hits the lacing in a way that cuts the laces.
I found some leather thong to make a stronger replacement for the braided laces provided by Brooks. I treated them with Obenauf's to softened them to the point where they can be threaded and knotted, then threaded the laces into the skirts of my Brooks B17 Imperial. Even before using the thong, I didn't have any cutting at all with Campagnolo, Laprade, and Thomson posts, though the laces limit saddle positioning to different degrees. The fore-aft positioning is restricted, even for a Brooks. If you are sensitive to the need for a lot of setback, the Imperial lacing will not help you, with leather or conventional laces.
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Old 10-06-21, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
The problem with Selle saddles is that, from what I can find, they are too narrow for my sit bones. Would like to try one but I need at least 150mm.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Frank.
Frank, this is very surprising! Does your 150 mm come from a measurement, like they do at Specialized stores? Have you tried any Specialized saddles? Which one of those works well? Mahy of their models come in 155 mm width. In those I like the 143mm. I vaguely recall my Specialized measurement being about 115 mm. That doesn't mean I don't have a fat butt, it just looks at my skeletal dimensions. It's just about the bones.

The full-width across a S-A saddle (there's only one width, actually) at the widest point is 170 mm. For a Brooks B17 it's 172 mm on one I have (I'm not sure if they're all the same, either the Brooks or the Selle Anatomica!), and most saddles seem to be intended for the front-rear placement of your sit bones to be at this widest point. The S-A also has a little dimple in the middle of each half of the widest point. You can feel them with your fingers, but they're hard to see. Those are about 75 mm apart. For both saddles that maximum width is fixed (it can't "shrink") by the steel cantle plates, to which the leather is riveted 6 times. So the cantle plate determines the width of the saddle's supple section that supports your weight.

The width of that supple portion of the saddle leather is about 2 cm less on each side, so for both the SA and the B17 that free width is about 130 mm, or about 5.1 inches. So for anyone with sitbone width 5.1 inches or less, you should get a supple span of leather to hold up your butt when it is as far back as it should be. Many riders need to tilt the saddle nose up somewhat to help them stay in that position.

For any saddle, you can check where your sit-bone pressure is focused relative to the saddle. It's really easy, just sit on your finger while you pedal. If your finger is under the part of the sit-bone that has the most pressure, and is close to the widest part of the saddle, that is just about what I think is correct.

One way an SA can fit you too narrow is if you are trying to sit near the bottom of the hammock. If you look at an SA from the side, it will usually have sort of a hammock shape, even when it is tensioned up correctly. This part of the saddle is softer, but it puts the pressure of your weight on parts of you that are not intended to support your weight. God did not intend your "boys" to be sat on. It seems He did intend your butt bones to have that job. Really, the same issue exists with any Brooks, and for an Imperial with that slot, it's a LOT like an SA.

If the tension of an SA top is too slack, your weight can sag it down until you are actually resting on the top of the seatpost, in an extreme place. To make this sitbone balancing act work, you should check before each ride (this is just my approach, what I do) that the narrowest part of the slot is pretty close to 6 mm gap. I take my multitool and fold out the 6 mm Allen (hex) tool and pull it through the slot, across the flats. If it just drags a tiny bit, that is about right. Adjust that gap by tightening the nose crew, which takes the 6 mm Allen which should already be in your hand. This procedure comes from Selle AnAtomica, it's on their website.

If you're sliding forward as you pedal, your contact points might not be placed to maximize your best pedaling. I've sometimes found I am reaching forward too far or my body wants to slide forward, or I am pushing back with my arms. One possible solution is to raise the nose to make it harder to actually move forward - this helps with the butt pressure but not with the back, hands, or arms Another is to slide the saddle forward to let your butt be on the wide part AND let your body be forward, on the theory that generally speaking your body goes where it needs to. Both remedies can result in butt pressure and abrasion not being such a problem.

Last edited by Road Fan; 10-06-21 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 10-06-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Frank, this is very surprising! Does your 150 mm come from a measurement, like they do at Specialized stores? Have you tried any Specialized saddles? Which one of those works well? Mahy of their models come in 155 mm width. In those I like the 143mm. I vaguely recall my Specialized measurement being about 115 mm. That doesn't mean I don't have a fat butt, it just looks at my skeletal dimensions. It's just about the bones.

The full-width across a S-A saddle (there's only one width, actually) at the widest point is 170 mm. For a Brooks B17 it's 172 mm on one I have (I'm not sure if they're all the same, either the Brooks or the Selle Anatomica!), and most saddles seem to be intended for the front-rear placement of your sit bones to be at this widest point. The S-A also has a little dimple in the middle of each half of the widest point. You can feel them with your fingers, but they're hard to see. Those are about 75 mm apart. For both saddles that maximum width is fixed (it can't "shrink") by the steel cantle plates, to which the leather is riveted 6 times. So the cantle plate determines the width of the saddle's supple section that supports your weight.

The width of that supple portion of the saddle leather is about 2 cm less on each side, so for both the SA and the B17 that free width is about 130 mm, or about 5.1 inches. So for anyone with sitbone width 5.1 inches or less, you should get a supple span of leather to hold up your butt when it is as far back as it should be. Many riders need to tilt the saddle nose up somewhat to help them stay in that position.

For any saddle, you can check where your sit-bone pressure is focused relative to the saddle. It's really easy, just sit on your finger while you pedal. If your finger is under the part of the sit-bone that has the most pressure, and is close to the widest part of the saddle, that is just about what I think is correct.

One way an SA can fit you too narrow is if you are trying to sit near the bottom of the hammock. If you look at an SA from the side, it will usually have sort of a hammock shape, even when it is tensioned up correctly. This part of the saddle is softer, but it puts the pressure of your weight on parts of you that are not intended to support your weight. God did not intend your "boys" to be sat on. It seems He did intend your butt bones to have that job. Really, the same issue exists with any Brooks, and for an Imperial with that slot, it's a LOT like an SA.

If the tension of an SA top is too slack, your weight can sag it down until you are actually resting on the top of the seatpost, in an extreme place. To make this sitbone balancing act work, you should check before each ride (this is just my approach, what I do) that the narrowest part of the slot is pretty close to 6 mm gap. I take my multitool and fold out the 6 mm Allen (hex) tool and pull it through the slot, across the flats. If it just drags a tiny bit, that is about right. Adjust that gap by tightening the nose crew, which takes the 6 mm Allen which should already be in your hand. This procedure comes from Selle AnAtomica, it's on their website.

If you're sliding forward as you pedal, your contact points might not be placed to maximize your best pedaling. I've sometimes found I am reaching forward too far or my body wants to slide forward, or I am pushing back with my arms. One possible solution is to raise the nose to make it harder to actually move forward - this helps with the butt pressure but not with the back, hands, or arms Another is to slide the saddle forward to let your butt be on the wide part AND let your body be forward, on the theory that generally speaking your body goes where it needs to. Both remedies can result in butt pressure and abrasion not being such a problem.
From what I can tell I believe it is not so much the width but the crown or roundness of the back of the saddle. I am trying to find a "flatter" sitting area if that makes any sense, but all of the saddles I have found on the web have the width but are rounded. I tried a Specialized saddle recommended by the salesperson but it was too narrow overall. I am now riding a Fizik that is wide and short but that has not been the magic bullet I was hoping it would be, The B17 looks to be flatter than most and I thought the laces on the Imperial would allow me some adjustment on the forward width but it sounds like I am wrong about there purpose. I tell you, hiking is looking more and more in my future. Very discouraged. Also, the sits bone measurement was done on a piece of equipment at the dealer. so I believe it is accurate?
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Old 10-06-21, 04:24 PM
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Helderberg I'm kind of confused. I'm going to present some questions and if you like you can answer them.

1. When you say crown, are you talking about the saddle being taller at its middle, than at its sides? This contour can only really be seen by looking from the rear of the saddle, with you eye even with the upper surface of the saddle.

2. Are you sure your weight is not being borne by the steel cantle plate which forms the back of the saddle? Looking at it from underneath, it curls out from the middle and forward to end in front of the widest part of the saddle. It's a big letter C.

3. What is the Specialized saddle you tried in the past, and what was the width?

4. Does your bike use drop handlebars? How high are they relative to the saddle height, i.e 1" higher? 1" lower? What position of the bars do you normally ride in?

5. How do you determine the correct saddle height?

6. What seating position do you normally ride in? If you are bent forward to grasp the drops of the handlebars, that is a much deeper lean than if you are nearly upright.

7. When you get on the bike, first sit on the saddle, and start pedaling, do you find yourself sliding forward?

If when you spoke about saddles being too narrow, you were really thinking about crowning. Is it really true that your saddle is too narrow?

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Old 10-07-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Helderberg I'm kind of confused. I'm going to present some questions and if you like you can answer them.

1. When you say crown, are you talking about the saddle being taller at its middle, than at its sides? This contour can only really be seen by looking from the rear of the saddle, with you eye even with the upper surface of the saddle.

2. Are you sure your weight is not being borne by the steel cantle plate which forms the back of the saddle? Looking at it from underneath, it curls out from the middle and forward to end in front of the widest part of the saddle. It's a big letter C.

3. What is the Specialized saddle you tried in the past, and what was the width?

4. Does your bike use drop handlebars? How high are they relative to the saddle height, i.e 1" higher? 1" lower? What position of the bars do you normally ride in?

5. How do you determine the correct saddle height?

6. What seating position do you normally ride in? If you are bent forward to grasp the drops of the handlebars, that is a much deeper lean than if you are nearly upright.

7. When you get on the bike, first sit on the saddle, and start pedaling, do you find yourself sliding forward?

If when you spoke about saddles being too narrow, you were really thinking about crowning. Is it really true that your saddle is too narrow?
I will try to answer you questions in the order you have asked them.

1) Yes, I am referring to the middle being higher than the sides when viewed from the back.
2) I am currently riding a fizik so there is no metal plate, just the bottom of the saddle which appears to be a polly carbonate of some sort.
3) Avatar. It was too narrow, 135-45mm I believe as this was before I had an accurate sitbone measurement.
4) Drop bars, Yes, on the hoods. See photo. Yes, the bars are high but this is where I have to have them due to back surgery and arthritis. Also, not the current saddle.

5) Stright edge/level against a wall and subtract an amount I do not have in front of me right now and then fine-tuned according to my knee pain. I have also changed the crank to 165mm because of my knees and short legs.
6) Mostly on the hoods with alternate holds on the center straight bar.
7) Yes. I have tried to tilt the nose up a couple of degrees, as that is where it is now, but it doesn't help. I have to stand and sit back often when I ride.
As to your last question, Once I got an accurate sit bone measurement I have used that as a basis for my search. I can sit on my kitchen chair, which is unpadded wood, for the 2 local news, national news, this is 1 1/2 hours of sitting and not have any real pain. This is why I am leaning towards a flat seat without a "crown" when viewed from the back. I have previously, before the measurement, tried a Selle Italia Gell Flow max slr but that was in the 145 mm width with a large roll-off, crown, and was a no-go as would be expected. The 155 fizik has been the closest thing I have gotten but wonder if an equally wide seating area but a longer nose/front might be my next attempt. That is why I asked if a Brooks 17 Imperial would be a good next choice as I was hoping that the laces would allow some adjustment of the front width. Also, I am 5'7" 195 lbs, 29" inseam, 73 year old who had back surgery for paralysis to my left leg in 2001 and was told at that time I would never be able to ride a bike again. I didn't get the memo. I have also lost 80% of the muscle on my right lower leg front and 20% from that leg's thigh from a herniated disk that happened a few years before the needed surgery for my left leg. That leg will never recover but I have worked it so it is relatively strong. Thanks for your response and the other previous responses. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-08-21, 04:35 PM
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What problem are you trying to solve?

I got into saddle experimentation to prevent genital numbness that hit me when I returned to cycling 8 years ago. The B-17 Imperial helped, but not enough. I got numb after 12-15 miles, and I like to ride farther than that. I'm 5' 7", 195, 29.75" inseam - but I weighed 230-240 when I tried out the Imperial.
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Old 10-09-21, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
What problem are you trying to solve?

I got into saddle experimentation to prevent genital numbness that hit me when I returned to cycling 8 years ago. The B-17 Imperial helped, but not enough. I got numb after 12-15 miles, and I like to ride farther than that. I'm 5' 7", 195, 29.75" inseam - but I weighed 230-240 when I tried out the Imperial.
Since the Imperial did not work what saddle did you end up with? I totally realize that everyone is different but I am just curious what worked for you.
Thanks, Frank.
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Old 10-10-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
The problem with Selle saddles is that, from what I can find, they are too narrow for my sit bones. Would like to try one but I need at least 150mm.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Frank.
"... Selle saddles ... are too narrow"

"selle" is just the Italian word for "saddle." Numerous companies, nearly all Italian, have a company name or product brand that starts with the word "selle." Examples include Selle Royale and Selle Italia. I beleive they are still separate companies. Each of these has dozens of models and designs, spanning the variety of saddle styles, colors, brandings and applications. Most are very narrow saddles as you have noted. Brooks is actually owned by one of these two companies, but the parent company has allowed Brooks to maintain its traditional identity and some of the traditional designs, and seems to be pushing it into the "luxury goods" consumer sector. Brooks has a few narrow saddle models, the Swallow, B17 Narrow (and Imperial Narrow), and Swift. That said, Brooks leather saddle designs remain good choices for cyclists wanting that type of bike saddle. Some of the Italian designs are based on very strong engineering research into designs and ergonomics, so they're not bad choices. I don't have much personal experience with Italian saddles. Not a prejudice, I just was never fascinated by them.

Selle Anatomica is an American company which started in solid leather saddles, researched and released a pricey carbon fiber model, saddle (and sells a few), and is now branching out into solid rubber saddles. Nearly all their products are the same shape, 170 mm wide and about 280 mm long. There isn't a "wide" one versus a "narrow" one. I'm a medium width as far as sit-bones go, and the Selle Anatomica design works very well for me. I'm still pretty sure that if you spoke to the Selle Anatomica customer service about your concerns with width and crown they would say you should be able to get a comfortable fit on one of their saddles.

Some companies, like Specialized, specialize in cycling ergonomics and comfort engineering (with Trek following in its wake), and use construction that is similar to that of the Italian saddle companies. They are also made in specific widths: 130 mm, 143 mm, 155 mm and 175 mm for a few models. In their product designs the company is also aware of the issue of saddle crown versus saddle flatness. If you really have 150 mm sit bone separation working within the Specialized system, you could find that a 150 mm saddle may work for you or a 175 mm may work. But you would have to find an actual Specialized store and take the time for them to understand your concerns and for you to understand their solution for you. I found some very good solutions working with them: the 143 mm Toupe Gel, the 155 mm Toupe Gel, and the 143 mm Alias (not in the product line any more). I also found that a Specialized 130 mm in Toupe and Alias were way too narrow - it was easy for one of my sit-bones to fall off the platform if I didn't limit my squirrelling around and always pedal in a strict discipline - no fun!! YMMV of course, but here in Ann Arbor the Spec dealers have been quite well-skilled.

My favorites remain Selle Anatomica, because the even pressure distribution of their hammock design, when well-adjusted, just disappears under me. Same for a Select B17, B17 Imperial, and sometimes a Select Brooks Professional. Occasionally I still get the idea of weight-weenying back into my head, and then I put on one of the Toupe Gels, and then also go off happily pedaling. At the moment my utility/mule bike has a S-A initial model saddle which sags a lot but it is very cushy and compliant, randonneurs has a Brooks Professional Select which I would like to have ridden-in by March, and my go-fast roadie has an H-model Selle AnAtomica, which seems to give excellent comfort and has the weight rating that SA says is recommended for my degree of pork. Another reason I like Selle AnAtomica is that most of their designs allow the saddle to be set back quite a distance from a plumb line through the BB axis.
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Old 10-10-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
"... Selle saddles ... are too narrow"

"selle" is just the Italian word for "saddle." Numerous companies, nearly all Italian, have a company name or product brand that starts with the word "selle." Examples include Selle Royale and Selle Italia. I beleive they are still separate companies. Each of these has dozens of models and designs, spanning the variety of saddle styles, colors, brandings and applications. Most are very narrow saddles as you have noted. Brooks is actually owned by one of these two companies, but the parent company has allowed Brooks to maintain its traditional identity and some of the traditional designs, and seems to be pushing it into the "luxury goods" consumer sector. Brooks has a few narrow saddle models, the Swallow, B17 Narrow (and Imperial Narrow), and Swift. That said, Brooks leather saddle designs remain good choices for cyclists wanting that type of bike saddle. Some of the Italian designs are based on very strong engineering research into designs and ergonomics, so they're not bad choices. I don't have much personal experience with Italian saddles. Not a prejudice, I just was never fascinated by them.

Selle Anatomica is an American company which started in solid leather saddles, researched and released a pricey carbon fiber model, saddle (and sells a few), and is now branching out into solid rubber saddles. Nearly all their products are the same shape, 170 mm wide and about 280 mm long. There isn't a "wide" one versus a "narrow" one. I'm a medium width as far as sit-bones go, and the Selle Anatomica design works very well for me. I'm still pretty sure that if you spoke to the Selle Anatomica customer service about your concerns with width and crown they would say you should be able to get a comfortable fit on one of their saddles.

Some companies, like Specialized, specialize in cycling ergonomics and comfort engineering (with Trek following in its wake), and use construction that is similar to that of the Italian saddle companies. They are also made in specific widths: 130 mm, 143 mm, 155 mm and 175 mm for a few models. In their product designs the company is also aware of the issue of saddle crown versus saddle flatness. If you really have 150 mm sit bone separation working within the Specialized system, you could find that a 150 mm saddle may work for you or a 175 mm may work. But you would have to find an actual Specialized store and take the time for them to understand your concerns and for you to understand their solution for you. I found some very good solutions working with them: the 143 mm Toupe Gel, the 155 mm Toupe Gel, and the 143 mm Alias (not in the product line any more). I also found that a Specialized 130 mm in Toupe and Alias were way too narrow - it was easy for one of my sit-bones to fall off the platform if I didn't limit my squirrelling around and always pedal in a strict discipline - no fun!! YMMV of course, but here in Ann Arbor the Spec dealers have been quite well-skilled.

My favorites remain Selle Anatomica, because the even pressure distribution of their hammock design, when well-adjusted, just disappears under me. Same for a Select B17, B17 Imperial, and sometimes a Select Brooks Professional. Occasionally I still get the idea of weight-weenying back into my head, and then I put on one of the Toupe Gels, and then also go off happily pedaling. At the moment my utility/mule bike has a S-A initial model saddle which sags a lot but it is very cushy and compliant, randonneurs has a Brooks Professional Select which I would like to have ridden-in by March, and my go-fast roadie has an H-model Selle AnAtomica, which seems to give excellent comfort and has the weight rating that SA says is recommended for my degree of pork. Another reason I like Selle AnAtomica is that most of their designs allow the saddle to be set back quite a distance from a plumb line through the BB axis.
WoW, thank you for this extensive post. A lot of information to digest but I will look further into the Specialized and SA saddles. I have a Specialized dealer nearby, they also sell Cannondale and others, as that is where I bought my Topstone.
Thanks again, Frank.
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Old 10-10-21, 04:51 PM
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The short answer is that I've been happily riding a Selle SMP TRK for 5 years. It's got a lot of padding, but it fits me pretty well.

I started with an Avocet Touring I, which I rode from 1982-2013, with 20 years of breaks from '92-2001 and 2003-2013. That was followed by A fizik Aliante, which was better, but not good. Then it was a Toupe, which was unbearable to me, but fine for others. Then came the B17 Imp, which I rode for almost a year (500-600 miles); that was good for 12-15 miles before I got numb. (I never got a sore butt from the B17 Imp, just numbness.)

Then came one of the ISM road saddles. I had no numbness with that one, but like some buyers (per Amazon reviews), I developed a saddle sore where one of the horns hit my groin. It didn't work for me, but I have a lot of liking and respect for the company and their products.

Finally, the TRK works up to 35-40 miles, which has been my longest rido on it. After losing weight, though, sometimes I get numb. So far, the numbness goes away if I stand in the saddle for a minute every 15-20 minutes. If the TRK starts to fail, I think I'll go for a Rido saddle.

If numbness or perineal pain is your problem, look for Selle SMP's patent application, and look at ISM's documentation. They put no pressure on the perineal nerve or artery, and that approach makes a lot of sense to me. (The popularity of Brooks saddles, however, is evidence against that approach.)

BTW, Cervelo used to have on it's website some like '4.5 questions about saddles.' It has been removed, but one fact I remember from it is that a rider should have 10 mm of saddle on each side of the sit bones. So, if you need 150 mm of saddle width, your sit bone distance, center to center, should be 130 mm. That's pretty wide for someone 5' 7". Are you sure of your measurement? My specialized dealer put ball bearings into the depression and measured the distance between them..
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Old 10-11-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
The short answer is that I've been happily riding a Selle SMP TRK for 5 years. It's got a lot of padding, but it fits me pretty well.

I started with an Avocet Touring I, which I rode from 1982-2013, with 20 years of breaks from '92-2001 and 2003-2013. That was followed by A fizik Aliante, which was better, but not good. Then it was a Toupe, which was unbearable to me, but fine for others. Then came the B17 Imp, which I rode for almost a year (500-600 miles); that was good for 12-15 miles before I got numb. (I never got a sore butt from the B17 Imp, just numbness.)

Then came one of the ISM road saddles. I had no numbness with that one, but like some buyers (per Amazon reviews), I developed a saddle sore where one of the horns hit my groin. It didn't work for me, but I have a lot of liking and respect for the company and their products.

Finally, the TRK works up to 35-40 miles, which has been my longest rido on it. After losing weight, though, sometimes I get numb. So far, the numbness goes away if I stand in the saddle for a minute every 15-20 minutes. If the TRK starts to fail, I think I'll go for a Rido saddle.

If numbness or perineal pain is your problem, look for Selle SMP's patent application, and look at ISM's documentation. They put no pressure on the perineal nerve or artery, and that approach makes a lot of sense to me. (The popularity of Brooks saddles, however, is evidence against that approach.)

BTW, Cervelo used to have on it's website some like '4.5 questions about saddles.' It has been removed, but one fact I remember from it is that a rider should have 10 mm of saddle on each side of the sit bones. So, if you need 150 mm of saddle width, your sit bone distance, center to center, should be 130 mm. That's pretty wide for someone 5' 7". Are you sure of your measurement? My specialized dealer put ball bearings into the depression and measured the distance between them..
Thank you for this information. I have become so frustrated with myself that last night I got out some of my saddle attempts and started switching out different models. I found I feel better on a longer saddle than the short, A narrow front as opposed to a wider nose. A flat seating area than a rounded one. Flater seat overall than a hammock style. At least now I know what I don't want. If the selle anatomica was wider in the seating area I would order one but it is not considering my knowledge of my sit bone measurement. Before I buy another saddle I am going to try again to get an accurate measurement and then take what I now believe I know about my butt and try again to get THE correct saddle. Thank you all so much for your input and for taking the time to give me all of this information.
Frank.
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