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How long should I wait before new saddle?

Old 05-22-17, 10:50 PM
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Dizzo
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How long should I wait before new saddle?

Hey folks!
I just bought a sirrus comp carbon. I am head over heals in love with it.
I've only got 12 miles on it (didn't want to kill myself on the first day), but boy are my haunches sore! I've read some reviews that say the saddle on these things are pretty bad, but I'm sure it will also take time to get my keester into riding shape. How long should I wait to decide if it's the saddle or me just being in the worst shape of my life?
P.s. I'm a Clyde. 6'1" 240 lbs
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Old 05-22-17, 10:53 PM
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If you are just restarting, could take 3 to 4 weeks of rides, or about 10 to 12 rides to get used to the saddle. If you are not seeing a steady increase in milage before you start feeling it, then you got a problem.

Definitely have to build some muscle as a (fellow) Clyde and that can only be done one way: Ride.
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Old 05-22-17, 11:04 PM
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I've never had a saddle that I disliked initially "become" comfortable over time. It's either comfortable initially or it's not.

One of the most important factors in fit is figuring out the width of your sitbones. This will help you determine the proper width for your saddle.

I found anything under 140 to be too narrow. 155 too wide--not horribly so but I find it interferes with my pedaling efficiency slightly. I can work with saddles in the 140-145 range. At that point, you want to find out if your anatomy agrees with cutout saddles or not. I can work with both.

Oddly, certain brands just don't work for me and it's not absolutely clear why, even if the saddle width is fine. Sometimes the raised stitching is an irritation or the saddle foam is too soft or hard. Sharp 90 degree angles like on wtb are disagreeable to me.

I went through maybe 10 saddles until I found one which fit properly. Obviously they've gone on every bike and I have backups. You never know.

You might get lucky and find the right saddle within your first few tries. I was not so fortunate but I'm glad I found the right saddle eventually. I just don't think about the saddle at all now, which I consider to be a major luxury.
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Old 05-23-17, 04:05 AM
  #4  
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When you're a new rider you need a few hundred miles in the saddle to toughen up the flesh covering your sitbones. There's sitbone pain and then there's "crotch" pain. The sitbone pain should go away after awhile. If it hurts your crotch you need to adjust the tilt. If the nose is too low you'll slide off the front and if it's too high it will hurt your crotch. You have to adjust it in tiny increments until you find the right balance. I can get comfortable on almost any saddle as long as it's not super narrow. For most my tilt has the nose about one degree above level. Very, very tiny adjustments make a big difference in feel.

Whatever you do, do not listen to the people who tell you to just buy a new saddle. They've probably blown a lot of money themselves because they don't know how to adjust it properly.
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Old 05-23-17, 04:35 AM
  #5  
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My experience with a new Brooks might be something for you to consider. It was not until I raised the nose of the saddle a bit so I was sitting on the flat surface and not sliding forward did I come to appreciate why so many praise these products.
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Old 05-23-17, 04:59 AM
  #6  
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you need to buy it when you need it
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Old 05-23-17, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
I've never had a saddle that I disliked initially "become" comfortable over time. It's either comfortable initially or it's not.

One of the most important factors in fit is figuring out the width of your sitbones. This will help you determine the proper width for your saddle.
My experience is along these lines. In addition to width due to my sit bones, I also find that rounded over saddles cause me pain. I look for a flat profile from side to side. This is one of those "everyone is different" issues though, so you have to try and see what works for you.

Does your dealer have any loaner saddles for you to play with? It's worth asking the question.
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Old 05-23-17, 05:40 AM
  #8  
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I'm 6' 1" and last checked in at 225 before I tossed the scales.

Might it be your chamois? The cheap $25 ones are asking for trouble.

Last year was my first time on a bicycle since the 70's. My Girlfriend was on a bike for the first time since the 90's.

My haunches were sore for the first few weeks, but after discussing it with several bike shops, I took their advice (keeping in mind that they could have sold me a saddle) and decided to wait it out.
It did get much better the more I rode, and the same saddle (Specialized "Targa") is fine for my 25 to 50 mile daily rides. I also recently picked up a second bike (Bianchi Veloce) and the original seat works fine.
My GF on the other hand, insists it's the saddle and is on her third seat in 12 months.
If it were me, I'd give it a few weeks and if you're still sore, go to your local shop and make sure it's in the right position.
YMMV

Last edited by IamAlan; 05-23-17 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 05-23-17, 05:44 AM
  #9  
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I think that enough discomfort to report on it here after only 12 miles of riding is quite a lot. As the other posters have hinted, there are 3 factors for you to juggle:

1. Your cycling background. If you haven't ridden very much up to this point, just riding will improve your comfort by quite a lot. My rule of thumb is the first 100 miles of cycling should yield progressively less discomfort.

2. The saddle position on the bike and your position on the saddle. If you haven't done this already, find an experienced cyclist to look at your position on the bike. Saddle height, front-to-back position, and horizontal position can all have a huge effect on your comfort. Since you are hurting this bad, I suspect that you've got a problem here. Even the worst saddle shouldn't feel this bad after only 12 miles. I wouldn't be too quick to replace your saddle until you are sure that your saddle position is right. The best saddle won't feel good if it's position is uncomfortable.

3. Finally there's the saddle itself. Unfortunately this can be an expensive game of hunt and pick. There's lots of different saddles, including some seriously weird ones, because there is a body of cyclists who love and swear by every design. Think about where you hurt and try to find a saddle that you think will minimize that pain. My one bit of advice is not to be too quick to exclude relatively hard and narrow saddles. When everything else is right, one like that might well deliver all day comfort.

Good luck!
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Old 05-23-17, 05:52 AM
  #10  
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First make sure you adjusted it well. try a bit.
google for saddle fitting if it approximately fits you at all. If the saddle in theory is OK, you may try a few more miles to see if you get used to it. But don't torture yourself.

I'm re-newed to biking and my new bike came with one of the skinny saddles with a hole in the middle. After a total of 50 miles (over 2 rides) I felt like I spent a year in prison... couldn't even sit on anything other than a couch. I observed myself standing on one paddle while coasting just to not have to sit on the bike. Next day even a short ride hurt me. i tried to move the saddle forth and back, made it level, all the advice from above article. nothing helped.
I then installed my old Schwinn Walmart saddle that looks like I have a fat a$@ and it is pretty comfortable. Maybe once i have a few hundred more miles under my belt I try that "fancy"saddle again. But I didn't see a reason to torture myself (riding is about enjoying....). Maybe I research later more what expensive saddle is better, but I feel without getting myself in shape and used to riding i shouldn't waste money on saddles since they are so unique to a body.

How you ride also matters. If you are a racer, your legs will push you up and you don't "sit" that much. If you are a relaxed rider, you put more weight on your saddle, so that will make a difference.

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 05-23-17 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 05-23-17, 07:19 AM
  #11  
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Last new bike I bought, my wife told me I'd hate the saddle, she was right.

I made it 90 miles over two rides before I threw in the towel and replaced it with my favorite.
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Old 05-23-17, 07:25 AM
  #12  
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Stock saddles on almost all bikes are terrible. Before even riding a new bike, the first thing I do is change the saddle.
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Old 05-23-17, 07:50 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
I've never had a saddle that I disliked initially "become" comfortable over time. It's either comfortable initially or it's not.

One of the most important factors in fit is figuring out the width of your sitbones. This will help you determine the proper width for your saddle.

I found anything under 140 to be too narrow. 155 too wide--not horribly so but I find it interferes with my pedaling efficiency slightly. I can work with saddles in the 140-145 range. At that point, you want to find out if your anatomy agrees with cutout saddles or not. I can work with both.

Oddly, certain brands just don't work for me and it's not absolutely clear why, even if the saddle width is fine. Sometimes the raised stitching is an irritation or the saddle foam is too soft or hard. Sharp 90 degree angles like on wtb are disagreeable to me.

I went through maybe 10 saddles until I found one which fit properly. Obviously they've gone on every bike and I have backups. You never know.

You might get lucky and find the right saddle within your first few tries. I was not so fortunate but I'm glad I found the right saddle eventually. I just don't think about the saddle at all now, which I consider to be a major luxury.
I agree. While you might need to ride a bit to harden up your posterior, if the saddle feels like a torture device straight away, it might not be a bad idea to replace it. Because there is a natural process of hardening up, and there is pain caused by a cheap stock saddle that fits your posterior poorly. That will never go away no matter now much you ride and suffer.

The question is, with what? I like the Brooks B17, and it is now my benchmark. If I decide to switch saddles in the future, I will ask in what way the future saddle departs from the B17, in shape or materials. You will need to try a few different style of saddles. As others suggested, see if you can find a bike shop with loaner saddles, and once you find one you like, bite the bullet and buy a saddle from the shop once you find one you like. Once you find one you like, you will also have a benchmark when you buy future saddles.

Last edited by MRT2; 05-23-17 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 05-23-17, 08:00 AM
  #14  
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The people advising to immediately start experimenting with expensive saddles are not doing the OP a service.

12 miles is not enough for anyone. Give it a few rides.


-Tim-
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Old 05-23-17, 08:11 AM
  #15  
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+1 to @Lazyass and @TimothyH

Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
I've never had a saddle that I disliked initially "become" comfortable over time. It's either comfortable initially or it's not.
True, but someone new may not realize the difference between pain caused by the saddle and pain caused by simply being out of shape.

Every spring, my bottom is sore for the first week or two of riding, even on saddles that are now back to being comfortable. The bottom can take a bit to get (re)acclimated.

Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
Last new bike I bought, my wife told me I'd hate the saddle, she was right.

I made it 90 miles over two rides before I threw in the towel and replaced it with my favorite.
On the contrary, I've had two saddles on two bikes I bought I was going to toss out immediately before riding, and a year or two later both are still on the bikes they came on.

Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Stock saddles on almost all bikes are terrible. Before even riding a new bike, the first thing I do is change the saddle.
My favorite ever saddle came on a lower end MTB from Dick's Sporting Goods. Trying to figure out how to recover it right now, because I don't want to get rid of it and I certainly can't replace it. Saddles are subjective, there is no guarantee that an expensive one is going to be any better for my bottom than a cheap one. My current favorites that I can actually obtain are solidly middle end, nothing too fancy.
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Old 05-23-17, 10:01 AM
  #16  
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For me it's a couple hundred miles, or more than a week of rides before I'd judge on a new saddle. I've sat on saddles, said "Ah, that's it" and then couldn't take it off fast enough after a few real rides.

It depends a lot on how you ride, and how long your rides are.
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Old 05-23-17, 10:37 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by rgconner View Post
If you are just restarting, could take 3 to 4 weeks of rides, or about 10 to 12 rides to get used to the saddle. If you are not seeing a steady increase in milage before you start feeling it, then you got a problem.

Definitely have to build some muscle as a (fellow) Clyde and that can only be done one way: Ride.
3 or 4 weeks is quite some time, but it depends on how much you're riding the bike. Half that?

But, I agree, go on a few rides, and it should progressively be better at the end of the ride.

As long as you aren't actually physically hurting yourself (saddle sores?), then the time on the bike won't be wasted. It still may take some time to get used to the next saddle, but you won't be starting from zero.

I'll ride just about any saddle from hard as concrete carbon fiber to some vintage saddles. I do have one that is a little more rounded on top that I've decided isn't right, but the bike it is on doesn't get a lot of miles.

Most of my riding isn't with padded shorts, although I do now have a couple of pairs that I'll take out from time to time. Street clothes are fine for 99% of the population.
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Old 05-23-17, 12:37 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
+1 to @Lazyass and @TimothyH

True, but someone new may not realize the difference between pain caused by the saddle and pain caused by simply being out of shape.

Every spring, my bottom is sore for the first week or two of riding, even on saddles that are now back to being comfortable. The bottom can take a bit to get (re)acclimated.

Saddles are subjective, there is no guarantee that an expensive one is going to be any better for my bottom than a cheap one. My current favorites that I can actually obtain are solidly middle end, nothing too fancy.
Being out of shape does not cause saddle pain. An ill fitting saddle causes saddle pain.

I don't get a sore bottom after winter; this is because my saddle fits me properly and so do my bikes. Cycling should not and does not cause pain, assuming you have a proper bike and saddle fit and you are not suffering from a previous injury.

There is some subjectivity but there are certain simple parameters that guide you towards the correct saddle in a relatively efficient manner. One, like I said before is saddle width. That's the most important. Other factors can include the presence/absence of a cutout, the firmness or cushiness of the foam, and absence/presence of certain possible irritants, such as stitching.

Some people get lucky and find the right saddle in the first few tries. Others, like yours truly, had to go into the double digits but now I'm happy because I don't have to think about saddle fit. I don't have to "give it a 100 miles" or "two weeks" or "tough it out" or some other such nonsense. Anyone who goes through that process hasn't found the proper fit and is enduring unnecessary discomfort. Keep trying and you can find a saddle that doesn't cause soreness or pain, ever. I did it, so can others.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:17 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
Being out of shape does not cause saddle pain. An ill fitting saddle causes saddle pain.

I don't get a sore bottom after winter; this is because my saddle fits me properly and so do my bikes. Cycling should not and does not cause pain, assuming you have a proper bike and saddle fit and you are not suffering from a previous injury.
It has never been my experience, in any sport, that after not doing something for months there isn't even the slightest bit of a reacclimation period. I'll go through the exact same thing when I haven't played hockey over the summer come September: the feet are going to be sore the first skate or three, then they'll be back to normal and happy. I spent a lot more money on the skates to make sure I got it right than I probably ever will find a bike saddle selling for, it is not a matte of having the wrong ones.

It is not the saddle causing pain. It is the lack of conditioning. It's even the first thing mentioned on the Sheldon Brown page on saddles: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
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Old 05-23-17, 01:26 PM
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Ask anyone who rides horses.

Even with the correct saddle it simply takes time for a new rider's skin and soft tissue to toughen up.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:30 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
It has never been my experience, in any sport, that after not doing something for months there isn't even the slightest bit of a reacclimation period. I'll go through the exact same thing when I haven't played hockey over the summer come September: the feet are going to be sore the first skate or three, then they'll be back to normal and happy. I spent a lot more money on the skates to make sure I got it right than I probably ever will find a bike saddle selling for, it is not a matte of having the wrong ones.

It is not the saddle causing pain. It is the lack of conditioning. It's even the first thing mentioned on the Sheldon Brown page on saddles: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
Reacclimation and pain are two different things.

Sheldon Brown is just one individual. It's silly to point to him as an authority esp. when he is so clearly wrong. People cite Sheldon Brown all the time for no good reason. I think people cite him because other people cite him. If I can find a saddle that's pain free all the time, anyone can do it. The principles are very simple. I've outlined them several times. Yes, I went through a lot of saddles. However, I was able to resell all of the saddles I bought which didn't fit me. At a loss, but not 100%.

A bike that fits properly and a saddle that fits properly lead to pain free riding. There is no period of pain you need to endure.

edit: here's the relevant passage I suppose:
A cyclist who is out of cycling shape from being off a bicycle for a few months or more will start out strong, but the legs will tire rapidly. When the legs tire, the rider sits harder on the saddle, and that's when the trouble starts. Many saddle complaints are actually traceable to fatigue caused by starting out the season with a longer ride than you are ready for.

OK, that's just flat out stupid. You don't "sit harder on the saddle" when your legs are tired. That's just total gibberish. I can't discuss his ideas any further as they are demonstrably stupid.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:33 PM
  #22  
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Like chains and chainrings.........change your saddle before you need a new ass.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:36 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Ask anyone who rides horses.

Even with the correct saddle it simply takes time for a new rider's skin and soft tissue to toughen up.
What? Riding a horse and riding a bike are not in any way shape or form equivalent experiences.

OP, please ignore these false analogies: ice skates and saddles, horses and bikes. You can find a saddle that fits you without pain IMMEDIATELY and will continue to be a pain free saddle indefinitely. Just use the principles I cited and try different saddles of the width that fit you.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:45 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by speshelite View Post
I can't discuss his ideas any further as they are demonstrably stupid.
Reacclimation can easily cause soreness and pain, FWIW. How else do you explain my bottom being a bit sore for the first couple rides, then perfectly fine on that exact same saddle the remainder of the year on much longer rides?

As you have more knowledge than a fairly well respected cycling source, though, I'll just leave it at I personally find it ridiculous that the average person would take months (or possibly longer, no clue how long it has been for the OP) off from riding, and it having absolutely no effect on the tissues on their bottom that come in contact with the saddle.
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Old 05-23-17, 01:55 PM
  #25  
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Saddle comfort is a combination of four things. You. The saddle itself. The location on the bike (and to a lessor extent location of the handlebars). And the details of how that saddle is adjusted.

You cannot change "you" (much). The seat you have is paid for and installed. The bike may or may not be set up properly for you. With 12 miles of riding, I am willing to bet the final tweaks of seat adjustment have yet to happen.

For your next 100 miles of riding, carry all the wrenches to adjust your saddle. (Seatpin and saddle clamp.) Make little adjustments and documant them. (This is done far more easily on a seatpost that has 2 bolts to adjust the tilt. If your seatpost is not, you might do well to get a little carpenter's level and a small protractor. Also a tape measure.) Whenever you don't like what you are feeling, stop and tweak the tilt especially but also the back and forth position and see if you can improve things. Get it as good as you can. If then, it still doesn't work, you can start looking at new seats; having a much better idea why your current seat doesn't work.

Ben
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