General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Saddle philosophy

Old 04-11-18, 08:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Providence
Posts: 732

Bikes: Specialized tarmac sl2 giant tcx zero

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Saddle philosophy

I am having a Saddle deliemma . i was wodering where other riders decide on a saddle . like if you race do you go for a hard carbon saddle because you will be wearing padded shorts and it wont matter how comfy the saddle is beciase your all set with enough pads . or do you choose a saddle that will give you the most comfort so you can stay in the aggressive postions .

all the saddles are sold a certain way but i know most of the time they wont be used that way . do you have to pull up on a race specific saddle to have the best chance of winning . is there a saddle out there that can be used for commute training and racing .

what type of philosophy does one adopt over the years . i know some people ride different styles and doesnt really matter to them. I know sit bone measurements wont equal a perfect fit . im just really lost in saddle limbo i have 4 saddles that dont come close to what i feel i need . is older better or is newer just newer ? I wish i had to ability to try every saddle out for at least a week but i dont . maybe someonw can not just suggest a saddle but a technique for finding a way to find the way , you know **********
Teamprovicycle is offline  
Old 04-11-18, 08:54 PM
Senior Member
caloso's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,865

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Liked 3,110 Times in 1,418 Posts
My first real bike came stock with a Selle Italia Flite. I got lucky: it just fit. So whenever I got a new bike, I’d get a Flite.

The classic Flite got harder to find and my local shop was a Specialized store so I asked them for the saddle that was most like the classic Flite (turns out I wasn’t the first to ask), and they put me on a Romin Evo.

It fits even better than the Flite. It’s pretty firm, definitely a race saddle but I can commute on it in office clothes no problem.

To me, it isn’t about padding. It’s about the shape and fit.
caloso is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 01:59 AM
Senior Member
bruce19's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 8,637

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Liked 1,354 Times in 788 Posts
I think you will find that saddle fit is a very individual thing. Start with proper setup on the bike. -A saddle that doesn't work is many times about poor position on the bike. Start there then try different saddles.
bruce19 is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 05:50 AM
Expired Member
shelbyfv's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 12,011
Liked 5,932 Times in 2,991 Posts
You seem to be having unusual difficulty finding a saddle. Seems there have been a number of posts, right? Maybe riding a traditional bike is not for you. Try a recumbent?
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 06:21 AM
Senior Member
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 2,112

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Liked 556 Times in 323 Posts
try selle anatomica
Flip Flop Rider is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 08:22 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Jersry the beautiful Garden State
Posts: 1,920

Bikes: 2007 Ridley Excalibur, 2003 Orbea Orca, 199? Cannondale Headshock MTB hardtail

Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by bruce19
I think you will find that saddle fit is a very individual thing. Start with proper setup on the bike. -A saddle that doesn't work is many times about poor position on the bike. Start there then try different saddles.

Have a decent LBS do a bike fit. Then see if they can allow you to try different saddles until you find the right one. Ideally, they should let you ride it for a week or so and then swap if needed. Or try to put more than 2 hours on the saddle in a single session to help determine ifts right or not.
ptempel is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 08:39 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 3,783

Bikes: Bianchi San Mateo and a few others

Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle
what type of philosophy does one adopt over the years .
Philosophy? Through trial and error, I found saddles that feel good.

Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle
is older better or is newer just newer ?
Age is almost irrelevant. Your butt doesn't know how old or new a saddle is, and there haven't been any breakthrough discoveries about the shape of the human posterior in the past few decades.

Like caloso said above, it's mostly about shape and fit. I will disagree just a little about padding, though. Padding does matter, but not in the way you might think. It seems counterintuitive, but too much padding can actually make a saddle less comfortable. I have two bikes with slightly different Fizik Aliante saddles. They're the exact same size & shape, but one is firmer than the other. The firmer one's more comfortable. I seem to sink into the softer one a little bit, putting pressure in some less-comfortable places.

Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle
I wish i had to ability to try every saddle out for at least a week but i dont .
Actually, you do have a way to try different saddles. Some saddle brands, including Fizik, have demo programs through local bike shops. Pay a deposit and take one of their loaners. If that's not the saddle for you, swap it for a different size or model. Try them all if you want. When you find the right saddle for you, the deposit you paid can be applied toward the purchase price.

One last thing... The saddle itself is important, but even "the right saddle" will feel wrong if you don't have the angle and fore-aft position dialed in just right. It takes some trial and error. Try moving a saddle forward or back a little bit. Try it level, nose up, and nose down. Do you notice yourself 'scooting' on a saddle to find a comfy spot? Try to position the saddle so you naturally perch there in your normal riding posture. You might be surprised how big a difference a subtle change in position can make.
SkyDog75 is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 09:46 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 745
Liked 448 Times in 260 Posts
The type of saddle you choose (e.g. narrow "racing" saddle vs. cushy, perhaps sprung saddle) depends more on your position on the bike than anything else. If you're in an aerodynamic position, you'll need the narrower "racing" saddle. If you're on an upright hybrid, you may want a wider, cushier saddle.

For me, saddle selection has never been a problem. I've always ridden the saddle that came with the bike, and none of them has given me any problems (6 different saddles so far, all different manufacturers and models). The saddle I got to replace a worn out saddle (#7) also gave me no problems. The other saddle that I chose myself (#8), Brooks B17N, is my favorite, though.

For me, comfort with a saddle has had a lot more to do with 1) my fitness (e.g. how much time in the saddle, my fitness, my weight, etc.) and 2) how the saddle was set up (e.g. height, tilt, fore-aft position). My comfort has had very little to do with the saddle itself. There are saddles I like better than others, but all of them work fine.

noimagination is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 10:08 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 64
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also, donít trust what you read online about saddles. One manís comfort is anotherís torture.

Case in point: I bought a new road bike a few weeks back and I wanted a new saddle. Iíve always sat in Brooks leather saddles , but wanted something a bit more ďsportyĒ for my rod bike. Online, people rave about the new Brooks Cambium, say itís just like riding a fully broken-in leather saddle. So I bought one.

Sadly, the cambium fits my butt like a concrete block. I gave it a couple weeks and now Iím in pain, my butt hurt enough the other night that I had trouble sleeping. Not a good saddle for me.

So I slapped my dorky sprung brooks flyer on my new road bike, and my commute this morning was like riding on air. Clearly I need an old fashion leather saddle (although Iím definitely replacing it with the unsprung version).

Try out as many saddles as you can, one will eventually work and it might be different than the one the internet says to buy.
Buddha2499 is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
A Unitarian-Universalist philosophy .. much is good, but in the case of bike-saddles you have to try it to learn..

male or female? 'unisex' is a name for a saddle that is adequate for both, but maybe not perfect for either..

Over the decades , though I did gain some weigh, I still have the same pelvis, so what road saddle I got in 1975, a Brooks team pro ,
still is OK on that bike..

though on more recent bikes or those I have changed my posture to more upright my saddle choice has changed somewhat.

and on a bike tour I was OK with Plastic bags over the saddle in the rain, but day to day I use a saddle that itself is OK if it gets wet.


Last edited by fietsbob; 04-12-18 at 12:28 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 12:17 PM
Senior Member
Kontact's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 7,507
Liked 1,850 Times in 1,196 Posts
A great saddle is both fast and comfortable. Generally, comfortable is fast.
Kontact is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 06:58 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 659

Bikes: Norco search xr

Liked 146 Times in 90 Posts
I like wilderness trail bikes saddles. Pure model with chrome moly rails. It has just enough padding for me to be comfortable.
Gconan is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 09:37 PM
No longer active
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,001
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
+1 re: Bike fit. Set up makes a HUGE difference. A good LBS will be able to set you up just fine.

Originally Posted by SkyDog75
Age is almost irrelevant.
Age is kind of important when it comes to leather saddles; otherwise I mostly agree with your comments.

To wit: so far, the most comfortable saddle I've ridden, the one that fits my particular butt the best, was an old Ideale touring saddle. It was a 'womens' design and Ideale's answer to the Brooks B72; similar but smaller overall, a little narrower & a little on the stubby side (as most are Ideale saddles when compared to a Brooks).

I paid $11 for it at a swap-meet in the late '90s & rode it to near-destruction, finally retiring only a few years ago, after I snagged another one (NOS) via ePay. The 'new' one was a lot more expensive, but my butt absolutely feels it was worth it with every mile ridden. (Btw, the old saddle now serves as a paperweight here in my office.)

As far as racier saddles go, I started off with a Selle Italia 'Flyte' and sort of worked my way through a big circle of them; I rode various Fizik, Prologo, and Specialized saddles (some were gifts; some came on various frames I've owned), finally settling again on my original Selle Italia. Not that the others were bad, but I just didn't feel quite as comfortable on them after 20 or 30 miles. I still feel my beat-to-crap Arione is the best over short distances.

DIMcyclist is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 09:41 PM
Senior Member
woodcraft's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 6,016
Likes: 0
Liked 923 Times in 569 Posts
My philosophy:

Narrow end to the front, place under the butt.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-12-18, 09:47 PM
No longer active
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,001
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Actually, I think I could say this as a general rule: a good saddle is like a good pair of shoes; they take a while to break in, but once they do, they're very comfortable... and almost worn out.
DIMcyclist is offline  
Old 04-13-18, 12:09 AM
Senior Member
50PlusCycling's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,193
Liked 899 Times in 446 Posts
For me, different saddles suit different bikes. My road bike runs a Brooks Swift titanium, which is light, narrow, and is very comfortable with cycling shorts.

I have a fast folder for tooling around town, and touring, and it sports a regular B17, which is comfortable enough to ride long distances with ordinary shorts or pants.

Then I have a power-assisted Panasonic shopping bike with it's factory saddle, which I use to get groceries, and to transport my daughter to school. It's very soft and comfy, for short rides. The soft, comfiness becomes hot numbness if I ride the bike too long.
50PlusCycling is offline  
Old 04-13-18, 10:06 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Providence
Posts: 732

Bikes: Specialized tarmac sl2 giant tcx zero

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
So would you pull up to race on a brooks saddle that made you feel better or go get the carbon super race style even if it hurt you more .. I can ride any saddle for commute but its hard to tell if im going to be able to last 2 hours plus on training rides . this selle sanmarco one suprised be because there was zero pain not wven the usual fatigue . i need one a tad bit wider in the rear but i guess i will just have to let the bike gods deliver unto me a divine seat ....
Teamprovicycle is offline  
Old 04-14-18, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
If you are racing you are putting your Weight on the pedals to go faster... much less on the saddle..

I don't know a Philosophy about a saddle, but i know a bawdy limerick ..


Last edited by fietsbob; 04-15-18 at 11:29 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-14-18, 02:29 PM
Non omnino gravis
DrIsotope's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 8,553

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn, Lakitu

Liked 1,731 Times in 958 Posts
I went through around 10 saddles in two years before I gave in and bought a Selle Anatomica. Now I have one on every bike here.
DrIsotope is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Fifty Plus (50+)
11-11-16 02:51 PM
Hypno Toad
Road Cycling
02-22-15 08:47 PM
Road Cycling
12-02-14 07:39 PM
Road Cycling
07-20-11 12:22 AM
Road Cycling
11-27-10 11:46 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.