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Saddle philosophy

Old 04-11-18, 08:15 PM
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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 **********
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Old 04-11-18, 08:54 PM
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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.
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Old 04-12-18, 01:59 AM
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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.
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Old 04-12-18, 05:50 AM
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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?
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Old 04-12-18, 06:21 AM
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try selle anatomica
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Old 04-12-18, 08:22 AM
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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.
+1

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.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:39 AM
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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.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:46 AM
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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.


-----------
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Old 04-12-18, 10:08 AM
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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.
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Old 04-12-18, 10:22 AM
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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.
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Old 04-12-18, 12:17 PM
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A great saddle is both fast and comfortable. Generally, comfortable is fast.
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Old 04-12-18, 06:58 PM
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I like wilderness trail bikes saddles. Pure model with chrome moly rails. It has just enough padding for me to be comfortable.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:37 PM
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+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.

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Old 04-12-18, 09:41 PM
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My philosophy:

Narrow end to the front, place under the butt.
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Old 04-12-18, 09:47 PM
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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.
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Old 04-13-18, 12:09 AM
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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.
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Old 04-13-18, 10:06 PM
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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 ....
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Old 04-14-18, 10:44 AM
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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.
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Old 04-14-18, 02:29 PM
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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.
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