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Saddle shopping?

Old 10-15-18, 10:16 PM
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barnabaas
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Saddle shopping?

Silly question so I apologize. How do y'all find the right saddle? Do you go into shops and 'try' them out? Or do you buy and hope it works out? Some shops seem more keen on letting you try things while others don't seem too into the idea.

Did a search but didn't really find anything in regards to this so I apologize if this has been asked before.

Thanks.
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Old 10-16-18, 03:46 AM
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An OK company will let you try a saddle for a week.

A good company will let you try a saddle for a month.

A really good company will let you try a saddle for 6 months.
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Old 10-16-18, 04:21 AM
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The good local bike shops here will talk through your riding style with you , a few even will do some measurements and then recommend a saddle and let you borrow it for a month. That is what I did for my current saddle and I ended up with a much better fit than when I would just go to saddle manufacturers' sites online, try to pick one and out and then order on line.

Buying from the local bike shop is more expensive but worth it for anything I am going to sit on for hours and hours! They should also put in on for you and help set the height/angle/distance from stem etc..
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Old 10-16-18, 05:58 AM
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try different ones at your LBS
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Old 10-16-18, 06:05 AM
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I've never changed a saddle on a bike, maybe I'm just the "Average Joe" or I just don't care if it doesn't fit. But I've found the more I ride a saddle, the more my hind side gets used to it.

But if you need a new one, go into your local shops and talk to them. Thats the best way to get started on finding someone that will help you to locate the perfect saddle!
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Old 10-16-18, 06:31 AM
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I'd like to try 'em out from a shop if possible. But the last saddle I bought was not available in any of the shops around here. So I'll look up reviews (tho what mfr. is going to want to post a neg.review?). I'll look on various bike sites for recommendations. If I do order online (sometimes your LBS will order one for the same price as online-making it easier to return if it doesn't work for you-check first of course), I'll look for the return policy (and be certain to read the "small print"). With many stores (not just bike shops) carrying less inventory because of online purchasing (and inventory taxes), seems it's getting more and more difficult to see some products firsthand.
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Old 10-16-18, 07:00 AM
  #7  
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Bontrager(Trek) allows you to exchange your saddle for another.

I was lucky on the first one.
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Old 10-16-18, 09:39 AM
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Thanks all. Reason I was asking was because a bunch of the shops around me kinda gave me a weird look when I asked how they approach saddles regarding the buying process. I asked if I could try them out, etc. None of them mentioned letting me use them for a week or anything like that. They mostly said to bring my bike in and I could go out for a ride but that was the extent of it. Made me wonder how anyone could decide on a saddle. I also wondered too about price matching at least. Seems most of the bike shops mark up a bunch (because they have to) but sometimes the difference is ridiculous.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:26 AM
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I'm in the process of deciding on a saddle. My local fitter has demo saddles so he took a best guess based on my previous saddle, then sent me off. It took me a week to decide it needed an adjustment, so he provided some guidance on what to try. I'm trying it - there is no rush to get his demo back to him, he'd be happy to let me try every saddle he has in stock if I wanted to.

Getting a saddle you love is worth whatever it costs in my opinion. Getting advice on what saddle to buy on line is silly - no one, not even you, knows what your pelvis is shaped like.
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Old 10-16-18, 11:47 AM
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sit on more saddles, basically.

If your preference is not too high end , Shops have Take Off Saddles*,
to get, for lower cost,

than even the same saddle if it has the display tag..
even those , take it off the wall put it on a wooden chair and sit on it.

*Here, the customers usually want a softer wider saddle,
than what came in the shipping carton.

other places may want a $200 pro race saddle,

posted here before , Fizik, for shops selling more high end race bikes ,
has a test loaner program ..




Myself, I've been riding for 50 years , so my pelvis and I,
are used to our needs in saddles..




....

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-16-18 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-16-18, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by barnabaas View Post
Thanks all. Reason I was asking was because a bunch of the shops around me kinda gave me a weird look when I asked how they approach saddles regarding the buying process. I asked if I could try them out, etc. None of them mentioned letting me use them for a week or anything like that. They mostly said to bring my bike in and I could go out for a ride but that was the extent of it. Made me wonder how anyone could decide on a saddle. I also wondered too about price matching at least. Seems most of the bike shops mark up a bunch (because they have to) but sometimes the difference is ridiculous.

Further to what I said above ...


Some decent bicycle shops will let you test ride a saddle for a week.


Terry will let you return the saddle after 30 days:
Terry Bicycles | Our Guarantee & Returns Policy


Wallingford Bicycles used to let you return the Brooks saddles after 6 months. Sadly, I see they've closed.
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Old 10-17-18, 04:14 AM
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Joelcool mentioned a "bike fitter." I became a convert to professional bike fitting sessions when I bought my new bike in early 2017 and it came with a discounted Retul fitting session by a sports physiologist. Definitely more than the usual "stand over the bike and guy who works in bike shop sets your seat height and you change it later" kind of thing. Ended up moving my cleats all the way back in my shoes and raising my seat height almost 1/2" - which were both major improvements.

If you're looking for a new saddle because of discomfort, I'm sure in the Bay area there are no shortage of bike shops that do fitting sessions. I don't know that the Retul technology really added all that much, it was really the experience of the fitter - you could probably get recommendations from a local bike club.
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Old 10-17-18, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by barnabaas View Post
Thanks all. Reason I was asking was because a bunch of the shops around me kinda gave me a weird look when I asked how they approach saddles regarding the buying process. I asked if I could try them out, etc. None of them mentioned letting me use them for a week or anything like that.
Some shops do provide demo programs. Like this one:

Saddle Demo Program ? Brevard's Premier Bike Shop

And another that I just now found:

Bike Seat Demo Program

I imagine it all comes down to a shop and it's specific market as to whether a demo program is feasible.
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Old 10-17-18, 07:04 AM
  #14  
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Here's a shop in VA that will mail saddles to you for demo and then credit some (maybe all?) of the demo fee if you buy:

Bike Seat Demo Program

or this is a dealer locator for ISM saddle demos (unusual design): https://www.ismseat.com/demo-saddles/

Here's a shop in SF that does demos: DEMO PROGRAM ? San Francisco Mountain Bikes | Elevation Bike Co.

Just Google 'bike saddle demo San Francisco'
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Old 10-17-18, 08:28 AM
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There's a shop near me that carries a good selection of Brooks Saddles. I'd kind of like to try one. In general, I like the shop and the people there, but I don't think I'll be buying a brooks from them. They said they cannot under any circumstances accept a return of a leather saddle (the shop owner looked at me like I was kind of gross when I asked about their return policy). Not only that, it's the only place I've ever seen one for sale at MSRP. I wouldn't mind paying a small premium to support a local business especially if they were amenable to some sort of trial period, but I'm not going to pay a $50 premium. Not sure what they're thinking.
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Old 10-17-18, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by clengman View Post
There's a shop near me that carries a good selection of Brooks Saddles. I'd kind of like to try one. In general, I like the shop and the people there, but I don't think I'll be buying a brooks from them. They said they cannot under any circumstances accept a return of a leather saddle (the shop owner looked at me like I was kind of gross when I asked about their return policy). Not only that, it's the only place I've ever seen one for sale at MSRP. I wouldn't mind paying a small premium to support a local business especially if they were amenable to some sort of trial period, but I'm not going to pay a $50 premium. Not sure what they're thinking.
this has been my experience so far. Granted I've only tried 3 different shops it made me wonder if I was crazy or if that's just how it was. Thanks everyone for all the feedback, help, and suggestions.
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Old 10-17-18, 12:43 PM
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My LBS, a Specialized retailer, says that Specialized saddles have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, and you can exchange any such saddle within 30 days for full credit towards another. I haven't tried this offer out though.
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