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Do you need an expensive bike saddle for long rides?

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Do you need an expensive bike saddle for long rides?

Old 06-07-20, 10:13 PM
  #1  
DreamRider85
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Do you need an expensive bike saddle for long rides?

I miss my old Trek narrow saddle. Iím a big guy but it was comfortable. The last year Iíve been riding a wide saddle and I got to say I donít really like it. Itís hard for me to get used to it. I liked it the first time I tried it out but not since.

I think the bike store sells the trek saddle for $150. Itís made of gel. Do I need to spend that much or are there other options? I would think the cheap ones are not good for long rides.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:33 PM
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It varies from butt to butt. Find a bike store with a loaner program to test several.

Typically, wide cushy saddles are not comfortable for rides longer than a few miles.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:51 PM
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$150 is steep. If I were spending that much I'd get another Brooks leather saddle (there are several models) and break it in carefully. You will probably appreciate the time and effort spent.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:03 AM
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My favorite saddle happens to be one of the least expensive, Fabric Scoop.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:08 AM
  #5  
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Second the loaner advice. I did that for a new bike in 2017 and unfortunately my butt really liked the $150 Selle seat.

But, last year I got rid of an old bike and replaced it with a Jamis Renegade for light touring use and the stock Fizik saddle has felt great on long rides, including a 75 mile day on a 3 day tour across Florida.

Last edited by jpescatore; 06-08-20 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:55 AM
  #6  
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You don't need an expensive saddle. You need one that works. Might end up being cheap or expensive. As mentioned find an LBS that has a loaner program. FWIW I measure out for a 143 but find that a 135 is much better for me. I have no idea why. If you happen to be anywhere near CT I have a couple you could borrow.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
I miss my old Trek narrow saddle. Iím a big guy but it was comfortable. The last year Iíve been riding a wide saddle and I got to say I donít really like it. Itís hard for me to get used to it. I liked it the first time I tried it out but not since.

I think the bike store sells the trek saddle for $150. Itís made of gel. Do I need to spend that much or are there other options? I would think the cheap ones are not good for long rides.

I like the WTB saddles for very long distance. I get really good saddles for $40-50.
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Old 06-08-20, 09:03 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Second the loaner advice. I did that for a new bike in 2017 and unfortunately my butt really liked the $150 Selle seat.

But, last year I got rid of an old bike and replaced it with a Jamis Renegade for light touring use and the stock Fizik saddle has felt great on long rides, including a 75 mile day on a 3 day tour across Florida.
Would that ride happen to be the C2C Ride from Ormond Beach to Tarpon Springs?
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Old 06-08-20, 09:05 AM
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A saddle is important but the right shorts are just as critical. Mind you this is an opinion from my experience; the gel thing never really works out as well as a saddle that is the proper width and shape, even if that means less padding.
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Old 06-08-20, 09:10 AM
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After riding on it for 10 years around home on day trips, I used that Brooks Team Pro ,
on my long International bicycle, self supported, tours..

It was cheap if amortized over time since I bought it in 1975..
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Old 06-08-20, 09:25 AM
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The best science we have tells us that $167 is the comfort threshold.
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Old 06-08-20, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
I miss my old Trek narrow saddle. Iím a big guy but it was comfortable. The last year Iíve been riding a wide saddle and I got to say I donít really like it. Itís hard for me to get used to it. I liked it the first time I tried it out but not since.

I think the bike store sells the trek saddle for $150. Itís made of gel. Do I need to spend that much or are there other options? I would think the cheap ones are not good for long rides.
So, you could spend $150 on a saddle you know you will like, or spend less on a saddle that might end up in your parts bin.

Seems like an easy decision.
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Old 06-08-20, 10:16 AM
  #13  
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ShopGoodwill.com still has some Cobb saddles for cheap price (even considering shipping).

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Listing...uyerPrefs=true

I went with a Randee and it is the most comfortable I have ever ridden.
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Old 06-08-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
$150 is steep. If I were spending that much I'd get another Brooks leather saddle (there are several models) and break it in carefully. You will probably appreciate the time and effort spent.
That's most of what I was going to say, leaving me with only the following to add:

Ditto.

YAMV (Your A... May Vary)
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Old 06-08-20, 12:38 PM
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My go to saddle was $30. I do not use padded bike shorts so my seat has a little squish to it, nothing crazy but it is there. I had a professional fitting and a butt test and the suggested seat I tested based on the results was TERRIBLE. I've had pretty good luck with the two WTB saddles I have but they are better with padded shorts which I like to avoid. There are trends and some more liked than others but in general, seats are a total personal choice.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:26 PM
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The price is irrelevant. I was once trying to build a flyweight bike, and got a $250 Serfas titanium shell saddle. The CIA could have put it on a trainer and used it to torture terrorists. A wide saddle is not always more comfortable than a narrow saddle. It would seem that a wide saddle would distribute weight better, but they often cause chafing, or other problems. The only way to find the perfect saddle is to ride for long time, and use different saddles along the way. The only saddle I have used which is consistently comfortable is the standard Brooks B17, I have a B17s on all of my bikes now.
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Old 06-08-20, 10:39 PM
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You need a seat that fits your butt, price has no effect on comfort. My current favorite is 30 year old Avocet Tourings I have to find on eBay. My absolute favorite was the cheap OEM saddle that came on my 1990s Scott department store bike, until it finally disintegrated. I've got a box full of cheap and expensive saddles that I don't like. I've got two Brooks I got a killer deal on that I keep meaning to try, but the Avocets just work so well that I have never bothered.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:16 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
You don't need an expensive saddle. You need one that works. Might end up being cheap or expensive. As mentioned find an LBS that has a loaner program. FWIW I measure out for a 143 but find that a 135 is much better for me. I have no idea why. If you happen to be anywhere near CT I have a couple you could borrow.
I'm quoting bruce19 to illustrate how different each person is. He measured at 143 but found that a 135 mm width is "much better for me." I once tried a 145 mm wide saddle - it was horribly painful. I need one in the 155-160 mm wide range. Everyone is different. Have a shop determine what width saddle is best for you, and as others have said try a few loaners also.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:00 AM
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My favourite saddle is a low-end Velo, now onto its 4th skin.
It has this amazing ability of quickly reaching a sustainable level of discomfort. I mean, Iíd never dream of buying a few extras to turn into chairs or stools for around the house. But Itíll feel the same after 20 minutes as after 4 hours.


...And this is where I suspect many rookie riders get it wrong.
Among the Ēofficially recognized sitting implementsĒ, a bicycle saddle can only be described as comfortable when compared to another saddle.
Otherwise, weíd all be tossing out our recliners, La-Z-Boys etc, buying a few sturdy stands and use our bikes as lounge furniture.

Last edited by dabac; 06-09-20 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:42 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Mulberry20 View Post
My favorite saddle happens to be one of the least expensive, Fabric Scoop.
I have a Fabric Scoop and a Fabric Line and find them both excellent. I think I prefer the Line. My previous favourite was a Fizic Arione, which is quite an expensive saddle. If that hadn't snapped across the middle I'd probably still be using it. I think there isn't a huge amount of correlation between price and comfort and everyone is different. So I would say if you can get a saddle you know you will find comfortable it's probably worth spending a bit more on it.
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Old 06-09-20, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tcarl View Post
I'm quoting bruce19 to illustrate how different each person is. He measured at 143 but found that a 135 mm width is "much better for me." I once tried a 145 mm wide saddle - it was horribly painful. I need one in the 155-160 mm wide range. Everyone is different. Have a shop determine what width saddle is best for you, and as others have said try a few loaners also.
Your post reminds me of another factor....LBS measurement devices. I was measured using the typical foam pad method and it indicated a 143. I also did the electronic/'digital test where you can see the hot spots on your butt and watch your movement on the saddle. Again...143. And yet, 135 is what works. So, I'm sold on trial and error.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:23 AM
  #22  
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WTB Saddles

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Old 06-09-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post

I've got this one on a couple of my bikes, and I use them without padding:
https://www.amazon.com/WTB-Silverado...8-2&th=1&psc=1
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Old 06-09-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I've got this one on a couple of my bikes, and I use them without padding:
https://www.amazon.com/WTB-Silverado...8-2&th=1&psc=1
A great price for a very nice saddle!
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Old 06-09-20, 08:08 AM
  #25  
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I use the Vitesse hp....actually designed for women...it is long, leather, but 150mm wide in the rear....super comfortable...
new about 70.00 but eBay has them often for about $30.00
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