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Would you upgrade tires first or saddle?

Old 05-02-21, 10:56 AM
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djdelarosa25
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Would you upgrade tires first or saddle?

Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
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Old 05-02-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
a saddle’s not really a major suspension component, like tires, but saddle comfort makes or breaks a bike. If your saddle’s comfortable, then tires, if not, then a better-fitting saddle is a high-priority “must”.
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Old 05-02-21, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
Comfortable saddle selection is a multi year process, and that crap OEM saddle just might happen to fit your anatomy perfectly.

Tires.
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Old 05-02-21, 11:49 AM
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I always simply wear tires out, then replace. Saddles are more important to me. I do prefer specific tires, but I hate throwing away a perfectly good tire. If the tire is really riding rough, check your pressure. If you are pumping them up to the max psi shown on the sidewall, you are probably over inflating.
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Old 05-02-21, 12:44 PM
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It will take a couple of rides to figure out if the saddle needs to be changed...The first thing I would do is to go on a few rides and try out few different adjustments before replacing anything.
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Old 05-02-21, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
djdelarosa25 , could you explain a bit more about what is wrong with your bike’s ride? What is is about your saddle that is making you uncomfortable?

Same with the tires. What brand are they and at what pressures are you running them at? Would you be willing to try latex tubes?
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Old 05-02-21, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
It would come down to the purpose of the bicycle. Is it primarily for fitness or for commuting? If for fitness, tires as you probably want to maximize the exercise by "standing" a lot & always wanting keep the MPH average increasing. If for commuting, seat. You'll travel more cautiously & spend most of your testosterone yelling at the headwinds, therefore, you'll appreciate a comfortable seat to rest your cheeks on.
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Old 05-02-21, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
Haven’t you already done this thread about your tires? I distinctly recall it. This is not such a big decision – do you really need strangers to help you with it?
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Old 05-02-21, 02:45 PM
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Tyres.
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Old 05-02-21, 03:02 PM
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Comfort trumps everything and you're much more likely to get a dramatic improvement with saddle over tires. And depending on your clearances, you might be limited to 28mm which will be a very incremental improvement over 25mm.

Tire pressure adjustments cost nothing and I'd start there unless you're already at the lower limit.

This isn't a saddle thread, but I went twenty years trying difference saddles with varying results but never truly comfortable for 50+ mile rides. Then I found the one that worked for me: Serfas MX-3 Dorado. I have four of them. Some shops (and perhaps mail-order firms) will let you try five saddles at a time, returning anything that doesn't work well.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 05-02-21 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 05-02-21, 03:04 PM
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Go with Tires first.

Finding the perfect saddle can take a L O N G Time.
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Old 05-02-21, 03:37 PM
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If the padded shorts aren't cutting it then getting a better saddle is the priority.
If my butt's not feeling good the tires aren't going to make my ride better......
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Old 05-02-21, 03:41 PM
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Shorts with Thick Pads will give you Saddle Sores Big Time.
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Old 05-02-21, 03:44 PM
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If he just got the bike his butt has not even had time to adjust to the saddle. Go for the tires.
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Old 05-02-21, 04:36 PM
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I'm thinking about my own experience and I've gone both ways. On my first bike (in 40 years) I pretty quickly replaced the saddle but rode the original tires until they wore out. On my current bike I replaced the tires after I'd had the bike about a month, but am still riding with the saddle it came with. My inclination (with little information) is to say replace the saddle first, but that's not what I did on my current bike, because I'm happy with the saddle it came with but wasn't happy with the tires.
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Old 05-02-21, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Haven’t you already done this thread about your tires? I distinctly recall it. This is not such a big decision – do you really need strangers to help you with it?
Here we are: you started this thread with your tire question, and then started this one. Now we've got a new twist with the saddle question, even though you haven't told us what's wrong with your current saddle.

My only question: have you actually ridden this bike enough for any of this to matter?
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Old 05-03-21, 05:50 AM
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I'd get the tires - it's not like you're throwing them away. Put them back on in the winter and save the good tires for the nicer weather.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:03 AM
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Whichever one is bothering you more.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Comfort trumps everything and you're much more likely to get a dramatic improvement with the correct (but this is unknown) saddle over tires.

- Mark
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Tires are a relatively often-replaced consumable; someday you'll need new tires anyway, and you're not going to throw away the ones you have. The original tires can be backup spares. So, it's a bit easier to look at new tires as really not much of an upgrade. Kinda like I'd suggest also getting 3-4 tubes to put on the shelf also.

If you go the saddle route, as others have mentioned, if you just go and buy one randomly, based on whatever advice you've received, or whatever looks good, it's probably 50/50 chance it'll be better or worse than what you have. If you haven't ridden your current saddle for say at least 500 miles, and can also articulate what it is about it that's not working for you, then I wouldn't attempt a random purchase of a new one. However, if you can find a shop that does Try-before-Buying programs on saddles (eg. some shops have a Fizik program in place that lets you try their various shaped models), that would probably be best.
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Old 05-03-21, 10:15 AM
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After riding the bicycle a few long whiles, you might find out that you wore out the tires in the process of trying to adapt to the seat. Which, it might reveal that you'll need both; Tires & seat. Time for that payday advance!
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Old 05-03-21, 11:55 AM
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Once again, make sure you are not over inflating your tires. Many people pump tires to the maximum pressure stated on the tire sidewall. Generally that is not the tire pressure you want, and it will result in a harsh ride. Check the correct tire pressure for your weight including the bike weight. Simply buying new tires will be a waste unless you get this part right.

https://www.cycleschinook.com/tire-pressure-calculator/
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Old 05-03-21, 11:56 AM
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Depends on how uncomfortable your saddle is. If it's VERY uncomfortable, tires wont matter. Have you done a myriad of adjustments with the saddle yet? I.e-seat hight, forward/aft, tilt.
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Old 05-04-21, 04:22 AM
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I recently bought a bike off craigslist, and biked about 20 miles on it (which is a lot for me in my current fitnes level.)
I was extremely uncomfortable with literal pain in my butt due to the saddle . I vowed never to put myself through that again. If I continue to remember my lesson from this, i will never start a ride more than a few blocks using an old uncomfortable rock hard saddle again. I bought a new saddle off Amazon for $29 from China that i find to be comfortable. YMWV
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Old 05-04-21, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by djdelarosa25 View Post
Say you have an entry-level road bike with 25 mm tires. The roads you ride on are pretty harsh and the saddle is meh but you could do better. If you're strapped for cash, do you upgrade to wider tires first before they wear out or go buy a better saddle for you and wear out your current pair first?
You can probably do both. There's plenty of cheap saddles you can order online at under $15. Many are shaped like those priced at >$200

I bought one that looks like ISM saddle for only $12. Unbelievably good for the price and works exactly like the real ISM saddle. I'm not suggesting you get ISM-style saddle - not everyone finds it comfortable due to individual differences in anatomy unless you have a friend who has one and you can try out theirs.

You can buy and ride with the wider tires now if for the sake of safety for that horrible road and use your current tires as emergency spare tires. +1 if your current tires are foldable so you can put it in your toolbag.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Once again, make sure you are not over inflating your tires. Many people pump tires to the maximum pressure stated on the tire sidewall. Generally that is not the tire pressure you want, and it will result in a harsh ride. Check the correct tire pressure for your weight including the bike weight. Simply buying new tires will be a waste unless you get this part right.

https://www.cycleschinook.com/tire-pressure-calculator/
Some does it to reduce rolling resistance to a minimum which ironically doesn't always work as intended.

For any sort of bumpy surface, such practice would even slow you down as greater magnitude of shocks are transmitted to the frame and the rider. Our bodies is definitely not as efficient as tires in absorbing road shocks
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