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The quest for the perfect bike saddle...................again.

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The quest for the perfect bike saddle...................again.

Old 12-03-22, 02:30 PM
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Lombard
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The quest for the perfect bike saddle...................again.

Well it's been a good run, but lately I've had some issues with pain in my right sit bone. My favorite saddle for the past 6 years has been the Selle Anatomica X. This saddle was love at first sit and has been great until this year when I have often had this sit bone problem. This saddle has all but eliminated perineal numbness which no other saddle has managed to do. My previous favorite saddle was the Serfas Rx which was better than any others I previously tried.

The site bone issue happens regardless of which bike shorts I wear - older or newer.

I visited my LBS asking about saddles. They had a sit bone measurement device which determined my sit bones are about 125mm apart. They suggest I come in and have them observe me pedal on my own bike on their trainer.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-03-22, 02:35 PM
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Could it be that your saddle has broken down enough that it doesn't work like it did a couple of years ago? Maybe try a new one of the same model? If they don't make it still, try EBay. I've found several of my favorite (no longer made) there.
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Old 12-03-22, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Well it's been a good run, but lately I've had some issues with pain in my right sit bone. My favorite saddle for the past 6 years has been the Selle Anatomica X. This saddle was love at first sit and has been great until this year when I have often had this sit bone problem. This saddle has all but eliminated perineal numbness which no other saddle has managed to do. My previous favorite saddle was the Serfas Rx which was better than any others I previously tried.

The site bone issue happens regardless of which bike shorts I wear - older or newer.

I visited my LBS asking about saddles. They had a sit bone measurement device which determined my sit bones are about 125mm apart. They suggest I come in and have them observe me pedal on my own bike on their trainer.

Any thoughts?
Specialized Mirror. Best saddle in over 45 years of cycling.
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Old 12-03-22, 05:50 PM
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I would visit a fitter and see what they say. My butt has generally like the Brooks Cambium saddles but that is my butt and everyone is different. Ergon also makes some nice saddles my rear end seems to like but Ergon is in their name but I shouldn't say that because there are saddles that use vaguely medical terms and are terrible idea to ride on.
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Old 12-03-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
I visited my LBS asking about saddles. They had a sit bone measurement device which determined my sit bones are about 125mm apart.
I believe my sitbones are about the same, and I find a saddle width of about 143mm or 145mm (depending on mfr) to fit well -- which is in line with standard sizing recommendations.

Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Specialized Mirror. Best saddle in over 45 years of cycling.
This. I've got Spec saddles on a couple of my bikes, and have been on them for at least 15 years. Find one that looks good to you (Romin might be a good place to start, or the new Mirror models) and try it out. They have a 30-day warranty that applies even if an item has been used, so it will be risk-free.

If you really like the leather saddles, you might try a Brooks -- maybe the B17 Narrow Imperial, which has a perineal cutout. I rode one for a while and was pleased with it. (The standard-width B17 is likely too wide for you.)
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Old 12-03-22, 11:46 PM
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My experience has been; last year's perfect saddle does not fit quite as well this year, and in a couple more years, I'll be shopping for a new one
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Old 12-04-22, 12:02 AM
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I have three of these: Road bike, wet weather bike and trainer and absolutely love them. Got them after sampling about six other seats. I too have perineal issues as well and they are pretty, pretty good.
SLR Boost - light weight with just the right amount of padding so that an hour and a half on a trainer actually isn’t too bad.

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Old 12-04-22, 02:30 AM
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If you're over 50, like so many of us here, maybe consider dropping the saddle height a cm or so. At 71, I've had to drop the saddle height on all my bikes twice now. Losing height/leg length happens eventually.
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Old 12-04-22, 05:27 AM
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Pain on one side means you're crooked. You're sitting sideways and you should address that issue, and don't let some "professional bike fitter" talk you into shimming your cleats. You'll probably need to lower your saddle somewhat and relearn a symmetrical posture and pedaling pattern. It's difficult and can take some time but in the long run it's a much better idea than band-aids. Once you've corrected the issue you can ride almost any saddle with no pain.
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Old 12-04-22, 06:19 AM
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Have you had any physical trauma to the area of your acetabulum? I slipped on the pedal, attempting to clip in, at a green light once, and came down hard on my top-tube, in that area. Ever since then, I have a knot of muscular tension that is compensating for the muscles disabled by nerve damage. A hard foam roller, ten to fifteen minutes before each ride, has been very effective in softening and normalizing this hard, over-stimulated area at the femur head. You might want to get in there and explore with a hard foam roller to locate areas of abnormal or isolated tension. Since the Serfax RX doesn't take care of it, you might have to start with the body, itself.

Last edited by 1989Pre; 12-04-22 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:20 AM
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You are seeking the unobtainable. The only thing close to excellent comfort will be found on a recumbent bike or trike.

If you are in the snow belt that first 25 mile ride in the spring leaves you butt hurting so bad, you cant ride for a week. Been there and done that. On my bent or trike, you can ride again the next day with no pain at all.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:31 AM
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SMP saddles with their full length cutout work for me. I got lucky and found the correct width Stratos model on the first try. I'm 69 and haven't seen any need to drop my saddle height, but I have two replacement knees that won't shrink.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 12-04-22 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
You are seeking the unobtainable. The only thing close to excellent comfort will be found on a recumbent bike or trike.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I have three of these: Road bike, wet weather bike and trainer and absolutely love them. Got them after sampling about six other seats. I too have perineal issues as well and they are pretty, pretty good.
SLR Boost - light weight with just the right amount of padding so that an hour and a half on a trainer actually isnít too bad.
+1 I have the same but in the very minimally padded 'gravel' version, and it's been great.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:54 AM
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I, too, used that Selle Anatomica saddle. As I increased my performance levels it became less comfortable, even when adjusting it per the instructions. I suspect it was a combination of loosing weight and increasingly aggressive positioning. And, like rsbob, I found the Selle Italia SLR Boost saddles work well for me. I have the endurance model and am very happy. Good luck on your search.

Mike
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Old 12-04-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
Pain on one side means you're crooked. You're sitting sideways and you should address that issue, and don't let some "professional bike fitter" talk you into shimming your cleats. You'll probably need to lower your saddle somewhat and relearn a symmetrical posture and pedaling pattern. It's difficult and can take some time but in the long run it's a much better idea than band-aids. Once you've corrected the issue you can ride almost any saddle with no pain.
Hmmm. I don't have uneven leg lengths, but I do have a scoliosis. Had some back issues earlier this year. Went to chiropractor and things improved quite a bit at first. She gave me some stretching exercises (hamstring and Psoas stretches) to do at home which I have done daily ever since. I was delighted at first that this right sit bone pain went away for awhile. I few weeks later, it mysteriously came back and has been there ever since. Not sure what to make of this. The pain seems to radiate down the right hamstring.

I'm wondering if maybe I need to have my fit re-evaluated. I have dialed in my current fit over the years through trial and error and it has worked for quite some time............until now.

Last edited by Lombard; 12-04-22 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 12-04-22, 09:33 AM
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Not trying to troll, but no one can suggest a saddle for another person. It's like running shoes, you go through a process to find something that works and you stick with that.

Also, I've never really understood being super picky about saddles. Maybe I'm strange, but ~90% of saddles seem to work just fine for me. Some are better than others (current favorite: Pro Stealth Performance), but most anything is fine. IMO, most complaints about saddles are actually complaints about bike fit.
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Old 12-04-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Not trying to troll, but no one can suggest a saddle for another person. It's like running shoes, you go through a process to find something that works and you stick with that.

Also, I've never really understood being super picky about saddles. Maybe I'm strange, but ~90% of saddles seem to work just fine for me. Some are better than others (current favorite: Pro Stealth Performance), but most anything is fine. IMO, most complaints about saddles are actually complaints about bike fit.
I'm beginning to think this myself. Sure, my fit may have worked for many years, but the body changes with age. I'm now thinking that changing saddles would be the "shotgun approach" similar to a car mechanic throwing parts at the car without diagnosis.

Last edited by Lombard; 12-04-22 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 12-04-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
You are seeking the unobtainable. The only thing close to excellent comfort will be found on a recumbent bike or trike.

If you are in the snow belt that first 25 mile ride in the spring leaves you butt hurting so bad, you cant ride for a week. Been there and done that. On my bent or trike, you can ride again the next day with no pain at all.
Proselytizing really should go in P & R.
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Old 12-04-22, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
You are seeking the unobtainable. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah .
Yawn.
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Old 12-04-22, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
You are seeking the unobtainable. The only thing close to excellent comfort will be found on a recumbent bike or trike.

If you are in the snow belt that first 25 mile ride in the spring leaves you butt hurting so bad, you cant ride for a week. Been there and done that. On my bent or trike, you can ride again the next day with no pain at all.
The pain I speak of is not the same as the typical non-use sit bone pain that comes after not riding for awhile. That goes away after about a week of reguar riding. This is different. It often radiates down my hamstring.

With my spinal issues, I have a feeling a bent will be in my future somewhere...........but not yet. Maybe in 20 years.
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Old 12-04-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
With my spinal issues, I have a feeling a bent will be in my future somewhere...........but not yet. Maybe in 20 years.
The nice young men in their clean white coats will let you know when it's time to switch to a recumbent.
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Old 12-04-22, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Not trying to troll, but no one can suggest a saddle for another person. It's like running shoes, you go through a process to find something that works and you stick with that.

Also, I've never really understood being super picky about saddles. Maybe I'm strange, but ~90% of saddles seem to work just fine for me. Some are better than others (current favorite: Pro Stealth Performance), but most anything is fine. IMO, most complaints about saddles are actually complaints about bike fit.
Good for you that you evidently donít have perineal issues like the OP stated was criteria in finding a new seat. Since thatís the case, you donít have to be picky. But if and when you get there, you will understand. Itís not about the bike (fit).
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Old 12-04-22, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
The nice young men in their clean white coats will let you know when it's time to switch to a recumbent.
Ha! By the time the nice young men in their clean white coats come for me, I doubt I'll be riding at all.
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Old 12-04-22, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Good for you that you evidently donít have perineal issues like the OP stated was criteria in finding a new seat. Since thatís the case, you donít have to be picky. But if and when you get there, you will understand. Itís not about the bike (fit).
To be clear, I would much rather have sit bone pain than perineal numbness which cannot go ignored.
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