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Versatile saddles

Old 05-03-24, 08:13 PM
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Versatile saddles

considering picking up a nice saddle that can be used on road bikes and off road bikes. a great all purpose saddle that can be swapped between rides. i know very little of what's out there, but have considered a classic leather Brooks for at least road bikes. any ideas/guidance?
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Old 05-03-24, 08:35 PM
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The very first question about saddles on BF. This should be interesting.

Personally, I removed the saddle years ago and never missed it.
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Old 05-03-24, 09:22 PM
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I just slowly ease into longer rides and my butt/taint adapts. I also ride the largest tire I can in each frame in the back which helps absorb road imperfections and allows me to use sub-optimal saddles.
Admittedly every once in a while I encounter a saddle that gives me the tingles, and that can be fixed by minor nose down adjustments. I am a cheap saddle guy.
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Old 05-03-24, 10:02 PM
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One choice is Brooks Cambium. My most comfortable saddle that is versatile and doesn't require attention like Brooks leather. But reviews are mixed between it being comfortable and painful.
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Old 05-03-24, 10:51 PM
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If I were SMP, I'd trademark the term 'crotch cradle'.

Their TRK model suits my aging undercarraige in a Medium on my drop-bar bikes, and a Wide on my upright bikes.
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Old 05-04-24, 05:07 AM
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For my butt, it’s a Brooks B17 or Terry Butterfly.
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Old 05-04-24, 05:25 AM
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The notion of swapping a saddle from bike to bike regularly doesn't have much appeal.
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Old 05-04-24, 06:24 AM
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Takes me a little time, whenever I put a saddle on a bike, to get the tilt and forward/aft position just right. I ride both on and off road, and can't think of a saddle that would suit both. The Terry Butterfly that was prev. mentioned might do, but have never tried one. But even if I found one that worked for both, still don't think I'd be happy switching back and forth, and getting adjustment just right. May not be cheaper, but so much easier just to have a dedicated saddle to each bike.
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Old 05-04-24, 06:46 AM
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Saddles are a very personal fit item. I often find that a saddle I hate on one bike feels great on another. I saw an interview with a bike fitter yesterday and he was saying the Brooks works much better on an upright bike than on a road bike. I have a Brooks but haven't grown to love it yet.
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Old 05-04-24, 06:53 AM
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Swapping saddles back and forth, between bikes, is a pain. Maybe okay if the framesets have the same geometry and seat post diameter, do the post and saddle as a unit.
For me, different saddle for each bike. I have a few of the same brand, but different models. The more switching done between bikes, the more chance of error
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Old 05-04-24, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
The notion of swapping a saddle from bike to bike regularly doesn't have much appeal.
Are you made of money or something? Hell, I’ll bet you’ve got a separate chain for each of your bikes, too.
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Old 05-04-24, 07:05 AM
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I do have a limit! Use the same water bottles and Wahoo on all bikes.
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Old 05-04-24, 07:41 AM
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I have that unicorn saddle, in fact, I have two. They’re Forte Pro SL saddles, 145 mm with ti rails, and unfortunately they don’t make them anymore. I have one on a roadie, and the other on my mtn bike. I should’ve stocked up when Performance Bike went under.

What I wouldn’t do is swap them back and forth.
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Old 05-04-24, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rwh63
considering picking up a nice saddle that can be used on road bikes and off road bikes. a great all purpose saddle that can be swapped between rides. i know very little of what's out there, but have considered a classic leather Brooks for at least road bikes. any ideas/guidance?
Saddles are very much a personal fit so it is hard to recommend any specific model. I use a Fizik Argo Tempo on my road bike and an Ergon SM on my mountain bike. They are quite similar in feel and either could work for both. Note that some lightweight road specific saddles are not rated for mountain biking, but it depends on what you meant by off-road.
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Old 05-04-24, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Are you made of money or something? Hell, I’ll bet you’ve got a separate chain for each of your bikes, too.
I cannot imagine trying to break in three separate chains! Once I have my chain broken in I use it on all my bikes.
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Old 05-04-24, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rwh63
considering picking up a nice saddle that can be used on road bikes and off road bikes. a great all purpose saddle that can be swapped between rides. i know very little of what's out there, but have considered a classic leather Brooks for at least road bikes. any ideas/guidance?
Well, saddles are extremely subjective, but when I was riding both road and MTB, my saddle on both bikes was a Selle Italia Flite.

But that was 20+ years ago. And I had two saddles -- no swapping.
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Old 05-04-24, 12:48 PM
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I don't, and never have, made any meaningful distinction between on- and off- road saddles. There are small features, like edge scuff protection for MTB saddles, but that's pretty small potatoes stuff, IMO. The only real feature I'd consider today, depending on what kind of off road riding I'd do, is nose length. I don't think I'd want a short-nosed saddle for steep trail climbs where I'm balancing keeping traction and keeping the front wheel down; that little stability you get from perching on the nose of the saddle has been a savior when grinding it uphill in places like Moab and Holy Cross. Also, if you wanna do suicide no-handers off flat drops, having some saddle nose to clamp your thighs onto helps.

Other than that, though, I don't think there's much in the on/off road saddle thing other than aesthetics.
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Old 05-04-24, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
I often find that a saddle I hate on one bike feels great on another.
I was going to say the same, but you beat me to it.

"Hate" is not an over-statement.
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Old 05-04-24, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
The very first question about saddles on BF. This should be interesting.

Personally, I removed the saddle years ago and never missed it.
Must have been a Brooks.
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Old 05-04-24, 02:39 PM
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What saddle does your rear end like and how does your position on the different bikes change? Those are the questions you need to answer and one that we cannot answer at least not the first question and not the second question without lots of info about the bikes.

I do not recommend sharing a saddle between bikes I have done that and it is a pain in the butt (LOL) If you love a saddle get a second one of it assuming the riding position is similar and if one is more upright than I might consider possibly a wider version of that saddle or something similarly shaped but maybe a touch wider as needed.

The saddle that works for me may not be the saddle the works for you. I really love my Brooks Cambium C17s and my Ergon saddles but you have a different butt than I and so does everyone in this forum aside from maybe some identical twins who do everything the same.
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Old 05-04-24, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
I saw an interview with a bike fitter yesterday and he was saying the Brooks works much better on an upright bike than on a road bike.
Let's not forget also that Brooks makes a wide (pun intended) range of saddles. The B17 is what people commonly refer to, but there are also much wider seats (B68, B72) and narrower (B15, Professional.) I don't fit a B17 on my road bikes but the Professional fits well. And a B68 was fabulous on an upright folder.
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Old 05-04-24, 03:08 PM
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A friend suggested a WTB Pure V for my mtb. I then tried one on my road bike and it stayed there for some years.

I’ve moved on to an SMP Well on my road bike.

Both saddles have the whale tail and beak nose. And a channel can be the difference between extreme pain and passing out on a mis-timed move on a hard tail.

It is personal preference.

John
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Old 05-04-24, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
Let's not forget also that Brooks makes a wide (pun intended) range of saddles. The B17 is what people commonly refer to, but there are also much wider seats (B68, B72) and narrower (B15, Professional.) I don't fit a B17 on my road bikes but the Professional fits well. And a B68 was fabulous on an upright folder.
The bike fitter was saying the leather hammock type saddles didn't have enough support for a high saddle low bars situation like on an aggressive road bike. I have no idea. He may have just hated Brooks. I mean how much support does a 120 lb. guy need?

I have a B17 and I might like it, but the short section of possible adjustment has caused me to need a set back seat post on the bikes I've tried it on. I keep finding myself mostly trying to sit on the very rear of it and the rivets aren't very comfortable.
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Old 05-04-24, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
The bike fitter was saying the leather hammock type saddles didn't have enough support for a high saddle low bars situation like on an aggressive road bike. I have no idea. He may have just hated Brooks. I mean how much support does a 120 lb. guy need?
I don't agree with this. I have a Brooks Professional on my Paramount (te racing version) and I have Idéale saddles on many of my other bikes, with both racing geometry and more relaxed touring setups. They all are fine for support. (And comfortable to boot.)
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Old 05-04-24, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
The bike fitter was saying the leather hammock type saddles didn't have enough support for a high saddle low bars situation like on an aggressive road bike. I have no idea. He may have just hated Brooks. I mean how much support does a 120 lb. guy need?

I have a B17 and I might like it, but the short section of possible adjustment has caused me to need a set back seat post on the bikes I've tried it on. I keep finding myself mostly trying to sit on the very rear of it and the rivets aren't very comfortable.
Your fitter has no idea what he is talking about. It isn't about support. The common Brooks saddle, the B17 isn't made for a big drop from the saddle to the bars. It is made for bars about level with the seat or higher. They do make other seats though. The Swallow and Swift seats are narrower, and can accommodate a bigger drop.
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