Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Expensive vs Inexpensive Saddles

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Expensive vs Inexpensive Saddles

Old 01-14-10, 10:29 PM
  #1  
darthdustin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
darthdustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5

Bikes: Peugeot Super Vitas 980

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Expensive vs Inexpensive Saddles

Generally, what's the difference between a $50 saddle and a $150 saddle, aside from price?

I ride my road bike 3-4 times a week, but I don't go super long distances on it. Just around my town, maybe 5 miles max each trip. Nothing crazy. So is there really any point in me investing over $100 in a saddle? I know you usually get what you pay for, but I'm looking for a white saddle, and I saw a nice selection on bikeman.com in the $40-$60 range, but I also saw some on there that were more expensive and it got me wondering. Here are some of the seats I'm looking at:

Dimension Afton Classic Leather, White

VisionTech Tri, White

Soma Ensho, CrMo Rail, White

Soma Hisan, CrMo Rail, White

Clearly I don't want to buy a $40 saddle only to discover that it was less expensive for good reason, and then have to turn around and buy a more expensive one. Thanks in advance.
darthdustin is offline  
Old 01-14-10, 10:56 PM
  #2  
bigvegan
Senior Member
 
bigvegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It depends on whether you want center cutout to protect your plumbing, your shape, your pain threshold, your aesthetic sense, whether you're a weight weenie or not, whether you want something handmade by a company with over a century in the saddle making business, whether you want real or synthetic leather, and a wide variety of other factors.

In your case, since you're looking for a white saddle, and have selected 4 different saddles of the same basic shape, they should all be fine for that purpose. (Keep in mind that white saddles get dirty easily, which makes some people cranky, since cleaning them regularly wasn't something they were interested in.)

Generally speaking though, most people spend a little more for a saddle to get one that is better made, will last longer, and is more comfortable. If color weren't an issue, it would make a lot of sense to find a local bike shop that would let you try a saddle for a few days and return it in trade for another one, until you found one that you were most comfortable on.

Long story short, it's like asking what's the difference between a $50 pair of shoes and a $150 pair of shoes.

Originally Posted by darthdustin View Post
Generally, what's the difference between a $50 saddle and a $150 saddle, aside from price?

I ride my road bike 3-4 times a week, but I don't go super long distances on it. Just around my town, maybe 5 miles max each trip. Nothing crazy. So is there really any point in me investing over $100 in a saddle? I know you usually get what you pay for, but I'm looking for a white saddle, and I saw a nice selection on bikeman.com in the $40-$60 range, but I also saw some on there that were more expensive and it got me wondering. Here are some of the seats I'm looking at:

Dimension Afton Classic Leather, White

VisionTech Tri, White

Soma Ensho, CrMo Rail, White

Soma Hisan, CrMo Rail, White

Clearly I don't want to buy a $40 saddle only to discover that it was less expensive for good reason, and then have to turn around and buy a more expensive one. Thanks in advance.
bigvegan is offline  
Old 01-14-10, 11:21 PM
  #3  
Robert Foster
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Posts: 3,498

Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My stock saddle was good for maybe 30-40 miles with a slight numbness but nothing that didn’t go away in a few hours. At 60 miles however it was far from the saddle I would choose. Started looking at saddles to eliminate any and all numbness and cut outs was necessary, or at least desirable. Did my first century on a new SMP that was way more than I thought I would even spend on a saddle and I can say it was worth it at least for me. Not saying another saddle with perineum relief wouldn’t have worked but this one did and I can’t see changing now. Like someone has said if you value your feet you can see why comfortable shoes cost more. If you are lucky and you don’t have trouble walking in inexpensive shoes you don’t see why someone would pay 90-100 bucks for sports shoes. However to some of us the perineum area is more important than our feet.
Robert Foster is offline  
Old 01-14-10, 11:48 PM
  #4  
darthdustin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
darthdustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5

Bikes: Peugeot Super Vitas 980

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It depends on whether you want center cutout to protect your plumbing, your shape, your pain threshold, your aesthetic sense, whether you're a weight weenie or not, whether you want something handmade by a company with over a century in the saddle making business, whether you want real or synthetic leather, and a wide variety of other factors.
Thanks, guys, for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it.

Since I'm not usually on the bike for more than an hour at a time, I can't really see most of that stuff (plumbing, pain threshold, etc) becoming an issue...maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm failing to understand how uncomfortable the wrong saddle can be even on short rides. My experience is very limited. Currently I'm inclined to go with aesthetic, try to keep it within a modest budget, and hope for the best.

I've got to be a stickler about the white color. Nothing on the bike is black, so I can't see making an exception for the saddle. It would just look out of place.

I'd love to try a few seats at a local shop if that were an option. We only really have two nice bike shops in the area that I'm aware of, and neither of them has a particularly large saddle selection in-store.
darthdustin is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 01:30 AM
  #5  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Can tell you now---If you do not get butt pain--- Do not change your saddle.

And on colour- When riding the bike you can't see the colour so don't bother. Unless you want to take the bike to where the other cyclists gather and pose with them.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 05:05 AM
  #6  
bfree
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just throwing this out there, if you are only taking trips <5 miles it may be possible that you haven't developed any serious biker's butt. I know this is a common problem, in particular where winters prevent riding. Obviously don't spend much time with a saddle that it outright uncomfortable, but if you feel your weight distributed where you want it on your sit bones (and not perineum area) it is probably a good fit.

Sometimes it is not just the saddle that needs to be broken in.
bfree is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 09:35 AM
  #7  
darthdustin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
darthdustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5

Bikes: Peugeot Super Vitas 980

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ha, "biker's butt" ay? I've never heard of that one, that's funny. No, my current saddle isn't terribly uncomfortable, I'm really only replacing it because the corner has a big nasty tear in it. Of course I'm not going to pose with the bike. I'm a graphic designer, so I'm fickle about things like colors and aesthetics. It's in my blood.
darthdustin is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 09:56 AM
  #8  
jack002
Senior Member
 
jack002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 771

Bikes: (2) 1994 Cannondale R900, red, Silver Trek hybrid

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
If your relationship with your saddle goes as mine has, then age will be your main factor. I got a new (to me) bike that had this skinny little saddle on it that I rode and rode and after about nine years it got to hurting too much. The aluminum frame didn't help being so stiff and all. But before I turned 50 or so I could ride on anything people called a saddle. Now I have a brooks b17 and it was like $80 when I got it, they're more now. Its not even 'perfect' but acceptable. I have found that the more you ride the easier it is to sit on some of these. The muscles you use to ride, some of them are what you sit on. Its a real catch 22 to try to get going tho. Good luck.
jack002 is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 01:07 PM
  #9  
mijome07
Senior Member
 
mijome07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Douglas Race Evolution Saddle @ $50.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
dxxkbss2.jpg (21.6 KB, 18 views)
mijome07 is offline  
Old 01-15-10, 10:19 PM
  #10  
CbadRider
Senior Member
 
CbadRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: On the bridge with Picard
Posts: 5,935

Bikes: Specialized Allez, Specialized Sirrus

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Forte saddle from Performance Bike ($24 on sale!) that I rode a double century on with no issues. It replaced the Fizik saddle that my bike came with that was a torture to ride. Get whatever is comfortable for you.
__________________
Originally Posted by Xerum 525 View Post
Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

Forum Guidelines *click here*
CbadRider is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 12:12 AM
  #11  
turtlemilk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
try riding a chopper motorcycle... with no shocks or any thing..
turtlemilk is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 09:48 AM
  #12  
freako
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saddles are a personal choice that is comfortable for your butt not someone else's! What one person says that their saddle is the most comfortable may be the least comfortable for you. SOooo unfortunately there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding your perfect saddle. You start by measuring the distance between you sit bones and find a saddle that will place your sit bones on the flat part of the padding not on the slopes; then you just try and use.

This is why I like true all leather saddles like the Brooks because your butt breaks in the saddle not vice a versa, this is the most comfortable way to break in a saddle. Also with plastic or carbon fiber saddles the padding eventually breaks down, so even if you find one that works for you they only last about a year or two at the most of every day riding. Then when you do find a comfortable one and you go to replace it after it wore out with the same saddle, the manufacture changed the way it was made when you bought the first one and now you can't understand why the new one isn't comfortable anymore. With leather saddles you won't have to worry about any of that crap, nor have to replace it every year or two...more like every 20 years and maybe more!

Yes Brooks cost more but they last longer and are more comfortable. Sure you could buy a cheaper $50 saddle but would have to replace it every 2 years (assuming you don't replace every 3 months due to comfort issues) and in 6 years you spent the money you would have paid for a Brooks.

Last edited by freako; 01-16-10 at 09:51 AM.
freako is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 12:27 PM
  #13  
no motor?
Senior Member
 
no motor?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,076

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 955 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 44 Posts
You'll know it when you get the right one, just ask any of us who're happy with our Brooks.
no motor? is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 12:49 PM
  #14  
letsgetsandy
good friends dont
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 156

Bikes: Zullo Custom Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
You'll know it when you get the right one, just ask any of us who're happy with our Brooks.
+1 My Brooks swift was worth every penny.
letsgetsandy is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 01:34 PM
  #15  
Fenway
Senior Member
 
Fenway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 425

Bikes: 1983 Peugeot UO14, KHS Green-Heavily modified, 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27" (work in progress)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Velo-Orange model 8 was the best investment I ever made in my city bike. I had no idea how much a saddle can change the experience of riding for the better.
Fenway is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 01:48 PM
  #16  
mijome07
Senior Member
 
mijome07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just replaced my stock saddle with a E3 Form Titanium Rail Saddle. Instant comfort from day one. Can't wait 'til it's broken in. And it's only 188 grams. *thumbs up*

mijome07 is offline  
Old 01-16-10, 05:33 PM
  #17  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Only the first saddle in your list is leather, which may require a bit more care. Since saddle fit is a very personal thing, buy all 4, ride each one for 3 hrs and return 3 of them. Ti rails on expensive saddles have more spring in them and save a few grams.
AndrewP is offline  
Old 01-19-10, 03:30 PM
  #18  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,287
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
For rides not over 5 miles, I would say no.

The most expensive saddles (say $150 and up) are super lightweight, sometimes at the expense of some comfort, sometimes not, but their cost is driven by weight and it's not worth it if 100 grams isn't worth $100 for you (or something like that.

The midrange saddles are generally designed to be more comfortable for long rides. Padding that makes short rides comfortable becomes really uncomfortable for longer rides, and you trade a little initial comfort when you first hop on the bike for comfort after riding 10, 25, 50 miles.

Cheaper seats (like around $30) are more designed for an upright riding position and short rides.

This is all just my opinion, but if you're not happy with your current seat you might try other cheaper seats. However, my experience with cheaper saddles is mostly with this one, which has worked well but doesn't come in white (Specialized Sonoma):
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=9302&eid=5007

Now this is all just my opinion, but I would personally be leary of buying a cheap saddle that "looks" like the more expensive saddles. Could be fine, dunno, that was just my gut feeling.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 01-23-10, 11:31 AM
  #19  
darthdustin
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
darthdustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5

Bikes: Peugeot Super Vitas 980

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good feedback, and something to consider. Thanks again.
darthdustin is offline  
Old 01-23-10, 01:54 PM
  #20  
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 13,854

Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The least expensive saddle is the one that you like so much that you stop buying more saddles.
BarracksSi is offline  
Old 01-23-10, 02:58 PM
  #21  
Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,795

Bikes: litespeed, cannondale

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With saddles, you go with what the posterior likes. There is no "right" or "wrong" saddle. Many of the expensive saddles are made to be reasonably comfortable and very light. But for 5 miles, you don't have to fool with that. Also, it generally takes some time to get your muscles firm. At your cycling level, you might not get that. So you might prefer a great big cushy saddle. As you get more fit, you want a saddle which allows the ischeal processes of your pelvis sit on a firm platform.

Shoot many bike shops have stock saddles that customers bring in and they throw in a box. I bet you can find a bike shop that will let you buy a saddle for almost nothing (this is an advantage to being a regular customer). I was given a saddle by my LBS on a ,hey this might work.

Also saddles can be deceptive. I used to go with gel saddles. When I got my first racing bike, it had a very narrow saddle on it that looked dreadfully uncomfortable. But my butt loved it. So if you can, try an assortment, you might be surprised.
Pat is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
chris.....
Foo
0
07-14-12 05:08 PM
a_phat_beat
Road Cycling
0
03-02-10 12:27 PM
Sincitycycler
Road Cycling
7
02-28-06 10:56 AM
Sincitycycler
Road Cycling
5
10-31-05 08:56 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.