Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Hybrid Bicycles
Reload this Page >

Foolproof test for a good saddle

Hybrid Bicycles Where else would you go to discuss these fun, versatile bikes?

Foolproof test for a good saddle

Old 06-19-18, 09:00 AM
  #1  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Foolproof test for a good saddle

Ride the bike for 100 miles with the saddle.

If, at the end of 100 miles, you find that you didn't think about the saddle while riding. it's a good saddle.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 08:49 AM
  #2  
Jimbo47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
After 100 miles, numbness should set in so you will be good to go either way.
Jimbo47 is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 09:27 AM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,650

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
Maybe, More like Fool resistant?

Singing...
99, saddles displayed on the wall, take 1 down , ride it around ,

98 saddles left to try on the wall..






....
fietsbob is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 10:32 AM
  #4  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Why do people like hard saddles?

Serious question. I don't get it.
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 11:38 AM
  #5  
pjthomas
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 141

Bikes: 2000 Trek 720 Multitrack (plus)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Why do people like hard saddles?

Serious question. I don't get it.
Soft saddle if great for the first 20 minutes of any ride, then you go numb. Hard saddle sucks for the first few rides then is great, if it's the right saddle.
pjthomas is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 11:59 AM
  #6  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by pjthomas View Post
Soft saddle if great for the first 20 minutes of any ride, then you go numb. Hard saddle sucks for the first few rides then is great, if it's the right saddle.
Alright...my Crosstrail came with a harder saddle that I've never liked. I've never gone more than 5 miles on it before putting the softer saddle back on.

I'm going to trust you, stranger from the internet (I'm a risk taker!), and put the stock saddle back on the bike for a whole week and leave it there, good or bad, to see if I get used to it.

Honestly I always give up after 5 miles because I know I have the soft saddle I like waiting for me. But what the hell...I like science. Let's experiment! I'll give it an honest 7 day run.
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 12:22 PM
  #7  
taz777
Senior Member
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 852

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Ride the bike for 100 miles with the saddle.

If, at the end of 100 miles, you find that you didn't think about the saddle while riding. it's a good saddle.
Coincidentally, I was thinking almost exactly this last night. I ride far fewer miles per ride though, and have got through around 15 saddles in the space of six or so years. Some have been quite expensive (e.g. Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow) and others very cheap (e.g. Charge Spoon).

For my new MTB I purchased a Fabric Scoop Radius Elite saddle to replace the stock saddle on day one.

In getting to know my bike, I never noticed the saddle during any of the rides I've done so far. It's a budget saddle and grips well and I don't need to shift around during the ride.

It's the one!
taz777 is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 12:28 PM
  #8  
taz777
Senior Member
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 852

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Alright...my Crosstrail came with a harder saddle that I've never liked. I've never gone more than 5 miles on it before putting the softer saddle back on.

I'm going to trust you, stranger from the internet (I'm a risk taker!), and put the stock saddle back on the bike for a whole week and leave it there, good or bad, to see if I get used to it.
Do you have a Specialized Phenom on your CrossTrail? If so, I'd stick with it. I had it on my previous Roubaix and ditched it immediately for the reasons you mentioned.

It also came as stock on my CrossTrail so I thought I'd give it a fair chance. What I found was that it is very sensitive to saddle position and height. It's worth spending one or two evenings in getting the saddle height, saddle tilt and fore-and-aft position just right. Then, after several rides it'll feel good.

It worked so well for me on my CrossTrail that I bought one for my fatbike too.

It's a very high quality saddle and highly rated, but it needs to be set up exactly right and you need to stick with it.
taz777 is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 12:33 PM
  #9  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Do you have a Specialized Phenom on your CrossTrail? If so, I'd stick with it. I had it on my previous Roubaix and ditched it immediately for the reasons you mentioned.

It also came as stock on my CrossTrail so I thought I'd give it a fair chance. What I found was that it is very sensitive to saddle position and height. It's worth spending one or two evenings in getting the saddle height, saddle tilt and fore-and-aft position just right. Then, after several rides it'll feel good.

It worked so well for me on my CrossTrail that I bought one for my fatbike too.

It's a very high quality saddle and highly rated, but it needs to be set up exactly right and you need to stick with it.
I'm not sure. It's whatever came stock on the Crosstrails last year.

I have it at home sitting on the shelf. I'll see exactly what it is when I install it tonight. It's not hard plastic. It's got some cushion to it, but nothing like the low grade cheap saddle I have from Amazon that I carried over from my previous bike. The one I've been riding is very soft.

UPDATE: A quick google search leaves me to believe that stock saddle is the Specialized Canopy model.

Last edited by Skipjacks; 06-20-18 at 12:42 PM.
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 12:43 PM
  #10  
pjthomas
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 141

Bikes: 2000 Trek 720 Multitrack (plus)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Alright...my Crosstrail came with a harder saddle that I've never liked. I've never gone more than 5 miles on it before putting the softer saddle back on.

I'm going to trust you, stranger from the internet (I'm a risk taker!), and put the stock saddle back on the bike for a whole week and leave it there, good or bad, to see if I get used to it.

Honestly I always give up after 5 miles because I know I have the soft saddle I like waiting for me. But what the hell...I like science. Let's experiment! I'll give it an honest 7 day run.
The important thing is the "right" saddle. You have to measure your "sit" bones and get the right width. I used the cushy Oasis saddle that came with my 2000 Trek 720 MT for years and years. Eventually tried a cheap Vader saddle from Amazon. It was hard as a rock and better after a week but never got to the point where I didn't think about it. Replaced the Vader with a similar sized WTB Rocket. I swear they made that saddle just for me. Its a firm saddle but just enough padding to be comfortable.

The difficult part is everyone and every saddle is different and you have to try a few.
pjthomas is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:05 PM
  #11  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Coincidentally, I was thinking almost exactly this last night. I ride far fewer miles per ride though, and have got through around 15 saddles in the space of six or so years. Some have been quite expensive (e.g. Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow) and others very cheap (e.g. Charge Spoon).

For my new MTB I purchased a Fabric Scoop Radius Elite saddle to replace the stock saddle on day one.

In getting to know my bike, I never noticed the saddle during any of the rides I've done so far. It's a budget saddle and grips well and I don't need to shift around during the ride.

It's the one!
When I bought my FX 3, just about every reviewer I read said the stock saddle was awful, so I was trying to figure out what to replace it with. In the meantime, I put 850 miles on the saddle in about 4 weeks, and the only time I thought about it was when I was trying to figure out if there was some reason to replace it. I don't get numb and nothing hurts, I can move around on it enough to switch up my posture, and it doesn't impede my pedaling. I figure I could do a lot worse by spending more, and I don't see a lot of room for improvement.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:12 PM
  #12  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
[QUOTEThe difficult part is everyone and every saddle is different and you have to try a few.[/QUOTE]

It's even worse than that--your needs can change as your fitness level changes. I used to need a wide saddle, now I'd be totally miserable on one. I think I lucked into a cheap stock saddle that just happens to fit me perfectly, and is reasonably well-made.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 01:16 PM
  #13  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by Jimbo47 View Post
After 100 miles, numbness should set in so you will be good to go either way.

I have to go through a lot of misery before numbness sets in, so that would fail my test, which isn't "do you hurt after 100 miles".
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-20-18, 07:34 PM
  #14  
andrei_r
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Montreal, Canada/ Brasilia, Brazil (currently)
Posts: 571

Bikes: Giant FCR 3 with lots of mods, Brazilian made Caloi 100.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 183 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Singing...
99, saddles displayed on the wall, take 1 down , ride it around ,

98 saddles left to try on the wall..

....
loving it!
andrei_r is offline  
Old 06-21-18, 06:55 AM
  #15  
zaxmalloy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 98

Bikes: Specialized Fatboy (I call her Big Orange), FELT Carbon F FRD Custom Road Bike, Salsa Vaya, Giant Escape

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There is no foolproof 'test' IMHO. Fortunately local bike shops often have tester programs and that's about as close as you can come. After that comes experience, clothing choices, and ultimately types of bikes...

On my road bike I have the upgraded WTB Volt (found by using the test program at my LBS with several different saddles); on my go anywhere Salsa Vaya is a Brooks B17; and on my Specialized Fatboy the stock saddle that came with it. On my garage sale Raleigh C-50 is some sort of Bontrager saddle that's long out of production. They all work....but I'm not sure one would work on all bikes.

I may put the standard Volt that came on the Vaya on the Fatboy. Or not.

Of all of them, the Brooks is the most comfortable now, and by a long shot, but it sure would not have 'tested' well...the good thing about a Brooks though is if you need to resell it, you can probably get most of what you paid for it.
zaxmalloy is offline  
Old 06-22-18, 01:38 PM
  #16  
talphie
Senior Member
 
talphie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 162

Bikes: Volkscycle, Trek Fx3, Specialized Hard Rock

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Originally Posted by zaxmalloy View Post
There is no foolproof 'test' IMHO. Fortunately local bike shops often have tester programs and that's about as close as you can come. After that comes experience, clothing choices, and ultimately types of bikes...

On my road bike I have the upgraded WTB Volt (found by using the test program at my LBS with several different saddles); on my go anywhere Salsa Vaya is a Brooks B17; and on my Specialized Fatboy the stock saddle that came with it. On my garage sale Raleigh C-50 is some sort of Bontrager saddle that's long out of production. They all work....but I'm not sure one would work on all bikes.

I may put the standard Volt that came on the Vaya on the Fatboy. Or not.

Of all of them, the Brooks is the most comfortable now, and by a long shot, but it sure would not have 'tested' well...the good thing about a Brooks though is if you need to resell it, you can probably get most of what you paid for it.

Bought a Trek Fx3 a couple of years ago and the saddle was the only thing I didnít like about it. Put up with it for around 300 miles and no improvement. Received a $100.00 gift card for Christmas from an online bike shop, so I decided to take the risk on a Brooks saddle. It did take a couple hundred miles to break it in, but it was worth it for me. Now, thereís nothing about the bike I donít like. Just wish I could find the time to put more than my average of 600 miles a year on the bike.
talphie is offline  
Old 06-29-18, 01:57 PM
  #17  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by zaxmalloy View Post
There is no foolproof 'test' IMHO. Fortunately local bike shops often have tester programs and that's about as close as you can come. After that comes experience, clothing choices, and ultimately types of bikes...

On my road bike I have the upgraded WTB Volt (found by using the test program at my LBS with several different saddles); on my go anywhere Salsa Vaya is a Brooks B17; and on my Specialized Fatboy the stock saddle that came with it. On my garage sale Raleigh C-50 is some sort of Bontrager saddle that's long out of production. They all work....but I'm not sure one would work on all bikes.

I may put the standard Volt that came on the Vaya on the Fatboy. Or not.

Of all of them, the Brooks is the most comfortable now, and by a long shot, but it sure would not have 'tested' well...the good thing about a Brooks though is if you need to resell it, you can probably get most of what you paid for it.

To be honest, I don't remember the last time I had a leather saddle (it's definitely been decades). My butt does not appear to be picky, and I just don't see (for myself) the use of making myself miserable during a breaking-in period.

I still think my test is foolproof way to reject bad saddles in that any problems are likely to become obvious by 100 miles. Whether it will also reject saddles that would be fine in the long-run is a different question. I don't think there could be a foolproof way of discovering the absolutely best saddle for any rider, there's just too many choices and variables.

Interesting point about bike/saddle match.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 07-01-18, 08:55 AM
  #18  
ShaneC80
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jimbo47 View Post
After 100 miles, numbness should set in so you will be good to go either way.
Butt numbness or dangly bit numbness?

I picked up a new saddle (Giant Connect, $35) to try out since my stock "Escape 3" saddle numbs the dangly bits and that scares me.
ShaneC80 is offline  
Old 07-02-18, 08:54 AM
  #19  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by ShaneC80 View Post
Butt numbness or dangly bit numbness?

I picked up a new saddle (Giant Connect, $35) to try out since my stock "Escape 3" saddle numbs the dangly bits and that scares me.

Yeah, numb nards are a definite deal breaker.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 07-02-18, 09:47 AM
  #20  
ShaneC80
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Yeah, numb nards are a definite deal breaker.
Too bloody hot and I've not rode enough this summer but short jaunts around the 'hood tells me the new saddle is harder on the sit bones, but more comfortable on the nards.

Need to toughen up the rump
ShaneC80 is offline  
Old 07-02-18, 10:34 AM
  #21  
HerrKaLeun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,377

Bikes: Giant Toughroad SLR1 and Motobecane Sturgis NX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 667 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 21 Posts
foolproof test?
Read the back, if it says "Brooks" it is a good saddle.

You can also do it like this fool and spend half the riding season trying different saddles and being afraid of the pain of long rides. Then by chance ride a borrowed bike with Brooks saddle (no fit adjustment or anything) and have the most comfortable 60 mile ride. Instant convert bought Brooks saddle and happy as ever, don't even know there is a butt.
HerrKaLeun is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 11:55 AM
  #22  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
foolproof test?
Read the back, if it says "Brooks" it is a good saddle.

You can also do it like this fool and spend half the riding season trying different saddles and being afraid of the pain of long rides. Then by chance ride a borrowed bike with Brooks saddle (no fit adjustment or anything) and have the most comfortable 60 mile ride. Instant convert bought Brooks saddle and happy as ever, don't even know there is a butt.

Despite the reputation, I don't think the Brooks works for everyone, but the way you actually got to it was by trial and error. Glad you have a happy butt!

I first misread your post and thought you were calling me a fool. Fortunately, I reread your post before I posted the angry response I had drafted, thus avoiding proving myself a fool.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 07-12-18, 09:17 AM
  #23  
epnnf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 106

Bikes: 2016 Masi strada vita due, 2019 Kona Dew Plus

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ive had saddles for months, even years, before I figured out I didnt like them. You can use science, but it doesnt matter- use what works for you. (are there custom made saddles?)
epnnf is offline  
Old 07-12-18, 10:39 AM
  #24  
livedarklions
Je suis Snap Motomag
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 3,834

Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; "Motobecane" Fantom CX

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1925 Post(s)
Liked 444 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
Ive had saddles for months, even years, before I figured out I didnt like them. You can use science, but it doesnt matter- use what works for you. (are there custom made saddles?)
Interesting. How did you figure out you didn't like them? Did they start bothering you, or did you just try something else and figure out you'd been figuratively hitting your head on the wall that whole time?
livedarklions is offline  
Old 07-12-18, 10:51 AM
  #25  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Alright...my Crosstrail came with a harder saddle that I've never liked. I've never gone more than 5 miles on it before putting the softer saddle back on.

I'm going to trust you, stranger from the internet (I'm a risk taker!), and put the stock saddle back on the bike for a whole week and leave it there, good or bad, to see if I get used to it.

Honestly I always give up after 5 miles because I know I have the soft saddle I like waiting for me. But what the hell...I like science. Let's experiment! I'll give it an honest 7 day run.
So I didn't do this when I said I would. I didn't ride for about 10 days after this due to...reasons.

But I did end up switching the saddle to the firmer one and despite hating it with a passion when the bike was new, now I like it. So I'm keeping the firmer saddle.

I think my butt wasn't properly broken in originally. Now that I've ridden a lot more on a softer saddle I'm used to sitting on one more, so the harder saddle just isn't as uncomfortable.

Probably doesn't hurt that the butt is a lot stronger now than when I got the bike either.

(And now you all know WAY more about me than you wanted to)
Skipjacks is offline  

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.