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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Comfortable endurance saddle?

Old 05-04-16, 08:22 PM
  #1  
Norboo
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Comfortable endurance saddle?

Is there such a thing?

I know saddles are purely subjective but wanted some recommendation and inputs on saddles for century to point me in the right direction.

I am signed up for my first century coming Sept and want to make sure I find a good comfortable saddle that fits me and break it in well before the event.

* What saddle do you ride for century and would you recommend it?
* What do you like and/or dislike about it?

Thank you
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Old 05-05-16, 12:20 AM
  #2  
dim
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Gilles Berthoud Aravis if your saddle height is similar to your handlebar height




if there is a big drop between your saddle and your handlebars, look at the other Gilles Berthoud saddles
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Old 05-05-16, 02:57 AM
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Personally, I ride Brooks B17s.

I have them on all my bicycles and have covered a whole lot of kilometres on them ... like approaching 100,000 km. And that includes rides from around the block to 1200 km randonnees. So yes, centuries ... lots and lots of centuries.
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Old 05-05-16, 05:32 AM
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Selle Italia superflow 145 .
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Old 05-05-16, 05:36 AM
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Its like finding a good wife you don't know you made the right choice till maybe 5 years in.

We can make recommends but ultimately you have to try a few saddle.
I have a Selle Italia split seat on one bike I would never do a century on.
I purchased a Ridley last year it came with a Forza (4ZA) saddle which is much better for long rides.
Unfortunately I don't think you can buy one is US.
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Old 05-05-16, 08:13 AM
  #6  
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I have Brooks B17s on both of my bikes, but saddles are very personal. What works for one person doesn't work for another.

The only thing I would generalize is that overly padded, soft saddles do not work for long distances because your weight will rest on surrounding soft tissue (muscles with nerve endings) instead of your sit bones when the sit bones are allowed to sink in.
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Old 05-05-16, 08:39 AM
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I'm pretty much all about the Brooks. Hard saddles = more comfort after 20 miles than a soft, padded saddle. And remember it's a saddle, not a seat.
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Old 05-05-16, 09:34 AM
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Brooks (B17, C17 and Pro are the only ones I've tried. Love 'em all.). They fit my butt.

And in general, leather > plastic IME.

SP
OC, OR
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Old 05-05-16, 09:52 AM
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Another vote for the Brooks B17. The thing is, they take a while to break in. I wouldn't say a brand new B17 is terrible, but my second season riding on it was better than my first. I am now in my 5th riding season on my Brooks and it is broken in nicely though surprisingly, the leather is still very hard.

There are pre aged Brooks as well as other leather saddles, like the Selle Anatomica that don't need as much, or any break in. The Selle Anatomica especially is a much softer leather than the Brooks. I wonder though, about the long term durability of such a soft leather saddle.

What saddle are you currently using? Are you satisfied with it or no?
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Old 05-05-16, 11:19 AM
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Brooks B17, Rivet, Sella Anatomica
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Old 05-05-16, 11:24 AM
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i need leather for the long haul. i find my butt loves the berthoud galibier and the brooks swallow, but my butt is narrow and I like a flattish saddle. Thats FLAT not FAT. the B17 is comfy for upright town rides, but for all day its a bit bulky.
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Old 05-05-16, 03:45 PM
  #12  
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I'm a B17 fan. I might try a B17 Imperial on my next bike.... but I don't know if I need it. The normal B17 makes me pretty happy.

But - I hear a lot of good things about other leather saddles. Leather + time and miles seems to equal comfort. At least for me.
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Old 05-05-16, 04:10 PM
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most of the randos I know use Fizik saddles or one of the leather saddles from SA or Rivet, and sometimes Brooks. I am pretty happy with the Fizik Aliante. I really like the Airone, but I have some problems if I'm really pushing hard, it seems like it's a really wide saddle. Experienced randos have relatively few saddle problems, they generally have worked through the issues. Sometimes shorts cause problems, I have had problems with some brands. Not usually on the pressure points, but on the front.

I have done 3 1200k's without saddle issues. I sometimes have trouble early in the year if I really lay off over the winter. I had some minor issues this year, but nothing that even required mid-ride correction on the fleche or 300k. The fleche is usually the earliest long ride that I do, so I have ridden standing up for the last 30 miles a couple of times. I usually still have issues for my 600k, sweat can cause problems and usually the 600k is done in hot weather when I'm not really acclimated.

There are lots of suggestions in this recent thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dista...__-saddle.html

Last edited by unterhausen; 05-05-16 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-05-16, 05:33 PM
  #14  
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I have a Brooks B5N that I have tried to love for so long now but I'm just not feeling it. It's tensioned and broken in but I keep feeling the rear metal brace digging into my butt. I've tried setting it back far enough but my anatomy seems to move in such a way that it feels the frame rather than the hammock. Sigh...
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Old 05-06-16, 07:57 AM
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Within the next week or so, I will have finished evaluating two new saddles I'm trying out for this season -- the Cobb JOF Randee and the Selle Anatomica. If there's enough interest, I may post a new thread with the results.
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Old 05-06-16, 09:12 AM
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rando_couche
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I have a Brooks B5N that I have tried to love for so long now but I'm just not feeling it. It's tensioned and broken in but I keep feeling the rear metal brace digging into my butt. I've tried setting it back far enough but my anatomy seems to move in such a way that it feels the frame rather than the hammock. Sigh...
Sounds like it’s too narrow for you. Have you tried a B17?
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Old 05-06-16, 09:53 AM
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Happy Feet
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No. I was under the impression that the B5N and B17 were the same fit wise. Currently I am using either Norco or WTB seats that seems to fit the bill commuting and touring but I don't know about randonnee style riding. When I tour I go all day but walk my bike every hour for 5 minutes or so to rejuvenate the butt.

I'm going out again this weekend so I'll see how it goes with the Norco. There is also a shop in town that will let me test drive a cambrium I think so I may also give them a call and see. Expensive, but I really want to see what I can do this summer with a brevet and don't want a sore butt to hold me back.
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Old 08-18-16, 06:27 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by 70Degrees View Post
Within the next week or so, I will have finished evaluating two new saddles I'm trying out for this season -- the Cobb JOF Randee and the Selle Anatomica. If there's enough interest, I may post a new thread with the results.
Did you ever post the verdict? The Randee looks interesting and I would love to hear what you found.
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Old 08-18-16, 06:42 AM
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These threads are a little funny because we aren't all built the same. So saddles are something you have to try for yourself.
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Old 08-18-16, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by etw View Post
Did you ever post the verdict? The Randee looks interesting and I would love to hear what you found.
I didn't, and it's been long enough now that I've probably forgotten some of the details. So, let me summarize.

First, these are simply different styles of saddles that fulfill different preferences or requirements for different cyclists. You could probably say the same about any two saddles being compared, but in this case, I pitted one touring style, leather saddle with a hammock effect against what I'll call a "hybrid" tri/TT style (combined with road bike), flatter shape.

Selle Anatomica X: Beautiful right out of the box. Great materials. Rails fit nicely on post mount and easy to adjust fore and aft, with ample room to spare (in contrast to some reports of rails being too short). On the first ride, I did quite a bit of adjusting nose tilt and tension screw. The tension seemed to need quite a bit of tightening to keep there from being excessive sagging in the hammock. Maybe I needed it too tight or overly flat for my position; I don't know. Once I got it where I needed it, boy, was it comfortable. At least for the first half hour to an hour. Once I got into longer rides, and depending on the nose tilt, I was getting discomfort either in the sit bones or the soft tissue. I had a hard time getting comfort throughout the saddle because, to do so, I would have to adjust the nose tilt regularly. I can't just keep hopping off the bike during long rides and adjusting the tilt, but that's what I found myself doing. Kind of a shame, because the thing is beautiful, well built with great materials, great customer service (I did contact SA by e-mail with great results), and plays to the strengths of a touring style leather saddle. Brooks users -- if you haven't tried an SA saddle, consider doing so. My discomfort on longer rides had mostly to do with my position on the bike and need for something flatter, which takes me to . . .

Cobb Randee JOF: Slightly smaller out of the box than I would have anticipated. I expected this saddle to be slightly wider or longer based solely on pictures. But, it isn't overly small. My next observation was the density and thickness of the foam padding. Compared to other padded road-type saddles, it seemed soft. I was skeptical. Materials, again, were nice, but this thing didn't look the part of a $150+ saddle, but the craftsmanship was definitely good. Then I rode it. Because of the nose shape and size, the fore/aft adjustment is critical. I found out the hard way by having it too far forward, only to find out that the area right behind the cutout is usable, but nothing behind it is. Turns out, that's okay, because this is a saddle that is comfortable sitting fairly upright (as long as you're not too far back on the saddle) and in an aero/tri position. The softness of the padding turns out to not only be no problem -- it's actually a good thing (and not nearly as soft when riding as it seems to be initially). I'm a featherweight, so the density of the padding and its thickness played to my body style and weight. I won't say that this saddle didn't leave me with a little fatigue on longer rides -- it did, but that was usually a result of trying to take a too-upright position too far back on the saddle or just using older (less comfortable) shorts that need to find the trash can. But, any discomfort is very mild and plateaus to a point where it's not the saddle that's causing me discomfort on long rides -- it's my hands, wrists, neck, and whatever else. That's the sign of a good saddle, or at least one that fits my body. This thing puts your weight on the sit bones and slightly to the front, but boy, does it go easy on all of the parts bearing weight. And it has the added benefit of flexibility for those of us who need to change positions on the bike on longer rides.

End result, these are both great saddles, just totally different styles for different kinds of riders. If I sat more upright or developed a preference for a saddle with the hammock effect, I would have definitely stuck with the Selle Anatomica, even over similar Brooks saddles. But, for me, I need that slightly flatter shape with more room to move around. And even though I've used lots of other saddles providing that benefit, none of them have had the combination of padding thickness, density, overall shape, cutout placement, and nose design that give me the comfort the Randee does. I'm so impressed with Cobb that, in a way, I'd like to try some of their other saddles. I still might do that, but I can't imagine finding anything I like better than the Randee. It's main downside is the cost. If it weren't for that, I'd order several more of these so that I'd have them for another bike with a couple to spare for future use.

Happy saddle searching!
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Old 08-18-16, 10:06 AM
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Comfortable endurance saddle

You might want to try EoGears saddle rental/tryout program.

Demo saddle program. Try before you buy.

I did this to decide which Gilles Berthoud saddle I wanted to purchase.

You might want to read this article. Rando Richard | Saddle Quest?Search for the Holy Grail
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Old 08-18-16, 10:45 AM
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You might want to look at this thread:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ese-years.html

I have 3 of the Forte Pros and one of the Velo Sensos. Doubles and 400k no problem.

But everyone's different and you have to experiment. Then too, over time one's butt may change enough to need a new saddle under it.

IMO one does not break in a saddle. One breaks in one's butt. Frequent rides help.
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Old 08-18-16, 11:37 AM
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So many variables on the question. I've tried several models of Brooks and SA and various others and never was totally happy. I think your weight and sit bone width has a lot to do with comfort. I have weighed 240 for years and also as I ride I tend to slide further and further toward the nose of the saddle. So bike fit can cause you to think the saddle is the problem as well. When I started finally loosing weight and getting closer to 200 my comfort got significantly better but still not perfect. I've been using Assos long distance bibs for 10 years and they have thick padding. Finally I noticed that some of the padding would bunch up toward my crotch and inner thighs as I rode along. I got the idea that maybe I had too much padding so I switched to their racers bib that have very thin chamois and my problems we solved. Now my comfort combo is SA Saddle with thin padded bibs and weight loss. As you can tell there are many variables to your comfort others than just pure saddle design, you must continually experiment
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Old 08-18-16, 01:36 PM
  #24  
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One apparent issue with the Selle Anatomica is the 450 lb weight limit.

I weigh 225. I can stand on the pedals if I can see a pothole, as SA recommends. If I don't see one, though, I fear I can exceed the limit. Given some of the road issues around here, I'd worry if I weighed 150.

This may or may not be a real problem. Anyone know the math?
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Old 08-18-16, 10:11 PM
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I seriously doubt they thought through their weight limit to that extent. I am not sure it really matters that much, I don't recall ever suffering any crotchetal discomfort from a pothole. Mostly just hands. And I have double flatted on a pothole
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