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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

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Old 09-05-08, 02:42 PM   #1
forrest_m
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Non-Leather Saddle

OK, I know that saddles are a personal matter, and I expect to do some trial and error. But, here's my situation. I had only one road bike for a while, a Specialized Roubaix, that I used for everything. Not too long ago, I got a new race bike and now that fall is rapidly approaching, I am working on re-outfitting the roubaix as my winter training bike. However, I also have it in my mind to do some longer randonneur-type rides next year (maybe or maybe not organized), so I'd like to make it more comfy for long rides. I've worked out a good fender arrangement, raised the handlebars and figured out how to get 28mm tires on. Now I'm wondering about saddles. I'm shying away from leather after hearing about the extra care people have to exercise to keep them from deforming when they get wet. Half the reason I'm doing this is to get a good rain bike...

I did some searching, but really the responses seem to be mostly brooks, brooks, brooks Are there really no popular synthetic saddles in the long-distance crowd? Am I being overly concerned? TIA

edit to add: just to clarify, not looking for "the answer," just some suggestions about what I should put on my list to hunt down and try out

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Old 09-05-08, 02:49 PM   #2
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I recently test rode a Brooks and I must say that I was amazed how comfortable it was. However, my weight weenie side refuses to get one. Does anyone who spends all day on their bikes like using a regular racing saddle?
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Old 09-05-08, 03:30 PM   #3
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forrest: while i've only had my brooks seats for about a year (including rain riding), i haven't had any issues with deformations. i havne't had to do much to the saddle either: just a few applications of proofide, but it didn't seem to do a whole lot.

if your butt's on the saddle, then it won't get too wet.. and what i do is jam a plastic bag under the seat (between the rails), for use as a seat cover when i'm off the bike. so far, so good.

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I recently test rode a Brooks and I must say that I was amazed how comfortable it was. However, my weight weenie side refuses to get one. Does anyone who spends all day on their bikes like using a regular racing saddle?
lots of randos don't use brooks saddles, not sure what kind they do use tho. if you've got the dough, check out the ti-railed models, they are considerably lighter.

also consider the trade-offs you might have to make for comfort. would a super-light bike that was uncomfortable be a good rando bike? probably not. would a super-heavy, yet comfy bike work better? i think so. i'm shooting for somewhere in between.

personally i use a brooks swift (ti rails, pretty light as far as brooks saddles go)
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Old 09-05-08, 04:09 PM   #4
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Part of the reason I have so much trouble getting a comfortable saddle is that of the discomfort issues I experience when being out for a long time, the ones related to my butt aren't that bad compared to other parts of my body.

I was looking at the swift on ti rails, and I do have the money. However, I haven't been miserable enough yet for that to feel like a good investment.
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Old 09-05-08, 04:18 PM   #5
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Hey Forrest M,

I worked on this for a while too. My short answer is the Koobi PRS Century
Their Enduro is also highly touted.

I've put a lot of miles on my PRS Century after maybe 3mos. of ownership.
Several centuries and a couple of 200Ks and no issues whatsoever. The saddle is rather flat and hard and I love that. the notch goes along the entire length so you've got some crotch relief at whatever your hip angle is. Great saddle. Pricey, but not much more than a good pair of bibs and well worth it.

Before I committed to the Koobi I tried a terrible Bontrager, 3 different Terry saddles (an older Fly which I still like, but not as much as the Koobi, a synthetic Fly which does not breathe at all and would give me saddle sores, and the Liberator which is way too wide and mushy) Then I tried a Specialized Avatar which I hated, but which many like.

hope that helps. i found a thread in Commuting a while back that had some discussion of non-leather saddles which might give you some other options. (couldn't find it right away.)
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Old 09-05-08, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forrest_m View Post
I'm shying away from leather after hearing about the extra care people have to exercise to keep them from deforming when they get wet. Half the reason I'm doing this is to get a good rain bike...
Bah... I use Brooks on all of my bikes, including my daily commuter. I put Proofide on it when I put it on the bike, and after that the only treatment it gets is butt sweat. It gets ridden in the rain... cold... heat... no ill effects. No additional maintenance required. Yeah... I wouldn't leave it sitting out shackled to the bike rack in the rain, but hell... whaddaya expect? Just ride it and don't obsess over how many microns of protective wax is on the surface.

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I recently test rode a Brooks and I must say that I was amazed how comfortable it was. However, my weight weenie side refuses to get one. Does anyone who spends all day on their bikes like using a regular racing saddle?
I can absolutely guarantee that you won't feel the weight difference between this saddle and a high zoot titanium ass-hatchet. If you're THAT worried about it... carry a half bottle less water!
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Old 09-05-08, 08:40 PM   #7
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ive had pretty good luck with my fizik gobi. Ive only done up to 105 miles at a time on it though but lots of back to back long rides and an 11 hour adventure on the mtb and it was good for that
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Old 09-06-08, 09:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
Hey Forrest M,

I worked on this for a while too. My short answer is the Koobi PRS Century
Their Enduro is also highly touted.

I've put a lot of miles on my PRS Century after maybe 3mos. of ownership.
Several centuries and a couple of 200Ks and no issues whatsoever. The saddle is rather flat and hard and I love that. the notch goes along the entire length so you've got some crotch relief at whatever your hip angle is. Great saddle. Pricey, but not much more than a good pair of bibs and well worth it.

Before I committed to the Koobi I tried a terrible Bontrager, 3 different Terry saddles (an older Fly which I still like, but not as much as the Koobi, a synthetic Fly which does not breathe at all and would give me saddle sores, and the Liberator which is way too wide and mushy) Then I tried a Specialized Avatar which I hated, but which many like.

hope that helps. i found a thread in Commuting a while back that had some discussion of non-leather saddles which might give you some other options. (couldn't find it right away.)
Thanks for the link to Koobi. I thought they had gone out of business. I bought a discontinued model about 5 yrs ago. It's been a comfortable and versatile saddle that has been on everything from track bikes to 7" freeride bikes. I've been using it for the past two months commuting. I'll have to look at one of the PRS model when it dies.
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Old 09-06-08, 10:36 PM   #9
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i just tested about 5 saddles. with my wider sitz bones i settled on the selle italia prolink. very comfortable. closest thing to my brooks
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