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Pinching Selle An-atomica question

Old 09-03-10, 10:25 AM
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Sekhem
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Pinching Selle An-atomica question

Greetings!
I recently purchased a Selle An atomica saddle in part because of the recommenations from the good folks on this list and the enthusiastic accolades from other brevet riders. However, I'm still having trouble with the 'break in' of the saddle.

There is a long cut-out in the middle that extends the length of the saddle. As the saddle flexes the edges of the cut-out pinch together. Can we say !!%*&#!!! saddle sores? Holy buckets!! I've looked at other comments about the saddle on this site and others and no one has mentioned this particular issue. I've tried increasing the tension in the saddle and wearing double layers of shorts. Anything else I can do? I'm about to order a Selle SMP but don't want to risk 'new equipment' issues on the upcoming ride (my first 1200K!)
Your comments are much appreciated
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Old 09-03-10, 10:28 AM
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I once tried a saddle with the cut out.
It killed me.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:36 AM
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You need to adjust your saddle tension. Back the big screw on the front of the saddle (this increases the tension on the leather) out until this stops happening. You can play with this screw until you get the tension you like.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:38 AM
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Oops, reading comprehension fail on my part. You already played with the tension. If you've backed it out all the way and it's still doing this, I'd say you should contact them.
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Old 09-03-10, 03:09 PM
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I haven't had that issue with mine. I have two, the first one was without the slot cut in it. I ordered a second one with the slot in. I rode the unslotted one for while and enjoyed the comfort of it but wasn't sold on the slot yet and was worried about saddle strength. After I received the slotted saddle I tried it for a ride and the slot, in my case helped so much i went home after that and slotted the un-slotted saddle myself (so much for that warranty). the slot cut out all of my numbness. The only problem I have is the sides flail out to much and rub at the crease between the thigh and the bum which can lead to sores, but a little lacing would help that.

I can't see how the slot would pinch you or cause saddle sores since it almost closes up with weight on it at the back and never closes towards the front (See website video). What part is getting sore? Is it the crease between the thigh and bum like I said or some other part? Regular padded shorts?

You could always try the unslotted one if you like the shape of the saddle. When I slotted mine I didn't carry the slot all the way back between the sit bones like they do.
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Old 09-03-10, 05:04 PM
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I had the same experience as the OP when trying out the Selle Anatomica early last year. I really wanted to have that saddle, but not at the cost of.. y'know..

So you are not alone in this!
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Old 09-03-10, 07:16 PM
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I have the AnAtomica on 4 of my LD bikes and have never experienced, nor heard of this situation before. I have been using this saddle for the past 4 years on LD rides of all lengths. If you have a proper pair of cycling shorts/bibs, with a proper chamois, and the tension is adjusted to your particular comfort point, there is really no way that you could be "pinched". My only question would be, what are you using for "shorts"? With *ANY* kind of a chamois, there is no physical way your "boyz" will drop into the cutout. More detailed info, within reason of course., is needed to answer your question.
YMMV
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Old 09-03-10, 08:16 PM
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I had the same problem (didn't get pinched but each side wasn't working independently) and used an exacto knife to slice a 1/16" off of each side of the slot. Solved the problem and doesn't void the warranty.

Last edited by c.miller64; 09-03-10 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:21 PM
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I tghtened the tension and it stopped the problem
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Old 09-04-10, 12:03 PM
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Are you sure you are wearing shorts?
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Old 09-06-10, 11:01 AM
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Hello everybody-
Many thanks for your ideas and suggstions.

to Z90, scwowgph- I've adjusted the tension through the whole range of the screw.

to chaz and 200miller- on long rides I wear two pairs of shorts- gel on the inner and a descent chamy on the outter. Even still at the end of the day I'm sore along the entire length of the cut out. Apparently I have a highly 'pinchable bum'.

to cmiller64. I like your idea of modifying the edges. The leather of the saddle is still stiff and perhaps it isn't flexing well.

beter yet... as Z90 suggests maybe best to contact the company. In the meanwhile, I've burned yet another hole in the credit card and tried out a Selle SMP this weekend. Obviously there's no pinching since the saddle is a rigid structure but I can't imagine spending 80 hrs on that hard narrow thing! E-gads! bad timing to have saddle issues and the 1200K is a week away! I guess I'm packing all of my seats in my drop bag and hoping for the best.

thanks everybody for your suggestions
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Old 09-06-10, 07:35 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Sekhem View Post
Hello everybody-
Many thanks for your ideas and suggstions.

to Z90, scwowgph- I've adjusted the tension through the whole range of the screw.

to chaz and 200miller- on long rides I wear two pairs of shorts- gel on the inner and a descent chamy on the outter. Even still at the end of the day I'm sore along the entire length of the cut out. Apparently I have a highly 'pinchable bum'.

to cmiller64. I like your idea of modifying the edges. The leather of the saddle is still stiff and perhaps it isn't flexing well.

beter yet... as Z90 suggests maybe best to contact the company. In the meanwhile, I've burned yet another hole in the credit card and tried out a Selle SMP this weekend. Obviously there's no pinching since the saddle is a rigid structure but I can't imagine spending 80 hrs on that hard narrow thing! E-gads! bad timing to have saddle issues and the 1200K is a week away! I guess I'm packing all of my seats in my drop bag and hoping for the best.

thanks everybody for your suggestions
I've done the edge-slicing that Cmiller suggested on two S-As now. In both cases my weight was causing the slot to close in the wide-saddle area between the sitbone dimples, where the slot is at its narrowest. You can feel this if you feel under the saddle with your fingers while you ride (ignore those people who are pointing and snickering!). I think it was trying to catch some piece of my anatomy, causing the pinch. I cut off 1/8 inch on either side and chamfered the new edge to try to make it a smoother contour. No more pinching, but I still have to get screw tension dialed in. It's real close, though!

I haven't done any rides as long as you have, but I have already found it's bad to change something big right before a long ride. I do presume that you know what you're doing!
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Old 09-08-10, 12:21 PM
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You're Spot On Road Fan! Especially in your description of the location of that naughty pinch. I'll slice away and give it a try again this weekend. Many thanks for your information!
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Old 09-08-10, 12:38 PM
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I've had this exact same problem. I put about 3000 miles on my first An-Atomica, trying to adjust everything I could. I even used the dumb little table that came with the saddle where they give you space to write down all the measurements of what you're trying. Eventually, I contacted the company and they told me that the leather was too loose and that was what was causing the problem. So, they exchanged me for a new one, no cost to me.

However, the problem persisted and eventually I gave up. That saddle was, by far, the most uncomfortable saddle I've ever used. I wanted to like it so badly, but in the end, I had to be honest with myself. It's just another saddle that didn't fit me. Sounds like that may be the case with you as well.
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Old 09-09-10, 06:12 AM
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i gave up on the SA.
tried to make it work, but whatever i did i ended up sinking lower into the saddle.
seatpost kept moving up, saddle tension kept going higher. could feel the pinching leather with my fingers too, but never had the saddle bite me.
i always felt like i was sinking and sitting in mush.


quite happy with my brooks b17 and swallow, depending on the length of the ride.
the imperial looks interesting too. haven't tried it.


i've gone through:

selle anatomica
brooks team pro
brooks swift
specialized alias (or something)

settled on b17 and swallow.
and a cheap, wtb speed v on my town / mountain / fixed bike, that i surprisingly find comfortable, even for 20-30 miles in street clothes.
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Old 09-11-10, 10:07 PM
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I never had *actual* pinching, but did have a sensation of pinching, if that makes sense. Kind of the feeling that I was going to get pinched, but it never quite happened. It was disconcerting, though. I sorted it by increasing the tension and beveling the edges, exactly as described above.

The SA was my most comfortable saddle until I tried the Velo Orange knock-offs of the Brooks B17. For some reason I have never managed to make Brooks work for me, despite decades of trying, but the V/O saddles are great for me right out of the box. My only complaint with V/O saddles thus far is the same one I have with SA: the quality just isn't as good as Brooks. Unlike SA, though, the V/O saddles have a price tag that matches the somewhat lower quality.

The take-home message, IMO, is that there is no saddle that is perfect for everyone. It amuses me to see at least one poster espousing the same kind of "Don't bash my religion" stuff in regard to SA that we are so used to seeing from the Brooks crowd: "What do you mean it isn't perfect for you?!? You must be doing something wrong!!!"

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Old 09-11-10, 10:32 PM
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Religion is a great analogy!
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Old 09-11-10, 10:37 PM
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I'd love to be a devout Christian and an ardent Brooks fan. I just can't make either one work for me!
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Old 09-12-10, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
I'd love to be a devout Christian and an ardent Brooks fan. I just can't make either one work for me!
mentioning any 3 of the following can usually start a holy flame war:

fenders
dyno vs. battery lights
leather saddles
carbon
steel
triple cranksets
bar end / downtube shifting vs. integrated
friction

this is why i try to please all deities by riding:
ti bike
steel fork
b17 with steel rails or with a brooks swallow with ti rails.
sometimes with 'real' fenders (honjos)
super compact double (in case you do not believe in the triple)
integrated shifting (10 speed! heretic!)
carbon ergo levers (campy!)
'long reach' brakes (57mm shimano!)

i think i've covered all the heretical issues, but for good measure i made sure to mix italian, japanese, and french (my TA crank) parts for extra credit.

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Old 09-12-10, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bmike View Post
i think i've covered all the heretical issues, but for good measure i made sure to mix italian, japanese, and french (my TA crank) parts for extra credit.
But do you wear lycra or wool? :-)
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Old 09-12-10, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
But do you wear lycra or wool? :-)
both...

sometimes wool bottom and top.
sometimes lycra bottom and wool top.

sometimes hiking short bottom (sans pad) - and wool top.
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Old 09-12-10, 09:16 PM
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But do you wear a *ahem* helmet? (Ducking and running)
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Old 09-13-10, 08:41 AM
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thanks Tigermaxcocoa, bmike and sixjours for your observations. It's great to know that I wasn't hallucinating (I may want my bumm pinched... but not at that particular anatomical spot .

The other comment that I'll add about the SA is that my legs felt mushy from the first time that I rode the saddle. I didn't make the connection that the saddle might be part of the reason why I haven't felt an increase in power or speed in my legs despite doing a heck of a lot of hard riding and climbing this summer. I think some one else mentioned experiencing a power drop after trying an SA. I asked bike fitter friend and he helped me put together not only a drop in power but also issues related to tingling/numb/swelling feet and lower back pain relative to the specific design of the saddle. He thought the garden shears/nut cracker surface of the saddle was amusing. He recommended a Stelle SMP Glider and I've been riding it for the last few weeks. I call it the "Stiletto seat" - it's the hardest and narrowest darned thing I've ever experienced. The computrainer shows a small increase in power output which is great (but the body is groaning WTF!?!! with the the subtle- but the more anatomically correct- position and movements on the bike). Hopefully everything will settle down soon and my stiletto and I will live happily together ever after...
Best wishes to all of you for a great fall season!
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Old 09-13-10, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
But do you wear a *ahem* helmet? (Ducking and running)
You may not know this, but I can move individual posts to a thread in A&S
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Old 09-13-10, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
But do you wear a *ahem* helmet? (Ducking and running)
very tempting to answer this.
but i'll just take the fifth on this one.
my helmet wearing is between me and the deity / spirit / goddess / etc. of my choice.
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