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Another (quick) saddle thread!

Old 05-11-11, 08:27 PM
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oban_kobi
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Another (quick) saddle thread!

I'm heading to an actually good shop on Saturday, and wanted your guys' opinions on a couple of saddles.

I'm rather torn between the Specialized Alias, Avatar, and Toupe, in that order. I would like to be able to get away with the unpadded shorts I've been using. My current saddle is a cheap Specialized, maybe a 1/5 inch of padding. The problem with it is that it presses my tender bits, regardless of how I try to adjust it.

I plan on doing randonneurs this year, up to 400k, and would like to tour over the summer as well. Which do you think would be the best saddle for this kind of riding?

I feel I should mention I'm vegan, so no brooks or other leather for me.
I'm going to post this in touring too, please don't hang me.
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Old 05-11-11, 09:05 PM
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What does being vegan have to do with not having a brooks saddle? You're not going to eat it are you? As far as the saddle itself goes, padded saddles are generally a bad thing for long distance cycling. The padding can contribute to the numbness issues as well as friction problems. That's why brooks saddles and their like are so popular. That doesn't mean that you can't be comfortable on another saddle. I don't use a brooks saddle and get along just fine.
You need to make sure that the saddle is positioned properly underneath you and fits you properly. It may take some trial and error on your part. Nobody here is going to be able to tell you if one saddle will work better than another because our butts don't look like yours!
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Old 05-11-11, 10:31 PM
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I've been known to eat bicycle parts , but vegan is a lifestyle, not just a diet. I kind of figured that harder would be better. The seat I started out with was atrocious. Sure, it was a cloud for 10 minutes, then it felt like being punched in the you-know. I'm just slightly concerned that there is such a thing as "too" hard.
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Old 05-11-11, 11:14 PM
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Lifestyles are fine. The leather saddles are not necessarily hard as rocks. They just look like they are. They do give some which is another advantage of them. You can get the same thing with a plastic or imitation leather seat but I think it will take some experimenting. I never really thought of it before but I think most "good" saddles are made of leather of some kind. I use Selle Italia saddles but they are leather too. Your best bet may be to find a LBS that will let you try some different saddles. One thing I can tell you for sure is that once you find the saddle that works for you buy four or five of them! You definitely want to eliminate the trauma to the groin. I'll guarantee that will not get better the farther you ride!
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Old 05-12-11, 06:42 AM
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I also do not use leather. I tried and returned many over a year and found an excellent (for my butt anyway) long distance saddle at Koobi.
Their century saddle is pricier, but great. The Enduro is also great for LD and cheaper. (look for a "cosmetic second" for an even cheaper deal)
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Old 05-12-11, 06:49 AM
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A friend who is a year-round commuter (~ 16-18 mi each way) swears by his Avatar and just moved it to his new bike. I understand it comes in several sizes, so you probably want to find a LBS that carries them so you can get the fit right if you go that route.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:04 PM
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Lorica is a synthetic leather that is starting to show up in saddles, selle italia makes some models with that covering.
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Old 05-12-11, 10:12 PM
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Lorica is probably worth trying if there are some saddles made out of it. My Sidi shoes are made from it and it's an interesting material, much closer to leather than any other synthetic I've used.
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Old 05-13-11, 02:32 PM
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i haven't eaten but probably 6 ounces of red meat in the last 2 decades. i farmed organically for a decade. i try and do things sustainably. i still use a brooks because it'll probably outlive me. the 1/100th of a whole cowskin that i used making it is sufficiently less gross to me than the plastic saddles that i'll probably use up on commuters riding in the rain. i wear leather shoes for the same reason-- i can take care of them, and i don't throw them away, unlike faux leather ones or cotton-- which is the worlds largest sink of petroleum fertilizer, pesticide, and tractor time... hence.. petroleum.

i'm all for cow powered cycling, and i'll eat the first vegan who says i'm wrong... with not so much as a hiccup to my sense of moral indignation. and my butt approves of this message.
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Old 05-13-11, 02:51 PM
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I save the planet by eating only carnivorous animals.
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Old 05-13-11, 04:21 PM
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Woah woah woah! Saddles guys, saddles!

I think the toupe is out of the running, apparently it's terrible after 3-4 hours. I need to sit on whatever saddle I get for up to 20, with breaks obviously. No saddle could last 20 of pure sitting.
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Old 05-13-11, 05:32 PM
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I tried all of those and they all worked fine, about the same really, except that none of them roll off quickly or smoothly enough in the transition between where your sitbones go and where your ham goes. That's just me. I took a Toupe on a 10 hour ride, no problem, except as noted. I thought the Toupe did best for me because there was less of it, but again, that's just my particular issue. My best fit turned out to be a $40 Performance Forte Classic. I see it's on sale for $30 now. You could do a lot worse. I prefer a padded saddle, but with stiff enough padding that I don't really sink into it, it just absorbs the hits a little. The LBS I dealt with let me try all the Specialized saddles they had, one at a time. I cleaned them up and repackaged before returning.
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Old 05-13-11, 09:58 PM
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+1 on the forte. a great cheapie. done many centuries on mine but nothing further
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Old 05-14-11, 03:03 PM
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It doesn't really matter. Your diet won't allow to ride more than a couple of hours without collapsing, so you should be able to put up with just about any kind of saddle.

*ducking and running*
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Old 05-14-11, 05:44 PM
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^ lol, I get that a lot...XD
*throws shoe*
The Forte looks quite nice, though I notice it has a leather cover. :/

I picked up the Alias today, and am going back next weekend to try out the Avatar. The guy at the shop said the Avatar will probably be more comfortable due to a little more padding.

I learned something else too. My cheap compression shorts might not work. One of the seems started rubbing. I may have to get some padded shorts, just to avoid chafing.
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Old 05-15-11, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by oban_kobi
The Forte looks quite nice, though I notice it has a leather cover. :/
That's annoying. Last year's model is all synthetic. (I own it)
Looks like there's a non-animal model #50-8232 here: https://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._1103930_-1___
That one is also different than mine. The one I have has a poly knit fabric covering that gives a nice combo of slip and grip.

I tried all of those Specialzd saddles and did the silly sit-bones measurement. Rode all of them for a hundred miles each and returned every damn one. The Terry fly is comfy, but is made so poorly that you'll be sagging to the rails after a thousand miles. Koobi's Century was the first "wow" saddle i ever sat on. and no, i'm not a salesman. Actually, I think that their hi tech suspension system is a load of bunk. The saddle shape, and durability of their components are better than any I've found. And, no dead animals to sit on.
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Old 05-15-11, 10:37 AM
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Thanks a bunch for finding that non-animal model, I'll have to try that out if the Alias doesn't work well. It looks about the same shape, but with a bit more cushion.

Is it shallow that I don't like the way Koobi's look? I'll try them last, they're so expensive! :O
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Old 05-15-11, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by greaterbrown
That's annoying. Last year's model is all synthetic. (I own it)
Looks like there's a non-animal model #50-8232 here: https://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._1103930_-1___
That one is also different than mine. The one I have has a poly knit fabric covering that gives a nice combo of slip and grip.

I tried all of those Specialzd saddles and did the silly sit-bones measurement. Rode all of them for a hundred miles each and returned every damn one. The Terry fly is comfy, but is made so poorly that you'll be sagging to the rails after a thousand miles. Koobi's Century was the first "wow" saddle i ever sat on. and no, i'm not a salesman. Actually, I think that their hi tech suspension system is a load of bunk. The saddle shape, and durability of their components are better than any I've found. And, no dead animals to sit on.
The Forte seems to me to be a clone of the Fly, but with much better, more durable materials. I went through a number of Flys before I finally gave up on them. Same experience with the Specializeds. I haven't tried the Koobi, but it looks perfect. Why did you decide on the Century over the Alpha?
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Old 05-15-11, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by oban_kobi
Woah woah woah! Saddles guys, saddles!

I think the toupe is out of the running, apparently it's terrible after 3-4 hours. I need to sit on whatever saddle I get for up to 20, with breaks obviously. No saddle could last 20 of pure sitting.
Ok, you need to understand that all saddles can go bad on you if you do not set it up right. Yes, people have complained about Toupe pain. But at least one LD rider no longer here swore by his Toupe for 400k events and all prep training.

The fact that one or even several people said a Toupe (or anything else) hurt after a few hours has nothing at all to do with whether it can be made to work for you. It might even be workable for him - setting up a saddle takes more than bolting it on with a cursory level check and heading out for a 200k. This is true for ALL saddles, in my experience.

What I've tried:
Brooks Team Pro Presoftened
Ideale 92 Diagonale D. Rebour
B17N Imperial
B17
B17 Imperial
Selle AnAtomica Clyde Watershed Titanico (I think ... )
E3 Form
Specialized Alias 130 and 143
Specialized Toupe 130 and 143
Specialized Body Geometry
Selle Italia (rather an assortment here)

What works very well (multi-day tours and metrics):
Selle Anatomica
Brooks B17 Imperial

What is ok for an hour:
Toupe 143
B17
Ideale 92

Seems like I didn't remember all of the rejects.

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Old 05-16-11, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
The Forte seems to me to be a clone of the Fly, but with much better, more durable materials. I went through a number of Flys before I finally gave up on them. Same experience with the Specializeds. I haven't tried the Koobi, but it looks perfect. Why did you decide on the Century over the Alpha?
Is the padding on the Forte firmer than on the Fly? I have a Fly now(too much padding) but need another saddle for other bike. Forte looks good if it has less padding and firmer than the Fly.
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Old 05-16-11, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrey
Is the padding on the Forte firmer than on the Fly?
Eh... maybe a bit firmer. The biggest difference is that the Terry's lose density after too few miles.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I haven't tried the Koobi, but it looks perfect. Why did you decide on the Century over the Alpha?
No good reason. (probably the name ) I actually never tried the Alpha. I bought standard Enduro on a BF recommendation years ago. Was sufficiently impressed that I tried their Century. They both get me to 200 miles without a prob.

I will note that these saddles are kinda strange. The sitting "platform" is very flat. I liked that when I first put my butt down and ever since. It may be very different than the feeling of a brooks. The nose of the Koobi's are long and I love that for climbing and fast descending off the saddle. The cutout goes the entire length, which again is good for me as I move fore and aft often. Also, I found myself tilting the nose downward a bit more on the Enduro. I have the Century on a more streamlined bike and I find I like tilting it down even more. I do not know why this is, but I never feel like I'm slipping forward or putting too much weight on my hands. Maybe i just get into a more aero position of late. My forte is set level however. Dunno.

BTW to the OP: the factory 2nds on the Enduros are $80. (less than my bibs)
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Old 05-18-11, 12:45 AM
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My Avatar felt great for 3000 km, then began flexing in the wrong place: right in the middle, creating a low spot. Doesn't work for me any more.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by warpig
My Avatar felt great for 3000 km, then began flexing in the wrong place: right in the middle, creating a low spot. Doesn't work for me any more.
Thanks for the info. I'd rather my saddle not do such things.

Turns out the shop was sent the wrong size, so no Avatar trying this weekend. I dug out my old crummy shorts and went out for 2 hours, much better than having seams right under my sit bones, as was the case with my usual compression shorts. I'm off to get a pair of bibs this weekend at Performance. I do believe I'm going to stick with the Alias, unless it starts hurting me severely or something. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-22-11, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by oban_kobi
Thanks for the info. I'd rather my saddle not do such things.
Absolutely! I now always check how rigid the shell is on new saddles: it's surprising how many mid range ones are quite flexible.
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Old 05-28-11, 07:36 PM
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San Marco makes a version of the Concor saddle that they specifically advertise as being Vegan.

https://www.sellesanmarco.it/en/news/...+CONCOR+X.html

I don't know what makes it more vegan that a plastic/synthetic saddle, but thought you might be interested...
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