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Thoughts on saddles?

Old 06-06-16, 09:49 PM
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WorldIRC
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Thoughts on saddles?

I know this is a very personal choice, but figured I'd ask. Thoughts on saddles? I'm looking for something more "comfort / support" oriented rather than aero / bare bones. I will be on the tops / hoods more than in the drops. Where to start?
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Old 06-06-16, 10:06 PM
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Start on the end opposite to the Bontrager Basic Race saddle.
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Old 06-06-16, 10:07 PM
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I'm pretty sure that the more upright you sit, the broader you'll want the saddle to be, because you'll be bearing more of your weight on it, and want it distributed more, so start there. But consider that enduring softness is an oxymoron - no amount of padding will be comfortable in the long run if the support is off, and padding in the wrong places can just aggravate the situation.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:56 AM
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Specialized pro power saddle with level 2 padding.

(End thread)
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Old 06-07-16, 08:00 AM
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redfooj
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brooks
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Old 06-07-16, 08:13 AM
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My opinions:
1. More padding is rarely more comfortable.
2. More upright = wider saddle, usually.
3. A more upright position can be more comfortable for your arms, back and neck but much less comfortable for your butt. There's a trade off here.
4. A traditional stretched leather Brooks can be awesome but they're not the "wonder saddle" some people claim they are.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:18 AM
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Go to your LBS and ask them about different brands' comfort guarantee. Some brands offer 30-day returns, and some offer 60-day.

I would first start by looking at the fi'zi:k website and their spine concept. Then try the saddle they recommend, purchasing from your LBS, and if it doesn't work for you then you can return it within 30 days.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:28 AM
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eric1971
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I've tried several road saddles and the Selle Italia Flite Flow is the most comfortable for me.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:39 AM
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therh
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Originally Posted by silversx80 View Post
Go to your LBS and ask them about different brands' comfort guarantee. Some brands offer 30-day returns, and some offer 60-day.

I would first start by looking at the fi'zi:k website and their spine concept. Then try the saddle they recommend, purchasing from your LBS, and if it doesn't work for you then you can return it within 30 days.
+1
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Old 06-07-16, 08:44 AM
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Selle SMP!

Probably a LITE 209 but take your pick below.

Lite209
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Old 06-07-16, 08:46 AM
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I own a Specialized Romin and a Specialized Toupe. I am very happy with both. The Romin is my favorite saddle I've ever ridden, and as long as the keep making it, I will always have one on whatever brand bike I own.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:47 AM
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I like Brooks B17s ... have them on all my bicycles.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:05 AM
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Just to add, when I mentioned comfort and support, I did not mean "cushioning". What I simply meant was due to how I'm going to be sitting on the bike, I'd want a saddle that best supports that riding position.

I know the Specialized Power series saddles are well known for those that ride in the drops / aggressive position so that may not be a good choice for me.

And yes, the comfort guarantee is important, but if I can avoid repeat trips, I'd prefer to start off on the right path if possible.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
And yes, the comfort guarantee is important, but if I can avoid repeat trips, I'd prefer to start off on the right path if possible.
It's just not worth it. There is no science to saddle preference, and it's something you have to experience on your own. You may luck out and find your perfect saddle right away, but if you're like most of us then you'll spend a great deal of time trying different products, and different positionings. It's worth every second when you finally find "your" saddle.

Spine Concept

50% of the pro peleton rides fi'zi:k saddles. That doesn't mean you should, but it may be a good place to start. I ride fi'zi:k, and I try not to be biased, butt they do have the most comprehensive initial evaluation tools I know about, short of physical fitments and actual saddle usage.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:18 AM
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My suggestion: If you consider the recommendations of particular saddles, do so with some understanding of why that saddle would appeal to particular riders. For example, does its cutout help distribute weight to the sit bones in a more aero or a more upright position? Does the length or shape of the nose of the saddle help minimize soft tissue pressure, or give an advantage to riding off front in a tri/TT position?

Since you'll be riding in a more upright position, consider the preferences (and reasons for those preferences) of the long distance/rando type riders. Maybe even check the Long Distance/Rando/Endurance forum here: Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling.

Finally, you may be one of those who gets the right saddle on the first or second try within a matter of weeks. Or, if you're like me, you've tried -- at length -- four or five saddles over your first couple of seasons looking for differences not just in their materials, padding, and shape, but in the way they feel after several hours on the bike and after tweaking the angle and setup of the saddle's fit. There are so many variables that the recommendation of a particular saddle just can't be made in an online forum. A saddle that is perfectly comfortable 15 miles into a ride might really be killing your posterior at mile 50. Experiment, observe, and move toward the best saddle for you, even if it takes many attempts.

P.S. Although, with saddles, you don't necessarily get what you pay for, you almost certainly won't get what you don't pay for. In other words, don't be overly cheap.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:27 AM
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Selle Italia SLI. Very light (230g), real leather cover, a little vibration damping, cutout, padding not too hard or soft and a reasonable price.

Selle Italia SLI Saddle -- Performance Exclusive

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Old 06-07-16, 11:30 AM
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@Machka: Dang! I'm working on breaking in one and wanted to chuck it in the river my last ride...I don't think I would ever want to break in multiple B17's..."taint" worth it...Makes my Toupe seem plush...(I have faith that it will break in...I hope&#129303
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Old 06-07-16, 12:24 PM
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I bought a sella SMP hell saddle this year and can't say enough good about it.
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Old 06-07-16, 01:15 PM
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love my new ISM, radical change for the better.
liked: WTR, selle italia
not so great: fizik antares, specialized romin evo.
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Old 06-07-16, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
brooks
Specifically, given the OP's stated desires: Brooks B17.
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Old 06-07-16, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eric1971 View Post
I've tried several road saddles and the Selle Italia Flite Flow is the most comfortable for me.
I have the same saddle on one of my bikes, and have found that unless it is tilted nose up, I keep sliding forward on it. Have you noticed this too?
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Old 06-07-16, 04:39 PM
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Take padding out of the equation, and focus on getting the right saddle shape. I tend to look at saddle selection as being the combo of 3 factors: 1) shape (i.e. curved/flat) 2) cut-out, no cut-out 3) width to reasonably accommodate sit bone comfort.

For these reasons I'm particularly fond of my SMP Dynamic (curvy,full length cut-out, 138mm) which fits my arse. Going to switch to the Forma with no padding, because with the right shape you don't need padding.
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Old 06-07-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I have the same saddle on one of my bikes, and have found that unless it is tilted nose up, I keep sliding forward on it. Have you noticed this too?
I don't find sliding forward on mine to be an issue. And I just checked, it's set pretty flat. On a different bike with a different saddle, I do need to keep the nose up a wee bit to lose that sinking feeling.
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Old 06-07-16, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GuitarBob View Post
I don't find sliding forward on mine to be an issue. And I just checked, it's set pretty flat. On a different bike with a different saddle, I do need to keep the nose up a wee bit to lose that sinking feeling.
I'm not judging the saddle at this point, but I haven't found the right setup yet.
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Old 06-07-16, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 36Oly_Rider View Post
@Machka: Dang! I'm working on breaking in one and wanted to chuck it in the river my last ride...I don't think I would ever want to break in multiple B17's..."taint" worth it...Makes my Toupe seem plush...(I have faith that it will break in...I hope珞)
Mine haven't been that difficult to break in, and once they are broken in, they are so comfortable.

You've got to make sure the bicycle is well set up.
You may need to lower the saddle at first because Brooks saddles sit a bit higher than other saddles, but as it breaks in, you may want to raise the saddle
Tip the nose of the saddle up.
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