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Saddle break in... how long?

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Saddle break in... how long?

Old 09-27-17, 05:29 PM
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dvai
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Saddle break in... how long?

After using a WTB speed for 4k miles, I notices was giving me pain and was quite "bouncy". The nylon gave up.


I bought a Sella Italia which is supposed to be quite comfortable and as gel inserts (model is max gel flow). Rode for 15 miles and at the beginning felt great but for the last 5-6 miles it was kind of uncomfortable.

My question is: is there a break in period where the body needs to "get used" to the new saddle or should be perfect from the beginning?
If the saddle is not going to work, I would return it now and not waste any time.

Thank you in advance for the help.

Last edited by dvai; 09-27-17 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 09-27-17, 05:35 PM
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Sy Reene
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
.
never smelled mine.. but probably a couple hundred miles.
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Old 09-27-17, 05:36 PM
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Dan333SP
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In my experience, every saddle has an adjustment period and requires a lot of fine tuning to the setback and angles (tilt, left/right). A half degree here or there can make a huge difference. Your sitbones will also need to get accustomed to the seat, there's no hard rule for how long you need to keep trying before you give up on a saddle.
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Old 09-27-17, 05:38 PM
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caloso
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For me, a couple hundred miles.
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Old 09-27-17, 07:05 PM
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My saddle reaks after a single use.
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Old 09-27-17, 08:08 PM
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Jiggle
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If you get it wet, then put it in a humid place, that really encourages the stinkfication.
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Old 09-27-17, 08:14 PM
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If your saddle is not a leather saddle, like a Brooks, it will never "break in".

If your saddle is a leather saddle, like a Brooks ... it depends. It took me 3 weeks or 800 km to break my first one in.
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Old 09-27-17, 08:43 PM
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It took me a couple months to break my butt in on a Spesh Avatar Expert. That was probably on top of months on a Fizik Aliante VS on another bike.

Both seats were good for 5 miles, after that I had to fidget and stop often.

After a few months, both seats are OK for up to 36 miles, my longest ride so far. I still lift off the seats a bit and stop for a snack now and then, but consider them good saddles.

My thinking now would be, on a unseasoned butt the seat should be good for 5 comfortable miles.

I tried a Spesh Romin. Only got a couple comfortable miles out of it, returned it and got the Avatar.

Last edited by Sunsetman; 09-28-17 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 09-28-17, 06:20 AM
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dvai
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Thank you for the replies.

I understand the saddle wont break in....

But I really meant how long the body needs to get used to the new saddle.
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Old 09-28-17, 06:50 AM
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Machka 
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I understand the saddle wont break in....

But I really meant how long the body needs to get used to the new saddle.
- Set the bicycle up correctly for you.
- Make sure that the saddle is the right width for you.
- Make sure that the saddle is the correct position for you.
- Get padded cycling shorts, and ensure that the padding covers your sitbones.
- Build your core and upper body strength so that you sit lightly on the saddle with good posture.*
- Ride lots and build your fitness.


* On the point about building your core etc. ... when you ride, put some of your weight on your feet. Don't put all your weight on your butt. This does take a certain degree of fitness and core strength. Also make sure you are sitting on your sitbones.


And if you're a new cyclist, it can take a couple weeks before you feel all right on your saddle.
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Old 09-28-17, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
- Set the bicycle up correctly for you.
- Make sure that the saddle is the right width for you.
- Make sure that the saddle is the correct position for you.
- Get padded cycling shorts, and ensure that the padding covers your sitbones.
- Build your core and upper body strength so that you sit lightly on the saddle with good posture.*
- Ride lots and build your fitness.


* On the point about building your core etc. ... when you ride, put some of your weight on your feet. Don't put all your weight on your butt. This does take a certain degree of fitness and core strength. Also make sure you are sitting on your sitbones.


And if you're a new cyclist, it can take a couple weeks before you feel all right on your saddle.
Good advice!

I'll add that I use higher end Performance Bike padded shorts. Chamois Butt'r chamois cream seems to help too.

I was sized for a seat at a Specialized store and bought the Avatar Expert accordingly. My Fizik Aliante VS is a tad narrow, but seems OK.

Last edited by Sunsetman; 09-28-17 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 09-28-17, 07:17 AM
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Probably not a problem for you, but make sure your seat is not bottoming out.

My Fizik was bottoming out on the seat post clamp bolt! Got a new seat post that eliminated the problem.
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Old 09-28-17, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If your saddle is not a leather saddle, like a Brooks, it will never "break in".

If your saddle is a leather saddle, like a Brooks ... it depends. It took me 3 weeks or 800 km to break my first one in.
Just not so. Just because a saddle isn't leather, doesn't mean it doesn't break in. In fact, break in for a plastic or carbon saddle can turn into 'break down' after thousands of miles which is time for it to be replaced.
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Old 09-28-17, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I understand the saddle wont break in....

But I really meant how long the body needs to get used to the new saddle.
No a saddle will break in. Materials with modulus of elasticity that comprise modern saddles can deform with time. High density foam can locally compress further conforming to anatomy and pelvis shape over time.

Concurrently, a human body can acclimate as well as fitness improves. Strong lean riders have a rear end made out of grissle and an unfit heavy person, not so much.
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Old 09-28-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
In fact, break in for a plastic or carbon saddle can turn into 'break down' after thousands of miles which is time for it to be replaced.
Yes, that's true.
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Old 09-29-17, 08:14 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I understand the saddle wont break in....

But I really meant how long the body needs to get used to the new saddle.
There shouldnt really be a big adjustment period. You mentioned gel inserts, and it is only uncomfortable after a certain amount of riding. That sounds like a "too squishy" issue. Firmer saddles that support your bone structure moreso than your fleshy bits tend to be more comfortable over distance. Squishy saddles are fantastic...if you're only going around the block a couple times.
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Old 09-29-17, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
There shouldnt really be a big adjustment period. You mentioned gel inserts, and it is only uncomfortable after a certain amount of riding. That sounds like a "too squishy" issue. Firmer saddles that support your bone structure moreso than your fleshy bits tend to be more comfortable over distance. Squishy saddles are fantastic...if you're only going around the block a couple times.
This. Too soft a saddle is not comfortable over longer distances.

As others have said, you first need to get the saddle position set up correctly. If after that it is still not comfortable after a couple of rides, I'd say it will never be comfortable.

All the good saddles I have had were comfortable from the 1st or second ride. Sure, you need to get used to it a little bit, but it should never feel very UNcomfortable if it suits you.
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Old 09-29-17, 10:28 AM
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I recently switched from “heavily padded” Selle SMP Lite 209 to the “minimally padded” Selle SMP Dynamic. Break-in period: zero. It felt completely natural right from the first ride. So the answer is clearly, “it depends”.
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Old 09-29-17, 10:46 AM
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saddle fit... definitely an art, not a science.

ive had some that felt great on the first ride. some that took a while to get used to. some that looked cushy that were rough. some that looked bare that were comfortable. ive had different "favorite" saddles over time.

its hard to nail it down because so many other thing affect comfort - minute changes in angle, length...what bibs you wear. if your ride is flat or climbs which demands (unconscious) shift in body positioning relative to saddle, etc.

strangest of all, ive had saddles that were deemed comfortable for many many rides, and then suddenly for 1 or 2 rides, with no changes in positioning, suddenly give sensation of numbness or tingling.


all that said, from my own experience, i wouldnt put up with anything that fails to feel comfortable within the first 3 or 4 rides. if it doesnt work by then, its not worth pursuing
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Old 09-29-17, 10:53 AM
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Not sling tensioned leather "Brooks like" ?, you break into the saddle it does not change..
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Old 09-29-17, 03:26 PM
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dvai
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My second ride today... another 20mi. Some discomfort towards the end. Will give it 2 more rides.
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Old 09-30-17, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
My second ride today... another 20mi. Some discomfort towards the end. Will give it 2 more rides.
Give a new saddle about 2 weeks time - for the body to adapt. After that, you can really tell whether it fits or not.
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Old 09-30-17, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dvai View Post
My question is: is there a break in period where the body needs to "get used" to the new saddle or should be perfect from the beginning?
If it hasn't been mentioned, this also depends on the type of pain/discomfort that you're experiencing. Sore tissue between the sit bones and the saddle is something that can take a couple weeks/several rides. Perineum pain and associated numbness is not something that you want to try and get used to.
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Old 10-05-17, 05:11 PM
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Took me 5-6 rides with a total of 20-25 hours to feel comfortable again when switching from Astute Skyline VT to Specialized Power Pro 143mm.
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Old 10-05-17, 08:34 PM
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Saddles house capricious spirits. Even a reliable, broken-in saddle will cause you problems out of the blue, after which those same problems will evanesce just as quickly into thin air as they came, apparently for no reason. I think they do it so that you don't take their cooperation for granted.
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