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Help me find a saddle

Old 04-12-19, 01:28 PM
  #1  
MichalisLaz
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Help me find a saddle

Hello fellow riders,

i ride a Cannondale caad optimo 105. I believe i have found my position on the bike. I use my bike for commuting (not big route) and long rides on weekends. I have perineum pain on the longer rides, and it doesn't go away. I don't ride very aggressive, but not very relaxed as well.

I have made a list of possible saddles to buy, but i can't try them, so i might take my best shot in the dark.

selle italia flight max gel flow --> good reviews, very good local deal, looks kinda "fat"
selle italia SLR max flow --> very good reviews, big cutout
fabric scoop elite flat --> affordable with good reviews, looks slick
novus boost kit carbonio superflow --> quite expensive, "future of saddles?"
Pro Stealth Carbon --> same
shimano pro stealth--> chaper than above, same mindset
Specialized Power --> good reviews, good blood flow
Specialized Romin Evo Comp Gel --> good reviews, good blood flow

I know that saddles are very personal, but sharing your experience can be beneficial, even to what i am looking for exactly.

My sit bones are 130 mm (if i measured correctly).

Thank you in advance!!
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Old 04-12-19, 01:56 PM
  #2  
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I was a Spec Toupe user for years, but experienced problems with numbness on the trainer this year (the trainer tends to exacerbate saddle issues, in my experience). The Toupe checked: wide enough, flat enough, not too much padding, but lacked a big cutout, so I moved over to a Pro Stealth Carbon. It has improved things significantly - I can stay planted on the saddle pretty much indefinitely without issue.

I'm sure that the are a few saddles out there that would have worked similarly, and you've got a few on your list. That said, of you can't try them before buying, at least buy from someplace with a 30-day return policy (which is pretty common for saddles).
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Old 04-12-19, 02:16 PM
  #3  
MichalisLaz
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Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

I made a mistake writing the about carbon model. I was looking at the regular Pro Stealth, perhaps there is not a difference in shape and padding except weight.

Return policy will not be a problem in my case.

What is your position on the bike? Do you get low or more upright?
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Old 04-12-19, 02:28 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by MichalisLaz View Post
Hello fellow riders,

i ride a Cannondale caad optimo 105. I believe i have found my position on the bike. I use my bike for commuting (not big route) and long rides on weekends. I have perineum pain on the longer rides, and it doesn't go away. I don't ride very aggressive, but not very relaxed as well.

I have made a list of possible saddles to buy, but i can't try them, so i might take my best shot in the dark.

selle italia flight max gel flow --> good reviews, very good local deal, looks kinda "fat"
selle italia SLR max flow --> very good reviews, big cutout
fabric scoop elite flat --> affordable with good reviews, looks slick
novus boost kit carbonio superflow --> quite expensive, "future of saddles?"
Pro Stealth Carbon --> same
shimano pro stealth--> chaper than above, same mindset
Specialized Power --> good reviews, good blood flow
Specialized Romin Evo Comp Gel --> good reviews, good blood flow

I know that saddles are very personal, but sharing your experience can be beneficial, even to what i am looking for exactly.

My sit bones are 130 mm (if i measured correctly).

Thank you in advance!!
The first thing you need to do is make sure your saddle tilt is correct. If that is off, you will have pain...I have tried all of the Selle Italia saddles you list (in the S3 size where you should be as well). I am on a Fizik Aliante Open though. It fits me the best.
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Old 04-12-19, 03:06 PM
  #5  
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Keep in mind that the Fabric flat profile is designed for a very aero, sporty position.

The more curved Radius profile is for an upright position while the Shallow is somewhere in the middle.




https://fabric.cc/findyourfit/


-Tim-
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Old 04-12-19, 03:06 PM
  #6  
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I have been struggling with the saddle wars this year. I was perfectly comfortable on the Power Expert saddle 155 for two years, but it is a one position saddle. I am doing some long events this year including 140 mile ride in June and I wanted to have more comfortable positions. Everyone is different when it comes to saddles, but here is what I learned...
  • I tried the Specialized Power Arc which has more curve than the Power and I couldn't stay on it. I kept sliding probably because I got the translucent color which is too slippery.
  • The Selle Itlaia SLR Max Gel Flow was OK, but it is super flat and it's only 145 wide and my sit bones are 130 so it was close, but it didn't work out.
  • The Pro Stealth in 152 is a beautiful saddle and I was comfortable on it. I got a saddle sore while using that saddle. I don't know if the Pro Stealth was the problem, but I didn't want to chance it.
  • Tried the Selle Anatomica leather saddle, but you have to tilt it up 3% nose up in order to not slide. My boys didn't like that.
  • I then went to the Specialized Power Pro Elaston. The most comfortable saddle I ever sat on up to 50 miles. The Elaston is super soft, but it was too soft. I did a 75 mile ride and the last 25 miles I had numb bum.
  • I am currently trying the SQLabs 612 Ergowave Active. It has an elastomer that allows the saddle to move with your pedal movement. It also has three different saddle positions. I have high hopes, but I haven't had a long ride yet.
  • If the SQlabs 612 Ergowave Active doesn't work out, I'm going back to the Pro Stealth and riding it until my bum adapts.
Here is a video how the SQLabs 612 active system works.

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Old 04-12-19, 04:18 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by MichalisLaz View Post
What is your position on the bike? Do you get low or more upright?
Somewhere in between, but the saddle works nicely on-the-rivet, too, much more so than the Toupe.
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Old 04-12-19, 05:25 PM
  #8  
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I'll second that - you might want to have a look at the Fabric Line Shallow (Wide 142 width) instead for Perineum relief. I ride a moderately aggressive position (~3+" of saddle-bar drop) and found the Flat Scoop to be a bit of an A** Hatchet. The Scoop Shallow and the Line Shallow are both comfy for me on the road, but I do prefer the Line's cutout channel for indoor trainer rides where comfort gets a little more picky.

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Keep in mind that the Fabric flat profile is designed for a very aero, sporty position.

The more curved Radius profile is for an upright position while the Shallow is somewhere in the middle.




https://fabric.cc/findyourfit/


-Tim-

Last edited by MagicHour; 04-12-19 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-12-19, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
  • I am currently trying the SQLabs 612 Ergowave Active. It has an elastomer that allows the saddle to move with your pedal movement. It also has three different saddle positions. I have high hopes, but I haven't had a long ride yet
Been riding this saddle for last couple months. I like it. Never been officially measured for a leg-length discrepancy but I think I have one; this seems to be working a wee bit better than the Fabric scoop I swapped out.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:22 PM
  #10  
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I love my Fabric. I think it's the in the middle one.

They have a comfort guarantee, you can return it if you don't like it.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:38 PM
  #11  
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I tried the first 3 on your list and the SLR Max Flow worked best for my road bike. It has the largest cutout, is lighter and has less padding than the Max Flite Gel Flow, but the SLR was more comfortable. I think the thicker gel padding was firmer on the Flite Gel Flow, and whenever I moved on the saddle I felt some pressure until the gel conformed to the new position, at least that's what I guessed was happening, and it was irritating, so I returned to REI after two 50 mile rides. The SLR Max Flow felt perfect on the first ride. I found a good price on a new SLR Max FLow at Chain Reaction Cycles and an even better price on an almost new one on my local craigslist.

Originally Posted by MichalisLaz View Post
Hello fellow riders,

i ride a Cannondale caad optimo 105. I believe i have found my position on the bike. I use my bike for commuting (not big route) and long rides on weekends. I have perineum pain on the longer rides, and it doesn't go away. I don't ride very aggressive, but not very relaxed as well.

I have made a list of possible saddles to buy, but i can't try them, so i might take my best shot in the dark.

selle italia flight max gel flow --> good reviews, very good local deal, looks kinda "fat"
selle italia SLR max flow --> very good reviews, big cutout
fabric scoop elite flat --> affordable with good reviews, looks slick
novus boost kit carbonio superflow --> quite expensive, "future of saddles?"
Pro Stealth Carbon --> same
shimano pro stealth--> chaper than above, same mindset
Specialized Power --> good reviews, good blood flow
Specialized Romin Evo Comp Gel --> good reviews, good blood flow

I know that saddles are very personal, but sharing your experience can be beneficial, even to what i am looking for exactly.

My sit bones are 130 mm (if i measured correctly).

Thank you in advance!!
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Old 04-13-19, 06:58 AM
  #12  
MichalisLaz
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
I have been struggling with the saddle wars this year. I was perfectly comfortable on the Power Expert saddle 155 for two years, but it is a one position saddle. I am doing some long events this year including 140 mile ride in June and I wanted to have more comfortable positions. Everyone is different when it comes to saddles, but here is what I learned...
  • I tried the Specialized Power Arc which has more curve than the Power and I couldn't stay on it. I kept sliding probably because I got the translucent color which is too slippery.
  • The Selle Itlaia SLR Max Gel Flow was OK, but it is super flat and it's only 145 wide and my sit bones are 130 so it was close, but it didn't work out.
  • The Pro Stealth in 152 is a beautiful saddle and I was comfortable on it. I got a saddle sore while using that saddle. I don't know if the Pro Stealth was the problem, but I didn't want to chance it.
  • Tried the Selle Anatomica leather saddle, but you have to tilt it up 3% nose up in order to not slide. My boys didn't like that.
  • I then went to the Specialized Power Pro Elaston. The most comfortable saddle I ever sat on up to 50 miles. The Elaston is super soft, but it was too soft. I did a 75 mile ride and the last 25 miles I had numb bum.
  • I am currently trying the SQLabs 612 Ergowave Active. It has an elastomer that allows the saddle to move with your pedal movement. It also has three different saddle positions. I have high hopes, but I haven't had a long ride yet.
  • If the SQlabs 612 Ergowave Active doesn't work out, I'm going back to the Pro Stealth and riding it until my bum adapts.
Here is a video how the SQLabs 612 active system works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWOevovZhO4
Thank you for the detailed response! The SQlab's technology seems compelling, but it's on the expensive side of the spectrum unfortunately. Also, 145 mm was narrow for you. I thought sit bone width+10mm should be the sweetspot for bying saddles. Should i go higher than +10?

Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Keep in mind that the Fabric flat profile is designed for a very aero, sporty position.

The more curved Radius profile is for an upright position while the Shallow is somewhere in the middle.




https://fabric.cc/findyourfit/


-Tim-
Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
I'll second that - you might want to have a look at the Fabric Line Shallow (Wide 142 width) instead for Perineum relief. I ride a moderately aggressive position (~3+" of saddle-bar drop) and found the Flat Scoop to be a bit of an A** Hatchet. The Scoop Shallow and the Line Shallow are both comfy for me on the road, but I do prefer the Line's cutout channel for indoor trainer rides where comfort gets a little more picky.
Thank you both, seems like i was looking at the wrong saddle. Im not going for the aero position, so the fabric lines elite shallow is better option.


Originally Posted by GailT View Post
I tried the first 3 on your list and the SLR Max Flow worked best for my road bike. It has the largest cutout, is lighter and has less padding than the Max Flite Gel Flow, but the SLR was more comfortable. I think the thicker gel padding was firmer on the Flite Gel Flow, and whenever I moved on the saddle I felt some pressure until the gel conformed to the new position, at least that's what I guessed was happening, and it was irritating, so I returned to REI after two 50 mile rides. The SLR Max Flow felt perfect on the first ride. I found a good price on a new SLR Max FLow at Chain Reaction Cycles and an even better price on an almost new one on my local craigslist.
That's good to know, the Max flight gel flow seemed a bit "too padded" and almost squishy when i saw one in person. Also, the sides drop a bit and that could cause friction?
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Old 04-13-19, 07:53 AM
  #13  
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I'm having good luck with my SMP Stratos saddle. SMP makes a lot of models and you have to select the model based on sit bone width. SMP estimates sit bone width by waist size. Of course waist size shouldn't include the extra weight you might be carrying. I use one of the narrowest widths. I would not try any model with less than their standard padding, like the Stratos. A seatpost with fine angle adjustment is a must. Post with only a few notches to select from don't cut it. I use a post with 2-bolt rocker style clamp.

https://www.sellesmp.com/en/saddle-finder.html
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Old 04-13-19, 07:53 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by MichalisLaz View Post
Thank you for the detailed response! The SQlab's technology seems compelling, but it's on the expensive side of the spectrum unfortunately. Also, 145 mm was narrow for you. I thought sit bone width+10mm should be the sweetspot for bying saddles. Should i go higher than +10?
I think 10mm is typically the minimum recommended overall differential between sitbones and saddle-width (which, splitting the difference means that your saddle's edge will only be 5mm out from your sitbone). Think about how what the saddle looks like/padding only 5mm in from the edge? I think it probably depends on the saddle brand and how upright or not you sit, but I would guess that 15-20mm differential would more often provide 'sweet spot' sizing.

Eg. from Fabric's site below. Curious that unless your sitbones are less than 100mm apart, their recommend is going with the 142mm width saddle.

"We have 3 saddle widths currently available; 134mm, 142mm and 155mm.
By far the most common size sold by ourselves and others is 142mm and reflects the majority of people out there.
-Those with sit bones of 100mm or less choose the 134mm (just the Line saddle)
-Those with sit bones over 100mm to 135mm, choose the Scoop or Line wide (except the Scoop Women’s Gel) -
Those with sit bones over 135mm, choose the Cell or Scoop Women’s Gel
Generally, you can go bigger but if you go thinner than your sit bones suggest, this can prove a little less comfortable."
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Old 04-13-19, 08:06 AM
  #15  
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Oh.. and for one of the more comprehensive write-ups of how one manufacturer recommends to determine optimal saddle-width for their saddles:
SQ LABS - Saddle Width
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Old 04-13-19, 09:45 AM
  #16  
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Basically, you have to Sit on it.

the bike shop here has a selection hanging on the wall and a box of 'take off saddles '
from new bikes bought that the customer wanted something other than OEM choice.

Locals, Older, tend to buy comfort not performance saddles ..

saddle companies suggest narrow in low posture , wide, if sitting uptight
45 degree ? somewhere in between..







....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-13-19 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-13-19, 12:22 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I think 10mm is typically the minimum recommended overall differential between sitbones and saddle-width (which, splitting the difference means that your saddle's edge will only be 5mm out from your sitbone). Think about how what the saddle looks like/padding only 5mm in from the edge? I think it probably depends on the saddle brand and how upright or not you sit, but I would guess that 15-20mm differential would more often provide 'sweet spot' sizing.

Eg. from Fabric's site below. Curious that unless your sitbones are less than 100mm apart, their recommend is going with the 142mm width saddle.

"We have 3 saddle widths currently available; 134mm, 142mm and 155mm.
By far the most common size sold by ourselves and others is 142mm and reflects the majority of people out there.
-Those with sit bones of 100mm or less choose the 134mm (just the Line saddle)
-Those with sit bones over 100mm to 135mm, choose the Scoop or Line wide (except the Scoop Women’s Gel) -
Those with sit bones over 135mm, choose the Cell or Scoop Women’s Gel
Generally, you can go bigger but if you go thinner than your sit bones suggest, this can prove a little less comfortable."

That's very informative. I 've reading so good feedback for Fabric's line shallow saddle. It may be what i need since i am not performance oriented, more recreational.

The other candidate i am considerning is the Specialized Romin Evo Comp Gel. They report very good relief and blood flow in the perinela area.
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Old 04-13-19, 08:04 PM
  #18  
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I like Selle Italia so I'd go for the SLR Max Flow. The overall contemporary Selle Italia design suits me. The max flow cutouts would relieve perineum pain.

BTW, with narrow sit bones I think the trick is to snug the ischial tuberosities as far back as they'll go from the nose to the flared rear *without* actually sitting on the padded flared rear. I will occasionally sit up on the padded flared rear part of the saddle for some situations, but my normal position is that small area just behind the nose and just ahead of the flare. It's easier to find that sweet spot with a minimally padded Selle Italia. The more padded SI's tend to obscure that sweet spot and setup is more crucial -- fore/aft and nose angle. Too much padding causes more problems for my narrow, bony butt. Weird but true.

But you may need to experiment with padded shorts. Mine range from minimally padded Aero Tech Pro with the thin black and tan microfiber pad (comparable to old school leather chamois) to the thick, dense and comfortable 3D pad in Przewalski shorts. The Black Bibs pad is somewhere between the two.

With my Selle Italia Q-Bik, one of their more thickly padded saddles with flexible shell, the thicker shorts/bib pads were uncomfortable. The thicker pad negates any benefit from the padded saddle and cut out. When I switched to the Aero Tech Pro with thinner pad, and tilted the nose down just a bit, it was much more comfortable, especially with an aero bar.

The other bike has the Selle Italia SLS Kit Carbonio with thinner, firmer padding and less flexible shell, I prefer the saddle level and more densely padded shorts and bibs. The saddle has no cutout but there's little perineum pressure with that setup.

BTW -- heresey, I know -- but I usually prefer to ride with compression shorts of thin wicking fabric under my cycling shorts and bibs. Tried both ways over the years and I'm consistently more comfortable with compression underwear. Fewer problems with perineum discomfort. And I don't use butt butter or balms, creams or ointments since switching from leather chamois to synthetic pads. The creams were just to keep the leather chamois supple.

I suspect the differences in comfort are due to anatomical factors. Try a pair of supportive wicking fabric compression undershorts for a few rides and see. I get fewer problems with perineum pressure, pinched scrotum, pulled hairs, etc. I'm not constantly tugging and tucking and rearranging stuff. And wicking fabric is wicking fabric. There's no reason why it would work any different with thin undershorts than with cycling shorts and pads. Just don't wear cotton undershorts. And avoid undershorts with seams in weird places.

Last edited by canklecat; 04-13-19 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 04-16-19, 06:59 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by MichalisLaz View Post
Hello fellow riders,

i ride a Cannondale caad optimo 105. I believe i have found my position on the bike. I use my bike for commuting (not big route) and long rides on weekends. I have perineum pain on the longer rides, and it doesn't go away. I don't ride very aggressive, but not very relaxed as well.

I have made a list of possible saddles to buy, but i can't try them, so i might take my best shot in the dark.

selle italia flight max gel flow --> good reviews, very good local deal, looks kinda "fat"
selle italia SLR max flow --> very good reviews, big cutout
fabric scoop elite flat --> affordable with good reviews, looks slick
novus boost kit carbonio superflow --> quite expensive, "future of saddles?"
Pro Stealth Carbon --> same
shimano pro stealth--> chaper than above, same mindset
Specialized Power --> good reviews, good blood flow
Specialized Romin Evo Comp Gel --> good reviews, good blood flow

I know that saddles are very personal, but sharing your experience can be beneficial, even to what i am looking for exactly.

My sit bones are 130 mm (if i measured correctly).

Thank you in advance!!
If you ride in an aggressive position (large saddle to bar drop) the Specialized Power is amazing.
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Old 04-16-19, 07:29 PM
  #20  
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The Selle Italia MAN saddle seems to fit a wide variety of riders, assuming you're male. The DIVA if not. Nice big slot down the middle, no perineum issues, and (this is the unusual thing) the nose is still narrow enough not to chafe. I have 3 of them on my bikes.
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Old 04-17-19, 09:25 AM
  #21  
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@MichalisLaz Once you're done, I'm interested in hearing what saddle you settled on and why. Thank you.
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