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Saddles for centuries

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Saddles for centuries

Old 02-19-06, 02:17 PM
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cheeseflavor
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Saddles for centuries

I'm looking for recommendations for saddles for those really long rides. I'm currently riding a Specialized Alias 143, and while I really, really like the saddle, but does cause some soreness after a few hours (4 or more) in the saddle.

My wife recently picked up a Koobi AU Enduro and seems to like it. I tried it, though granted only for an hour on the trainer, and for me it was not comfortable at all. Brooks saddles are out. Been there, done that. Tried one for 500 miles and it just never worked out.

Weight, while important, isn't the biggest consideration for me. I've had issues with numbness, and the cutout saddles seem to work the best for me. I've also had issues with herniated discs, so some shock absorbency helps.

Some saddles I've been looking at include:

Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow
Koobi PRS
Maybe one of the WTB road saddles
Terry Fly Ti

Any feedback on any of the above or any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 02:35 PM
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The Brooks B17!!

A saddle for centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, tours, commutes, and just riding around!!


500 miles really isn't enough time to break a Brooks in ... mine just started to break in at that point. There is 20,000+ kms on the saddle in the photo and it is COMFY!!
.
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Old 02-19-06, 02:41 PM
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I have the Flite Gel Flow (non Max version) - haven't done anything major long with it yet, but seems it will likely work well. Ask me again in about 6 weeks.
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Old 02-19-06, 02:43 PM
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i've sat on both a selle italia flite (non gel) and a san marco titanio strada on more 100+ rides than i care to remember.
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Old 02-19-06, 02:52 PM
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I use a San Marco Arrowhead GelAround. No soreness at all.
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Old 02-19-06, 03:22 PM
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I'm in the same boat, and currently have a Specialized 143 as well. After about 40 miles, it starts the butt burn.

I've also tried a cheap Velo (it came on my new bike) and it seems to be good for another 10-20 miles past the Specialized, but it still gets the burn going. It is a good bit skinnier than the Specialized 143, so I'm thinking a smaller saddle will work better for me. (My pain seems to come from chafing on the sides of the seat)

A friend is about to loan me a Selle to try, I'll let you know how that works.

I've also found a used Terry for $50 that I may buy. Again, stay tuned.

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Old 02-19-06, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
The Brooks B17!!
500 miles really isn't enough time to break a Brooks in ... mine just started to break in at that point. There is 20,000+ kms on the saddle in the photo and it is COMFY!!
.
You know, there were some things that I really liked about the brooks (mine was the B.17 Champion Special). I liked that it was smooth and I could move around on it easily. I just couldn't stay on it for long periods of time without the junk going numb. Actually, numbness would set in after only about 15 minutes and would last for a few hours after the ride.

500 miles was enough for me

Thanks for the reply though!

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cuda2k
I have the Flite Gel Flow (non Max version) - haven't done anything major long with it yet, but seems it will likely work well. Ask me again in about 6 weeks.
Will do! Thanks!

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
I use a San Marco Arrowhead GelAround. No soreness at all.
Hmmm... never thought of the Selle San Marco's. Is it This one here? Interesting looking saddle.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 03:39 PM
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I love my Alias 143! I hate my selle italie flite. Wanna trade? pm me if interested.
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Old 02-19-06, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
I love my Alias 143! I hate my selle italie flite. Wanna trade? pm me if interested.
Nacho.
Thanks for the offer, but I plan on keeping the Alias around for a bit at least. I still really like the saddle, and rides under 40 miles are easy and painfree with it. More than that though...

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cheeseflavor
Hmmm... never thought of the Selle San Marco's. Is it This one here? Interesting looking saddle.

Thanks!

Steve
Not quite that one. It's this one and it's really comfy. On my bike...\/ \/
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Old 02-19-06, 05:51 PM
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Everyone's butt is different. I _hated_ my Selle Italia Max Flite Gel so much that I got fed up and redirected my training ride one day to the LBS to change seats. I gave it to one of the guys in the shop (only had about 100 miles on it) and he loves it. To each their own.
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Old 02-19-06, 08:27 PM
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I've ridden my cheap Lookin RoyaleGel whatever saddle on a couple of centuries with no pain or soreness whatsoever. I guess it just fits my ass.

You just have to find something that fits you. Only your butt can tell you which saddle that is.
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Old 02-19-06, 08:33 PM
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Hmm I was running the Avatar on my Salsa and it was pretty comfy even on 6+ hour rides...I am not sure you are going to really be COMFORTABLE with any saddle after 6 hours. Sure you have seen the photos but my Roubaix is rocking the Toupe and it seems firmer but still comfortable...not sure I would give up on the Alias.
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Old 02-19-06, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucky07
You just have to find something that fits you. Only your butt can tell you which saddle that is.
+1
I had to dump the saddle that came with my Cannondale almost immediately. I sorted through the box of old saddles at the LBS and found an old Selle San Marco for $30. Much better.
I think you're going to be a little sore after a century no matter what. I would think twice about dropping big bucks on a fancy saddle without having tried it, unless your LBS is cool with exchanges.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:12 PM
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B-17 vote here. Although new and only using it for 3 rides since Jan., 35, 40, 50, not one bit of numbness and no burn. Then again, I do a butt and body wiggle every 5 miles or so to keep any aches or pains away. Of course some knee bends and stretching at the 20 mile mark.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:42 PM
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Of the 4 saddles you have mentioned, I have extensively used the Max Flite with the cut out. I like the shape and smooth texture, and it is very comfortable. My only complaints are that the saddle can get overly flexible (in my opinion) after a lot of use, and it sometimes seems like the elastomers between the rails and saddle base can get kind of squeaky - perhaps due to the excessive flex.

On a whim, I had tried switching to the Flite Gel since I see so many of them on the road. I didn't like the narrower profile or the embroidery on the cover. After a year on the Flite Gel, I switched to a second, new Max Flite Gel. I was wondering why I had ever switched. It just felt so comfy. However, the second saddle also flexed a lot and squeaked after extended use.

On my most recent bike, I swapped out the Selle Italia C2 saddle for a Fizik Aliante. The Aliante is generally pretty comfortable, and it is definitely quieter than the Max Flite. However the Aliante is not as comfortable for extended riding on the flats unless I get out of the saddle periodically. The Aliante's cover is so slippery that I have to angle the nose up slightly to prevent sliding forward and bracing myself excessively with my upper body. So... my next saddle might be the Selle Italia Flite XP (if it is still available), or... back to the Max Flite. I'll just deal with replacing it more often. I wonder if the Max Flite without the cut out would not get as flexy as quickly?

For reference, I am 215 pounds dammit - gotta get out of the Clydesdale Division this year! I like to ride metric centuries or longer during the riding season. I've never been measured with the Specialized Buttometer, but my impression* is that I have a wider pelvic structure (not just a fat ass). And by impression, I'm not referring to the one on the couch... although I did 22 miles today before my water bottle froze shut! So at least I'm out there trying...
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Old 02-19-06, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Hmm I was running the Avatar on my Salsa and it was pretty comfy even on 6+ hour rides...I am not sure you are going to really be COMFORTABLE with any saddle after 6 hours. Sure you have seen the photos but my Roubaix is rocking the Toupe and it seems firmer but still comfortable...not sure I would give up on the Alias.
Nah... not giving up on it. I've got well over a thousand miles on this one. Just always in search of the "magic" saddle. I've tried quite a few, including the Avatar, Toupe, Brooks, Koobi and the Alias has been the best so far. I just know it started to get a bit, um, uncomfortable after 4 hours.

The Toupe was comfortable... very comfortable as a matter of fact. I liked it the minute I sat on it, but an hour or two on the trainer and I could tell it didn't have quite enough give for a guy my size I guess.

Take care,

Steve
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Old 02-19-06, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cheeseflavor
I'm looking for recommendations for saddles for those really long rides. I'm currently riding a Specialized Alias 143, and while I really, really like the saddle, but does cause some soreness after a few hours (4 or more) in the saddle.

My wife recently picked up a Koobi AU Enduro and seems to like it. I tried it, though granted only for an hour on the trainer, and for me it was not comfortable at all. Brooks saddles are out. Been there, done that. Tried one for 500 miles and it just never worked out.

Weight, while important, isn't the biggest consideration for me. I've had issues with numbness, and the cutout saddles seem to work the best for me. I've also had issues with herniated discs, so some shock absorbency helps.

Some saddles I've been looking at include:

Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow
Koobi PRS
Maybe one of the WTB road saddles
Terry Fly Ti

Any feedback on any of the above or any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Steve
I've been using the Koobi PRS for just about a year now. I love it. I used to use the Selle Italia Trans Am Max. The PRS is about the same shape, but I love the suspension in the PRS that takes some of the road out. I 've done several centuries on it and I've got nothing but good good things to say about it. It's fairly light with Ti rails and the PRS suspension. They have a 30 day money back guarantee. Try it out.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:55 PM
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Selle San Marco Rolls, esp. the titanium-railed one. I don't know if they are still being made, but you can find them on eBay pretty regularly, usually for $50 or less.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:20 PM
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My choice ... Terry Men's Firefly. Very comfy.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:55 PM
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Huh, Burn? Numbness you say.....

Not possible to ride centuries without them...? Que?

*Scratches head*.... Oh yes,.. i seem to recall now! I had that.. Before i had Brooks!

Now, i feel i could ride for days without any pain.

B17, Flyer or B66 any of those work great for me. It is true, some people break in Brooks at 50 miles, for some it may seem to take forever. But the vast majority (not all!) of people that stick with it manage it and never want anything else again.
What also seems universal, even if one breaks them in at 30 miles the seem to only get better over time untill finally they 'dissapear', one is not even aware of the saddle.

Width (and hence model selection) is paramount though! Anyone who want to give Brooks another go, read the 'How is your Brooks' thread for measuring directions.

But if you just can't get used to them/don't like them, fair enough. But i say it is worth a serious try (anything up to 2000 miles) before giving up on them. What is 2000 miles if you can then ride what might be the comfiest and most durable you ever had for another 30 years..
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Old 02-20-06, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by HigherGround
....I didn't like the narrower profile or the embroidery on the cover.

.....
I'm with you - embroidery is a pain in the butt. It is like placing a branding iron in an area that takes pounding and hammers it into your rear end. I don't need logos or fancy stitching where the saddle should be smooth.
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Old 02-20-06, 12:15 AM
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San Marco Regal Very comfortable and looks that kill.

The seatrails also have more adjustment than your average seat. Weight ranges from 300grams for Ti to 380grams for the classic ones made long time ago. If you can live with that, get one. You'll love it.
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