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The Bottom Line on Saddles

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The Bottom Line on Saddles

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Old 04-27-03, 08:54 AM
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Barnaby
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The Bottom Line on Saddles

Common consensus is that you cannot infer much from what bike or components the pros use on the classics and the Tour de France since huge sponsorship MONEY is involved, to the extent that some have suggested, that brands have been altered and re-decaled to please the sponsors. The one component that might not be prostituted is the saddle since I cannot imagine someone riding for 22 days almost in a row for thousands of kilos on anything less than what his or her butt approves of. So, what do the pros use, anybody know? The buck stops here! and afterall the nuts are not supposed to be ball bearings for the rear end.
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Old 04-27-03, 08:58 AM
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Kev
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What does it matter what they use? Everyone's anatomy is different, so what work for Lance Armstrong, might not work for you.
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Old 04-27-03, 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Kev
what work for Lance Armstrong, might not work for you.
Are you stating that becasue Lance only has one nut?

Seriously, I think that he wants to know what riders who have to have both comfort and performance are using.

Unfortunately, and per usual, I have no real answers - just smart-a$$ remarks.
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Old 04-27-03, 09:36 AM
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What does it matter what they use? Everyone's anatomy is different, so what work for Lance Armstrong, might not work for you.
So, according to you Kev, recommendations in this area are of no use because anotomically we are not the same. This suggests that we have two choices: 1-to go to the rare LBS that allows a trial period with a return policy, and test various saddles, or 2-to spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of $100 and hope for the best.

The problem with this is that most LBS will not allow for #1. By the time you have broken a saddle in to find out whether it works for you, the LBS does not want it back for the simple reason that you as customer will not want to pay new price for someone else's used saddle.

As well the price people are paying for saddles is what we used to pay for complete bikes, it is natural to do some research before buying.

If a riding companion purchases any new component I usually ask him or her how they find it, and that advice will influence my next purchase. Of course, I do allow for the fact that they are different physically, and also may want to defend their expenditure.

The bottom line is advice is advice, some is useful and some is not. The kind that is not is the kind that says that no advice is pertinent since we all are different. Actually, we are much more the same in anatomy than we are different anyway.

On a more positive note: Are any of the pros using Brooks or other leather saddles, or does the weight penalty discount them? I understand that some use clincher tyres in Paris-Roubaix, so I was wonderig if they may use a more forgiving saddle as well. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-03, 09:44 AM
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You asked what the pro's used, not what we thought or what we used. Saddles are very personal, and every has there only one they like the best. I have never used a brooks saddle, but virtualy everyone who has used them loves them. They have a longer break in period then other saddles but will also last longer then other saddles.
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Old 04-27-03, 01:38 PM
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I belive that Lance Armstrong uses a san marco era.
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Old 04-27-03, 03:25 PM
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OK, guys-I'm gonna let you in on a poorly guarded secret about TdF bikes: Chances are, no matter what the brand on any component is, the actual part was custom-made. I know that derailleurs are commonly custom-made from some off-the-shelf parts, and some custom-machined parts. Tyres are often special-ordered and built just for the one team (almost always by Veloflex, BTW), and then, another manufacturer's name is put on it. I'm nearly certain this applies to saddles, too.
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Old 04-27-03, 03:46 PM
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Didn't Lance ride a litespeed frame with trek stickers on it?
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Old 04-27-03, 04:35 PM
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Since Lance started winning the tour, there is absolutely no way that he was riding litespeed. I work for a trek dealer and without a doubt all the bikes that he has riden in the Tour de France since 1999 have been trek OCLV frames. For start, litespeed only makes ti, no carbon and if you look at all the bikes he's ridden with a trek logo on them, they have the smooth "flowy" joints which is a signature of carbon fibre.

But back to the main question, unfortunatly i don't have models (which doesnt' matter b/c they probably are custom modified, but in any case.)

AG2R: Fi'zi:k
Alessio: "
iBanesto: Selle Italia
Bonjour: Selle San Marco
Credit Agricole: Selle Italia
Cofidis: Selle San Marco
CSC-Tiscali: Selle Italia
Deutsche Telekom: "
Domo-Farm Frites: "
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Selle Bassano
Fassa Bortolo: Selle Italia
La Fancaise des Jeux: "
Kelme-Costa Blanca: "
Lampre-Daikin: Selle San Marco
Lotto-Adecco: Selle Italia
Mapei-Quick Step: Selle San Marco
Once- Eroski: Selle Italia
Rabobank: Selle San Marco
Saeco-Longoni Sport: Fi'zi:k
Tacconi Sport-Emmegi: Selle Italia
U.S. Postal Service: Selle San Marco

This is nice to know and it give you an idea of the main competition, but do keep in mind as everyone else has said, just b/c the pros use it doesn't mean you will like it, or you may not have access to the exact same saddle.
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Old 04-27-03, 04:56 PM
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If trek told you that they are bsing you. Lance rode a litespeed once in the time trials during the '99 tour. If you look at the picture it is obvious that it is a modified blade. You can tell by the tube profiles in pictures that it is clearly not a CF frame. Note that in before '99 trek did not even make a carbon TT frame. All the bikes he rode from 00' on were stock OCLV treks. I asked Robbie about this once and he assured me that was true. Nowadays trek is very particular about their team riders using their sponsors' products, including wheels and other components.
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Old 04-27-03, 04:59 PM
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Oh yes, I'm very sorry, I didn't take the TT bike into account. Trek only made their CF TT bike for I beleive it was the 01' tour. But in any case, I was talking about the regular 5500 and 5900 bikes.
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Old 04-28-03, 08:33 AM
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I believe that Lance uses a Concor type saddle
with the raised back end (of the saddle. . . )
or at least thats what he was riding last year.

One thing is for sure, none of the pro's are riding
Brooks. . .
and fwiw the break in on a brooks isn't that bad,
should be comfortable right out of the box, and
only get more comfortable.


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Old 04-29-03, 06:40 AM
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One thing is for sure, none of the pro's are riding
Brooks. .
Well, of course not!!! Brooks wouldn't be sponsoring anybody!
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Old 04-29-03, 07:23 AM
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I have a similar question about pedal systems and shoes.

Does anyone know if any company or organization ever really surveyed the teams and riders to find out what the most popular or near popular shoe is?

What's the most popular pedal system? I'll accept anyone guesses also.

Thanks. Because the tour is so long and so competitve, comfort and performance must be stressed in shoe selection. If it works for the pros, it will work for me.
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Old 04-29-03, 02:20 PM
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If Lance is using a Selle San Marco Era saddle I feel sorry for his butt. Thats what came on my Trek, it lasted one ride. Worst saddle I ever used.
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Old 04-30-03, 08:24 AM
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It probably didnt work well for you because it did not match your anatomy or riding preferences. Just because a saddle does not work for YOU doesn't make it a bad saddle. Me and a couple other of my team members use that seat and we put in a lot of miles on them. I could also name numerous professional riders who swear by them. Its really not an issue of saddle construction but more personnal preference and fit. EX. a terry Fly women's saddle would probably be excrutiatingly painful for a 210 lb. man to ride. Does that make it a bad saddle? no. It makes it a bad fit.
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