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What do you look for in a saddle?

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What do you look for in a saddle?

Old 05-27-08, 11:12 PM
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RT
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What do you look for in a saddle?

I have noticed a recent trend in this forum where about 99.99% of new bike purchases end with the new owner ripping the saddle off of the new steed in an expletive-laced rage. I own three bikes and ride the stock saddles without issue. I rode the stock saddle on my Giant to Dallas in eight days and didn't encounter a problem. I have purchased a new saddle because it matches the color scheme of my bike, and it was at deep discount. It's comfortable, but no more so than the ones which came with my bikes. I tried a gel saddle when I first got back on two wheels, and it's true what they say - it's actually less comfortable because it is too soft.

Some things I must have in a saddle: A cutout (not just an indentation) in the perineal area, wide enough, but not too wide for my narrow-ass sit bones, and something cool looking (black, red or yellow). That's about it.

I'm simply curious - what do you look for in a saddle? Why are stock saddles so atrocious, and can you provide examples?
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Old 05-27-08, 11:15 PM
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I look for something that will customize to fit me ... I look for a leather saddle ... I look for a Brooks.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:49 PM
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I think you're seeing the people who change the saddle because the stock saddle was killing them in someway or another. and the people who stick to stock don't speak out much.

me, I had to deal with a lot of chafing (too wide and too much padding) on one and another one that was a complete hatchet (too narrow). brooks is pretty good, but specialized BG are better on wet days as well as providing the same level of comfort for my butt.

bontrager/trek saddles are horrid, but specialized bikes come with specialized BG saddles so I would be able to live with that. Saddles that come with cannondales are ridable, but nothing spectacular.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
Saddles that come with cannondales are ridable, but nothing spectacular.
Sez you ()! I really liked the saddle that came with my CAAD 9. Selle San Marco Forza, I think. 10 months after I got the bike, I got a Fizik Arione purely because I hadn't upgraded or changed anything on the bike (stupid, I know). The Arione is working nicely for me, but I'm never throwing away that stock Cannondale saddle.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:02 AM
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That's my point though. If people are uncomfortable on these saddles, it is evidently not because of bike fit, seatpost height or anything else than can be adjusted to remedy an uncomfortable sit position. If it's the saddle itself, what is it? Too soft, hard, narrow, wide, long, girthy. My MTBs both came with WTB saddles. Nothing special. Deep cut in the middle, not too wide, not too soft. The Fuji came with a 'Fuji' saddle, which only has an indentation, and was replaced.

Are these Trek and Bontrager saddles covered in spikes and acid? What makes them so bad? That's the crux of the curiosity. Maybe I just got lucky and WTB is not a bad piece to sit on.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:05 AM
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Something to stop the seatpost from impaling my anus.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:23 AM
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06 allez with stock saddle. have no problems.

might get a toupe, just coz.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by shakeNbake View Post
Something to stop the seatpost from impaling my anus.
winner!
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Old 05-28-08, 12:31 AM
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dunno, it's certainly in how the saddle is designed, specialized alias and toupe are very flat, not extremely stiff or squishy for instance. For me, I think it's the width, flatness and hammock features that I like. cut out helped, but I had another specialized BG saddle that had no cut out, just indented and very flat that I could ride comfortably, can't remember the name, but it was all white.
Cannondale's saddle aren't any of these, but I could ride it without pain.
I should rephrase about bontrager saddles, I haven't ridden them, but search and you'll find enough posts that say the users felt painful sitting on them.

The saddles that I hated were too narrow, too much padding, too round or had too much gel in the wrong place. I have a set of sugoi shorts with thick gel which doesn't work at all for me, no matter which saddle I may be using. I think the thick gel in the wrong place is just one size too narrow for my sit bones, or I slip on the saddle changing the effective pressure points.

Interestingly, too wide doesn't seem to be a problem except when sitting far back on the saddle where I can feel the inner boney area start to knock/chafe the saddle
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Old 05-28-08, 12:31 AM
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I can ride anything. I can ride the saddle that came stock with my trek 1000 on a century even. Just about ~140mm width is about right I think.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:42 AM
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comfort
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Old 05-28-08, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vic32amg View Post
comfort
For me that translates into the words "Specialized" and "Toupe"

My Bontrager Race saddle that came stock was ok for sub 2 hour rides but the Toupe is in a league of it's own. I initially changed because of numbness on rides over 4 hours. I had the fit pretty much dialed in by then so I changed the saddle.
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