Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Saddle dilemma - how much do you trust the butt measurers?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Saddle dilemma - how much do you trust the butt measurers?

Old 02-05-10, 06:19 AM
  #1  
damnable
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Aus
Posts: 635
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saddle dilemma - how much do you trust the butt measurers?

This post comes with a bit of a story. My bike was second hand and it's my first raod bike. I test road it with a different saddle than it was sold with, so I replaced it initially with a Bontrager InForm R WSD after using the Bontrager sizing seat which is meant to tell you the correct saddle size for you. According to the Bontrager website, the women's saddles come in three widths (140, 150 and 160mm) which I've only found out recently. When I was sized they only seemed to have the 140 and 160 options, which I ended up falling in between, but closer to the 140mm so I went with that.

It was find to start off with but only in the last 1-2 months I started taking riding more seriously with more frequent and longer rides and I found I could only last ~40 without my front bits giving grief. Saddle adjustments didn't cut it, so I started looking for another saddle. At this time I also discovered that Bontrager (on their website) says the R saddle is more for off road use, something that wasn't on the original packaging.

So I started looking for used ones on ebay and find a Bontrager InForm RL WSD. The RL seem to get much better reviews than the R. The size wasn't originally listed on the sale so I sent in a question asking about the size and the reply was that it was a 150mm, which I thought would be perfect considering when I was sized I came in between the 140 and 160mm. I won the auction.

The saddle arrives, but while attaching it I noticed it's actually a 160mm. Hmm. I figure since it's in my hands I may as well give it a test ride on the trainer. After an hour my front bits are fine (yay). My seatbone area is a little tender but I'm not sure if that may be due to a the wrong size or my newbie butt is just getting used to the road bike and saddle in general.

So my dilemma is, should I try and return the saddle considering technically it classifies as 'not as described'? I won't be able to replace it with a 150mm but only get my money back. The saddle also doesn't correspond with what the Bontrager arse measuring device is telling me. Alternataively, when saddles are too wide, what are the common symptoms of this so I might self diagnose.

Last edited by damnable; 02-05-10 at 06:29 AM.
damnable is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 06:31 AM
  #2  
RacerOne
Hills hurt.. Couches kill
 
RacerOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brazil, IN
Posts: 3,370

Bikes: 1991 Specialized Sirrus Triple, 2010 Trek Madone 6.5 Project One, 2012 Cannondale Caad10, 2013 Trek Crockett

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Specialized Alias sizing was spot on, saddle was right from the start. I have the Inform RL as well, in the 146mm, it's taking me a while but I'm slowly getting used to it (only three road rides so far) but it seems as if it will be ok.

I'd return the 160mm to the seller, or just ebay it yourself.

Most saddles (including the Informs) have a 30 day or so return policy if you don't like it so go to a different bike shop than the one that greedily sold you what they had in stock and get the 150mm, you'll probably love it.

A too wide saddle could put undue pressure on the area between your sit bones causing sorness. It could also end up rubbing the insides of your thighs and chaffing.
RacerOne is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 06:36 AM
  #3  
DXchulo
Upgrading my engine
 
DXchulo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alamogordo
Posts: 6,218
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If the saddle is too narrow, the sit bones will hang over the sides, and the soft tissues will bear the load. If the saddle is too wide, it is likely to cause chafing of the inner thigh, especially in hot weather.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

I wouldn't trust the ass-o-meter as gospel. In the end saddles always come down to trial and error. If the saddle wasn't that expensive, personally I'd just try it and see what happens. If you already rode it an hour on the trainer and it was fine, that's a promising sign. It's much harder to be comfortable on the trainer than out on the road.
DXchulo is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 06:48 AM
  #4  
jrobe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Buttmeter = gimmick.

This is the reason they invented Ebay. I think I have gone through about 8-10 saddles on Ebay after falling for the Specialized buttmeter gimmick once. Fortunately, you can buy and sell on Ebay for very little cost.
jrobe is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 07:05 AM
  #5  
roshea
Señor Member
 
roshea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Saddle width doesn't adequately describe saddle shape - the roundness or flatness of a saddle at different points, as well as its profile front to back, are also important (among other variables).
roshea is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 07:45 AM
  #6  
BarryJo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: No. Central Ma. USA
Posts: 2,669

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO DA; 09 Giant TCR Advanced SL; 07 Giant TCR Advanced

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
When I got measured for a Specialized Toupe saddle, the Craigslist seller asked me to strip naked.
Is this normal for an accurate fit?
Just wonderin'

edit; it must be because it's the best fitting saddle I ever rode
BarryJo is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 07:56 AM
  #7  
Pilsley
Senior Member
 
Pilsley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 337
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BarryJo View Post
When I got measured for a Specialized Toupe saddle, the Craigslist seller asked me to strip naked.
Is this normal for an accurate fit?
Just wonderin'
Depends,

Were they still on the other side of the www, or in the room with you!!

Good saddle interaction is small part finding something you like, big part putting ever increasing miles on it.
Pilsley is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 07:57 AM
  #8  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,305

Bikes: Venge, R5, Shiv, Lynskey and a few more

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 506 Post(s)
Liked 592 Times in 282 Posts
The Bontrager buttmeter said I would be best served by a mid-sized saddle (in the 140mm range). Got one and it was meh. Went back to a saddle in the 130mm range and am much happier. So no, the ass meters ("you CAN say ass on BF") are not that good, IMO.
guadzilla is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 10:06 AM
  #9  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
The Bontrager buttmeter said I would be best served by a mid-sized saddle (in the 140mm range). Got one and it was meh. Went back to a saddle in the 130mm range and am much happier. So no, the ass meters ("you CAN say ass on BF") are not that good, IMO.
Those meters really only work for their own saddles. Was it a Bontrager saddle in the 140 range? You went back to a Bontrager saddle in the 130 range? Not saying that if the size is correct it will automatically be a comfortable saddle because the shape and how you sit on it still come into play, but there is no real size consistency between brands.
umd is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 10:21 AM
  #10  
RazorWind
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The specialized butt-o-meter thing worked for me. The Toupe I bought is spot on.
RazorWind is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 10:22 AM
  #11  
baribari
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The buttmeter is there to make sure someone who thinks they need a 150 but actually needs a 130 doesn't waste their time and money. Bone structure doesn't always line up with exterior size. But I think it's more useful as a general guideline. Combine that with the fact that Bontrager has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, and you should be golden...
baribari is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 10:55 AM
  #12  
Hot Potato
Senior Member
 
Hot Potato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Western Chicagoland
Posts: 1,821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Blessed with an indescriminate ass, myself. Never had a saddle that was bad. In on this thread because the butt-meter concept is interesting to me.
Hot Potato is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 11:09 AM
  #13  
guadzilla
Pointy Helmet Tribe
 
guadzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Offthebackistan
Posts: 4,305

Bikes: Venge, R5, Shiv, Lynskey and a few more

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 506 Post(s)
Liked 592 Times in 282 Posts
Originally Posted by umd View Post
Those meters really only work for their own saddles. Was it a Bontrager saddle in the 140 range? You went back to a Bontrager saddle in the 130 range? Not saying that if the size is correct it will automatically be a comfortable saddle because the shape and how you sit on it still come into play, but there is no real size consistency between brands.
I got a Bonty RXL that was 146 - I started having what felt like a pinched nerve on my left buttock (actually had posted about this a couple of months ago). Then I gave up on it, and went to a narrower saddle (a SLC and an SLR-clone).

I didnt know that different saddles measured width differently. Still, pretty big difference between a 131mm SLR and a 146mm RXL, regardless of size inconsistencies.

V.
guadzilla is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 11:25 AM
  #14  
umd
Banned
 
umd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 28,387

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tarmac SL, Giant TCR Composite, Specialized StumpJumper Expert HT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Well like I said, even if a saddle is the right "size" it doesn't mean it will be a good fit. There is a lot more to a saddle than just the width.
umd is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 11:57 AM
  #15  
Grumpy McTrumpy
gmt
 
Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 12,509
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by damnable View Post
It was find to start off with but only in the last 1-2 months I started taking riding more seriously with more frequent and longer rides and I found I could only last ~40 without my front bits giving grief. Saddle adjustments didn't cut it, so I started looking for another saddle.
probably the most important fact.

Originally Posted by damnable View Post
At this time I also discovered that Bontrager (on their website) says the R saddle is more for off road use, something that wasn't on the original packaging.
not really relevant



Originally Posted by damnable View Post
The saddle arrives, but while attaching it I noticed it's actually a 160mm. Hmm. I figure since it's in my hands I may as well give it a test ride on the trainer. After an hour my front bits are fine (yay).
never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Originally Posted by damnable View Post
My seatbone area is a little tender but I'm not sure if that may be due to a the wrong size or my newbie butt is just getting used to the road bike and saddle in general.
bingo.


Originally Posted by damnable View Post

So my dilemma is, should I try and return the saddle considering technically it classifies as 'not as described'? I won't be able to replace it with a 150mm but only get my money back. The saddle also doesn't correspond with what the Bontrager arse measuring device is telling me.
you want to return something that (by accident) works better than what you have? who cares what the numbers are...

Originally Posted by damnable View Post
Alternataively, when saddles are too wide, what are the common symptoms of this so I might self diagnose.
does it interfere with the free motion of your legs?
Grumpy McTrumpy is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 12:14 PM
  #16  
baribari
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All of the InForm saddles have different curvatures for each size. The narrower the saddle, the more curve it has, in order to supposedly fit your bones and such better.
baribari is offline  
Old 02-05-10, 12:24 PM
  #17  
bwunger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kent, WA
Posts: 315

Bikes: '07 Specialized Tarmac Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought my specialized with a 143 width Alias and it seemed fine though it wasn't really comfortable. When I was buying my Toupe I decided to have them measure my sit bones and it said I should go with the 130. I did, and I find it's even better so for me, it worked.
bwunger is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Panza
Fitting Your Bike
21
03-12-17 07:03 AM
reqm
Road Cycling
29
09-15-14 11:27 AM
pauld3
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
10
05-27-13 05:25 PM
Vicelord
Road Cycling
29
10-12-11 06:35 PM
deep_sky
Road Cycling
7
04-21-10 08:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.