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Saddle purchase

Old 02-17-11, 08:16 PM
  #1  
kate2
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Saddle purchase

Hello!
I am looking to upgrade my current saddle to another. I currently have a San Marco saddle that came with my entry level Jamis bike. Unfortunately, I don't think it was designed specifically for females and it can get very uncomfortable after the first hour (even with cycling shorts). Few questions..
1. Would seats that are built for females be better?
2. Purchasing on ebay? I found this one... https://cgi.ebay.com/Womens-Selle-Ita...item35b00e153c ..anyone know if it that is a good deal? Any good brands to look on ebay for? (I am a college student so I am trying to not spend too much on a new saddle)

I would appreciate any help! Thanks guys!

Last edited by kate2; 02-17-11 at 08:17 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 02-17-11, 09:41 PM
  #2  
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i'll take a shot. you may find a women specific saddle more comfortable. but the only way to really know is to try one for a while. you may try to find a cycling group in your area and speak to the women riders there. someone may have a saddle you could try and may possibly sell. as for the one on ebay. who knows how much the reserve is and how good the saddle is. you could google it and read reviews but those are not always reliable. good luck
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Old 02-17-11, 09:54 PM
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If you don't have a lot of money then don't gamble on saddles that you haven't tried. Ask around at local bike shops until you find one with a saddle demo program. Or if you ride in a group ask around to see if somebody has a spare that they would let you try. A women's saddle may work better for you, but don't be afraid to try a mens or unisex. Finding a comfortable saddle is priceless, probably more important than any other upgrade you could make.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:55 PM
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Visit the following site, read info on saddle fit. https://www.wekeepyoucycling.com/en/

Check local cycling shops and see if they have any women specific saddles you can try. If it's a good shop, and you're reasonable, they will try to get you on something that is comfortable and is a good value. Just going by cost on eboy doesn't work unless you already know that the saddle will fit.
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Old 02-17-11, 11:16 PM
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When I first started riding a lot, I spent a lot of time, money and energy finding a more confortable women's specific saddle. After several failed experiments (including a big pink thing that looked more like a bar stool than a saddle), I settled on a Terry Butterfly. It was not cheap but it was (and still is) very comfortable.

After riding for a year or so, while I was on vacation I rode a borrowed mens bike with a little narrow racing saddle. Not only was it comfortable, but it weighed about half what my Terry does. Since then I have experimented some more and basically found that my bottom is far more accepting than it was when I started. My theories as to why are that 1) My position on the bike is now more balanced so I do not put as much wieght on the seat. 2.) I am stronger and pedal harder and longer without coasting breaks - effectively take weight off the seat. 3) My bottom just generally got less sensitive. My point is just that if I had waited a while before splurging on multiple saddles, I might not have needed to bother - my body adapted. Right now I would honestly say the type of chamois in my cycling shorts has more impact on comfort than the saddle.
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Old 02-18-11, 04:32 AM
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I prefer a men's Brooks B17.


Regarding the Terry Butterfly ... one of those things came with the tandem we just bought. What a horrible, nasty, agonisingly painful saddle. The longest I've managed on it was 55 km and everything down below either went into extreme pins and needles or felt like someone had lit me on fire. That cutout is so badly designed ... it has you sitting right on your soft bits. After a few really terrible rides with it, I changed it out to one of my Brooks ... what a difference! Give me a Brooks any day!!

And I'm not sure if the link is to the Lady Selle Italia, but if it is, that was another bad saddle for me. It wasn't too bad to sit on for shorter distances (didn't leave me feeling like the Butterfly did), but I ended up with lower back pain because it is too flat for me. I need a saddle that curves up in the back a bit.

It would probably be a good idea to experiment with a few saddles until you discover what works.
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Old 02-18-11, 05:12 AM
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you probably want to avoid internet purchase unless you are 100% firm that you'll like it.

go to a local shop and ask for loaner if they have it, I end up returning a couple before I settle on my current saddle. It would help a lot if the place you go have a no hassle return policy.

quest for a good saddle is often harder than buying a bike
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Old 02-18-11, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by iam7head View Post
go to a local shop and ask for loaner if they have it, I end up returning a couple before I settle on my current saddle. It would help a lot if the place you go have a no hassle return policy.
A decent shop will give you at least a week to try a saddle, a good shop will give you a month ... the best give you 6 months.
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Old 02-18-11, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I prefer a men's Brooks B17.


Regarding the Terry Butterfly ... one of those things came with the tandem we just bought. What a horrible, nasty, agonisingly painful saddle. The longest I've managed on it was 55 km and everything down below either went into extreme pins and needles or felt like someone had lit me on fire. That cutout is so badly designed ... it has you sitting right on your soft bits. After a few really terrible rides with it, I changed it out to one of my Brooks ... what a difference! Give me a Brooks any day!!

And I'm not sure if the link is to the Lady Selle Italia, but if it is, that was another bad saddle for me. It wasn't too bad to sit on for shorter distances (didn't leave me feeling like the Butterfly did), but I ended up with lower back pain because it is too flat for me. I need a saddle that curves up in the back a bit.

It would probably be a good idea to experiment with a few saddles until you discover what works.
you keep saying this.. but the Butterfly is hugely popular with women and has been around for years. My gf won't put anything else on her bikes. Saddles are a personal fit. it didn't fit you but don't tell someone looking for a new saddle to do just what you do because the odds are it's wrong for them.
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Old 02-18-11, 10:05 AM
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Terry has a 30-day ride-and-return guarantee. It's all about the trial and error. May as well start with women's models, but there's no guarantee that they will work for you.

REI and Performance also have good return policies.
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Old 02-18-11, 11:56 AM
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For saddles, you should really check out Performance Bicycles (either in store or online). You can buy a saddle and ride it for weeks or even a few months if you want. If you decide the saddle just isn't comfortable for you, you can return it, no questions asked! If you have one of their shops local to you, you can order saddles online and return them to the store with no problems. I went through three different saddles, each of which I rode for more than 2 months and put over 400 miles on them, before I found the one I really liked.

A one day test ride is not enough to see if a saddle will be comfortable because you often times have to adjust the forward/back, and tilt of the saddle, especially if it has a non-standard shape. It takes time to see if these adjustments will be comfortable to you, especially if you're a new rider and don't ride a ton of miles each week.

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Old 02-18-11, 01:53 PM
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Performance has a very liberal return policy on saddle...6 months is OK. Do in-store pickup/return if you live near a B&M store. I think the Brooks B17 is $90. Add a 10-15% off coupon found on the internet to sweeten the deal. It's takes 300-500 miles for the leather to form to the body. Lace the saddle to eliminate flaring of the flaps and excessive sagging.
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Old 02-18-11, 02:00 PM
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1. Everyone's butt is different but you should get a saddle that has the correct width for your sit bones, this may require a visit to an LBS that knows such things.

2. Generally if you have not been riding, you should start off with shorter rides (approx 1 hour), stand up in the saddle every 5 minutes so your butt can recover, and over the next several weeks gradually increase ride time.

3. For the real straight dope on women's saddles you may wish to join the secret women's forum, you have to PM a mod for the secret password.

4. If you go to the women's forum, have fun with the pillowfights.

Last edited by datlas; 02-18-11 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 02-18-11, 02:05 PM
  #14  
kate2
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Okay! Thanks everyone for the help so far!
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Old 02-18-11, 04:35 PM
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The saddle you linked on eBay has a stated width of 149mm, which is a bit wider than the 130mm of a typical road saddle, but sort of middling-width (or even on the narrow side) for a women's saddle. That said, it may well offer a lot of improvement.

A Specialized dealer near you should be able to do their "Assometer" sit-bones width measurement (using a sort of memory foam pad that you sit on, leaving measurable indents), which in turn will lead them to direct you to one of their different widths for saddles. (I don't know about the womens' Specialized saddles, but their mens saddles come in 130, 143, and 155mm widths, if I remember right.)

You can sort of do the measurement yourself, at home, using an aluminum foil sheet that is set on a carpeted stair step. Then you sit on the sheet. Your sit-bones will leave two deeper depressions in the foil, each being an inch and a half or so around. If you eyeball the centers of the two depressions, and then measure the distance between the two centers, that's the approx. sit-bones width. If I recall Specialized's saddle-selection criteria, they tend to recommend a saddle width that is at least 25-35mm wider than the sit-bones width (or something like that). I would think this part of the "method" would work with either men or women - the difference being in the fact that women have somewhat larger sit-bones width to begin with.

In my own case, my sit-bones width (using the foil) came out at around 115mm. (I am a guy, but big.) The 130mm wide saddle that came on my bike was not comfortable, and was leading to numbness. But the 144mm wide saddle I got (a Selle Italia ProLink model) is quite comfortable, and I don't get the numbness anymore. Maybe an even wider saddle would be even more comfortable, but I am happy. (Your mileage may vary!)

Last edited by rschleicher; 02-18-11 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 02-18-11, 05:13 PM
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I may be wrong here but I don't think a saddle needs to be male or female specific, what a rider needs is a saddle that fits their sit bones. Try a few different saddles and see which ones work for you.

The Brooks B17 is an extremely popular saddle for century riders as is the Selle Anatomica which is similar to a Brooks but has a cut out and waterproof leather.

I ride a Selle SMP with a wide cut out. It took me 5 or 6 saddle to find the right saddle but I found it and what a difference it makes.
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Old 02-18-11, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rschleicher View Post
You can sort of do the measurement yourself, at home, using an aluminum foil sheet that is set on a carpeted stair step. Then you sit on the sheet. Your sit-bones will leave two deeper depressions in the foil, each being an inch and a half or so around. If you eyeball the centers of the two depressions, and then measure the distance between the two centers, that's the approx. sit-bones width. If I recall Specialized's saddle-selection criteria, they tend to recommend a saddle width that is at least 25-35mm wider than the sit-bones width (or something like that). I would think this part of the "method" would work with either men or women - the difference being in the fact that women have somewhat larger sit-bones width to begin with.
Have read a lot about bike fitting but this is first I have ever seen of there being a science to saddle selection - thanks for the info!
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Old 02-18-11, 05:19 PM
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You have a lot of advice here and most of it is good. Do your research and may the saddle gods be with you.
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Old 02-18-11, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakedatc View Post
you keep saying this.. but the Butterfly is hugely popular with women and has been around for years. My gf won't put anything else on her bikes. Saddles are a personal fit. it didn't fit you but don't tell someone looking for a new saddle to do just what you do because the odds are it's wrong for them.
If you read my whole post, you would have seen the following statement at the bottom:

"It would probably be a good idea to experiment with a few saddles until you discover what works."

And if you kept reading, you would have seen my recommendation to try before you buy. Quite a few bicycle shops (i.e. the one that sold me the Lady Selle Italia) have a 1-week trial policy. I knew within that week that the Lady Selle Italia was not for me. I would not have known that in one short ride, however, because it wasn't too bad for very short rides.

As valygrl points out, Terry has a 30-day guarantee, which is pretty good and I have been tempted to try their saddles on that 30-day guarantee just to see what they were like. I own one now, have discovered that it is terrible, and have wondered if I could return it. But I'm not sure how that works when you buy it as attached to a bicycle from a shop.

I also mention that great shops give you 6 months to try a saddle. As it happens, Wallingford bicycles offers that 6-month guarantee on their Brooks saddles. I bought my first Brooks from them because I figured I had nothing to lose. If I didn't like it after 6 months, I'd return it. But, of course, I didn't return it.

As I've said in other threads on the topic, you've got to know how wide your sitbones are so that you choose a saddle where you can sit on both sitbones. But a saddle that is too wide is also terribly uncomfortable (stationary bike in gyms). You've also got to discover what shape works for you. For me, I need a saddle that curves up in the back, others like the flat saddles. But you can only make that discovery if you try various saddles and ride them for a while.

And of course, my point in that first post that you quoted is that just because a saddle is "women specific" does not mean that it will work for women. Sometimes men's saddles will be better ... it all depends on what you need in a saddle.
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Old 02-18-11, 07:03 PM
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I'm with Machka...

My wife used a Butterfly for 2 or 3 years. Which means it's a good saddle.
But then I got her a Brooks. Try and take that and you'll draw back a bloody stump.

Give a B17 a try.

Her's is the Brooks Finesse, but they've gotten kinda expensive.
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Old 02-18-11, 09:21 PM
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you can try this one

its unisex and for me it comfe no numbing now it sit on my sit bones heres the link https://www.ismseat.com/products_road.htm
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