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Saddle Recommendations? Brooks Professional Didn't Work Out...

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Saddle Recommendations? Brooks Professional Didn't Work Out...

Old 03-28-11, 04:48 PM
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revchuck 
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Saddle Recommendations? Brooks Professional Didn't Work Out...

I tend to prefer "old school" styling, so I decided to give the Brooks Professional a try. After ~600 miles, we're still not getting along, so I'm looking for another saddle.

According to the Specialized BG Fit butt-o-meter, I need a 155mm saddle, based on the way Specialized sizes their saddles. I don't know whether this means I need a saddle at least 155mm wide - if so, that narrows (so to speak) my options considerably. The Brooks Pro was 160mm, and it fit fine - it just never broke in.

The saddles I've found so far online that look like I might like them are the Specialized Avatar, the Selle San Marco Regal (worked for Tom Boonen), and the Rido 2 (a local favorite). Any other recommendations? I've got no racing ambitions, but plan to do a few centuries this summer. I'd like to stay ~$100.

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-11, 04:58 PM
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That means that when you buy a Specialized saddle, you should get the 155mm width.

Give the Avatar 155mm a try. I find it comfortable (though I ride a 143). As with anything to do with saddles YMMV. If you don't like it, try another. See if your bike shop has loaner saddles that you can try out for an extended time before buying.
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Old 03-28-11, 05:19 PM
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I use a 155mm toupe on one bike and on the other a Fizik Aliante Versus. Love them both .
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Old 03-28-11, 05:24 PM
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There's no good answer. That's why they make so many sizes shapes and kinds. If you've got a bike shop with a trial plan, use that. Otherwise, order a bunch from an on-line dealer with a generous return policy then try them all and keep the best returning the rest. realcyclist has a thirty day no questions asked policy and Performance/Nashbar has a similarly open policy.
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Old 03-28-11, 06:27 PM
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Here's an alternative way of picking your saddle shape. Don't know if this works any better than the Specialized butt measurement. https://www.pbkblog.com/?p=17676
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Old 03-28-11, 06:55 PM
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Specialized Romin has been my favorite of all saddles, even above brooks which I love. They are far more comfortable than Fiziik for me or sella. The butt meter told me 155. I bought a 143 and it was fine.
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Old 03-28-11, 07:02 PM
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I have an SMP Plus which is 279 X 159.

Here is a link:

https://www.smpselle.com/smp4bike/en/plus

I paid closer to $200 for this saddle but I love it. The best saddle I have ever used.

Last edited by Carbon Unit; 03-28-11 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 03-28-11, 10:38 PM
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To quickly break in the Pro, soak it in water for 15 minutes. Ride the bike for 1 hour. May need to rinse & repeat.
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Old 03-28-11, 11:37 PM
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Old 03-29-11, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by furballi View Post
To quickly break in the Pro, soak it in water for 15 minutes. Ride the bike for 1 hour. May need to rinse & repeat.
Don't do this.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Don't do this.
Hmmm...this is how the leather is formed at the factory! The leather is put in water for about 1 hour then drip dry. Forming occurs when the leather is still damp. Ovens are used to dry the leather.

Last edited by furballi; 03-29-11 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by furballi View Post
To quickly break in the Pro, soak it in water for 15 minutes. Ride the bike for 1 hour. May need to rinse & repeat.
Brooks specifically says NOT to ride their saddle while wet.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Brooks specifically says NOT to ride their saddle while wet.
Yes...because this can cause excessive sagging of the leather over a longer period of time. If the leather is new, then one can quicken the break-in process by riding a damp saddle for a short time.

Key is to let the saddler air dry before prolonged use.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:35 AM
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+1 for SMP.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
Here's an alternative way of picking your saddle shape. Don't know if this works any better than the Specialized butt measurement. https://www.pbkblog.com/?p=17676

Where can one find this "butt measurement" you speak of?

Searched..coming up short....I know..that's what she said.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:00 AM
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I like my selle san marco regal, but it's only 145 mm and I didn't know they made it wider than that. I've known some people who really like the fizik vitesse that's 155 mm. I thought it was fairly nice, but then my butt met the regal decided it worked better.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I have an SMP Plus which is 279 X 159.

Here is a link:

https://www.smpselle.com/smp4bike/en/plus


I paid closer to $200 for this saddle but I love it. The best saddle I have ever used.
I wish the prices for these things weren't so astronomically high so I can try one out. Even used they go for about $125+++ and that's just too much for a synthetic saddle that isn't fully leather and have been known to wear out unlike Brooks(if you take good care of it)
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Old 03-29-11, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by furballi View Post
Yes...because this can cause excessive sagging of the leather over a longer period of time. If the leather is new, then one can quicken the break-in process by riding a damp saddle for a short time.

Key is to let the saddler air dry before prolonged use.
You couldn't be more wrong. If you actually knew anything about forming leather you would know that the heat stiffens it, not room temp drying. And the heat must be in a specific temperature range.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
I wish the prices for these things weren't so astronomically high so I can try one out. Even used they go for about $125+++ and that's just too much for a synthetic saddle that isn't fully leather and have been known to wear out unlike Brooks(if you take good care of it)
It is full leather. I have had my for two years and it doesn't show any signs of wear at all. It looks like I just put it on the bike.

There are a lot of bike shops and even online sellers that will let you try one before you buy it. The shop were I bought mine let me ride it for a week. He told me that no one had ever returned an SMP saddle so he was confident that I would like it and he was right.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:53 AM
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Go to a Specialized dealership and make sure they have a saddle exchange program.
I rode my Brooks B17-Titianium for almost 8 years and thought it was a be-all/end-all of comfort. But figured it wouldn't hurt to see what modern ergonomics had done during that time.
I went through more than two months of saddle exchanging before finally finding the apple of my @$$es eye: The 155mm Avatar.
But just because the Avatar worked for me, you should still try the others; @$$es are like faces--each one is unique.
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Old 03-29-11, 10:47 AM
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Old 03-30-11, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
You couldn't be more wrong. If you actually knew anything about forming leather you would know that the heat stiffens it, not room temp drying. And the heat must be in a specific temperature range.
Wash a pair of leather work gloves. Let air dry in the sun. Is the leather stiff when dry? Is the drying temp controlled? E nuff said!

Course you're going to BS by telling me that Brooks leather is like no other leather.
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Old 03-30-11, 09:04 AM
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About brooks, keep in mind the leather is under tension. All I see happening from soaking it wet is to lengthen and thinning the leather up.
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Old 03-30-11, 09:13 AM
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Brooks Pro is harder to break in so you could try a B17 Narrow. San Marco Regal and Rolls are good "old school" saddles that work for many people.
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