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Need help picking a saddle

Old 07-13-11, 02:27 PM
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vikz
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Need help picking a saddle

Hello folks! It's been awhile since I posted here but I need some input, I have been riding my defy road bike not exactly sure if it's defy3, it's the entry level defy anyway, I have been riding at least 10 miles per session and if I feel like Forrest gump I go 20miles, I am trying out a saddle right now by specialized 143 not sure the exact model but that is what the marking say. Thank you in advance and ride safe!

Last edited by vikz; 07-13-11 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 07-13-11, 02:41 PM
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Saddles are probably the most personal component on road bike. Helping you pick one via a web forum will be virtually impossible. If you have a local bike shop, go by and see if they have any loaner saddles that you can try out on a ride. Sooner or later, you will find one that works for you. Good luck.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:21 PM
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Dc thanks that's what I'm doing right now I have a loaner saddle but I'm not sure if it's comfy enough if I decide t go more than 20miles
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Old 07-13-11, 06:51 PM
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I always feel the need to post on threads regarding "need help with a saddle" type question since I was that guy several years ago. Here is what I learned and what I can pass on from being the person to now having some experience....

no matter how many times this is posted you will always get 1-25 people that say..."a saddle is very personal and what works for me may not work for you." This is true, but that doesn't help you at all. If you are at square 1 then you need to realize that you have nowhere to go but forward from here. If you try a saddle and it is uncomfotable then try to pinpoint what isn't comfortable about it. For instance...does it leave abrassions on the inner part of your thighs, can you feel that your sit bones are sitting off the edges, Does it feel like you are sitting on 2 rulers on their edges....etc. I would start a list on computer or on paper and write down what you like and dislike about each saddle you try. Some places have a good return policy and some places have a saddle demo program such as paying $20 up front and you can try any demo saddle for "X" amount of time and if you buy that saddle that deposite goes towards the purchase. If you can find a place like that then try a lot of saddles and remember to write down the likes/dislikes.

Also keep in mind that if you are only doing 10 miles per session (Not trying to make it sound like its nothing), your sit bones/body really isn't getting enough time in the saddle to get used to sitting on a saddle. I find that even with my saddle I love (Fizik arione) it sometimes takes 5-10 miles before my butt "settles" in and feels comfortable. You may have also read or been told that having a lot of cushion isn't what you will want for longer bike rides. To elaborate on this, I for one am one for a comfortable saddle. To ME, that means the saddles has a little bit of the right padding in the right places. That being said, some people preffer a really hard saddle but it takes getting used to. NOBODY jumps on a carbon fiber saddle with no padding and loves it right off the bat. It goes back to what I said earlier, it takes time for your body to aquire that type of saddle.

Now, you have several different shapes to choose from and if you are anything like I was this made my choosing even more difficult. How the heck do you know which one to try??? answer.....You dont. Just try one and write down what you like/dislike. some people really need a saddle with the "love channel" or perineal relief whole down the saddle and some don tlike it at all. Some like a saddle like the fizik aliante where it "cradles" your body. Great saddle with a good amount of padding. The thing you need to know about those saddles are it eliminates the ability to move around on the saddle. What does that mean and why would you want to move around on a saddle? sitting on the back of the saddle where you sit bones are supposed to generally be, but after 10-50-100+ miles sitting in one place starts to hurt so being able to move to the front or even farther back is nice. Usually people (like myself) that like this option choose something like a fizik arione where the top of the saddle is very flat. If you look into a saddle with the perineal relief know that sometimes it can displace the pressure points and be painful on your sitbones or muscle tissue. Saddles such as the SMP are very extreme and if you dont get the right fit it will hurt badly. like I said above, I felt like I was sitting on 2 rulers that were put on there edge.

In just under 4 years I have ridden 12 saddles and the ONLY one that didn't make me bleed was the fizik arione. Dont expect to put on a saddle and know within 5 minutes that it is the wrong one for you. It will take some time on it. Some people have the gift to jump on any saddle and ride without any issues. Then there are people like me on the other end of the table that have sensitive rear ends and can take a long time possible never finding that saddle that cuddles your butt with comfort as you pedal along! good luck! Hope that helps a little bit.
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Old 07-13-11, 07:56 PM
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I was (or am) in the same situation when I picked up my new bike. I generally ride about 30km a day on a short route and have been wanting to push further now that I'm more fit. On my Roubaix with a Specialized Toupe seat, my limit was about 45-50km before starting to feel extremely uncomfortable and wanting off the bike (i.e. constantly having to stand and re-adjust, etc.) I recently opted for a Bontrager Affinity RL (not the RXL) which has slightly more padding and while I'm now able to do 60-65km before starting to get uncomfortable, it's still not perfect. Unfortunately, what I'm noticing now is that I'm getting very localized muscle pain around my right inner thigh (only the right side) just forward of my right sit-bone. I suspect the additional padding, however slight, is causing some pressure. The Affinity RL doesn't cause me to go numb like the Specialized Toupe, which had the cut out down the middle (somewhat ironic.) I'm tempted to try the RXL before moving on to a different brand if that doesn't work out.

It's frustrating because my goal is to do 100km+ by the end of the summer, but my nethers are seriously holding me back and castration is just not an option.

I've found that proper seating position is a huge factor in how a seat feels as well.

I definitely recommend trying out as many saddles as you can. Good luck!
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Old 07-13-11, 09:33 PM
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I must also add that GOOD shorts are imperative. I would highly recommend staying away from any replica team jersey/short sets on ebay to try and save money. The chamois pads are cheap and wont help you in any way. Trust me, I learned the hard way. I didn't think it would make THAT big of a difference when i started out, but quickly realized I was wrong. You dont have to drop $250 on a set of assos, but once you try a nice set, you realize why people spend the money.
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Old 07-14-11, 03:06 AM
  #7  
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I use a Specialized Alias, had it properly sized at Mike's Bikes. Works great, can go on 50 mile rides without much discomfort than the occasional stand-up.

Try out a bunch and get fitted properly. Yes good shorts are just as important imo...
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Old 07-14-11, 03:53 AM
  #8  
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i see a lot of good advice here, however, saddles seem to be extremely personal. I dont know your fitness level, but if longer rides are possible(even at slower speeds) the TIME in the saddle is more important than distance. Ride slower for longer for several days in each saddle(day of rest between might not be bad if you get loaner saddles) but this gives you time to adapt to the saddle. on my ghetto bike i had a massive gel seat. never got uncomfortable(never rode too long being a 42lbs bike though lol)

when i got my first real road bike, i jacked my buddies Bell seat pad for a week, did a few 45 mi rides, then he took his seat cover back. havent had a problem since. I used to get saddle sore quite bad, even with the seat pad. now? nothing. but ive also done nothing harder or longer than a half century, but im pretty slow at that, so plenty of saddle time. maybe i got lucky on my stock saddle, but i think as weight increases, saddles become exponentially more uncomfortable(just a guess), as im a 130 lbs rider, and with a backpack with 1/2 gal water, bike lock etc, i weigh in at maybe 145-150 with my backpack. add an extra 50lbs onto the same pressure points = ouch. so, i think not only the saddle is the problem, but getting used to the least uncomfortable saddle is also key.

Also, i bike in shorts and a t shirt, no lance legstrong kit for me, so i dont know how they help, but probably a very good point too

" the ONLY one that didn't make me bleed"
i hope that its "that" time of the month for you while on these saddles!!!! OUCH! bleeding??? maybe centuries arent all theyre cut(no pun intended) out to be! i want to do one, but if my man area starts bleeding, i think ill revert to couch potato status!! thank god for the auschwitz-survivor style body structure!
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Old 07-14-11, 07:37 AM
  #9  
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lol, yeah I was bleading from such bad abrassions form the saddle on my first century ride. I have done 6 century rides and none of them were as bas as that first! I just finished my 6th last month on my fizik arione saddle and after riding the 107 miles I felt so good, I rode another 25 miles to a friends house. But like you mentioned above, it helps when you put time in the saddle. I train for century rides 8 weeks out in advance starting with 65 miles and each week riding further with 2 30-45 mile rides in that week also.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
I always feel the need to post on threads regarding "need help with a saddle" type question since I was that guy several years ago. Here is what I learned and what I can pass on from being the person to now having some experience....

no matter how many times this is posted you will always get 1-25 people that say..."a saddle is very personal and what works for me may not work for you." This is true, but that doesn't help you at all. If you are at square 1 then you need to realize that you have nowhere to go but forward from here. If you try a saddle and it is uncomfotable then try to pinpoint what isn't comfortable about it. For instance...does it leave abrassions on the inner part of your thighs, can you feel that your sit bones are sitting off the edges, Does it feel like you are sitting on 2 rulers on their edges....etc. I would start a list on computer or on paper and write down what you like and dislike about each saddle you try. Some places have a good return policy and some places have a saddle demo program such as paying $20 up front and you can try any demo saddle for "X" amount of time and if you buy that saddle that deposite goes towards the purchase. If you can find a place like that then try a lot of saddles and remember to write down the likes/dislikes.

Also keep in mind that if you are only doing 10 miles per session (Not trying to make it sound like its nothing), your sit bones/body really isn't getting enough time in the saddle to get used to sitting on a saddle. I find that even with my saddle I love (Fizik arione) it sometimes takes 5-10 miles before my butt "settles" in and feels comfortable. You may have also read or been told that having a lot of cushion isn't what you will want for longer bike rides. To elaborate on this, I for one am one for a comfortable saddle. To ME, that means the saddles has a little bit of the right padding in the right places. That being said, some people preffer a really hard saddle but it takes getting used to. NOBODY jumps on a carbon fiber saddle with no padding and loves it right off the bat. It goes back to what I said earlier, it takes time for your body to aquire that type of saddle.

Now, you have several different shapes to choose from and if you are anything like I was this made my choosing even more difficult. How the heck do you know which one to try??? answer.....You dont. Just try one and write down what you like/dislike. some people really need a saddle with the "love channel" or perineal relief whole down the saddle and some don tlike it at all. Some like a saddle like the fizik aliante where it "cradles" your body. Great saddle with a good amount of padding. The thing you need to know about those saddles are it eliminates the ability to move around on the saddle. What does that mean and why would you want to move around on a saddle? sitting on the back of the saddle where you sit bones are supposed to generally be, but after 10-50-100+ miles sitting in one place starts to hurt so being able to move to the front or even farther back is nice. Usually people (like myself) that like this option choose something like a fizik arione where the top of the saddle is very flat. If you look into a saddle with the perineal relief know that sometimes it can displace the pressure points and be painful on your sitbones or muscle tissue. Saddles such as the SMP are very extreme and if you dont get the right fit it will hurt badly. like I said above, I felt like I was sitting on 2 rulers that were put on there edge.

In just under 4 years I have ridden 12 saddles and the ONLY one that didn't make me bleed was the fizik arione. Dont expect to put on a saddle and know within 5 minutes that it is the wrong one for you. It will take some time on it. Some people have the gift to jump on any saddle and ride without any issues. Then there are people like me on the other end of the table that have sensitive rear ends and can take a long time possible never finding that saddle that cuddles your butt with comfort as you pedal along! good luck! Hope that helps a little bit.
+1. The whole fricking bike is personal so the "saddle is personal" answer is completely useless. It's all about fit and fitness.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:17 AM
  #11  
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If you just started riding give it some time. If I haven't ridden in a while I find it takes about 2-3 weeks to properly "season" my butt to the saddle again. You may find that the saddle you have is just fine. This same rule goes for trying out new seats, give them time. You can't ride it once or twice and determine if it's right for you.
Many here will swear up and down that X saddle is the only one that works for them. This is BS, it's really not that difficult to find one that feels right once you get put some miles on it.
While I have a saddle I prefer I have others on different bikes I ride regularly without any discomfort.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:43 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
I must also add that GOOD shorts are imperative. I would highly recommend staying away from any replica team jersey/short sets on ebay to try and save money. The chamois pads are cheap and wont help you in any way. Trust me, I learned the hard way. I didn't think it would make THAT big of a difference when i started out, but quickly realized I was wrong. You dont have to drop $250 on a set of assos, but once you try a nice set, you realize why people spend the money.
+1!

You really should pick up a pair of decent shorts before you start trying out saddles. A lot of beginning riders will think that the chamois pad on bike shorts is an unnecessary luxury, but-- trust me-- everyone who rides road with some level of seriousness wears comfortable shorts with a chamois. Also, getting your bike fit will help you get more comfortable in the saddle.

You're just going to have to experiment with different saddles. I went through 3 before I found one that was comfortable. There's no steadfast rule on superior saddles, but some things to consider:

Don't judge a saddle by padding. Some people need more, some people need less. Additionally, saddles with more padding often = more points of contact and more pressure on sensitive areas because you're sinking in to it.

You should be sitting on your ischial tuberosities (sit bones) when you're riding. This is in order to position the majority of your weight there and not on soft tissues that aren't meant to support your weight. If you've been riding around on a bad saddle and are hence unfamiliar with doing so, it can often feel like you're bruised the first couple times you do it, and particularly on longer rides. I did a 50mi. climb-heavy training ride right after I switched out my saddle and my sit bones were SO tender for the next day, but they'll HTFU and the bruising sensation is short lived.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for all the response I will try to see if I can extend my loaner saddle for one more week,they only let you try it a week at a time and I only have the week end to ride, I wish I can ride everyday like most of you guys but with 3 little kids it's kinda hard to do it everyday ,thanks again..about sticking with the stock saddle well if I want to ride more than 20miles the stock saddle is not going to work becs I only rode 20miles and my behind was sore after only 18 the remaining 2 miles was literally a painful experience .
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Old 07-14-11, 12:41 PM
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I've recently realized the main thing keeping me from rides longer than 70 miles is my saddle. I intend to do my first century soon, so I have begun the quest to find a saddle that fits me. Most of my friends suggest Brooks. I see Brooks as a leap of faith due to the break-in period, but a friend has agreed to let me borrow/test one he has yet to break-in. The Fizik Arione seems to be well received by most riders I talk to, so I'd like to try that one as well.
I like the suggestion to find a shop with a loaner saddle program to try other saddles-thanks.
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Old 07-14-11, 04:01 PM
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Family is priority. I myself have 2 kids (4 year old and 10 months) so I totally understand where your coming from. Cycling is my ONLY hobby, so when I have the available time.....I ride. when I dont have the time, i make time even if that means getting up early before work and going for a 10-20 mile ride. Its all a matter how how important it is to you. There are times when i go 2 weeks without even sitting on my bike, but I try to take advantage of any time available.
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Old 07-17-11, 12:34 AM
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I always thought i can ride in the morning but with work schedule its kinda hard so i do it when ever I can, like today i was able to ride just 15miles and the saddle seems to be fine just have to ride again tomorrow and see how it feels 2days in a row. Do you guys ride while its raining??
Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
Family is priority. I myself have 2 kids (4 year old and 10 months) so I totally understand where your coming from. Cycling is my ONLY hobby, so when I have the available time.....I ride. when I dont have the time, i make time even if that means getting up early before work and going for a 10-20 mile ride. Its all a matter how how important it is to you. There are times when i go 2 weeks without even sitting on my bike, but I try to take advantage of any time available.
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Old 07-17-11, 01:20 AM
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Is there such thing as a decent pair of bibs or shorts for under $50?
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Old 07-17-11, 01:58 AM
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I have a Felt Racing saddle (sorry, that is all it says on it....) and it is like butter when I wearing $100 PI shorts. I got lucky on that bike.

On my commuter I have a Selle Italia Max Flite Gel or whatever it is called. I don't like wearing Lycra to work (if I did, it would really horribly kill my budget one month) and the cutout helps with the seams not digging into my skin. I don't, well didn't (I have a fitness issue I'm working on regarding my lower back, anything over 20k and I'm in pain), ride much further than 40k. My arse adapts/ed to it fairly quickly, it gets a little tender if I've been off the bike for an extended time but goes away after a few rides. It was $300 and made out of the finest Italian leathers.....well, I tell myself it was made out of the finest Italian leather so I feel better about the price.....
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Old 07-17-11, 04:34 AM
  #19  
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1. Make sure the bicycle fits and is set up correctly for you.

2. Develop a strong core so that you sit on the saddle lightly (sort of 'perch' on it), and so that you sit with good posture. You should not have your full weight on the saddle. You should be able to distribute your weight between your butt and your feet.

3. Ride lots, do lots of other exercise as well (cross train), and become fit. Improving your flexibility, especially the flexibility in the lower back and hamstrings, also helps. Doing these things will help you feel more comfortable on the bicycle for longer periods of time, and will also help you distribute your weight on the bicycle.

4. The saddle you choose should be wide enough, but not too wide, for your sitbones. Find out how wide apart your sitbones are, and determine how wide your saddle should be. Your saddle should also be the right shape for you ... flat, curved up in the back, or whatever. When you try saddles, try several shapes.

5. Extra padding on a saddle or in cycling shorts does not necessarily equal extra comfort. In fact, it often means quite the opposite. With extra padding on a saddle, you sink in and there is extra pressure and friction. With extra padding in cycling shorts, there's an increased chance of bunching, causing friction points. Many of us can ride comfortably with no padding at all, either on the saddle or in the shorts.

6. When it comes to shorts, make sure they fit well ... snug, but not too tight. If they become loose enough to start shifting around, you'll have friction issues. If the shorts have padding, make sure it covers your sitbones. Make sure you are not sitting on the seams, or that the padding doesn't actually cover your sitbones.



Once you get it right, you should be able to ride 100 miles, 200 miles, and longer with little to no butt problems.

I've covered 135,905 km in the past 21 years including 155 rides of 100 miles or longer ... and those 155 rides include not only centuries, but numerous Super Randonneur series, one 1000K randonnee, and four 1200K randonnees. In all that riding, I have only ever had one saddle sore, and very little in the way of saddle-related discomfort.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:19 AM
  #20  
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Don't ignore leather, it's not just for retro-grouches. I ride 100+k on a regular basis with no diapers. I recently went to a ride with a group from the 50+ forum. Each had more than 30 years of road riding and 6 of 8 were using Brooks saddles. I use VO model 6 on my road bike.

https://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...onspiracy.html

Marc
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Old 07-17-11, 09:07 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by muffin man View Post
Is there such thing as a decent pair of bibs or shorts for under $50?

check out realcyclist.com, thats where I get all my riding gear. they have great sales and I'm sure you can find some bibs for close to $70. Up in the right hand corner they have a live help button. They are great and will help you with any questions you have. Their return/exchange policy is phenominal.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by muffin man View Post
Is there such thing as a decent pair of bibs or shorts for under $50?
I have picked mine up at Performance Bike for the 50ish range. Some would say that they are no good, but I really like mine. I have three pair, two are Primal with the PB logo, the third is the "store brand". Performance has sales quite frequently, so you may be able to find them for that price.

And for those that Ebay, $50 bibs seem to be easy to find.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:20 AM
  #23  
WolfsBane
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I have a Specialized Allez, (Spech's aluminum version of a road racing bike). The saddle that I ended up with, on a permanent basis, was a Brook's B-17 Honey Special. It is leather, and it is not the lightest of the bunch. But it allows me to pedal in comfort for long periods of time.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:03 AM
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well rode for another 20 miles today and the saddle seems to be working, no butt pain yet so far so good, i think this one is $80 or the other ones I saw was in $100+ range already..
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Old 07-18-11, 12:06 AM
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so was that 20 miles on the saddle you already had or is this one you bought? if so, which one you trying out?
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