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Saddle comfort inquiry

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Saddle comfort inquiry

Old 06-16-12, 03:14 PM
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shoota 
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Saddle comfort inquiry

A couple months back I bought a Selle Italia Gel Flow saddle to replace the stock Bontrager that came on my bike. My butt was never comfortable on the Bontrager so I thought I needed a new saddle. Now my butt is still not very comfortable on the Selle Italia. I've been fitted for proper placement so I know it's at least close to where it should be. However, I read all the time about how you should have your sit bones right on the flat part of the saddle towards the back. But I can't see how that wouldn't hurt after about ten minutes, I mean it hurts me almost instantly. So where do I go from here? New saddle? More miles? Different sitting position?
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Old 06-16-12, 03:19 PM
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Firmness made the most difference for me. Bare CF most comfy, gel hurt the worst.
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Old 06-16-12, 03:33 PM
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Man that just seems so counter intuitive. I mean they don't make couches out of wood ya know? So how does firmness help when we're in the saddle for 2+ hours?
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Old 06-16-12, 04:04 PM
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I switched from fizik arione to a Selle SMP lite because of some pain and discomfort. My new saddle was a breath of fresh air for me. Selle has a full range of SMP saddles you may want to look at.

https://www.sellesmp.com/smp4bike/en/lite-209
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Old 06-16-12, 04:08 PM
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I switched from Bontrager Inform RL to Fizik Aliante. Aliante is quite a bit more comfortable.
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Old 06-16-12, 04:42 PM
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There is no point telling the OP that you have found a comfortable saddle for you. He needs a comfortable saddle for him. Everyone is different. I would only contribute that saddle width is often ignored. That relates to placement of the sit bones. They are called sit bones for a reason. You have to sit on them. If your sit bones are wide and off the saddle and you sit on your crotch, you will be in pain from start to finish. You have to sit on your sit bones. I need a 142mm wide saddle, not the 127mm saddles that are so common. Can't say what OP needs. All I am recommending is include width in the list of charateristics to test. Also cut out. Also padding. More is not always better as said wlsewhere in this thread. Yes, saddle comfort characteristics are counterintuitive. One more thing: find a shop with a try out program and make use of it. Good luck.
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Old 06-16-12, 04:46 PM
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I have 10 saddles I bought and still no magic product. The fizik arione is the best so far but the Aliante is better yet. Token makes a copy of the Aliante which I have (nearly identical) and is comfy.
Bontgrager RXL isn't bad.
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Old 06-16-12, 05:26 PM
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You have two issues here, one is the saddle and the other is the bib or short you are using.

No idea what shorts are u using so is hard to know. Many times is not the saddle but the shorts. Some shorts sucks for the 1st ten rides and then start doing their job.

As for the padding, more padding doesn't mean is comfortable, if you want to try just get a short saddle with like 7 inches tall padding and springs and ride for 4 hours, I guarantee you that after 30 mins you will be asking yourself why you did what I said.

What shorts are u using to start with?? your nuts get numb??? only your bones hurts like hell???
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Old 06-16-12, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
There is no point telling the OP that you have found a comfortable saddle for you. He needs a comfortable saddle for him. Everyone is different. I would only contribute that saddle width is often ignored. That relates to placement of the sit bones. They are called sit bones for a reason. You have to sit on them. If your sit bones are wide and off the saddle and you sit on your crotch, you will be in pain from start to finish. You have to sit on your sit bones. I need a 142mm wide saddle, not the 127mm saddles that are so common. Can't say what OP needs. All I am recommending is include width in the list of charateristics to test. Also cut out. Also padding. More is not always better as said wlsewhere in this thread. Yes, saddle comfort characteristics are counterintuitive. One more thing: find a shop with a try out program and make use of it. Good luck.
I rode a 143mm Bontrager Inform RL. I switched to an Aliante of the same width (roughly). Aliante has an interesting feel when you ride it. It is stiff where you want it to be, but also has plenty of give under the seatbones. The carbon/kevlar hammock concept actually works. I have had no issues with numbness either even though I ride the Aliante and not the Aliante VS. The trick is to get the saddle angle right. For me dead flat to 1 degree nose up measured by putting a big book on the saddle works. Setback wise, I ride the Aliante about 5mm rearward when compared to the Bontrager Inform RL. By the way, if you get the nose angle wrong (as in too far up), you would feel immediately when you go on the drops. There is a lot of info on the Aliante on the web. I was all set to get a Kurve Bull, but reading about failures on the flex material, I figured I would be OK with the tried and true Aliante.

Aliante has three versions. The version with the carbon body and kium rails is a bit more comfy when compared to the Aliante Gamma. I have both on two bikes. For the price, I would go with Carbon body shell and Kium rails.
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Old 06-16-12, 05:56 PM
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From what I can gather, your sit bones are rather like an A shape, but without the cross bar. So if you have a wide flat saddle you will touch your sit bones near to the bottom of the A (nearer your tail bone). However, if you have a narrow seat (like me) or you slide forward, you will be near the top of the A (which is nearer to your gonads).
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Old 06-17-12, 07:41 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
There is no point telling the OP that you have found a comfortable saddle for you. He needs a comfortable saddle for him. Everyone is different. I would only contribute that saddle width is often ignored. That relates to placement of the sit bones. They are called sit bones for a reason. You have to sit on them. If your sit bones are wide and off the saddle and you sit on your crotch, you will be in pain from start to finish. You have to sit on your sit bones. I need a 142mm wide saddle, not the 127mm saddles that are so common. Can't say what OP needs. All I am recommending is include width in the list of charateristics to test. Also cut out. Also padding. More is not always better as said wlsewhere in this thread. Yes, saddle comfort characteristics are counterintuitive. One more thing: find a shop with a try out program and make use of it. Good luck.
Is there a reliable way to measure your sit bone width? Also, where are saddles measured from and to? I'm not sure of the width of either my sit bones or my saddle.

Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
You have two issues here, one is the saddle and the other is the bib or short you are using.

No idea what shorts are u using so is hard to know. Many times is not the saddle but the shorts. Some shorts sucks for the 1st ten rides and then start doing their job.

As for the padding, more padding doesn't mean is comfortable, if you want to try just get a short saddle with like 7 inches tall padding and springs and ride for 4 hours, I guarantee you that after 30 mins you will be asking yourself why you did what I said.

What shorts are u using to start with?? your nuts get numb??? only your bones hurts like hell???
I have found out now that my Canari shorts are much better than my Bontrager shorts. Coincidentally the Canari shorts do have more padding. My nuts, gonads, weiner, etc never get sore and nothing ever goes to sleep so that leads me to believe that at least I have my saddle positioned correctly. I assume the wrong width would lead to these problems, no?

Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
I rode a 143mm Bontrager Inform RL. I switched to an Aliante of the same width (roughly). Aliante has an interesting feel when you ride it. It is stiff where you want it to be, but also has plenty of give under the seatbones. The carbon/kevlar hammock concept actually works. I have had no issues with numbness either even though I ride the Aliante and not the Aliante VS. The trick is to get the saddle angle right. For me dead flat to 1 degree nose up measured by putting a big book on the saddle works. Setback wise, I ride the Aliante about 5mm rearward when compared to the Bontrager Inform RL. By the way, if you get the nose angle wrong (as in too far up), you would feel immediately when you go on the drops. There is a lot of info on the Aliante on the web. I was all set to get a Kurve Bull, but reading about failures on the flex material, I figured I would be OK with the tried and true Aliante.

Aliante has three versions. The version with the carbon body and kium rails is a bit more comfy when compared to the Aliante Gamma. I have both on two bikes. For the price, I would go with Carbon body shell and Kium rails.
Thanks for the saddle suggestions, I will look into them. As far as the saddle angles I have a dilemma that I just don't have enough experience to figure out. You say if the nose is too far up I will feel it in the drops, and I do. However, when I'm on the hoods I have to scoot myself back cause I tend to slide forward a little. So what do I do here??

Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
From what I can gather, your sit bones are rather like an A shape, but without the cross bar. So if you have a wide flat saddle you will touch your sit bones near to the bottom of the A (nearer your tail bone). However, if you have a narrow seat (like me) or you slide forward, you will be near the top of the A (which is nearer to your gonads).
A-shaped sit bones? How do I know what shape mine are?

Thanks for taking the time to help a noob, I knew this was the place to come. I'll eventually learn this stuff and then be able to give back like you guys do.
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Old 06-17-12, 10:39 AM
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My advice ok?


Talk with your friends that do riding, and try to get some old saddles to test, since you dont have a nuts problems that simplyfy the things because a saddle w/o cut out are easier to find. IMO you have to continue trying. Personally I can't stand the arione more than 10 minutes for example. Prologo saddles worked ok together with specialized ones.

Another thing, spend money in a super good bib like a castelli , santini or a gore and see what happens. But at this stage you have to just go and try, no other way to know what fits you.
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Old 06-17-12, 10:54 AM
  #13  
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+1 on Selle SMP. I switched 2.5 months back and will never use anything less again. Saddles are a very personal thing. But when you find your right one it is nirvana. Now I can ride back to back centuries and never even think about it. Hope you find yours.
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Old 06-17-12, 01:10 PM
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I feel there's something everyone has been missing here.

In my case: I switched from a stock Velo-gel seat to a Specialized Romin and found some improvement in comfort, but as I continue to lose weight the Romin became uncomfortable. I recently switched from the Romin to a Selle SMP Evolution which has been much more comfortable for me... but not because the seat is any more comfortable... rather it forced me to treat how I sit down differently.

Before, a seat was a seat and I would "sit" on it. While this sounds like the thing to do, it really isn't. With the SMP, it really just kind of... holds me in place. My legs carry most of the weight, with a small portion left to be handled by the seat and my hands. If I attempt to "sit" on the SMP, the seat does what it's supposed to do... place all of the force of weight+impact on the ischial tuberosities (translation: concentrated point of impact + bony part of my undersides = ow). So now, instead of "sitting" on the seat, it's more of a... perch... or something like that.

The end result is: my butt is much happier and I am actually able to ride harder/faster/longer without the distraction of you-know-what pain.

What might work for you is simply changing your perception of what a saddle is supposed to do for you. That's what worked for me.

P.S. Even with this thinking, the Romin and I don't get along well.
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Old 06-17-12, 04:57 PM
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Worth a look:

https://selleanatomica.com/
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Old 06-17-12, 05:13 PM
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Since your stock saddle was a Bontrager, I assume you are riding some sort of Trek road bike .... I switched the saddle on my Madone from day one to the Bontrager Team Issue. It's been great from the start, and aside from the fact that it looks awesome, it is comfortable enough that I don't even bother with padded shorts for rides under two hours.
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Old 06-17-12, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by EdIsMe View Post
I feel there's something everyone has been missing here.

In my case: I switched from a stock Velo-gel seat to a Specialized Romin and found some improvement in comfort, but as I continue to lose weight the Romin became uncomfortable. I recently switched from the Romin to a Selle SMP Evolution which has been much more comfortable for me... but not because the seat is any more comfortable... rather it forced me to treat how I sit down differently.

Before, a seat was a seat and I would "sit" on it. While this sounds like the thing to do, it really isn't. With the SMP, it really just kind of... holds me in place. My legs carry most of the weight, with a small portion left to be handled by the seat and my hands. If I attempt to "sit" on the SMP, the seat does what it's supposed to do... place all of the force of weight+impact on the ischial tuberosities (translation: concentrated point of impact + bony part of my undersides = ow). So now, instead of "sitting" on the seat, it's more of a... perch... or something like that.

The end result is: my butt is much happier and I am actually able to ride harder/faster/longer without the distraction of you-know-what pain.

What might work for you is simply changing your perception of what a saddle is supposed to do for you. That's what worked for me.

P.S. Even with this thinking, the Romin and I don't get along well.
+1 I think It's all in the position you ride,I was never comfortable until I learned this, Now I ride a full carbon seat and have no problem,because I very seldom sit
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Old 06-18-12, 08:59 AM
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The wife and I are going for a 30 mile ride today so I will try the correct "sitting" position, even though admittedly I'm not 100% sure I get it. I think I understand how it works when you're really getting on it because the pushing actually lifts you up off the saddle a little. But I can't hold that for 2+ hours. Like today for example will be a long, slow ride so most of my weight will actually be on the saddle itself. I'm also going to move it ever so slightly forward since I seem to slide up on it.
THanks guys I'll report back later and let you know it went.
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Old 06-18-12, 09:22 AM
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See this https://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html for starters.

I switched from a Selle Italia SL to a Fizik Antares, and the comfort level just shot up. Doesnt mean that either is better than the other; It just worked for me. The Fizi:k website also has a bunch of explanations on their saddle range, and how they are designed for flexible to rigid torsos etc. You can also check with a

Specialized dealer...they have a measurering system (a gel mat thingy) that gets you an accurate idea of the width between your sit bones; this can be a great starting point in deciding on 132 or 142mm wide saddles etc.

Finally, it takes time on the saddle for your bottom, the shorts and saddle to reach a happy medium.
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Old 06-18-12, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by VeeDubOne View Post
See this https://sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html for starters.

I switched from a Selle Italia SL to a Fizik Antares, and the comfort level just shot up. Doesnt mean that either is better than the other; It just worked for me. The Fizi:k website also has a bunch of explanations on their saddle range, and how they are designed for flexible to rigid torsos etc. You can also check with a

Specialized dealer...they have a measurering system (a gel mat thingy) that gets you an accurate idea of the width between your sit bones; this can be a great starting point in deciding on 132 or 142mm wide saddles etc.

Finally, it takes time on the saddle for your bottom, the shorts and saddle to reach a happy medium.
Thanks for the info, I will definitely check that out. There is a Specialized dealer here so I will give them a call and see what they have to say. Where do I measure my current saddle so I know what I have?

As for the ride today, it went well. The wife and I rode 40 miles in 3 hours and while my butt hurt it wasn't so bad that I couldn't stand it. I did wear my good bibs so that helped. I also moved my saddle up a tiny bit and pitched the nose down one click and I think that may have helped me stay in the correct position. What do you guys think? How sore should I expect to be tomorrow?
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Old 06-18-12, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Thanks for the info, I will definitely check that out. There is a Specialized dealer here so I will give them a call and see what they have to say. Where do I measure my current saddle so I know what I have?

As for the ride today, it went well. The wife and I rode 40 miles in 3 hours and while my butt hurt it wasn't so bad that I couldn't stand it. I did wear my good bibs so that helped. I also moved my saddle up a tiny bit and pitched the nose down one click and I think that may have helped me stay in the correct position. What do you guys think? How sore should I expect to be tomorrow?
Keep riding,you'll get it.I have my saddle pitched down a little also,and it seemed to help.When I say I'm not sitting much,I mean I have very little pressure on the saddle.When I coast I have no pressure on the saddle,and of course when I stand.Your legs get strong fast ,riding like this.It is hard to explain,but if you practice,you are kind of perched.Try a full Carbon saddle and you'll get it very quickly LOL
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Old 06-27-12, 09:36 PM
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Well I got an Antares Versus from the Specialized store. It's hard! Geez, now I know what it means to ride on the sit bones.
@bike56 - I know what you are saying about being "perched" while riding and while I'm really pedaling that is easy to pull off. However, the problem is when I'm riding with my wife or my buddy and his gf. They ride slower than me so I'm going long distances just spinning easy which puts a lot of pressure on the butt.
So.. now that I have this new saddle on loan how long does it take to get a reasonable assessment of how it will fit me in the long run?
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