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How can a harder saddle be more comfortable?

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How can a harder saddle be more comfortable?

Old 10-01-12, 09:11 AM
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Brandon2002
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How can a harder saddle be more comfortable?

I know to some this may seem like a dumb question but I'm a newb to the sport. Im considering buying a Fizik Arione. Is that a good saddle. right now im using the stock saddle that came with my super six and its not that comfy. Thanks
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Old 10-01-12, 09:13 AM
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DropDeadFred
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I have the selle Italia slr with the cutout and mono link...it's basically near nothing padding but super flexible and comfortable.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:14 AM
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tagaproject6
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Ride more and get your ass used to riding before changing out the saddle. Your discomfort may or may not be saddle related versus saddle time related. Have you been fitted properly to your bike?
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Old 10-01-12, 09:15 AM
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DropDeadFred
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Better bibbs too
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Old 10-01-12, 09:16 AM
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canam73
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A comfy (but hard) saddle will be one that fits your butt and pedaling motion well enough to provide support where you need it on the sit bones without causing pressure points on your soft tissue or get in the way of your inner thighs and cause rubbing/chaffing.

Obviously this needs to be a very close fit so trying out different saddles and positions for each saddle is a must.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:18 AM
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abstractform20
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how can sitting on a bench or chair be comfortable?
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Old 10-01-12, 09:18 AM
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Yo Spiff
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I have Brooks saddles on all my bikes and have often had someone express surprise that a hard leather saddle could be comfortable. So I've given some thought to that question and finally came up with a reasonable explanation and analogy...

Are you uncomfortable sitting on a wooden bench or chair? It's not cushy soft, but you can probably sit there just fine for hours. The reason is that you are suspended on top of your sit bones and the rest of your butt is suspended on the softest thing there is: air.

The cushy padded and gel filled saddles feel great at first, but over the course of a longer ride they will push on and compress all the soft tissues and nerves in your butt, causing it to ache.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:19 AM
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RaleighSport
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I have a couple "soft" saddles, I like them fine, but my most comfortable saddle is a very stiff brooks.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:23 AM
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For ME it was a better shape and the "prostate" groove that made the difference. On the last bike I rode on a department store extra cushy saddle and was very uncomfortable, got my new bike it had a much smaller harder saddle with the groove on it - I was amazed how much better it was.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:24 AM
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mprelaw
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Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
how can sitting on a bench or chair be comfortable?
When it's shaped to the contours of your butt? Probably more comfortable that my padded office chair that I'm sitting on right now.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:26 AM
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abstractform20
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
For ME it was a better shape and the "prostate" groove that made the difference. On the last bike I rode on a department store extra cushy saddle and was very uncomfortable, got my new bike it had a much smaller harder saddle with the groove on it - I was amazed how much better it was.

its a groove or channel for your perineum/perineal artery...if your saddle has ever touched your prostate, seek help or keep enjoying the ride.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:29 AM
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Adamo Racing 2!
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Old 10-01-12, 09:34 AM
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I got nothin on the why or the question, just that in my experiences, soft/squishy saddles are fine if you are riding less than 5 mi, beyond that its gotta be very thinly padded (if at all) in order to be comfy.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:37 AM
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Rootman
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Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
its a groove or channel for your perineum/perineal artery...if your saddle has ever touched your prostate, seek help or keep enjoying the ride.
So you're telling my the horn of the saddle should not be pointed straight up ???
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Old 10-01-12, 09:38 AM
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abstractform20
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
So you're telling my the horn of the saddle should not be pointed straight up ???

well, if youre gifted you could probably fit the back of the saddle in there...
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Old 10-01-12, 10:16 AM
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When you sit on a saddle with a lot of padding, your bones sink down into the pad. When that happens two things are in play that affect your comfort. Number one, is the padding is basically pushing up on the tissues everywhere else where the padding isnt as compressed. This cuts bloodflow and can create numbness. The other factor involves shear forces as you move around on the saddle. If your bones are sunk down into padding and you shift your butt a bit side-to-side, or forward and back you get lateral stressing in your tissue layers. If the saddle is hard, you are more free to slide around on the surface freely.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:33 AM
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Brandon2002
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Ahh makes sense now.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:46 AM
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I think every newb should ride their stock saddle for a minimum of 2 or 3 weeks before deciding on changing.
My butt bone was hurting really bad after first couple of days riding my bike when I first started and after a few weeks the pain subsided and is now gone.. I am still riding on my stock cannondale caad 10 saddle.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:50 AM
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Bare CF is by far the most comfortable for me.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
I have Brooks saddles on all my bikes and have often had someone express surprise that a hard leather saddle could be comfortable...The cushy padded and gel filled saddles feel great at first, but over the course of a longer ride they will push on and compress all the soft tissues and nerves in your butt, causing it to ache.
I think this is the answer, too. I have three Brooks B-17s, bought over eight or 10 years, and they're always comfortable. I've probably tried 20 other saddles in 40 years, and some feel fine on short rides, but I can do four or five hours on the Brookses. NOTE, though, that setup is also important. Fool with tilt and fore-and-aft adjustments a millimeter or two at a time to see if that helps.
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Old 10-01-12, 12:17 PM
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Some people have gone into more detail, and it is interesting to consider the compression effects of padding on your rear tissue,

The clincher for me was always this: the padding in saddles though initially comfortable very quickly compresses while you ride on it, a good stiff springy saddle will stay springy and supportive for the duration of the ride.

It seems counter-intuitive that sitting on your sit bones would be more comfortable than sitting on your naturally padded rear, but as with a few things in cycling the practised evidence is that sitting on your sit bones is 'the lesser of two pains'.

All that said, I have a specialized toupe pro saddle which is great albeit rather austere, but I've put a cheap gel pad over it and I think I like it better now.

One last thing, wide padded seats press the blood out of a wider area of your behind, dramatically increasing the risk of 'numb crotch'.
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Old 10-01-12, 12:24 PM
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Still on my stock saddle....nearly 843 miles. I intend to switch out to a WSD saddle at some point in future but for now...as long as I have my bibs on...I'm relatively comfortable. But I know that I could be more comfortable on a different saddle that matches my sit bone measurements etc...and is WSD.
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Old 10-01-12, 12:30 PM
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What they all said, plus you don't always have to spend alot to get the right one. Mine is a $24.00 C9 road seat.
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Old 10-01-12, 03:43 PM
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thechemist
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Just make sure you address your bike fit and bibs before moving on to saddle. The "cushion" in your bibs is where you get the padding not the seat.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:02 PM
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The bare CF saddles fascinate me. I need to save up to get one and experiment, if I can find the right width.

I have quite a few Brooks, too, but another comfortable saddle is a Selle San Marco with Ti rails. It's a lightweight saddle, and has a very thin leather covering, and the wings flex nicely while I am riding along. It's a nice alternative to the Brooks for up to century distance.
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