Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Help a rider find the saddle with the right "flow-cutout"

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Help a rider find the saddle with the right "flow-cutout"

Old 06-19-14, 10:22 AM
  #1  
IcySmooth52
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
IcySmooth52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Help a rider find the saddle with the right "flow-cutout"

With my more recent focus on century rides, I've determined I need to explore my saddle options. Once a ride is close to at least a metric century, I start loosing circulation. I've tried two saddles with holes before; Ritchey WCS BioMAX & Selle Italia SL Flow, and what I didn't like was how soft the saddles were because the shell would flex due to less structure.

I currently ride a Fiz'ik Antares & Ritchey WCS Streem, so I have a good understanding of what "orthopedic insert" shapes/sizes I like. Just what saddles don't flex so much!
IcySmooth52 is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 11:04 AM
  #2  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 10,723

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1701 Post(s)
Liked 734 Times in 456 Posts
SMP Dynamic seems not flex under my 215lb mass, whether I'm sitting "in the pouch," or scooched up forward on the nose. I can detect a touch of flex when I'm off the back, up on the tail, but I also have the post clamp fairly forward on the seat rails, so the tail generates max leverage.

Great, firmly and lightly padded saddle, though, and the SMP cutout is probably the most open one out there.
chaadster is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 11:14 AM
  #3  
UnfilteredDregs
Senior Member
 
UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC, duh Bronx.
Posts: 3,578

Bikes: Salsa Ti Warbird- 2014/ November RAIL52s

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by IcySmooth52 View Post
With my more recent focus on century rides, I've determined I need to explore my saddle options. Once a ride is close to at least a metric century, I start loosing circulation. I've tried two saddles with holes before; Ritchey WCS BioMAX & Selle Italia SL Flow, and what I didn't like was how soft the saddles were because the shell would flex due to less structure.

I currently ride a Fiz'ik Antares & Ritchey WCS Streem, so I have a good understanding of what "orthopedic insert" shapes/sizes I like. Just what saddles don't flex so much!

The SL Flow, BioMAX, and Streem are all around 131mm wide...why then are you riding an Antares at 142 width as well?
UnfilteredDregs is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 12:43 PM
  #4  
danmc
Senior Member
 
danmc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 929
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just finished testing an Adamo Road for about 200 miles, and an SMP Dynamic for about 100 miles.

I liked the Dynamic and it never made me numb, but when leaning forward I still felt my junk getting crushed. On the Adamo I think there's pretty much zero chance you're going to go numb because there's no nose so nothing for your soft tissues to press against. I even found it quite comfortable to ride in the drops using the Adamo although I ride in the hoods about 95% of the time.

I ended up ordering the Road saddle.
danmc is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 02:06 PM
  #5  
IcySmooth52
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
IcySmooth52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
The SL Flow, BioMAX, and Streem are all around 131mm wide...why then are you riding an Antares at 142 width as well?
I know the Antares has an overall wider width, but the nose is more narrow. I rarely sit on the back of my saddles, and I prefer it over the Arione because that has a slower 'flaring' width that starts more twoards the front.

Originally Posted by danmc View Post
I just finished testing an Adamo Road for about 200 miles, and an SMP Dynamic for about 100 miles.

I liked the Dynamic and it never made me numb, but when leaning forward I still felt my junk getting crushed. On the Adamo I think there's pretty much zero chance you're going to go numb because there's no nose so nothing for your soft tissues to press against. I even found it quite comfortable to ride in the drops using the Adamo although I ride in the hoods about 95% of the time.

I ended up ordering the Road saddle.
I doubt I'd like any ISM because I use the nose on saddles, but that SMP might be the one...
IcySmooth52 is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 04:57 PM
  #6  
Kopsis
Senior Member
 
Kopsis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Williams Cycling Aurora SLC (or SLC+ if you want more width): Williams Aurora SLC Carbon Saddle

Has a bit of flex in the carbon rails (which I like) but the shell seems good and solid.
Kopsis is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 05:03 PM
  #7  
dtrain
L-I-V-I-N
 
dtrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Stafford, OR
Posts: 4,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
__________________
"The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

'14 carbon Synapse - '12 CAAD 10 5 - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur
dtrain is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 06:52 PM
  #8  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 10,723

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1701 Post(s)
Liked 734 Times in 456 Posts
Originally Posted by IcySmooth52 View Post

I doubt I'd like any ISM because I use the nose on saddles, but that SMP might be the one...
Given that, then yes, you really probably should check out the SMP line.

That's how I ride, too; my pelvis is tipped forward and I ride up on the nose. I'll occasionally sit back on my ischial tuberosities, on the tail of the saddle, for a little momentary variation, but it's not comfy for long. That ischium pressure is my main problem with saddles, and so I prefer narrower noses that gently taper through the body and back into a narrower tail, rather than a more abrupt body/tail transition (as on, say, the San Marco Concor).
chaadster is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 07:34 PM
  #9  
IcySmooth52
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
IcySmooth52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
Actually, the Selle Italia SLR flow is on my list because it's the more narrow Flite.
IcySmooth52 is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 07:39 PM
  #10  
Northwestrider
Senior Member
 
Northwestrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 2,466

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Rodriguez Tandem, Wheeler MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've not ridden the Selle SMP, but of those I have talked with that ride with that saddle, all love it. Me, I'm pleased with my Brooks.
Northwestrider is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 08:25 PM
  #11  
TexMac
Senior Member
 
TexMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,602

Bikes: Ridley Noah fast, Colnago CLX,Giant Propel Advanced, Pinnerello Gogma 65.1, Specialized S-works Venge, CAADX,Cervelo S3

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by danmc View Post
I just finished testing an Adamo Road for about 200 miles, and an SMP Dynamic for about 100 miles.

I liked the Dynamic and it never made me numb, but when leaning forward I still felt my junk getting crushed. On the Adamo I think there's pretty much zero chance you're going to go numb because there's no nose so nothing for your soft tissues to press against. I even found it quite comfortable to ride in the drops using the Adamo although I ride in the hoods about 95% of the time.

I ended up ordering the Road saddle.
I had the Adamo saddle and after 6 months it started chaffing really bad.
TexMac is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 08:30 PM
  #12  
TexMac
Senior Member
 
TexMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,602

Bikes: Ridley Noah fast, Colnago CLX,Giant Propel Advanced, Pinnerello Gogma 65.1, Specialized S-works Venge, CAADX,Cervelo S3

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had selle smp extra and after 6 months it started chaffing and some numbness, now i have selle italia lite 209 and it feels comfortable, did 110 miles on it and no issues. I weigh 170lbs
TexMac is offline  
Old 06-19-14, 10:16 PM
  #13  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 10,723

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1701 Post(s)
Liked 734 Times in 456 Posts
Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
I had selle smp extra and after 6 months it started chaffing and some numbness, now i have selle italia lite 209 and it feels comfortable, did 110 miles on it and no issues. I weigh 170lbs
Lite 209 is a SMP model; do you mean you switched SMP models? The SMP Extra is probably too padded, too soft, to be reccommended for high mileage riding.
chaadster is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 12:19 AM
  #14  
Fiery
Senior Member
 
Fiery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,361
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Current Specialized Toupe Pro and S-Works saddles are supposedly much less flexible and last much longer without sagging than older models, in order to be usable for the sponsored pros. Specialized Romin was less flexible from the start, so you might want to check that out as well.

Last edited by Fiery; 06-20-14 at 02:03 AM.
Fiery is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 03:29 AM
  #15  
danmc
Senior Member
 
danmc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 929
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think the lesson learned from these posts is that you have to test ride a bunch of saddles first. What one person loves another hates. The guy at the LBS said he hated the Adamo. He lent me his personal SMP Dynamic seat to ride. I didn't hate the SMP but I had a lot more discomfort with it. In fact I put back on the Adamo and went for a ride yesterday and it felt great. See if you can find an LBS that will let you demo some seats. If not there are websites that lend out seats for demo, or you can order from Performance Bicycle and their liberal return policy will let you return the saddles you don't like.
danmc is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 04:25 AM
  #16  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by danmc View Post
I think the lesson learned from these posts is that you have to test ride a bunch of saddles first. What one person loves another hates. The guy at the LBS said he hated the Adamo. He lent me his personal SMP Dynamic seat to ride. I didn't hate the SMP but I had a lot more discomfort with it. In fact I put back on the Adamo and went for a ride yesterday and it felt great. See if you can find an LBS that will let you demo some seats. If not there are websites that lend out seats for demo, or you can order from Performance Bicycle and their liberal return policy will let you return the saddles you don't like.
Actually saddle selection is much more complex than even the correct notion that each of us are shaped different and require a different saddle geometry and/or cutout.
A 100 mile ride for a recreational cyclist will expose the worse in fitness. Its no different that a 10 mile a week rider riding 40 miles once in a while.

Let's take me. If I lay off riding which I rarely do since I have relocated to a year around riding climate, but after a long Midwestern winter and I get back on my bike, my same trusty saddle I can ride a century on when I am fit...will hurt after a 30 mile ride. This is because of me and not the saddle. My riding position after a lay off isn't as refined...posture isn't as good and sitbones carry more weight.. My riding muscles aren't as conditioned where I contact the saddle. My pedal forces are a bit reduced which naturally unweights a rider. My weight is also a bit higher which puts more pressure on a saddle. It is rare that a light, extremely fit rider complains about saddle pain or numbness. This is because a saddle isn't a park bench to a strong and light rider, but rather a perch to lightly rest on most of the time.

OP, good luck in your search. Keep in mind there is no holy grail when it comes to saddle selection but yes, choice of saddle is important.
For numbness, you need to get weight off of the center of your perineum. This means you need to prop up your sitbones higher. This is going to put more pressure on your sitbones and can be achieved with a saddle with a bit more of a kick up in back and/or a cutout you mention.
Also you need to get out of the saddle more. Upshift the bike and ride it like a stair master. If you aren't as fit or light to perform a century without pain then you need to work more on your fitness....or choose a shorter ride.

Which leaves me to my last comment as I think back the last couple of years. I ran into an amazing rider on the road a couple of years ago that I never forgot. I was out on a 60 mile ride to meet up with my riding buddies and he caught my wheel and got to talking. He asked if he could join us and we said sure and the guy was just an unbelievable rider and he was 50 years old. Perfect build and a hell of a nice guy. His fitness was off the chart and I am no slouch. So we got into talking about his training and he said he routinely rode 300 miles a week. I asked him if he had a set schedule and he said no. He would leave the house loaded up with food and drink and would just ride. He said many days he would look down and be at mile 80 and felt good and would ride another 40 miles...lol. He said he routinely rode out the door with no intention of riding a century but would end up riding 100 miles regularly. We all wish we had his level of fitness.

Last edited by Campag4life; 06-20-14 at 04:31 AM.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 06:05 AM
  #17  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,097
Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1941 Post(s)
Liked 913 Times in 616 Posts
Which leaves me to my last comment as I think back the last couple of years. I ran into an amazing rider on the road a couple of years ago that I never forgot. I was out on a 60 mile ride to meet up with my riding buddies and he caught my wheel and got to talking. He asked if he could join us and we said sure and the guy was just an unbelievable rider and he was 50 years old. Perfect build and a hell of a nice guy. His fitness was off the chart and I am no slouch. So we got into talking about his training and he said he routinely rode 300 miles a week. I asked him if he had a set schedule and he said no. He would leave the house loaded up with food and drink and would just ride. He said many days he would look down and be at mile 80 and felt good and would ride another 40 miles...lol. He said he routinely rode out the door with no intention of riding a century but would end up riding 100 miles regularly. We all wish we had his level of fitness.
If we all had the time, this is the way to do it. Get on the bike and just go. It becomes an adventure instead of a routine. Get out and see the world!
seypat is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 08:31 AM
  #18  
calgarc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
I am using one of these in white on my bike. Loads of padding, fairly light, but slightly wider then the SLR version.


On my touring bike i had a brooks team pro, very good saddle for long rides
calgarc is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 08:44 AM
  #19  
calgarc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
i used to do that all the time on my longboard. i would leave the house in the morning ride 120km, not for fitness but purely for fun. i was averaging 50km every day. head to the beach, grab a Perrier and have a quick nap.
calgarc is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 09:11 AM
  #20  
nesdog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
Posts: 2,670

Bikes: Domane SLR7 Disc

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 34 Posts
Also been riding an SMP Lite 209 for the past 1-1/2 years. SMP's can be tough to set up right. I had a Glider I hated but somehow got this one working okay. I've done a century on it. Giant cutout on these.
__________________
[insert clever quote here]
nesdog is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 10:02 AM
  #21  
UnfilteredDregs
Senior Member
 
UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC, duh Bronx.
Posts: 3,578

Bikes: Salsa Ti Warbird- 2014/ November RAIL52s

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by IcySmooth52 View Post
I know the Antares has an overall wider width, but the nose is more narrow. I rarely sit on the back of my saddles, and I prefer it over the Arione because that has a slower 'flaring' width that starts more twoards the front...
One thing that jumps out at me is since you mention numbness, and you sit more up front on the saddle, are you sure you're being adequately supported via your sit bones?
UnfilteredDregs is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 12:19 PM
  #22  
TexMac
Senior Member
 
TexMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,602

Bikes: Ridley Noah fast, Colnago CLX,Giant Propel Advanced, Pinnerello Gogma 65.1, Specialized S-works Venge, CAADX,Cervelo S3

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Lite 209 is a SMP model; do you mean you switched SMP models? The SMP Extra is probably too padded, too soft, to be reccommended for high mileage riding.
Thanks for correction.
I actully did like the SMP extra for 6 months, worth of 1k miles untill recently.
TexMac is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 12:51 PM
  #23  
Slackerprince
Redefining Lazy
 
Slackerprince's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Metro, MN
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Synapse 5 105, 2013 Giant Escape 3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts


This is what I'm on, right now.
Selle Italia Max SLR Gel Flow. It is 145mm wide.

Huge cutout, firm, but with some merciful padding. Flat shape, that I prefer.
It's been working for me.
I was on a Toupe Comp, but got numb on it.
I had the SMP Extra for about 5 minutes-Way too padded for me.
I had the SMP Dynamic and did a couple of rides on it, but I couldn't adjust to the shape. Expensive, too.

It's important to stand and pedal frequently to avoid numbness, in my experience.
Good luck.

S
Slackerprince is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 09:53 PM
  #24  
timmbo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 256

Bikes: 2012 Trek Madone 6.9ssl (brand new 12/30/15)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have an SMP Drakon and it is an awesome saddle. No sores, no numbness, and perfect comfort. Quite amazing how if you get the proper size and play with the adjustments it truly is a wonderful saddle.
timmbo is offline  
Old 06-20-14, 10:45 PM
  #25  
fstshrk
Senior Member
 
fstshrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: WA State
Posts: 1,843
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I know this thread is about saddles with cutouts, but I had numbness issues with that type of saddle and have switched first to Bontrager Inform RL and then to Fizik Aliante. I can ride for hours and not feel numb.
fstshrk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.