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

Finding a comfortable saddle

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

Finding a comfortable saddle

Old 12-02-14, 09:13 AM
  #1  
falconsusi
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Southeast Tennessee
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Finding a comfortable saddle

I am a female. I am now starting to ride much longer miles. My last ride was 70 miles with around 6000' elevation. I am so sore! For one thing my chamois stitching was on my sit bones for a while causing severe bruising. So I am getting new shorts with no stitching. But after researching my main problem seems to be the pelvic ramus area (or the area between the sit bones). I have deep bone pains.

I am currently using the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow. I have just had this saddle for a few months. I think it isn't right for me. I do have wide sit bones. And I like the cutout. Maybe I need a firmer saddle?
I tend to ride in a more aggressive position. I seem to move forward on the seat to get extra room between my seat and my (um) leg/pelvic area. Kinda like I need a narrower seat.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by falconsusi; 12-02-14 at 09:46 AM.
falconsusi is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 10:36 AM
  #2  
RoadHolland
Cycling Apparel
 
RoadHolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida and Virginia
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have had good results with my Rivet Saddle -- Debra (the owner) is really responsive to getting the saddle fit right -- she has three types to choose from (or demo).

Rivet Cycle Works - Hand Crafted Leather Saddles
RoadHolland is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 12:27 PM
  #3  
milkbaby
blah blah blah
 
milkbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You may want to check with your local bike shops and ask which ones have a saddle test program. They may charge a small fee to try different saddles, but if you buy a saddle from them, you may get that fee credited towards your purchase.

Saddle preference is highly individualized, so there is no sure way to say what saddle will work for you. One saddle that is nirvana for me may be a butt hatchet for somebody else, so you just have to try them out yourself.

I probably wouldn't suggest this one regardless: (click on pic to read more)
milkbaby is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 01:41 PM
  #4  
falconsusi
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Southeast Tennessee
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Oddly I could see how that saddle above would be beneficial, however I am not that kinda gal yet

As a novel idea I am putting the original saddle on my bike for a while. It is a firmer saddle and it is not as wide. After watching a few videos and checking a few websites about saddle fit I am finding that maybe I want a not as wide saddle because of my ride positioning and my body bones positioning.

My bike is a Cannondale Alloy Synapse 105 (2013 model). I tried to research the stock saddle and I think that it is 145mm.

So I will keep on with the research and as soon as I can comfortably climb back into the saddle I will try again. At least I will know if a firmer saddle will work for me.
falconsusi is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 03:42 PM
  #5  
thrllskr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Denver, CO - City Park
Posts: 247

Bikes: Fuji, Ridley, Bianchi, Charge

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are not a weight weenie you should consider Brooks. B17 Standard is my favorite and I use them for all types of rides and bikes (agressive position to 2-3 hour mountain climbs). You may try all types of saddles and never find the right one but, almost always when people try Brooks and it is the right one.
thrllskr is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 03:53 PM
  #6  
happyscientist
Senior Member
 
happyscientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 255

Bikes: C'Dale Synapse, Surly Disc Trucker, Giant Trance, Orbea Avant

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I like the Fizik Donna, and have it on all of my bikes. It is firm with good sit bone support, and a slight cutout. I am also very picky about my chamois, and I find that the thickly padded ones cause problems. As mentioned above, see if shops have a test ride program. The ones in my area all do, although they vary from shop to shop. One shop just allows 30 days to get a full refund. Another allows you to sign out saddles from the test set. If nothing else, a shop might let you set your bike up on their trainer, put a saddle on it, and ride the shop trainer to figure it out.
happyscientist is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 04:59 PM
  #7  
falconsusi
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Southeast Tennessee
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks all. Here's what I have decided initially. Replace shorts with ones with no stitching - already on order.
Put stock saddle back on bike for a while. It is firmer. Until I decide on size and brand.

I have realized I tend to scoot forward on my seat causing pressure on my soft parts instead of sitting on my sit bones. I am going to combat this by getting a shorter and angled stem for my handlebars. I have thought about trying this before. I suppose maybe I could have gotten a smaller bike, but what did I know at the time?... I am 5' 4 1/2" and am on a 51cm bike. I figured that was small enough. So I will try the stem change. I think this will get me into the right position for sitting back on my saddle correctly. I already have the saddle all the way forward. I guess I am shorter than I thought

So tomorrow I will stop at the bike shop to see if I can get a shorter stem. If not then I'll order this one Bontrager: Race Lite 4-Bolt 40 Degree (Model #11233) 40 degree stem.
falconsusi is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 05:12 PM
  #8  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,043

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 139 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3168 Post(s)
Liked 437 Times in 263 Posts
First of all, I am a female who rides a men's standard Brooks B17, with the nose tilted up of course so that I sit on my sitbones and I don't slide forward. And I've done a lot of distance on my Brooks saddles.


But some things you might need to consider ...

-- the saddle needs to be wide enough for your sitbones ... both of them need to be planted firmly on the saddle and not sliding off to one side or another. I have ridden a saddle that was too narrow and felt like I was being torn apart. Agonizing.

-- consider the shape of the saddle ... is it flat or does it curve up in the back. I prefer saddles that curve up in the back, flat saddles give me back pain. But you'll have to determine what works for you.

-- consider the tilt of the saddle ... a lot of people seem to want to tilt the nose of the saddle down thinking that will ease the pain but all that does is to create more issues. You slide, you have to push yourself back all the time, you brace yourself. Start with the saddle flat and if that isn't comfortable, try tilting the nose of the saddle up just a little bit to force yourself back onto your sitbones.

-- consider the height of the saddle ... too high and you'll rock from side to side, too low and there's all sorts of extra friction. You may need to experiment with this a bit.

-- get shorts with padding that covers your sitbones. You may have to try several pair of shorts because shorts manufacturers seem to have no idea where women want the padding ... they put it in all sorts of odd places. Try the shorts on and stand in them, crouch in them, make pedalling motions in them, sit in them ... and check where the padding is.

-- and then there is the matter of posture, core strength, and how much weight you're putting on the saddle. You should be putting some of your weight on your feet so that your saddle does not support your full weight. And I've found that the stronger my core is, the more comfortable I am on a wider variety of saddles.
Machka is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 07:10 PM
  #9  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,468

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2947 Post(s)
Liked 855 Times in 645 Posts
My wife likes her Specialized Oura Expert Gel. She's been comfortable at 200k, could do more. Have your LBS measure your sitbone width. If you're in between, you can try both widths to see which is better. If you're riding an aggressive position, you need a standard road saddle with, in your case, a cutout.

As you've already noticed, which shorts makes a big difference. Even which shorts on which saddle makes a difference. I kind of know what shorts might work for me, but I'm often wrong anyway. I have a large drawer full of shorts, most of them relegated to the 2 hour or less category and only a couple pair in the 200 mile+ category. So try different shorts manufacturers and models as the money comes available or the necessity strikes. Lately I've been liking the top Voler models.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 07:13 PM
  #10  
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
My wife recommends a Terry Butterfly Ti.
__________________
"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 12-02-14, 07:18 PM
  #11  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6554 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 31 Posts
Don't confuse fit regarding saddle position with fit related to stem length. Sounds like you need a full, professional fitting. You will just get into trouble moving stuff around at random. If you have concerns about your fit, you need to get that squared away.

Regarding saddle choice, I recommend buying your first one from a brick and mortar store that has a trial program (as was already mentioned by someone else above). It is worth the cost. Once you know what you like, you can buy future saddles of the same type online if you like. It is worth the initial investment to get the right seat.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 12-02-14, 07:39 PM
  #12  
FLvector
Stand and Deliver
 
FLvector's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 3,340

Bikes: Cannondale R1000, Giant TCR Advanced, Giant TCR Advanced SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Ironically, the stiffer saddles tend to be the most comfortable. At least that's been my experience. I've heard many problems with comfort with the gel saddles. You'd think a little cushion is good, but it doesn't work that way. I'm also a Voler fan and suggest something like these shorts for long distance comfort. The most important thing for a saddle is the support for your "sit bones" and a nose that doesn't chafe the inside of your legs. Some saddles come in a variety of widths, so once you've had your sit bone width measure, you can choose the proper saddle. Or you do the trial and error method. As suggested, getting a fit would be a good start. The fitter will be able to put your saddle in the proper position and choose the proper stem length for you, among other things. Otherwise, you'll be guessing and wondering if you need to move things around to get more comfortable. Good luck.
FLvector is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
abby4000
Road Cycling
10
07-25-13 12:27 AM
Jfitalia
Road Cycling
18
07-26-12 09:51 AM
vikz
Road Cycling
52
07-20-11 12:22 AM
butterfinger15
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
14
04-12-11 01:55 PM
Dguy
Road Cycling
38
03-05-10 09:08 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


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.