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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 11-06-08, 01:37 PM   #1
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Stoker Needs Help on Saddle Ideas for Ultradistance Cycling

I'm in the market for a new stoker's female saddle for our Santana Beyond tandem. The one that came with the bike is giving me pudendal nerve problems, specifically debilitating nerve pressure on my sitz bones and pubic bone. When we ride double centuries, it becomes quite a problem starting at about the 40 mile point. I've done alot of reading on how to reduce the problem, so now I'm in the market for a wider seat. Does anyone have any suggestions on makes and models of seats that work well for endurance and ultradistance riding? We are training for the Furnace Creek 508 and eventually the PBP. I need to get this dialed in. Thanks!
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Old 11-06-08, 01:54 PM   #2
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Definitely need to dial it in but as a male- I use a Selle Trans AM- in the female form. I am not overlarge but as stoker- I found this saddle works for me on the longer rides. However- I am also getting good results with a San Marco "Aero". The same as I use on my road solo- and is a narrower firmer saddle.

More important though is taking butt breaks and saddle adjustment.

There is no Magic saddle that works for everyone- but wish you luck in finding one that works.
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Old 11-06-08, 02:50 PM   #3
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My wife tried practically every saddle under the sun and couldn't stand them; the ones with cut-outs pinched her and she complained that the nose on others made her numb. The only saddle that has worked for her is the Allay Nomad 1.1 ( It is wide and has a narrow, soft nose.
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Old 11-06-08, 03:58 PM   #4
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My wife uses a Selle Anatomica. She has been using it since our 300k qualifier for PBP 2007 when we took it out of the box, put it on the bike and then put the bike in the car to do the ride the following day. We brought along her old seat just in case everything did not go well but she was thrilled with the difference and the extra seat was just added weight. She has never looked back.

She is very happy about not having injured “female parts” after a long ride, and I must say so am I. She STRONGLY recommends the Selle Anatomica.

I also know a female rider from Texas that will not ride anything else but the Selle Anatomica but she is on a single bike. Additionally I have a few male friends that ride them as well with similar, very positive, results.

That said, other riders have had some issues with stretching when they get wet, but my wife did not have any problems on PBP, which, as you may know, was the wettest in over 50 years. Some male riders did have problems, however. By the way, if the “cut outs” are pinching you, you need to adjust the seat with the wrench that they provide with the saddle.

I use a Brooks B-17, but this may be more of a “I have been using this saddle for the last 30 years and it has worked fine, I am stuck in my ways, my butt is used to it…” thing. I must also add that at the end of PBP I had severe saddle issues, she did not, but I think this may be due to a lack of butt cream and being wet for 780 miles rather than seat difference.

If you are having problems at the 40 mile point, you will be in a world of hurt at mile 740 and not looking forward to the last miles of the ride. Not an option for rides like PBP or the 508 where you have to deal with a lot of other problems besides your saddle.

Keep in mind that keeping you butt in good shape is more of a system of saddle, shorts, butt cream/no butt cream, keep it clean, changing shorts, double shorts, etc… The further you go, the closer this becomes to an art form rather than science.

Are you planning on doing the 508 solo or on a team with other tandems?
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Old 11-06-08, 04:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by reversegear View Post
Are you planning on doing the 508 solo or on a team with other tandems?
We will be applying as a two tandem team or a solo tandem team. We haven't decided yet.

Thanks to all for the input. Keep it coming! I really appreciate it....
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Old 11-06-08, 06:31 PM   #6
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You running the shock seatpost? We got rid of ours and the saddle problems went away (although we don't do anything longer than double centuries).
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Old 11-06-08, 07:45 PM   #7
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Finding an appropriate saddle is a lonely search and not much enhanced by
advice from others as "YMMV" really applies here. I was really concerned
about this when we were contemplating buying a nice tandem as a trial of
10-12 saddles from the takeoff bin (about 75 saddles in the bin) revealed
none to be of any use beyond 40-60mi. I had had reasonable luck with
Terry Liberators on singletons, but as you know tandem stoking is not
like a singleton but a trial swapout was no joy. Stroke of luck let me (male)
try a ladies Terry butterfly when a lady stoker did the first 50 miles of a
4am start double century and it was quite nice for the 90 miles I rode.
Unfortunately there is some variance from year to year in the saddle
but I still use one. Second revelation was that only one pair of shorts of
my dozen or so is tandem rated. I was at the 90mi mark of a century on
Sat out and century on Sun back when the shorts I had became intolerable.
Stopped at an LBS on the route and bought PI Microsensor and found it
to be a revelation, much much better than any of my other shorts. It was
not for several weeks that I discovered I was cross dressing and it was a
women's short. Fit fine though and still is a great short for any mileage.
I have another short good for 80-110 miles, all the others are <60mi shorts.
PI men's microsensor has been equally comfortable. Can't comment on
any longer rides however. 508 sounds like couple of clothing changes to
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Old 11-06-08, 11:03 PM   #8
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I ride on a Selle San Marco "Glamour" on my Diva, and a Selle San Marco "Glamour Aspide" on the tandem. The Aspide has a small cut out. I haven't ridden over 108 miles on either saddle and have had no problems with either.

Have you been measured for a saddle yet?
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Old 11-07-08, 05:34 AM   #9
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go to a specialized shop and sit on the Ass-o-meter or Assometer as they say it. It is a pad that measures your sit bones ....then you will know the width best suited to your bones.

good luck
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