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Old 08-22-16, 09:40 PM
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bikering
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Newbie Help

I am a 65 year old male that has been biking for several years. Next year, I am going to do a long distant tour along the Rhine River. I have been using a plastic seat that still gives me some soreness. Would a leather one be better and can you recommend a particular one?

Last edited by cb400bill; 08-23-16 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 08-24-16, 07:40 AM
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Brooks B17
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Old 08-24-16, 08:02 AM
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While they certainly have their followers, there are NO guarantees that a leather saddle will be more agreeable to your body.


My favourite saddle is a dirt-cheap Velo, now onto its 3rd skin.


The way to finding saddles that work for you is to try different ones. Maybe measure your sit bone spacing to reduce the span of guesswork some.
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Old 08-24-16, 04:20 PM
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I'm 65 now and chose many years ago to begin breaking in a Brooks Professional that on my most recent tour began to tear. While on that tour I wound up buying an anatomical saddle with cutouts and it seems to work fine. The worst part about saddle shopping is that you don't know what you have until it's been under you for a few miles and if you find yourself dissatisfied it can run into money changing from one to another.


Incidentally, I rode along the Rhine on a cheap leather saddle that came on the bike I bought in Amsterdam. I resorted to using dental floss to tie the saddle's perforated skirt to the rails so they would not flair and shred my pants or the skin of my thighs.


Good luck with your search.

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Old 08-24-16, 04:34 PM
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The Brooks company goes back a century + ... there are other competitors to them as well
Berthoud in France selle anatomica in the USA

I'm 68 I have the Brooks team Pro I bought in the mid 70's I toured extensively Upon
(I wax saturated it 30 + years ago .. they tear when let get too dry)

Including the Rhine from Basel CH northward on a Levee top road until a NATO M1 Abrams Tank got in the way.


Of similar shape is the Selle Italia Turbo and the ones they made for Avocet.
this is drop bar touring sitting up more the Lore is use a wider saddle ..

Problem, with the B17 is its short rail adjustment range so the seat post choice for setback is a combined set of choices ..

Brick and Mortar sitting on saddles is the key

Since the Italian Buy Out the production ramp up at Brooks has been Huge.

Now trendy, They're everywhere, Now.




./.
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Old 08-24-16, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bikering View Post
I am a 65 year old male that has been biking for several years. Next year, I am going to do a long distant tour along the Rhine River. I have been using a plastic seat that still gives me some soreness. Would a leather one be better and can you recommend a particular one?
So, tensioned leather saddles differ pretty massively in construction from modern saddles.

Modern saddles are a rigid piece of material (i.e. plastic) that has been upholstered. They are easy to manufacture into arbitrary shapes with arbitrary padding profiles, they're lightweight, and they can be pretty cheap.
Too little padding, and it might be too hard on your sit bones; too much padding, and your sit bones will sink too deep and fail to suspend softer tissues above the padding, resulting in said softer tissues being crushed.

Tensioned leather saddles work by suspending a piece of material between the front and back of the saddle. The surface is smooth and hard with no padding, but its overall structure has some amount of give and flex. This means that sit bones do not sink deep into the surface, but it also isn't overly harsh. The smoothness, flexing, and good breathability of these saddles can also reduce chafing.
The obvious drawbacks of tensioned leather saddles are that they're heavy and usually quite expensive (and there's a tiny bit of maintenance involved in caring for them, and there can be a breaking-in period). The less obvious, but very significant, drawback is that shaping is a tricky matter. Lots of people have issues with leather saddles having overly-prominent noses, for instance. A common symptom might be that a few postures are perfectly comfy, but a few aren't really usable. If you find a leather saddle that works for you, it'll probably be a very nice thing; lots of tourists seem to have success with the Brooks B-17.
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Old 08-24-16, 06:23 PM
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I have a leather saddle and i wish i could get a normal saddle. Until then i have padded shorts and a pad over the saddle. For me its too hard.
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Old 08-25-16, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I'm 68 I have the Brooks team Pro I bought in the mid 70's I toured extensively Upon

Problem, with the B17 is its short rail adjustment range so the seat post choice for setback is a combined set of choices ..

Brick and Mortar sitting on saddles is the key
Have considered the Brooks Pro but geometry info esp nose & mid-width is not readily available. Brooks Pro Classic is now reasonably-priced at ~$85 but uber-expensive Swallow seems like it might be a better fit.
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Old 08-26-16, 12:23 PM
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Geometry means nothing to your behind , only your Head.. get some and sit on them.
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Old 08-26-16, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikering View Post
I have been using a plastic seat that still gives me some soreness. Would a leather one be better and can you recommend a particular one?
What type of soreness are you talking about? Maybe you need some extra padding on the seat? Because my bike used to give me soreness for about a week and then my body got use to it. How long are you going on your rides and do you normally go the same distance each day? If you are overexerting yourself then if might not be the seat, but your body telling you you might be going overboard. I normally just put on some Anti monkey Butt to take care of the butt chaffing, deal with the hard plastic seat, and just chalk it up for my body getting used to the old bike again. And if your soreness is going on for a while, like 6 months or so, then get some padding for your seat. Hope you have a smoother ride.
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Old 08-26-16, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bikering View Post
I am a 65 year old male that has been biking for several years. Next year, I am going to do a long distant tour along the Rhine River. I have been using a plastic seat that still gives me some soreness. Would a leather one be better and can you recommend a particular one?
Stand up and pedal once in a while.
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Old 08-26-16, 01:06 PM
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Choice of saddle is an extremely personal decision, even more so than gearing. For gearing I can spot off a few logical and general ideas. Bike saddles I have one.

Do not discount female specific saddles when used in a touring context. They tend to be wider and when you are "hard" sitting down for most of the day some folks will find them friendlier.
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Old 08-28-16, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Stand up and pedal once in a while.
Provide some useful information or don't post. Don't be a jerk.
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Old 08-28-16, 08:25 PM
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I'm 69 and ride about 4000 miles a year. I bought a Brooks B15Swift last year for one of my bikes and couldn't believe how comfortable it was. I've now upgraded two other bikes with the same saddle. My reccomendation, but saddles are very personal.
Good luck.
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Old 08-28-16, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 10speedBill View Post
Provide some useful information or don't post. Don't be a jerk.
I don't think he was being a jerk, that information actually does have some helpfulness. If you stand up and pedal, it does give the bum a bit of a break. It also provides vital circulation.

Also, please refrain from calling people names. I'd appreciate it.
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Old 08-28-16, 10:19 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
I don't think he was being a jerk, that information actually does have some helpfulness. If you stand up and pedal, it does give the bum a bit of a break. It also provides vital circulation.
+1 It is really good advice.

My wife's Physical Therapist, an excellent bike fitter, told her the padding should be in the shorts, not the saddle.
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Old 08-28-16, 10:26 PM
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Decided

I want to thank all the poster for their helpful replies. I will go with the B17 but buy it way in advance in case it does not work and I have to go back to another choice. Now, I have the standard saddle that came with my Specialized Sirius and it just seems to be giving me some irritation where the leg and buttock come together.
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Old 08-29-16, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 10speedBill View Post
I'm 69 and ride about 4000 miles a year. I bought a Brooks B15Swift last year for one of my bikes and couldn't believe how comfortable it was. I've now upgraded two other bikes with the same saddle. My reccomendation, but saddles are very personal.
Good luck.
Did you previously use other Brooks' saddles? I'm intrigued by the Swift since it appears to have narrower nose/mid-section & less skirt flare than B17 which gave me a bit of thigh rub. Swift Ti is only about 20% lighter than the steel version which IMO is sort of nice in that one doesn't give up much (& saves $$) by going with the steel. Pretty too.

Originally Posted by bikering View Post
I want to thank all the poster for their helpful replies. I will go with the B17 but buy it way in advance in case it does not work and I have to go back to another choice. Now, I have the standard saddle that came with my Specialized Sirius and it just seems to be giving me some irritation where the leg and buttock come together.
B17 is the logical choice for 1st leather saddle. If it doesn't fit it's easy to sell due to demand. Or one can order from WallBike with 6-month comfort guarantee.
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Old 08-29-16, 11:12 PM
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[QUOTE=DropBarFan;19020148]Did you previously use other Brooks' saddles? I'm intrigued by the Swift since it appears to have narrower nose/mid-section & less skirt flare than B17 which gave me a bit of thigh rub. Swift Ti is only about 20% lighter than the steel version which IMO is sort of nice in that one doesn't give up much (& saves $$) by going with the steel. Pretty too.

I tried a friends B17 and found the skirt chuffed my thighs. I put the first Swift on an 82 Colnago that I restored, more for looks than comfort, but was amazed how comfortable it was. It is as comfortable after a couple of hundred miles and any of my other saddles. I bought the chrome version because the chrome looks better on the bike. The cost savings is also a great benefit.

If you buy one of these saddles and don't like it, it's readily salable on Craigslist or eBay.

Good luck.
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Old 08-30-16, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 10speedBill View Post
I tried a friends B17 and found the skirt chuffed my thighs. .....
recommend either you try a ladies saddle,
or forget the skirt and wear lycra shorts.
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Old 08-30-16, 01:30 PM
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Are you wearing bike shorts with padding? That does make a big difference.
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Old 08-31-16, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
Are you wearing bike shorts with padding? That does make a big difference.
All depends on the body. I have a pair of padded shorts I wear most of the time, simply because I bought them to try out and it is easier to designate them as my biking shorts, but when I wear regular gym shorts my bottom doesn't really seem to notice or care.

As to the original question, saddles are very subjective. People bash cheap, came-with-the-bike saddles all the time, but my most comfortable one is still the cheap plastic thing that came on my Scott MTB twenty years ago. I wish I could find a crate of NOS ones of those. The only name-brand one I have is an old Avocet Touring II, which I will admit is likewise very comfy.
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