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Long distance saddle choice

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Long distance saddle choice

Old 09-28-17, 01:54 PM
  #26  
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There is no way to predict which saddle your butt will like, even if you get the popularest saddle in history. That saddle is the B17. You have to try to find out by trying several saddles, and yes, that's expensive.

The more you ride, the more likely you will like a harder saddle.
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Old 09-28-17, 08:55 PM
  #27  
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I have found the B67 to be the "lounge chair" of saddles for rides over 50km. Just ordered a C19 carved saddle because I am tired of the special care I have been giving the leather because if the coastal humidity and rain.
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Old 09-28-17, 09:01 PM
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I have found the B67 to be the "lounge chair" of saddles for rides over 50km. Just ordered a C19 carved saddle because I am tired of the special care I have been giving the leather because if the coastal humidity and rain.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:19 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
My basic belief is that you will get used to any saddle unless it is too narrow or too wide. If you ride every day and after a month you still get sores I would go see a doctor and ask for advice.
That has generally worked for me. I'd ride coast to coast without any complaint on any of the saddles that came on my bikes. OTOH, if I have to pick a favorite it would be something from the WTB Volt line.

Interestingly the one saddle that I have owned in the last 20 years that didn't work for me was the B17. It was just okay when new and went downhill from there.

Cyber Snow compared a Brooks B67 to a lounge chair... Some folks compare them to a hammock... I am not sure if either are supposed to be a good thing, but for me that is precisely what I don't want.
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Old 10-05-17, 08:18 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Interestingly the one saddle that I have owned in the last 20 years that didn't work for me was the B17.
Any idea as to why? Was it along the lines of the OP (good at first, and progressively deteriorating), or something else (never felt right, got drenched and became too soft, etc.) (just realized that I've confused this thread with this one)

---

I totally agree that we eventually adapt to saddles over time, and that the mysterious concept of "breaking in" involves more than just the saddle progressively taking the shape of our butt. (i.e. our butt progressively "takes the shape of the saddle"...)

Still, i would find it interesting to learn more about design principles in the context of touring, i.e. usually not riding in aero position, riding for extended periods of time, and frequently in less than ideal weather.

There must be a reason that would explain why Brooks are so popular with the touring crowd. In particular, there seem to be two distinct patterns -- (a) it has to fit reasonably from the start, and it will eventually conform to your anatomy and fit like a glove, (b) it never broke in, or if it did, it made the saddle less and less comfortable. My gut tells me that this is directly related to systematic anatomical differences.

Last edited by gauvins; 10-05-17 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 10-05-17, 10:13 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Any idea as to why?
Yeah, got worse as it broke in. I didn't like it form fitting to my butt or being more hammock like.

Still, i would find it interesting to learn more about design principles in the context of touring, i.e. usually not riding in aero position, riding for extended periods of time, and frequently in less than ideal weather.
For me the not riding in areo position and frequently less than ideal weather are bad assumptions for touring. I like the same aero position (saddle 4-5" lower than bars). Also on tour I tend to pick the time and locale that is likely to have decent weather. At home I actually get bad weather more frequently.

There must be a reason that would explain why Brooks are so popular with the touring crowd.
I am not convinced that it is as popular with the touring crowd as folks assume so much as that the folks who like it tend to really like it and be vocal about it. I have not found that it is anywhere near as prevalent among the riders I met on tour as you would guess by reading here or on other forums. I found the large majority of folks I met doing long tours were not on leather saddles.
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Old 10-05-17, 10:50 AM
  #32  
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I'm a Brooks fan-person! I've always toured on Brooks' (leather) saddles since the 1970's, 20,000 touring miles and they've always work well for me. The only negative for me is the lack of water-proofiness, mostly cause I'm lazy. I do cover them in the rain & proof them when required, but would prefer not too.

This year I decided to try the Brooks Cambium C17 Carved, for commuting duties, and an eye towards future touring use. Unfortunately it's not a direct replacement for the B-17, IMO. It feels like a pre-broken-in B-17, a good saddle but not the same yummy goodness I get from my broken-in leathers. I'm hesitant to tour on it when I have my B-17 & B-67 saddles already to go. Of course on my lazy-self's PLUS side, the C-17 is definitely waterproof

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Old 10-05-17, 11:50 AM
  #33  
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I find it to be a plausible theory that the butt breaks into the saddle, especially with hard saddles such as leather ones. I have come to prefer hard saddles.

I love my B17 saddles and am about to try a C17. I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:01 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Do you hike? Ever been hiking while in a rainstorm? Wet feet are fun and all but I'd rather keep my feet dry and warm. Also heavy boots at least to me aren't there to prevent sprains (you'd need proper high hunting boots for that) but simply to reduce foot fatigue in demanding conditions. I've hiked in trail runners, minimalist shoes, practically barefoot, but I always come back to the trusty heavy hiking boots since there's just no comparison to them. I suppose it's preference.
As a reference in ordinary life I prefer minimalist footwear with zero drop and ~5mm thick soles.
Also, properly worn in good fitting leather shoes don't cause blisters. They mold to your foot like a leather saddle does to a butt. Synthetic shoes like trail runners etc need to be perfect from the get go or they are going to cause issues to the foot or they are going to break. A leather shoe will have some give over time.

As to leather saddles, they work for some people and I can see why. They are a good system for a certain pelvic orientation, plumbing and bone structure. There have not been many good ways to imitate that other than the Brooks Cambium but a lot of people don't seem like those as much as the genuine leather saddle. Perhaps it is the lack of molding and it could be replicated by some sort of thermal molding (like skiing boots) but there does not seem to be evidence of custom saddles made that way. Using a fabric like ripstop nylon instead of leather could work but haven't seen that in action either.
I've been hiking and backpacking for 45 years in the PNW. Switching to trail runners was the single greatest improvement in my equipment which I've made. Leather boots never kept my feet dry, in fact they kept them wet for the duration and I had the best Swiss and Italian boots money could buy. I still use them for glacier travel, though this year I climbed a minor glacier in my trail runners. BTW, never buy GoreTex trail runners. Trail runners are supposed to be very breathable and thus dry quickly. GoreTex shoes do not. They stay wet and stink.

Similarly with saddles, which I was a child, I rode leather. As an adult, I ride plastic which is vastly more comfortable for me, plus it doesn't care about getting wet. My longest day ride has been 400k, no particular saddle discomfort.

My advice to the OP is to go through all the trial saddles he can. My practice is to always ride a century on a trial saddle. That way I know for sure if it'll work, plus it only takes one day. Of course I never trial a saddle that feels uncomfortable to sit on. And BTW, my sitbones don't touch my saddles. I ride a road bike with my back straight and ride only slotted saddles.
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Old 10-06-17, 06:26 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Trail runners are supposed to be very breathable and thus dry quickly. GoreTex shoes do not. They stay wet and stink.
Yes. I used to try to keep my feet dry with waterproof footwear until I started trail running. I quickly realized that shoes that drained quickly and didn't absorb much moisture were the way to go for trail running. Combined with socks that don't hold much moisture and feel ok when wet I found the greatest comfort in both wet and dry conditions.

I quickly applied that knowledge to my hiking and my cycling. I do prefer to wear cycling specific shoes, but apply the same quick dry, fast drain, criteria to choosing them.

As far as hiking in trail runners... I much prefer them to hiking boots until the trails get really rugged and super rocky. I have to admit that there were a couple times backpacking when I wished I had left the trail runners home and worn a more rugged shoe. For the hiking I have done, all over the US, I usually loved my trail runners. For something like climbing Mt Katahdin, given the option, I'd still wear a more substantial shoe though. It could possibly be a more supportive trail runner though.

None of the times I would maybe choose a more substantial shoe would wet trails be the reason.
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Old 10-07-17, 08:50 PM
  #36  
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Im with Rowan and others. Brooks B17. I've toured cross country, and lots of smaller stuff, and the leather just conforms to you. I understand trying to stay away from leather (well I don't "understand" but I won't be the one to give you guff for your choices!) BUT, sometimes you have to listen to what works for others and see if it can work into your lifestyle. Call it Flexitarian! I can't imagine being on an uncomfortable bike ride for such a long distance and for that duration. Good luck with the C series Brooks. I hope that it works well for you!
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Old 10-07-17, 08:53 PM
  #37  
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My 2c:
~ you seem to be doing a lot of thing right (I love my T-Cento Bib, also use Assos cream + wash after every use)
~ someone mentioned time on the bike - many hours in the saddle training for a 200-mile-in-one-day ride certainly toughened up my behind. I think it is hours more than distance (albeit there is obviously a connection between the two)
~ I would certainly avoid using the soap the hotel provide in the washroom - I use soap with no fragrence / additives etc (took my own supply for a recent London-Paris trip)
~ I am very careful in rinsing all the soap out of my shorts (but I acknowledge I go overboard in removing soap residue in other situations as well - eg rinsing off washing up)
~ Not clear if you have more than one bib short - I allow longer than overnight to properly dry
~ Do you try relieving 'sit-bone' pressure on a frequent basis - eg standing up (even if not necessary from a 'hill' point of view)? For my 200-mile ride I was advised to stand up off the saddle for a short while at regular intervals

fyi I have an SMP Drakon saddle that works for me. But saddles are very personal, what works for one will not work for another. Saddles can also be time-consuming and possibly expensive to resolve - I would be sure to eliminate other possible causes (eg see above for my contribution) before getting into saddles

Good luck -
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Old 10-08-17, 04:20 PM
  #38  
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While I really liked my B67 saddle, I got caught on a tour in a rainy cycle and really didn’t like having to care for the leather that got soaked. Consequently just purchased a c19. Seems to be comfortable but will see how that works out on my next longer ride.
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Old 01-17-18, 07:01 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by yannshukor View Post
Thanks all for your contributions

My research has brought me to look at the Well model developped by Selle SMP

The resellers are able to lend you a saddle in order to try it out for a few days, which is exactly what I plan to do
Which reseller do you work with? Are they an online company?
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Old 01-17-18, 11:54 AM
  #40  
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Try a Local bike shop, there may be a return/ trade in deal you can sort out with the shopkeeper..
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Old 01-17-18, 07:07 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Using a fabric like ripstop nylon instead of leather could work but haven't seen that in action either.
Interesting that you should bring this up. Just yesterday I was imagining how to build a seat using some heavy duty cordura.
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Old 01-17-18, 11:27 PM
  #42  
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That Brooks Cambium C17 Carved looks great! Anyone know where Brooks saddles are currently being discounted? Thanks!
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Old 01-18-18, 10:35 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
Brooks Cambium C17 Carved .... designed for long distance and I have them on both my bikes (100% waterproof aswell and comes with a 10 year guarantee when you register the serial number on the Brooks website)


are those for men or lets say the Bay ads say many are for women and can't see a diffrence?? also any opinion on the non cutaway C17?
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Old 01-18-18, 10:40 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Tajue17 View Post
are those for men or lets say the Bay ads say many are for women and can't see a diffrence?? also any opinion on the non cutaway C17?
I have the non-cutaway C17 on one of my bikes, and I have to say that for me its just okay - not great. The cutaway may be better for me, and in my typical fashion, I'll probably buy one just to say I did.

*insert emoji of dollar bill with wings here*
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Old 01-19-18, 11:52 AM
  #45  
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You guys wanting Cambiums better like the sound of creaking rubber... that is all I can say.
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Old 01-19-18, 11:58 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by PaddleFoot View Post
You guys wanting Cambiums better like the sound of creaking rubber... that is all I can say.
Mine doesn't squeak or creak.
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Old 01-19-18, 07:13 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by yannshukor View Post
Every year I travel home to Nice, on my own, from a European capital with my bike ex. Paris, Salzburg, Naples, etc.
Last year I started off from Madrid, and this year from Berlin; both of these trips took me nine days (~1500 kms).

I ride a Giant Defy Advanced bicycle equipped with disk brakes and Zipp 303 wheels.

My current saddle, ASTUTE Skylite, replaced the original Fizik saddle that came with the bicycle; I was told that most manufacturers equip their bikes with 'lesser' versions of saddles in order to trim the overall cost.

Previously I rode a TREK fitted with a Selle Italia saddle.

Sizewise I'm 1,72m and 68kgs

I wear an Assos T.Cento bib designed for long distances (purchased 2015) and apply copious amounts of Assos chamois cream

In preparation, during the year, I cycle once a week 60-80k with at least a 500m climb

My main difficulty during these trips is my back side

The sit-bone area becomes swollen with a sore on each side which gets understandably quite painful; Compeed and Doliprane/Neurofen are my only recourse

Each evening I wash my clothes with shampoo in my hotel room

Having adopted a vegan diet I have also chosen to avoid leather based products.

I'm still searching for THE saddle that will allow me to pursue such trips without the suffering.

I'm currently considering a Brooks C15 (or C13 145) saddle

Should I accept that it is the mileage and duration of these trips, or even lack of preparation, that are to blame for my plight and will remain thus whatever saddle I may choose ?

cheers
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Review: Brooks Cambium C17 saddle | road.cc
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Old 01-19-18, 09:30 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
You point something out that could also 'maybe' be an issue that no one is talking about...except you. Get out and ride. Get yourself and your butt, literally, in shape. I'm not sure by what you say if you are talking saddle sores as they are standardly thought of or if you are talking just having a sore butt because you don't have enough saddle time to get the butt muscles use to riding and having a saddle stuck up your butt.
agree. One 40mile ride a week isn't adequate preparation for a week and a half of 90 mile days.
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Old 01-20-18, 12:06 AM
  #49  
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I get the Vegan non leather angle.

I have a C17 and like it quite a bit. No creaks. In a perfect 20/20 hindsight world I would have gotten the cut out version but the opportunity for a good deal came up and I wanted to try one. I think the cut out would help a bit with perineum numbing and add a bit more flex to it. I may try a DIY job if I talk myself into it.

In comparison I also have a sprung B67 which is very comfortable but more for an upright posture like a converted mtb and a sprung Velo Orange touring saddle (same as a B17 Flyer) which already comfortable but hasn't broken in yet so the juries still out. The C17 initially felt stiff but I think over time the butt gets used to it and now I find it's firm without being "hard". I've done 100k, 160k and 200k rides on it so far.

Part of the problem is probably conditioning and/or clothing. Bibs, like saddles, can suit certain individuals. On my Western Canada tour I got saddle sores right off from wearing a pair of shorts that didn't fit right (my mistake to not test them beforehand) and I spent the first part of the trip nursing my butt. If I had been able to ward off the initial tenderness I probably would have not had as painful a time for that stretch.

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Old 01-21-18, 09:10 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I always used whatever saddle came with the bike.
I agree and that's why I am using the Brooks B-17.
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