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Saddles, Yes Saddles

Old 05-21-10, 09:41 PM
  #1  
rothenfield1
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Saddles, Yes Saddles

Sorry about this old worn out question; I know, the obvious answer is going to be, ‘No one saddle is ideal for each butt, the only way to know for sure is try many’. I have ridden many road bikes and have found what works for me. The one that I prefer on my best bike, my wife says looks like a thong. Yes it does, and it is painless for a couple of hours of hard charging fun. But, there is no way I’m wearing that thong all day. What I haven’t experienced yet is putting my rear end in a bike seat for 8 or more hours.

I see most of the better steel restoration bikes mounted with the ubiquitous Brooks. I’ve never ridden one, let alone sweated enough into one to finally make it just right. Is there anything other than cowhide that qualifies as a good place to park your butt cheeks for a work shift?
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Old 05-21-10, 10:16 PM
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While everyone will say "no one saddle is right for everyone," there sure are a lot of long-distance riders who use Brooks. Brooks are as good of a place as any to start, but don't assume it will be perfect. If there's one thing I've learned on bike forums, it's that researching and talking about stuff doesn't do a whole lot of good, especially for personal things like saddles, frames, etc. You have to try things out for yourself to really know what is best for you.
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Old 05-21-10, 10:28 PM
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I've never really cared for the Brooks myself. Maybe it is because my rear end is REALLY wide (hey, I'm just big boned). Or, it could be because teh first century I ever did was on an unbroken-in Brooks back in the '70s. The ride was on Saturday and I got feeling back on Thursday. Whatever works for you is what is right, but modern saddles with cut-outs in the center and appropriate padding for the sits bones sure have been nice for me. They even come in widths now so I don't have to buy the women's saddle.
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Old 05-21-10, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
While everyone will say "no one saddle is right for everyone," there sure are a lot of long-distance riders who use Brooks. Brooks are as good of a place as any to start, but don't assume it will be perfect. If there's one thing I've learned on bike forums, it's that researching and talking about stuff doesn't do a whole lot of good, especially for personal things like saddles, frames, etc. You have to try things out for yourself to really know what is best for you.
Well Tigger, that's exactly my point. The only saddles anybody seems to talk about for touring is Brooks. I get it, the saddle is renowned, a thick piece of leather over time will eventually soften and after 1000 miles or so, either your rear end adapts or the leather does. I can't believe that is the range of touring specific saddle options. For example, I've read that Terry makes a comfortable all-day saddle. I've never tried it. Here's an analogy; someone asks, what would be the best underwear for me boxers or a thong? The next question should be, do you want to walk comfortably around town for hours or perform a poll dance? OK, I prefer not to poll dance so the boxers seem like the right choice. I ask, what would be a good saddle for me? The next question should be, do you want to ride comfortably for hours or race hard for a couple? There is no Touring specific saddles that I know of, just thongs and boxers. I'm getting a little tired of seeing these $100+ brooks saddles as if that was the only touring choice.
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Old 05-21-10, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
I'm getting a little tired of seeing these $100+ brooks saddles as if that was the only touring choice.
They're not. Get something different.
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Old 05-21-10, 11:38 PM
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Ok, I thought this is what was going to happen. There's no such thing as a touring saddle so it's up to your rear end and your pocket book to decide.

Administrator; would you please remove this thread. Thank you.
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Old 05-22-10, 12:53 AM
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mijome07
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ISM touring saddle:

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Old 05-22-10, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
Ok, I thought this is what was going to happen.
I'm not quite sure what you're looking for -- advice? Recommendations? It seemed to me like you just wanted to say you didn't like Brooks saddles and/or that $100 is too much for a saddle.

I tried cheap saddles for awhile; after enduring a fair amount of pain I ended up deciding to spare no money on saddles. I now own 3 Brooks, 1 Selle Anatomica, and have a drawer of other saddles I own but don't ride.
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Old 05-22-10, 04:37 AM
  #9  
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There was a thread, about 2 weeks ago, about which saddles are most often seen on tour. The Brooks (which I ride) happens to be fairly rare while the WTB are the most frequent choice.

BTW, do some search on the forum before starting crying foul.
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Old 05-22-10, 06:32 AM
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Avocet Touring saddle was a "touring saddle if there ever was one. https://www.velobase.com/ListComponen...2-fe460c559555
The touring saddles were firm and about as wide as a B-17, but so much more comfortable. No padded shorts needed.

While Avocet isn't currently making saddles again, they told last year they were going to this year.

The closest thing I found in the shape, size and comfort now was a Lookin Mod saddle from REI. https://www.rei.com/product/768501 The "mod" stands for moderate 60 degree sitting position on the bike, which is what most people will get if they have their bars near their stem in height. It's softer than the Touring saddle was ,and that's fine with me... but just as supportive. It has a flat-ish profile in the rear of the saddle.

Terry's saddles were too firm for me, and not flat enough. Fizik were the same. Brooks? .... horribly hard. Not flat at all. A total bust for me.... what was I thinking trying to "break in" a saddle? Should one have to break in a saddle? It ended up breaking me

The only way to find a saddle is to try them. Buy from places that allow exchanges and returns. There is no substitute for this . It's all trial and trial and trial until your butt tells you "this one works"
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Old 05-22-10, 06:38 AM
  #11  
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I have just about all the saddles ever made, my favorite was an Avocet Touring that finally wore out. I like my Selle Anatomica, and the two Brooks I own also. It's a very personal thing, just wish the choices were a bit more cost effecient!

Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
what would be the best underwear for me boxers or a thong? Boxers definitely! The next question should be, do you want to walk comfortably around town for hours or perform a poll dance??

Last edited by jcbryan; 05-22-10 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 05-22-10, 06:50 AM
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My favorite touring saddle.... Selle San Marco Rolls with Ti Rails. About half the weight of a Brooks that also has a leather cover that is comfy for me. It also has a real structure under the leather so it getting soaking wet isn't something I worry about. YMMV of course since like you mentioned..... It's what makes your butt happy.
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Old 05-22-10, 07:30 AM
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a. Sella Italia Lady Gel Flow
b. Thong*

* not at the same time of course
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Old 05-22-10, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
They're not. Get something different.
+1
I'll add that while it may be touted as the only way to go here, out on the road they seem to be a very small minority among the touring riders I have met.

Personally I have been fine with the saddles that came on all of my bikes and would do another trans america on any of them. I have owned one brooks and it was just OK when new, but way heavy. Once really broken in I hated it.
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Old 05-22-10, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
Is there anything other than cowhide that qualifies as a good place to park your butt cheeks for a work shift?
work shift? take breaks.
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Old 05-22-10, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I'm not quite sure what you're looking for -- advice? Recommendations? It seemed to me like you just wanted to say you didn't like Brooks saddles and/or that $100 is too much for a saddle.

I tried cheap saddles for awhile; after enduring a fair amount of pain I ended up deciding to spare no money on saddles. I now own 3 Brooks, 1 Selle Anatomica, and have a drawer of other saddles I own but don't ride.
I apologize. Last night I started this thread and can see now that I came off way to strong. My only excuse is that I've been working in Texas for the past 3 weeks living in hotels and my main form of entertainment has been thinking about finishing the rebuild of an 89 Miyata 1000 and taking my first tour on it when I get home. I have nothing against Brooks, I've never ridden one and I may end up buying one. The part about not wanting to spend $100 on a saddle was way off point. I own saddles that I have paid more then that for and think they are worth it. I have ridden a lot of road race bikes and my main ride these days has an Selle Italia SLR on it which i like alot.
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/pses7..._saddle/pp.htm
This is the one that my wife says looks like a thong. The point that I did a very bad job trying to make is that if you are looking for a race saddle, there is enough information out there that you can narrow your search down to a small group. As far as I can tell, there isn't a 'touring' saddle category. I'm concerned about numbness on a long ride. The perenial cut-out on the SLR has helped a lot on rides of 3-4 hours. My 50 year old thighs are wondering what it will be like ridding all day.

I realized shortly after posting the topic that this was a question without one definitive answer. That's why I quickly asked to have it deleted before I got into more trouble. Sorry everybody
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Old 05-22-10, 09:37 AM
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I had a Vetta gel saddle that was wonderful. No sore butt, ever. They don't make them anymore. I've bought and tried at least 10 saddles since then. The best is the Brooks B17 on my Allez, followed by the Brooks Champion Flyer on my LHT. I didn't need to break the B17 in at all. It was comfy from the first ride. The Champion Flyer took a dozen rides or so before I forgot about it.
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Old 05-22-10, 03:05 PM
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89 Miyata 1000 rebuild?

San Marcos Rolls....great saddle, good price, fits your bike 100% if that doesn't feel good try a Regal.

I ride a Rolls on a commuter bike and I'd take it on tour
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Old 05-22-10, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
As far as I can tell, there isn't a 'touring' saddle category. I'm concerned about numbness on a long ride.
Some recommendations:

1. Find a bike shop that has a saddle "test ride" program. Typically they will have a bunch of saddles you can try out, and then they expect that if you buy one, you buy it from them.
2. Wallingford Bike Supply (or whatever their name is) is an online dealer that offers a really good return policy on Brooks.
3. Competitive Cyclist has a "saddle test ride" box -- you pay something like $72, they send you a box of saddles. You try them out for a week, and ship them back. If you then buy a saddle from them you get part of your money back.
4. Buy a used saddle on eBay. If you don't like it, resell it.

The most common "touring" saddle seems to be Brooks. Other options are also mentioned in this thread -- WRB, Selle San Marco Rolls, Selle Anatomica; Terry fly (for men).
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Old 05-22-10, 07:14 PM
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the selle anatomica sure does get a lot of positive comments from a lot of long distance cyclists...it's high on my wish list...
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Old 05-23-10, 07:33 AM
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When I am thinking of buying some touring gear or wonder how best to pack it for weight distribution, I have on occasion looked at the photos on this link to get ideas on which touring components actually get used and how they are used.
https://www.pbase.com/canyonlands/fullyloaded

It is pretty easy to spot which bikes have Brooks saddles because of the rivets or in some cases the brown or "honey" color. Unfortunately, you have to be a saddle expert to figure out what the brands and models are of the non-Brooks saddles. If I was planning on buying a non-Brooks saddle, I would look at the photos and try to figure out if there is a common shape and style before I went to the store, but unfortunately most of the photos are from the side you can't tell which saddles have a cut out or not.

I suspect that one reason that Brooks is so widely discussed is that they are the last quality leather saddle maker that sells saddles in quantity in the US. If Ideal, Wrights and some of the others were still around, I suspect that the discussion would be leather vs non-leather instead of Brooks vs all others. I have not tried any of the other non-Brooks leather saddles that are currently made. Some are made in Asia too.

I find the B17 is a bit too wide and flat for me. The Conquest (discontinued model with springs that has a shape like the Brooks Pro) is a bit more rounded than I would like but that is the model I use. But if I used flat bars instead of drops, I would probably use the B17 or Flyer.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
a. Sella Italia Lady Gel Flow
b. Thong*

* not at the same time of course
+52.3
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Old 05-24-10, 07:45 AM
  #23  
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*shrug*

Ride it all day and see. It's the one you've found that is "best" so far, so why screw around? If it turns out it causes soft tissue pain at 8 hours well... now you know it isn't the best. If it turns out it causes sit bone pain, well, now you know to ride more before you start touring, or to plan on shorter days to start. But don't waste time or money on searching for a new saddle until you know that the current best isn't actually the best.
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Old 05-24-10, 08:23 AM
  #24  
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WTB Laser V SLT: it's got breathable leather top, nice geometry, proper channel in the middle, just enough padding and Kevlar on the corners to protect the saddle! Brooks may be good if you're willing to put up with 400-1000 miles of pain, suffering and constant tweaking to wear one in. I couldn't do it.
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Old 05-24-10, 08:24 AM
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You do know Brooks makes different saddles that the skinny a$$ed ones, Don't you? I ride a B68 on my commuter and tourer. It's not the padding, it's the width. If you're just waffling, get one from Wallingford, if you don't like it, they'll take it back. Keep all the packaging. Then you'll know once and for all.
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