Do I need a wide saddle or am I just a wus?



rallbritain

New Member
Aug 24, 2006
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I just got my first bike this week. I put it together, got it fitted based on most of the specs i found on the internet, and got the derailers adjusted. I took it around the block and almost immeaditly i noticed the seat was not comfortable at all. I played with fore/aft positioning and angle to to end. Went to a bike shop and bought a new saddle, it felt almost exactly the same. It seemed like the pressure as being place on the inside of me sit bones instead of the bottom, like it wasn't wide enough. the only thing wider that any local bike shop had was a comfort saddle, something more like you would see on a mountain or cruiser bike. I sit good on this but i think it encumbers pedaling and put alot of pressure on the pernium when my leg is extendend downwards.

I have seen some odd looking wide road saddles on the internet but I hate buying something being complete unsure if it will help or not.

the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?

I am a big guy, 6'3" about 240lbs.

any suggestions.
 

RussB

New Member
Jul 21, 2006
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I just got a new road bike last week. Didn't care for the saddle it came with. I bought another road bike saddle (had gel and everything). Once I was up to about 30 miles my a** was killing me. I decided to take the saddle off my hydrid (this was that bikes second saddle). It looks a little large on my current bike, but I could easily survive a 30 mile ride.

Then I did ny first 50 mile ride. I was sore for 3 days. Now it was time to upgrade my shorts. Now I can do a 50 mile ride. I do the first 20 miles non-stop. I just have to remember to take advantage of hills to get my but off the seat.

Downhills: I pedal the top third, Stand up and coast the middle third, then pedal the bottom third to maintain speed to carry me up the next hill. Uphill: (steep ones) I upshift when I get within a third of the way up, then stand and pedal.
So my advice: I don't think it's so much the width of the seat. I've read that it has to do alot more with the width of your sit bones (which has nothing to do with your weight). I would try padded shorts first with each of the saddles you already have. Both Performance and Nashbar have a number of padded shorts that will work. I like the baggy type myself.
 

fauxpas

New Member
May 20, 2006
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When I get home I'll post a pick, but my last bike came with a seat that looked comfy. It was about 33% bigger than my san marco and 33% plusher. I, too, rode with it, constantly adjusting it, but it never delivered the amount of comfort it visually alluded to. The San Marco is now on the bike with the other saddle relegated to the spare "wet weather" bike...

Sometimes, bigger/plushier/wider means nothing, its all about matching a seat to your sitbones...
 

pedalsquares

New Member
Aug 14, 2006
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rallbritain said:
I just got my first bike this week. I put it together, got it fitted based on most of the specs i found on the internet, and got the derailers adjusted. I took it around the block and almost immeaditly i noticed the seat was not comfortable at all. I played with fore/aft positioning and angle to to end. Went to a bike shop and bought a new saddle, it felt almost exactly the same. It seemed like the pressure as being place on the inside of me sit bones instead of the bottom, like it wasn't wide enough. the only thing wider that any local bike shop had was a comfort saddle, something more like you would see on a mountain or cruiser bike. I sit good on this but i think it encumbers pedaling and put alot of pressure on the pernium when my leg is extendend downwards.

I have seen some odd looking wide road saddles on the internet but I hate buying something being complete unsure if it will help or not.

the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?

I am a big guy, 6'3" about 240lbs.

any suggestions.
Narrower may turn out to be better for you, in terms of reducing pressure and friction. My mtn bike saddle isn't much wider than the average road saddle. It lines up with my bones pretty well, and I have to say I don't notice it until I get to the 4+ hour range. You may also want to look into a different pair of bike shorts.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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rallbritain said:
the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?
150 mm is huge. The Specialized Avatar saddle comes in three widths - 130 mm, 143 mm, and 155mm. I am 6'0" and 196 pounds, and I am comfortable on the 130 mm saddle. http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=16166 Specialized dealers have a gel pad that you sit on to determine which saddle width is best for you.

You state that you adjusted the fore/aft position and angle, but are you sure that the height of the seat and the height of and reach to the bars are optimal? Your body weight is distributed among your feet, hands, and seat. If you are not putting enough weight on your feet and hands, your butt will be sore.

Do you have cycling shorts? As others have mentioned, a good pair of shorts goes a long way to improving comfort. I like the Performance Century Gel Shorts. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=19869&subcategory_ID=1120
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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RussB said:
I just got a new road bike last week. Didn't care for the saddle it came with.
Is this on your new Pilot 2.1 spa? The only thing I liked better on the Pilot 5.2 than on the 06 Specialized Roubaix Elite was the Bontrager Race Lite Lux saddle. When I ordered my 07 Roubaix Elite, I was prepared to swap the Specialized Avatar saddle for the Bontrager. When the bike came in, much to my delight, I found that the 07 Avatar saddle has been improved. My LBS told me to try the Avatar saddle for a few hundred miles. If I still wanted the Bontrager, they would make the swap for me. I have had three 30 mile rides and two 15 mile rides so far, and I like the Avatar. I will know for sure, though, in two weeks. If I still like the saddle on the second day of the MS 150, then it is certainly a keeper.
 

lks

New Member
Jul 29, 2006
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rallbritain said:
I just got my first bike this week. I put it together, got it fitted based on most of the specs i found on the internet, and got the derailers adjusted. I took it around the block and almost immeaditly i noticed the seat was not comfortable at all. I played with fore/aft positioning and angle to to end. Went to a bike shop and bought a new saddle, it felt almost exactly the same. It seemed like the pressure as being place on the inside of me sit bones instead of the bottom, like it wasn't wide enough. the only thing wider that any local bike shop had was a comfort saddle, something more like you would see on a mountain or cruiser bike. I sit good on this but i think it encumbers pedaling and put alot of pressure on the pernium when my leg is extendend downwards.

I have seen some odd looking wide road saddles on the internet but I hate buying something being complete unsure if it will help or not.

the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?

I am a big guy, 6'3" about 240lbs.

any suggestions.
As you probably relalize by now, it is impossible to determine which post is relevant to you, if any. I have spent over a $1000 on seats. I now ride the lesser of evils, thinking there must be something out that is better, that I havn't tried yet. You can buy seats from Performance, and maybe others, and they will return your money if you don't like them, as long as they show no use marks. You should be able to go into your LBS and try their seats out, on your bike, on a trainer. Tape the rails, so you don't leave any marks. This isn't as good as a hour or so road ride, but hopefully it will at least point you in the right direction. The quality of the chamois, in bibs or shorts, can make a big difference. Some people can ride the cheapest, with no chamois cream. Some can't. What they use, has no bearing on what you need. These are some of the main differences in seats. Those that are flat and make it easier to slide forward and back and those that have a dip in the center and make more contact with you. The other, is seats with or without a hole in the center. Nobody can tell you what is best for you.
 

SLClimber

New Member
Aug 23, 2006
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I have a saddle that most guys look at and say no way that won't work for me, however, I love it. I've done centuries with no saddle pain at all. It's the best saddle I've owned to date. It's the Specialized Toupe. Carbon with titanium rails. Has enough cushion on it but also is designed so that you don't suffer from any reduction in performance once you are off the bike if you know what I mean. The seat comes in a variety of widths too. Price is about $150 I think.
 

RussB

New Member
Jul 21, 2006
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RickF said:
Is this on your new Pilot 2.1 spa? The only thing I liked better on the Pilot 5.2 than on the 06 Specialized Roubaix Elite was the Bontrager Race Lite Lux saddle. When I ordered my 07 Roubaix Elite, I was prepared to swap the Specialized Avatar saddle for the Bontrager. When the bike came in, much to my delight, I found that the 07 Avatar saddle has been improved. My LBS told me to try the Avatar saddle for a few hundred miles. If I still wanted the Bontrager, they would make the swap for me. I have had three 30 mile rides and two 15 mile rides so far, and I like the Avatar. I will know for sure, though, in two weeks. If I still like the saddle on the second day of the MS 150, then it is certainly a keeper.
Yes it is, the saddle it came with was just toooooo hard on my butt.
 

discobean7

New Member
Nov 13, 2003
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SLClimber said:
I have a saddle that most guys look at and say no way that won't work for me, however, I love it. I've done centuries with no saddle pain at all. It's the best saddle I've owned to date. It's the Specialized Toupe. Carbon with titanium rails. Has enough cushion on it but also is designed so that you don't suffer from any reduction in performance once you are off the bike if you know what I mean. The seat comes in a variety of widths too. Price is about $150 I think.
+1 on the Toupe. I suffered for about a year and a half on a Fizik Arione before getting the Toupe (143mm width) on a whim. The new saddle has been nothing less than great.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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rallbritain said:
I just got my first bike this week. I put it together, got it fitted based on most of the specs i found on the internet, and got the derailers adjusted. I took it around the block and almost immeaditly i noticed the seat was not comfortable at all. I played with fore/aft positioning and angle to to end. Went to a bike shop and bought a new saddle, it felt almost exactly the same. It seemed like the pressure as being place on the inside of me sit bones instead of the bottom, like it wasn't wide enough. the only thing wider that any local bike shop had was a comfort saddle, something more like you would see on a mountain or cruiser bike. I sit good on this but i think it encumbers pedaling and put alot of pressure on the pernium when my leg is extendend downwards.

I have seen some odd looking wide road saddles on the internet but I hate buying something being complete unsure if it will help or not.

the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?

I am a big guy, 6'3" about 240lbs.

any suggestions.
A BROOKS B17 "standard" width is about 150mm wide ... as low as $60+ plus shipping on eBay for a new saddle.

Some people will tell you a leather saddle is more comfortable because it molds to your butt, but the truth of the matter is that they CAN BE more comfortable than other saddles because they are wider ...

The B17 "narrow" is about 140mm wide.

The Professional is about 145mm wide.

I have found that a wider saddle is as comfortable as a "regular" saddle ... my regular "plastic" saddle is a San Marco Concor (vintage "standard" & Lite versions), BTW.

The drawback is that a traditional leather saddle is PORKY ... figure ~550grams for a B17 ... but, what price comfort AND style (the cognoscenti will tell you a good leather saddle is ALWAYS fashionable)?

SOME PEOPLE HATE LEATHER SADDLES. I think that is because they don't set them up properly ...

Initially, the saddle should be set up with the rails PARALLEL to the ground ... this will leave the rear of the saddle a bit higher than the nose (or, it should in 99% of the instances). You want to sit on the BACK of the saddle ... with your sit bones ON (i.e., directly above) the yoke ... you will see that a lot of people sit just in front of the yoke ... to each his own. Regardless, look at the attachment and try to sit on the part in green rather than the part in red (that is, you DON'T want to sit on the portion that is below the red line ... on ANY saddle, IMO).

Another alternative is a so-called WOMANS saddle ... they are wider. I recommend he Fizik saddles in this group because, AFAIK, their women's saddles are the same as the "regular" variants, but wider. Other brands of "woman's" saddles may be more to your liking ... I tested several woman's saddles before putting them on my wife's bike.

The Selle Italia FLITE series seems wide when compared to the Concor saddles that I have ... so, that may be a saddle for you to consider.

FWIW. After OVER 20 years of using the Concor saddles, I have recently been using leather saddles ... obviously, I'm not a weight weenie.
 

psmalley

New Member
Jul 27, 2003
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rallbritain said:
I just got my first bike this week. I put it together, got it fitted based on most of the specs i found on the internet, and got the derailers adjusted. I took it around the block and almost immeaditly i noticed the seat was not comfortable at all. I played with fore/aft positioning and angle to to end. Went to a bike shop and bought a new saddle, it felt almost exactly the same. It seemed like the pressure as being place on the inside of me sit bones instead of the bottom, like it wasn't wide enough. the only thing wider that any local bike shop had was a comfort saddle, something more like you would see on a mountain or cruiser bike. I sit good on this but i think it encumbers pedaling and put alot of pressure on the pernium when my leg is extendend downwards.

I have seen some odd looking wide road saddles on the internet but I hate buying something being complete unsure if it will help or not.

the one i ride now is about 150 mm, do any other roade bikers need bigger saddles that this?

I am a big guy, 6'3" about 240lbs.

any suggestions.
I really think that it's just a matter of putting on enough miles that your butt gets broken in to the saddle. For the first few weeks, no saddle is comfortable. Hey if you put in enough miles, your legs will be so sore that you'll forget entirely about the saddle
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
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psmalley said:
I really think that it's just a matter of putting on enough miles that your butt gets broken in to the saddle. For the first few weeks, no saddle is comfortable. Hey if you put in enough miles, your legs will be so sore that you'll forget entirely about the saddle
At your size and weight, go for a substantial saddle with enough width, strength and firmness to support you sitzbones and not sag. A skinny 200g saddle made for a 135 lb italian racer likely isn't going to work for you.

Beyond that, a lot comes down to the position of the saddle. Height, setback and tilt adjustments all have a major impact on where your weight hits the saddle. Making small adjustments over a period of several rides is the way to do it. Then, it's just a matter of getting used to the saddle.

Standing often helps a lot, even early in the ride when you don't have any pain. On the flats, you can easily stand and lock out one leg, and get some butt relief while alternating pedaling with coasting. A minute of this standing every 15-20 minutes during the ride really seems to help me. Bearing weight on your hands by getting into the drops will help reduce pressure as well.

As psmalley said, it's going to take 500-1000 miles or more for a new rider to get used to any saddle. Increase your ride mileage slowly....enjoyment is the aim here, not torturing yourself. Also remember that if only your butt hurts toward the end of a long ride, that's not too bad.....the fix may be to just ride harder next time out.
 

fauxpas

New Member
May 20, 2006
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The san marco is much narrower and less padded than the vincolo, but much better suited to my ****...

Seats.jpg
 

lks

New Member
Jul 29, 2006
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fauxpas said:
The san marco is much narrower and less padded than the vincolo, but much better suited to my ****...

Seats.jpg
But how doe's you ****, relate to others?
 

rallbritain

New Member
Aug 24, 2006
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I went to a bi8ke shop today and had my site bone measured on one of the pressure pads, it was 160cm. the chart said that was the maximum size for the 155cm saddles.

I got a 155 avatar and it has been the best thing yet, but i still have to tilt it foward about two clicks, and curl my back as so my hips are closer to vertical. When i roll my hips forward, to straighten my back, I can't find a spot on the saddle that isn't very painful.

I'm still not at all comfortable on my bike, i can't stay in any single positon for more than about a minute pedaling. I am still constantly lifting and adjusting after every 30 - 45 seconds are so.

On the good side I was able to get my first real ride in this weekend, I went about 15 miles, I had to quit because of my butt, not my legs.
 

RickF

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Jul 27, 2005
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The Brooks B17 still might be the way to go for you, but give the Avatar a few hundred miles. Your butt does need to get used to whichever saddle you end up with. It has been said that the legs are the first things to adjust to riding, the lungs are second, and the butt is last.
 

turtleguy54

New Member
Jul 31, 2006
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rallbritain said:
Thanks for the advice everyone. I went to a bi8ke shop today and had my site bone measured on one of the pressure pads, it was 160cm. the chart said that was the maximum size for the 155cm saddles.

I got a 155 avatar and it has been the best thing yet, but i still have to tilt it foward about two clicks, and curl my back as so my hips are closer to vertical. When i roll my hips forward, to straighten my back, I can't find a spot on the saddle that isn't very painful.

I'm still not at all comfortable on my bike, i can't stay in any single positon for more than about a minute pedaling. I am still constantly lifting and adjusting after every 30 - 45 seconds are so.

On the good side I was able to get my first real ride in this weekend, I went about 15 miles, I had to quit because of my butt, not my legs.
You probably still need to tweek your saddle position and maybe your bar height. You have just bought a saddle you should stay with to see if it works but I highly recommend the Brooks saddles. I ride a B17N Laced and it is sooo comfortable on long distances. You forget about thinking about the saddle. They are also cooler. Check Wallingford cycles. They give you a 6 mo. no questions asked return policy. That's how confident Bill is about selling Brooks.
 

rallbritain

New Member
Aug 24, 2006
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I was just looking at the avatar i just bought and measured it, 155cm is the distance all the way across, if my sit bones are 160 i just realized that only the insides of my sit bones are support so all my weight is on the outside edges of the saddle, not on the part that i think you are supposed to sit on.

If the brooks saddles are a maximum of 150 I'm having a hard time visualizing how it will be comfortable for me.

I'll give the avater a hundred miles or so, but i seriously don't think it will get better, today it is hurting me to sit from yesterdays ride.

is there any company that does custom saddles?
are there any alternative saddles that would be good for fitness road riding?
 

turtleguy54

New Member
Jul 31, 2006
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rallbritain said:
I was just looking at the avatar i just bought and measured it, 155cm is the distance all the way across, if my sit bones are 160 i just realized that only the insides of my sit bones are support so all my weight is on the outside edges of the saddle, not on the part that i think you are supposed to sit on.

If the brooks saddles are a maximum of 150 I'm having a hard time visualizing how it will be comfortable for me.

I'll give the avater a hundred miles or so, but i seriously don't think it will get better, today it is hurting me to sit from yesterdays ride.

is there any company that does custom saddles?
are there any alternative saddles that would be good for fitness road riding?
The B17 is 170, the Pro is 160, and the B17N, Swallow, and Swift are 152.