How long does it take to get used to a new saddle?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Jacobe Hazzard, May 17, 2003.

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  1. I just swapped out my old velo gel seat for a narrower, harder saddle (with a hole down the middle).
    I tried out a few different saddles at the LBS before picking this one (most comfortable) but I'm
    really not used to riding a hard saddle. I can take back the saddle and exchange it within a week.
    How long should it take me to get used to the new saddle, assuming it fits me correctly? What kind
    of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a hard saddle? I
    should mention that in many respects it is *much* more comfortable than the gel seat - I can see how
    the gel is a gimmick for all but the shortest rides.

    Thanks,

    Adam
     
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  2. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Jacobe Hazzard wrote:

    > I just swapped out my old velo gel seat for a narrower, harder saddle (with a hole down the
    > middle). I tried out a few different saddles at the LBS before picking this one (most comfortable)
    > but I'm really not used to riding a hard saddle. I can take back the saddle and exchange it within
    > a week. How long should it take me to get used to the new saddle, assuming it fits me correctly?
    > What kind of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a
    > hard saddle? I should mention that in many respects it is *much* more comfortable than the gel
    > seat - I can see how the gel is a gimmick for all but the shortest rides.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Adam

    Unless it is an all leather saddle like a Brooks, it should not need breaking
    in. It's all in how well the bike fits and how the saddle is positioned. How long to get used to
    the new saddle? From my experience when I changed from a "comfort" saddle to a "Selle Italia
    Trans Am" (I'm pretty sure that is a style, not a brand name) there was not much of a "getting
    used to" period, just a "getting the fit right" period. I find I get a sore butt if the seat
    post has slid down a little bit. Height is very important for that sort of pain. Raising the
    seat as little as 1/4 to 1/2 inch brings relief. Saddles surely are personal choices though!
    Best regards, Bernie
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Sun, 18 May 2003 05:19:40 GMT, "Jacobe Hazzard" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I just swapped out my old velo gel seat for a narrower, harder saddle (with a hole down the
    >middle). I tried out a few different saddles at the LBS before picking this one (most comfortable)
    >but I'm really not used to riding a hard saddle. I can take back the saddle and exchange it within
    >a week. How long should it take me to get used to the new saddle, assuming it fits me correctly?
    >What kind of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a hard
    >saddle? I should mention that in many respects it is *much* more comfortable than the gel seat - I
    >can see how the gel is a gimmick for all but the shortest rides.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Adam
    >

    What I can remember in going from a Selle Italia Flite to a Brooks B-17 is that my sit bones were
    sore for three days or so. Then it let up and I have no soreness like that on either saddle.

    I'd give it a week. If you still have doubts after then, go back to the bike shop and try other ones
    in the store. By then, maybe you will have developed a better sense of what you want in a hard
    saddle and another model will jump out as much more suited to you. The sit bone pain should be gone
    (if it ever came) and now you can compare 'hard saddle A' to 'hard saddle B,' not just 'any hard
    saddle' to a gel saddle.

    Be good to the bike shop. Don't plan on swapping saddles every week for the next six weeks. Part of
    finding the right saddle means sometimes having a couple of failures in a box.

    Watch out for chafing and for numbness. Take the proper wrench along when riding and try different
    angles. It can take me a bit to get that balance between not sliding forward and not getting numb.
     
  4. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sun, 18 May 2003 05:19:40 GMT, <[email protected]>,
    "Jacobe Hazzard" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > What kind of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a
    > hard saddle?

    Numbness in your penis or any chafing are not to be tolerated.

    You're wearing cycling shorts without seams in the padding? Is the saddle near the same width and
    cross section as saddles you like?

    If you've been off the bike for the winter it'll probably take a couple weeks before your muscles
    get used to it again.
    --
    zk
     
  5. On Sat, 17 May 2003 23:08:06 +0000, Bernie wrote:

    >> I can take back the saddle and exchange it within a week. How long should it take me to get used
    >> to the new saddle, assuming it fits me correctly?

    A week is not really enough time, but it will give you some idea. Ride often, and get in a longer
    ride. See if things are better. When I finally found the saddle I use now, I was somewhat desperate,
    since my previous one had basically fallen apart on me. I had a century that weekend. But it was the
    most comfortable long ride I had ever had.

    It will probably take longer than that to really be sure, but you should notice some things right
    away. OTOH, since you may not have enough "callous" (not really, but basically the same idea,
    toughened tissues) over the sit bones, there may be some tenderness there.

    > What
    >> kind of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a hard
    >> saddle? I should mention that in many respects it is *much* more comfortable than the gel seat -
    >> I can see how the gel is a gimmick for all but the shortest rides.

    Well, that sounds promising.

    > Unless it is an all leather saddle like a Brooks, it should not need breaking
    > in.

    That is not the point. It is a question of breaking in the body, not the saddle.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all _`\(,_ | mysteries, and all
    knowledge; and though I have all faith, so (_)/ (_) | that I could remove mountains, and have not
    charity, I am nothing. [1 Corinth. 13:2]
     
  6. Thanks for all the replies everyone! I do plan on riding as much as possible, and I'm quite liking
    the saddle. I have no numbness, no difficulty staying in place, just a bit of soreness at the sit
    bones. Last night after posting I rode a fairly long distance commute with a heavy weight on my
    back, and was amazed at the difference the new saddle made. (My back kinda hurt though, I guess you
    can't win'em all.)

    Adam

    David L. Johnson wrote:
    > On Sat, 17 May 2003 23:08:06 +0000, Bernie wrote:
    >
    >>> I can take back the saddle and exchange it within a week. How long should it take me to get used
    >>> to the new saddle, assuming it fits me correctly?
    >
    > A week is not really enough time, but it will give you some idea. Ride often, and get in a longer
    > ride. See if things are better. When I finally found the saddle I use now, I was somewhat
    > desperate, since my previous one had basically fallen apart on me. I had a century that weekend.
    > But it was the most comfortable long ride I had ever had.
    >
    > It will probably take longer than that to really be sure, but you should notice some things right
    > away. OTOH, since you may not have enough "callous" (not really, but basically the same idea,
    > toughened tissues) over the sit bones, there may be some tenderness there.
    >
    >> What
    >>> kind of pain should I watch out for, and what kind is normal when getting accustomed to a hard
    >>> saddle? I should mention that in many respects it is *much* more comfortable than the gel seat -
    >>> I can see how the gel is a gimmick for all but the shortest rides.
    >
    > Well, that sounds promising.
    >
    >> Unless it is an all leather saddle like a Brooks, it should not need breaking in.
    >
    > That is not the point. It is a question of breaking in the body, not the saddle.
     
  7. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Jacobe Hazzard wrote:

    > Thanks for all the replies everyone! I do plan on riding as much as possible, and I'm quite liking
    > the saddle. I have no numbness, no difficulty staying in place, just a bit of soreness at the sit
    > bones. Last night after posting I rode a fairly long distance commute with a heavy weight on my
    > back, and was amazed at the difference the new saddle made. (My back kinda hurt though, I guess
    > you can't win'em all.)
    >
    > Adam
    >

    I'm glad you're off the soft saddle and in good shape. That soft seat business is a bogus concept
    for an active cyclist. Have a great ride. Bernie
     
  8. On Sun, 18 May 2003 16:35:26 -0400, Jacobe Hazzard wrote:

    > Last night after posting I rode a fairly long distance commute with a heavy weight on my back, and
    > was amazed at the difference the new saddle made. (My back kinda hurt though, I guess you can't
    > win'em all.)

    Why carry a heavy weight on your back, when you could carry it on the bike?
     
  9. Steve Palincsar wrote:
    > On Sun, 18 May 2003 16:35:26 -0400, Jacobe Hazzard wrote:
    >
    >> Last night after posting I rode a fairly long distance commute with a heavy weight on my back,
    >> and was amazed at the difference the new saddle made. (My back kinda hurt though, I guess you
    >> can't win'em all.)
    >
    > Why carry a heavy weight on your back, when you could carry it on the bike?

    Have you ever tried fitting a guitar amp in a pannier?

    Adam
     
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