is there a comfortable seat out there?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Shereel, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Shereel

    Shereel New Member

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    I am a 50 yo female who has been cycling (~200km/wk) for about 2 years. Despite spending a fortune on various seats - gel/ designed for females ... ('ve tried them all), and expert adjustments of height and angle, I have yet to have a comfortable ride.

    Does ANYONE have any advice?
     
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  2. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    Hmmm.... *all* of them?
    Maybe the one for you is a cheap model. Which seat was closest to being comfortable? Get others like it... keep trying. Or, eat a lot more so you have more natural padding (it's what works for me :))
     
  3. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    I know there are going to be a lot of the women on the board who are going to disagree with me, but here goes anyway. I can't stand ANY of the women specific saddles. I prefer the mens, and the less padding the better. My favorite is the Selle Italia SLK (with gel), second to that is the Selle Italia Trans Am Max - not the women's version, they have one of those, too. When you look at the saddle it doesn't have much there, but that also means there is less to rub and chafe. I am a 44 y/o who rides between 4,000 -5,000 miles/year. I could never do a century on one of those women specific saddles. Maybe you are one of the oddballs like me who is built in a way that is more comfortable on a men's saddle. It's worth a try.
     
  4. recycle

    recycle New Member

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    Just to cover the basics (so to speak) since you didn't give much info ...

    1) bike shorts (no undies)
    2) are you in a fairly aero position? I am much more comfy vis a vis my bum when the bike is adjusted so some weight is on my arms.
    3) shift around alot. It is also a good reminder to stay loose in general.
    4) think about which part of the seat is uncomfy.
    Is the nose too wide? Are you getting a sinking feeling somewhere? Or, do you feel like some parts are sitting on a rock?
    5) Figure out where your sit bones are and just how wide the support area needs to be. It is possibly narrower or wider than you think.

    Only you can come up with these answers which should lead toward a more comfy seat.

    I personally was surprised by two things in my search for good saddles ... Less is better and men's models are often fine (I do have narrow hips for a woman). I ride a WTB speed she and a really cheap men's Velo D2 ($9 at Jenson) ... and dream of trying a Brooks someday cuz they just seem so cool.

    Good Luck!!
     
  5. Shereel

    Shereel New Member

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    Thanks to everyone who responded!

    To answer recycle's questions ... my current saddle is a Selle Italia SLK (with gel), I do wear nicks without undies, I have had a very professional (and expensive) bike fit so my weight should be distributed well around my bike.

    Have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is causing the problem (pain and numbness in the pubic region after a long cycle) and have decided that some women have a lot of padding around their "girlie parts" and others do not ... and seats should be designed accordingly, but they are not...

    Thanks again for responding
     
  6. recycle

    recycle New Member

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  7. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    The other thing I thought about is cycling shorts. I find that I have to buy the more expensive ones rather than the less expensive. It works for me, at least in comfort although not in the pocketbook. I have found that Pearl Izumi's middle and upper levels of shorts are much better than their least expensive. I wear the mid range (about $80 list retail) most of the time and am working my way into having nothing but the expensive ones ($110 list retail, I believe) one pair at a time. If I wear the least expensive ones, I end up sore in just 35 miles or so. I also find it is extremely important to use some kind of chamois cream. I use Chamois Butt'r - very liberally on me, not the shorts and it helps a lot. Good luck.
     
  8. msconana

    msconana New Member

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  9. stella

    stella New Member

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    Have you tried a Terry saddle? This company was started by Georgeanna Terry and she makes men's as well as women's saddles. (They are actually made by selle italia). I use them as I need the cutout due to numbness and pain in the pubic region. I also use the aero by san marco. They key for me has been the cutout. Terry saddles have cutouts in both the men's and women's saddles.

    I think the link is www.terrycycles.com but I am not sure. There is also a chart to help you pick the saddle. You can order direct and talk to them on the phone-when I was first trying them out they let me "trade in" one saddle for one more suited to my needs w/no hassle.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. trekchic

    trekchic New Member

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    I, too, am having a tough time with the saddle. The one that came with the bike is a CRZ+ and road it for a few months last year. When I brought the bike inside on the trainer, I felt like I needed a more padded seat and got a women's gel saddle. I only ride the trainer for about an hour at a time, but I don't feel right after a ride. The pubic area gets too much pressure, the nose seems too wide and the gel padding seems to cause friction. Is it the shorts or the saddle?
     
  11. Shereel

    Shereel New Member

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    It's definitely the saddle -- too much pressure in the pubic area. I have had some relief though, through continual adjustment of the angle of the saddle. I used to suffer days of pain after a long ride, now only a few hours :)
     
  12. CannonChick

    CannonChick New Member

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    Not at all... I use a men's Terry Ti seat. This is probably the most comfortable seat i've used to date.
     
  13. jennimarie

    jennimarie New Member

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    I was getting numb in the pelvic region and I switched to a cut-out saddle. Ahhh, major relief!
     
  14. pam_in_sc

    pam_in_sc New Member

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    This may be an unpopular idea, but you might try wicking underwear briefs under your bike shorts. I know that isn't the way it is done, but I haven't given up underwear yet because it feels to me like the underwear holds the soft tissue together in a more protected alignment. The trick is to find ones that don't have seams in the wrong place. The ones I use are from Duofold.

    Pam
     
  15. antikeye

    antikeye New Member

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    Go to a hard seat. Pay attention to where your hip bones lie, make sure they're supported, and work at it. Although I'm a guy, this has worked for me. There are plenty of sites out there about this for both sexes, and this is a big problem for many riders. A seat is one of the toughest things to fit on a bike, no matter who you are.
    Try a wide Brooks. Leather fits to the body. This is one of the toughest calls anyone can make when outfitting their ride.
     
  16. PCharvet

    PCharvet New Member

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  17. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

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    I have a Form comfort saddle on my Felt. Quite narrow and fairly firm. I have a Velo plush ladies with a cutout on my Upland. That is only a cheap saddle- quite firm, but I really like it. No problems with the girlie bits! I haven't cracked more than 50 kms on either yet though. Been on the bike with a tea break for up to 3 hours though. I actually think the cheap saddle may be more comfortable. I put the nose up slightly on both as this means I am positioned on my sit bones better.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.
     
  18. Chili Pepper

    Chili Pepper New Member

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    Someone mentioned getting good shorts, and that really can make a HUGE difference. I always used high-end Pearl Izumis, but recently got some Etxe Ondo and they are amazing! They are also insanely expensive, but they are so nice I have decided I'd rather have one or two pairs of Etxe's than any Pearls. They are just great, I can't exaggerate how comfortable they are.

    Re. seats though, Specialized has a foam thing you sit on that measures your sit bones' width, and they have seats in various sizes to match. (I haven't tried their seats.) I use a Terry Butterfly, but i always suspect there's something better out there...
     
  19. garyj

    garyj New Member

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    I've also heard the Terry is very good.
     
  20. Donatella

    Donatella New Member

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    I found that for me I am sore regardless of what I wear or the bike seat that I use, but only for the first few weeks after time spent away from cycling.

    It does seem as though many different factors tie into the comfort equation. I hope that you find the right combination for you. =)
     
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