Saddle Recommendations



kvl1027

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Mar 28, 2005
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Hello,
I am new to the cycling world, and just went for my first semi long ride. I did about 23 miles, at avg. Spd, of 16.5mph. I must say I had a great time. I could have probably gone longer except my butt hurt just way to much to keep going. I honestly can't tell you what saddle I am curently using, but i can say it looks like it might be too small for a smurf to ride. I am 6'3'' and about 240lbs., so if anyone can give some suggestions on what brands are best for larger people. I'm not sure what sit bone width is, but i can say that my local bike store made no mention of it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, to anyone responding.
 

friedmikey

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Jan 20, 2005
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I recently put a Fizik Aliante Ti on my bike and I absolutely love it. It was without a doubt obscenely expensive, but so very worth every penny. Fizik also makes the Aliante Gamma, which is the same shape, but cheaper. The Gamma loses the carbon shell and gains quite a few grams. For what it's worth, I'm told that the carbon shell offers additional comfort over the plastic shell of the Gamma, due to additional flex. A whole lot of people also seem to like the Fizik Arione. Anyway, I'm about your height, but you've got about 70lbs on me - what works for me may or may not work for you. Go to all your local LBS's and try everything!
 

kvl1027

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Mar 28, 2005
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70lbs on me, you're not making me feel very good about myself....lol Just kidding!. Thank you for the advice i will check it out, Any suggestions from anyone esle would be greatly appreciated.
 

Walrus

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Apr 4, 2004
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Firstly I'll say that everyone's butt hurts on their first semi long ride. It takes time to become accustomed to the feeling. Having said that, lets assume that your saddle is not quite right for you.

Saddles are a hugely subjective part of your bike. I still find my first cheap saddle more comfortable than newer (supposedly better) saddles. I just happened to hit upon a saddle shaped just right for me.

The trouble is finding that perfect saddle. I agree that going to the LBS and trying a few is the best way to achieve this.
 

Walrus

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Apr 4, 2004
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kvl1027 said:
70lbs on me, you're not making me feel very good about myself....lol Just kidding!. Thank you for the advice i will check it out, Any suggestions from anyone esle would be greatly appreciated.
This may already be on your current saddle, but I've found that saddles with a cutout are more comfortable. This is due to the fact that pressure is reduced on the perenium. Also, some saddles now have almost two parts. So they're joined at the front, but then split off into two separate wings. These are supposed to flex with your movement, hence more comfort. Fixik and Selle Italia have models with these features.
 

friedmikey

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Jan 20, 2005
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kvl1027 said:
70lbs on me, you're not making me feel very good about myself....lol Just kidding!. Thank you for the advice i will check it out, Any suggestions from anyone esle would be greatly appreciated.
That was a bit rude of me, in hindsight. I apologize.

Strangely, the one other saddle that I found quite comfortable is pretty much at the opposite end of the price spectrum from the Aliante. It is the Bontrager Race Light. The Race Light is standard issue on many Treks and Lemonds, so it should be easy to find a bike at your LBS that has one you can feel. It also means they are very easy to find at your LBS as leftover items from a saddle swap. I picked a brand new one up basically as a throw-away for $20.
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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Agree everyone's butt hurts after doing their longest ride. I've got an Arione saddle, which seems pretty good, but I know the first spring Century is going to hurt a bit around mile 80. One trick I use is to get out of the saddle early, and often, before the pain starts. In addition to climbing, I like to shift up and stand while on the flats for a minute every so often. Pedal for a few strokes, then coast to hold speed.

If the saddle isn't chafing me raw, or making me numb, that's about as good as I hope for. Good shorts and chamois lube are important too of course.

On selection of a new saddle, I'd only say forget the 200 gram lightweights. At your height and weight, you're correct that saddle width is important. The 5 inch wide italian race jobs that work for the 140 lb, 5'4" racers aren't what you need. Find a saddle wide enough and strong enough to handle your weight.

Specialized just has brought out a line of saddles in various widths that seem interesting. If you can find a local dealer with the "Ass-o-Meter" measuring tool, that's the way I'd go. Another option is the old tried-and-true Brooks B17 leather. It's got plenty of width, but takes a while to break in. Some people swear by them; I've never liked mine all that much.
 

kvl1027

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Mar 28, 2005
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friedmikey said:
That was a bit rude of me, in hindsight. I apologize.

No need for an apology, i dont get offended very easily. Thanks for all of the advice, once again if anyone else would like to add to this topic i would greatly appreciate it.
 

RC2

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May 21, 2004
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1 thing I've learned about saddles -- what feels good in the store or for a mile or two ride doesn't necessarily feel good later on. Saddles with a lot of padding may feel good at first, but if you don't have sit bone support in the right places the comfort won't last. In fact, too much padding outside of the sit bone zones ends up putting pressure in places you don't want it to. I go for firmish sit bone support in the right places, w/o an overly plush/cushy feel, and a shape that won't put pressure/contact in the wrong places (down the center or along the sides for instance) which can lead to soreness and chafing.
 

House

Banned
Aug 9, 2004
850
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Saddles are a funny thing, the only real way to know whats right is to rid on it. I currently have two saddles I like, both Fizik, Arione and Poggio. The Arione is what i ride now and it is comfy from the first time I got on it. The Poggio was like a brick for about five minutes but then i never noticed it. If I had gone by a quick test who knows how many saddles I would have gone through. Just remember you'll be sore if you haven't ridden in a while no matter what saddle you have.
 

biker7

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Oct 15, 2004
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as just putting a Brooks B17 on my bike after getting an absolute a$$ splitting from the Italia Selle XO that came on my bike...right off the bat the B17 is better. I have a long way to go in breaking it in...but the thing I like about the seat aside from the retro aesthetics which seems to look right on a steel frame Bianchi...may not on a carbon space ship ;) ...is the Brooks is basically a stiff piece of leather stretched between two perchs...a hammock of sorts. Over time...likely 300-500 miles or so...the seat will conform to your anatomy which is very specific to each rider. I believe RC is right on...padding is more of curse than a blessing by loading soft tissue. Already the B17 even though hard is no firmer over bumps that a couple of others I have tried. I believe people swear by them for a reason...and no less then the renowned Sheldon Brown rides one...why I had to give one a try.
George
 

nuyawka

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Jul 16, 2004
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kvl1027 said:
Hello,
I am new to the cycling world, and just went for my first semi long ride. I did about 23 miles, at avg. Spd, of 16.5mph. I must say I had a great time. I could have probably gone longer except my butt hurt just way to much to keep going. I honestly can't tell you what saddle I am curently using, but i can say it looks like it might be too small for a smurf to ride. I am 6'3'' and about 240lbs., so if anyone can give some suggestions on what brands are best for larger people. I'm not sure what sit bone width is, but i can say that my local bike store made no mention of it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, to anyone responding.
I'm 5' 11" and 212lbs. I measured out on the Specialized sitbone tool as 130 and was recommended to try the Alias 143mm saddle width. It felt like two squares of concrete to my butt.

I tried a San Marco Aspide and although narrow and minimal in appearance, was somewhat comfortable until I would creep forward at high cadence/paceline riding, then I got numb.

Tried both Selle Italia Flite and genuine gel Flite which I liked the length on but were very uncomfortable and just hurt.

Tried the Selle Italia Pro Link, although soft, was too short and I was concious of the nose curvature in an upwards direction which bothered me.

Tried a San Marco SKN Pro, which again is a minimal race saddle but slightly longer than an Aspide but much wider. That was torture and I rode 100miles over three days and took it off.

I sucked it up and purchased a Fizik Aliante hoping it would be the magic carpet I read about (favorable reviews), it was not. I didn't like having to sit in one spot and could only make it comfortable by tilting the saddle nose upward so I would be seated in the sweet spot. I missed being able to pull forward when jamming on the drops and had that pressure from the nose.

I then basically was about to give up all hope and go back to the Aspide when I tried a Fizik Arione. SADDLE WAS FANTASTIC..just what I needed. Flat, moderate width, long nose which is slightly wider than most. Seemed to perch my sit bones up and I just don't feel the saddle underneath me. It fits me so well that I purchased a second, a limited edition model that is slightly higher in cost but more attractive than the all black version.
 

kvl1027

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Mar 28, 2005
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Thank you to everyone that has posted, all of the info. Has been very helpful. It seems as if the key is trying the saddles out, the only problem is any of the high end saddles you cant find at LBS in my area, and on top of that you cant get a really good idea until you ride on them for extended amounts of time. So the only way it seems to find the saddle, is to bite the bullet buy them and try them, and then figure ou how to sell them if they dont work for you. Unfortunately i dont have the budget to spend lots of money finding the right one.
 

jjiam

New Member
Aug 24, 2004
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I like you am very big, not tall but muscular, at 5'11" and 250 lbs, I have tried many many seats inc. fizik, brooks, Trek, but now I have the best seat for me so far. I have purchased the Specialized seat after sitting on the assometer at the store, and true to what they say, it is very comfortable, except no matter what you ride, you will have to endure pain on your sit bones, cause thats what you sit on.
 

king4wd

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Feb 19, 2005
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It can't be said enough- saddles are very personal and vary widely rider to rider. They are also one of the more important pieces of gear on your bike. Good saddles for beginners, and those of us with more sensitive butts:) are saddles with some built in suspension- such as Selle Italia's Turbomatic series, or Velo's crossbow saddles. One note on cutouts- watch for the stitching around the opening. On some saddles this area is stiffer than the surrounding saddle and feels like sitting on an open pipe. I lucked into a great saddle, as it came with a build kit. A Selle San Marco Ozono race gel. Its got the rubber rail mounts and a soft gel spot instead of a cutout, but it makes my road bike more comfortable than my hardtail.