Seat fitting

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Chuck731, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Chuck731

    Chuck731 New Member

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    Is there any way to guage which saddles might be comfortable for me? Bike stores are loath to let to try any saddle for long enough to determine its comfort level an then return it if it is not comfortable.

    BTW, I am planning on doing 3 200 mile rides this year. So comfort past the first 40 miles is very important.
     
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  2. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    Not sure I have an answer to your question, but I'm curious...

    If you're physically prepared to ride three double centuries in one week, I would have thought you would have worked out the saddle issue long ago, no? You must have spent countless hours in your current saddle to get yourself in shape. Don't you think you're cutting it a little close now, with only a couple days to find and test a new saddle? I made the mistake of using a brand new bike for a 600 mile week, rather than the bike I had trained on... BIG MISTAKE.
     
  3. Chuck731

    Chuck731 New Member

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    My bad. I meant 3 double centuries this year. The first is to be in March .

    I've ridden on a Sella Italia Flite for the last 4 years. I never got comfortable with it, I just learned to suffer with it. (Suffering is what bicycling is all about, right ;)). I more or less stopped cycling about 18 month ago. Recently I decided to take it up again, and a few rides reminded me just how much my sitting bone hurts as result of that saddle. It's gotten so bad that I noticed I reflexively use my legs to lighten the load on my butt even as I was just coasting along at the very start of a ride.

    Since I am building up a new frame, I thought I take the opportunity to get a better saddle. I tried Fizik Arione, which seemed very comfortable when I just tried it for about 10 minutes on a friend's bike. But after I bought it and rode on it for 4 hours, hy sitting bone is hurting as badly as ever.

    So I am trying to figure out if there are any more scientific way of figuring out what saddle characteristics I needed. Trying out saddles one by one is not working. Bike shops don't like to take back saddles whose rails have been marred by seat clamps.
     
  4. Dr.Hairybiker

    Dr.Hairybiker New Member

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    Doesn't it suck? I've been going through this for years. Every time I think I have the be-all/end-all most comfortable saddle, that will solve all my problems, something ends up going wrong and the saddle gets hung on a nail in the garage with the other assorted saddles that haven't worked out over the years.

    The right saddle has a lot to do with your backside, but also with overall bike fit and bike style. The same saddle that might be great on your racing or TT bike, probably won't be comfortable for double centuries on your long distance bike. The more aero you are, the more the saddle position must change to relieve perineal pressure. If you are more upright on the bike, such as on a distance bike, you will probably want a wider saddle and not have to worry about perineal relief as much.

    Sometimes if a saddle is very uncomfortable, it might be because of your position on the bike. Maybe the saddle tilt is wrong, maybe the bars are too high or low, maybe the saddle needs to be moved back or forward.

    Of course, sometimes you just need to tough it out until the tissue over your sitbones get calloused. But, one thing is for sure, don't mess around with PERINEAL discomfort. There is no amount of perineal discomfort that is acceptable, it needs to be corrected. Another thing that's certain, more padding is usually not the answer to any kind of saddle discomfort, and in fact it's usually the other way around, a heavily padded saddle will cause more problems than it solves in most cases.

    Currently, I have a Brooks B-17 on my touring bike. (a Trek 520), and a Specialized Avatar 43MM on my everyday bike. I recommend either to anyone completely. The Avatar is very easy on the sit bones, with the gel pads, but it's a little wider in the center than I really like.

    All you can do is continue to try to think it through, try to figure where it hurts and visualize what will fix it. Then buy a saddle, try it out, and if it doesn't work for you, stick it on Ebay and you'll get most of your money back.
     
  5. Dr.Hairybiker

    Dr.Hairybiker New Member

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    Whoops! I meant an Avatar 143mm, not 43mm. A 43 would be pretty tough to sit on at all I reckon..............
     
  6. Andrepaul

    Andrepaul New Member

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    I now use a Fizik Aliante w/carbon rails and it's been the most comfortable seat for me so far. Of course I had to purchase and try out several other seats (Fizik Arione and Brooks Swift Titanium) prior to the Aliante only to find out that they weren't comfortable enough. It's all about trial and error. Hopefully you can find a LBS that'll let you return a seat if you're not satisfied with it's comfort level.
     
  7. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    A lot of this is personal preference and down to your own riding style and anatomy. There has been a lot of science directed in this area in recent years and you might want to take a look at the sellesmp Strike range of saddles.

    From my own experience I can recommend the Strike Pro as comforable and light enough to grace any performance bikes
     
  8. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    Please just tell me to go away and keep quiet if I'm suggesting the obvious, :) but have you offered to cover the rails with electrical tape for a trial period? I made sure to buy my saddle from a place that allowed for returns, as long as the saddle didn't get damaged. I live in a pretty bike-friendly town, though, so you might not have the same luck finding such a store.

    Best of luck to you...it can be a long process finding the right saddle, and as you can see, you're not alone.

     
  9. Andrepaul

    Andrepaul New Member

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    Sounds like great advice to me...
     
  10. Ray Dockrey

    Ray Dockrey New Member

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    I had this same conversation with my LBS . They told me as long as the saddle wasn't tore up, they would contine to swap saddles with me until I was happy with one. I was surprised.
     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to find an LBS that will let you try a saddle and return it iffin it doesn't suit your tush. The only way to tell if a saddle is going to work is to put it under Mr. Stinky for a while to see how they get along.
     
  12. RockyRides

    RockyRides New Member

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    Both my local LBS (where I bought a new Specialized Rockhopper) and Performance Bikes which has a store about 100 miles from me have been real good about letting me swap seats till I'm comfortable. Been through a couple of WTBs (pretty good); Terry Cite (just OK); a Specialized Milano Gel (seems good for the short time I've had it); and a brand new E3 Form Gel which gets great write-ups, but I can't test yet cause of the cold and snow. Will do a follow-up post on the E3 when I get a chance to use it.
     
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