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How comfortable should a saddle be?(15 posts)

How comfortable should a saddle be?Len J
Jun 14, 2001 6:20 AM
Anyone using the SI Trans am ,trans am max, or prolink trans am?

What are the differences? How do you choose?

I'm beginning to think that after all these years of riding that I have never really had a comfortable seat. Talking to a riding buddy last night who was raving about his Trans Am. His description of the comfort was "something to which I am not familiar". I think maybe I have just gotten used to discomfort. Not Pain, just discomfort, with sporadic numbness if I don't get out of the saddle enough. On the shore here (Flat followed by flat) lots of time in the saddle.

How comfortable is a good saddle? At $100 a pop, I have never felt good about trying different saddles, Help me see the light (or not feel the seat)!!
re: How comfortable should a saddle be?PingPong
Jun 14, 2001 7:09 AM
The trans am Max is a little wider, I have got one and I wish I had got the narrower one as I find it pretty uncomfortable on the bones. The hole does seem to help, but when I slide forward a bit at higher cadences this effect is cancelled out.

Buying a saddle does seem a bit of a lottery, if I ever find one that really works well I will buy several!
re: How comfortable should a saddle be?Mel Erickson
Jun 14, 2001 7:44 AM
I've got about 150 miles on my new SI Trans AM and so far so good. Definitely better than my old San Marco. The hole does help where I needed help the most. Sit bones hit the saddle differently than my old saddle but they're pretty much broke in and comfortable now. Overall I'm pleased. You just have to try some out to see what works. You don't have to pay $100. Mine was $54 from Supergo. Check on the return policy. Also check your LBS. My LBS' don't carry much of a selection of high end saddles so I had to go mail order. It's definitely easier to swap saddles with a LBS than mail order. It can be a tedious process but one worth the effort.
How did you choose?Len J
Jun 14, 2001 7:48 AM
Between Prolink trans am, trams am & trans am max?

How long can you return a seat? I have read that it takes several hundred miles to tell if a seat is for you.

How did you choose?Mel Erickson
Jun 14, 2001 11:15 AM
I didn't want the rear of the saddle to be split because I felt it might interfere with placement of my sit bones (eliminated Prolink). I knew I needed relief for the nads so I wanted a cut out. I considered the Max but I didn't know if a wider seat would fit well, plus it has more padding (which, in my experience, makes a seat less, not more, comfortable) and weighed more (eliminated Max). I knew the width of my old saddle was about right and the Trans Am was similar, so, woila, SI Flite Trans AM. Return policies vary by retailer, you have to inquire. I noticed more comfort on the first 20 mile ride. No more pressure on the nads. The shape, texture, and padding were slightly different so it took a couple of rides to get used to the new saddle but I'm quite comfortable now. The saddle is longer than my old one and I wasn't sure how that would feel. No problem, so far. In fact, it might give me more room to move forward and give me more seating positions.
Thanks (nm)Len J
Jun 14, 2001 1:23 PM
re: How comfortable should a saddle be?MeDotOrg
Jun 14, 2001 8:21 AM
I don't think you necessarily have to spend $100 to find a comfortable saddle. Positioning is important.

I have a Terry Liberator which I rode 575 miles last week with no pain. It costs $40. Terry says if you're not satisfied with their saddles you can return them, no questions asked. You might try the Liberator or a Fly.

The one thing I would caution is getting a saddle that is TOO comfortable. Something that feels really good and cushy in the showroom may not be the best thing for 5 hour rides.
re: How comfortable should a saddle be?Ray Sachs
Jun 14, 2001 9:37 AM
I can't comment on the Trans Am, but a saddle should be pretty comfortable. I've gone through a few, but have settled on works for me (Specialized BG Pro on the fast road bikes and Brooks B-17 on the more upright touring/commuting bikes, not that this is relevant to anyone else's butt) and only seem to have ANY level of discomfort on very long rides or on multi-day tours, and even this is pretty minimal. On a typical 40-60 mile ride, I'm not aware of any discomfort at all and never any numbness. Sometimes, toward the end of a century or longer, I'll notice some minor chafing right under the sit-bones and this also happens on week-long tours, but it's nothing that really bothers me. If you're getting numb, you definately need to reposition something.

Numbness- No, Pain- No.peloton
Jun 14, 2001 9:52 AM
A saddle should be something that you don't even think about on the bike. I wouldn't tolerate a saddle that caused numbness or pain. You have enough other stimulus causing discomfort without your saddle adding to the mix. I would say that before you get your heart set on any one saddle to try as many saddles as you can, and experiment with your position on the bike. Trying different saddles will give you an idea of what works for you. Changing your position on the bike can make a huge difference too. Even a one degree change in the angle of your saddle could be extrodinary to you. Make changes one at a time, and in very, very small increments though so you know exactly what is working. It's very individual too. Just because I like brand X saddle set up level doesn't mean you would find it acceptable at all. So, in short- try as many saddles as you can before you buy, and try subtle changes to your position to find a comfortable place for you to ride.

PS- Once you find a comfortable saddle and riding position, mark everything down on the seatpost in relation to saddle height, tilt, position of the rails on the clamps so that you can duplicate the position easily in the future. And don't get rid of a comfortable saddle ever!
How.....Len J
Jun 14, 2001 9:58 AM
Do you try as many saddles as possible? Like I said at $70 to $100 a seat this experimentation seems like it could get expensive.

How long do you experiment before you try another?

Am I missing something?
you need to start with proper fit and riding positionHank
Jun 14, 2001 10:10 AM
does your bike fit you properly? When I set up a new bike, it takes me a while to tweak the saddle position until it's just right. I've ridden Concors for 15 years with no problems, so if my butt hurts, I know it's not the seat, it's something to do with my setup. Regarding seat selection, I think most of these new seats are overpriced and over-engineered. Start by trying some of the classic shapes - Concor, Rolls, Turbo (though I haven't seen the Turbo around for a while). Maybe some people would consider the Flight to be a modern classic. Shape is more important than gell and suspension gimmicks.
Jun 14, 2001 10:50 AM
Many shops have demo programs that let you try out different saddles. Shop around, it's worth it. You can also try out saddles of your riding buddies. Usually people have extra saddles lying around if they have been riding for a while. Unfortunatly, many people have bought saddles that they don't like. Usually, these same people would be more than happy to lend you one of their extras, or even sell it to you for a good price. This can help you to not make so many of these mistakes. It beats the buy to try philosophy.
Like a Glovegrz mnky
Jun 14, 2001 10:27 AM
Unfortunately I have a small collection of saddles that didn't work out as I'd hoped. I understand that many good LBS have a loaner or liberal return plan. Everyone's butt is a bit different and you have to find what works for you. I grew up in an era of Brooks and Ideale full leather saddles. Discomfort, numbness and pain were part of the program until your butt and the saddle became aquainted - which could take a very long time. Some still swear by them.

In the new era there is little or no reason to put up with a bad fit. Currently using the Selle Italia Max Flite Trans Am and like it very much. Sometimes it takes a few miles for everything to settle down, but it always works out well after a while. I've also used the Terry Mens Liberator which is softer and more comfy right off the bat, but it can produce some pinching and chaffing b/c it's so soft. It also scores low in the style points dept.

You gotta keep searching for the Holy Grail of saddles and do not rest until you find it no matter what it costs. If you can't hook into a loaner program perhaps you could cruise the classifieds here and get a used saddle. If it doesn't work out you haven't lost too much and if it does work out you can treat yourself to a new one and keep the other for another bike.
Thanks.........Len J
Jun 14, 2001 1:25 PM
Maybe we should have a seat exchange section of the Board. It sounds like the average poster has several seats. Maybe make a good poll.
Jun 14, 2001 7:59 PM
It should be so comfortable that during ANY ride, it is NEVER a thought. The best fitted bike will be a nightmare to ride if your butt is 'not happy'....