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Saddles(19 posts)

Aug 8, 2001 10:49 AM
I'm getting ready to order that Terry Liborator saddle. Saddle selection seems to be about as scientific as blind-folded dart throwing. I'm wondering if there is a more educated way to choose saddles than eeny-meeny-miney-moe. I have a Serfas Groove Gel that I'm getting ride of. On the Serfas, for a portion of every ride, I end up trapping something (nerve or blood vessle) between the bottom of my sit bone and the seat. This causes pain down the back of my leg and an entire leg cramp that can last for hours. Is there something specific I should look for in a saddle that might help with this?
BUY A BROOKS! (haiku included)Rusty McNasty
Aug 8, 2001 11:17 AM
Spend big $$ to buy

Hi-zoot saddle

@$$ still hurts
two thumbs up: (haiku included)Haiku d'état
Aug 8, 2001 11:27 AM
(i must have three thumbs)

I fear your haiku
is not in the right meter
rusty mcnasty

your free-form freedoms
matter of taste, i assume
locomotive, man!

on the bleeding edge
pushing haiku envelope
rusty mcginsberg

seeking seat advice
get a haiku in return
what have we come to?

spouting keyboard verse
jeff keyed a revolution
still brain dead, McNusty?sssssssssssssssssssss
Aug 8, 2001 11:33 AM
you need to look up the definition of haiku (hint: 5, 7, 5)
The most difficult component to get right!!!Cima Coppi
Aug 8, 2001 11:30 AM
Since we are all different (our rear ends, at least), a saddle purchase is the most difficult decision to make for a bike. They usually don't feel comfortable until a break-in time is reached (100 miles down the road), and then there is no guarantee.

Here's what I did. I found a local LBS who had a good saddle selection. I asked the owner if I could bring in my bike and fit different saddles on the bike and ride his stationary trainer to get an idea of which one felt most comfortable. He was cool with this, and I spent a couple of hours there trying the saddles (about 5 different ones). In the end for me, I did not like anything I tried, and I'm still using my trusty San Marco Rolls Ti saddle.

See if this will work for you. It may narrow your search down, and you won't be playing Russian Roulette with your @$$.

Good Luck,

"idiot's" guide to saddlesET
Aug 8, 2001 11:32 AM
First fit the curvature of the saddle to a known mathematical function using standard mathematical techniques. Do likewise with curvature of butt. Check that mathematical curve for butt is one-to-one and onto the curve for saddle and fits over it nicely, with local tangent at point where sit bone meets fat part of saddle in horizontal plane; this is known as a saddle point. Done. :-) :-)

Why do I suspect another continuing saga? :-)
but seriously, folks....Rusty McNasty
Aug 8, 2001 11:47 AM
You CAN go to the LBS, and check the saddles out, but few shops actually carry Brooks, due mostly to the fact that the don't come in way-cool colors. You also can't duplicate the 5-mile flattening effect which haunts almost ALL gel saddles. To put it plainly, any gel saddle will compress in about 5 miles. Not much good for a 40-mile ride, is it?

Over the last 7 years or so, I've tried everything from the first-generation gel saddles, groove saddles, and then I tried a Brooks. Unbelievable! They actually get more comfortable the longer you ride, and they last forever. I now have one on every bike I own, and will never go back to gel/plastic saddles.

The saddles you should all look at are the B17narrow, the B17, the Professional, and it's titanium-rail version, too.
ha hah haD'Ohhh!!!
Aug 8, 2001 11:55 AM
ti rail brooks? kinda silly dontcha think? that's like the fat girl that orders a diet coke with her big mac and supersize fries
Actually it does make sense.MB1
Aug 8, 2001 12:16 PM
Brooks are great and the ti rails have a little more give than the steel rails. Brooks seats break in very well to your bottom the more you weigh the quicker they break in.

3 notes. 1)Be careful to keep them dry from rain (sweat is fine, saddle covers really help). 2) Seat bags with built in clamps or hard attachments do not fit well. 3) Tilt the nose down a little more than you would normally.
re: SaddlesMikeC
Aug 8, 2001 11:58 AM
Check out Koobi at They make the "Pursuit" especially for female riders, and have a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
re: Saddles4bykn
Aug 8, 2001 12:15 PM
I've had good luck with Specialized Body Geometry Comp. Not a favorite on the board here, but really comfortable. And I think Performance has them on sale.
performance=$45.99, =$29.99 nmHaiku d'état
Aug 8, 2001 12:19 PM
Aug 9, 2001 7:40 AM
Thanx, jeffreyh, I just ordered one, can't pass up a price like that.
I paid more than twice that for my first one.
re: SaddlesLen J
Aug 8, 2001 12:52 PM
Hardest thing to get right because its all so individual. That being said,(in addition to what others have said) let me add me .02:

I was in the same boat about 2 or 3 mos ago. What I ended up doing was first riding some of my buddies bikes for a few miles and seeing how thier saddle felt. This isn't perfect because minor saddle adjustments can make a big difference, however it did give me a general idea as to what types I liked & what types didn't like me. I found that cutout saddles treated me much better than gel saddles as an example. Since I don't have an LBS in the area that has a large selection of saddles I was stuck with either the bad saddle I had or bite the bullet and "buy & try" I ended up buying 4 saddles for a total of over $275.00 to find the one that felt right. I sold the other three & recovered about $150.00, so net it only cost me $125.00 to find the perfect saddle for me. Truth is I would have paid a lot more for the comfort I got.

The only other option I have heard of is to ask other riders if they have any old saddles that you can try & maybe buy.

At the end (no pun intended) of the day, the comfort is worth the search.
re: Saddlesdinky
Aug 8, 2001 1:10 PM
I just walked in the door with my new liberator butterfly with the ti rails. I can't give a review yet but the woman at the LBS raved and this is a big shop in Austin (home of all things Lance, so they should know, right?) I went through many painful miles on saddles that I thought looked good on my bike but were wicked on the backside (the fizik pave is a creation of the devil, IMHO) Anyway, this woman rides a zillion road miles a month and she has worked at that LBS since it opened. She told me that hands down, the lib, butterfly was the choice of most women. So, I stopped staring at the goofy embroidered yellow butterfly and went for it. I'll let you know tomorrow. That said, the very first question that I asked was if I could return it for a different one if my butt didn't like it. She said of course as long as I hadn't damaged it. Any good LBS should do that so you might want to go that route instead of ordering online. Good luck!
Something specific...Stampertje
Aug 8, 2001 1:23 PM
Find a shop that will let you return it after a week. I know Performance in Naperville / Rt. 59 will. My girlfriend just got a (used) Liberator and could have returned it for a full refund. No need, she's very happy with it. I ride a Brooks, but I probably wouldn't if I hadn't got such a great deal on it (in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, so don't bother...)

Saddles need some time to break in, but if it's distinctly uncomfortable out of the box, don't stick with it.
Aug 8, 2001 1:46 PM
From another female, stop me if you've heard all this already. I'll preface this with the standard disclaimer: saddle preference is highly personal! I've seen guys ride their old saddles down to bare shells & Ductape just because they were so used to them. Hopefully you have a friendly LBS who'll let you try stuff out before committing.

About a million years ago back when I started riding seriously, I listened to all those who insist that "women need wider saddles". While it is indeed true that women have wider sit bones than men (proportionately), there are specific individual cases that are not so. I happen to fall into this group - although I don't LOOK like I should have narrow sit bones, I do. All the wide "women-specific" design saddles do for me is chafe my inner thigh and make my feet go numb - there's a nerve bundle that runs down the angle of the hip/inner thigh that gets pressed on if the saddle is too wide for your specific physiology and/or riding style.

I personally don't care for the "cutout" designs either, although they work miracles for some folks. IMO they tend to have seams in the daggonedest places, and trap and pinch one's naughty bits unmercifully. I noticed some of the TDF pros this year sporting cutout saddles, so they do work.

I spent two years switching from saddle to saddle, in hopes of finding something that worked, to little avail. Relief finally came when a teammate loaned me a specialty bike to do a time trial. It had one of those hard, narrow evil-looking Flite saddles on it. Perfect! I've been riding Flite saddles for eight years now, with nary a problem. I just got a brand new bike, and with it decided to try the "next-generation" Selle Italia SLR, which is even more minimalist and nastier-looking than its Flite predecessor. It works great! I've never ridden a more comfortable saddle, the entire thing works like a big flexy shock absorber.

It all boils down to physiology, but some of it is adaptation, and as your riding style evolves, your saddle choice may do so as well. Those wide gel saddles are a fantastic idea for the more casual rider who sits up tall on a hybrid or high-stem bike, tends to stick the knees out a bit, doesn't use clipless pedals and rides with their seat fairly low. Your beginner rider also typically needs some extra help in the way of padding - if you don't ride a lot, the ligaments that support your sit bones aren't strong enough to support your weight comfortably (ever ridden horseback then not be able to walk the next day?- it's the same deal). Once you've graduated to a more aggressive "racing" position, you'll notice that it tends to pull your knees in parallel to the frame, and the clipless pedals limit your "Q-factor" (the width between your feet) to a very narrow stance. Once you up your mileage, you may find (as I did) that all the extra padding and width merely causes chafing and numbness.

Good luck!
What we need is a reject saddle exchange program.DCP
Aug 8, 2001 2:43 PM
Many of us seem to have quite a collection.
Fizik Vitessewhygimf
Aug 8, 2001 6:06 PM
Recent experience fitting a saddle for my lady - went thru three-
including cutouts... found her a Vitesse and she immediately liked.
No saddle complaints for the last ~800 miles.

The saddle seems to be no frills, firm, fits a woman's sit bones, sleek looking - without screaming wilma.

Me? I ride a Sella Max Flite Trans Am. 'Taint had no tenderness since.

Best of luck.