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hard vs cushy saddles(18 posts)

hard vs cushy saddlesmlbd
Aug 15, 2001 8:23 AM
i've tried several models of both on the road and off road. saddles with a little bit of cushion tend to hurt the fleshy areas, especially on road rides. hard saddles tend to hurt my sit bones. is there an advantage to choosing one type of pain over the other?
Sounds like a job for Brookscory
Aug 15, 2001 8:31 AM
If you get a "hard" (not really--just stiff) all-leather saddle, like a Brooks, it will break in at the spots where you put a lot of pressure and you get the best of both. I have a Pro and two B-17s (wider than the Pro), and they're the most comfortable saddles I've used in 30 years of riding.
You can get more information at or For what it's worth, the stories you hear about long, agonizing break-in periods are exaggerated, I think. All of mine were pretty comfortable right out of the box and got better within a couple of hundred miles.
Agreed...get a BrooksUncleMoe
Aug 15, 2001 9:07 AM
Why the Brooks saddles are not reviewed on this site is a mystery to me (do they have to pay to be eligable for review?)...

Anyway, I just got the B17 standard width. It feels hard to the hand, but after using the conditioner Proofide on it overnight, it softens up perfectly in the first few miles, yet stays firm.

I commute to work 20 miles each way and yesterday was my first ride on it. First time in years that I rode without numbness or some sort of saddle discomfort. I am simply looking forward to it getting better and better over time. There are now tiny little imprints where the site bones are. That is basically all that touches the saddle if it is adjusted right.

I got mine at, mainly because they offer a 6-month return gaurantee no questions asked. Nothing like piece of mind if it doesn't work out.
Doh....grzy mnky
Aug 15, 2001 10:11 AM
>Why the Brooks saddles are not reviewed on this site is a mystery to me (do they have to pay to be
eligable for review?)...

No, someone like yourself has to actually write a review and then it will be posted. You want someone to write your review for you? Why can't you take what you just wrote and submitt it as a review - that's how things work y'know.
What I mean is...UncleMoe
Aug 15, 2001 10:18 AM
When you go to the Product Review section...

Brooks isn't listed. However, I did just see that there is a link to submit a request to have a product added. I will go ahead and request it. Thanks for pointing it out.
they pay!alex the engineer
Aug 15, 2001 11:16 AM
I sent in a review MONTHS ago, and nothing yet.
Of COURSE they pay!! And with the Brooks factory working at full speed now, what good would advertising do? They can't make them fast enough as it is!
For some reason ...bianchi boy
Aug 15, 2001 11:27 AM
A lot of the previous saddle reviews have been cleaned out or removed from the review section. At one time, there were a bunch of saddle reviews and now there are hardly any. I don't know what happened, but it looks like the site manager redid the page for some reason.
probably becausealex the engineer
Aug 15, 2001 11:51 AM
the advertisers didn't like them! C'mon, this site is PAID for by the advertisers. Everybody seems to want to trash one saddle or another (I personally think Serfas make some of the worst saddles on earth), and if there were bad reviews in there, the manufacturers will eventually pull their advertising $$ from here. This ain't Consumer's Reports, ya know.
They removed the link to the MTBR saddle review sectionCliff Oates
Aug 15, 2001 4:23 PM
Which is where we were reviewing saddles. Unfortunately, the saddles I like aren't listed either, and the process for adding products is a real Charlie Foxtrot (note to Gregg: free associate on Charlie Foxtrot), so saddle reviews will likely remain sparce.
Brooks may not be for everybodybreezydz
Aug 15, 2001 9:42 AM
Back in 1983 I spent a few months getting fairly comfortable on a Brooks Pro. I tried a friends bike with a San Marco Concor and it was more comfortable immediately. I bought one and still use them. The point of all this is that Brooks saddles have a reputation for eventually fitting everybody better than anything else which, imho, isn't true.

I'd argue for a hard saddle that fits well and advise people to put their bike on a stand, adjust the seat until they find a sweet spot and leave it there as long as they can. Cut-outs, gel, bumpers and such are more noticible to my hand than they are to my butt.
Aug 15, 2001 10:08 AM
You're right. Just because the Brooks appears to be right for me, they may not be right for everyone. Some may not want the break in period, but I found that to be be a myth as it was almost immediately comfortable for me. Some may find another saddle that is perhaps better for them than the Brooks. I also live in San Diego, so I need not worry too much about rainy weather. If I lived in Seattle I probably would try other saddles first to not worry about the risk of ruining the leather in a rain storm.

My point is, a lot of people on the board ask advice on saddles. Just about everyone says, try one, if it doesn't work, try another, all until you find one that fits. To me that is like going from Boston to Los Angeles by way of Toronto and British Columbia. It is simply a painful trial and error (and costly) process.

I decided to take a risk and buy a Brooks over the internet based on the advice of others who swear by them. Heck, I had never even seen one or heard of Brooks until this board. I have found them to be all they were cracked up to be and maybe even more.

It is just a shame that the vast majority of bike stores don't sell them. I suspect they make money off of people trying saddle after saddle, so why sell them one that has a much higher likelyhood of succeeding.
Ahh....grzy mnky
Aug 15, 2001 10:17 AM
Maybe they don't get sold everywhere b/c they aren't that great, nor are they that bad. Just about everything has it's cult following these days and it ultimately comes down to the end user. You can bet your inner tubes that if the Brooks "concept" were superior there would be many other saddle makers with similar products. Call it a case of misguided consumer preference or call it reality - the choice is yours. BTW - I was very happy to get away from the Brooks and Ideale saddles and leave them in the 70's with Disco music - but even that has it's following these days.

I've had great results with Selle Italia products and the sales volume would seem to indicate that others have had similar results. Things are the way they are for a reason, but it's not a rule.
Aug 15, 2001 10:24 AM
I almost got the Selle Italia Flite Gel. It was stock on one of the higher end bikes at my LBS. It felt great when I sat on it. Unfortunatley a tired a few LBS's and none would let me ride it for a week or so to see how it felt. I learned the hard way that sitting on it for 5 minutes or a 15 minute ride wouldn't tell me much.

I agree, based on the sales volume and the feedback I've seen Selle Italia does make a good product.
re: hard vs cushy saddlesPaul N. VA
Aug 15, 2001 8:39 AM
Good question, as I have gone the same route. currenly, I'm using Selle Flite with gel inserts. It's a hard saddle, and will put pressure on the pelvic region, but i can tolerate it. About a month ago i hury myself dismounting, and now that nerve area is sensitive. I've switch over to my Bontregar Strada, a cushy saddle till I heal.

My next saddle (tired of buying them) will have a cut out. Like the Terry Fly as it has good padding, and the cutout, plus it's made by Selle. You butt will toughten up with a Selle, even Lance admits his butt kills him after a long ride. I've never had tissue problems with
a soft or hard saddle except with the Coda wedge shape which took off some skin. If I do Centurys, I use a more comfy saddle. There's enough pain else where without having butt pain.

Good Luck
re: hard vs cushy saddlesMike K
Aug 15, 2001 9:14 AM
I just made the very switch you are talking about (Selle Italia Flite Gel to Terry X Fly). I liked my gel and had the last one for 3 years until a recent crash. The LBS recommended that I try a Terry X Fly. So far so good, the X Fly is softer than the Selle Italia and softer than the Max Flite Trans Am (the cutout version). A nice saddle all the way around. Not the most attractive saddle out there but very functional and comfortable.
DISCLAIMER: The facts stated above relate only to my posterior. Saddles, like shoes, etc., are rather individual items and what works for me will not necessarily work for anyone else.
re: hard vs cushy saddlesRich Clark
Aug 15, 2001 9:58 AM
Compressing those soft tissues is potentially more damaging, as I understand it, than the simple soreness a hard saddle can produce under your sit-bones. Your butt will toughen up, but your nevers won't.

This is why I like my Max Trans Ams so much; they're relatively hard, but there's just enough spring from the elastomer suspension to soften the ride a touch without adding padding that compresses tissues.

re: hard vs cushy saddlesmackgoo
Aug 15, 2001 2:25 PM
Come over to the light,,,,,, get a Brooks. And if you haven't done it yet go to the "Italians" for the other stuff.
They just don't know, they don't want to know.
A general ruleKerry Irons
Aug 15, 2001 4:59 PM
Assuming the saddle is "for you", the more you ride, the harder you like your saddle. Your butt toughens up (your sit bones) and you like the support and freedom of movement from a harder saddle. If you don't ride much, a softer saddle is preferred.