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How to choose a saddle.(5 posts)

How to choose a saddle.Len J
May 1, 2002 4:50 AM
In my quest for the perfect saddle, I came across the following:

I was particularly struck by the following from the writeup:

"Shape is important! There are 2 basic "shapes" for middle-high end racing MTB saddles - flat and curved. The flat saddles like the SELLE ITALIA Fluid, Flite, SLR, Max Flite, Trimatic 2, Nitrox have several riding positions. The curved saddles like the SELLE ITALIA Prolink, Turbomatic 4 , XO, Lady, Oktavia have 1 or 2 riding positions. Analyze your riding style so that you ride the saddle that best fits your style of riding. If you move around a lot and ride in several positions, a flat saddle should be more comfortable. If you have a tendency to sit in 1 or 2 positions, a curved saddle should be more comfortable."

This is exactly what I have been struggling with. Thought I'd pass on the link for those of you in the same "quest".

thanks for the linkcyclopathic
May 1, 2002 6:01 AM
very educational. I always didn't like curved saddles. Now I know why ;)

I think what is also important is the nose width. I had trouble with Flite yet San Marco Regal worked right out of box. Now I am using Bontrager FS/FS+10, which Keith created from San Marco by cutting out rear sides and it works the best. Slide back behind sit on nose it still good.
re: How to choose a saddle.zeke
May 2, 2002 11:51 PM
in addition to 'flat' or 'curved' saddles, how about the ones that include a crevice down the center of the saddle, or a hole in that same position. what difference would there be between those with a crevice/hole and those without?

i am specifically interested in reducing/eliminating numbness.
re: How to choose a saddle.Len J
May 3, 2002 4:43 AM
If you read the article, you will notice they mention "Trans AM", which they have in both flat & curved saddles. This is their "Cutout" version of thier saddles. It is designed to take pressure off the "Soft tissue" areas.

There were some studies that linked long time in saddle with impotency several years ago. There is not general concensus on this, however, cutouts or crevices do work to relieve numbness for some people. What apparently happens is that blood vessels & nerves in the peritineal (SP?) area get compressed in certain cycling positions. Long term compression can lead to a reduction in the elasticity of these vessels (That's the theory anyway).

If you are experiencing numbness, I would recommend the following:

1.) Periodically get out of the saddle while riding. Make it a habit every X minutes, this will prevent/reduce numbness.

2.) Check your bike fit. Something as simple as raising your bars, and hence raising your soft tissue off the seat can do wonders. Some people actually get benefit by raising or lowering the nose of the seat slightly. In addition, rotating the saddle up to 5 degrees right or left of center can help. Lowering the seat slightly can also help. Experiment until you find what works.

3.) Try different saddles. Even the cutout/crevice is different saddle maker to saddle maker. The Sella Italia runs doen the middle, the San Marco ERA is only in the rear. In addition, different padding levels can make a difference in "Numbing". I find that I have more numbing if the saddle has too much padding, I think I sink in too far.

Remember that with saddles, small changes can make a big difference. When I try a new saddle, I am constantly stopping & making small adjustments until I "dial it in". It helps to have a seatpost that allows micro adjustments.

Good Luck

re: How to choose a saddle.zeke
May 3, 2002 7:51 PM
thanks for the good and detailed advice.
i can see now that i need to micro-adjust before i go shopping!