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saddle stitching and embroidery woes(18 posts)

saddle stitching and embroidery woesDaveG
Oct 29, 2002 8:36 AM
Why is it that Selle Italia and Selle San Marco seem to think that massive stitching and embroidery on a seat is a good thing? I bought a Flite Gel which seems to fit me well, but I am getting a great deal of chafing from all that silly stitching. Should I expect the lumps to wear down? Would a saddle cover help? What have others done to resolve this?
re: saddle stitching and embroidery woesKEN2
Oct 29, 2002 8:47 AM
I took a file to my Selle Italia saddle stitching, but it was mostly stitched logos, not seams. Seemed to help though.
I got used to itPaulCL
Oct 29, 2002 8:48 AM
I have a Selle Italia Turbomatic 3 with stitching. It bothered me at first, but I got used to it. I think that the stitching was worn down somewhat to create a smooth surface. A saddle cover only makes the saddle slippery, IMHO.

By the way, I now need a new saddle since my beloved 3 year old turbo is wearing out. The leather along the sides has been rubbed thru...its' only a matter of time before the leather starts to peel away. Turbomatics are hard to find.
I got used to itMatno
Oct 29, 2002 10:15 AM
A slippery saddle can be a good thing. When I lived in Germany I always kept a plastic grocery bag on my saddle. That way, it was totally slippery, which greatly reduced saddle soreness and wear and tear to my pants (I often rode in a suit). As a side benefit, it allowed me to always have a dry saddle in case of rain... If your saddle is the right shape for your butt, it shouldn't matter if it's slippery (unless you're mountain biking).
Personal preferencePaulCL
Oct 29, 2002 11:33 AM
I used a saddle cover on my old turbo for a while. Its' leather had been torn by a wreck. I just didn't like slipping all the time. Gotta have some friction. If I was wearing a suit, I would definitely use the cover. My saddle isn't the cleanest thing in the sweaty butt on it for hours upon hours....what an ugly picture...sorry about the mental image....Paul
re: saddle stitching and embroidery woesPEDDLEFOOT
Oct 29, 2002 9:27 AM
I'm currently riding a Flite Gel and found that after a feww months the stitching wore down a bit and became unnoticeable.Give it a little time and it should get better.If you find it doesn't I reccomend the Flite.I have ridden both and they feel the same to me.I can't notice any differance between it and the Gel.The Flite has no stitching to bother you though.I personally wouldn't go with a saddle cover.
and they'll wear out $100 bibs faster, burn a hole right thru NMSpunout
Oct 29, 2002 9:54 AM
same problem herelaffeaux
Oct 29, 2002 10:53 AM
I had the same issues with the Flite Gel. I was always chaffed. I finally switched to the standard flite and all of my problems (at least seat related) were gone. The Flight Gel works well as a MTB seat, but is a poor choice for a road bike.
just say notarwheel
Oct 29, 2002 10:55 AM
I have quit buying Selle Italia saddles for that reason. I think the stitching is ugly, uncomfortable and wears out shorts. If consumers quit buying the stupid things, perhaps Selle Italia would come to their senses. San Marco also seems to have jumped on the bandwagon. I was all set to order a San Marco Regal saddle from Excel but decided against when I found out it was only available with stitching. (I complained to Excel, and they have started stocking the plain ones again, but I bought a used one in the meantime.)

For some good alternatives to the Selles, check out the Terry Fly and Koobi saddles. Both of these brands have 30-day refund policies if you try them out and they don't fit right. I tried a Fly and it was too soft and narrow for me, but the Koobi is a keeper. Both Terry and Koobi saddles are actually made by Selle Italia, but have different shapes, padding, etc. -- and no stitching or embroidery.
Oct 29, 2002 2:09 PM
I've got a high end Koobi (the Xenon) and it is covered with stitching. Hasn't bothered me so far, but I don't think I've ever ridden a saddle with MORE stitching (including my old Flite Gel). With a large seam between every different color on the saddle, there's not much surface area that isn't close to a seam. For $26 I'm not complaining though. I love the saddle. Still haven't decided if I like it more than the Flite Gel...
$26 - did you buy it used? (nm)MVN
Oct 29, 2002 4:28 PM
Yes, but as you can see in the picture...Matno
Oct 29, 2002 7:34 PM
It was in like new condition. I scored on an overlooked eBay auction. Title: "bike seat." No picture, just a very brief description. It said: "Koobi patented split rail seat, red, white and black, like new used a few times." Just a one liner that I happened to notice about a month ago. Sometimes I love eBay (when it's not wasting all my time!)
well ...tarwheel
Oct 30, 2002 6:48 AM
Your Koobi saddle has a lot of seams, but I don't think that's the same as the stitched/embroidered logos that the Selles put all over everything. You can also buy Koobi saddles that are just plain black, like the Silver or Enduro. Plus, I like the look of your Koobi better than having logos sewn all over the place. If the colors match your frame, it just fits.
At least...Matno
Oct 30, 2002 9:48 AM
...the seam embroidery on the Koobi is black. I hated the yellow logo stitching on my Flite because it made an otherwise great saddle look dinghy all the time. It's kind of hard to scrub the dirt out of those threads without fraying them! Incidentally, the logos didn't bother me as far as rubbing goes, but I do prefer a "cleaner" looking saddle. If there's going to be a design, make it a pattern (like the Koobi) and not a cheesy logo.
Sell it!!!ol
Oct 29, 2002 6:55 PM
I know exactly where you are coming from. I had san marco era with stitching & emboidery & I chaffed like crazy. At the end of the ride I felt like I had a colony of ants crawling on my ass. I just purchased an SLR from and now have no problems.
P.S You can kiss your expensive shorts goodbuy after 3 months when the stitching eats through them.
Sell it!!!DaveG
Oct 29, 2002 7:13 PM
I might end up having to do that. I'll give it a few more rides first. I guess everyone is different because the Selle Italia Flite Gel and Prolink Gel seem to sell very well and get good reviews despite all the excessive stitching. The options are kind of limited if you want zero stitching
re: saddle stitching and embroidery woesaliensporebomb
Oct 30, 2002 5:27 AM
My bike came with a Selle Italia Prolink (not the
Genuine Gel version, just the regular version).

The only stitching is at the very rear of the saddle
where I'm not sitting, otherwise it is more or less
really smooth leather and the rear sides have the logo stitched there but it doesn't cause any trouble.

I personally like the prolink although some have reported
they feel it's overly heavy. You'd lose more weight by
losing 5 pounds than switching saddles IMHO.

My guess is the SLR would be THE saddle to get if you want
smooth with no stitching - I'd like one to try anyway.
Just your opinion?Matno
Oct 30, 2002 9:50 AM
"You'd lose more weight by losing 5 pounds than switching saddles IMHO."

I'd hate to see the saddle that weighs more than 5 pounds! (Although I'm sure somebody makes one...)

The SLR certainly looks fast...