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Saddle question...(20 posts)

Saddle question...Raven1911
Feb 4, 2003 6:49 AM
I am looking for a saddle that will not cause numbness. I like the saddles with a cutout in them as this is the kind of saddle I have right now but there are other problems with it being too wide. I need to purchase a new one and was wondering what you all ride on and if you like your saddle right now or not. Any ideas?

re: Saddle question...syart
Feb 4, 2003 7:01 AM
I have a max flite transam and a prolink transam, both selle italia. It is a very individual matter, however, i recomend de prolink.
re: Saddle question...pmf1
Feb 4, 2003 7:04 AM
Its a pretty personal thing, what fits one butt won't necessarily work for another. That's why there are so many choices. Personally, I like the good old Selle Italia Flite. No gel. No hole. Been riding them for years and never had problems with numbness. If you're new to riding, numbness can be something you get over after you ride for a while and get a good position on the bike. Good position probably has as much to do with it as the saddle.
re: Saddle question...gybeho
Feb 4, 2003 7:13 AM
I'll second the Flite. Old school looks, but it works.
try koobitarwheel
Feb 4, 2003 7:16 AM
Check out the saddles at They have a fitting chart with good descriptions of saddle widths, firmness, etc. Koobis also have a center cutout, which works for me. The best thing is that they have a 30-day return policy, so if you buy one and it doesn't work out, you've only lost the cost of shipping.

I bought a Koobi Enduro last summer after trying a bunch of different saddles that didn't fit me right. I assumed that I would probably be shipping it back in 30 days, but I'm still using it 8 months later and just bought another one for my second bike. The Enduro is a little wider and softer than most Selle Italia saddles, for comparison, but other Koobi models have varying widths and firmnesses.
Buy the Aliante if you have the funds!!!!!!!!kushogun
Feb 4, 2003 7:19 AM
I just picked up the Fizik Aliante over the holiday season and boy am I glad I did. I was a little skeptical even in the face of the marvelous reviews. Well I bit the bullet and mama cita!!! What a difference! The key to the saddle is the kevlar/carbon weave that sits in the middle of the saddle. This part actually flexes similar to a trampoline making the ride extremely comfortable. Please note, this saddle is firm enough to provide great support for longer rides. With other saddles like selle italia and selle san marco, the stiff (nylon/plastic) frame of the saddle doesn't give very much. Think of it like a metal bench at a baseball game. Even though you put a lot of padding under your butt, you will still feel the hard frame underneath!!!!
There have been an increasing number of studies that say the cutout design actually increases the amoount of pressure on your pubic arteries causing increased numbness. So forget most others and pop for the Aliante!!!To address your concern for a narrower saddle, the Aliante is around 138mm wide, slightly narrower than the Flite. The 155 grams of the carbon Aliante is pretty trick as well!
Have you tried the Selle Italia SLR?ColnagoFE
Feb 4, 2003 7:29 AM
135 grams and just as comfortable as my old Flite. Haven't tried the Aliante, but it sounds like a similar saddle.
Much different that SLR!!!kushogun
Feb 4, 2003 10:21 AM
The Aliante has a softer base whereas the SLR has a unidirectional carbon fiber base. The Aliante utilizes a kevlar base, which flexes but still provides support. The SLR relies heavily upon the long ti rails for it's suspension that gives very little of larger bumps or extended amounts of road "buzz." Trust me, go for the Aliante and your troubles are over! If you don't like it sell it on ebay. Everyone that I have seen on there sells immediately with "buy it now" or people pay almost full retail, so it's not a huge risk at all.
might be more of a bike fit issue than the saddle (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 4, 2003 7:27 AM
might be more of a bike fit issue than the saddle (nm)Raven1911
Feb 4, 2003 7:38 AM
I have been riding for 2 years now and my saddle has stayed the same. I tried the salle italia san marco and got some numbness after two rides so put the old koobi saddle on and it seems to hit me at the back of my thighs and causes pain like mad. Is the numbness thing something that will fade as I keep riding that saddle? Just scared me when my package was numb. Its funny I didn't have this problem with the koobi the 2 years previous. Not sure what the problem is. Maybe my legs have gotten bigger or something, but the fit of the bike is exactly the same. Bottom line is that I need a narrower saddle. Any ideas on how to try out saddles? I went to my LBS and they only had one old saddle to try. I guess I am out of luck and have to buy a saddle, but if it doesn't fit me or something do the bike shops usually give you havock on bringing it back? Thanks for the responses so far.

might be more of a bike fit issue than the saddle (nm)MVN
Feb 4, 2003 9:11 AM
For the last 7 months I've been using a Koobi Silver saddle, just like the Enduro (same width and padding). I just bought the Koobi PRS saddle and rode it over the weekend for 60 miles. Early on, the Silver did chafe me a bit on longer rides because of the width, and the fact that I wasn't used to rides longer than 20 miles at the time. The longest rides were no more than 30 miles. However, the PRS is narrower and I had no chafing this weekend. The shape of the PRS seems to fit me better than the Silver, at least so far. Also, Sunday was my longest ride ever, 45 miles. The padding is firm (check Koobi's site for the chart like another poster suggested), whereas the padding for the Silver is 20% less firm than the PRS (as it was explained to me by Phil Schweizer, Koobi pres.). The shock-absorbing elastomer's on the PRS work great, too. Like everyone else here has said at one time or another, saddles are very personal. Once you find one that works, stick with it. If your bike fit is fine, maybe try one of their narrower saddles, like the Xenon, Au Chrono, or PRS. I know I was convinced with the Silver, that's why I got the PRS. No, I don't work for Koobi lol, I just know they work for me. The Silver's going on my mountain bike now. They have the 30 day return policy as someone else mentioned, also. All you have to lose is the shipping charge. Hope this helps.

might be more of a bike fit issue than the saddle (nm)James OCLV
Feb 4, 2003 10:25 AM
I agree that it sounds like a bike fit issue. How much of a drop do you have from your saddle to your bars? You might be leaning forward too much...
Raven, this sounds like a similar issue I encountered...lonefrontranger
Feb 4, 2003 2:24 PM
How long have you been riding, and has your volume recently increased? Also what changes to your position have you made?

Bear with me on this because I don't know your background, but have seen what you describe happen many time and even experienced it myself:

Many beginner recreational / touring riders start with a fairly wide soft saddle coupled with a somewhat low position and externally rotated knees. This is actually a very comfortable starting point for a rookie cyclists, because the supporting ligaments at the base of the pubic region are not yet strong enough on their own to support their weight, so the seat bones must take the entire load.

As mileage and strength increases, the typical cyclist (backed by magazine articles and fit guides) will start raising the saddle, lowering the bars, and bringing their knees into a position more parallel to the frame. This does 2 things. It rotates the load forward from directly on top of the sit bones more into the arch of the pubic bone where your strengthening supporting ligaments become capable of bearing the load. It also transfers your center of gravity forward and down, from a touring / hybrid rider's "sit-up-and-beg" position into the long distance rider's and road racer's familiar, crouching "triangle of balance".

This position has various proponents and detractors on this board, so I will not argue its merits except to say that the goal of a correctly done roadie fit is to keep weight distributed as evenly as possible between the pedals, bars and seat so as to avoid pressure points in any of these areas. When done properly, the bike will literally disappear beneath you. Back, neck or shoulder problems can cause this triangle of balance to be difficult to achieve for some, but most reasonably athletic and flexible cyclists, when correctly fit, will find it far more comfortable than sitting down hard on their butt for hours.

The catch is that in achieving this position, you have both raised your seat and narrowed your base, by lengthening your legs and reducing your crotch clearance in both vertical and lateral axes. This usually means that formerly comfy pillow saddle has now become a serious pain in the ass.

When I went through this, my feet would actually go numb from pressure on the nerve that runs down the inner thigh. I finally solved everything by switching to a Flite saddle, which (at the time) was the narrowest saddle made. I now ride an SLR. Both the Flite and SLR saddles are extremely comfortable for me on 5+ hour rides and racing, PROVIDED I keep them dead level. If they are tilted forward or back at all, the triangle of balance becomes disrupted and these hard narrow saddles will then become pretty uncomfortable.
My volume has increased!Raven1911
Feb 4, 2003 9:09 PM
I have been riding for 2 years now. The only modifications I have made to my fit was dropping my stem height, but that was in the middle of the race season last year and I didn't have any problems then. However, volume....This might very well be the cause. My volume has really increased this off-season, when I encountered problems. For the first time I am having a very structured off season with particular goals in mind. Right now, I ride approximately 5-6 days a week at 1.5 hours minimum on the weekdays and 3-4 hours on Saturdays. Sundays is usually off. I am also in a weight training program focused on my strength, which is sprinting, so I am trying to develop explosive power for crits. I know my legs have grown in size, as I had big hams and gluts to begin with.

Position on saddlemacalu
Feb 4, 2003 10:36 AM
It might be the saddle (I had a Vetta Lite that was sheer torture) or it might be your position on the saddle. If you find yourself sliding forward on to the nose, no saddle will be comfortable. Check your position, maybe you need to move the saddle forward on the rails. That said, the San Marco Rolls gets my vote for most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden.
re: Saddle question...rogue_CT1
Feb 4, 2003 11:13 AM
I've used the Selle Italia Flite Gel and now I use the SLR. I have never had any problems with numbness once I found the proper saddle position. The nose of the saddle seems to be the critical area for me whether it causes numbness or not. Try lowering the nose a few millimeters. Also, it took a few rides for both the saddles to break in before they were comfy enough to ride all day. You might have to give it some time. Are you wearing shorts/tights with a good chamois? They can make a world of difference over a cheap pair.
put your @$$ in a Brooks!!!!Rusty McNasty
Feb 4, 2003 1:57 PM
I mean, really-this is a no-brainer!!!
re: Saddle question...seyboro
Feb 4, 2003 4:51 PM
About five or six guys in our club, myself included, have had good results with the specialized pro ti. They are not made any longer, but you might be able to pick one up on quite frequent ebay auctions for around $40 or so.
Also, trying one first saves money. Maybe, some of your riding bros have an old favorite sitting on the workbench and don't mind loaning it out for a while.
re: Saddle question...huntzdux
Feb 4, 2003 6:27 PM
After trying many saddles, due to numbness problems, I can sum up my solution in one word.
Give 'em a try
Does the stitching in the saddle get to you?Raven1911
Feb 4, 2003 9:02 PM
I own a Koobi AU Chrono right now and that is what is giving me the most problems. It has to do with the angle in which the saddle becomes wide to the rear. I also believe the stitching also gets to me. It think it causes hot spots on my rear which also doesn't help.