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What saddle for long, long, long rides ?(21 posts)

What saddle for long, long, long rides ?PeterRider
Mar 5, 2003 8:45 PM
I currently have the flite gel and anything above 2hours hurts, specially around the sit bones. What do you recommend for longer brevets, for double centuries, for PBP ?

Thanks !

Terry Flysuperdog
Mar 5, 2003 8:52 PM
Over the last two years I have tried five saddles and the Terry Fly was the most comfortable on long rides. I saw a post earlier concerning a new saddle that uses a see through "mesh" instead of a traditional saddle body and padding. I forgot the name of it; if I can find it again I'll post the link.
Here's the linksuperdog
Mar 5, 2003 9:03 PM

If anybody has tried this saddle, I'd like to know how you liked it.
Here's the link - some comments from another boardLive Steam
Mar 6, 2003 6:47 AM
re: What saddle for long, long, long rides ?DougSloan
Mar 5, 2003 8:54 PM
I use the SLR. I used it for many double centuries and the 508, solo and team. It's surprisingly comfortable.

What saddle for long, long, long rides ? It depends.....davet
Mar 5, 2003 10:03 PM
...everyone is different. That said, my two favorite 'century' saddles that I use are the Koobi Silver and the Brooks B-17.
San Marco Rolls Tiunchained
Mar 5, 2003 10:07 PM
Still used by many pro riders. Tom Steels and Tafi were recently photographed on the Rolls.

And it weighs just 275gms.
Selle Italia Turbomaticukiahb
Mar 5, 2003 10:29 PM
have one on one of my bikes and love it, the most comfortable saddle I've tried in many years of riding...from what I've read in the reviews here many pros use them too even though they are not the lightest.
maybe not...satanas
Mar 8, 2003 10:13 AM
Saddles are really individual, BUT I liked the Turbomatic until I used it in PBP 1991 and suffered nerve damage as a result...

Now using a Velo saddle (model unknown) with a similar shape but with a cutaway centre. For me, the slot makes riding feasible, rather than distressing.

Bottom line: you can't really listen to what anyone else says. It all comes down to individual experimentation.

For PBP, I strongly recommend changing position frequently, and try to have rest time off the bike if not going for fastest possible time. Even 1-2 hours a day is enough to make a big difference (and may not increase overall time). The best time to sleep is just before dawn, so that you get going again just as it's light.

BTW, don't wear tight shoes - your feet WILL swell up over 1200+km...

Good luck!
Selle Italia Turbomatic 2 + 3Niemand
Mar 6, 2003 12:17 AM
I have used both the Turbomatic 2 and currently the T3 up to 200km. Both are very comfortable, with elastomer damping, but on the heavy side.
The T2 is a simpler design, bombproof build and has lasted me 7 years so far. The padding is deep and is more comfortable for your arse over longer distances. The T3 has a little gel insert in the perineal area (those delicate bits), some fancy stitching and reinforced corners at the back. The padding is not so deep as the T2 and the leather isn't as thick. It is, however, more comfortable in the perineum, but less comfortable for your butt. It is a better option if you are worried about numb nuts, just buy some shorts with a thicker chamois to compensate .
re: What saddle for long, long, long rides ?Velojon
Mar 6, 2003 4:08 AM
I always rode Flites and most recently an SLR. I tried a friends bike one day with a Perfomance Forte Classic cutaway saddle (the kind with the ugly hole/slit down the center) and have never felt anything even close as far as comfort goes. I know some folks don't like them but I swear by mine. I'm a 200+ miles-per-week rider and I no longer have any discomfort.
New saddle looks interesting...jesse1
Mar 6, 2003 4:47 AM
...I don't know anything about it, but check out the Saddleco Flow in the new Performance cat. The description says "A tensioned elastomeric monofiliment fabric replaces all the padding and cut out variations."
It looks as though it would be supportive but yielding, dampen vibrations, and pretty "airy" as it is a mesh. It's lightweight at 200 gr, but expensive (to me) at $130!
I need a new saddle as well for the same reasons, but I want to hold out until I hear more about this.
re: What saddle for long, long, long rides ?tarwheel
Mar 6, 2003 5:09 AM
The traditional comfort saddle for long rides is a Brooks leather, like the B17 or Swift. They are heavy, though, and may take a few miles to break in. I'm now using a Koobi Enduro and Silver (same saddle with different covers) on both my bikes, and I haven't found anything more comfortable. The good thing about Koobi and Terry saddles is they have a 30-day return policy. You can ride it for 30 days, and if you don't like it, you can return for a full refund. I tried a Terry Fly for a week and knew pretty quickly it wasn't right for me -- too narrow and too soft. The Koobi felt great right from the start, regardless of distance. I also tried a Brooks Swift, but it's a little too short for me. Both the Koobi and Terry Fly are reasonably light, as well, about 250 g.
Brooks Team Professional (nm)Alexx
Mar 6, 2003 5:46 AM
San Marco Regalterry b
Mar 6, 2003 6:39 AM
Like a Brooks but much lighter, less retro and it's comfortable out of the box.

Slowly, I'm coming to conclude that less padding is better although that seems to be contrary to how we're trained. Shape is most important though and what works for me may not work for you. The Regal shape (essentially the same as Brooks) fits me well.

I also like the SLR and the Avocet O2.
Regal user also...DINOSAUR
Mar 6, 2003 9:31 AM
It fits my rear. I like it's shape, smooth black leather, very nicely put together. The brass rivets on the back actually serve a purpose to prevent the leather from pulling away (I had that happen to me with a San Marco Rolls). It's sort of retro looking, a little on the heavy side I guess. I have a Brooks Team Pro but have never installed it on my new Colnago. I could not get it to dial in with the geometry of my Klein.

If I had the money I'd like to try out a Brooks Swift.

I've tried using a whole bunch of saddles and it is hit and miss until you find one you like..but with all of them it took some messing around with until I got them set up the way I like them. Having a two bolt seat post (such as a Thomson), makes it possible to find the perfect angle. I use a small pumbers level to level mine out, it's that close..
I have a Swift on another biketerry b
Mar 6, 2003 10:37 AM
And it's pretty nice, but I actually like the Regal equally. It fits me the same. Save the money, it's heavy and you're probably not missing anything with regards to comfort and fit.
brooks differenceJS Haiku Shop
Mar 6, 2003 6:59 AM
everybody's butt, riding style, and preferences are different. with due respect, nobody posting here can tell you what saddle is best for your particular style and anatomy.

in my experience and for my arse, i'm a fan of wider saddles: the brooks b17 narrow and the san marco regal. i posted a review of the b17n with comparison to others--check thread yesterday for subject "brooks b17 narrow convert". either of these may or may not work for you. i concluded that my sit bones were wider than normal slim-profile saddles, and went toward the wider, flatter-in-the-back models.

that said, i've noticed quite a bit of natural shock-absorption on the brooks. the steel rails of the b17n seem to compress and return going over bumps, depressions, and small holes. same thing noticed on rough roads and washboard. with a rail-attached rack affixed (carrying a carradice bag), i can look back/between my legs (no racy comments please) and see the rack/carradice move in conjunction with the rail "give". this was alarmint at first, then i realized it does the same without rack & bag. combined with the brooks "break in", it's quite a comfy ride.

by the way, my early season riding is done with two pairs of padded bottoms, and sometimes a third outer layer that's somewhat wind/water resistant. the two inner layers each have a chamois (synthetic) pad. double padding probably helps a little, too. this might not work later in the "season".

the only drawbacks with brooks are that their slimmest model is wide by comparison with modern "racing" saddles, and that they're also heavy in relation--the b17 weighs about 450 grams (i think that's about a pound). no worries with weather and the saddle--besides the fact that your butt is covering the top and a saddlebag or rack pack or fenders is/are covering the underside, you're not going to let it stand in rain for 3 weeks x 24hr days outside. 2k miles so far on this one in mostly poor conditions and it looks brand new aside from break-in.


re: everyone is differentcyclopathic
Mar 6, 2003 7:20 AM
here's my list:
Bontrager FS+10 (20$ at pricepoint,
Bontrager FS2000 gel (27$
Nashbar dual density Gel race (25$
Terry Liberator
Brooks B17narrow (60$ at nashbar
Brooks B17 (60$ at Nashbar, 42 at

FS+10 carried me through all brevets (including BMB) and is the saddle of my choice. It allows multiple seating positions easy to squeeze with thighs or slide behind on downhills. However it needs some break in time. FS2000 even comfier then FS+10 with gel insert, softer foam and wider sitting area.

I have talked to people who used Nashbar x2 Race at BMB and they had chosen it over Brooks.

Many ultra endurance guys use Brooks but I'd advise against Brooks. Not that it isn't what people say about it, it just takes too long time to break in.

Saddles are listed in weight ascending order.
Everyone's butt is different.look271
Mar 6, 2003 7:44 AM
I use a Selle Italia Pro-link and a Terry Fly. The Pro-link is my fave. It's wider and seems to cushion better. That said, your experiences might be different.
San Marco "Suspension Attive SA600"merckxman
Mar 6, 2003 4:33 PM
My favorite, by far, is this older saddle which is very comfortable and additionally has a Pirelli suspension system. I have 15,000+ comfortable miles on it. Next favorite is an older Selle Italia Turbomatic (no version number!).