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Other opinions on the San Marco Aspide?(7 posts)

Other opinions on the San Marco Aspide?Kristin
Oct 12, 2003 3:28 PM
I am trying to make a decision about this saddle. I hated it, then I loved it, then I hated it. I've had it for 3 weeks, so admitadley, not long, but I'm not sure if the problems I'm having require a break in period, etc...

On its native voyage, the saddle felt super hard, but I could tell I was on my sit bones -- and that was a welcome change. Why I sit better on a skinny mens saddle, I'm not sure. I finished the ride a little bruised, but otherwise happy.

The next 3 or 4 rides were very comfortable. I thought I had found saddle nirvana...finally! Yesterday, I took it for a 40 mile spin, which is quite a bit of saddle time for me, and I crawled home in agony. My bumm was soooo sore. I also noticed that saddle sores are going to be an issue with this seat. Okay. Ewwwww!

So I'm wondering how long I should give it to break in? I've never had a hard, skinny saddle before. I'm also concerned about my skin. I don't use any creams, and yesterday was 3 hours of riding. Are creams a fact of life with this type of saddle? If you own one of these, how long did it take you to break in?

Like it or not, it will accompany me on a 70 mile journey next weekend. Hopefully it won't be too bad. Saddle shopping bites!
Modern saddles don't "break in"MR_GRUMPY
Oct 12, 2003 5:53 PM
Your problem isn't that you need to break in your saddle. It's that you've got to get your rear in shape. If your rear muscles aren't in shape, they get tired and you end up sitting on the seat, the way you shouldn't. Load up on chamois cream for your ride next weekend. Stop at all the rest stops, and take your time.
Ps. Did you quit your job? Did you shoot your boss? Just remember... If you shoot your boss, tell the cops that God made you do it. You'll get off easier that way.
re: Other opinions on the San Marco Aspide?hppy4u
Oct 12, 2003 7:31 PM
Kristin,
I purchased a San Marco Aspide about 9 months ago in addition to a Selle Italia SLR to compare against. My old saddles were Selle Italia Flites as a reference point. With the Aspide, I found that your fit with the saddle needs to be spot on alleviate any pain. In addition the proper fit you will rely heavily on your shorts' chamois to provide enough cushioning. Long gone are the days of thin chamois and plus saddles. Nowadays, that streamlined minimalistic appearance wins out with most manufacturers.

In my case, I spent about 2 weeks riding everyday with a 6 mm allen wrench and making minute adjustments so that the saddle position would be able to accomodate the all of the northern Illinois road imperfections. The end result for me was a saddle that moved approximately 1 cm forward on the rail markers and with a level saddle height. I mean the front end of the saddle is level. If you place a straight edge over the front and rear ends and use that to level the saddle it ended up point upward slightly in the front and meant discomfort on long rides.

Hope this helps.
Three rides so far...litespeedchick
Oct 13, 2003 5:41 AM
My initial reaction when I saw the Aspide that came on my new bike was "that's coming off immediately". I am accustomed to a very cheap soft padded saddle. I have been shocked that it hasn't really bothered me, although I have not been on a ride over 2 hours yet.

I had some upper/inner thigh muscle soreness on the first ride, I'm not sure if that was from the saddle, or from a new riding position. I'm more stretched out than before.

Good luck next weekend.
re: Other opinions on the San Marco Aspide?Ironbutt
Oct 13, 2003 7:36 AM
Saddles are undoubtedly the most personal items of all when it comes to being comfortable on the bike. Your fit can be spot on, and if the saddle isn't just right for you, you can be in utter misery. It not only has to be the right saddle for you, it has to be in just the right place for you, too. Some saddles are more easily gotten into the "just right" spot for you than others, and the San Marco Aspide seems to have a reputation as being one of those that isn't too easy to find the "just right" spot for. but once found, it's reputation for comfort (among those who have found that spot) is excellent. You may well find a narrow men's saddle more comfortable than a wider "women's" saddle, a woman's sit bones are not significantly further apart than a man's until the woman has delivered a child. If a woman has never delivered a child, she probably will be more comfortable on a narrower saddle. Regrding creams, as a woman, be careful not to use anything that has any petroleum products in the ingredients. Petroleum products on that area of a woman can have some fairly nasty consequences, if you have any doubts ask your doctor. Have a great ride next weekend!
re: Other opinions on the San Marco Aspide?scopestuff2
Oct 13, 2003 8:13 AM
Kristin;

I had a heck of time finding a saddle that would allow even short rides without going numb. The Aspide Arrowhead has been Nirvana - from that perspective.

However, like you, on rides much over 30 miles it's a bit too hard. I also did a 40mile ride yesterday, with 4000+ feet of climbing so it was a long ride time-wise. By the end I felt like I was sitting on a rock and that was the primary reason I did not add more miles. Today, some saddle soreness is the only thing that tells me I did a ride yesterday.

I've had the saddle for several hundred miles, over a few weeks, and the experience has not changed. So, for me, break-in time or 'getting-used-to-it' time probably won't make a difference. Take this as just one data-point for your evaluation.

Personally, I think it just comes down to how much natural padding you've got. I'm on the ectomorph side. 5'8" and 130lbs. I don't carry alot of extra baggage in the rear - not a great for sitting in the saddle all day long. At least not a saddle I've found.

Why are you on a saddle search ? what led you to choose the Aspide, which at first glance looks like an instrument of torture ?
Thanks for the input. Why I selected this saddle.Kristin
Oct 13, 2003 8:29 AM
My first saddle was a super-duper squishy gel saddle. Weighed something like 3 pounds. I had help from a local shop with fitting this bike and they determined I needed to get back farther. Most womens saddles have very short rails. I borrowed a few old unused stock saddles from friends and tried those. From that I discovered that I needed a narrow saddle, a saddle that was a little harder and a one with a cutout. The ASP seemed to fit the bill. Thanks for the report.