How does one choose a saddle?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by jeepster93, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. jeepster93

    jeepster93 New Member

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    How can you tell if "that" saddle will be comfortable?

    I am a fairly thin person, with little "padding" on my bum.

    I got a new road bike, a fairly high end bike, well... middle end bike, and the seat was SOOOO uncomfortable that I had to pull it off and replace it with a heavier more padded seat from my mountain bike.

    Is there a way to know if that saddle will hurt or be comfortable, without buying it and riding on it?

    Price? Does price dictate comfort?

    Any "tricks" you all can share?
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Fit = comfort

    I don't have much cushon on my rear end either. It's more a matter of finding a saddle to matches up to the distance between your sit bones. If you sit on your hands you can feel them. Measure the distance between them and that will give you an idea of what size saddle you need.

    Here is a good article by Sheldon Brown on selecting a saddle.
     

  3. zahgurim

    zahgurim zero the hero

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    Go to a shop that does propper fitting, and have them measure your ass up. :)
    Then try out a few test saddles they should have on hand.

    Once you have the correct width dialed, you'll find that the less padding you have the better the saddle feels on longer rides.

    Specialized makes a few different versions of each of their Body Geometry saddles with different widths, for example, to enable a correct fit.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean New Member

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    In the immortal words of the Fonz: Sit on it.
     
  5. moosebeware

    moosebeware Guest

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    Lessons learned

    Well, the first thing is are you male or female. As a woman, saddles are a big battle, but this battle has left me somewhat wise in the ways of seats.

    If you are a male, usually, the narrower, thinner, and harder the seat, the more comfortable it will be on long rides. Seats with cut outs can be good for some, but are not a guarantee of comfort. I have heard tremendous things about Brooks seats, but they do require care and break in. Actually, all seats require some break in.

    If you are female, well, you need to make sure that your sits bones are on the seat and not hanging off the side.

    You may have to try several seats before finding the right one. A high price doesn't always mean a better seat. The higher the price, the lighter it is, not necessarily more comfortable.

    Keep riding. Time on the seat, no matter how painful, will help. Also, invest in really good bike shorts. There is not the place to scrimp. Gel shorts might help.
     
  6. clemfan2001

    clemfan2001 Guest

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    It also depends on the shorts aswell. Make sure you have some quality cycling shorts/bibs. I have a fairly thin saddle on my bike, mostly because of weight because I race. But, the shorts usually make up for the discompfort.
    But, everyone is different, so, its hard to say.. But, most everyone I know loves the Specialized Body Geometry saddles. I'd go for one of those.
     
  7. VeloBliss

    VeloBliss Guest

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    Hey Jeepster,

    I would agree with those that recommend the shorts. If you do not already have a good pair of shorts/bibs you probably wont be comfortable on any saddle for longer rides. I also agree that longer rides will require a firmer saddle as they give you better support and less chaffing, but I do not subscribe to rock hard saddles either. Price is not the only factor in saddle comfort so don't limit yourself there. On the other hand, I have found that price does seem to be a bit of an indicator on short/bib comfort, though everyone seems to have their own preference.

    Check with your local bike shop about saddles, many of them support brand programs such as 90 day comfort guarantees so that you won't feel like you are risking a whole lot of money on a saddle. I hope you enjoy your new bike and best of luck to you!
     
  8. tajcrews

    tajcrews New Member

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    Shorts first then go saddle shopping. Shorts will make a huge difference! Most decent shops will let you "demo" saddles to see what fits the best. Some higher priced saddles will feel good but not always the case so dont think that expensive means comfort. Lots of choices out there so try multiple ones if you can.
     
  9. jeepster93

    jeepster93 New Member

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    Ok...
    So...
    Shorts are the key.

    This brings up a couple newb questions...
    Is one, especially a male, suppose to wear underwear?
    Are more layers better?

    My saddle is fairly comfortable until about 25-30 miles, then I am getting uncomfortable...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  10. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Cycling shorts are designed to be worn commando and no pair of cycling shorts will compensate for a poor fitting saddle. These are two different issues and both are important.
     
  11. BigDumbBear

    BigDumbBear New Member

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    Many people go for a big cushy seat to get more comfort. That works for a trip around the campground, but a serious rider will get no benefit from that. The more you ride, the more you'll get used to the feeling. It's kind of like using a punching bag to get your knuckles used to punching... Just not so violent. I am a large rider at 240 pounds and have a smaller seat than any of my riding partners. It is a high end seat that is about 1/2 inch think and I don't recall a more comfortable seat that I've ever had. The seat actually has a fair amount of give rather than a rigid seat with some cushy stuff on top. A good quality seat that matches your preffered seat width will do you a world of good. Keep things like seat height and position will play a big factor in what feels good to you. Pay attention to what parts start hurting first and adjust accordingly.
     
  12. mtndoc

    mtndoc New Member

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    Selecting and ADJUSTING bike saddle

    Sheldon Brown is the MAN!!!!!

    Read his article about selecting and adjusting a bike saddle, it isn't a seat, it is a saddle,:). I followed his advice and adjusted my saddle to what he advised in his article and WOW what a difference. Was over 1" too low and my bike shop helped me adjust it when I purchased the bike, they are good knowledgeable people, but well??? I just got back from a 22 mi ride and I had a significant increase in average speed. I have ridden this route many times and the difference was noticable immediately, and I really didn't have good legs today. I've been trying to get to 20mph avg for months and just barely got over it, felt good, gotta have goals;-).

    DrB
     
  13. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Yes he was. Unfortunatly, he died last year. I never met the man, but I often refer to his website. RIP Sheldon.
     
  14. mtndoc

    mtndoc New Member

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    Sheldon Brown

    I didn't know he passed, no mention on his website. The information there is priceless he will be missed....Bummer

    DrB
     
  15. jeepster93

    jeepster93 New Member

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    I went and read the Sheldon Brown stuff...

    BTW:A VERY informative place to be sure

    I moved my saddle forward less than an inch, this morning, but it was a cross training day so I only biked 12 miles(ran 3). I noticed that I am not sliding around on the seat as much. My fanny is staying in one place better, more on the back of the saddle than before the move. No soreness, but it was a short ride. Tomorrow is a day off and Saturday will be the next long ride day, so we will see what we see then(or more on topic: feel what we feel).


    I also read what Sheldon had to say about several other bike related topics, like tires. My cyclocross tires are wearing, with several "lugs" completely ripped out. I was thinking about rotating them...NO NO!! he said, no rotating bike tires, so there I go-more knowledge! He was not big on treaded tired on a road bike anyhow, but I am not sure if my cyclocross racing bike IS a road bike???
     
  16. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    If anyone is considering buying a Specialized saddle, I just got back from my LBS and Specialized has some new ones and some redesigns coming out around October, so you may want to hold out. Ask your local rep if he has any information on them yet. The owner of the shop here just got back from Specialized's demo camp. He also had the catalog showing the new products.
     
  17. mtndoc

    mtndoc New Member

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    Bike saddle adjustments

    My problem was the saddle height, was over an inch!!! to low, the difference was HUGE and I noticed immediately!!!

    DrB
     
  18. worm

    worm Guest

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    I would get a racing sized seat that has some padding to it and avoid racing style seats with lots of holes through them, it should be solid material