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  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    Summary of Saddle Info

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    Just wanted to make a thread with links to some of the recent saddle discussions I found useful. Plus a little introductory info. Feel free to correct, add to or discuss. There is so much info in so many threads, it's a little overwhelming for a newbie or more experience rider who hasn't had to deal with saddle issues before.

    Saddle measurements. Taken center-to-center to correlate with the spot on a saddle that bears the weight of the sitbones. Outside to outside measurement is a consideration for some types of saddles. Inside to inside may be necessary to ensure the sitbones clear any large center cutout in the saddle. The inside bones falling into the 'moat' so to speak, causes a lot of pain in the bones surrounding the girly bits area.

    Measure sit bones at home. My favorite method:

    Make Play Doh!

    One part salt, two parts flour, mix with water until it's right for modeling.

    Roll about an inch thick, cover with aluminum foil to keep it from being sticky, sit it on a low bench and lean forward to approximate riding position since the sitbones become more narrow as you lean forward. Remove foil and allow to dry a little. The bones impression will become white first. Measure center to center (preferably in millimeters) and outside to outside. Write down the measurements.

    Take the shortest distance between the sitbones to understand correlation to cutout size.

    Uh, butt-print mold should be taken commando. Or at least with only thin panties or some such.

    I'm going to mention the Brooks and Specialized saddles a lot because they have such specific, predictable characteristics. Also because they have been discussed so much. There are a lot of brands that are great though. It's just easier for me to use these as examples.

    For a Brooks saddle, measurements are considered a little differently. The Brooks has leather slung over a metal frame. You don't want any part of your sitbones touching the metal. Ouch! So, the saddle needs to be at least 20mm larger than the outside distance of your sitbones. There are many models of Brooks in different widths. None of them will probably work for me given my personal measurements. May work for you. May not. It's a beautiful piece of workmanship though, and I'd still like to try someday.

    Cutout. There is a thread in here somewhere describing the cutout test. Basically, you sit on a bench and roll forward, and if you can feel the external 'girly bits' pressing, may want to consider a saddle with a cutout to avoid painful pressure.

    To clear the cutout, you need about 20 mm extra space in between the inside distance of the sitbones. So, if the cutout is 60 mm, your inside distance is 80, then you have just enough clearance, but I wouldn't go any larger then a 60 mm cutout. (Especially if ordering online).

    The Selle Italia Diva caused me problems because the cutout area extended so far back on the saddle and was so wide. I know other people had the same problem with that model. But it's a great saddle in general and for some people the design is perfect.

    Terry and Selle Italia are made by the same company are are high quality saddles. They are available in a larger range of sizes are are harder for me to quantify here. But I've tried a couple and was impressed with the workmanship. I'm sure there is one of each brand I'd like, but I really need access to a test center to try many models. (A lot of people find their sizes in these brands with no problem, just noting my own experiences).

    Many men's saddles seem to be perfect for me and a lot of other people. So don't exclude just because they are labeled 'mens.' The saddle industry is moving towards labeling unisex, according to my LBS anyway. Not sure if this is true.

    The center of the sitbones need to rest firmly on the sitting area of a saddle. For most saddles, the measurement is center to center rather than outside distance (as in the Brooks).

    I like the Specialized saddles because they have a standard shape from the center to center areas and are available in 3 standard sizes: 130, 143, and 155. Some people need wider or very narrow, and they may like the Brooks instead, but not necessarily. (Brooks makes very wide unpadded saddles, so they are a good option). The Specialized saddles also have great cut-outs. It's very individualized. The majority of the population can use the 143, with more women leaning towards the 155, and men leaning towards the 130.

    For a lot of people, but not everyone, unpadded or minimally padded saddles are more comfortable for distance riding because as the sitbones compress the padding, the center area of the saddle presses into the genital region, causing pain.

    Okay, these threads are a useful place to start. There are many other threads that are great too. I didn't find any discussions that mentioned the symptoms of a too wide and too narrow saddle, for example. I'll keep an eye out for some and if anyone knows of those threads please feel free to post:

    See posts further down in this thread from Muirenn dated 1/22/2011 and 2/11/2011 for links and a summary of info found at each link.
    Last edited by administrator; 02-11-2011 at 01:52 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Great summary! I would also mention that while the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow has a very long and wide cutout, that the Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow is much shorter and more narrow. So if one doesn't work for you the other just might...

    Hmmm, wonder if there would be any merit in posting some comparisons of other saddles with cutouts? I have learned the manufacturer's websites do not seem to give really useful information on the cutout portion of the saddles, and rarely even a top view of the saddle. While I didn't stray outside of SI once I gave up on Brooks until I found THE saddle (though I was getting ready to do so), I know we have women here who have tried many different makes and models of saddles with cutouts.





    2011 Custom Gunnar

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    I think any cutout info would be great! I've never seen it listed anywhere.

    I know you had the opportunity to try a lot of the SI's, any testing info you have would probably be quite useful.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  5. #5
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    I'd also like to mention that almost half the people that ride the Paris Brest Paris 1200km bike ride (in 90 hours) use leather saddles... maybe they know something?
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    I'd also like to mention that almost half the people that ride the Paris Brest Paris 1200km bike ride (in 90 hours) use leather saddles... maybe they know something?
    They know what works for their butt





    2011 Custom Gunnar

  7. #7
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    Jun 2010
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    5,304

    Exclamation Link

    Another great link!

    Just found this thread. I remember reading it. Very useful info. It describes the symptoms of ill-fitting saddles and what causes various problems.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=25954
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    rural Bedfordshire, England
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    179

    Bump

    After about 100 miles, it's clear that the Specialized Windie 155cm is not going to work for me. The cut-out is good but I think (?!) I need a more definite, even abrupt, curve between seat and nose, i.e. a very pronounced T-shape.

    So the search is on again... assisted as always by the best repository of real world experience and advice available anywhere: TE! Time to re-read all this wisdom and draw up a new shortlist of saddles to try.
    Last edited by Rebecca19804; 12-28-2010 at 11:01 PM.
    Rebecca

    Riley - custom 2014 Enigma Etape
    Bridget - 2010 Surly Cross Check
    Lorelei - 1979 Puch Princess mixte
    Liesl - 1970s Puch Rugby Sport
    Swoopy - 1970s Puch Emerald mixte
    Lucy - bespoke 2012 Brompton S1L


    Visit my blog: velovoice.blogspot.co.uk

  9. #9
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    Sep 2008
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    2,476
    Muirenn, this is very helpful. Probably should be stickied. I spent literally hours searching for saddle fit information.

  10. #10
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    General discussion involving stock Bontrager saddles, saddle fit and bike fit. Body weight in relation to fit, etc.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo

    More on saddle and bike fit in relation to pain:

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-22-2011 at 04:41 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  11. #11
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    Jun 2010
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    Saddle problems caused by chamois irritation:

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  12. #12
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    Jun 2010
    Posts
    5,304
    Many common issues and how to resolve:

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo

    Mention of a variety of saddles:

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ighlight=Adamo
    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-22-2011 at 04:29 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  13. #13
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    Last edited by Muirenn; 01-22-2011 at 04:38 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  14. #14
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    Jun 2010
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    5,304
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  15. #15
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    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

 

 

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