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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    5

    Need New Saddle for Touring - Back to Brooks?

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    I recently had my perfectly broken in Brooks Saddle stolen off my bicycle...yes, it was very tragic at the time...Now, a week and a half after riding my old bicycle I realize it's time to buy a new one.

    This got me thinking...should I go back to another Brooks saddle? I love the way it looked on my Hunter Green Surly Disc Trucker with matching leather handle bar tape, but is it the best fit for me? I went on a tour across Illinois this Summer (550 miles in 6 days), and I got some painful Saddle sores by the end of the trip. I am defintely pear shaped (5'8" 175 lbs with a booty). I am not sure if the saddle sores were related to the seat, or possibly another factor. I would love to hear anyones thoughts or suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Depends on the exact location of the saddle sores and other saddle issues you may have had. You being pear shaped has nothing to do with it.

    Now, a pear-shaped saddle will cause chafing, specifically, chafing at the crease between the buttock and the top of the leg. That means you need a saddle with a more defined transition area betweenthe nose and the seating area.

    If this is the case, I suggest checking into the Pearl Rivet. It's supposed to be more T-shaped, but it is a leather saddle like the Brooks. (I think the size is similar to the B-17, so if you had the B-68 or B-67, it might be too narrow, unless your previous saddle was too wide, and that could explain the chafing, too.

    What model Brooks was it? In other words, how wide?

    If the chafing was more 'up front' or in the center (labia), then it could be due to position of the saddle, whether or not it had a cutout and whether or not you need one...

    Need more details from you to make a real recommendation.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    This is from another thread to help you troubleshoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    Unfortunately murielalex, it's kind of like shoe shopping. How the saddle fits has a lot to do with your anatomy and even with the right information in that department to steer you in the right direction, the right saddle may not feel good to you due to personal preferences. Did I use "right" enough in that sentence?

    When you have problems with a saddle, what are they? Here are some of the common complaints I hear from women that helps me decide what type of saddle to test drive with them when I'm doing a fitting.
    1) Chafing. And if there is chafing, is it around the labial and/clitoral region or more towards the sit bones
    2) Pressure type pain in the pubic area
    3) Pressure type pain at the sit bones
    4) Irritation of the tendons up high on the inner and/or backside aspect of the leg

    Do any of these issue apply to you now?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    You should read this from Bike Touring News. It's from Sky King (a TE'er) and her SO. That website is a great website for touring info, and Sky King is very helpful.

    Pretty sure they carry the Rivet, too.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    The chafing is at the crease between the buttock and the top of the leg...like right where a pair of full underwear would hit.

    The saddle I had was the B-17 womans saddle. I have considered purchasing the men's more narrow one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    No, that mean's your saddle's overall shape is too pear shaped. In other words, the part that brushes the inner thighs is too wide, so you get that chafing. The Rivet pearl is the same width in the rear, but the transition is more narrow, so may work. It's super hard to explain the pear-shaped or wedge-shaped saddle thing. On the link I gave you, there is a picture of two saddles with horizontal lines drawn on them. The one with the shorter line is less pear shaped. The overall saddle width is not a factor in this chafing. If you search the forum for T-shaped saddles (what you need), and pear-shaped saddles, what you have, you will find a bunch of information on this. In the gear forum, there is a thread called Summary of Saddle information. There are many links to discussions in that. I would start at the last pages of that thread, because there are many conglomerate posts there. Maybe start on page 7 or so.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Here. Scroll to post number 9 by Owlie. She posted a pear-shaped saddle, with lines cutting away the part that needs to be removed to make it more T-shaped. IOW, make it friction free.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=43815

    The rest of that thread is very good too. Pay attention to what Knot says, in particular.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    HEre. The Rivet Pearl is the same width as the men's brooks b-17 (about 170 mm), but more t-shaped, and less prone to cause the chafing you describe.

    http://store.biketouringnews.com/riv...?sort=featured

    The women's B-17 s is about 177 mm, I think. It is also shorter, the men's version is better for steering the bike. (Unless you are super petite).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    5
    It seems that this desciption from the post above describes how I ride and my problems perfectly (sorry...I am new to forums and not entirely sure how to work all the attachments and quotes properly)

    "You've got a classic case of chafing (butt/ham crease) that screams "too wedged!" and sliding back on the saddle could well be an attempt to get a bit more landscape for the sits and to get away from that too-gradual transition.

    The inner thigh chafing could be from a nose that is too wide, or a side effect of trying to clear your hip joints by shifting backwards (so the inner thighs rub on the transition zone).

    You could have a saddle that's perfect in every way: wide enough for your sits, minimally padded or cut-out enough for your bits, and at the perfect height and tilt... but if that transition from sit-to-nose is too gradual for your hip joint motion, it's all over! You'll chafe, you'll squish, and you'll shift around all the time."

    I guess my next question is: Do you know of a better Brooks saddle that would work for me? I love the look of the leather. I guess I have some bike vanity issues

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    5
    I went back to the article you recommended, and it looks like maybe the Brooks B17 narrow would be a better fit for me. Thoughts?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    The B-17 N has an outside distance of about 150, if memory serves, so only 130 mm of leather not suspended over the metal frame beneath. For most women, that won't work, you would be sitting on metal. (Yeah. ouch). Not talking about the transition area, now. That saddle is most likely too narrow.

    Quite a few women on this forum have mentioned that Brooks are too pear/wedge-shaped for them. That is why I suggested the Rivet (and it's available in honey leather, well, the 'natural' looks like the honey color if you look at some of the pictures of other Rivets). I know of someone who used to use the B-17 regular, had the chafing, changed to the Rivet, and it went away. (I don't happen to have that issue, but I've,...read a few too many TE posts on saddles.

    Have you ever measured your sit bones? For a Brooks, (or a Rivet) you need the outside distance. For a leather saddle, you need a width at least 20 mm wider than your outside distance in order to avoid sitting on metal. The article (which is based on TE posts, btw), has directions on how to do that at home.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-18-2014 at 04:27 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    IMO, one of your issues could be the design of the Brooks Saddle over other leather Saddles - Like the Rivet. For me the fenders (the sides) of the Brooks are to long and the tend to flare a bit as your saddle breaks in and (for me) cause the "underwear" saddle sore you describe. There are several leather saddles out now that are quite beautiful and don't have that challenge. As Muirenn noted, I am over the top about Rivet Saddles. Deb Banks, the owner, live is Sacramento and hand picks her hides from a tanner in Wisconsin. The Saddles are made in Taiwan but are very beautifully constructed. If you were in my shop, I would have your ride the Rivet Independence and the Rivet Independence no slot. The nose is narrower and the transition from the seat area to the leg area is smooth with no ridges. Also note the Brooks S models have a shorter nose which could be a factor in your sores as you "May" be pushing yourself back on the saddle to get more nose between your legs. Good Luck, happy to talk, I have been where you are and know how frustrating it can be
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    5
    THANKS SO MUCH! All of your insight has been very helpful! What a great forum! I will test out the seats you mentioned, and hopefully report back positive results.

 

 

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