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Strong legs, tender butt. Suggestions?

I’ve ridden some, but not as much as most of you here.  I’m pretty fit for a 53 year old guy.  70 to 80 miles per day on a nice road bike doesn’t concern me much.  The challenge is that I have spent way too much time in cushy office chairs, and I don’t care much for physical discomfort – especially in certain regions of the body.  Any suggestions for a really comfy saddle – and sorry, I’m not sold on the hard as a rock leather Brooks that you purists prefer.  I’ve heard people rave about them – but it simply doesn’t add up in my mind.  

43 Replies

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ehlent, February 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

There are many different brands of saddles.  You really need to try some to find what works for you.   But I can tell you that the harder saddles as your refering to are actually more comfortable than the softer ones for the type of riding we do.   When your riding 60, 70, or 80 miles those soft saddles can promote chaffing which is not good.   A properly fit saddle will there for be more comfortable.  

If you start out slow, meaning a few miles at a time and slowly increasing your milage, you can soon become comfortable with the “hard” saddles that your referring to.   Biggest thing, just get out there and ride.

#7736

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giantron, February 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Saddles are like clothes, they all fit everyone differently. So after going through that myself I decided to get a little more scientific about it (after trying saddles others said were GREAT but I could’t get off of quick enough). Specialized and a few other manufacturers offer saddles in varying widths. This is really important since you have to get your “sit bones” to fit in the right portion of the saddle. So after going to a shop and sitting on the a.s.s-ometer I realized I needed a wider seat. Got a Specialized Avatar in wide and have been happy. It’s a nice saddle with a gel top but not really mushy, just firm.

That being said I just got a Brooks for my touring bike, and man that thing is hard and difficult to deal with while it breaks in. Hopefully it gets better soon. I may be putting a Specialized Avatar on that bike too.

#7737

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RonB, February 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Jboz said: I’m not sold on the hard as a rock leather Brooks that you purists prefer.  I’ve heard people rave about them – but it simply doesn’t add up in my mind.  

Yeah, it does sound counter-intuitive but after suffering for many years I got a Brooks B-17 last year.  Hard, but more comfortable out of the box than any saddle I’ve ridden.  Don’t think I’ve even broken it in yet…..can’t wait.

#7738

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mlwalk, February 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I always believed the small saddle would be less comfortable as well, but the one i have luckily came with my bike and fits my sit bones (or whatever you call them) and is more comfortable than any other saddle I have ever ridden.

#7739

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Amanda, February 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Whatever saddle you decide on, you will just have to ride, ride ride and then ride a bit more to get ready. This will be my 14th RAGBRAI and I seldom have sit down bone issues. My pain is inbetween my shoulders and base of neck.

#7740

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coloradoshortbus, February 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

High end seat and a shock post. Those really helps the spine and butt.

#7741

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CyclingRoberto, February 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Rolls by Selle San Marco.  Also use Nubutte chamois creme.  Ride in comfort.

#7742

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“Bicycle Bill”, February 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

You could always remove the seatpost and saddle, and just stand all the way…..

-“BB”-

#7743

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Toady, February 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Have you ever tried a leather saddle?  In 35 years of riding I have never found anything that even comes close to my Brooks B-17.  Butt problems are a thing of the past.

Now, if I could figure out what to do about the sore neck and shoulders. 

#7744

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jwsknk, February 4, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Core strengthening so you don’t put so much of your weight in your arms. Someone qlso said oncw locking your elbows transfers more of that road shock up to your sholders. Another possibilitu is to raise the bars up or bring in closer.

#7745

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Michrider !!!, February 5, 2012 at 7:42 am

Terry Fly works for me! 

#7746

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Jboz, February 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

You guys are killing me – the arguments you make for the Brooks saddle are very compelling, and I’m weakening.  Looks like I’m going to need to drop a few hundred bucks, and endure 500 miles of “break-in” fun.

#7747

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Michrider !!!, February 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

Jboz said: You guys are killing me – the arguments you make for the Brooks saddle are very compelling, and I’m weakening.  Looks like I’m going to need to drop a few hundred bucks, and endure 500 miles of “break-in” fun.

Check out Lon Haldeman’s break in short-cut!

http://pactour.blogspot.com/2011/01/breaking-in-leather-saddle.html

#7748

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BillDana, February 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

Have you ever heard of an ass-o-meter…??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMbZ2Q8VqOo

If you live close to a Specialized bike shop.  They will measure the width of your sit bones. From that measurement you can insure that you are riding the correct width saddle.  There are lots of saddles out there that will be comfortable over time, but only if they are the correct width.  

A top end bike shop will allow you to return a saddle that doesn’t work for you.

#7749

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Jboz, February 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

Dumb question – but would I need to get my sit bones measured via the ass-o-meter if I went with the Brooks B-17?  Or would the leather form to my sit bones naturally over time, negating the need for a precise measurement?  I’m pretty much a normal sized in virtually all other measurements, so I would imagine sit bones wouldn’t fall too far outside the middle of the bell curve.

#7750

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