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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.