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Reccomendation for bike seat-Mens Road Bike

I am considering changing out the seat on my 2014 Cannondale Synapse 5C but I don’t know anything about what are the best seats for an endurance ride like Ragbrai…any seats that are regularly recommended in the biking community?

11 Replies

Matt, June 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

A well set up brooks saddle is your best bet. You should have plenty of time to break it in. With a brooks saddle, there’s nothing hard under the padding. And the weight wont make any difference for Ragbrai.

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ppayne1959, June 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

My brother and I have this debate all the time. He is old school and loves his Brooksie. I am more a speed demon and like modern saddle technology. A lot of this is personal preference but I think it is a sin that he has placed a Brooks saddle on his Carbon Madone. If you trend towards old school Brooks is certainly the way to go. If you are more new school my personal opinion is Fizik or Selle Italia are tops. Selle San Marco makes some very good saddles as well. To get one you are truly happy with you would plan on spending more than $125-$300 retail. That being said I have found great deals on Ebay onlce you know what model you want, but you need to be patient.

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dc7603 Cunningham, July 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I had the same dilemma last year and sought out recommendations on this site. After a thorough review of the seats recommended and some of my own research, I settled on a Selle Anatomica all leather saddle. I will without exception say that it was the best decision I made for RAGBRAI 2015. I had previously only ridden modern looking road bike saddles that left me sore at the end of a long ride but this very simple all leather saddle with a anatomically designed cutout for male riders made each day on the bike a pleasure. I never once experienced saddle fatigue, no constant shifting as I rode to find the ever elusive comfy spot. I was just plain comfortable every mile of every day. Recommended break in was 500 miles I believe but I only managed 300 or so prior to leaving for Sioux City and it wasn’t a problem at all. Paid about $180 on amazon.

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GORDON BROWN, July 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm

I just ordered a Selle Anatomica X. I’ll have to work quick to break it in.

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Groeny82, August 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I know RAGBRAI is over but I have heard good things about the Brooks Cambium. It’s a rubber saddle, “supposed” to be as comfortable right out of the box as a leather Brooks is once it’s broken in according to many reviews. I don’t have any firsthand or secondhand experience with these but I have been very interested in them and trying to find one to demo. I really like the accolades that Brooks saddles get but for my personal preference I don’t like the looks of leather saddles with the “apron” (or whatever it’s called) that comes down on the sides of the saddle. The nice thing about the Cambium is that it still has the look of a modern saddle. You can get it with or without a cutout, and can also get it with either a metal rail or a carbon rail. Just looking on the Brooks website and the Swallow is leather and has a pretty nice modern look to it as well. Also heard many good things about the Selle Anatomica.

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T. Gap Woo, August 2, 2016 at 9:38 am

When I bought my Trek 7300 four years ago, I switched out of the stock saddle that came with the bike after a few months and many miles of riding. It was too narrow and never broke in like I hoped. My LBS installed their “house brand” saddle, which was about 11″ across at the widest point and well-padded. As a supplement, I bought a padded saddle cover a few months later. I’ve ridden in comfort ever since, including three RAGBRAIs and many local rides. There is only way I could be more comfortable: install a fully-padded tractor seat! Are you listening, John Deere?

See you along the I-O-Way in only 51 more weeks!

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francoisvanzyl, February 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

The very best saddle for RAGBRAI is the one you don’t know you have.
I have shortened the stem and added a Brooks saddle and 25 mm tires to my Litespeed Tuscany (curved seat stays) and it is now the perfect century ride for an old guy like me.

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“Bicycle Bill”, February 16, 2017 at 6:12 pm

I would definitely recommend a bike seat on a men’s road bike for RAGBRAI.  It can be an awfully long ride if you have to stand up on the pedals all the way across the state otherwise.

-“BB”-

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Curtis Moore, March 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

I’ll be on a Cobb Cycling Randee’ saddle. It’s designed for these longer rides and tours. This will be my second saddle since I’ve already worn out the first Randee’ I got! You can read up on it at http://www.cobbcycling.com/product/randee/

I’ve ridden Brooks before and if they’re broken in right they are fantastic saddles.

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Nico ZZZ, March 6, 2017 at 11:48 am

I swapped out the stock saddle for an ism Typhoon. ism has discontinued the Typhoon so its replacement is the PR 3.0. The ism line has many cutout saddle options.
Ride On!

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Charlie S, June 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I know this is an older thread, but in case anyone is still in need of a saddle at this late date, I can highly recommend a suspension-type over padded.

There are a number of these on the market, the oldest and most well-known being Brooks. The drawbacks to the traditional leather Brooks are weight and the lengthy break-in period. I have a Brooks Cambium on my commuter bike (suspension but fabric and rubber construction rather then leather) and like it quite a bit. It’s still on the heavier side but has no real break-in was needed and it’s far more comfortable than the Selle Italia SL it replaced.

My recommendation would be the Selle Anatomica X that I have on my road bike – the one I’ll be bringing to RABBRAI. Again on the heavier side but extremely comfortable out of the box (Anatomica uses a different leather than Brooks) and it has only gotten better. By far the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever used.

There have been reports of the Anatomica’s rails bending (they are longer than most rails to provide more adjustment options). From what I see, this has happened only to folks closing on the 250 pound max recommended rider weight limit or when used on a mountain bike. While not an issue for most riders, my understanding that Anatomica changed the rail material in response to the complaints.

Alternatives to Anatomica are Rivet (very similar, also gets great reviews) and Berthoud (Belgian I believe, expensive but with a very enthusiastic user base.) Any leather saddle except for Brooks won’t like rain, so when they get wet, you need to loosen them up until dry or risk stretching the leather. A minor issue to me but some folks find this unacceptable.

There’s still time for you get and fit an Anatomica or Rivet, as the break-in for either is minimal. Both have generous return policies, so you could even use the saddle for RABRAI and then send it back if you didn’t like it.

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