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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Any suggestions for non-dorky looking comfy road bike seats? :)
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Any suggestions for non-dorky looking comfy road bike seats? :)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay, before you hit me with "hey, why don't you just strap a decorative pillow to your seat and turn in your man card!"....let me just say that I'm not a total wimp, but, I am definitely more interested in a comfy saddle than I was when I was younger and could ride on any old racing saddle and not care what it felt like. :)

I would really like to be more comfortable in the saddle on my road bike, just a more cushioned feeling for long rides. I got a bike with carbon front and rear and a carbon seat post to absorb vibration, so the next logical step for a good setup in addition to a good fit and riding position is a comfy saddle.

 

The comfiest saddle I've ever owned was, if memory serves, a SDG dual-density mountain bike racing saddle. I had it on my Ellsworth Id mtb, but hijacked it when I sold the bike and then used it on my road bike---until I sold that bike and the saddle along with it. Most comfy saddle I've ever owned.

 

The saddle I'm using now is a Specialized Avatar 143, which is decent for sure, but for some reason it just catches my sit bones wrong and irritates me. 

 

What are you using that you find particularly comfortable for long rides? 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 13
Ride comfort isn't just about the saddle; without changing your bike the tyres can make a huge difference to ride comfort (shell hardness, inflation, diameter). And the quality of your knicks, not just the volume of padding but the shape and density.

But saddles are really personal and at the end of the day you just have to trial a few to find out what works and what doesn't. I run fizik Antares on my road bikes; pretty minimalist saddle, but it fits my arse well, has a bit of flex and I'm good for up to 6 hours in the saddle (haven't spent longer than that).

Get yourself to a good bike shop that has a range of saddles to trial. When you find a "maybe" spend a week with it before committing.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post

Ride comfort isn't just about the saddle; without changing your bike the tyres can make a huge difference to ride comfort (shell hardness, inflation, diameter). And the quality of your knicks, not just the volume of padding but the shape and density.

But saddles are really personal and at the end of the day you just have to trial a few to find out what works and what doesn't. I run fizik Antares on my road bikes; pretty minimalist saddle, but it fits my arse well, has a bit of flex and I'm good for up to 6 hours in the saddle (haven't spent longer than that).

Get yourself to a good bike shop that has a range of saddles to trial. When you find a "maybe" spend a week with it before committing.

 

Yep, I'm going to have to try a few out saddles, that's good advice. Didn't know a shop would have demo models, but will ask around near me. That'd be nice if they did.

 

Can't change tires, I'm using Conti gatorskins only, no patience for flats and I won't go back to serious racing tires. 

post #4 of 13
A good bike shop will have demo saddles for you to try. A good saddle will cost around $200 so you are not going to buy without a test first.

And tyres, swap the Gatorskins for GP 4000s in 25mm, much softer ride, a faster tyre and not that prone to puncture.
post #5 of 13
My seat hurts when my core is weak. My seat doesn't hurt when my core is strong.
post #6 of 13

Saddles are a funny thing..depends on your ergos a lot..the most comfortable saddle I ever had was a cheesy road saddle that came on my $500 Peugeot a hundred years ago.  Almost no padding..but it had a wonderful multi-thickness plastic shell that was formed perfectly for my sit bones and flexed just right.  It finally cracked and I never could find another one.  I'm using the Body Geometry line now for the most part.  They're pretty good..although I kinda acquiesced and use a more padded MTB saddle now.  No shame in that you know..I knew someone who wouldn't put a pair of MTB pedals on his road bike or wear MTB shoes on his road bike..never did understand that..well, I do..but..  This goes back to my feeling that my bikes are just tools..they're a hammer..just get on and ride.  The Selle Italia Max is a comfy saddle for road saddles.  Decreases penile numbness as well for most riders because of the giant hole in it.  I actualy think the Flite Ti is sneakingly comfy...I think the rails flex nicely and give a nice ride.  And at the end of the day, as we get older, we end up with more weight on the saddle for a longer time..so we have to, I think, accept that maybe a Flite Carbon is not our ideal saddle.  :-)

post #7 of 13

Does Brooks fit into your notion of "dorky looking?"  Def. comfortable---it's what I ride for touring.  Before looking into it, I had not known that they come in a variety of widths, including fairly narrow (don't remember exact size).

 

For anything longer than 4-6 hours, there's nothing more comfortable, at least for me (and, if you believe all the testimonials, lots of other folks).  YMMV, of course.  Seats are almost as individual in fit as boots.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowObstacle View Post
 

Does Brooks fit into your notion of "dorky looking?"  Def. comfortable---it's what I ride for touring.  Before looking into it, I had not known that they come in a variety of widths, including fairly narrow (don't remember exact size).

 

For anything longer than 4-6 hours, there's nothing more comfortable, at least for me (and, if you believe all the testimonials, lots of other folks).  YMMV, of course.  Seats are almost as individual in fit as boots.

 

Nosiree...Brooks I would say are pretty serious core enthusiast saddles, not dorky. I meant dorky referring to non-racy looking saddles. I can't ride one of those anyway, too wide. The saddle I rode on my mtb was a racing saddle for mountain bikes, and not quite as slight as a road race saddle, but it was just fantastic. I forgot it was there, that's a sign of a good fit to me.

I'd try a brooks or any other if it was comfortable and allowed for good circulation, I'm open minded to anything. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post

A good bike shop will have demo saddles for you to try. A good saddle will cost around $200 so you are not going to buy without a test first.

And tyres, swap the Gatorskins for GP 4000s in 25mm, much softer ride, a faster tyre and not that prone to puncture.

 

I'll look at the shops near me and see what I can try out saddle-wise, looking forward to it. :)

Will try those tires after I wear these out. I understand tire spring rate (both with materials, construction and air pressure), and know that can affect ride comfort for sure, but my problem is specifically in the contact points with my sit bones and the soft tissue between them. This saddle is contacting me wrong for my build down there. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Griswald View Post

My seat hurts when my core is weak. My seat doesn't hurt when my core is strong.

 

I'd expand on that and say that everyone can suffer from more saddle pressure and possible soreness then they exceed their ability to support some of the weight with the legs. When legs fatigue, pedaling circles becomes less efficient and there is more weight put on the saddle. That's my own observation anyway. Core is definitely a factor as well, and it goes hand-in-hand with endurance and conditioning with the legs. Better conditioning overall = better technique. I'm right there with you in this mindset.

My first wrong step with this saddle issue was buying a saddle without seeing if it really fit me well for my build first. If I get a good fit, that combined with good setup/positioning and conditioning should lead to a much happier bum. :)

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super D View Post
 

 

I'd expand on that and say that everyone can suffer from more saddle pressure and possible soreness then they exceed their ability to support some of the weight with the legs. When legs fatigue, pedaling circles becomes less efficient and there is more weight put on the saddle. That's my own observation anyway. Core is definitely a factor as well, and it goes hand-in-hand with endurance and conditioning with the legs. Better conditioning overall = better technique. I'm right there with you in this mindset.

My first wrong step with this saddle issue was buying a saddle without seeing if it really fit me well for my build first. If I get a good fit, that combined with good setup/positioning and conditioning should lead to a much happier bum. :)

Weak core leads to this:

 

 

 

Which lead to sitting ON the seat like a bar stool which leads to this:

 

 

Many "wrong saddle" issues aren't.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Griswald View Post

 

 

 

Many "wrong saddle" issues aren't.

 

I have to correct you here. That guy's problem is obviously that he's riding naked, and there is significant chafing as a result. 

 

Additionally, his feet are very large which leads to balance issues.

Plus, his nuts are missing, which leads to an imbalance due to lack of counterbalance when in the saddle.

 

And, last but not least, he's got no nose, and the resultant breathing issues are no doubt affecting his fatigue levels leading to technique degradation.

 

Interesting that you would post that, because I suffer from nearly all of those issues depicted. Save for the missing nose. I have the opposite problem. 

 

post #13 of 13

Brooks Imperial or Selle Anatomica. What model of each depends a good deal on how upright you sit. Both are beautiful. Brooks will take a bit longer to break in for most people. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Any suggestions for non-dorky looking comfy road bike seats? :)