HTF Cyclists: Need Saddle Recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Martin, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    After MANY years of bicycling inactivity, I am going to start again.

    My rides will be only once or twice a week. I have a 10-year old hybrid bike, in excellent shape (thanks to non-use!). Last summer I did have the bike "tuned up," confirming my opinion that the bike is still in good shape.

    More than likely, only one of my rides will be solo rides for exercise and solitude. The rest will be leisurely rides with my young daughters (one still uses training wheels).

    I'm looking to replace the seat, both for comfort reasons and out of concern for any ill effects on sensitive anatomical areas. :b

    I don't have a fortune to spend, but since it is for comfort and health, am willing to spend a reasonable amount (between $40 and $60). Can anyone recommend a good seat for a hybrid bike?

    Will I be able to simply buy the seat, or will I need to replace the post as well?

    Thanks in advance for any info y'all can share.
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    You wont need a new seatpost, unless the old one is siezed. Check that though, sometimes rain and inactivity (10 years sounds long) can fuse the seatpost to your seattube, especially with dissimilar metals (steel seatpost on an aluminum bike). I don't believe the seat rails spacing has changed in like... forever so you should have no problems with the seat to the post link.

    As far as saddles go, try to find a shop that will demo out saddles for you to try, maybe you like those split rail ones, maybe you like just a cutout, or maybe you just like a nice slim profile saddle (like me!).

    For off road use, I really like my Avocet O2 Air Kevlar but that's just me, it's got padding enough to be comfy but not to much to be a sponge.

    For a hybrid, I'd go with saddles geared towards mountain biking, persumable because you'd sometimes take that on say unpaved bike trails.

    As far as brands, I am always hearing stuff from Terry, Koobi as making good cutout saddles or split rail ones... Avocet, although more famous for cyclocomputers, my Avocet saddle is very well built and I've gone at least 10k miles on it since I've gotten it. I ride every day though.

    Jay

    member of the HTF cycling club [​IMG]
     
  3. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    It's hard to really recommend a seat. But, since it seams that comfort is your main objective, it gives you a broader range of choices. There are tons of anatomically specific seats(male/female) that are made to be sensitive to their respective riders. Some are split, some have a small gell pad in the righ places. You should not have to replace your seatpost, unless you have an oddball mount.

    Also consider rail material. Titanium rails provide the best of both worlds, flex and strength at a light weight. Aluminum is light, but has less flex, chrome moly/steel has more strength but is heavier.

    I'm using a Titec Downhill Saddle with titanium rails. It's slightly larger than a MTB saddle, but it's light and the larger size provides a little more comfort.


    Try:

    www.nashbar.com
    www.performancebike.com
     
  4. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    The seat rails are the two rods that allow the seatpost to clamp them down to. A Ti seatpost will be inherently a little more flexy than aluminum rails.

    Ti is very very very marginally lighter than one with aluminum rails but will allow the rails to absorb more small bumps that you may notice or not. However, it will be more expensive.

    Things to look for when trying a saddle:

    The neck part of the saddle (the part in front) should not be too wide, so as not to rub against your thighs which causes friction burns and stuff. If you're actually mountain biking, you will want to make sure the neck isn't too long or too pointy but since you are just going for rides, this isn't a factor. MTBing will make you go off saddle alot more.

    The single most important thing when looking for a saddle is that the cushy part of the saddle should match with your seat bones, which are two points you can kind of feel when seated (don't do this in public :) ). Those are the points that should determine how wide a saddle should be. Hole or no hole, personally, I feel that proper saddle position and the saddle matching your seatbones is way more important than looking for those trendy hole saddles, but that might just be me. Because you can adjust the saddle up and down and fore and aft (within reason) you cannot really adjust the width of the saddle or your seat bones, finding a saddle is really only possible with saddle time and experience.

    Jay
     
  6. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Saddles are definitely a personal thing - everybody's rear end is different. I have 2 bikes and 2 different saddles. My mountain bike has a Bontrager FS2000 saddle. For mountain biking, it's great. Not too terribly cushy, but not rock hard. Saddle isn't big so it's easy to manouver yourself on or around it. It's not great for road riding where you're in the saddle for a long time, at least not for me. You can find a pic of it here.

    For my road bike, I just picked up a Koobi Enduro. Similarly to the Bontrager saddle, it's just the right 'medium' stiffness. It's wider, especially in the rear of the saddle, than the Bontrager. That helps distribute my weight over the saddle better. Split right down the middle for 'anatomical friendliness'. They have a soft model, the Koobi SI, that might be a good choice. The nice thing about Koobi saddles is they have a 30 day no-questions-asked guarantee. Don't like it? Send it back and you get your money back. Check 'em out at www.koobi.com

    Edit: Jay is absolutely right on finding the right saddle for your seatbones. I'm not a small guy (but not huge or anything like that). The Koobi fits my rear end just right. I've tried various italian saddles (Selle Italia, Selle San Marco), all of those were either harder than I wanted, or just too narrow to be comfortable on.

    Andrej
     
  7. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info guys. There are a couple of good local bicycle sellers in town. With your experiences in mind, and prices from Koobi and Nashbar to compare, I'll hopefully find a good seat for my uses.

    I actually tend to be out of the seat a lot, especially when going uphill or accelerating. Not very aerodynamic, but it seems to help.
     
  8. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    If you do alot of standing, on the steep climbs, if the nose of the saddle is real pointy, it can get caught in your shorts (if they're baggy enough). That was my point with the nose, some MTB saddles, you'll actually see saddles wit a little droppy nose, that's the idea. On MTB saddles too, you might notice that the back of the saddle is tapered, this makes it easier to get back on the saddle when going down super steep hills (where you basically are sitting way behind the saddle to keep the center of gravity back).

    You'll also see some companies advertise kevlar edges. If you crash, you'll notice the sides of the saddles take alot of abuse so some companies will reinforce the saddle material on the sides to strengthen it...

    Standing is good cause it works different muscles, but you're right when you talk about losing all aerodynamics. If you watch the road races, nobody really sprints by standing up.

    Jay
     
  9. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Just as with speakers, placement is vital. If you get the best saddle ever, but don't go to the trouble to get it positioned properly (not just height, but forward/back positioning and tilt) then the results won't be very good.

    Standing up can change the muscles used, and temporarily let you use your body weight. It's generally considered more efficient to remain sitting and downshift to the point where you can move the pedals at 60 RPM. It's also easier on the knees, wrists, etc. to ride that way.
     
  10. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I have nothing else to add, but I can't let a cycling thread go by without a response. [​IMG]

     
  11. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    I do not know about hybrid bikes and only know mountain bikes and road bikes so my recommendations should be taken as such.

    I currently own:
    Sella Italia Max Flite Trams Am (hole)
    Sella Italia Turbo Special (mid 80's vintage. favorite road saddle but quite unique with the gold trim and rails)
    Terry titanium Fly (hole) (lives on the freeride bike)
    SDG Gran Prix (great on the x-country bike)
    a couple others of no consequence.

    Just put a Specialized Pro on the road bike this AM and am heading out for a couple hour ride to try it out before buying (or not)

    I so dearly want to try a Fizik Alliente. $$$$

    I will NEVER again buy a saddle with a hole in the middle again. They say they are male ergo and they are for 10 minute rides. Go for an hour and your soft under parts will kinda ooze down in that hole and HURT!!!! Go for a century and watch out.

    Any saddle with too much padding will probably cause your male parts to fall asleep as the bony parts will sink in and pressure will be exerted on the soft stuff. Dunno about gel saddles.


    Cannondale CAAD 5 frame, Ultegra
    Santa Cruz Superlight, XT and SRAM 9
    Giant AC2, XT
    Not that I don't love to bike or anything

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I've tried a Fi'zik Nisene and hated it. It came stock on my SC Superlite and not only did it creak alot, the fake chrome corners would flake off making sharp edges (ouch!) and it was hard as a rock. BTW, what color is your Superlite? I got mine in that Anondized grey and is a 2001.

    Gel saddles are OK, I have a Sella Italia Flite Gel and the Gel after being worked in is comfy on long rides. Alot of people don't like the stitching and I can see that they would chafe and wear out shorts, but I don't mind them at all.

    Jay
     
  13. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    Well 40 miles at 40 degrees F on that test Specialized BG Pro saddle. No issues at all. Time to put the Turbo Special on the mantle.

    Jay, I bought a red 2001 painted frame but with the Float RL rear shock. I just couldn't wait around for the Blur last year. Great price BTW.

    Built it up (I do my own building) with mostly XT but SRAM 9.0 shifters and rear derrailleur as I dislike triggers after a nasty incident 2 years ago. Marzocchi front shock, Avid mechanicals, UST 3.1 wheelset, Hutchinson Mosquito tires, frog pedals. Weighs near abouts 25-26 lbs.

    Climbs like nobodies business. Climbing prowess was my #1 criteria as in this area every ride will have ascending for a few thousand feet in elevation gain. Every ride.

    The AC2 (6" travel) bike is fun if someone is shuttling but too heavy and wrong geometry to climb.

    The Cannondale road frame I got last year on a frame trade program and built it up with an older Ultegra gruppo.
     
  14. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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  15. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been on my Koobi for over an hour with no pain like Dwight is talking about. Try, listen to what your ass sez, then buy.

    Andrej
     
  16. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    Andrej is correct, test different saddles. I can only relate my experiences on the Max Flite Trans Am and the Terry Fly, both of which have a very distinct hole with edges. The Koobi has 2 totally seperate sides seperated by a gap? slit? which is much narrower than the aforementioned. I may try out a Koobi if the local store ever gets one in that isn't all BIG and CUSHY. I know that road bike Koobi's exist, just not here.

    Try different saddles out. What I found comfortable immediately (instant gratification), rarely are comfortable after a 2 or 4 hour ride.
     
  17. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure if Koobi does sell thru stores or whether it's just a small net-only operation right now. The guy is very helpful on the phone, and like I said, if you don't like it, you're only out the $3 it cost to ship the thing. But given your previous experience with such saddles, not sure if it would be the seat for you or not. Seems that people either love 'em or hate 'em. And usually they hate 'em because they feel pressure from the edge of the hole / slit. That's why my buddy's girlfriend won't ride seats like that.

    Andrej
     
  18. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think you need the "Spongy Wonder Biycle Seat"!!!!!

    http://www.spongywonder.com/

    haha, with a catchy name like that, how can you lose?

    [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  19. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    You try it first Jay[​IMG]
     
  20. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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