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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have run several searches and have tried many ideas......................
but
I am still having extreme saddle issues. I have now begun a test program where I can choose b/w about 10 saddles and try each individually until I find one that works. I have already tried the following:
fizik arione - way to flat, very uncomfortable - had trouble urinating after any ride over 20 miles
smp w/ cutout - way to rigid on the sides of the cutout, bruised the sitbones
bontrager fit system saddle - decent, but still feel heavy pressure down below
fizik aliante - 2nd best fit so far, more cradle like
fizik pave - way too narrow
bontrager - cheapo saddle that I have put on my mtn. bike, wider back, some cushion, it has worked so far on my mtn bike.

At this point, I am willing to invest a decent amount of money and more time to try and get this thing right. I have been trying and testing saddles for the last season and 1/2. I still have pain when urinating after riding and I have been checked for prostate problems, which all came back negative. I ride an old frank moser frame that is quill stemmed and I have felt from the first ride has been setup too agressive for me. I am 6'4" and weigh about 170lbs. The reach on the bike just to the hoods feels to far and going to the drops causes me to pretty much lock at the elbows, not good feeling. I have a thought that the bars are simply set way too low.
Any thoughts or votes on the following options cause I am at a loss at this point as to what to do and this frustration has caused me to refrain from riding for about 5 months:

option 1: research the best fit guru around this area and go to have a fit done with the purchase of a more updated, less aggressive new bike setup while trying several saddles to find the right fit.

option 2: stick with the bike I have but go and get a professional fitting done and purchase the necessary parts to make the changes needed for comfort.

option 3: just continue trying different saddles until I find one that works.

I am sure everyone has gone through some fit dilemmas but this has made me want to walk away from the sport due to total frustration. Yet, I still love riding so I really want to figure this out and find a comfort zone. I raced several crits last year and would like to race more this year, but only if I can find a solution.

Cheers
 

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I think your idea to get fitted correctly on the bike is the best first step. Searching for the most comfortable saddle is the Holy Grail for most of us. But, even the saddle that fits us best this year may be a torture device next year as our body changes. Starting by getting fitted to the bike or even finding out that it is altogether the wrong size will be a really good move.
 

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my bike's underpowered
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I agree.

I've found that the wrong seating position & poor posture can make a huge difference in the pressure points.
 

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Like the others have said, get the fit correct and then deal with the saddle issue.
 

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Are you using any chamois lube? I've found that it makes a huge difference for me. I won't even commute to work without it. Any lube of your choice would be worth giving a try, if you're not already. I won't mention any name brands or types because very soon this would become a thread where people would be expounding on the virtues of their particular favorite. I, and I'm sure you would prefer to keep it focused on solving your problem.

So, the bottom line is that for me when I don't lube up I get saddle sores. When I do, I'm fine.
 

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Cheese is my copilot
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Yup, get your existing bike dialed in first, then start messing with saddles. There's no real substitute for a fitting, but just to guesstimate your set up, when you're riding on the hoods the bars should block your view of the front wheel skewer. As for drop, maybe 2cm from the saddle to the top of the bar is a good, relatively neutral starting point. Is your bike as currently set up way off from those parameters? And is your saddle at the right height?
 

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Sure it's the saddle?

xcridin said:
I am still having extreme saddle issues.
There are 7 factors in preventing numbness and pain:

1) saddle adjustment - tilt angle is very important

2) sitting properly - a lot of people ride too far forward on the saddle. Your "sit bones" should be perched on the rear, wide part of the saddle

3) standing up - you should never let things go numb or get painful. At the first sign of any lack of feeling or pain, pedal standing up for a short distance and repeat as necessary to bring the feeling back and prevent further numbness

4) easing up - you want to lift your butt off the saddle any time you are going to hit a bump or sharp edge. It's easier on your anatomy, your wheels, your tires, and the rest of your bike.

5) bike fit: in addition to saddle height and tilt, there is fore/aft adjustment, reach and drop to the bars, cleat position.

6) tires: proper width with the right PSI for your weight and roads so you don't every single road imperfection.

7) saddle - there are some people who can ride most any saddle if it is properly adjusted (see #1) and there are some people who have problems with nearly any saddle. It's hard to predict which type you are. Work on 1-6 and if that doesn't help, THEN consider a new saddle.

The standard advice to cure numbness is to tip the nose down, but having discussed this topic many times, it seems that some people are not sitting properly on their saddles. You need to have a saddle and saddle position that has your sit bones on the butt of the saddle. If your saddle nose is tipped down too far, it may cause you to slide forward. If it is tipped up too far, it may be causing pressure. And if you can't get things right in between these points, it may be that you are not sitting in the right spot or that the saddle doesn't fit you. IME, the range of saddle tilt goes from "nose level" to saddle level. Nose level means that for most saddles, the butt of the saddle is elevated (this is how I ride). Saddle level means that a level placed on the saddle would have the nose and butt level, which may create a hammock effect in the middle. Your personal comfort has to rule on where to place things in this range. Also, fore/aft position can influence comfort - it is a trade between pedaling style and the how much you lean on the bars vs. sit on the saddle.
 

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get a fit. sounds like your bike is too small. you probably have your seat jacked way up to fit your legs but the handlebars are way to low, cause they wont comeup high enough for your size. you will be much happyer when the bike fits you. as far as the seat goes find a shop that uses a fitting pad. I like the bontrager pad and their saddle system. I did and now I own 3 race lites, and love them. they aint cheap but neither is comfort.
 

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I know everyone on here will tell you that their saddle is the best one in the world. The Selle An-Atomica sure worked for me.

http://www.mcmwin.com/
 

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I've got a selle smp glider and I was bruised on my sitbones for a few weeks. After that it has turned into the most comfy saddle imaginable. If you ride alot, the bruising goes away and it feels like a nice old pair of shoes. If you don't ride much, I don't think you'll ever be comfy on a smp. You might also want to try a WTB saddle, they've got a a nice center groove.
 

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Quote: " The reach on the bike just to the hoods feels to far and going to the drops causes me to pretty much lock at the elbows, not good feeling. I have a thought that the bars are simply set way too low."​
What's the length of top tube and length of stem? How much drop from the seat to bars? A low cost way to try another set-up would be to raise the stem to max position (if not already there.) If you're running a really long stem (120mm) you could try a 60 - 80mm. If your existing stem won't allow the bars to be level with the seat - look for a Nitto Technomic. It's a tall quill and lets you raise the bars about 2 1/2" higher than a standard quill. Looks goofy to run a tall seatpost & quill (IMHO) but $40 to try a different quill is a low cost test.

Kerry Irons #2 above is the closest anyone has come to mentioning saddle width:
Quote: "Your "sit bones" should be perched on the rear, wide part of the saddle"​
Measure your sit bones - if they are 140mm wide none of those 130-132mm wide saddles will ever be pain free. (Again, IMHO - width of sit bones + 10mm = minimum width of saddle.)
 

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I am on board with the fitting idea, although I am more for tinkering than paying money for an expert. They will both get you to about the same place, but paying someone will be quicker. For me the difference is I am never satisified with someone telling me, I need to experience it. So I am always trying new things, even if what I have works (unfortunately).

It sounds like you are probably carrying too much weight on your arse.

There are two things that I would recommend.

First start stretching your legs. Hamstring and glute flexibility is key to being comfortable on a bike. The goal is to be able to comfortably bend and the waist and put your palms on the floor. If you can't do that then you won't be able to stay in the drops very long on a race bike. This flexibility will give you less hip rock in your pedal stroke and also the ability to bend lower in your back and thus carry more weight on the front of the bike.

Next I would move your saddle way forward. What we want to do is actually rotate your body around the bottom bracket torward the handlebars. This will transfer more weight to your hands and thus less weight on your under bits.

Measure and record where it is now, then go ahead and knock it all the way forward on the rails or go to a straight post. The UCI limit is 4cm behind the bottom bracket. I like to start there and move back till I find the sweet spot. When you move your seat forward you will also have to extend your seatpost to compensate.

I would not raise your bars. If your reach is a problem then get a shorter stem. Raising them will effectively shorten your reach, but will also place more weight on the saddle.

There is also the factor of getting your tant in shape. If you are new to riding it will take a little bit to toughen up your seat area. Take it slow at first and let the miles build slowly.
 

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The only "professional fitting" I ever got focused less on measuring my body's dimensions and more on getting me balanced well on my bike. It's stood the test of time - 24 years and only needed one, and long rides - up to 600k. The method the fitter used makes it possible for me to get in the ballpark with new bikes and tinker a little to get it right.

Imho, balance is what makes saddles comfortable and why some saddles fit better than others but II can ride on almost all of them. Get some weight off your seat and feel perched lightly on your bike and saddle comfort takes care of itself.
 

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If you liked the Aliante, see if you can test ride a Fizik Vitesse. They market it as a women's saddle, but it is very similar to the Aliante except about 10-20 mm wider. It is relatively inexpensive yet light. I tried an Aliante and it fit well but just felt too narrow for me. I tried a Vitesse and it was perfect. I now have it installed on 3 of my road bikes. It is actually more comfortable than the Brooks B17 I have on another bike and weighs less than half as much.

You also might try Brooks. Lots of cyclists who just can't find a comfortable saddle ending up riding Brooks, often the B17. Brooks tend to be wider than most saddles these days. More importantly the leather will gradually break in to fit your body.
 

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I think it makes sense to try a leather saddle (Brooks or Selle Anatomica). Not everyone likes them, but since you are having so much trouble with various plastic saddles, maybe you ought to try something completely different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
responding to all the responses - original poster

wow, what a ton of awesome responses. I really appreciate everyone's input. I took some measurements and tried to get as exact as possible. These should help answer some of the fitting questions that were raised.

hoods to saddle height difference = 6.35 cm down to hoods
quill stem height out of frame = 7.62 cm
drops to saddle height diff. = 14 cm down to drops
hoods to front of saddle distance = 71.12 cm
top tube length = 58.42 cm
down tube length under saddle to bb = 59.68 cm

hope this will help with those that were asking about measurements.....
 

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xcridin said:
wow, what a ton of awesome responses. I really appreciate everyone's input. I took some measurements and tried to get as exact as possible. These should help answer some of the fitting questions that were raised.

hoods to saddle height difference = 6.35 cm down to hoods
quill stem height out of frame = 7.62 cm
drops to saddle height diff. = 14 cm down to drops
hoods to front of saddle distance = 71.12 cm
top tube length = 58.42 cm
down tube length under saddle to bb = 59.68 cm

hope this will help with those that were asking about measurements.....
bike measurements mean nothing and body mean even less. The key here is flexibility.

any fitter that just takes static measurements is not worth your time.

Here is what I need:

Can you comfortably touch your toes or how close can you get?

When you are on the hoods what angle does your arms make to your body?

Do you find yourself sliding in any direction on the saddle when riding under moderate effort?

When on the hoods do you feel your hips perpendicular to the ground (same orientation as when walking) or rotated forward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
response

answers to the last post...................

I will have my wife measure the angles when I am on the rollers riding tomorrow. I will then post what those angles are.
as far as flexibility, I would like to think that I am rather flexible, and definitely fit. I have just recently come off of a professional soccer career so I have remained pretty flexible. I can get the better part of my palms on the floor and hold this stretch for about 10-15 seconds.
I could certainly have a better stretching regime on a daily basis and maybe if I begin doing this once again it would help somewhat.

thanks for the responses.

going from training everyday for about 2 hours on the soccer field and covering about 5 miles in running per session, I have tried to substitute cycling for this fitness so that I am still very active.
 
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