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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always just used the stock saddles that have come with my bikes. However, I hate my commuter bike's saddle. I'm unable to keep myself from sliding forward on it. It seems to be too round and narrow and my sit bones slide down the sides and forward. On my 10 mile commute, the lack of comfort becomes all I can think about.

So, I want me a new saddle, but I have no idea where to start. Since I have a b-day coming up, I want to ask the wife for one, although I'll tell her what I want (not much of a surprise, but that how we roll). I'd be willing to go to about $200, maybe a little more if there is good reason.

I measured my sit bones as best I can. From center to center, while sitting they are approximately 125mm apart. But I have no idea how that would translate to the width of a saddle. There also seems to be different shapes of saddles. even though they are the same measured width, some get wider much more quickly, and some are wide only in the very back. I was looking at Brooks saddles on a web site, and the B17 is listed as wider than the Swift and Swallow, yet they are all stated as 170mm.:confused:

The only "LBS" I have with any selection is a Performance shop. But they don;t carry any of the better brands. I'd like to try a brooks, but that would require an internet purchase, so no way to try one out.

If I do decide to go with a Brooks, I'm headed back to merry ol' England in May, and if they are cheaper there, I could pick one up, although I don;t know if I want to wait 2 months.

So how do you relate the size and shape of a saddle to the width of sit bones? How do you even begin to pick a saddle?
 

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Number 2 on the course.
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4,405 Posts
JohnnyTooBad said:
I'd like to try a brooks, but that would require an internet purchase, so no way to try one out.

If I do decide to go with a Brooks, I'm headed back to merry ol' England in May, and if they are cheaper there, I could pick one up, although I don;t know if I want to wait 2 months.
http://www.wallbike.com/Brooks.html

Lots of info and a 6 month unconditional satisfaction guarantee.
 

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Number 2 on the course.
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JohnnyTooBad said:
Thanks. Any other tidbits on picking a saddle/
As you noted, there are a zillion different configurations so its hard to make comparisons. Plus there are rail types, padding thicknesses, covering materials, shell characteristics, etc. to further muddy the issue.

You can find one you like and cling to that model like grim death. You can find one you like and experiment with options that seem similar when you want a replacement or upgrade.

Of course, that doesn't solve the "finding one you like" problem. If you don't have shops that offer a "test fleet" of saddles for you to try for a meaningful amount of time, you are kind of stuck. On the plus side, it doesn't seem like your needs are terribly specific if it is just this one commuter saddle that is bothering you vs. multiple stock saddles that you were comfortable on. Do you still have any of those saddles around to use as a starting point?

On the width issue, saddle widths are probably being measured from edge to edge. My Brooks Champion Flyer is 170mm from edge to edge. But you may or may not want to be sitting nearer to the edges depending on the constructon of the saddle. The edge of a Brooks is one of the less forgiving areas of the leather. Other saddles may be padded all the way to the edges. So don't look to match your sit bone width to a saddle width unless the saddle maker specifies that you should do so for optimal fit.

I have no issues with the 152mm width on the B17N, nor with the 170mm Champion Flyer, FWIW.
 

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Kilt wearing, old man
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And if you've ever wonder what Wall Bike did with those saddles, etc. that they take back under their warranty ... Wallbikeparts eBay store. Note: at the time this was posted, they had no items on eBay, but last week, they had a Brooks B17, ladies saddle (that sold for $58.27 plus $8.00 shipping via UPS ground).
 

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Where's that GPS?
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What about other manufacturers? Are Brooks the best?

I'm looking for a saddle replacement as well, for my Specialized Allez Double, and don't have a bunch of other bikes around to compare with(my other bike is a Specialized Globe hybrid - which has a comfy saddle, but not suitable for a road bike).

I you had to list, say the five best (reasonably affordable = approx. $200 retail max) saddle makers in the world for road bike saddles, which would you list?
 

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I am just a recreational rider who rides a cheap Giant with low end Sora and Tiagra parts. My seat however is a Toupe Gel. I think the seat is worth more than the bike. It's like ski boots. Try a bunch and don't let money drive the decision. Your ass and other body parts will thank you.
 

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go to CompetitiveCyclist.com. they have a saddle demo program. they send you a case of their top 11 saddles and you get a week to ride them. I did it last summer and got a saddle that wasn't even on my radar. set in includes Selle Italia, Fizik and Sella San Marco brands. saddles are extremely subjective so nobodies recommendation is really worth anything IMHO - you just need to try some to determine what works for you.

I would install a new saddle and put one in my jersey pocket and go for a ride. after an hour of riding or extreme pain, whichever came first, I'd stop and swap saddles. I was able to get through all of them in 7 days. after half a dozen I was able to diagnose pretty quick if it was worth time riding more or not. one saddle didn't even get me to the end of my 25' driveway!

anyway, it costs $75 but was worth it my opinion. if I hadn't done this I'd likely have bought 3 or 4 saddles which would either be collecting dust or have to sell on ebay.
 

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duh...
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LostViking said:
What about other manufacturers? Are Brooks the best?

I'm looking for a saddle replacement as well, for my Specialized Allez Double, and don't have a bunch of other bikes around to compare with(my other bike is a Specialized Globe hybrid - which has a comfy saddle, but not suitable for a road bike).

I you had to list, say the five best (reasonably affordable = approx. $200 retail max) saddle makers in the world for road bike saddles, which would you list?


saddle makers are easy: selle italia, selle san marco, fizik, brooks, etc. it's sorting through the many diff models that makes it difficult
 

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JohnnyTooBad said:
I measured my sit bones as best I can. From center to center, while sitting they are approximately 125mm apart. But I have no idea how that would translate to the width of a saddle. There also seems to be different shapes of saddles. even though they are the same measured width, some get wider much more quickly, and some are wide only in the very back. I was looking at Brooks saddles on a web site, and the B17 is listed as wider than the Swift and Swallow, yet they are all stated as 170mm.:confused:
FWIW, I started a thread a couple weeks back asking about sit bone width and Brooks. I got limited response and ended up ordering a Brooks Swift. Here's what I can tell you having ridden it only a week (150 miles.)

My sitbones also measure 120-125. Because the bones taper, the 120mm is when my pelvis rotates forward (in the drops) If I sit more upright I get 125mm (sitting up w/hands on top of bars.) I've confirmed that with a "memory foam" type pillow. On the Swift I am right at the limit (width) and feel like I'm sitting right at the outer edge when I sit upright. The Swift is "officially" 152mm wide. But the issue is the metal underframe/rivets. If I could do it again I wish I'd gone with the Team Pro which is 160mm wide. FYI, the B17 is 170mm.

Sounds like my sit bones the same width as yours and at this early stage (only 150 miles) I don't love the Swift nor do I hate it. I'm going to ride it to 500 miles and make a decision to keep it or change to the Team Pro. I think the Swift will end up working but my arse is definitely at the outer edge of the "safe zone" for this saddle.

So consider the source - I'm a total Brooks newb (but I couldn't get the Brooks vetrans to measure their hindsights!) My "newb" input is that with your bone measurement you might make the Swift work but would probably do better with the Team Pro. That's assuming you ride an agressive set-up & really push the pedals. If you ride a more casual fit/style w/bars level with the seat you might do better with the B17. Just my 2c, hope it's of some use. :)

Oh, BTW. . .the Brooks is beautiful. Buy one
 

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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the input. Good input Fantino.

I decided to give it a shot and ordered a B17 (normal width) from Wallbike.

Since this is for my commuter, I'm slightly aggressive and pretty stretched out, but I usually just ride it the 10.5 mile (each way) commute. Every once in a long while, during the warmer months, I might stretch the ride home to 20-30 miles, but that's all, and it's on flatish MUT on a single speed.

I went with WallBike so that I have the option of returning it within 6 months. That'll be plenty of time, doing a few hundred miles a month commuting. And $100 for a saddle is actually in the medium-low range of good saddles.

My taint still hurts from only 3 days commuting this week. I'm looking forward to something a little more comfortable. If the Brooks doesn't cut it, I'll decide between returning it or looking to see if it's the fit of the bike (and maybe put the Brooks on my Roadie and/or MTB (can use the same seatpost in both).
 

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eRacer
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Give us some follow-up, and good luck with the new Brooks!
John
 

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They seem to have some bag packs for sale now.

PomPilot said:
And if you've ever wonder what Wall Bike did with those saddles, etc. that they take back under their warranty ... Wallbikeparts eBay store. Note: at the time this was posted, they had no items on eBay, but last week, they had a Brooks B17, ladies saddle (that sold for $58.27 plus $8.00 shipping via UPS ground).
 
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