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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a difficult time finding a saddle that doesn't make me numb. What should I try next?

WTB Devo (my MTB saddle is a WTB and fits pretty good. I tried it on my new roadie, but not totally satasfied)

Koobi Xenon (seems like the firmer saddles are the most comfortable for me

Brooks Swallow. Should I really drop $350 on a saddle?

I have a Motobecane Le Champ Sl Ti. I ride almost everyday that I am home. Average ride is is 20-25 miles. I would like to find a club to do competitive rides with (not racing just fast) in Denver. I would like to do a century or two per month. I would like to ride in the Rockies as much as possible.

I'm really frustrated by the numbness the four saddles I've tried are giving me. I also have some pressure pain, but I'm just getting back into it after years off, and I expect that to recede after I condition my butt.
 

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I was having some minor numbness issues with the Toupe that came with my Specialized. Recently switched to a Selle SMP Strike Glider which has completely eliminated the numbness. After the first 25 miles or so my bum is still a bit un-comfy, but no better or worse than it was with the Toupe. Im not sure if there is a saddle out there that will completly cure the butt pain, but with the Selle SMP the numbness is gone. My butt even hurts after a few hours of sitting on the couch so Im pretty sure I wont find a tiny bike seat that will be 100% comfortable after 3+ hours in it.
 

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Have you had a fitting done? Is your saddle in the correct position?

If you're getting numbness the first thing to do is ensure proper fit, then if you're still getting numbness you need to determine why. If the saddle is the right width and otherwise giving you proper support you need to seek something with a size-able cutout.

Each company has their own take, cutouts in different positions and different sizes.

For example, if you find you spend a lot of time on the front of your saddle you need a saddle that's cutout will be useful up there. Many cutouts only do the middle or back of the saddle - those saddles will be no good for you.

If however you spend a lot of time in the middle or on the back of the saddle you have different options.

What I've personally found is if I want to get in the drops I need a large cutout, my smp glider works great for me.

Hope that helps,
Rob
 

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You may be suffering from "Noob-ass". Until you get more miles in you legs, the muscles in your rear won't support your weight. When that happens, more weight is suspended by your tender-bits.
 

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Based on a review I read in a magazine, I replaced my Sella San Marco saddle with a Terry Fly but still had soft tissue numbness. Someone in the forum recommended that I try moving my saddle slightly down and aft. Bingo, haven't had and soft tissue issues since. I, however, have have issues with hand discomfort. Getting a professional fitting is good advice.
 

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Saddle priorities

m4j2t said:
I'm having a difficult time finding a saddle that doesn't make me numb. What should I try next?
There are 4 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) 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 1-3 and if that doesn't help, THEN consider a new saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent question Rob,

No I have not had a professional fitting done, but I have done EXHAUSTIVE online research and measuring. It took literally one week of deliberation (50+ hrs) to choose this particular geometry. I started the fitting at the pedal and moved up the the saddle. I've done the fitting with a plumb bob and photos/videos of myself riding. I believe the saddle is in the correct position as all of the measurements and pictures I find online are consistent with my ride. I also believe my stem length is correct, but I am tempted to try a 1cm shorter just to be sure. I spend most of my time on the hoods, but i can get to the drops and stay there with as much comfort as an individual of my fitness level would expect. All in all my body feels good for my fitness level. I could do 50+ mile rides easily in my riding position without any sorespots/issues if I could just keep my stuff from falling asleep.

The saddle issue has become slightly better as I've moved to a wider harder platform (an old WTB SST off my old mtb) I'm sure to a certain degree I do have "noob-ass" with only 250 miles in the last month after a 7 year break (school/career change). The numbness is a saddle issue for sure, as several saddles have given the same effect to but very different degrees. I seem to like riding on the main platform about mid-point and switching position to the rear if I start to get uncomfortable--the sit bone discomfort that I attest to my tender "noob-ass"(love that word btw) There is no curing the numbness, while seated, once it sets in, so I have to either get out of the saddle for a bit or just plain stop.

Somebody asked about my history here it is:
36 yr old male. 5'10" 206lbs (down from 219lbs 6 weeks ago well on my way back to 185 goal) I have 6000+ miles in the Boulder CO area on a road bike, and about twice that on a MTB, but that was in a different life before I got married, went back to college, changed careers,and had kids. Seven years ago I was a serious cyclist with a group of riding buddies that challenged me to keep in top shape. Now I'm a dad with a new bike and a couple of like buds that go to Moab once per year. (I need a new MTB for the trip next Apr) I like to train with my HRM and my goals are XC/Endurance MTB racing, at least one century per month on the road bike, and a trip from coast to coast before I hit 40. The numbness was an issue for me on the last saddle on the roadie, but being a much younger bullet proof mountain biker, I never paid much attention because I used the roadie just for training. Now I want to get serious about road riding, and I want to take care of this issue for the long haul.

Thanks for all that have contributed I am going to check out the selle smp. Does anyone have experience with the brooks saddles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kerry Irons said:
There are 4 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) 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 1-3 and if that doesn't help, THEN consider a new saddle.
Great post, and I have definitely been working on 1-3. I will continue to do so, but I believe i am in need of a wider platfor than what I have tried so far. I'm thinking 145mm at least.
THANKS FOR THE INPUT great stuff!
 

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6) Pedal harder. Takes weight off the soft bits, and over time makes arse bits usefully harder.

FWIW, common strategy on cobblestone races is to run a bigger gear and mash like hell to help avoid the problem.
 

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Okay, So I've taken a lot of time to decide on my next choice in saddles. I've hemmed and hawed; trying to avoid the inevitable. Try as I may I just could not find a way out of it, so I made up my mind; I would drop $250 :cryin: on a Selle SMP Strike...
I located a store with a couple in stock, and put off making the trip until it was too late that day. I woke up the next morning, it was cool and I wanted to ride, but I knew my current saddle would just continue to injure me. That instantly put me in a bad mood because I knew what was next... I mean $250.00!! c'mon! :mad2: I made breakfast and slowly ate without tasting much, took and extra long shower, and walked the dog. Then I couldn't put it off any longer, I just couldn't, so I grudgingly picked up my wallet and dragged my feet to the car to drive to the local Performance bike shop. While there I asked for the saddle, and secretly hoped that someone would tell me there was a mistake and they didn't have one, but alas, they had two.:cryin: I paid the man $250.00 and left with some of the worst buyers remorse I have ever had.
Back at home I went straight to work setting up the SMP. I took it out of the box and went about inspecting it, looking for any reason at all to return it, but unfortunately it was perfectly constructed--stupid saddle:incazzato: I adjusted it correctly, noticing the "hand made in Italy" statement on the steel rails--That's right STEEL, $250.00 and you don't even get Ti-- then I put on the rest of my gear, started the tunes, and blasted off for what I was sure would be another beating of my backside.
What I noticed immediately was the 13 knot headwind on my usual ride. I mean $250.00 and it doesn't even come with a tail-wind for crying out loud:cryin: :mad5: How much does a guy have to spend?!! There was more traffic than usual tonight--stupid saddle.:incazzato: I pedaled along on the 24 mile out and back without much enthusiasm for my new ride, and I noticed an unusual amount of road kill--stupid saddle...

At the half way turn around point I sipped a little water, and went to make the usual stem check. No, not the handle bar stem, you know:ihih: the "stem", so i reach down for a little pinch and OWWW:yikes: that hurt like hell--stupid sad--dle... Wait a minute...:shocked: pinch Damn that hurt pinch Oww :eek: OMG I CAN FEEL MY PECKER!!!:23: :biggrin5: :23:

I mean Holy Crap! what is this miracle of modern cycling that has bestowed upon me the gift of circulation in my nether regions? The most amazing part? It ONLY cost $250.00.:thumbsup: My word, after so much suffering for so long, how can it be legal that any bicycle is sold anywhere in the world without one of these amazing saddles on board? I rushed home to spread the good word!! On the way home I stopped by a local Italian restaurant walked in and kissed the big hairy chef right on the lips. Then off again, and what do you know-- I did have a tail-wind after all! The best part? The saddle opened my garage door and waxed my car when we got back. I mean HOLY CRAP!!!!:D :D :thumbsup: All of this for a measley $250.00 I mean WHAT A BARGAIN!

Seriously though all humor (or lack there of) aside I bought two Selle SMP Strikes, the Glider and the Pro (different width and padding attributes). I am currently deciding which one suits me better and then I will return the other to Performance Bicycles thanks to their great return policy. These saddle perform exactly as they advertise, no pain, no numbness, no worries. Anybody who has suffered through the numbness/saddle sore process knows the frustration I was feeling. Thanks to those who've suggested this saddle, I have found the solution. I wasn't even looking at the SMP because of it's price, and I could have prolonged my journey, but I am SO HAPPY to have spent this money. If you are in the same boat as I was, go to a Performance shop and buy one to try out. They don't keep them on the shelves because they are so pricey, so call ahead to see if they keep any in the back. Don't hesitate to spend the money because these are worth every penny (worth the weight too), and you can always return it if it doesn't suit you. Thanks to everyonewho has contributed! I am using all of the advice I've gotten to some degree.
Thanks again,
 

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Actually I think they look like ceremonial Klingon ass hatchets but I have to agree with every single word that m4j2t said. If they suit your shape they work great.

I have been riding for over 20 years and have tried lots of saddles from the Concor (numbness that went into the second day... now there's an unhappy way to start your morning!) through Turbo to Rolls. Sounds like the whole spectrum from A to B but back then there wasn't a lot of choice, plus no internets just the LBS. Kept the Rolls until two years ago when I started experimenting again. Fizik Arione, Alliante, couple others, then tried the SMP Stratos. Sit bones hurt the first couple of rides, and this is after more than 20 years LOL, but no numbness at all. Happy camper here.
 

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m4j2t said:
Okay, So I've taken a lot of time to decide on my next choice in saddles. I've hemmed and hawed; trying to avoid the inevitable. Try as I may I just could not find a way out of it, so I made up my mind; I would drop $250 :cryin: on a Selle SMP Strike...
I located a store with a couple in stock, and put off making the trip until it was too late that day. I woke up the next morning, it was cool and I wanted to ride, but I knew my current saddle would just continue to injure me. That instantly put me in a bad mood because I knew what was next... I mean $250.00!! c'mon! :mad2: I made breakfast and slowly ate without tasting much, took and extra long shower, and walked the dog. Then I couldn't put it off any longer, I just couldn't, so I grudgingly picked up my wallet and dragged my feet to the car to drive to the local Performance bike shop. While there I asked for the saddle, and secretly hoped that someone would tell me there was a mistake and they didn't have one, but alas, they had two.:cryin: I paid the man $250.00 and left with some of the worst buyers remorse I have ever had.
Back at home I went straight to work setting up the SMP. I took it out of the box and went about inspecting it, looking for any reason at all to return it, but unfortunately it was perfectly constructed--stupid saddle:incazzato: I adjusted it correctly, noticing the "hand made in Italy" statement on the steel rails--That's right STEEL, $250.00 and you don't even get Ti-- then I put on the rest of my gear, started the tunes, and blasted off for what I was sure would be another beating of my backside.
What I noticed immediately was the 13 knot headwind on my usual ride. I mean $250.00 and it doesn't even come with a tail-wind for crying out loud:cryin: :mad5: How much does a guy have to spend?!! There was more traffic than usual tonight--stupid saddle.:incazzato: I pedaled along on the 24 mile out and back without much enthusiasm for my new ride, and I noticed an unusual amount of road kill--stupid saddle...

At the half way turn around point I sipped a little water, and went to make the usual stem check. No, not the handle bar stem, you know:ihih: the "stem", so i reach down for a little pinch and OWWW:yikes: that hurt like hell--stupid sad--dle... Wait a minute...:shocked: pinch Damn that hurt pinch Oww :eek: OMG I CAN FEEL MY PECKER!!!:23: :biggrin5: :23:

I mean Holy Crap! what is this miracle of modern cycling that has bestowed upon me the gift of circulation in my nether regions? The most amazing part? It ONLY cost $250.00.:thumbsup: My word, after so much suffering for so long, how can it be legal that any bicycle is sold anywhere in the world without one of these amazing saddles on board? I rushed home to spread the good word!! On the way home I stopped by a local Italian restaurant walked in and kissed the big hairy chef right on the lips. Then off again, and what do you know-- I did have a tail-wind after all! The best part? The saddle opened my garage door and waxed my car when we got back. I mean HOLY CRAP!!!!:D :D :thumbsup: All of this for a measley $250.00 I mean WHAT A BARGAIN!

Seriously though all humor (or lack there of) aside I bought two Selle SMP Strikes, the Glider and the Pro (different width and padding attributes). I am currently deciding which one suits me better and then I will return the other to Performance Bicycles thanks to their great return policy. These saddle perform exactly as they advertise, no pain, no numbness, no worries. Anybody who has suffered through the numbness/saddle sore process knows the frustration I was feeling. Thanks to those who've suggested this saddle, I have found the solution. I wasn't even looking at the SMP because of it's price, and I could have prolonged my journey, but I am SO HAPPY to have spent this money. If you are in the same boat as I was, go to a Performance shop and buy one to try out. They don't keep them on the shelves because they are so pricey, so call ahead to see if they keep any in the back. Don't hesitate to spend the money because these are worth every penny (worth the weight too), and you can always return it if it doesn't suit you. Thanks to everyonewho has contributed! I am using all of the advice I've gotten to some degree.
Thanks again,
You're a good writer. That was very entertaining! I'm glad your saddle issues have been resolved.
 

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m4j2t said:
Wait a minute...:shocked: pinch Damn that hurt pinch Oww :eek: OMG I CAN FEEL MY PECKER!!!:23: :biggrin5: :23:
:lol:

Someone make this their sig. so I don't have to...

Also, glad you found something that gave you a happy crotch. I just tried the Pro and will be trying a glider here in a day or two. Pro was a little wide in the nose for my tastes, but was otherwise wonderful. I've got my fingers crossed for the Glider working out.
 

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Excellent thread.
I had all sorts of saddle issues too. I was doing ok on Fizik Arione and Aliante but not as great as I wanted. So Steve Hogg (who fitted me) got me on to SMP Evolution. Apart from some sit-bone discomfort for the first 3-4 weeks it seems to work well. No numbness. The tilt angle is critical, you either have to have the nose-tail completely level (highest points of nose and rear, level) or if that does not work then nose down a touch, between 1 and 3 degrees (literally, 1-3). I like it level, for example. My riding buddy likes his SMP 3 degrees nose down.

A few other traps for new Selle SMP players. In typical Italian quality control fashion, the allen-key-head bolts that secure the rails to the underside rear of SMP saddle are not very tight ex-factory so be sure to check and re-tighten them when you get it new. Also, if you place the seat on completely flat (table) surface and you look at it from the rear end, some of them have one side of the rear raised a touch i.e. uneven, 1-2 degrees. Check in the shop before you buy to get the completely even seat. And thirdly, after a while they tend to slip on their rails. So be sure to check rail-seat position after each ride and re-tighten the seat-clamp. In my case it slipped back ~5mm after ~4 weeks of riding. Don't assume if it does not slip after 1-2 weeks it will stay "glued". It may or may not. Apart from that, very good seat. Expensive, so I hope it lasts a long time.
 
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