1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    seat question. go wider?

    I was looking for something more comfortable than the seat that came on my Rockhopper. I got measured today and recomended 143-155mm. i have been reading about various seats WTB pure V, Specialized Riva, and Crank Brothers Iodine 2 are the seats I was looking at.

    I think my factory seat is a 143mm does this mean I should go wider, or does it more rely on seat design. I'm 6ft 255lbs if that matters.

  2. #2
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    No matter what seat you use, it takes a number of rides to toughen up.
    Wait a few rides and see how things are. Then, if you feel like it still, go through some test rides including wider.

  3. #3
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    It does take some time to really find out if you have the correct saddle, give it some time. If it turns out you still are not happy see if you can find a shop that has the WTB Test Ride seats. The LBS I go to has all the different models and you can borrow them and try them out for a few rides.

  4. #4
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    ^ what he said

  5. #5
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    It would help if you could describe what hurts in what way. Pain can be skin-based, tissue, or bone -- and probably other as well. Do you get sores, does it feel too hard etc? As mentioned, it will take some time to get used to any saddle. Additionally, saddle height, forward-back positioning, and nose up/down positioning impact comfort. The range the store told you is practically the entire saddle width range except for super narrow road saddles. When your saddle is too wide you will likely chaffe on your inner thighs or buttocks. A seat that is too narrow will have your sitbone unsupported and it will feel very uncomfortable from the get-go. Then there are all issues having to do with the family jewels....
    Make sure you wear padded bike shorts with nothing underneath. Get fitted for saddle height and positioning at your bike shop. Analyze where the discomfort is and what it feels like.
    On top of all that everyone is different and even if a saddle is theoretically perfect for you another one might feel better. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Might consider some bike shorts with decent chamois as well. I won't ride without them. And as eb1888 said even the best most comfortable seat for you will take a couple rides to break in your backside. It shouldn't hurt but will probably be noticeably sore for at least the first couple. Its like when you first start lifting weights.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdeno0001 View Post
    I was looking for something more comfortable than the seat that came on my Rockhopper. I got measured today and recomended 143-155mm. i have been reading about various seats WTB pure V, Specialized Riva, and Crank Brothers Iodine 2 are the seats I was looking at.

    I think my factory seat is a 143mm does this mean I should go wider, or does it more rely on seat design. I'm 6ft 255lbs if that matters.
    Everyone is different, the only way to figure out what works best for you is to try everything...

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips, I've been looking at some affordable shorts to try out. My pain is deep, like on the ischial turberosities. no chaiffing or sores. I have my seat tilted back some trying to negate hand numbness (trying to get wt off my wrists/hands) . thanks for the replies

  9. #9
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    How many miles have you ridden and are you new to mtb or just the new saddle? Are you wearing padded shorts? Are you sitting too far back on it?

    The first thing you need to do is get used to riding. Even after years of riding you can lose your butt. When i lived in Ohio the first 2 or 3 ride of every spring would leave me with a sore butt. If you are brand new to riding for more than a recreational spin, it'll take some time.

    Specialized saddles are pretty good, even the cheaper ones. The only way to know what saddle will fit you is to ride them. Like someone else mentioned, the cheapest way to find the right saddle is to demo them. Give em at least 25 miles before making a decision. In the end, once you find the right saddle you will know it.

  10. #10
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    I'm new to mountain biking. Had another bike I rode quite a bit in FL (mostly road mileage) w/ similar problem. Sold it, got a new bike. I've probably rode 50+ miles on this bike on and offroad.

  11. #11
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    Getting measured as you have is a great start. I started riding 6 months ago on a seat that was too narrow (130mm) and it was painful from the very first ride. Initially I thought it was just a hard seat and it was just a matter of getting used to it and getting used to being in the saddle again. But after several weeks and many miles it didn't improve at all and worse still I was getting numbness down below during longer rides. I got measured and was recommended a 143mm saddle. I got a Specialized Henge that still felt pretty hard to me initially but because it was the right fit it has been great. I tried a couple of other Specialized seats which were pretty good too but I decided to stick with the Henge. The great thing about the Specialized seats is they have a 90 day return policy if you don't like the seat. That should be plenty of time to figure out if a seat is right for you.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdeno0001 View Post
    ... My pain is deep, like on the ischial turberosities. no chaiffing or sores.
    That (the "sit bones") is exactly where the main contact with the seat should be.

    ... so, quite probably your seat width is not too bad.
    Also, that is the place where I've had the aches if I've been away from bikes for extended periods. Sounds like it could be the not-used-to-it pains. Take it easy, keep you rides short enough, for now, that things don't get too painful.

    You mention that the nose of the seat is a little up to keep weight away from the hands. Careful with that: nose high can lead to pressures and restricted circulation to areas where you don't want restricted circulation...

    Very small changes in seat angle and position (up and down, forward and back) can make a huge difference. Try some tiny changes. Change one thing at a time, and make a note of what you did so that you can go back if the result is worse.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  13. #13
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    I wouldn't use the seat angle to affect a hand numbness problem.
    I use Ergon grips rotated until most comfortable for numbness free riding.
    Other options include a shorter stem and riser bars with more sweep.
    You can also use a setback seat post to get a good balance position for downhills.

  14. #14
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    Agreed, the seat angle is not going to assist in the hand numbness much. Your hand numbness is excess pressure you are placing on your wrists/hands. As you sit on your bike, you should have your hands and arms in line, not bent at the wrists (basically). Elbows should be out some, also in line only slightly bent down toward ground. Then, you should adjust the brake levers and shift levers to maintain this line. Also, when riding on flat, your arms shouldn't bare much weight as you ride. If you are too forward, consider a shorter stem and/or riser bars to position your body weight more toward the rear over the seat.

    Here is more info:How To Set Up A Mountain Bike - BikeRadar

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  15. #15
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    I say demo another saddle. Go wider to start and then try a narrower saddle if the wider one still bugs your butt. As far as width, you should know very soon after riding these other two where your proper size is. After that, could be just a different saddle that cures you.

  16. #16
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    Re: seat question. go wider?

    Seat angle tilt does affect hand pressure. Look it up on Sheldon brown. Whatever seat you get, play around with tilt and for aft adjustment's

  17. #17
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    I would suggest you adjust your saddle and start with it level. ride a few times, then start pointing it downward slightly until you find a comfortable position. I actually use a level to set mine so I can make very small adjustments til I get it where I want.

    You mention you're a big guy, hand numbness can have different causes. Do you have a large hand? I do and the stock grips on any new bike I've had were always too small in diameter.
    I searched for the largest diameter grips I could find, I've been using ODI Rogue lock on ever since. Helped a lot.
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  18. #18
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    It's also worth noting that some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to saddle selection and positioning. Either way, I don't think 50 miles is enough to reach a conclusion unless you are miserable every time you ride.

  19. #19
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    Well, over 100+ on the seat. Today was my furthest ride, did 20 miles, and it was rough. Moving to a larger city soon, I'm going to get some chamois' and hoping they have a seat program if not I'm going to buy a larger seat. Today a lot of my discomfort was in the groin (taint area) vs sit bones. I'll keep you guys posted, thanks for the help.

  20. #20
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    The taint issue might be due to having the saddle improperly positioned. You mentioned earlier that you have it tilted back, I wouldn't be surprised if that is putting some pressure on the ol' taint. Alternatively you could be uncomfortable sitting in the proper position on the saddle and so its possible that you are moving forward a little bit in an attempt to alleviate that particular discomfort.

    I think it takes most people a fairly long time to find a saddle that works. I've gone through more than I can count. At the end of the day it was width that mattered to me (I was on the wide side so it was 150mm that worked). You mentioned in the OP that you are rated at 143-155 and using a 143mm width. Have you tried the wider size at all? For me having the sit bones even barely off the saddle or misaligned a bit was a deal breaker and the wider saddle made all the difference in the world.

    Hang in there and keep trying, it can be a bit discouraging.

  21. #21
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    Have you tried padded cycling shorts?

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