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  1. #1
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    Most comfortable saddle for commuting?

    I can't seem to find a comfortable commuting saddle. I've tried many, the most recent being a Brooks saddle. They said it would get broken in and the leather would conform to your body, but, after 500 miles, the Brooks saddle still hurts. Any suggestions....I love to ride but tired of the pain/numbness down below.

    Thanks.
    Nothing is impossible to him who will try. Alexander the Great

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I can't seem to find a comfortable commuting saddle. I've tried many, the most recent being a Brooks saddle. They said it would get broken in and the leather would conform to your body, but, after 500 miles, the Brooks saddle still hurts. Any suggestions....I love to ride but tired of the pain/numbness down below.

    Thanks.
    That's such an intensely personal question it's hard to make any helpful suggestions except maybe to demo a saddle. I am thrilled with my Brooks, but I bought it used and it was already broken in. I do 44mi commutes on it without complaint.

  3. #3
    jrm
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    Have the width of your sit bones measured and buy the appropriate saddle. Also, are you riding in street clothes?

  4. #4
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    I've ridden in street clothes and bike clothes. I talked to a guy at the bike shop who said to give the Brooks more time to break in. He said 500 miles isn't enough but I'll love it once it is broken in.
    Nothing is impossible to him who will try. Alexander the Great

  5. #5
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    Woman here, but I think Specialized does a good job with saddles, much more anatomically oriented then a Brooks. I believe the dealers have some demo saddles that you can try out (WTB also has a demo program). I look for something not too racy/minimalist, but not overbulky/padded either. While it's impossible to determine if any one saddle will work for any one person, some have a better track record in the comfort department than others. I was sold on one when the shop said they had only ever had one of that model returned (warning- most don't allow this). Specialized Bicycle Components

  6. #6
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    Very personal thing, but for me, WTB PureV is the most comfortable saddle I own, have now switch all my bikes to one. Love WTB, have used and not had problems with the RocketV, SpeedV, LazerV, but definitely love the PureV. I regularly commute 20+ miles on mine, no worries, very comfortable.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  7. #7
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    Go to a bike shop and get measured. They'll have you sit on a piece of foam and give you the width of your butt bones so you know what width saddle you need. That's a great starting point. I would stay away from Specialized shops. I have been measured at 2 shops, the Specialized one gives you a color, not a width, so it's just good for Specialized saddles. Screw you, Specialized. Every other brand in the world uses normal widths in MM. I'm surprised they haven't sued Crayola for using the same colors as them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Very personal thing, but for me, WTB PureV is the most comfortable saddle I own, have now switch all my bikes to one. Love WTB, have used and not had problems with the RocketV, SpeedV, LazerV, but definitely love the PureV. I regularly commute 20+ miles on mine, no worries, very comfortable.
    +1 On the PureV. You can get them on Nashbar for $30. What ever words they put after PureV like "Race", "Comp", SL, SE... seem to be changes in the look and a few grams here or there but they all seem about the same.

    I had a WTB Sliverado on my 9er and it was pretty unpleasant at the end of 12 mile commutes. I put the PureV on and did a 63 mile ride in comfort. Live everybody has said, in saddles, what's good for some may not work for others.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    +1 On the PureV. You can get them on Nashbar for $30. What ever words they put after PureV like "Race", "Comp", SL, SE... seem to be changes in the look and a few grams here or there but they all seem about the same.

    I had a WTB Sliverado on my 9er and it was pretty unpleasant at the end of 12 mile commutes. I put the PureV on and did a 63 mile ride in comfort. Live everybody has said, in saddles, what's good for some may not work for others.
    The Silverado is really narrow, the PureV is wide.

  10. #10
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    Silverado is hard as a board, PureV has some padding.

    Obviously, some people like the Silverado. I just sold mine on ebay the other day.

  11. #11
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    Try Specialized Toupe or Phenom. They have minimal padding - but the shell conforms perfectly(flexes) to your body like a sculpted horseback saddle does. Both has a money back guarantee...so it's risk-free.

    I also like Fizik Gobi and Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow. Not cheap, but works great. For me - money is NO OBJECT...when it comes to saddles. It's the most important aspect of my ride!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Silverado is hard as a board, PureV has some padding.

    Obviously, some people like the Silverado. I just sold mine on ebay the other day.
    Also true. I have a WTB DEVO which is essentially the Silverado but 15mm wider and I love it, so for me, it's not the hardness, rather the fact that it's too narrow (that's what she said?).

  13. #13
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    Another vote for WTB - I really like the Pure V, but the Speed V and Rocket V also work well for me. (one of my bikes came with a WTB Valcon which seemed designed to injure me)

    I'd had some durability problems, though. I returned a Speed V because it developed play within the first few weeks of riding. Got a replacement, and returned that when it did the same thing. Then I switched to a Pure V which was better, but I still ended up warrantying it when it loosened up in less than a year.

    Now I've got two Pure Vs and one Rocket V which are all 2~3 years old and seem to be holding up okay, so maybe the other ones were bad luck? In either case, they're comfy enough that I'm a loyal customer.

  14. #14
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    I had to move the Brooks B17 from the Duchess where in the drops I am about where racers are in the tops, to the errand bike where I would be upright if I had swept back bars. The B17 was making my left leg ache if I was riding in the drops into the wind. So I put a Professional on to replace it. I found the tilt highly critical to comfort with it. One notch too low in front and I was sliding forward and riding the nose and not my sit bones. One click too high and the nose was getting too intimate. The Goldilocks position is great, though!

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I've heard good things about WTB also and that was going to be my next saddle. The guy at REI told me to give the Brooks some more time. Maybe I'll give it a three more months and see.
    Nothing is impossible to him who will try. Alexander the Great

  16. #16
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    Those Brooks saddles are expensive as hell and sorry, but for me I don't think I should need to be in discomfort for 500+ miles before a saddle starts to feel good. AFAIK REI has a good return policy, return the
    brooks and get the WTB PureV, INSTANTLY you'll know how it feels, although yes it will "break in" a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I've heard good things about WTB also and that was going to be my next saddle. The guy at REI told me to give the Brooks some more time. Maybe I'll give it a three more months and see.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  17. #17
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    I've had good luck with the WTB Speed V ProGel Saddle on all of my mtn bikes I used for commuting.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    The guy at REI told me
    There's your problem. Don't get me wrong, I love REI, but their employees very often aren't experts by any means, especially in the bike department. I've heard them give some questionable advice more than once.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Those Brooks saddles are expensive as hell and sorry, but for me I don't think I should need to be in discomfort for 500+ miles before a saddle starts to feel good. .
    Yes, they are expensive. I got 35 years out of my first one. They also have a partially broken in series in some models. But they don't work for everyone.

  20. #20
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    Curious if the OP has wet his saddle to help it conform to his derier? AFAIK that's something you have to do with one of those leather saddles or it will take WAY too long - could be wrong though
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  21. #21
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    Most comfortable saddle for commuting?

    Adamo saddles

  22. #22
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    after 500 miles, the Brooks saddle still hurts.
    Three of my bikes are set up with different brooks saddles. Break-in depends on the model, and the comfort also depends on how the saddle is setup on bike.

    What model do you have? Pro, B17, Swift, etc.

    Have you put proofhide on it? A lot underneath, and some on the top? Ridden in rain? If you try and protect it too much, it won't break in.
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  23. #23
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    PM me if you decide to sell your Brooks

    I can't wrap my mind around having a saddle that requires maintenance, but if I could get a used one cheap I'd see how many winters I could get out of it without giving it any attention at all. If you sell it to me, put the proofhide on it before you ship, because that's the last time it's going to get any love.

    I am very curious about the new Brooks Cambium... no maintenance, and it would look sweet on my bike. Don't want to pay for it though.

    I have a Selle Italia that I like a lot, a WTB that is too wide, a FSA that is pretty comfy but a bit stiff, and a Sette (Pricepoint house brand) that is surprisingly comfy.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I am very curious about the new Brooks Cambium... no maintenance, and it would look sweet on my bike. Don't want to pay for it though.
    I kindof love that "Immediately Comfortable" is one of the big features of the Cambium.

  25. #25
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    After 17 years of riding all sorts of different saddles, the Brooks B17 on my commuter right is the most comfortable I've been on. However, when I bought it, it took me a few days to get it dialed in. This is literally a saddle that will go from incredibly uncomfortable to sitting on a barcalounger just by adjusting the position a degree or two. I can only recommend a two-bolt seatpost when using a Brooks, anything else won't have the fine-adjustment capability (like the one-bolt posts with notches in the clamp).
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  26. #26
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    I was thinking of this thread the other day and I can't believe that I wrote it 4 years ago. I still have the Brooks saddle and, I must say, at this point, it is soooooo comfortable to ride in. Strava says that I have now ridden 2,431.5 mi on this saddle. Its interesting because, it feels like the longer I ride on it, the more comfortable it gets. Hopefully, the leather won't wear out and I will have to buy a new one and start over. I think, looking back, it took about 7-800 miles to break it in.
    Nothing is impossible to him who will try. Alexander the Great

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I was thinking of this thread the other day and I can't believe that I wrote it 4 years ago. I still have the Brooks saddle and, I must say, at this point, it is soooooo comfortable to ride in. Strava says that I have now ridden 2,431.5 mi on this saddle. Its interesting because, it feels like the longer I ride on it, the more comfortable it gets. Hopefully, the leather won't wear out and I will have to buy a new one and start over. I think, looking back, it took about 7-800 miles to break it in.
    That's great news.
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  28. #28
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    Leather saddles take some time to break in as everyone will tell you. Brooks says to only use their "Proofide" on their saddles. I use mink oil and liberally apply it to the underside. It softens them up and makes them more pliable which many will say ruins them, but they break in much faster.
    For commuting, I use the same saddle style that I use on my road bike, mountain bike and bikepacking bike. All of them are leather.
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  29. #29
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    If the size, shape and position isn't right, it will never be comfortable. I'd go to a shop and try some out. If you have wider bones maybe try something old school like a Rolls or Turbo.

  30. #30
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    I had some used brooks saddles and it took ages to break them in. Also they move your sitting position fwd so much I couldnt compensate for it without a new seatpost.

    I know brooks has some models that use "aged" leather , that should be more comfortable from the beginning and break in faster.

    I myself have an sq lab 602 active which works best for me and after 4 years and 15tkm it still feels the same as when it was new. It is starting to look worn a bit, wont last 35years like brianmc's brooks I guess...but I think 7-8 years is possible.

    Leather saddles are not good when you are wearing jeans or something similar cotton. I ruined several jeans when I was trying them out.

  31. #31
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    doesn't the B17 have a tension adjustment? OP have you tried fooling with that?
    I recently acquired a Selle Anatomica and it took awhile to dial in, both for position and tension. It works for me, but I won't recommend any saddle to anybody. Butts are kind of a personal thing. No two are alike. I know. I'm a guy and summer is here and, well, the female version gets noticed.
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  32. #32
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    The tension adjustment is to take up slack as the leather ages.

    My B17 was uncomfortable for me on the Mercian but excellent on the errand bike where I sit more upright. I got a Competition for the Mercian and it is excellent for the ride position I use on it. I have both back as far as they can go and that seems about perfect.

  33. #33
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    I have a Selle Anatomica. They are good unless you are heavy on ehtm and then there are issues with the rails bending.

    I have a Brooks B17 imperial on our tandem and then 2 Rivet cycle Works leather saddles on my bikepacking and road bike.

    I also don't wear chamois bibs or shorts any more. Just plan old Lycra for me. It is a personal decision for every one.
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