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  1. #1
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    Saddles, Seats what do U use for yur commuters

    What kind of saddle/seats do you use on your commuters?

    --I'm looking for a new saddle, the original on my rockhopper comp was extremely uncomfortable and left me sore. I used to Ride an old dept store schwinn, and believe it or not it was very comfortable, and since I've added a gel seat cover its even plusher.

    --i've since swapped out my old schwinn saddle w/ gel covering onto my rockhopper, but it looks .... it just doesnt look right and maybe its an ego superficial thing, but i just want a nice looking comfortable saddle.

    ------So i was wondering what saddles everyone is using?
    ------And... why are the plush seats bad for you. i've been reading on this website and have read that the plush seats are bad, and that you need a firmer one that gets you to use your sit bones??

    -Cheers!
    Last edited by firstlast; 03-07-2009 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Brooks Champion Flyer...I like the spung suspension. Other wise the Brooks B17 will be the most comfortable saddle you'll ever own. Gel is NOT good. Breaks down quickly. A suspended leather saddle...properly maintained...will last a lifetime and form fit to your body shape.

  3. #3
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I use a Schwinn Pillow Top Cruiser Saddle. It's comfy for a 9-to-5 commute, but all the bouncing around does make for some inefficiency. I'm thinking of switching to the Brooks B17 as well.
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  4. #4
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    Selle Royal Viper

    got 'er for quite cheap from the "used saddle" bin at the bike shop...you might look there yourself
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  5. #5
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    Brooks B17 special.

  6. #6
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    Brooks B17 here too.

  7. #7
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    I use the Selle Royal Alpine. Outstanding comfort for the price in my opinion.
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  8. #8
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    E3 form saddle, a nice saddle
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  9. #9
    Blind biker
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    I use an orgin 8 velo saddle. I dont know how you all can use saddles with so much padding. I would prefer a lighter race one but there too expensive. Maybe its the fact that I try to maintain at least 16mph and >10mph when climbing hills and I treat it as more of a training ride then a relaxing commute.
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  10. #10
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    WTB Rocket V Team

    I'm still in the market for a seat for my MTB and tried a couple of different seats on my commuter but nothing was as comfortable as the WTB. I'm doing 14mi each way, btw.

  11. #11
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    Brooks B17 in British Racing Green to match my Langster. The copper rails and rivets are a nice touch. It was a rough go for the first 300 miles but it's breaking in now and the most comfortable saddle I own of my 5 bikes.
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  12. #12
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    Why is a saddle w/ lots of padding bad?

  13. #13
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    From Sheldonbrown.com:

    When a cyclist finds a saddle uncomfortable, the first impulse is often to look for a soft one. This is often a mistake. Just as the softest mattress is not necessarily the most comfortable to sleep on, the softest saddle is not the most comfortable to cycle on.

    The "Two Bump Problem"
    Imagine sitting down on a coffee table. Your weight is concentrated on the two bumps of your "sit bones", also known as the "ischial tuberosities." These are the parts of your body designed to bear your seated weight. Most cases of saddle-related discomfort arise because the load is carried on the soft tissues between the sit bones.
    Imagine placing a soft pillow on top of the coffee table. Now, as you sit down on it, the sit bones compress the pillow, which yields until the sit bones are almost on the table surface again. The difference is that now, you have pressure in between your sit bones from the middle part of the pillow. Many cyclists are unaware of this, and many saddles are made to appeal to the purchaser who chooses a saddle on the basis of how easily the thumb can sink into the squishy top. This type of saddle is only comfortable for very short rides, (though an inexperienced cyclist will often find it more comfortable than a better saddle, as long as rides don't exceed a mile or two.)

    Saddles with excessive padding are also a common cause of painful chafing of the inner thigh, as rides become longer.

    You can read the whole articles here : http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
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  14. #14
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    Brooks B17.

  15. #15
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    I picked mine out of the garbage at the LBS.

  16. #16
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    Me too

    I bought an unused WTB rocket V demo saddle for next to nothing from a shop that was going out of biz.

  17. #17
    weirdo
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    I don`t even know what brand the saddle on my commuter is- a buddy gave it to me, I tried it and liked it, it stayed. Terry Fly on my touring bike, KHS kids bike saddle on my mtb.

    Saddles are tough to pin down sometimes. I think the best bet is to borrow, beg, buy used, whatever you can to avoid spending a lot on one you aren`t sure about. Try as many as you can and find out what you like. Not to say that a good saddle isn`t a good investment, but sheesh- at $60 and up per shot, if you have to buy a half dozen before you find one you like you`re talking serious money. A lot of bike shops have boxes of used or take off saddles for cheap and I`ve heard some online places will ship you a whole load of them for you to try and you send back the ones you don`t want at the end.

  18. #18
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    Brooks B17 Narrow. Just breaking it in.

  19. #19
    PCC
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    Everyone is different. Everyone's anatomy is different. Suggesting a saddle to work for you is virtually impossible because your anatomy where you sit on a saddle is different from mine or just about everyone else's on these forums. You just need to try different saddles until you find one that works for you. The problem is that you cannot say what will work for you until you have ridden it for a few hours at a time to be absolutely sure. My buddy thought he liked the Fizik Arione but it would litterally be a PITA for him after riding for two hours or more. He has since switched to a Selle Italia and likes it a lot more.

    Once you have found the saddle that works for you then buy as many of that model saddle as you have bikes then buy a few spares, just in case.

    I'm fortunate in that the Fizik Aliante works for me. My road bikes and my commuter have Aliantes, two Sport models and two Carbon Twin-Flex models with carbon rails. My mountain bike has a Fizik Pave saddle on it and it works great for me as well.

    The only saddle that can be said to be the most universally comfortable saddle made would probably be a broken in Brooks or any broken in leather shell saddle in that style. Note that I said "broken in" because they are said to be uncomfortable for most people until the leather has shaped itself to your hind side. Also note that a Brooks that is broken in for your friend may not necessarily be comfortable for you because it was form fitted to his/her anatomy, not yours. I still want to get one but my Fizik saddles work so well for me that I can't see trying a different saddle that needs to be broken in and needs to be shielded from getting soaked by rain.

  20. #20
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    A Charge Spoon Cro-mo.

  21. #21
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    Great topic- my preference would be a gel saddle from one of the premium brands like WTB or Terry. No break in period and I've ridden for hours without any pain or numbness.

  22. #22
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Ummm... I am kinda for the no padding. Any ride for 8 miles or less I'll do most stock saddles without biking shorts. I have two Rocket V Races and some bontrager random thing. For long rides I have an old Forte SLR that is the most comfortable saddle ever, with bike shorts.

  23. #23
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    Another vote for minimal padding, for just the reasons that KiatKiat included in the SB quote.
    Along these lines, since you're asking about the negative aspect of heavily padded saddles, another complication here is that the subjective comfort of a saddle, and whether you're squashing your soft bits in a bad way, aren't well correlated, short of serious numbness. Sports medicine studies show that saddles that riders report as being perfectly comfortable can seriously compress soft tissues and restrict oxygen to them.
    That means that IF one of your concerns was soft tissue compression (not saying it needs to be) when it comes to a saddle, using comfort as your primary gauge isn't necessarily serving you well. Usual good advice about saddles is just what PCC said, which is that everybody's anatomy is different etc. This is true, though it's also true that there are enough similarities across individuals within the average range that some saddle designs can address compression issues for most people. There are a lot of gimmicks out there, of course (like many, but not all of the cutout designs), and a few demonstrated effective design features. The simplest of these is saddle width, especially with a raised rear section.
    I'm not a strong fan in general, but the Specialized BG saddles offer various widths, and you can find something thin and flexy, which, while likely to be a bit uncomfortable on the sit bones at first, can translate into greater comfort and blood flow for long commutes for which you're primarily in the saddle. A few other saddle makers have designs with various widths (Koobi, the outrageously expensive Selle SMP).
    Again, if simple comfort is your primary concern, cast the net wide and try lots of stuff (in the relevant price range). If you're also concerned about blood flow issues, narrow the search to saddles with more width options, raised perches in the rear, and particular kinds of cutouts, then try to find something comfortable from among those.

  24. #24
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    A decent saddle with gel has a thin layer of gel padding that's firm, which is different from the comfort gels addles sold years ago.

  25. #25
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    so i guess the brooks b17 is pretty popular, its def a nice lookin seat, just dont know that it would look right on my bike. i'd like to find one that looked thinner and "sporty"?? AND felt good, i know its a little superficial and shallow, but whatever... i still use mine for trails too and i picture the b17 more on a rigid or on a bike used only/solely for commuting.... There's a couple bikes on the "post your commuters thread" : Post your commuter photos! w/ the brooks that are absolutely swEEt, especially the all black towards the end, really nice.

    but thats just me, but i'm a noob so what do i know....

    ---Reading the suggestions and input from This thread though played a huge part in letting me know whats up.... for exmple..

    ---i read the post by sheldon recommeded 2 me above.. i've read it b4 but a LONG time ago, and anyways, reread it, his whole site is pretty informative, but i guess i've been sitting on the SPONGY ,CUSHY, FOAMY seats for so long that my 'sit' bones were not used to the 'proper seats'. After reading it, I decided to put my old stock 'rockhopper' saddle back on, and give it another shot, the one i thought was hard as rocks, (its a specialized Body geometry and its got that little groove indent for the 'plumbing')

    I put the original 'hard seat' back on, because the cushy seat w/ the extra gel cover.... it turns out, on long rides it actually smooshed my 'plumbng' worse and began to notice it. Bcuz it was so soft, all my weight ended up resting on that 'area' cuz the the soft foam and gel just soaked up all my body weight... anyways i've been riding my stock seat for a little over a week now... everyday, and though my sit bones were sore the 1st couple days, i'm actually used to it now, and I kinda like it and think its a decent saddle... (for me anyways), i guess i just needed to condition my sit bones.


    Anyways....I'm glad i read that bit about conditioning the sit bones and think its a pretty important factor.

    --Something that might help during the conditioning of your seat bones, IT helped me at least, was that after the 1st day, my butt bones were pretty sore and felt very tender, so the 2nd day, i kinda cheated and actually used the gel saddle cover over the "hard" saddle, then the 3rd day, still a little tender... i used the gel saddle for only part of my ride, like the 1st half hour, until the tenderness in my bones kinda went away, then on the 4thday and ever since i've been using only the saddle w/o the gel cover, and my sit bones are totally used to it, and I really like my stock specialized bg saddle now...

    its funny though, bcuz originally i thought there's no possible way anybody could ride such a hard uncomfortable crappy seat, but now i really like that seat.


    Also---i've sat on a couple saddles since, and the ones that stuck out were:

    charge spoon: http://www.sicklines.com/news-images...n_saddle9s.jpg

    someone mentioned it above and i think the spoon charge was awesome, it doesnt really have that plumbing groove cut into the seats and i guess i was looking for something like that, (where there's an actual slit in the saddle as opposed to just the indent in the cushioning), but its comfortable and looked nice.... and again felt realllly comfortable.

    specialized toupe: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1
    actually felt good to me also. and i say that w/ hesitation only because i 've read some mixed reviews on it and bcuz it looks sooo streamline and thin there's no way it could be comfortable, but i would be one that really liked it. it felt nice.... it was firm but actually really forgiving bcuz it kinda flexes and there's just enough gel which makes it comfortable, plus it comes in diff sizes, which helps me bcuz i have wider sit bones. It also definitely looked nice (IMO), but was too rich for my blood....

    just my .02.

    cheers!
    Last edited by firstlast; 03-17-2009 at 06:52 PM.

  26. #26
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    hey firstlast,
    glad to hear you've had some progress with the saddle search.
    Just an FYI, when it comes to cutouts in saddles to protect the plumbing, the details matter a lot. Some cutouts, depending on shape and depth, can actually be worse for compression -- again, while different folks have slightly different anatomies, there are sports med studies that show that, across a sample of riders, on average some types of cutouts compress and restrict blood flow more than some kinds of non-cutout saddles. I wouldn't use the presence of a cutout as a simple indication that it'll be better for the plumbing. As I mentioned in the earlier post, width plays a big role in plumbing issues.
    BTW, I too was impressed with the Toupe because of the variable widths and the flexy shell. It's too rich for me too, but I was able to find a super deal on a Phenom on ebay. It's the same design, but MTB specific. You might check it out and look for deals if you really liked the Toupe.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pithecoid
    hey firstlast,
    glad to hear you've had some progress with the saddle search.
    Just an FYI, when it comes to cutouts in saddles to protect the plumbing, the details matter a lot. Some cutouts, depending on shape and depth, can actually be worse for compression -- again, while different folks have slightly different anatomies, there are sports med studies that show that, across a sample of riders, on average some types of cutouts compress and restrict blood flow more than some kinds of non-cutout saddles. I wouldn't use the presence of a cutout as a simple indication that it'll be better for the plumbing. As I mentioned in the earlier post, width plays a big role in plumbing issues.
    BTW, I too was impressed with the Toupe because of the variable widths and the flexy shell. It's too rich for me too, but I was able to find a super deal on a Phenom on ebay. It's the same design, but MTB specific. You might check it out and look for deals if you really liked the Toupe.

    hey thanks for the heads up on the phenom.. i'll keep my eyes open, i just check it out and it does look similar and if it also feels like the toupe, i'm sure it'll be comfortable.

  28. #28
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    Brooks B17 Champion Flyer on my commuter, Brooks B17 on my road bike. Both are great!

  29. #29
    Devo
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    a Thudbuster takes the edge off almost anything...
    saddle: Selle San Marco, Regal
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  30. #30
    viva la v-brakes!
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    For the record, not everyone likes the B-17. I got one for my touring bike a few years back and tried really hard to like it but it was uncomfortable to the point of being painful. It made it from San Fran to Las Vegas and I dumped it for a smile WTB SST. Not perfect but much better for me. The B-17 is also really heavy.

    Personally, WTB SST on my regular commuter and Fizik Arione on my fixie and touring bikes.
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  31. #31
    Devo
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473
    For the record, not everyone likes the B-17. I got one for my touring bike a few years back and tried really hard to like it but it was uncomfortable to the point of being painful. It made it from San Fran to Las Vegas and I dumped it for a smile WTB SST. Not perfect but much better for me. The B-17 is also really heavy.

    Personally, WTB SST on my regular commuter and Fizik Arione on my fixie and touring bikes.
    what blows my mind is to think that if they get caught in a rain storm, or i guess, prolonged wet, the saddle gets all mushy

    or something to the likes...

    where it looses its shape...

    like, what? this is supposed to be cool?
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  32. #32
    OlTime XR500 JumpingChamp
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    LOL, I use a Planet Bike elastomer saddle on my 12 mile commute,with my Marin San Anselmo best $30 I've spent...

  33. #33
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    Let me dispell the myth

    Quote Originally Posted by SelfPropelledDevo
    what blows my mind is to think that if they get caught in a rain storm, or i guess, prolonged wet, the saddle gets all mushy

    or something to the likes...

    where it looses its shape...

    like, what? this is supposed to be cool?
    A. Yeah, a leather saddle requires a little maintenance.
    B. A properly treated Brooks is not affected by a little water...just dry with a towel when it gets wet.
    C. Ever hear of a DryRide saddle cover? I was using one long before I bought Brooks leather.
    D. Brooks aren't for everyone. They are NOT light (although the Ti model gets close), they get more comfortable with age/use, they are durable, they are "classic" and not for someone looking for something that looks "modern".
    E. If you can't appreciate a Brooks for what it is, PLEASE do NOT buy one.
    F. The OP asked the question...judging by the answers, the Brooks is pretty popular among commuters.

  34. #34
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    I have a Brooks B17 Champion Flyer on one commuter and a Brooks B17 on the other. They both fit well with little break-in time needed. I used a Brooks 17N (narrower than the B17) for about 1000 miles but it was too narrow for my butt.
    Granted these saddles require additional maintenance but they last a long time.
    5-10 years use is not unusual. Prior to getting my first Brooks I would wear out a saddle about once a year. Both my Brooks are 4 years old with no real signs of wear.
    If you want something narrower try the Brooks B17N (152mm wide) or the Velo Orange leather saddle "VO Saddle, Model 6" (150mm wide) both are well made and should last a long, long time.

    Good luck,
    b3ksmith
    The truth will set you free... But first it will piss you off

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfPropelledDevo
    a Thudbuster takes the edge off almost anything...
    saddle: Selle San Marco, Regal

    i've got to admit, i've been admiring your bike for some time now and have read up on your biking camping trip.... nice.

    and beautiful bike.

  36. #36
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfPropelledDevo
    a Thudbuster takes the edge off almost anything...
    saddle: Selle San Marco, Regal
    I tried to like a Thudbuster seatpost but couldn't get over the lengthening top tube as the saddle dropped down. This is due to the linkage allowing the saddle to go backwards as well as downwards as it travels.

  37. #37
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    b3ksmith - I've been debating between the b-17 and the flyer for my commuter. Is there anything about one you like better than the other? I've never ridden a sprung saddle, does it make the ride any more comfortable?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    b3ksmith - I've been debating between the b-17 and the flyer for my commuter. Is there anything about one you like better than the other? I've never ridden a sprung saddle, does it make the ride any more comfortable?
    I like the Flyer best of the two saddles. Although its the heavier of the two, the springs give a bit more cushion on my aluminum hardtail. I was going to get a B17 and a suspension seatpost but I was intrigued by the spring saddle, so I gambled.
    Its like having 1/2" or so of rear suspension. The saddle's spring action was a bit disconcerting at first, I kept thinking I was getting a flat. I weigh 220 lbs, so the spring will should be stiffer if you are lighter.
    The flyer is very comfortable, a little squeeky (this is my first sprung saddle) but good all around. My next bike will also have a Flyer.

    Good luck
    b3ksmith
    The truth will set you free... But first it will piss you off

  39. #39
    Map Maker
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    my saddles
    Brooks B-17 laced
    Brooks B-17
    Selle An-Atomica
    Brooks Champion Flyer.

    My Brooks might be a bit heavier than other saddles but it is 10 times more comfortable.
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  40. #40
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    Serfas Rx - it works very well

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