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Thread: Saddle choices

  1. #1
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    Saddle choices

    I'm wondering what everyone has luck with for endurance racing saddles. So far, my experience is limited to one 10-hour race, where I rode a WTB Volt Race. While the Volt was comfortable for 5 hour rides in the past, I was getting really, really sore after about 7 or 8 hours. I can't imagine riding it for 24.

    Who knows, maybe I would have been even more sore on something else, though. Does anyone have luck with softer saddles?

  2. #2
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    Ass Callus

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden_Monkey View Post
    I'm wondering what everyone has luck with for endurance racing saddles. So far, my experience is limited to one 10-hour race, where I rode a WTB Volt Race. While the Volt was comfortable for 5 hour rides in the past, I was getting really, really sore after about 7 or 8 hours. I can't imagine riding it for 24.

    Who knows, maybe I would have been even more sore on something else, though. Does anyone have luck with softer saddles?
    Soft is bad juju over the long haul. Leads to more chafing. YMMV, but soft won't help.

    I am totally satisfied with Specialized BG saddles. I have them on all my bikes, and I can sit them for 24 hours. They have gone through a bit of redesign since the last one I got, but I'm guessing I'd still like the newer ones. They have three width sizes to match the width or your sit bones. Good shops that carry them will have a little "ass-ometer" that helps you measure the spread of your sit bones so you can select the appropriate sized saddle. I'm good on the middle size. Probably most people are--bell curve you know.

    Another key thing for me is developing an armor-like ass callus. My strategy is to get my ass well-broken in during training, then carry a little chamois butt'r so that if things start getting chafed and uncomfortable I can lube up my scar tissue and keep on rolling. I don't use any embrocation for normal riding, or for that matter even big long rides until I start feeling discomfort. Not using it for 90% of riding helps me develop an elephant-skin layer under the sit bones, and the old nerve endings appreciate a little lube treat when things do get ouchy.

    My $.02
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  3. #3
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    I've enjoyed my Ergon saddle. I think Ergon does a really good job in the points of contact arena on a bike.

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    I had forgotten about the Specialized ass-ometer. I'm pretty sure I have access to one here. I should definitely give that a try.

    The weird thing about that experience at the 10-hour race was I didn't have any chafing discomfort at all. It was all muscular/sit-bone discomfort.

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    Get used to is important

    I have my fizik arzione for over a year and rode stage races And 100 milers in Wet weather And dry hot races never had a problem

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    - I use Fizik Gobi saddles and really like them but you must find the saddle that fits you. As said above, softness is not really important. The most important thing is that the saddle must not rub when you pedal!
    - Get some good bib shorts with a high quality pad - that really makes a difference. Cheap, thin shorts for training rides, then the Assos super comfy wonder shorts for the race.
    - Some people swear by balms, though I haven't really used them but they might help you.
    - Stand up at regular intervals to let the blood flow to all those bits that you have been squashing.
    - The biggest factor, I think though, is saddle time, as El-Novato said. Many hours in the saddle will really toughen up your sit bones so you don't get that pressure-ache.

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    Look at Cobb cycling.

    John knows his stuff. I sent him a question about my wifes problem with her current saddle and within a day he replied and had actually done research on cadavers to study and come up with a solution to what she was complaining about.

    I do really long stuff and the V-flow plus works for me. Good return policy also. Email him with your situation and he will make a reccomendation and stand behind his products.

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    Wow, these just look comfortable:

    Mountain Bike Saddles

    A little pricey, of course, but this is one thing I'm definitely willing to spend on.

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    Adamo has an interesting design:

    Adamo Peak | Ideal Saddle Modification

  10. #10
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    I'm happy with my Specialized Phenom up until about hour 5 or 6. Ergon's offering has been the ticket for a couple 24 solos and some bikepacking.

    Saddles are so personal though... I have a teammate that loves his saddle and I'd rather sit on a pincushion. Ride other people's stuff and check with your LBS to see if they have something you can demo.

  11. #11
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    Saddle choices

    I have been wanting to upgrade the WTB Pure V on my CX/gravel road bike to something lighter. The saddle came off an old girlfriend's Mongoose. Goofy thing is, the saddle is "comfortable" for 30+ hrs.

    I used the lighter leather/Ti version of the Pure V when I started endurance MTB racing. Raced it until the leather came apart at the stitched seams.

    I heard from a much more accomplished rider that the WTB Pure V was his endurance gravel road saddle of choice too. I have heard others call them a$$ hatchets. YMMV, obviously.

  12. #12
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    I've never figured out what it is, but every once in a while I will just have a "bad ass" day.

    A saddle, bike, position setup I've used comfortably for years on long rides will just be painful.

    Usually, if I just ride through it with some extra standing up or otherwise taking a short break, things work themselves out and everything goes back to normal.

    I've never found a rhyme or reason to it, so I wouldn't start changing things until you're really sure there is a problem.

  13. #13
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    I use to ride an old beat up Selle Italia SLR on my old dually, I found this more then comfortable for 12 or so hours. A Fizik Arione on the road bike which i found I could sit on for hours at a time... Now days the MTB has a well worn Fizik Gobi, and the roadie is getting another Arione in a week or so.

    I think shape should take precedence over softness, a saddle with either suit your arse or it wont. Making it / getting a softer one might not necessarily help!

    Per the above, a good set of bibs will work wonders...
    Cul is a regretted trademark of the CulBaire Co'op Pty Ltd, as are his random ramblings and associated ********.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Again View Post
    I have been wanting to upgrade the WTB Pure V on my CX/gravel road bike to something lighter.
    I agree - I used to ride the WTB Silverado on my gravel bike, but as my mileage went up I wanted more padding to smooth things out on the washboard. So I tried the Rocket V which is pretty similar in dimensions except with taller padding in the back. That was better for sure but the saddle never clicked for me - it was never uncomfortable, but I never had those "wow, this saddle is comfortable" moments either. Then I tried the Laser V which has similar padding but is wider and that's the one that's really working for me. The Pure V looks like it would split the difference between the Laser and Race.

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    WTF? 7 or 8 hours you are sore, and you are worried about 24 hours in the saddle???

    You aren't meant to sit on a tiny little saddle for that length of time, rarely have I seen a solo 24hr podium when all 3 can walk properly, and more than once I have seen a competitor taken to hospital at the end.

    It's simply torture . Abu Grab would be a walk in the freakin park compared to a 24 hr race. It takes a specially built person who can ignore extreme discomfort for many hours without any regard for their health to successfully ride for 24.

    If its not your arse, it's your lower back, if not that, your shoulders , legs, arms wrists, or all of 'em together . I think if your saddle is fine for 6 hours, it's a great saddle for you.

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    My bike (Salsa Fargo) came with a Silverado standard, and I agree, not much padding there. I've been considering changing it up. I might try out this Rocket or Laser of which you speak.
    Quote Originally Posted by dr.welby View Post
    I agree - I used to ride the WTB Silverado on my gravel bike, but as my mileage went up I wanted more padding to smooth things out on the washboard. So I tried the Rocket V which is pretty similar in dimensions except with taller padding in the back. That was better for sure but the saddle never clicked for me - it was never uncomfortable, but I never had those "wow, this saddle is comfortable" moments either. Then I tried the Laser V which has similar padding but is wider and that's the one that's really working for me. The Pure V looks like it would split the difference between the Laser and Race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy View Post
    WTF? 7 or 8 hours you are sore, and you are worried about 24 hours in the saddle???

    You aren't meant to sit on a tiny little saddle for that length of time, rarely have I seen a solo 24hr podium when all 3 can walk properly, and more than once I have seen a competitor taken to hospital at the end.

    It's simply torture . Abu Grab would be a walk in the freakin park compared to a 24 hr race. It takes a specially built person who can ignore extreme discomfort for many hours without any regard for their health to successfully ride for 24.

    If its not your arse, it's your lower back, if not that, your shoulders , legs, arms wrists, or all of 'em together . I think if your saddle is fine for 6 hours, it's a great saddle for you.
    I don't entirely agree. Although 24 hours is a lot different than 8 hours, you should be able to find something pretty comfy to ride 10-12 hr a day day after day without trouble, if not then something is wrong with your setup. obviously miles and cranking up the time in the saddle makes the biggest difference, but he may find something more comfortable for him.
    ymmv

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    @pharmaboy: you have a point, but I think it's the nature of the soreness. My back also hurts like hell after 8 hours, and then my hands and shoulders, in that order. The difference is that I can stretch out my back and shake the soreness out of my hands and shoulders. The saddle soreness is the one pain that I can't push back for more than a few seconds, which I do by standing up.

  19. #19
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    I have had really good luck with Specialized saddles. They come in different widths that correspond to your sit bone width and Specialized has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

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    Selle Italia Gel Flow. As an aside, have you (the OP) had your bike fit dialed in? Small changes and tweaks can make a huge difference.

  21. #21
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    Koobi

    Tried one in 1997, and have had them on all my Bikes since then.


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  22. #22
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    I have tried a lot of saddles and the only one that agrees with my arse is the Fizik Aliante.

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    Specialized Phenom.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Again View Post
    I have been wanting to upgrade the WTB Pure V on my CX/gravel road bike to something lighter. The saddle came off an old girlfriend's Mongoose. Goofy thing is, the saddle is "comfortable" for 30+ hrs.

    I used the lighter leather/Ti version of the Pure V when I started endurance MTB racing. Raced it until the leather came apart at the stitched seams.

    I heard from a much more accomplished rider that the WTB Pure V was his endurance gravel road saddle of choice too. I have heard others call them a$$ hatchets. YMMV, obviously.
    I got a WTB Rocket V pro that I love. I flew to Arizona last week for the Barn Burner 104 and rented a bike. My buddy down there had the Rocket V race version that I borrowed, and it was comfy as well.

    It isn't about weight, price, color etc,.....it's ALL about fit.

    FWIW, I only did 52 miles on the rental bike with that saddle, not the whole 104, but I did 108 on my Rocket V pro this spring here in MN without any issues.

    My buddy, who I borrowed it from, well, he gave it to me when I left. He HATES it and named it the ass-hatchet.

    It's all about fit.

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    Terry Fly

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