Women's saddle for commuting and light riding- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Women's saddle for commuting and light riding

    I'm sure this subject has been covered before, but a quick search showed threads a few years old.

    My girlfriend has been commuting to school/work for the last few months with me about 5/6miles each way. All paved, but Tucson roads have some pretty rough patches of potholes and bumps. Original bike spec was a WTB volt, which we took off after a few months and replaced with a WTB Koda (women's specific).

    The koda has been fine on commutes, but we have been riding some bike path loops on weekends and slowly working up to 15-25ish miles. She's loving it! Except for the saddle. It's been causing some unbearable pain on the last two longer rides. The center cutout/groove feels too wide, causing issues in certain areas that I won't detail here. I know saddles have to break in, but this is beyond the usual wearing in period (plus the seat probably has a few hundred commuter miles already).

    I put my older, worn Brooks cambium c17 on a few days ago temporarily just to commute, but she's still too sore to notice any difference, so we'll take a break for a little while. In the meantime, I'm inclined to switch out the seat again.

    A few criteria:
    -She's not the type of person to go into a bike store and get her butt measured (it's pretty much out of the question)

    -The cambium never really worked for me (it could work for her - we have different body types), but its regular length without a cutout, and I'm not sure if any ladies on here could comment on using this model...

    -The bike spends a decent amount of time during the day locked outside.

    -She wears padded shorts on our bike path rides, and we both prefer just regular clothing to commute. So, narrow, hard 'racing' seat is not preferred.

    So, any saddle suggestions? I've tried a lot of saddles over the years, but since she just got into riding in the past year, I'm new to (and realizing completely ignorant of) women's fit and saddle options. I thought maybe just go for a Brooks short (leather), but am not huge on leaving it on the bike rack, and she won't want the hassle of locking the seat as well. I was looking at a few of the sub <$100 models from Terry with gel and cut out, but am not sure either. Other options (I know that's vague)? Just go for the brooks?

    Thanks for reading, and I really appreciate your advice!

  2. #2
    CB of the East
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    My wife and I both use the WTB Pure saddles. They used to be called Pure V. It is a MTB saddle but we both use them on my road bikes too. She tried the women's specific version but traded back to the unisex. She has done the full ironman on that saddle as well as commuting to and from work.

    It has a shallow cutout and good but not too much padding. They come in different widths.

    They are cheap so you an try one out without much commitment and leaving it on a locked bike is no big deal. They come in different "levels" (Pro, race, comp...) They all sound about the same to me but the only difference seemed to be a couple grams for every extra $20 you spend so we usually get the lowest level. I've read that the cover material on the cheap ones isn't as good as in the past and the rails on the cheapest one can bend if you are on the high end of the scales but I can't confirm either.

    We've collectively probably got 20,000 to 40,000 miles on these. Not bad for a $25-$35 saddle.

  3. #3
    CB of the East
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    I'll add that I have tried the "Volt" which was a little too stiff for my tastes. I've never heard of the Koda. I have used a Terry saddle with a large cutout and that wasn't for me either.

  4. #4
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    You can get a pretty close measurement of your sit bones with a sewing tape measure and sitting on your hands. I would get the width right then select different firmness. If your sit bones are sitting in the edge curve of the saddle it hurts/pinches. Woman’s usually have wider sit bones. Also make sure the saddle is angled right. You want all the pressure on the sit bones not forward creating soreness/numbness.

  5. #5
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    My wife likes the WTB Deva that came on her DB Clutch.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I ended up just going for a brooks flyer in the pre-conditioned leather. She's already much happier just testing it around the block. Will report back!

  7. #7
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    I was going to say the WTB Koda, but I see that is the one she had trouble with, lol. Which goes to show how personalized saddle selection is. I have also had good luck with Specialized saddles, and have those on a few bikes. I also try to stand on the pedals for potholes or any rough pavement, it helps with comfort and control.

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