Time for a New Saddle- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Time for a New Saddle

    For the last 3 years I've been riding on a Specialized Phenom...the wider version. (they measured me at the shop and said that was the right one). Prior to Phenom I demo'd a couple of WTB saddles that were non-starters.

    The Phenom has been fine for the 2'ish hour rides I've typically done. At this point I'm training for some longer rides and I'm finding 3 hours is uncomfortable, and 4+ results in sores that make the following day or 2 rest days.

    Any sage advice on what to try next? What do the 24 hour people use?

    I'm thinking of trying a brooks because everybody raves about them, but its a pricey demo.

  2. #2
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    I would just point out that I typically wear out a saddle in 3 years. The shell becomes too flexy and doesn't support well anymore. It's gradual, and usually only becomes apparent on the longer rides. If I wait too long to replace, I'll start to get bruising or sores.

    Just sayin' that maybe you don't need a different saddle, just a new one. If it's worked for you for 3 years until now.... 2

    Selle SMP's are a great saddle for long rides.

  3. #3
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    Interesting idea. I just went out an pressed on the saddle, and I don't notice any perceptible change in the cushion or flex. But you may be right. The point is moot though, because I no longer buy anything from Specialized (too many bad experiences with warranty issues, plus their general bad corporate behavior).

    I've heard good things about the SMP's but I dont see many people riding them except roadies.

  4. #4
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    I'm 200+ lbs... so I'll put a saddle through work. Like I said, it's gradual, and just starts to dip down too much, increasing pressure.

    I got the SMP at the end of a fairly, long line in my road saddle search. Who spends more time in the saddle than a roadie? I wouldn't hesitate to run one on the mtb, and there are people that do.

    I've been riding a Fizik Arione recently, and think it's pretty similar shape to the phenom. It's a love or hate kind of saddle apparently.

  5. #5
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    Time for a New Saddle

    Recommending saddles is really difficult to do. What works for one person might not for someone else. If you're getting friction saddle sores your hips may be rocking. Adjusting your position by lowering the saddle height a few mm could help. When you begin doing longer rides it starts to show up setup issues that may not affect you on shorter rides.

    Along with the saddle shorts make a big difference to comfort. For longer rides I really like Castelli shorts with the Progetto X2 pad. I usually wear the Bodypaint version.

    http://castelli-cycling.com/en/products/detail/603/

    Using chamois cream helps reduce friction and can improve comfort substantially too.

    A seatpost with some flex built in takes out a bit of the "buzz" from small bumps, such as riding over gravel, which helps with comfort also. That's worth having, even on a full suspension bike. Examples would be Ritchey Flexlogic, Syntace P6 Hi-Flex, Niner RDO etc.

    http://ritcheylogic.com/road/seatpos...-seatpost.html

    In terms of saddles my current favourite is the Specialized Romin Evo Expert Gel 143mm. I find it far more comfortable than the Specialized Phenom saddle.

  6. #6
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    I have a variety of double shorts from fox and endura mostly. I haven't really used cream since early on. May be time to try it again. But I don't thing its so much of a rubbing problem though, but more of a just pinching the skin between the bone and the saddle for too long with some moisture factored in as well.

    Thanks for the Castelli tip. I'll have to order a pair.

    My bike doesn't really buzz. Its a FS with high volume tires at 30 pounds. Its pretty much a Cadallic ride.

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