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Hi there, I am experiencing discomfort with the standard bontrager saddle that came with my trek Madone. I expected "new saddle breaking-in soreness" but after 1000kms my sitbones are still sore after a ride. Yes I wear padded knicks (pearl izumis). I know saddle fit/comfort is a very subjective topic but it is very expensive to buy new saddles only to find they are no good! I was wondering if anyone would mind sharing their experiences with what worked for you? Cheers
I bought a Specialized WSD saddle, best money that I've spent! I have a Jett on my Scott.
Ensure that your bike fit is spot on too.
I have PI knicks but I don't like them on any rides longer than 40 odd k's.....I prefer a thinner pad in my knicks, Sugoi's are my favourites.
It is a bit hit and miss with saddles and knick but good luck!
Go to a LBS that is a Specialized dealer. They lend out saddles, for a deposit.
Master bike fitter Steve Hogg recommends Selle SMP saddles and wrote a good article about it....google will find it.
I have a Trek Madone, and think their Bontrager saddles are cheap rubbish. I broke two in 14 mths before writing them off.
It's common for new bike owners to replace the cheapish saddle (and wheels).
There are many threads on saddles on these forums. When it comes to comfort alone, more people recommend Brooks or Selle SMP than others. I'm not saying that others like Specialized won't suit you, but on average you may go through more models before finding a saddle that suits you.
You might be able to find a bike shop with a saddle loan program. Another way to save is to buy secondhand on eBay and sell them again if you don't like them.
Yes, you're right, a very expensive learning curve and it is personal (after ruling out you've been sold the wrong size bike or it's not fitted properly). I think you're right to be looking for alternatives after 1000 km. I have a Selle Italia Ldy (specific model no longer made, but it has some padding and the cutout) as an all-day saddle, and several friends have the gel flow/Diva models on multiple bikes as their saddle of choice. So they might be worth a look.
But I also have a SI Ldy SLK gel flow which is pure torture; only good for cx races (which are short and the saddle shape matters and I don't care if it breaks). I tried a Brooks pretty cheaply once too and it was torture, but I could pass it on at no cost; last count it had tortured three people. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't put a Brooks on a Madone. But I have a Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour on the roadie, which is comfy. So they are different saddles for different uses. You might find a shop with a loan program, or keep an eye out online/swap meets for some to try cheaper than RRP. It's great if friends can lend one from the spares box to try too. It's difficult.
It's worth checking your sitbone width before buying new (or cheaper online) too. There's plenty of instructions online but essentially put down something soft, put some foil over it, sit in bike position (leaning forward) and measure the sitbone width. Just in case you're particularly wide or narrow through the hips, so you'll have an idea when looking at saddle dimensions online.
Thanks for all your help. I must have missed the previous threads on saddles in the womens section when I first looked - id only found the mens! So I apologise for posting this thread again.
The Specialized dealer is a good tip, thank you PawPaw. I will look for one in my area (Sydney).
I am pretty sure the fit of my bike is ok - i was fitted out by the team at Clarence st. Cyclery in Sydney, and they seemed pretty good and it feels "right". I haven't had any other issues. I guess I was wondering if 1000km was too soon to be looking and thanks grasshopper for helping me with that.
I might also try another brand of knicks to be sure like the Sugoi's that marinmomma suggested.
Much appreciated all! I will do some looking around.
G'Day Isabella, welcome outside.
May I suggest you take up Grasshoppers extremely kind offer of a Brooks saddle to test? I know many will look sideways at one atop a Madone but if it makes your bum happy then the opinions of others count for zero minus lots. I was a sceptic for many years until I tried one. Now, all my bikes wear leather.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
+1 for the Specialized. I spent $500 on trying saddles, went to the specialized dealer and sat on their arseometer. They measured my sit bones, $50 deposit on a loaner and that comes off the sale price when you decide which one you like. They have lady specific saddles.
I did some reading last night and today had a go at measuring my sit bones using a rule and 1) a bag of rice 2) a bag of flour 3) al foil on carpet as per some of the methods I found.
I pretty consistently found that the distance between my sit bones seems to be 125mm. (I am a small 156cm tall, 45-47kg woman so don't know if this is within a "normal" range or not!)
My old (stitched together to stop it falling apart) mountain bike saddle which I have used for over 10 years with no problems is 130mm width. My new bontrager WSD saddle giving me a sore bum is 145mm.
Could the difference in width be the issue?
I am going to try and find a specialized dealer that loans saddles and give that a go.
To Mulger bill - Grasshoppers offer is extremely kind and I very much appreciate it, especially as I am new to this forum.
Grasshopper - I will give the Specialized dealer a go and if I have no luck I would like to try the Brooks, if you don't mind of course.
I would certainly pay for all postage costs, and be happy to put down a deposit for your peace of mind.
I will let you know either way.
Thanks again everyone
I have no idea, but it seems like a useful piece of info to have with you, along with a tape measure. But do have a look at this piece on saddles from Steve Hogg, who always makes a lot of sense to me. If nothing else, it's excellent background based on vast experience so you might find it interesting. Have pm'd you about the Brooks.
It really depends what Brooks saddle it is too. Not only does a Brooks not suit everyone, but the saddle might not be the best one for the application. On top of that they are sensitive to angle and require a slightly more nose up position than other saddles. Brooks also need to be broken in over some hundreds of kilometres. This is more critical if you are a lightwieght. A colleague at work is only about 70Kg and has had trouble breaking in a B17 on a flat bar. This might be why it hasn't worked for these women.
I have three Brooks saddles. I'm looking to get another too (but not from Grasshopper).
A SMP lite 209 would most probably be fine for you. That's what most of the women with saddle problems seem to end up finding the most comfortable. A few of the women in our club use them and my wife who is a similar height and weight to you, has 3 of them.
Find a shop that will loan one (Steve Hogg does) and I'm sure there are others. Just make sure you spend some time getting the position right as they can be uncomfortable if you get it wrong
Hi everyone, thought i'd give you all an update on my saddle hunting!
I went to Clarence st Cyclery in Sydney and they were able to give me two test saddles to try out:
1) A Selle Italia SL XC
2) A Prologo Zero Pas gel
Went for a 65km ride on each on the weekend, the Prologo was a definate no, but the Selle Italia is quite comfortable, so it is now on my shortlist.
Today, I am going to another Sydney LBS, MC Cyclery.
They have a range of Selle SMP test saddles which I hope to try to compare against the Selle Italia SL XC.
I also hope to take Geoffs advice and give the Lite 209 a go.
Anyway, will let you know how I get on, even if this post only helps other Sydney riders find shops that loan saddles.
Thanks again everyone
After a few test saddles, I have found my perfect saddle!
It is an SMP Glider and feels like in sitting on air.
I thought i'd post the outcome as it is quite different to the sizing chart on the SMP website.
As I am a womens size 6-8, approx 47kgs and 5'2' (on a tall day!), based on their sizing chart, I tried a Stratos (the most padded saddle recommended for my size).
It caused agony in my sit-bones as it just wasn't wide enough, and my bones were stradding the saddle. All the other SMP saddles recommended for my size were narrow.
Going against the chart, I went for a saddle the next width up - the Glider - which is recommended for larger riders, however it was perfect for me.
I guess the lesson here is that while SMP make great saddles, don't feel forced into buying a saddle based on their sizing chart - get a test saddle and try it for yourself, even if the chart says its not suitable for your size.
Thanks for everyones help, including MC Cyclery at Clarence Street, Sydney for letting me try the saddles.
http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/f ... 1xme1.html
OK, I've just (like literally, tonight) switched from MTB to road bike, and my saddle is killing me. It feels like air in the sit bones area, but further forward, it just hurts. I don't know how to explain it delicately, but I'm sure you can imagine. The pressure is in exactly the wrong spot.
It's the same wide gel saddle that I had on my MTB, because I thought the saddle that shipped with the bike might be a men's one - Selle Italia X1. Am I better off going narrow? I have no idea what to do. Advice please!
Girly saddle nose problems. I don't suffer but can imagine.
As Nobody suggested, try adjusting the tilt downwards a tad and see if this relieves the pressure. As to width, that is dependant on the width of your sit bones.
The right saddle for you may or may not be a womens specific, it all depends on your unique shape. If your current unit can't be made to work for you with a positional tweak, go back to the Selle X1 and try that for a while. If you're still unlucky, it might be time to look into a Terry or maybe a Brooks womens design, these typically have a shorter nose section to prevent or reduce the frontal pressure problem you're experiencing.
Good luck with it.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I've got a Trek Madone 4.7 with the bontrager saddle, and it's an unforgiving piece of kit. It's not quite uncomfortable enough for me to replace though. My other bike has the Fizik Airone mentioned above, and that is a really comfy saddle (at least, for me).
Have to say, if I was replacing the bontrager, I would probably go the specialized "measure and try before you buy" route - only heard good things.
"If I can bicycle, I bicycle" ~David Attenborough
Position is much different on a road bike and may cause your pelvis to roll forward so sensitive tissues are irritated.
While it's probably a little optimistic to think the MTB saddle will be equally as comfortable on your roadie, it may be ok if your position is right.
Are you riding in the drops? There is a tendency for first time users to think they must ride in the drops, but the bars are wrapped for most of their length for a reason, and recreational roadies would spend more time on the tops and hoods. The controls are designed to be operated from either position.
Are you feeling any discomfort in your hands/wrists? This might indcate the reach is too long or the saddle to bar drop is excessive. All these things may require repositioning of the saddle height and fore/aft position, bar height and stem length so your pelvis does not rotate forward too much. Have you been correctly fitted? Perhaps the place to start is to return to the shop, explain your discomfort and ask if you can be better fitted. Don't be embarrassed about this - bike shops have heard it all before, from men as well as women.
Then of course there is the saddle itself - which one is right for you is entirely personal, and you might have to try more to find what suits your physiology best.
And finally, since your experience is in MTB, are you wearing good quality road knicks? Are you still wearing underwear? Do you use a liberal application of chamois creme?
So you see there is much more to finding comfort than the choice of saddle.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
What worked for me, really well, was fitting a 'noseless' saddle.
No more of the perineal pain I used to have after long distance.
The one I use on my Gazelle Fuente Trekking bike ( http://www.gazellebicycles.com.au/fuent ... ?task=view ) is the Moonsaddle ( http://moonsaddle.com.au/ )
There are many more, though.
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I tried LOADS and I think was one of the previous posters on this. I LOVE my specialised saddle-and tried a few of them before I got the right one.
However, if in a tri and will be on the bars a lot, I love my ADAMO-weird looking and not great round town, but great for the aero bar position.
My wife is experiencing quite a bit of soreness forward of the sit bones. She has on Orbea Onix.
I am considering getting her a ISM saddle. http://www.ismseat.com .
Any opinions out there on this type of saddle?
Could you expand on this, as my wife is in a far more aggressive position than me on my Avanti Cadent, I would have thought the Adamo would be good around town as well. I have read the only real issue is with inner thigh chaffing, i guess from the twin design.
We generally do 50-60k on a saturday and sunday and just 30k each morning.
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