Saddle advice

slimandy
slimandy Posts: 11
edited October 2008 in Workshop
I have started cycling again after a break of many years as I need to lose weight. I bought a flatbar road bike (Marin Lucas Valley) that I'm very pleased with. The one thing I'm not completely happy with is the saddle. I think I am limiting the blood supply to a delicate area causing a pins and needles feeling. It does pass though.
The saddle is a good one (MTB I think?). I was wondering if it just doesn't suit me, or perhaps do I need to adjust the position? Do iIneed one that has a groove down the centre? Should I move it forward a bit or change the angle? It's my own fault as I have gone up to 16 stone in weight! Anyone have similar saddle issues?

Comments

  • wilwil
    wilwil Posts: 374
    Saddles are very personal what suits one won't suit another. I think there is a lot to be said for a groove down the centre and that works for me. I have a Specialized Toupe. Numbness is caused by pressure to the perineum area so if you remove the part of the saddle from that point of contact logically speaking it should relieve the pressure. A good bike shop can loan you a saddle to try for a week so that you can make sure it works. Selle Italia offer demo saddles and they make lots of models with grooves down the middle.

    I'm sure many on this forum will say that saddles without grooves are better.
  • you should only adjust the horizontal position of the saddle to get your knee position correct.

    the saddle should be either flat or pointing slightly nose down.

    I prefer my brookes b17 saddles but they are very personal.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    the saddle should be either flat or pointing slightly nose down.

    Flat yes (like Merckx I often use a spirit level to fit my saddle) but I wouldn't agree with nose down (unless you're a lady). That puts more weight on the soft parts rather than your sit-bones.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • Checkout the Rido saddle website. It is the only saddle that I have which does not get more uncomfortable as I ride. My other saddles are padded and squidgy so I end up sinking in and getting my bits crushed. The original Rido has some limited flexibility under the sit bones so it feels like a well broken in leather saddle and it raises you perineum just above the nose. Given the original price it was a cheap way to get comfy.

    Unfortunately I just checked the website. :shock:

    They only have pink available in the original style!!

    And the new version will set you back £30 with the postage.
    100% ME!
    Do you think I would be this bad on drugs?
  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    Invest £19.99 in a "Charge Spoon" it is probably the best / most comfortable saddle available for the price. I am very pleased with mine.
    Also you will have no trouble selling it if it does not suit you.
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • I'm sure many on this forum will say that saddles without grooves are better.
    indeed. there really is no right or wrong when it comes to saddles. Personally it's SLRs or nothing for me, the less padding the better, and certainly no grooves or channels. You really can't take recommendations on this sort of stuff - got to try things out!
  • Specialized do some cheaper saddles that are based on the same bum template as the toupe. These are another viable option.

    Take home messages re: saddle position are -

    - They are supposed to be adjusted, which is why they don't just bolt on.

    - Small changes can make a big difference and big changes can cause problems elsewhere.

    - The fore/aft position is personal and is also related to your top tube and stem lengths/height. Saddles flare out and so in principle, adjusting can help bring the right width of saddle into play for your sit bones' width and help lift your privates off the middle of the saddle. If you overdo it, you can get rubbing on the inside of your legs though.

    - Tilt is very personal and also related to the setup of your bike. Nothing like playing around to see how it feels. People's preferences differ greatly and I noticed that my own changed substantially over the first few years I cycled in any way seriously. What would be wrong now suited my musculature at the time.

    - If you need to do anything really dramatic, it might indicate that your bike position is wrong somewhere else - e.g. saddle height or amount of drop to the bar, stem length etc.

    - There is no "correct" saddle position. I've been mislead in the past by advice that is largely based on what most other bikes LOOK like ("lemming" advice). It wasn't too long ago that one could be ridiculed for not having the nose pointing UP!! So, go your own way.
  • thanks for the responses. I guess I'll experiment with what I've got in the short term. Might try a saddle with a groove to see if that's the answer. I always have Ebay if I want to sell it.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I'm sure many on this forum will say that saddles without grooves are better.
    indeed. there really is no right or wrong when it comes to saddles. Personally it's SLRs or nothing for me, the less padding the better, and certainly no grooves or channels. You really can't take recommendations on this sort of stuff - got to try things out!

    yeah that's what i thought of the SLR, nearly killed me arse, sold it after about a month. Each arse is different, try before you buy if possible.
  • k-dog wrote:
    the saddle should be either flat or pointing slightly nose down.

    Flat yes (like Merckx I often use a spirit level to fit my saddle) but I wouldn't agree with nose down (unless you're a lady). That puts more weight on the soft parts rather than your sit-bones.

    This depends on the saddle shape, padding and the user. I have my brookes pointing slightly down, but then the leather gives slightly when I put my weight on it.

    If you have deep* padding on a saddle and it is perfectly flat, when the weight compresses the padding, the ischial tuberosities may be lower than the soft tissues of the perineum. the padding itself can then put pressure where it is not wanted.

    Slightly down (only a few degrees below horizontal) may be the perfect position.

    *the value of 'deep' will depend on many things
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • Steve I
    Steve I Posts: 428
    I don't think you can be a cyclist and not have saddle issues at some stage. I've found WTB saddles are fine for me, in particular the Rocket V. On my new bike I've got a Selle Royal Viper, probably the most comfortable saddle I've ever used. Personally, I didn't get on with any of the Selle Italia saddles I've used.
  • brit66
    brit66 Posts: 350
    I bought the Charge Spoon after reading this thread and can now, from experience, also recommend it as well.

    It's comfortable even when I'm not wearing padded shorts.

    In fact I was so impressed that I ordered one for my commute bike as well.
  • Saddle choice is a nightmare, I find the SLR the most comfortable and I am not a light person :roll: I would also consider your choice of shorts, they have a large impact on comfort as well, along with some chamois creme like the Udderley Smooth or assos types.
  • TiNuts
    TiNuts Posts: 89
    I have a new Rido R2 which, after a couple of rides, I've decided is not for me. Anybody care to make an offer?
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    This is all just based on my personal experience, but may help:

    I also like the specialized toupe and have the angle so that the front part is flat but the back part slopes up to support the sit bones - you could call that tilted very slightly down perhaps, but you probably don't want it tilted down more than that, and you don't want it tilted back either (bearing in mind all of the previously mentioned provisos about personal preference though..)

    However you do it, you should have a combination of saddle choice and position that results in your weight being on the sit bones and not on the area behind your gonads... This means that the back of the saddle has to at least be wide enough to support your sitbones and not too low in relation to the middle part of the saddle (an appropriately shaped cutout may help here but that's not the only way to do it). You should be able, while seated on the bike, to reasonably easily insert a couple of fingers underneath your gonads from the front almost as far back as your sitbones. There shouldn't really be a gap there, but there shouldn't be any pressure either.

    Saddle position (rather than angle) should be determined in relation to the bottom bracket for maximum efficiency, but in my experience, when you get that right it also seems to be the best position for comfort too. Unfortunately it's really difficult to get right yourself without a lot of trial and error. I thought I had got my saddle position correct before I had a bikefit, but it was actually too high and too far back, which definitely made it more difficult to avoid pressure on delicate areas. Also the more your weight is distributed towards the front of the bike the less pressure there is on the rear end, so a position that is too upright won't help.
  • TiNuts
    TiNuts Posts: 89
    TiNuts wrote:
    I have a new Rido R2 which, after a couple of rides, I've decided is not for me. Anybody care to make an offer?

    SOLD