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Which saddle needed for Tour de France mountain stages

christiandransfieldchristiandransfield Posts: 127
edited June 2012 in Road buying advice
Hey guys,

I've asked you a lot of questions about bikes, clothing etc for my upcoming 5 mountain stage charity Tour de France challenge, so apologies for that.

After the great info you gave me about bikes, I'm looking at second hand Giant Defy 4 bikes and the like, but wondered if their saddles will be suitable for the long-distance stages I'll be cycling.

I simply wondered if anybody has an absolute, better than anything else they've ever tried, saddle that they swear by for long-distance cycling.


  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    I doubt it. Personal things saddles. Some like cutouts, some don't.

    For climbing though you tend to sit on the back section, so make sure that suits you. I run a Spesh Romin but they are quite hard so don't suit all.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • sungodsungod Posts: 16,089
    apologies if i'm telling you stuff you already know...

    if you are new to road bike saddles, some important things are:

    1 - the saddle width should be correct for your sit bones, you use a ruler, some shops have an censored -o-meter or other method, the standard saddles are usually close enough, but no harm measuring

    2 - they are designed for people wearing skintight padded shorts - unpadded shorts will probably leave you bruised, broken and at risk of saddle sores, baggy ones will chafe your thighs to raw meat

    3 - even with padded shorts, you also should use chamois cream on longer rides - increases comfort, reduces risk of saddle sores

    4 - your behind needs to get used to spending hours on a road saddle, this can take weeks, so you can't start the process too soon, get bike, get shorts, get on bike, ride - do not ride until you are wincing, build up gradually

    once you've done the miles, you may find the saddle is fine, or you may fancy a change

    do not assume a padded saddle will be more comfortable, it can actually be worse, i'm happy for hours on an unpadded carbon fibre saddle, but that's me - fit and set-up for what's right for *you* are what counts
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Nobody can advise you on a saddle. They are uniquely personal. It is a matter of trial and error and then sticking to what you've found works best for you. Personally I like Brooks saddles - the old B-17 - but my recommendation wouldn't necessarily mean a damn thing to you. Same with everybody else's. Each of us rides what works best for us. You might love them, you might not
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,561
    Agree with all the above wrt saddles being uniquely personal things.

    However after at least one expensive mistake, I've ended up with a Charge Spoon. Been riding that now for over a year and completed 3 longish sportives on it without suffering any serious after-effects.

    It may not be the one for you but it's currently on sale at Wiggle for less than £15 so probably worth the risk even if you don't like it. 489 out of 508 reviewers on Wiggle would recommend it so can't be too much of a niche product in the comfort stakes. ... ails-2011/
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    To distill down some of the sound advice, getting the right saddle size and shape is key for support and it's the padding in your shorts that give the comfort. Squidgy saddles can exert pressure into soft tissue areas so are less suited to prolonged, endurance riding.
    Likewise, cut-outs aren't for all - if you are experiencing pressure in the perineal area, then it suggests your saddle angle or pelvis position may be wrong as the weight should be on the back of the saddle.
    Basically, its down to you to find out what works.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 26,248
    All of the above...

    There is not really a thing as a long distance saddle - they re all designed for that. Similar with shorts although there are makes that do ones designed for short sharp races so be a bit more careful there.

    There are some exceptions when it comes to Jump/DH saddles. But they ll be obvious enough to avoid.

    I'm a fan of SDG or Specialized saddles, so we just need someone to reccomend fizik and I think that's all saddle makes...? ;)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    It doesn't matter how many people recommend such and such a saddle, it might not suit you. You need to test and ride as many saddles as you can imo, if you go with the wrong one you will be sore, that's a definite.
  • banditvicbanditvic Posts: 549
    Don't worry to much about which saddle in a mountain stage, as you will only be using it 50% of the time.
  • slowondefy2slowondefy2 Posts: 348
    edited June 2012
    A hard saddle that's the right width for you, and 500 miles under your belt to get used to it first.

    My other-half bought me a new saddle for my birthday. I could tell it was too soft straight away - not her fault but I decided to replace it - with a saddle that looked almost identical to the one she bought so I didn't have to say anything ;-) A Selle SLR Flow. I found the width (at 131mm) a little narrow at first - definitely putting pressure on the more central part of my sit-bones and it was quite sore. But nevertheless all the pressure was on my sit-bones and not on the perineum, so I persevered. After about 300-500 miles on the saddle I stopped noticing the saddle at all and I love it.

    I also found getting the saddle absolutely level was critical. With the nose up just 1 degree made the plums very uncomfortable.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    What saddle are you riding now ?
    You were asking questions about shorts two months ago.
    I'd have thought you'd have sourced a decent saddle by now - the challenge is next month ?

    The charge spoon suits a lot of people but there are no guarantees.
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