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Saddle shops (?) in London, or just saddle shopping.

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
Hi guys,

So unfortunately I’ve been having lots of problems with my prostate so I’m on the hunt for a saddle which is more forgiving on that area.

My question is, how do you try out saddles so you know you’re buying the right one?

I don’t really want to do trial by error with ordering online, so do any of you know of a good shop in London where you can sit there for an hour on a stationary bike and just cycle through a load?

If not, how do you guys do it?
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  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 10,145
    Buy a saddle and sell it on eBay if it’s not ideal unfortunately is the best method I’ve found.

    I’m not sure sitting on a saddle for an hour would elicit perfect results. Far too much tinkering involved. Takes me a week or two to get dialled in on a new saddle.

    Selle Italia smp is the best I’ve found for Perineum comfort.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • I just but cheap saddles off the old ebay if I want to test something.

    You can get saddle fitting, places like cyclefit in Covent Garden offer it. This is more pressure mapping and recommending saddles based off the results, rather than saddle testing per se. As you are addressing a physical issue this may be the way to go. It will cost you though, probably not much cheaper than a bike fit.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here

    I just but cheap saddles off the old ebay if I want to test something.

    You can get saddle fitting, places like cyclefit in Covent Garden offer it. This is more pressure mapping and recommending saddles based off the results, rather than saddle testing per se. As you are addressing a physical issue this may be the way to go. It will cost you though, probably not much cheaper than a bike fit.

    Ok that’s helpful. Tbh it’s keeping me off the bike entirely at the moment so within reason I’ll swallow the cost.
  • If it is keeping you off the bike, I would go down the route of getting some professional advice.

    Phil and Julian who run Cyclefit have been around for years, they used to do the bike fitting for Trek Segafredo so have worked with Cancellara, Schleck brothers et al. I can vouch for them. Might be others on here who can recommend alternatives.

    If you are prepared to travel, Lee Prescott who runs Velo Atelier in Warks is also top notch.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    edited December 2022
    Ok thanks.

    You’re not wrong that they’re not cheap yikes. Will have to swallow it I suspect.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,995
    If it’s bad enough to keep you off your bike I think the first thing I would seek is a medical opinion. I guess you might say it’s impossible to get an appointment with your GP, however in your position I would see someone privately.
    I would have thought what you do and what you earn medical insurance would be a given in your job.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    webboo said:

    If it’s bad enough to keep you off your bike I think the first thing I would seek is a medical opinion. I guess you might say it’s impossible to get an appointment with your GP, however in your position I would see someone privately.
    I would have thought what you do and what you earn medical insurance would be a given in your job.

    No I am already this is the result of that.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,252
    i'll add another vote for cyclefit

    after going through various others with no resolution, they finally identified the cause of years of niggling knee problems and how to prevent them
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 11,487
    What saddle do you use now, RC?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    A very old selle Italia.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234811197390

    Looks like this but white, no cut out and no stitching. Maybe a little flatter.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 10,145
    Have you tried a cut out?
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    I haven’t tried anything tbh. Few times I’ve sat on other saddles on other bikes they were too big and wore a hole in my shorts.

    I don’t really know how people go about trying them out to see what works. I see a lot of suggestions but surely by the time you’ve clamped them to your bike they’re not returnable?

    Does everyone really spend £500 buying 4 or 5 saddles and returns the ones they don’t like?
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 10,145
    seanoconn said:

    Have you tried a cut out?

    You haven’t tried anything!? Majority of saddles aren’t that expensive. I hope I didn’t waste my 10,000 post on you.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,995
    seanoconn said:

    seanoconn said:

    Have you tried a cut out?

    You haven’t tried anything!? Majority of saddles aren’t that expensive. I hope I didn’t waste my 10,000 post on you.
    That one he linked to is, it’s over 300 dollars. I’ve one on my bike he can have for $250 if that’s the going rate.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 21,910

    A very old selle Italia.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234811197390

    Looks like this but white, no cut out and no stitching. Maybe a little flatter.

    FFS! People are stupid.
    You can get them from Merlin for £165.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    edited December 2022
    Oh ignore the price I just googled to find something that looks like mine.

    It’s so old the logos all rubbed off and it came with the bike.

    So people are just buying multiple and returning them? What a pain.

    How long are you sitting on them before you know?

    Especially since most places are now charging delivery on returns.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    seanoconn said:

    seanoconn said:

    Have you tried a cut out?

    You haven’t tried anything!? Majority of saddles aren’t that expensive. I hope I didn’t waste my 10,000 post on you.
    I really don’t like buying things I intend to return. At all. Hate the faff of returning.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 21,910
    edited December 2022

    Oh ignore the price I just googled to find something that looks like mine.
    ...

    My point was that people are asking those prices presumably because some are paying it. Back OT, I've never had a saddle I didn't get on with. Never had medical concerns tho.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,252
    fwiw for c. 10 years i've used an ax lightness leaf

    after 6-7 hours it's still comfy, pretty flat and has a big cut-out, no padding (because that's what padded shorts are for), design really reduces perineal pressure compared to umpteen others i tried

    and it's light, so light
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 11,487
    Pretty sure they still make that shape. Also with either a large or extremely large cut out. Fwiw that is quite a flat saddle already, but something like an antares I even flatter, which tends to lift your sit bones and reduce compression of the man bits. Ebay isn't a bad place to take a punt, btw, if you need some trial and error.
  • I use Selle SMP Composit. It's narrow, big cutout, virtually no padding, but is the only saddle I've ever had I can ride for hours comfortably. YMMV.

    Yes, trial and error was the long, slow, expensive way to find this out.

    Fizik used to do a trial program through some shops - saddles were available to borrow and ride for a day or two IIRC. Dunno if it still runs in UK though
    Open O-1.0 Open One+ BMC TE29 Titus Racer X Ti Seven 622SL Kestrel RT1000 On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • There is also this guy who owns Bicycle in Richmond. Never used him but he does all the bike fit advice on Francis Cade vids and seems to know his stuff.

    Not sure if he offers standalone saddle fitting but he clearly stocks a number of test saddles.

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    Update, the local shop that I have only visited for the first time offers 30 min appointments (free) to help fit and choose the right saddle.

    Proper bike fit kit so I am hopeful.

    (I will buy the saddle from there if I get on with it, don’t worry)
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,948

    Hi guys,

    So unfortunately I’ve been having lots of problems with my prostate so I’m on the hunt for a saddle which is more forgiving on that area.

    My question is, how do you try out saddles so you know you’re buying the right one?

    I don’t really want to do trial by error with ordering online, so do any of you know of a good shop in London where you can sit there for an hour on a stationary bike and just cycle through a load?

    If not, how do you guys do it?

    Firstly, sorry to hear that you've had health struggles, BW for a good outcome

    Some bike shops do offer test saddles - one of my LBS' in Wycombe is a Fizik dealer and they offer loan saddles (IIRC they are orange or green or something, to put people off nicking them!)

    Otherwise the Ebay option - or the saddle swap forum on here? - might be good.

    I have a Spesh Romin that I didn't get on with, happy to share if you want to try. My current favourite is Charge Spoon (dirt cheap, great comfort) or the Fabric saddles are lovverly

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 972

    Fizik used to do a trial program through some shops - saddles were available to borrow and ride for a day or two IIRC. Dunno if it still runs in UK though

    Spesh does it as well. I borrowed a 155mm power comp saddle for a week, did a few long rides (for my standard), got on much better than w/ old saddle, bought the real one when returning the trial version.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    secretsam said:

    Hi guys,

    So unfortunately I’ve been having lots of problems with my prostate so I’m on the hunt for a saddle which is more forgiving on that area.

    My question is, how do you try out saddles so you know you’re buying the right one?

    I don’t really want to do trial by error with ordering online, so do any of you know of a good shop in London where you can sit there for an hour on a stationary bike and just cycle through a load?

    If not, how do you guys do it?

    Firstly, sorry to hear that you've had health struggles, BW for a good outcome

    Some bike shops do offer test saddles - one of my LBS' in Wycombe is a Fizik dealer and they offer loan saddles (IIRC they are orange or gereen or something, to put people off nicking them!)

    Otherwise the Ebay option - or the saddle swap forum on here? - might be good.

    I have a Spesh Romin that I didn't get on with, happy to share if you want to try. My current favourite is Charge Spoon (dirt cheap, great comfort) or the Fabric saddles are lovverly
    Thanks Sam.

    I think the sister shop of the one I have the appointment booked for do try-out saddles but only for Brookes saddles.

    Given I have the appointment above, I'm hopeful that will be enough.

  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 1,187
    my wife did the pressure map at Cyclefit. They were spot on with their recommendations. The mapping was very enlightening.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here
    edited 23 January
    Update.

    So I had my appointment. Primo cycles. Strictly speaking the saddle fit wasn’t free but they knock 25% off the saddle and that covered the cost of it.

    Have come away with a saddle so so far, so good. Ended up with the Bonty Aeolus.

    Seems a little tricky to dial in - something about a scooped profile making it sensitive to pitch changes yadayada.

    Also, turns out my left leg is 1cm shorter than my right so a shimmy was put in too. Clearly sitting skew wiff on a big cut out saddle is not ideal.





    I'm used to sliding around all over the saddle - the old one I had was a classics late 00s long front profile with no cut out, so this one feels a little different - very much locked into place.

    Bought a second cheaper one, same shape, for the Single Speed which I’ll fit myself. Should be fun…


    Ps. This forum never orientates your pic the right way.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 11,487
    You really need to give that shed some tlc.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,359 Lives Here

    You really need to give that shed some tlc.

    . < the point in any post Rick makes.
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    .< Some random detail that FA focusses on.
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