COMFY SADDLE

 
Jace  Oct 18th 2008 at 16:17
Jace
hello learned tristers, I wonder if you can help me.
I am desperate to find a saddle that will give me the most comfort for riding six hours+. I would be most grateful for any ideas or suggestions.
 
 
6 replies
 
sags  Oct 23rd 2008 at 10:56
sags
A difficult question as different people like different saddles. Also hard to assess without going for a long ride; by the time you decide that you do not like the perch the money is spent!

I like the San Marco Triathgel. this is a Tri/TT saddle that is quite narrow and has extra padding on the nose for those tri bar moments. there is a rare GB Flag version out there too - and i have one!
 
 
 
leadlegs  Oct 23rd 2008 at 20:07
leadlegs
Hi,

I was having a similar problem and became quite concerned after one four hour ride when I discovered that my tackle was quite numb for several days afterwards.

While researching saddles I came across the Blackwell Adamo saddle:

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This seemed aimed at the problem and I decided to try it as it is clearly trying to apply different principles to all the other saddles (including the one I was having trouble with). I have found that it works exactly as advertised for me - no more numbness and when riding it I immediately became aware that I was sitting on my "sit bones" - I hadn't really realised where they were before. Even better, I can now get low in the aero-bars without that nasty crunching sensation. In fact I now feel I could easily get lower and will be working on this over the winter. As an extra bonus, I feel that I am much more "planted" on the saddle - it feels like my pelvis is solidly nailed right at the insides of the hip joints, instead of rocking around, and I feel this helps with power.

Having said all the above, there seems to be a bit of love hate reaction to this saddle - about 50/50 either way. One thing to be aware of is that when properly positioned, the front (and back) will be about 3 inches behind the location of your regular saddle as the nose of the saddle has been removed and the back extended to keep it legal. When sitting on it, you need your "equipment" to just hang off the front, as it were (ahem...).

So - a possibility to consider.

Cheers - Paul
 
 
 
Jace  Oct 25th 2008 at 12:33
Jace
Good shout. My tri buddy, Will, has one (Union Jack too) and he's happy with that. Maybe I should pinch it off him and try it out.
 
 
 
Jace  Oct 25th 2008 at 13:07
Jace
Thanks Paul for your post.
That's a really interesting saddle.
I've seen ads for it and looked up some forums to find comments and your comment that opinion is divided rings very true. I do posses a great interest for innovation and would love to think this saddle is the answer to my dreams and your post does enthuse me with some hope, however, the overriding question is how a saddle this short (and wide) is suitable for TRI/TT riding. Your comments have been noted, particularly about the "sit bone" position as this is more my principle concern so my interest in this saddle is very much ascending.
I'm interested to know your times in the saddle and any differences between short-term and long-term comfort. i.e. Is the saddle initially uncomfortable but then becoming more comfortable the longer the session, or vice verse. Or total comfort right through (happy days).
The other possible variable involved is, does it matter on your build, height and weight for this saddle? Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems this saddle comes in just one size, so is there really such a thing as "One size fits all" in this particularly contentious anatomical territory?
Thanks again and look forward to your reply,
Jace
 
 
 
leadlegs  Oct 25th 2008 at 21:51
leadlegs
Hi Jace,

I can understand your hesitation - they aren't cheap and, like all saddles, you only really know if it works for you after committing. Here are my thoughts on your questions:

>>I'm interested to know your times in the saddle:

I'm come from a running background and new to triathlon and last summer was my first "serious" season of cycle training. Because of this, my times were improving steadily during last season on the bike. When I went over to the Adamo my times continued to improve, but probably they would have done anyway. I haven't changed my position since I fitted it, but as I mentioned, I feel confident that I can get a lot more aero now and will work on this over the off season - I am hopeful that this will make quite a difference next season as I'm hoping to be averaging more than 20mph, where aerodynamics are important.

>>Any differences between short-term and long-term comfort. i.e. Is the saddle initially uncomfortable but then becoming more comfortable the longer the session, or vice verse. Or total comfort right through (happy days).

I'd say that it similar to a "normal" saddle in the following senses: it gets a bit less comfortable on a longer session, although a quick "shuffle" normally sorts it out for me. More importantly, I have found it has become more and more comfortable as I have adapted to the different pressure points (in a similar way that your body tends to adapt over a few weeks to riding a normal saddle). The big difference is that, for me, the saddle completely eliminates pressure on your perineum and the blood and nerve supplies that run to your wedding tackle - this can be seriously bad for you. It immediately eliminated any numbness and I felt quite comfortable on four hour rides pretty much straight away - and I was spending a lot of those rides in the aerobars, which would have been too painful for me before.

The other possible variable involved is, does it matter on your build, height and weight for this saddle? Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems this saddle comes in just one size, so is there really such a thing as "One size fits all" in this particularly contentious anatomical territory?

Good question and I honestly don't know the answer - I suspect that it would work for most people, but that is just a suspicion. One comment that many people make is how wide the saddle is and how it can't be comfortable. I think these people haven't fully understood how the saddle is designed to work and maybe they are sitting on it wrongly - that would be understandable as it it a completely different approach to any other saddle I've seen. To understand the shape better imagine the following: Take your regular saddle - now cut off the front 3" (the part that crushes your vitals) - you will have a saddle that is much "wider" at the front - but you sit on it in the same position as before, so it is no wider than a normal saddle. The problem with the saddle you just modified is that it is now too short and is illegal for racing, so you need to tack some "saddle" on the back - but you don't want to sit on this bit, it is just there for the rules. The other point about this design is that your weight is right on the front cantilevers - to make these strong enough, you can see that the designers have had to make them thicker in a vertical dimension, which (again) looks a bit funny unless you realise why it's necessary and that a "taller" saddle in no way impedes your pedalling. You might think that you would feel like you are falling off the front by riding in this position, but I've found that you really don't - in fact, as I mentioned, I feel very planted on my sit bones (which are "designed" to take this kind of abuse.

You have probably notice that there are two versions of the saddle - both are (relatively) heavy, so I went with the "race" version - this doesn't have much padding. The "road" version has more and would probably be more "comfy" - it is also cheaper if you wanted to give it a try. You may get lucky and find one second hand on ebay?

I hope this is helpful and good luck.

Cheers - Paul
 
 
 
Jace  Oct 27th 2008 at 22:58
Jace
Wow, thanks Paul for your in depth and super fast reply.
From your knowledge and time spent on this topic I can tell you are a definite advocate for this unorthodox piece of kit.
There's plenty of food for thought and after doing some further research on the net ( http://www.ismseat.com/index.htm) my gut feeling is this saddle HAS TO BE tried and tested out.
I have a search now set up on eBay for a saddle of this type.
Many thanks again and good racing,
J
 
 
 
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