Can't find a comfortable seat

Discussion in 'BIKE TALK' started by us56456712, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. us56456712

    us56456712

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    I need advice. I have bought 4 seats trying to find a comfortable one. It's strange as I could sit on almost anything, without discomfort, for 100K, until I had my spinal fusion in 2016. Now I can't sit on anything for more than 10 miles. Don't bother recommending a Brooks, those are the only saddles I have never been able to sit on. I used to use Brooks in the 60s and hated both that I had. Anyway, Brooks are no good in the mud and slop I ride in, they get wet and sag. Right now I am using a fat soft saddle from a Fall-apart Schwinn with springs. I can sit on that for about 5 days in a row of 10 mile rides, but then my butt is so sore I have to take days off. So far some slightly wide Gell saddles are good for 10 miles. Some of my Gell saddles are good for only a few miles. Right now I use the Schwinn saddle and move it from bike to bike using shims on the seat post to fit my two winter bikes. I have even tried two pair of padded riding shorts. I'm small, 5' 9" and 157 pounds. I'm thinking of trying a Gell seat cover but know nothing about them. Next time I go into town I'll stop buy the bike shops for advice but they don't normally deal with 70 year old folks so they might not have a clue. Anyone have a similar problem that they solved? Thanks in advance for any sage advice.
     
  2. GuitarlCarl

    GuitarlCarl

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    I have a couple ideas as I have also had back problems in my life (after a compression break in 85' they wanted to fuse my back and I refused. Worst pun but the best decision I ever made.) I'd try this first. Changing my riding position changes what is being stressed. Changing my stem height helps me get comfy on longer rides, with a long stem and a wrench, I can adjust it mid ride and is a big help.
    The other easy but costly choice is a recumbent. I have ridden a nice recumbent that my sister owns. It was in the $2500.00 range, a low 3 wheeler, with 2 steering in the front. You sit in a hammock style seat that is about as comfy as you can get. I thought it'd be odd but it was awesome after about 2 minutes to get used to the quickness of the steering. I can't afford that, so I built Harlequin with the recumbent style seating in mind and I can ride that thing all day. It has an average seat that I sit on with a backrest I can push against, with my feet well forward kicking my whole riding position into a recline.
    If you're a welder, check out Atomic Zombie website. Lots of recumbent style info.

    Carl.
     
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  3. Starnger

    Starnger

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    My favorite saddle is Electra XL. They have same soft springs as many other cruiser saddles do, but the pan is wider, that shape fits me really well. Done many thousands on them, since i have this saddle on all of my bikes. Been riding 200+km a day on that saddle, i won't say it did not hurt at all but hey, i could not think of any other saddle that would be as comfy.
     
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  4. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Thank you
     
  5. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Recumbents hurt my knee because it is made out of bone graphs and screws. I can't sit on a chairlift with skis either, something about the weight pulling on my knee, either down in a chair lift or backwards on a recumbent. My back fusion was an emergency as one morning my left leg quit working and I would collapse when standing on it. I went to the ED and the next thing after the MRI was 2 back surgeries and that didn't work so they fused it. I already changed my bars and stems on my bikes so I am more upright. Your idea of changing seat and bar positions while riding is a good one. I never thought of it. I know some riders in the 100 mile Marji Gesic MB endurance race here will take their stem off and mount it backwards during the race to get more upright, but it never occurred to me to do any adjusting when riding. I know that some Tour de France riders use an Allen wrench to move their seat during races to gain comfort. Thanks
     
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  6. MojoK

    MojoK

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    Specialized dealers used to do saddle fitting in shop. You might call around to see if it's still a service they offer. Here's a video with a "do it at home" method

    /

    After you determine width, set tilt with a level, or just a tiny bit lower at the nose. WTB saddles have always been good to me.
     
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  7. us56456712

    us56456712

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    There is a Specialized dealer 60 miles away and I will add him to my list to see. WTB has a mid fat comfort saddle. I just did a net search of their products. Thanks.
     
  8. MojoK

    MojoK

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    Don’t jump to buy a saddle because it’s marketed with the name “comfort “. The trick to the fit is to get the measurements for your anatomy and match it to a saddle that supports you at your sit bones. Extra padding in the wrong place is a step backwards. Ever have your sock kind of bunched up in your shoe the wrong way?

    Make sure you call that Specialized shop before you make the trip. Their device was simply a memory foam pad that gave a measurement . I haven’t heard anything about it for a couple of years now, so it might not be available anymore.
     
  9. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Thanks, desperate times desperate measures. I never gave a thought to bike saddles before as I could sit on a brick all day. I have to get educated, a learning curve for sure.
     
  10. 93EXCivic

    93EXCivic

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    Have you tried padded bike shorts?
     
  11. us56456712

    us56456712

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    One pair and then 2 pair at the same time. They help, but not enough.
     
  12. Bart52

    Bart52

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    I can't help much because I love my Brooks. However, my wife did try the gel pad on a seat, and hated it. She liked the extra padding, but pad moved around while pedaling, so she got rid of it.

    A banana seat probably isn't a solution, but I find mine comfortable particularly because of the ability to get in different positions while riding.
     
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  13. AndyA

    AndyA

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    For background, read Sheldon Brown's article at: www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles

    It's certainly likely that your spinal fusion changed your overall body mechanics, including the relationship between your pelvis and a saddle.

    Good luck and keep riding!
     
  14. us56456712

    us56456712

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    Your right, having the pelvis bolted to your spine has really changed my riding. My back is pretty good, it's my butt that aches. Thanks for the Sheldon Brown link, I didn't know about this. I use that site for a lot of reference but haven't looked for anything saddle related.
     
  15. clamdigger

    clamdigger

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    Most saddles with suspension are engineered to absorb road shock from the rear wheel. There is a natural rocking movement of the hips while pedaling, that these saddles impede. Here are some examples of Lepper Primus saddles , of different dimensions, to consider https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/bicycle-saddles-seatposts/lepper-saddle/ . Very comfortable. Free movement of hips. Depending on rider weight , and road conditions , they will bottom out.
     
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  16. sandman

    sandman

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    Check out Selle Royal site . They have seats for all types of bikes . I have a drifter model and love it .Good quality seats .
     
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  17. Starnger

    Starnger

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    I find their springs slightly harder then ones on Velo made saddles (used by Nirve, Dyno, Electra, etc.) Maybe i just have a bad experience trying the wrong ones, but from a few i have ridden on i have a similar feeling, that they were not absorbing the shock as well as my Electra saddle does.
     
  18. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

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    schwinn seat.JPG This is the Schwinn seat on my Fuji Odessa. Is this like your Schwinn? I have 3 of these with different covers. All are used (this is the best looking one :)). Worst feature is the thin plastic construction. Every time I lift the seat to load the bike, I feel it bend! Comfortable for me tho. :thumbsup:
     
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  19. us56456712

    us56456712

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    similar, but not exactly the same
     
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  20. Duchess

    Duchess

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    I know you said no Brooks, but they have a line of rubber saddles now that should have no trouble with mud and water. I have not tried them and they're a little more expensive than I'd like to take a chance on (though not if I knew I'd like them), but they've been out for a few years, so there should be plenty of feedback from users. They have a wider one now, too. My guess is that they probably wouldn't work with your back, but thought I'd throw it out there because saddles are a weird thing and you just never seem to know.
     

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