good seat

zimm

Expedition Leader
#1
whats a good seat for long days in the saddle? i never have found a traditional mountain bike, or road seat, that didnt make my willie tingle if i sat in for 25 miles of gravel grinding.

i think next year im gonna ride from Pittsburgh to DC over few days and im not real excited about 80+ miles on the traditonal MB seats i have.
 

BradS

New member
#3
Obviously saddles are very subjective. What's good for me doesn't necessarily translate to anyone else.
I bought my first mountain bike in 1986 and have been riding ever since, so I've had some good saddles and some bad ones. Anything that strays too far from the normal design (like the one you posted), I find is a fail. Coincidentally the most recent saddle I bought, approx 2 months ago, was a SQlab 611 Ergowave Active https://sqlab-usa.com/products/611-ergowave-mtb-active-s-tube-saddle. They measure you in the store to get you on the right width. In my case, after riding it for a few weeks, I should have gone with one size down. It's comfy on the sit-bones, but a bit wide in the nose, not so comfy on the taint. While pedaling it disappears underneath you because it rocks with your hips as you pedal.
Regardless, whatever saddle you buy, ride it way before any long trips. You will break your ass in on whatever saddle you buy, aka. ass calluses. The more you ride, the more your butt will be able to handle your saddle. Every ride on my new saddle gets more and more comfortable.
Hope that helps.
 
#6
Hello Zimm:

Have you thought about a moderate shock absorbing seatpost rather than a heavily padded saddle? I used to use a Thudbuster SL on my Sala Fargo to reduce some of the bite from washboards. I think the longest day was 85 miles of loaded touring & I felt fine. Currently I'm running the stock saddles that came on my 2017 Salsa Mukluk and Cutthroat. Those are WTB Volt Comps. They have more padding than I prefer, but work fine for touring saddles. A couple of weeks ago I took the Mukluk on a 2 day bikepack that ended up being about 120 miles of slightly to unmaintained gravel, two-track, and 20 miles of cross country down a remote canyon with more rock gardens than I planned on - the seat was fine.

When I was a roadie, my favorite saddles were Sella Italia SLR's. Almost no padding, but extremely comfortable as the shell flexed slightly between the nose and the rear rails. When I road mountain bikes I'd switch to a Sella Italia SLR XP which had a bit of padding. When we were younger my wife and I lived in Fort Collins, CO for several years and would usually take the winters off from cycling which meant that we had to break our butts in every spring. The saddle that was perfect for centuries in the fall was painful in the spring & we used to tell each other that it took 1,000 miles to get our butts back. If a saddle still felt poor after a 1,000 miles we'd think of changing it. I think there are two main considerations - are your "sit bones" on the saddle? Is the saddle too broad for your crotch? If the back of the saddle is too narrow then your sit bones may not be supported and too much of your weight will be supported by your crotch. That leads to chafing, saddle sores, and general misery. If your sit bones are supported, but the saddle is too broad for your crotch you may rub the insides of your upper thighs against the saddle and get some chafing.

A couple of other things that I find helpful on consecutive high mileage days - good cycling shorts with a "chamois" that's not too thick. I always wear a clean pair of cycling shorts each day (wash the previous day's in the morning and let them dry on your seat pack or panniers throughout the day). Some sort of a chamois lubricant - I usually use Chamois ButtR but I prefer Assos Chamois Cream if I'm in the saddle for more than 6 or 7 hours.

It sounds like you might have your bike set up for an exaggerated upright position? That can provide some relief for your hands and neck, but really puts a lot of weight onto your rear end. If you can strengthen your lower back and neck enough to use a more forward leaning position it will pay off in the long run - less windage and less problems with seats.

Howard L. Snell
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#8
Saddles are purely personal.

I ride a WTB Pure V, which falls into their wide saddles. I previously liked the Titec Ithys until they stopped making it I guess around 2006. I've never been able to break in a Brooks and have it be comfortable but my rear can sit on these WTBs for hours and days no problem. My wife rides a Selle Anatomica (similar to a Brooks) on her bike. I should point out that I ride single speed so I rarely sit in one position for long periods. I'm standing, sitting, leaning forward, rocking depending on the work load.

Personally do wear bike short mostly for the wicking. That's what really irritates, the moisture and chaffing. It seem to be the problem with Brooks for me, it's leather and I sweat a whole lot plus the generally fussiness of them and the feeling of sitting "in" them rather than "on" them. Just not for me. Same reason I went to plastic telemark boots. I can't imagine ever going back and riding the cow again.

But there's really no substitute for hours in the saddle. Gimmicks shapes, regardless if you have leather or plastic, thick padding and gel might get you an extra hour here or there, but it just comes down to getting your bike fit right, finding a saddle that is anatomically compatible and supports without pain points and then getting your sit region on it a lot.
 
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