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Best saddle for a touring mountain bike?

Old 12-03-13, 08:30 PM
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hammockman
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Best saddle for a touring mountain bike?

Hi-I hope this is the correct place for this question. Or maybe it should be in the mountain bike area? I'm looking to tour on my hard tail mountain bike with front shocks. I ride in a very non-aggressive position. The saddle that came with the bike isn't very comfortable and I am looking to buy a better one. Do any of you have any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 12-03-13, 08:42 PM
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Saddles are really personal. All people can tell you is what works for them and then you have to make a decision. What kind of saddle are you currently using? Have you been using it for a while? Sometimes you just need to get used to a saddle.

That said, I like the drop nose WTB saddles: https://www.wtb.com/products/sst.

Others will have different preferences.

I'm in the process of converting an older mtb to drop bars for touring purposes. I'm seriously considering getting the selle anatomica: https://www.selleanatomica.com/design/colors/. I've test ridden it and like it but I don't have long experience with it.

You're lucky to be riding in CR; that is such a beautiful country.
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Old 12-03-13, 09:05 PM
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You have the same Butt , no matter what bike you have under it so would be the same saddle ..

Mountain bike crashes tear up saddles, so I'd say cheap ones.

how about this one? https://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...FYF7QgodRlcAOA

the foam is also the cover , said to be Crocs shoes type plastic foam. (I don't own one )

or maybe a Sprung Brooks?

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Old 12-03-13, 09:49 PM
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There are many videos on youtube about saddle fit. I suggest watching them.

Then I bought a cheap saddle for my wide *. It worked, then it broke. This pretty much ended my trip as I didn't want to take the time to find a new saddle, work on fitting and ..... So, IMHO, buy the size that fits, if it is cost effective great, if it isn't just remember your butt will be on it all day long, it is important.
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Old 12-03-13, 10:17 PM
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I'm happy with the WTB Rocket V. Terry Liberator is good, as well. Try a few and see what works best for you.
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Old 12-03-13, 10:19 PM
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Like mentioned above, saddles are a personal thing. Start with your current saddle and determine whats wrong with it - does the back end needs to be wider? or front narrower? Need a little more/less padding? Need a slot down the middle to relieve pressure?. Then find a bicycle shop with a good selection, and see if they'll let you try a few different saddles until you find what works for your 'backside' - you'll usually have to pay for one, then bring it back within a few days for exchange if needed. Also factor in what terrain you'll be riding on - paved roads, graded dirt roads, rutted dirt roads, or singletrack trails? (not sure what's in Costa Rica or what your plans are).
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Old 12-04-13, 12:13 AM
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You should first measure the width of your sit bones. If your saddle is too narrow it will be painful. Here's a easy way to do it:

https://www.artscyclery.com/learningc...bonewidth.html

I used a bag of rice, sat on it, then measure width of dimples made on the rice bag. I needed a wider saddle than most, and fortunately inexpensive saddled worked very well for me

https://www.velosaddles.com/en/brands...ined-3147.html
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Old 12-04-13, 04:57 AM
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I've been using a sprung Brooks on my Hunq which is an all terrain touring bike.

I've been happy with it, but, since they are on sale, I decided to try a Selle Anatomica. I've been told by other owners they are very forgiving and comfortable. It comes tomorrow, I'll post something after I get it and have a chance to compare.

Marc
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Old 12-04-13, 06:57 PM
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Thanks guys! I am planning on riding mostly dirt and gravel roads but will also do some single track. I have WTB with a slot down the middle that came with my Marin Bobcat Trail and it seems pretty hard. I've been riding this saddle for a few months but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I am a heavy guy 250 lbs trying to lose some weight by riding. I live on the side of an extinct volcano so most of my rides are mostly up and down hills. I ride seated on all the up hills which is most of the time and only come out of the saddle for the down hill rides. Maybe I need to change my riding technique and stand on the up hill but it doesn't seem very natural? After about an hour of riding I have the sensation of numbing in my feet and a sore pubic area. There aren't too many bike shops around here and they aren't very consumer friendly. I might have to wait until I go up to the US in April to try different saddles. I like the idea of the dropped nosed WTB one and I do like the Croc style material as it's very comfortable in the shoes. I'll probably keep riding this one and give myself plenty of breaks until then. I'll look into all suggestions you guys give and it's appreciated as I've been out of riding for quite a while but am hoping to get back into it in a big way.
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Old 12-04-13, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
You should first measure the width of your sit bones. If your saddle is too narrow it will be painful. Here's a easy way to do it:

https://www.artscyclery.com/learningc...bonewidth.html

I used a bag of rice, sat on it, then measure width of dimples made on the rice bag. I needed a wider saddle than most, and fortunately inexpensive saddled worked very well for me

https://www.velosaddles.com/en/brands...ined-3147.html
Note to self, don't eat rice at bwgride's house. :-)
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Old 12-04-13, 08:42 PM
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double post
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Old 12-04-13, 09:58 PM
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as mentioned, there really isnt going to be a perfect answer for you, but I would add that if you are living there, given the rain and such, perhaps a non leather saddle would be better. Ive toured on a front shocked mtn bike before, and as someone else said, its still your bum so whatever works. The only thing vs a road bike is that usually your body position on a mtn bike will be more upright, so a seat that might not be great for a road bike will work better due to less leaning forward.
I am fairly familiar with CR, lived there in the mid 80s on an exchange program. Where are you? Ive travelled by bike a little there last year, not as much as I would have liked, but depending on how long you have been there, I can give some pointers to roads not to take, just because of the busy traffic factor.
As for using biking for a workout, CR certainly is the area for hill work. Last year there I had two rear panniers and a handlebar bag, and was really glad for the mtn bike gearing. You know how it is there, 70kph to 7kph really fast, repeat. Mtn biking there is fairly common, so ask around, you might be able to find some seat selection, although you prob will have a much better selection in the States, especially more suitable for a bigger guy.
Basic thing, but if you wear padded bike shorts, dont wear underwear.
By your writing, I take it you are a gringo and not a Tico?

this photo was somewhere between Tierrablanca and Turrialba, the upper road, not the main one.
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Old 12-04-13, 10:27 PM
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Are you wearing cycling shorts? Your current saddle doesn't sound too bad. Whenever I do a long climb, I stand about 1 minute in every 10. The easiest thing is frequently to spin up the gear a bit, then shift up a ring in front, then stand. Practice and get good at it on the flat before you do it on a hill.
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Old 12-05-13, 10:11 AM
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I like the Brooks Flyer, w/ springs.
I have two of them, specials.
One on my mtn tourer/commuter and one on my pedicab. Springs help on these setups.
B17 specials on the LongHaul and on the steel cyclocross.
Brooks Pro on the old Univega Sportour.
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Old 12-05-13, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
Note to self, don't eat rice at bwgride's house. :-)
We serve brown, dirty rice.
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Old 12-06-13, 11:32 AM
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Thanks again everybody. I don't wear cycling shorts, do they make that big a difference? I've just been wearing long, loose exercise shorts so far. I'm really only riding less then an hour and a half at a time but I am going to increase that as possible.
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Old 12-06-13, 01:03 PM
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As you start spending all day in the saddle, the bacteria that is always on your skin takes advantage of pores
and abrasions in your skin and creates infections ,, Carbuncles, saddle sores . like Big Pimples.

the smooth seamless, absorbant pad in bike shorts cuts down on the friction,

and being really diligent on the crotch washing lowers the bacteria count.

On long , multi Month tours I bring 3 pairs of bike shorts
to always have a clean dry pair to put on every Morning ..

and a small vial of concentrated liquid Surgeon's Scrub for the washing those bits.
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Old 12-07-13, 11:49 AM
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Do the baggy mountain bike shorts work as well as the tight lycra or spandex shorts all the road guys wear?
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Old 12-07-13, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hammockman View Post
Do the baggy mountain bike shorts work as well as the tight lycra or spandex shorts all the road guys wear?
Yes, but....

Think of mountain bike shorts like wearing road bike shorts and then a pair of shorts over them.
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Old 12-08-13, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
Yes, but....

Think of mountain bike shorts like wearing road bike shorts and then a pair of shorts over them.
FWIW most of the mountain bikers I know wear road bike shorts. I would suggest just wearing road bike shorts unless you are overly self conscious about wearing lycra.
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Old 12-08-13, 06:53 AM
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I see that there are options on the saddles and I probably need some bike shorts if I'm going to ride multi-day trips. That's should get me started in the right direction. I'll check out the different saddles when I hit the US in April. Mostly I think I need to make sure I ride as much as I can and it should figure itself out. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-13, 04:05 AM
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https://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...s-saddle-black

with a hole

EDIT: I was typing with one there. I wanted to say it's the (WTB) Freedom Deluxe Greenbelt saddle that has a hole in the middle.

Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 12-13-13 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-09-13, 09:43 AM
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CR fellow, about the shorts, there are mtn bike style shorts that do have an inner liner that has some padding (the padding generally helps with comfort just due to the padding factor) These may appeal to you simply because you may be more comfortable with regular looking shorts on. The other advantage to tighter type padded bike shorts (and also the forementioned mtn shorts with built in padded liner) is to not have a bunch of loose material bunched up in all of our nether regions--loose material moving around will cause chafing, so having a padded liner that usually is much better for not having seams where we dont want seams rubbing, plus it being a smoother material, will generally help with less chafing on ones inner thighs (especially if you have big thighs) not to mention the various nether regions.

Lycra padded bike shorts really are preferred by riders for the comfort factor when riding a lot, its not just a fashion thing (for some it is Im sure)

In the states these mtn shorts with inner pads will be easily found, at least look online at major sports places like REI or big bike stores to get an idea of what is available, you should be able to see examples.
The other suggestion is to take it gradually in how much you ride, that said, if you have real chafing etc, dont ignore it thinking it will get better over time--maybe it will a bit, but some sort of biking shorts with tighter fitting inners and some padding will help a lot.
You should be able to find a bike seat and shorts that work fairly well. Good luck.
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Old 12-09-13, 03:46 PM
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Thanks djb, I ended up getting one pair of road shorts and they seem to work well. I guess I do have something against lycra. I've always thought that road shorts look pretty goofy. I guess its form over fashion. When you look like me you shouldn't be in lycra, it could be a crime. I guess I'll end up with a number of the padded lycra shorts and just deal with it.

I'm already taking one of the earlier posters advice and actually standing on some of the hills. I think it's doing some good but damn, that's some hard work. Thanks again.
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Old 12-09-13, 04:13 PM
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con mucho gusto.
A great compromise for you (and cheap too) is to look around for a simple pair of thin baggy shorts that you could just wear over the lycra road biking shorts. In fact, when I bike travel, I have an old pair of black baggy sport shorts that had the mesh liner taken out ages ago, that I keep on my bike under the bungee cord that holds my tent on (or in a pannier) so when I go into a store, I can just slip them over my biking shorts if its an area that people arent used to seeing cyclists in tight cycling shorts.
I admit I havent ridden with them like this for more than a short time, but mtn bikers used to do this all time, so they woudnt rip their lycra shorts when they fall off , or when sitting on the ground.

There's got to be lots of futbol type baggy shorts to be found wherever you are in CR, they dont have to be fancy, as long as they work.

In any case, hope you keep riding and find clothing/seat combos that will work.
cheers

Last edited by djb; 12-09-13 at 05:56 PM.
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