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Saddles

Old 01-03-20, 07:06 PM
  #1  
1saxman
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Saddles

I've been riding on the original saddle on my 1992 Trek 930 that I'm using as a road bike. I've been having pain at the 'sit bones' so I took a closer look at the saddle which basically looks fine. I found the foam or whatever is under the fabric cover is bunching up into 'tiers' along each side. This bike has had a little use from '92 to '96 by the original owner at a local university and still looked new when I got it sometime around '03 (original tires, chain and brake pads in fine condition). I rode it a few times and realized how much I really liked it because it seemed to fit me perfectly. Then I stopped riding for some years but had it overhauled three years ago, after which it sat again until I started riding again this fall. So the saddle really is not worn out - I think it just expired from age.
Anyway, I took a look at the Selle saddles featured on the ad banner at the head of this site and decided to get one. It just arrived this evening, so I installed it. Using their recommendations, I made some pretty big changes in saddle height and orientation - it feels great in the garage but it'll be Sunday before I can hit the road with it.
40 years ago I had a couple of Brooks saddles that never did really break in for me and this Selle 'Anatomica' feels great out of the box. My riding buddy and I have a goal to work up to a 30-mile round trip by warm weather, maybe April. Just did an 18-mile on New Year's day and my seat was killing me by the time we finished. I have some padded shorts but honestly it seems to be a little better without the seat pad. But, unless I can get some relief, I'm never going to make that goal. I guess I'll find out Saturday.
I have other problems too but they're minor compared to the seat pain, plus they're improving. Both of us are losing weight and feeling the benefits of regular cycling in many other ways, so even if we don't make that goal as soon as we want to, we're still benefitting.
Mine is actually 'Russet'-color with copper rivets (like the old Brooks) but here's what it looks like:

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Old 01-04-20, 08:44 AM
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Don't have a leather saddle, but from all I've heard or read, it's a matter of adjustment on the first few rides. Makes sense to me, any new leather will stretch somewhat. Hope it works out for you-those leather saddles aren't cheap!
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Old 01-04-20, 10:31 AM
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I never could get my butt happy with a leather saddle (found heaven in a Fizik). Hope this one works out better for you - or the shop you ordered from takes exchanges, Good luck!
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Old 01-04-20, 12:12 PM
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I had to pull my potatoes out of the cabinet to see what you were talking about. Russet.
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Old 01-04-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
...But, unless I can get some relief, I'm never going to make that goal. I guess I'll find out Saturday...
I have a Selle Anatomica H2. One thing about these kinds of leather hammock saddles: there's a fore-aft sweet spot you have to find, so fore-aft positioning is critical; much more critical than a conventional saddle. Angle is also critical - I have mine angled up slightly as you see many B17s.

So I'd recommend when you go out riding to be prepared to stop, adjust, and analyze frequently until you get it dialed in. Do this 10 times on your next ride if you feel the need, so don't put yourself in a position to be rushed.

Also, I found I needed a set-back seatpost. The Selle Anatomica saddles have a little more fore-aft range than a Brooks, but not enough for me with a zero offset seatpost.
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Old 01-04-20, 02:11 PM
  #6  
1saxman
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Mine is an H2 also, with the steel rails and frame. Yes, there is some adjusting to do. I roughed it in statically in the garage and will take a good ride on Sunday to get it right before the Monday morning long ride and probably will have to take a turn or so on the tightener. Their directions were the best I've encountered for fitting any saddle and I learned a ton just from that. Its possible that not having the saddle positioned properly was my principle problem, and probably explains why I could never ride 'no-hands' in the modern era - I could do it to some extent as a teen on the old bikes. Not sure I'll be able to anyway but that's one of their tests - if you can't because you feel like you're sliding forward, the tilt is wrong. The 'nose-up' attitude they recommend is also critical for the comfort of your 'sit-bones' along with the fore-aft adjustment. Because I'm not tall, there seems to be plenty of 'aft' movement available.
Just going by how it feels in the garage compared to the other saddle/position, I have high hopes for it. The major change so far is I raised the seat post about 1/2". This is really not part of the new saddle adjustment - it was too low - at least I think so, and going by the Selle adjustments it took that to get the vertical plane from knee cap to pedal axle with pedal at 3:00. I've been leaving the saddle too far forward according to their instructions, plus, the old saddle is shorter than the new one, compounding that problem.
One drawback to all this 'correctness' is it is going to throw more weight forward on my hands as my rear raises up and scoots back, stretching out my arms and lowering my head. This is great for racing but is going to give me more neck pain (from looking up) and hand numbness. Whatever, as long as I'm using this bike that's the way it will be - The stem is already at max height so I might have to put a taller one in it. Or, I might be better off simply using a different bike. I have one that I'm thinking of overhauling and trying out.
If this works like I think it will, I'll be entering a new world with less pain and that long ride will become a reality.
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Old 01-06-20, 01:46 PM
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Well, I think its going to be fine. The first test ride on Sunday went well and I stopped several times to adjust the saddle. My position turned out to be nearly all the way back and with the nose up by about 1/4". Went on a 15 mile ride today and did experience some seat pain on the return leg but overall it is a huge improvement. I think I will toughen up enough to make a 30-mile ride possible. This ride was without the padded shorts because I hoped to get indentations from the 'sit-bones' on the saddle, which I did. They are 9 cm apart, centered on the saddle and 2.5" forward of the back edge directly behind the dent on each side. This seems perfect to me. So I'm just going with it and see if I can get used to it.
Coincidentally I raised the seat post as stated above which really seemed to boost my power - my riding buddy commented that we were pulling higher gears than was previously the case and I had felt like I was going faster. This was reflected in our time to the 7.5-mile turnaround, cutting off a few minutes.
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Old 01-07-20, 09:59 AM
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I have 2 Selle Anatomica saddles. Like em both.
One rides on a favored Classic.
And is a natural complement to the Campy seatpost with 2-bolt 'top adjust' clamp, given the generous cutout.


The other is moving to a newtome vintage bike. Natural leather color.

Last edited by Wildwood; 01-07-20 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 01-07-20, 03:18 PM
  #9  
1saxman
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Nice!
It was my left hip that got sore on the ride. I looked at the saddle today and realized when I was adjusting it and riding, I forgot to center it perfectly. It looked okay but when I put the old draftsman's eye on it, I guess it was around 5 degrees to the right. Selle says if one side bothers you, adjust the nose to that side, so I simply straightened it. I'll rest my hip bones another day or so and give it another go - I think this will do the trick.
Almost forgot, I also believe that I had it too tight so I backed off the adjuster a little and will check it during the next ride a few times.
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Old 01-09-20, 10:13 AM
  #10  
1saxman
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BTW, I found out the 'dimples' in the hip bone areas were put in at the factory to help give the seat a 'feel' when you are positioned correctly on it. As far as I know I haven't put any depressions in it yet - need more miles!.
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Old 01-09-20, 11:38 AM
  #11  
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This is a seat I am interested in, at my size and weight... THanks for those offering suggestions on this seat!!!
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Old 01-09-20, 01:38 PM
  #12  
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FYI "Selle" isn't the brand name, it means "saddle" in Italian. The brand is Anatomica. The Italian makers use Selle as the prefix in their names. Selle San Marco, Selle Italia, etc.
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Old 01-11-20, 09:34 AM
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1saxman
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I had a little trouble with the opening toward the nose with its sharp-edged sides catching my biking shorts. I see that they are now offering to smooth off those edges for $29.99 before shipping the saddle. I'm sure I can do it myself and I think most anyone could at least as well as they did going by the picture on their site. I would only do the part in the nose area.
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Old 01-11-20, 07:46 PM
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I changed to my Selle Anatomica about five years ago and it changed my riding forever. Forty year of varying degrees of pain and ten saddles hanging on my garage wall and within minutes all of that was moot.. I have two, love them both and now I NEVER think about my butt while riding. Take some time setting them up, nose up a bit more than other saddles and make your adjustments slowly. Good luck.

PS: I'm also intrigued by the Rivet saddle and they seem to get good reviews as well.
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Old 01-11-20, 09:23 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
FYI "Selle" isn't the brand name, it means "saddle" in Italian. The brand is Anatomica. The Italian makers use Selle as the prefix in their names. Selle San Marco, Selle Italia, etc.
Plus, "Selle AnAtomica" is not an Italian company, it's American. Their use of "Selle" is just a marketing choice.
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Old 01-11-20, 10:54 PM
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1saxman
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And, they use 'Selle Anatomica' as their trademark and business name in every way possible. However, now knowing the derivation of it, I'll probably call the saddle an 'Anatomica' in the future.
BTW, I did a very light rounding of the edges of the cut with a regular small fingernail emery board in about 5 minutes. You'll need something round with some sandpaper wrapped around it for the small diameter front end. I did go about halfway back and just tapered it out.
I last rode Monday the 6th and my left lower hip bone was sore until the 9th. I rotated the saddle to the left according to the instructions as I explained above. I hope to get an hour or so in tomorrow (Sunday) and hopefully things will be better.
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Old 01-11-20, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
And, they use 'Selle Anatomica' as their trademark and business name in every way possible. However, now knowing the derivation of it, I'll probably call the saddle an 'Anatomica' in the future.
BTW, I did a very light rounding of the edges of the cut with a regular small fingernail emery board in about 5 minutes. You'll need something round with some sandpaper wrapped around it for the small diameter front end. I did go about halfway back and just tapered it out.
I last rode Monday the 6th and my left lower hip bone was sore until the 9th. I rotated the saddle to the left according to the instructions as I explained above. I hope to get an hour or so in tomorrow (Sunday) and hopefully things will be better.
I tend to just call them "S-A."
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Old 01-12-20, 01:57 AM
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Hmm, had a saddle on a Trek from 1996 and one on a Cannondale from 1998. I rode them both and after they broke it, they were great, did several centuries on them. After they wore out, I tried to get the exact models but couldn't find any. Then started looking into more expensive saddles that were terrible imo. I did find a Terry fly titanium in 2003 that was great out of the box. Did 100 miles on the first ride out of the box, loved it!
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Old 01-12-20, 11:19 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by smoore View Post
I changed to my Selle Anatomica about five years ago and it changed my riding forever. Forty year of varying degrees of pain and ten saddles hanging on my garage wall and within minutes all of that was moot.. I have two, love them both and now I NEVER think about my butt while riding. Take some time setting them up, nose up a bit more than other saddles and make your adjustments slowly. Good luck.

PS: I'm also intrigued by the Rivet saddle and they seem to get good reviews as well.
I have a wide Rivet, the Pearl. With the correct shorts I think it's a really comfy saddle, better than my S-As. But at the moment my favorites are a nicely broken in vintage Brooks Pro Select and a newly in use Brooks Swallow Select.

But I've gained weight. S-A Series 2 are the normal choice for my current level of pork. I'm trying to lose it, but riding is a part of that.
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Old 01-13-20, 09:55 AM
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The SMP Stratos was the answer for me. SMP makes many saddle models with a full length center cut out. Start with the right width and don't bother with any of the models that have minimal padding. SMP suggests saddle width based on waist size, but that means a waist size without extra weight. Think back to your youth for that. I use a narrow width.

https://www.sellesmp.com/en/saddles/...imbottitura=46
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Old 01-17-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
FYI "Selle" isn't the brand name, it means "saddle" in Italian. The brand is Anatomica. The Italian makers use Selle as the prefix in their names. Selle San Marco, Selle Italia, etc.

Imagine that, I learned something new today. Thank you!

As for a leather saddle, I haven't ridden one in 40 years, but it was great for the long rides. Currently riding "Saddle" Italia SLR's and Fizik Arione's.
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Old 01-17-20, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by h2oxtc View Post
Imagine that, I learned something new today. Thank you!

As for a leather saddle, I haven't ridden one in 40 years, but it was great for the long rides. Currently riding "Saddle" Italia SLR's and Fizik Arione's.
??? Aren't those leather?.
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Old 01-17-20, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
??? Aren't those leather?.
Touché.

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Old 01-18-20, 08:59 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by h2oxtc View Post
Touché.

I knew what you meant, the stretched leather, like Brooks.
Oddly, I have an old SLR and it's my favorite but I hated the Arione.
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Old 01-19-20, 05:05 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
??? Aren't those leather?.
There's a distinction here - Brooks leather saddles, S-A leather saddles, Rivet, Berthoud and the rare ressurrected Ideale are leather tops, where the leather is thick enough to be it's own structural base. I'm very familiar with Brooks, S-A, Rivet and old Ideale. I've always thought of these as "leather" saddles, based on early LBS exposure. For these, the weight-bearing is done by the solid leather top.

I'm not very familiar witn the SLR or any of the Fiziks, but many saddles have a plastic, fiber, or composite structural base that is usually molded (here my faves are Specialized models), and some have this base covered with leather or a padded or gel-based covering. An early one was the Unicanitor, and another was sold by Cinelli. I suppose it's reasonable to call the leather-covered ones "leather," but this is essentially different from the construction of the Brooks leather saddles and similar makes. For these covered saddles, the weight bearing is done by the plastic or similarly molded bases, with the leather cover, which is stretched for a smooth appearance, having a mainly tactile and visual cosmetic function.

While both styles could be termed "leather," they are definitely not the same in terms of what the leather does.
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