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Women's cycle saddle recommendations? (Read 2282 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    I have a POS old mountain bike that DH is converting to sort of a hybrid for me for Summer (putting slick tires on it, basically). I haven't ridden in years--mainly because the saddle that's on it leaves me SORE and numb "down there" within a mile or less (and this is WITH a nice pair of Cannondale chamois shorts). It's a cheap, women's-specific saddle with a hole in the front, but it's not open--the hole is covered with the saddle fabric, so I think that's why it doesn't do much for pressure. The saddle probably needs to be angled differently, too. I'd like to be doing 10-20 miles 1-2x/week for cross-training, since recent knee issues lead me to believe that my quads could use some strengthening...and biking sounds a lot more fun than doing a bazillion squats. So what saddles would you gals recommend? I know Terry makes some good ones, but they generally aren't cheap. Since I'm not going to be logging all that many miles on my bike I'd like to find a saddle that isn't too spendy (I'll be going through running shoes fast enough with marathon training, so that's where the money's goin'), but will be comfortable for rides of an hour or so. Thanks! Smile

    Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

    '14 Goals:

    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


    Chicago RnR 1/2 Marathon

      I have a Bontrager that I really like. I bought a new bike last year and had them swap out the saddle that came with it before I ever left the store. Just in the first 2 minutes while they were fitting me to the bike, I knew it wouldn't work. If you have a good bike shop, they should be able to put a saddle on a bike and let you try it out.
        Take a look at the forums on team estrogen - everything you could possibly ever want to know (and probably more) about saddles for women. http://forums.teamestrogen.com/forumdisplay.php?f=72


        Needs more cowbell!

          Take a look at the forums on team estrogen - everything you could possibly ever want to know (and probably more) about saddles for women. http://forums.teamestrogen.com/forumdisplay.php?f=72
          Oh, wow...they have entire forums just for favorite and least favorite saddles! Shocked Looks like my sit bones width is going to be a big factor. I did the paper test recommended on there and it appears that I probably am around 110-115mm, so would probably do best with a 143-155mm saddle from what I've seen from the advice there. I have no idea what size my current saddle is, only that it is bad news. I saw lots of references there to serious, permanent damage to nerves and incontinence issues from a poorly fitting saddle. Yikes! DH's bike shop buddy appears to allow short "tests" of saddles and will take returns for a week or two, which should work. I just hope I don't test a saddle and dump my bike over (haven't done clipless pedals in years). That could make a saddle unreturnable. Blush

          Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

          '14 Goals:

          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          sherpagirl


          Sherpagirl

            Terry makes some pretty good popular saddles. I have a women's 'Open Century' on my road bike. It has a hole in the snoot part of the saddle. Looks weird but works really well. I like it a lot. You will be sore on any saddle at first ... but you shouldn't be numb and the soreness should get better as you ride more.
            If you're bored ask why you're boring


            Needs more cowbell!

              You will be sore on any saddle at first ... but you shouldn't be numb and the soreness should get better as you ride more.
              Yeah, I know sore sit-bones are par for the course when starting...but that instant pain and numbness up-front is not right (and it's kept me off of my bike for the better part of a decade). DH has been trying to convince me that it's all saddle angle, but given that he doesn't have the same anatomy, I'm not sure that he "gets" the sensation that I've experienced. He seems able to slap his butt on any saddle and be comfortable.

              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                Yeah, I know sore sit-bones are par for the course when starting...but that instant pain and numbness up-front is not right (and it's kept me off of my bike for the better part of a decade).
                I just bought a new saddle for my bike - just a cheap-ish one from Nashbar, since I don't really ride often enough to justify a more expensive one, but this one has a fairly substantial cut out unlike my old saddle. So, I'll see how that goes. However, I also have short arms, so it's really hard for me to get a bike set up that allows me to be close enough to the handlebars but still sit back on the saddle far enough to be on the sit bones without feeling really stretched out or having my knees too far forward. And, if you keep sliding forward off your sit bones, you're putting all your weight on the soft tissue - instant sensation of burning followed my numbness. Assuming the saddle works out, my next buy would be shorter stem, which may also help. Also, take a look at the Allay Topeak line - I don't have any personal recommendations, but they look cool to me: http://www.allaysaddles.com/


                Needs more cowbell!

                  I'm built kind of weird, too...long torso, short arms and legs. I'm kind of like a cavewoman, that way. Wink One thing I wondered...are there some seat styles that work better for mtn. bikes vs. roadies? I think my mountain bike is a bit too big for me, too. I forget what size my frame is (for some reason 16 or 17" sticks in my head). I remember always feeling like I would have felt more comfortable on the next size down.

                  Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                  Queen of 3rd Place

                    I did the same thing with a junker bike given to me by my brother-in-law. Put the narrowest tires I could on it, got a women's cut-out saddle (cheapie from Performance bike), stripped it down to one gear and one set of brakes, slapped a saddlebag and a bunch of lights on it and voila - indestructable commuter for about $100. Losing all those gears, derailluers and brake parts, not to mention the fat tires, shaved about 7 lbs off the bike! Anyway, not trying to threadjack... Here's the saddle: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=23416&subcategory_ID=5211 The wrong frame size could be a problem - particularly if the frame is made for men. We gals tend to have longer legs/shorter torsos (sp?) vs. men, so a men's frame will force you to "reach" further, which could make your problem worse. A cheap fix for this would be to play around with handlebar stem length and/or height, or to try a different handlebar. Check out the "trekking" handlebars here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html In general, a too small frame is mo betta than too large. If worse comes to worse, you can pick up used bikes for cheap or free, I guess. Undecided Arla

                    2013 Valley Runner of the Year Series: Feb 16 5K (4 points out of 10) ... Mar 2 10K (20/30)... Mar 16 4Mi (21/30) ... Apr 6 10K (DNS) ... Apr 21 2Mi (5/10) ... May 11 5Mi (21/30)... Jun 8 1Mi (13/20) ... Jun 16 6Mi (22/30) ... Sep 28 10K (14/20) ... Oct 5 5K (7/10) ...Oct 12 5Mi (16/20) ... Oct 20 5K (0/10) = 3rd Place, Women's Senior Division


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      The wrong frame size could be a problem - particularly if the frame is made for men. We gals tend to have longer legs/shorter torsos (sp?) vs. men, so a men's frame will force you to "reach" further, which could make your problem worse. A cheap fix for this would be to play around with handlebar stem length and/or height, or to try a different handlebar. Check out the "trekking" handlebars here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html In general, a too small frame is mo betta than too large. If worse comes to worse, you can pick up used bikes for cheap or free, I guess. Undecided Arla
                      Yeah, that's something to consider. Though if I end up wanting to ride more I'd probably end up looking at an actual roadie, since that's primarily what DH does and I could probably get in on some group rides with him in the future. Actually, once DS is large enough for a junior road bike I have a feeling that running will mostly be a thing of the past for me, since the 3 of us could go on family rides together and DH can do all of our basic bike maintenance. Had I known about sprint cycling 20 years ago it's probably something I would have gotten into. I definitely have the right build for that (small upper body, "sturdy" legs).

                      Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                        I didn't read through everyone's responses, so sorry if this is a duplicate. I ride with a Terry Butterfly. It's the best saddle I've had so far. Love it. I do have to tell ya that no matter what saddle you have, it has to be adjusted just right. There are times when I get off my bike 10-20 times to adjust the seat a fraction. There's infinite possibles on how the saddle can be adjusted. Also, when I haven't been on my bike for awhile, it takes several rides a week to get those sitz bones numbed up. Until that time, it's ouchie for a bit. Time in the saddle will heal all.


                        TRIing to beat the heat!

                          I know that Terry sadles are a bit pricey, but since the company actually lets you test drive them... I think they might be looking into. My road bike currently has a stock Bontrager saddle on it. It actually doesn't bother me all that much (the thick chamois in my bike shorts bothers me more); however, I have a the Terry Butterfly Tri sadlle on my list to try out in the near future. I enjoy riding in tri shorts more than bike shorts and I think a proper fitting saddle has a lot to do with that. In that case I should probably leave well enough alone; however, those Terry saddles just look soooo comfy!

                          2012 Goals

                          Sub-1:42 for half marathon √ (1:41 at Disney, Jan '12)

                          Sub-22 for 5k √ (21:51 in Sept '12)

                          BQ for marathon- FAIL