Women: What's your favorite saddle?

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  • hey up. i want to try one of these fizik donnas - anyone not using one for the next week or so and willing to lend?

  • Here goes ...

    So I went to the Specialized Concept Store to get measured tonight. The bloke told me I need a 155mm saddle - but they do all look super-wide, and I am a bit doubtful as:

    • I ended up getting rid of the last ladies saddle I had as the edges and my, um, inner thighs, didn't get along at all,
    • I have a long body and, I think, quite a forward riding position, and ride men's bikes as WSD bikes don't suit me at all (and I think I read part of WS saddles was to do with riding position?)

    That said, I'd quite like to try a WSD saddle, or at least something with a cut out - I've got a 143 rival on my fixed and some mystery specialized on my road bike, both of which are fine to about 100 miles, but not so much after that. I found a 155 sonoma in my cellar, which I thought about trying for width, but seems v padded and I think I prefer my saddles a little harder.

    I wondered whether any women had a 155mm, more roady-type saddle I could give a go? Or thoughts about whether I should worry about getting a ladies saddle at all. I actually quite like the look of the Riva (simple tastes), but am still doubting of the 155mm verdict.

    God, I feel like I have over-shared.

  • I've got a 155mm Bontrager Affinity you can try out. It's got a dip rather than a cut-out, which I need on my new bike, largely because my position is now more similar to yours, with the pelvis tilted forward. It's this one: evanscycles.com/products/bont­rager/inform-affinity-rl-womens-saddle-e­c026379#features

    It's not very padded, but has that kind of hard foamy stuff on it so it's not really unpadded either. I haven't tested it on a ride of any significant length, you're welcome to borrow it before you go to Dedham if you want.

  • Here goes ...

    So I went to the Specialized Concept Store to get measured tonight. The bloke told me I need a 155mm saddle

    The problem is that it doesn't help when it come to figuring out what shape saddle fit you the best, width I realised much later isn't that important as people make it out to be, just the correct shape.

    • I ended up getting rid of the last ladies saddle I had as the edges and my, um, inner thighs, didn't get along at all,

    You're not the only one, that was actually one of the main criticism I've heard from the female customers, the men the same as well with wide saddle.

  • Thanks both, that's really helpful - and kind. So I have done a little more internet research and have learned a lot (possibly too much) from the very candid ladies at team estrogen.

    I think I have concluded that:

    • I might need a 155mm saddle (apparently, pushing yourself to the back of the saddle is a sign you need a wider saddle and I do do that - witness me effectively suspending myself off my saddlebag mount at last week's TNRC)
    • Thigh chafing is avoided by getting a more t-shaped saddle. Apparently specialized saddles are more t-shaped, selle italia ones more pear / wedge shape. So I might give the Jett, or possibly the Ruby, a go and return it if it doesn't work.

    I was surprised how little the guy at the SC store asked about my bike, riding habits, riding position etc. I suspect there is definitely more to saddle fitting than being able to measure the gap between two fairly sizeable indentations in gel foam.

  • Katy, I have a Riva you can borrow if you like. All my saddle purchases have been completely hit and miss but I quite like that one - not currently using it though so borrow away.

  • I was surprised how little the guy at the SC store asked about my bike, riding habits, riding position etc.

    It's very rare to have a bicycle shop to have someone whom is experienced with bicycle fitting.

    Example, it cost as much to be trained on bicycle fitting as a Cytech 2 mechanic, given the nature of the industry, it's more profitable to have a mechanic whom can build a bicycle properly*, only smaller, more specialised shop actually think it's worthwhile, mine especially.

    But you're quite right, especially with riding position as for all he could know, you could be riding a TT bicycle and may required a narrower saddle, a saddle that give you a bigger range of position, flat all the way etc. (the bigger the saddle to drop, the narrower your sitbones get), he's trained to explain the difference between each saddle but never about the bicycle fit.

    apart from Halfords whom feel it's profitable *not to have a mechanic with the necessary qualification to meet the European standard.

  • Hey I never know the sitbones narrow with a bigger drop. Great piece of info :)

    I have a specialised avatar Men saddle but love it. A 143 on a moderately forward tourer. Have a Regal too but the rounded shape can errrr nip on potholes.

  • I've got a 155mm Bontrager Affinity you can try out. .

    Katy, I have a Riva you can borrow if you like. All my saddle purchases have been completely hit and miss but I quite like that one - not currently using it though so borrow away.

    Thanks both - will be in touch, but no super hurry. I went to P*y C*s to day to look at their saddles. They had a bit of a rubbish selection, and when I said I was looking for a women-specific saddle the bloke handed me some massive, foam-covered monstrosity. I suggested that it might look a little silly on a road bike - his response was that he didn't realise I was looking for a saddle for a road bike, which is kind of fine, but I was frustrated that (again) there was no attempt to work out what kind of riding I do or what I might need. Ho hum.

  • Just to let you all know, I've arranged for some women's test saddles from Fizik to come into Kinoko. The Vesta, Vitesse and Donna will all be in stock soon but if anyone wants to borrow a test saddle then let me know. I will probs try the Vitesse first as it's more suited to my new road bike...

    We will also get a restock of the Ldy Gel Flow as we sold out of them!

    SPAM but thought might be useful...

  • Hello all,

    Brief lurker, and very appreciative of this (mostly) ladies forum.

    Question for all you who have Brooks saddles (particularly the B17, though any experiences welcome): do you find that, in a somewhat aggressive position, that your flappy bits are at all crushed? I have a Specialized Jett (155mm) at the moment, and it seems no amount of tilting (forward or backward) will alleviate any pressure either on the front-most bits or more on the side (labia majora) (it seems I'm somewhat well-endowed in this area?). I'm looking into a Brooks because it appears fairly flat in the rear of the saddle, but am concerned about the portion in the middle in that, as time goes on and the leather wears in, the center section could scrunch everything up. For the record, my sit bones are about 145mm apart.

    It figures that my first post would be about something like this >.>

  • Ah you haven't seen the Foffa sales thread on here yet, mention of flappy bits is nothing compared to it. Welcome to the forum :)

    Yeah I know the feeling of the ladies precious gems getting nipped. The boyfriend has a Brooks and is very happy with it but he says some people have "Brooks ass" and some don't.

    I found my Specialized avatar can rub too, not so much in front but more on the side. It's ridden semi-forward position. Other than that, can ride it with jeans/anything and no nips.

    My charge Ladle can nip at front but not on the side, it's flatter which is for me good for the sides, but a nasty pothole and ouch. On longer distances over 12 miles it starts numbing things, which the Specialized doesn't.

    The Selle Italia Regal has no flat section and is pretty firm, not enough riding yet to know if it can solve your problem.

    urbanvelo.org/selle-an-atomica-ti­tanico-saddle-review/ maybe something like that can work too?

  • I bought a Jett 155, it seems to be doing the trick. Should have stopped at the first post in this thread ...

  • I'm glad someone finally said something about flappy bits. (At least on the pages I've read).

    I've still found nothing I absolutely love. Or at least don't really notice.

    On the 'nag I've got one of the gel lady flow things with a cut out. Generally it's rather good, but I still think it's a little wide in the 'flappy bit' area so thigh chafing has been a slight issue still*It is, however, more comfortable in other ways. Maybe the cut out is helping with pressure from my riding position.
    On the beater I've got an old generic selle italia which is also pretty good. Very comfy on shorter rides, but I doubt I'd feel the same anything over 20 miles.

    Interesting reading about this T shaped idea. Something I'm going to go and do more research on.

    After all my trials I'm kind of left wondering whether I have a particularly unusual anatomy. I most likely have the typical wider sit bones of the 'average' female, but I have never found the width at that part of the saddle an issue, just the part at the, err, under-carriage (for want of a better word).

    Overshare?
    Oh well.

  • saw T4's Specialized Oura the other day, looked very nice and I already know I suit Specialized womens saddles. bit pricey though :/

  • Youch.
    Looks potentially rather good though.
    I'm not yet sure what my limit budget is for wonderful comfort. Possibly that much, but most likely only once I've spent six times that trying out various cheaper options.
    Shopping logic.

    What I would be interested to try is a firm saddle with a decent amount of width at the back, but with the narrowest possible 'between the leg' but that still allows for a depression / cut out.

  • fizik vesta might fit the bill for you.. and shops like bon velo have test saddles i believe

  • ^ Bon Velo is alas not open at the moment, following the flood in herne hill last week.

  • ^^ Hah Charlotte83 grin at undercarriage :)

    Men saddles like Specialized Avatar can be very t-shaped and that one goes up to 150.

    I have lectured the guys at work that woman also have bits that can get nipped on deep potholes (we have cyclists here) not just men. A case of TMI no doubt but they're asking for it with some of their jokes!

  • Any suggestions for a woman's MTB saddle?

    Jess, do Kinoko have test women's offroad saddles?

  • What I would be interested to try is a firm saddle with a decent amount of width at the back, but with the narrowest possible 'between the leg' but that still allows for a depression / cut out.

    NB: I have not tried this saddle.
    But just browsing online, the shape looks quite narrow at the front, wide at the back
    evanscycles.com/products/sell­e-italia/flite-monolink-flow-saddle-ec05­1578

  • HALP PLZ.

    saddles i have tried and not enjoyed

    • a rolls
    • a charge bucket
    • a san marco spid glamour
    • a specialized toupe
    • a concor
    • a selle italia turbo

    i'm currently riding an unbranded super padded ladies saddle. it's far and away the most comfortable ride i've had for three years (not a euph) but i get many comments from my "friends" about riding an armchair (their acerbity exacerbated by jealousy, no doubt, as it really is a wonderfully comfy ride). i'd really like to try out some more racing saddles because the previous five i've tried haven't worked for me at all and it's incredibly frustrating.

    i've measured my sitbones at the specialized shop in cov garden, apparently i need a saddle between 143-155mm.

    should i just try some more saddles out or is this something a bike fit would cover comprehensively?

    synopsis:

    - does anyone know which shops have tester saddles or
    - can anyone recommend a bike fitting which covers women's saddles

    thank you in advance... any help much appreciated!

  • You should try more saddles.
    After trying few you should roughly now which shape fits you and go from there (i knew it was slr type for me so i tried different slr's and a couple of specialized ones). If you still don't know - try even more.

    Bike fit will cover saddle adjustment but it won't make uncomfortable saddle comfortable.

    I've had test saddles from putney cycles, velosport and sigma sport (probably the most helpful shop with selle italia, specialized, fizik, smp and itm test saddles). Condor stocks some test saddles too.

  • Disclaimer: I've now been told off by two bike fitters for recommending this but: you might want to try adjusting your saddle angle. I am a miserable ibuprofen popping mess on a level saddle on a road bike. Nose down by a few degrees and I can happily ride 100+ miles on any saddle.

    As above, apparently it's bad and allegedly indicative of other problems with your set up, but I've been riding all my bikes like this (bar the mtb) for five years or so now with no problems.

  • Further to what ada and tricity have said, all of the saddles you've tested bar two are the same kind of shape - thick, padded, classically shaped saddles, so it may be that you do need something with a lower profile that flexes under your sit bones more. Do as Ada has said and just keep riding test saddles. Condor probably has the best stock of test saddles for you to use, locally.

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Women: What's your favorite saddle?

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