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Women: What's your favorite saddle?
 
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Old 30th June 2013   #501
fluffdonor
 
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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?
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Old 25th July 2013   #502
KT Beedonor
 
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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.
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Old 25th July 2013   #503
bothwelldonor
 
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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: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...26379#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.
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Old 25th July 2013   #504
edscobledonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Bee View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Bee View Post
- 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.
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Old 25th July 2013   #505
KT Beedonor
 
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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.
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Old 25th July 2013   #506
hatsdonor
 
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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.
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Old 25th July 2013   #507
edscobledonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT Bee View Post
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.

Last edited by edscoble; 25th July 2013 at 23:16.
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Old 26th July 2013   #508
JWestlanddonor
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.
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Old 27th July 2013   #509
KT Beedonor
 
KT Bee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bothwell View Post
I've got a 155mm Bontrager Affinity you can try out. .
Quote:
Originally Posted by hats View Post
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.
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Old 31st July 2013   #510
Jess|e
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...
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Old 5th August 2013   #511
hurdygurdy
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 >.>
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Old 9th August 2013   #512
JWestlanddonor
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.

http://urbanvelo.org/selle-an-atomic...saddle-review/ maybe something like that can work too?
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Old 11th August 2013   #513
KT Beedonor
 
KT Bee's Avatar
I bought a Jett 155, it seems to be doing the trick. Should have stopped at the first post in this thread ...
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Old 15th August 2013   #514
Charlotte83
 
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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.
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Old 15th August 2013   #515
hoefladonor
saw T4's Specialized Oura the other day, looked very nice and I already know I suit Specialized womens saddles. bit pricey though :/
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Old 15th August 2013   #516
Charlotte83
 
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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.
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Old 15th August 2013   #517
blowfishdonor
fizik vesta might fit the bill for you.. and shops like bon velo have test saddles i believe
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Old 15th August 2013   #518
hatsdonor
 
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^ Bon Velo is alas not open at the moment, following the flood in herne hill last week.
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Old 16th August 2013   #519
JWestlanddonor
^^ 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!
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Old 16th August 2013   #520
dancing james
 
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Any suggestions for a woman's MTB saddle?

Jess, do Kinoko have test women's offroad saddles?
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Old 17th August 2013   #521
hoefladonor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte83 View Post
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
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...addle-ec051578
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Old 7th April 2014   #522
lucyhdonor
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!
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Old 7th April 2014   #523
ada
 
ada's Avatar
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.
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Old 8th April 2014   #524
tricitybendix
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.
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Old 8th April 2014   #525
JBdonor
 
JB's Avatar
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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Old 8th April 2014   #526
JBdonor
 
JB's Avatar
Oh, and, just get a Brooks.
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Old 8th April 2014   #527
KT Beedonor
 
KT Bee's Avatar
Different brands have different profiles (team estrogen is helpful / graphic on this: http://www.lfgss.com/post3733156-505.html)

I don't really think it is worth trying to recommend a saddle because it is so individual,but it is worth working out what sort of profile you get on with - I'm much happier with t-shaped specialized than pear shaped selle italia, for example.
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Old 8th April 2014   #528
JWestlanddonor
^ this. I find a Regal much more supportive as it's rounded near the end than a Specialized Avatar which is very flat.

I however can't stand padded saddles as they press into the Unmentionables. My mum swears by them. Funny how we're all different :)
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Old 8th April 2014   #529
hatsdonor
 
hats's Avatar
As far as I can tell from Lucy's post, she wasn't asking for a recommendation, she was asking for bike shops that have test saddles. Yes, we're all different, this is not news. That's why bike shops have test saddles.

Here's a (non-exhaustive) list of bike shops that have test saddles:
- Condor
- Putney Cycles
- Velosport
- Sigma
- Bon Velo

Can anyone think of any others to add?
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Old 8th April 2014   #530
hatsdonor
 
hats's Avatar
Also, JB, y u read the ladies saddle thread??
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Old 8th April 2014   #531
lucyhdonor
wow, thank you all v much ladies (and JB)! i'll try condor first and then work through the list. also thanks hats for reiterating - i'm not asking for an individual saddle recommendation as i'm aware everyone's needs are different, i just wanted to ask knowledgeable collective about shops which have women-specific saddles to test ride. a few shops (including specialized, annoyingly) don't have any and are in the "buy it and as long as you don't scratch the bars you can return it" camp which is a bit of a faff.

thanks again!
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Old 8th April 2014   #532
KT Beedonor
 
KT Bee's Avatar
Sorry Lucy - post-reading fail. The point about working out what characteristics of a saddle work / don't work for you still stands though as a means of focussing your testing a bit. Brixton Cycles have a very good range of women-specific saddles and let you return a saddle if it doesn't work for you - though I don't think that is a test ride as such.
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Old 8th April 2014   #533
tricitybendix
This is a bit vague, possibly not useful at all and completely unrelated to your question about bike shops offering saddle testing but there's a woman called Chris Garrison who works for Specialized and specialises in women's bike fit. She's https://twitter.com/PunkassCG on Twitter.
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Old 8th April 2014   #534
Burnsy89
Definitely a Brooks CAMBIUM C17 S , my boyfriend purchased one for me last week.

Straight away I noticed how flexible the saddle is. Not in a bad way though.
I’ve always heard of Brooks taking a long time to break in. I guess because most Brooks saddles are leather. Leather softens up the more you use it. The Cambium though, its in an entirely different category. It feels broken in RIGHT away.
Organic cotton canvas, vulcanized natural rubber. My female anatomy is certainly better off now. A little on the pricey side but worth every penny. To top all that off, this saddle is still covered by the Brooks standard 2 year warranty. Anything goes wrong with it for the most part, 2 years from purchase, you can get it replaced. Suitable for vegans :)

Last edited by Burnsy89; 8th April 2014 at 11:26.
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Old 8th April 2014   #535
Seraphinxdonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyh View Post
"buy it and as long as you don't scratch the bars you can return it" camp which is a bit of a faff.
I never understood this. How are you supposed to know whether or not you want to return it until you've test ridden it and (most likely) scratched the rails. Grr. I get where they're coming from but it's not like they even make a difference to function!
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Old 8th April 2014   #536
lucyhdonor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphinx View Post
I never understood this. How are you supposed to know whether or not you want to return it until you've test ridden it and (most likely) scratched the rails.
i hear a salesperson say it and i'm like


i'd bloody love a cambium, heard nothing but rave reviews. maybe i'll do some more work on narrowing down what shape would work best for me and if a cambium falls within that bracket i'll just get one and see.
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Old 8th April 2014   #537
ada
 
ada's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraphinx View Post
I never understood this. How are you supposed to know whether or not you want to return it until you've test ridden it and (most likely) scratched the rails. Grr. I get where they're coming from but it's not like they even make a difference to function!
Wrap the rails using electrical tape?
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Old 8th April 2014   #538
Seraphinxdonor
 
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Well yes I have done this. But then you have to clean the gooey tape marks.

That said, I am an expert complainer / returner so actually it's never been an issue for me. I have managed to secure a replacement for an item I lost before. Claimed the fixing wasn't fit for purpose :D

More timid people though, I imagine they might accept a no and let it go.
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Old 8th April 2014   #539
cafewandadonor
 
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*makes a note to take Seraphinx along when I buy item, so if I have to return it she can speak for me* :-)
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Old 8th April 2014   #540
JBdonor
 
JB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hats View Post
As far as I can tell from Lucy's post, she wasn't asking for a recommendation, she was asking for bike shops that have test saddles.
To be fair, Ada, the first to reply did do this.
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Old 11th April 2014   #541
SabsM
Hello lovely ladies (and gentlemen)
I'm new to fixie biking and I have been having trouble in the downstairs area on long rides, with my saddle. I have a gel covering on my seat but that has hardly helped. I really don't want to have to wear specialised shorts, I cycle in jeans mainly.

BUT thanks to this thread, I have an idea of what I need to do, just wanna say a lurker's thank you!
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Old 12th April 2014   #542
cafewandadonor
 
cafewanda's Avatar
Hi SabsM. Glad we could help :-).
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Old 12th April 2014   #543
bothwelldonor
 
bothwell's Avatar
An interesting article from a Cervélo engineer on how saddles + contact points work: http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...-saddles-.html

The 30% of female pro riders figure he quotes made me do a wince but if I'm properly honest I'll admit the same thought has crossed my mind in the past.
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Old 5th May 2014   #544
JWestlanddonor
I just bought a Selle SMP TRK. The male's version is 160 mm wide, the female version is 170. I went with the male one.

Went for a 24 mile test ride. No issues at all with perineum/sitbones/bits of pleasure(tm)

So if you find a real road orientated saddle too hard and want a bit more padding this may be a good one to try. CRC has them for £35.

The bike I used it on is a touring bike with a moderate road position. It's made for more upright but I found it worked for me anyway.

There's a little chafing on the inner thighs, so if you are very susceptible to chafing there it may not work for you. Selle SMP also does a Hybrid saddle which is 140 wide after that it's up to very £££ road saddles.

But I've no soreness at all, so happy enough.
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Old 6th May 2014   #545
cafewandadonor
 
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@ JWestland - Glad you like the TRK. I have that one plus one of the £££ road saddles and love both of them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #546
Charlotte83
 
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I am abandoning selle Italia women's saddles. This Diva Gel flow thing is an instrument of torture and misery. Given that my commute is a mere 5 miles and an hour later I can still feel it in the nether regions, it has to go. And before the DunRun. I did 60 miles on it the other week and had to use chamois cream to wear knickers the next day. No amount of tilting has made any difference.
Anyone got a charge spoon knocking around I can borrow or buy?!

I'm going to have a hunt around and see if there are other makes with a similar shape to the spoon. That has been my most comfortable saddle to date, but still not perfect.

So disheartening. I have a lovely bike that I wasn't too get out and ride, but every ride is torture
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #547
Charlotte83
 
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I'm just going to buy a spoon seeing as they're fairly cheap.
Anyone want the pain cave gel flow?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #548
tricitybendix
Which one is it?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #549
Charlotte83
 
Charlotte83's Avatar
I'll double check in the morning but I'm 99% site it's the Diva gel flow. In black
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #550
tricitybendix
I probably don't need it. I think I have a Ladle somewhere you can have if that's any use, though.
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