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  1. #1
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    Saddle options for a gimp

    I fell down a couple years ago and ended up with 30 some pins in my pelvis. I'm still recovering and have been trying to get into mountain biking after a long hiatus. Bike saddles are not more comfortable than I remember them. I started with an ibis saddle and that lasted all of one day. I'm on one of these right now:

    https://chromagbikes.com/collections...ilmaster-dt-19

    And it's still a bit of a struggle. Best I can tell a wider saddle + padding would help. I was looking at this super sexy option:

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/mi...ext=27317-2515

    Is there anything else out there that might fit the bill? I don't really know what I'm looking for, which is why I'm asking here.

  2. #2
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    Lots of shops now have a way to measure your sit bones. And many of the good shops will have demo saddles to try before you buy. With your complications, I'd search that route.

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowagriz View Post
    Lots of shops now have a way to measure your sit bones. And many of the good shops will have demo saddles to try before you buy. With your complications, I'd search that route.

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk
    you can actualy do that your self by sitting on a piece of corregated cardboard , your ass bones will leave an imprint in the cardboard which you can measure

    i forget what you do after that but you can and i did
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
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    Beyond fit issues, some of it is just getting your ass reacquainted with bike seats. Every spring, my ass is sore for a week after my first few real rides. But it gets better, and then is a non issue for the rest of the season.

  5. #5
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    Friend of mine has a bone spur on his sit bone from a fall when he was a kid, so the right saddle, finding the right chamois and getting a bike fit made a huge difference (he was sitting pretty upright, so a longer lower stem relieved the pressure and lots of stretching allowed him to ride comfortably in that position). I know bike fitting is typically a roadie thing, but your case sounds like it requires professional intervention.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Beyond fit issues, some of it is just getting your ass reacquainted with bike seats. Every spring, my ass is sore for a week after my first few real rides. But it gets better, and then is a non issue for the rest of the season.
    Yup. Padding and too much width for your bones can eliminate pain by making you go numb, though.

  7. #7
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    Too much padding will definitely cut off circulation which arguably may make things worse. Good quality shorts make a huge difference, proper pedalling also means less weight on your ass, which decreases as you get stronger.

    Starting off with measuring your sitbones is step 1 though.

  8. #8
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    WTB has a nice online fit guide that is easier to do than measuring sit bones (it uses wrist width measurement, and some questions about body shape and riding position). I'd suggest using that to make sure you have the right width.

    I historically struggled with either sore ass (sit bone area) or numbness, often within like 15 minutes of starting to climb. I tried all sorts of saddles, increasing width, decreasing width, big cutouts, little cutouts, lots of padding, normal padding. I fiddled with dropping the nose. What finally made it go away for me this year was a combination of 2 main things.
    1) I took a skills class that included cockpit setup, and he set the nose of my saddle essentially level. He said nose down causes you to slide forward, and concentrates pressure on a smaller area. Flatter lets you spread your weight out over the wider wings of the saddle.
    2) my hamstrings were super tight from sitting at a desk all day. A flatter saddle causes you to engage the hamstrings more with your pedal strokes, and is more efficient. I started stretching them twice a day.
    I'm now on a pretty firm saddle (WTB Silverado Carbon), and am riding a couple hours every day without any pain. I have a few different chamois with varying thicknesses, and once I dealt with the other issues, the chamois just seem to feel different in terms of how they fit, rather than the amount of padding they have.

  9. #9
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    Wider is not better, just depends what fits your sitbones and measuring is key. More padding is usually worse. XXXer mentioned it, you can use corrugated cardboard to measure, then buy the correct seat width. Several companies make their seats in different widths. As long as you don't have pins in actual sitbones I'd look for something that fits properly.

    All that said, some seats are WAY better than others. I was on a Chromg Lynx Dt and it was pretty good but still got pressure on my perineum (GROSS! Hahaha). that would make my junk go numb on long fire-road climbs where I wasn't moving around much. Same thing happened on the road bike all the time. SQ Labs saddles changed my life. Measure and order the right size and right model for your application (mountain/road). They're designed my physiologists not Bros. They are HARD but designed only to contact your sitbones with generous releif voids. They ramp up in the back to keep you in place while climbing. They're expensive but worth it. Once your ass breaks in early season, they're a dream. No numbness for me even on the road bike. May or may not work for you but worth a look.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  10. #10
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    100% on the level saddle. Pointing it up or down to account for some other poor fit is nonsense.

  11. #11
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    +1 for SQLabs. Lots of ways to spend money on saddles but theirs might be the only one where you're paying for fit and function.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input. I have found that overall bike fitting is definitely part of it, as riding with the dropper post slightly down helps. I had already measured my sit-bones and they look relatively normal from a width standpoint, unfortunately my ischial tuberosity are likely not uniform anymore. I had heard of SQLabs and looked into it, I was a little put off by how hard they were. I understand the common misconceptions around width and padding, but it would be tradeoff between fixing some problems and creating others.

    Good to know that bike shops demo saddles, it's tough dropping a lot to find out it's not going to work on ride one. Fortunate enough to have a great small bike shop and riding right next to me, unfortunate it's a really small shop with one saddle option. The closest larger (and covid-19 closed) shop is well over an hour away.

    Here's a pic before I had more hardware put in to fix the ischial tuberosity mess shown. I've been riding up to 2 hours at a time, I'm hoping if I keep at it I can break through some scar tissue and it will improve.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    starting to climb. I tried all sorts of saddles, increasing width, decreasing width, big cutouts, little cutouts, lots of padding, normal padding. I fiddled with dropping the nose. What finally made it go away for me this year was a combination of 2 main things.
    1) I took a skills class that included cockpit setup, and he set the nose of my saddle essentially level. He said nose down causes you to slide forward, and concentrates pressure on a smaller area. Flatter lets you spread your weight out over the wider wings of the saddle.
    2) my hamstrings were super tight from sitting at a desk all day. A flatter saddle causes you to engage the hamstrings more with your pedal strokes, and is more efficient. I started stretching them twice a day.
    I'm now on a pretty firm saddle (WTB Silverado Carbon), and am riding a couple hours every day without any pain. I have a few different chamois with varying thicknesses, and once I dealt with the other issues, the chamois just seem to feel different in terms of how they fit, rather than the amount of padding they have.
    IME try different things cuz YMMV

    I usually set my saddles nose high by up to an inch but I read somewhere a flat saddle is the shit so I tried it on my road bike and while flat wasn't really uncomfortable it didnt feel great either .

    So I went back to nose high which was definalty felt better for me and so I mentioned it to my riding buddy/neighbor (ex pro racer & coach at world level ) that nose high seemed more comfortable and she said yeah you do look better on the bike

    I thot it was an interesting comment from some one who had spent > 30 yrs looking at asses on bicycle seats

    YMMV but WTB bike seats seem to work for me
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  14. #14
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    I do have really tight hamstrings, that may be exasperating the situation. I'll look at a proper bike fit when possible again.

  15. #15
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    Saddles are super personal. I got used to leather brooks saddles on road bikes during a long mountain biking hiatus. After getting back into mountain biking a few years back and being miserable on a string of conventional saddles I got a Brooks Cambium with a cutout. It has been perfect for me. That won't mean anything for you, but I really like the way the saddle feels 'slung' between the front and back support points.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmor View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I’ll say it. Jesus. Did you get ran over by something large?

  17. #17
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    I've got SQ Lab 611 saddles on both of my trail bikes. Now if I ride anyone elses bike it feels like someone's trying to split my pelvis apart. The horizontally flat saddle rocks. Give them a call and see what you get. They pretty much invented modern saddle fitting and have more medically based saddles.

    I hear your dilemma though. Trial and error at $100+ per saddle is shitty. I like that Specialized/Trek shops will let you take advantage of the guarantee deal. But I've also found that after 1 or 2 switches they stop being friendly and start telling you it needs to be in perfect condition to be exchanged. And then they get upset when you want to give up and get a refund rather than do an exchange.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  18. #18
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    Saddle options for a gimp

    Holy shit that’s gnarly. Sorry Man, looks like you’ve been through it! Was your left ischial tuberosity actually broken? Looks like a bad seat problem for sure.

    Possible issue for sure with hard saddles, which are generally better. The SQ Labs are no exception, theyre really good but really hard. On the upside, they’ve got A TON of different seats and a ton of expertise. The “active” ones rock a bit with motion of your pelvis too, might help. As mentioned above, give them a call and see what they think.

    Good luck Man!
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  19. #19
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    My left ischial tuberosity was broken. I honestly couldn't tell you all that was broken, but a lot of it. I broke my back in a bunch of places and a number of other things as well which is not helping my cause at all.

    I did email sqlabs but haven't heard back. Based on the above recommendations I think I'm going to buy the 610. Unfortunately none nearby and with Covid shipping might be a bit extended.

    I foamed out my seat today and it was substantially better. I basically did what sqlabs has, and flattened out the back portion with a slight step drop from the back of the saddle to the front. It does not look cool, and if the local kids see when I ride by I'm probably going to get beat up, but things had not been improving and now I'm hopeful I'll be able to continue. My right foot keeps going numb, but I can live with that. I don't need to feel my feet.

  20. #20
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    Apr 2012
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    181
    Ugh, looks like quite the fall, but glad you're looking to get back on an MTB!

    I went through a lot of saddles trying to work through a soft-tissue issue before finding these guys:
    https://www.sellesmp.com/en/

    They have a different enough take on where the bearing surfaces should be/where material shouldn't be that you may have an immediate Y/N response to this type of saddle. They have some diagrams on site of where they expect weight to be distributed and where pressure is relieved that is very different from measuring the dents your butt makes (but that is fun, too).

    Pricing seems inline with SQLabs, and they have a no obligation testing program. Unless you are in Europe, dealers are pretty widely dispersed -> maybe give a couple a call if none nearby to see if they'll support this program via mail?
    www.sellesmp.com/en/testme.html

    The 'Pro' model has a decent amount of padding, and was one of their wider performance models, so that may be a good starting point. From there, you can play with dimensions as they clearly have a ton of models (only had about a dozen when I got mine). Without the above program, I would have bought one, hated it, and written the company off. Instead I got to try a few and dialed into a saddle I really like.

    Also, Brooks Cambium (mentioned earlier) is another good one to test a different support approach as are:
    www.selleanatomica.com

    Similar saddles to Brooks, but much less break in period for the leather models.

    Good luck, I hope you find something that works.

    ETA: Expect the local kids to try to beat you up for having either of the saddle designs I recommend!
    Last edited by JPaul; 05-18-2020 at 11:27 PM. Reason: forgot one thing...

  21. #21
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    Here's the response I got from SQLabs. I ended up ordering a 611, only because there is one local. I may end up with the 610 if that doesn't work. Not cheap, but worth it if it works. JPaul thanks for the selle opinion, if I fail here I'll likely end up there.


    You are totally leaning the right direction in eying the 610 and 611 saddles. They would be my top two selections for the riding you described. So, a little insight on the key differences that may sway you one way or the other…The 611 has our “Ergowave” design. A single step down from wing to nose, the sit bones are supposed to be positioned on this step down, with the meaty part of your butt up on the saddle wings. It creates a pocket, or a cradle for your sit bones, and the comfort (in my opinion) is pretty unmatched. This saddle would be geared more towards a leaned forward, or somewhat aggressive position on the bike. The 610 on the other hand, features a dual step design. The wings drop to a mid step, which then drops to the nose. Your sit bones would be positioned on the mid step, which I describe more like a shelf rather than a pocket. With a bit more padding, and a flatter spot to sit, this would be geared for the more upright seated position on the bike.



    All in all, both saddles measure the same as far as overall length, and nose width, so the transition to the nose will be the same on each saddle.



    Lastly, given your situation, I would recommend a 14 in either saddle for you (unless you are actually under 11 but rounded up to get your measurement). Generally speaking, a 14 would fit most all riders, and would be a safe bet for you as well.


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