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Buying a new saddle

By jacojoco - Posted on 29 March 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Looking to buy a new MTB saddle for the Reign this week. Previously been riding on Fizik Gobi's which I have been happy with, but there isn't enough clearance over drop post lever.

Hoping I can get good advice on a comfortable saddle. I don't ride more than 30kms and don't care about light weight. I know its personal but looking for input from those that know.


As you say it's very personal. I've been happy with the Fizik Tundra, got three now, and if you like the Gobi it's a good sign. You can pick them up cheap as they are Oem on a lot of giants

I bought a WTB Speed late last year to replace an OEM Scott saddle on my Scale. Have been very happy with it so far. Comfy for 30+km rides on bumpy fire road and can move around on it easily when it things get steep.

The WTB is the only aftermarket saddle I have purchased so can't compare to others and the OEM Scott might as well have been a razor blade so anything would have been a big improvement. I'm 185cm, 100kgs and my saddle sizing is probably about average.

Hope that helps.

Ask Chris Herron at Atelier de Velo (ph 9045 1204) in Clarence St, city. They have test saddles you can borrow (last time I was there anyway). Ghastly bright yellow, but should help you in your quest. Other shops may have a similar deal.



I have Selle Italia SLR XP's (extra padding) on all my bikes. They are light enough (180g), comfy and can be picked up for under $100.

3 hours on a hardtail is a good test for a saddle, and this one works for me.

That said, I've got an unused new Fizik Tundra if you decide that's what you want! Smiling

Saddle choice is a very personal thing. If you're a bigger than average size bloke the SDG Belair & WTB Rocket have many fans over shorter distance (<40km).
Personally I've found the longer & thinner WTB Silverado & Prologo Scratch Ti pro 143 (road saddle) good and the Nukeproof range good for their price.
Ti rails & a carbon post also takes some of the vibration.

... on tha Ass-o-meter Eye-wink

Specialized have a test saddle program. They measure your sit bone width and from that take a guess at which of their different saddles (which they sell in a range of widths for each model) and you get to try them out for a couple of weeks and then decide on which one you like best.

I did that recently with my roadie and it worked well. No more saddle sores = happy butt Eye-wink

Yes you pay retail but it's a lot more cost effective than trial and error.

The specialized system is very good. Now I know the width of my sit bones I have bought three specialized saddles of the same width and they are all spot on.

Sheldon Brown, with the help of some collaborators, has a great website for the novice or technically minded cyclist alike and it contains a very good article on bicycle saddles

Additionally, you can Google something like "measuring bicycle saddle width" and there are many good articles and videos such as this one from Art's Cyclery:

I used the Art's Cyclery method before buying my WTB and it worked well. All you need are a few layers of compressible cardboard or something else that will retain the indent from your bum at least long enough for you to take a measurement. Once you have sat on the cardboard as per the video, measure the distance between the deepest points of the two indents and that is the width of your sit bones.

The sitting area of your saddle should be slightly wider than that, but still narrow enough to avoid chafing and for you to move around and off the back of the saddle as required without fuss.

Width is not the only consideration when choosing a saddle as everyone's anatomy is slightly different, but there is lots of good info around to ensure that you are well informed when it comes time to hand over your hard earned cash.

The sit-bones measure only helps select the correct saddle width. Everything else, you've got to define, based on what the manufacturer says about each model and best of all: actual trial.
Regarding the "test saddles" system, be aware that it's only as good as the customer service of the store or salesperson. If the bloke knows what he's talking about, it'll be helpful. If he doesn't, it'll be a lengthy discouraging process. I went through it at a seemingly reputed lbs (Specialized) and first, he sat me down with my knees just about around my ears and I could feel my sit-bones so far forward they hardly made an impression. He didn't pay much attention to what I was telling him...
Then he asked what was my usual riding position, to which I said "fairly aggressive". And he goes and gives me a Henge, which didn't do much for me at all. Then a different width of the same model, which was no better (obviously).
When I checked Specialized's website I saw that the Henge was for more upright position and Phenom was for more agressive positions. So I went back asking for a Phenom and got one (along with a dubious look). It fitted great.
I guess this is more about the same old subject of lbs customer care, but be aware of it as it can be really confusing.
Good luck!

Do you have to shave for accurate mapping?
And are hemorrhoids likely to disrupt the data?
The mind boggles indeed!
Nothing to do with FLOW being a bunch of nutters, or today being the 1st of April, I'm sure... Smiling

Thanks for all the good advice and the laugh. Torpedo 7 has sale on this weekend, so just went with what I know and got another Gobi. I'll look into ANUSS later and feel it out.

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