I've tried many saddles and have invested from $45 to $550 for saddles. I totally agree with our sage member, saddle is a very individual endeavor. My personal favorite brands are Fizik, Specialized, and Brooks. They're all on the expensive side, but for me, well worth the investment.
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I agree with riding light. Also what helped me was investing a little extra in better bibs with nicer chamois. Huge difference. I also think its great to seek out a shop with saddle trial options, because your butt doesn't know till it gets a chance to ride it. I've had good luck with Bontrager saddles and I'm on a Fizik now and we seem to get on okay. Whereas selle san marco felt like a hatchet within 5 minutes, but obviously may be a great fit for others. Get your booty on as many as possible I guess.
Because of the way my nerves are routed through my pelvic bone, my feet (from about the ball of my foot forward) go numb when I put pressure on my sit bones. Sitting on a curb, in certain kayaks, and some bike saddles, for more than 20 minutes will cause the numbness.
I find it interesting that women-specific saddles make the situation worse. I've done best with very narrow saddles. My all-time favorite saddle was a Julie Furtado mountain bike saddle. (It might have been my favorite because it was yellow.) Sadly, I wore that thing out years ago. I'm currently using a cheap-o saddle designed for heavy century riders. It's doing a pretty good job, and at $30, it was a steal.
I had a really awesome Fizik saddle that I sold when I was an impoverished college student. Someday, I will buy another one.
I have a brutally minimalist saddle on my mountain bike. I got it at a yard sale for free. I don't have the numbness issues with it, but it has very little padding. (Almost to the point of being cruel.)
The numbness issue has changed the way I ride, too. I get out of the saddle every ten minutes or so, for at least a minute. (As big as I am, riding out of the saddle takes a lot of energy!) I stop at least once an hour and get off the bike and stretch. By doing these things, my feet never go full-on numb, and I can ride all day.
I tried a MoonSaddle. I sent it back within days. It shifts a lot of weight to your hands, which made bike handling scary for me. And instead of getting a numb crotch after hours of riding, I was in pain within minutes. I am not knocking the saddle: for some people, they're a great option. I'm just not one of those people.
I want to try a Kontact saddle next.
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We can all relate to the struggles of getting used to bike saddles, especially anyone new to cycling. Some of these tips can be helpful. I know it took me a while and some experimenting before the "ouch" of cycling faded.
"Some of the symptoms people experience can be very uncomfortable, or even embarrassing to talk about. Some people have gone as far as needing medical attention for saddle sores. There's also a lot of confusion and myths out there on what makes a good saddle, so many people resort to the game of "Let's try this out and see how it's goes." As each person is very unique, the saddle that's the best for you might be the wrong saddle for another person."
Share your experiences and tips here! :-)
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