For all backsides, I’m on a SMP tt5, has anyone got or know of a saddle that’s good quite a few backsides?
It’s basically impossible to advise on saddles, what is high comfort for one person can be torture for another, even if they have a relatively similar body shape.
The closest thing to a saddle that seems to work for many people is a Fabric Scoop but I personally don’t get along with it at all.
There’s no such thing as one saddle for all backsides… it’s the most highly personalized contact point on your bike and what works perfectly for one person could be awful for another.
Go to your local shop and have your sit bone width and flexibility measured and that will get you in a range of saddle shapes and widths and then, from there, it’s really a matter of trial and error to find the perfect fit for your body.
As said above, trial & errors is the usual solution.
Some say the leather saddles (Brooks, Berthoud) will comform to your arse but I never had the patience to try one for more than one ride (they tend to be quite uncomfortable at the beginning) and those brands still produce different shapes. Surely if there was magic to be done they would only rock one model to rule them all right?
Some of the biggest brands offer test program where you can ride different models, usually in a color you would hate being seen on, until you find the one that you like the most. Some but not all include an initial fee but if you ultimately choose one model that fee is deduced from the final price. Selle Italia, Fizik, San Marco are known to offer such programs. Check with your LBS.
Specialized Power works for a lot of people for a fairly aggressive setup. I imagine the width would be an obstacle if you like to hike your saddle as far as you can get away with, though.
I don’t think there is a single model which could possibly be the right fit for everyone.
I found this useful advise: Sores Ass? How to Choose the Right Saddle for Cycling - YouTube
Especially if you ride on a trainer, a good way to try out saddles is to buy them used on eBay (unless you have a bike shop that does loaners). Ride each one about 2 weeks at least an hour a day seated inside–you’ll know. This will give you way more contact time on the saddle than riding outdoors. I did this during covid and learned a lot. For instance, I hate Spec Power saddles, despite the fact that it seemed perfect for me.
Specialized Romin, Fizik Aliante, Fabric Scoop are good general purpose saddles for many riders (which is why most fitters will have at least one of these saddles in their assortment) but as others have said our asses are basically fingerprints and there is no good general rule of thumb (rule of bum?) saddle. If you’re looking to outfit a bike for an out of town rider that comes to visit or as a rental the three above are good places to start. Also don’t try to match a saddle to a rider based on aesthetics, a lot of big fat riders are comfortable on thinner narrower saddles and vice versa. I’ve never had much luck with ass measuring systems at fitters and found the saddle I like via trying a bunch out that I found on ebay. Big thing is once you find the saddle you like, buy at least 4000 of them online as saddle manufacturers love to take a saddle that a lot of people really love and randomly change it drastically whilst retaining the name for no good reason.
I chose my saddle upon racing, I was riding up a 2 ml long false flat and the power was on and the saddle I did have at the time didn’t have big comfort and a big cutout that very night I vowed I’d never experience pain like I had on the bloody road, I went with a selle SMP lite 209 then after a good while I thought it had too much curve in it and tried a PRO Stealth which pretty good and I cut the support strut out of it tho now I’m on an SMP tt5 as it’s got a lot of padding… I used to have a Rolls and that was good too tho a bit heavy
For a lot of people, a saddle that works indoors doesn’t work outdoors and vice versa.
The reality is that you sit on your saddle differently when on a trainer. For some, that means a different saddle indoors.
Additionnally some manufacturers may do assumptions that do not necessarily translate to your real life experience.
One example, I own a saddle that is touted as a gravel saddle that I got with a gravel bike I purchased last year. It was okayish on my gravel bike but I liked riding an Alliante more so I swapped the saddle and mounted that “gravel saddle” on my full rigid Fat bike. Guess what? I like it better with the MTB position. I guess the manufacturer made the assumption that people ride their gravel bike more upright than their road bike but in my case it is only marginally with a 2.5mm additionnal stack that doesn’t change much when I am in an aero position which I still do a lot as my gravel rides are never 100% off the pavement.
You got me on this one. I’ve never heard anyone say that “a lot of people” need a different saddles for indoor and outdoor riding. There is no doubt that one moves around less indoors and it ends is a stress test for saddle comfort.
You’re the first person I’ve run across that thinks that you need different saddles for each application–that somehow a saddle that works indoors won’t work outdoors. Has that been your experience?
It may be a bit of stretch to say they “need” a different saddle because, IME, most people just suck it up indoors and end of saying “indoor riding sucks and is uncomfortable”.
But yes, I think if more people explored a different saddle indoors they could significantly enhance their comfort.
I’ve found I need a more padded saddle for indoor riding. I use a cheap Fabric Gel saddle which also doubles up as my commuting mount. It’s wider and has more padding than anything I’d use on a road bike with padded shorts.
Previously I found that after an hour on the trainer with my regular road saddle I’d be numb in my undercarriage. I can now go for much longer.
My favourite saddle on the road is a Selle Repente Quasar which doesn’t have much in the way of padding but the shape is just right for me.
I have heard it said that most saddles of ballpark right width and shape will work if your bike setup is spot on, and I’d broadly agree.
Look to match saddles to your degree of pelvic rotation is the best tip I’ve ever had; the more you rotate, the narrower will work well. It’s why measuring sitbones isn’t terribly helpful for most.
I’ve also been told by more than one bike fitter that most people will benefit from a cutout.
But for the OP:
- Specialized Power Mirror is comfortably the best allround saddle I’ve used if we’re including indoor riding. It’s the only saddle that allows me to do 3hrs on the turbo
- Selle Italia SLR boost is also very good for me outdoors, as is the Bontrager Aeolus, and the Fizik Antares
- The Spesh Romin and Fabric Scoop shallow seem to work well for a lot of people
- Selle SMP saddles are game changers for some people, but they are very sensitive to small changes in setup, and the aesthetics are a deal breaker for some.
I bought a bike once it had a generic saddle and it was ‘ok’, tho that’s prior to my SMP acquisition…the radical look of them can be interesting, I did give a friend a go on my bike once and he said ’ it feels like theirs nothing under you’ and no support and I thought, what’s he’s actually getting is freedom in the area that needs it tho its soo used to that area being squashed to buggery. I’d like i know how many who’ve actually bought them as they are an kind of niche purchase, go back to a normal saddle.
I’m not a racer, but ride at least 40 km daily, just about every day of the year (the last day I didn’t ride was in mid-August of last year due to some roof-top throwing hurricane weather)–I swear by Brooks, some variant of their B17 (Pro, Champion)–I always use ones with the large copper rivets–very cool.
Yes, they are heavy–twice the weight of your plastic saddle. And, yes, they are not fun to break in. Some myths dispelled: Once broken in, they don’t really conform to an individual’s posterior, but simply to the basic posterior structure in general (they break in the same way for everyone, unless a person is particularly obese, in which case they will just give way gradually under the excess weight), but once broken in, are more comfortable than anything made out of plastic–for many people, at least. Another myth is that they’re no good in the rain–incorrect–the key here is that you must apply protective lotion (Brooks Proofide, or Beeswax, or some similar leather application)–this will keep the leather in perfect shape, and keep it virtually water proof.
One myth that can’t be busted is that they do need to be broken in. Therein lies both the rub, and the benefit–don’t buy the saddle new! I started by buying a new one or two, but they do take half a year, or several thousand kilometers, to break in, and are not a lot of fun during the break in phase–so, I have always ever after bought used–already broken in, and cheaper to boot. Every single used one has been perfect from the start (I have 6 bikes, all with Brooks). (If you do buy new, avoid any of the color versions, such as red or green, since the color process itself seems to delay if not inhibit the break-in process.)
But, as noted, what fits one rear end won’t necessarily work for another–different riding postures, different posterior structures, different pressure points, and so forth–there is no one single panacea to satisfy everyone.
I used to have a B17 on a steel touring bike which I did some 12000 km on. It wasn’t bad from the start, but when the frame broke, I used the remaining parts to build a gravel / do it all bike, and I tossed the saddle in the garbage.
It got replaced with a Specialized Power Elaston in 155mm width, which has a smidge more padding than the normal version. I ride it both in normal clothes and in padded shorts and I prefer it in every way.
Maybe the version of the B17 with a cutout would be more comfortable than the vanilla version, though, but for me it was, well, good but not really special.
I did this same thing…bought a bunch of used ones cheap and tried them all.
I too for some reason can’t stand the spec power saddle, and in theory it should work for me, as other ones in the same category fit me fine.
I found the Spec Romin to work really well, and the Selle Italia Novo Boost Evo works great as well.