Saddle suggestions

I totally get this is an incredibly personal choice but saddle reviews required please for my roadie. Numbness in the downstairs department is leading me to shop around. Thinking of going in for one with a cut out channel.

Budget led me to narrow down to Specialized Romin Evo Comp (Has cheaper Cr-Mo rails vs Ti rails in the more expensive romin Evo expert).

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. As for riding style - not many hills in my area so mainly for cruising flats. And adopt more a comfort / upright position than an aero / aggressive

2 Likes

Just have to try them, it’s very personal as you say.

I tried a Pro (Shimano) Stealth which is similar in shape to the Specialized power saddles, and quite liked it, the lack of padding didn’t work for me on rides over about 120km though, so sent it back, taking advantage of their generous trial period.

Ended up with an SMP Lite 209 which is the most padded of the classic, droopy-nosed SMP style. The looks might be a bit divisive, I don’t mind it, and you can’t see it when you’re sat on it anyway.

Have ridden 600km rides with no issues. 1,200km ride on the trainer did end with a bit of a saddle sore, but I think that’d be the case for any saddle.

They’re very exxy new, I picked mine up second hand for about half price. There are always heaps of like new saddles available second hand as people know what they like, and sell on the ones that come with new bikes. If you don’t get on with one, you can probably move it on for about the same as you pay.

2 Likes

I really like my Specialized Power saddle.

Ask your local bike shops if they have any demo saddles that you could try; several brands have them available at retailers.

5 Likes

If you really want a comfortable ride, women’s saddles are much more comfortable. Just to keep in mind if you can’t find ‘the one’, Specialised MIMIC, the comfiest performance saddle I know of. Might sound odd to some people but worth a try.

3 Likes

As you say, it’s a tremendously personal choice.
Through a combination of boredom and inquisitivity, I bought a whole heap of saddles to try just to get even a faint impression of what I liked.

The Specialized Power saddles are in the region, but…
The saddle I am currently using and really like is a Toseek Carbon hollow, from eBay. Yours for the princely sum of £16, tips the scales at a barely there 102g and once you get over the “Er, it’s just carbon fibre and no padding at all”, for me it fits perfectly and never ceases to surprise me how comfortable it is over time.

My initial description to my cycling friends was “It’s not the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever sat on, but I think it is actually the least uncomfortable”.
To explain that, the very first time I went to get on the bike with it on was a shock. I tend to mount with one hand on the saddle and one on the bars as I swing my leg over. As soon as your hand touches the completely solid saddle it feels odd.
You sit on it and think “Wow, that’s firm” but it’s not uncomfortable, it’s just firm.
Where it comes into its own is that an hour later it still feels firm, but with absolutely no pain or pressure at all. It fits my sit-bones perfectly and with no gel or foam to displace, bunch-up and for your soft tissues to then rub against it just remains constant for the whole ride.

Imagine a comfort chart where a padded saddle starts at 100%, but an hour in it’s down to 85% and three hours in it’s down to 70% with some hot-spotting on sensitive areas.
This starts at 90%, but then just stays there hour after hour after hour.

I think the best advice is to try saddles at a bike shop, especially if they have loaner models, but for me a super cheap all-carbon (rails too) saddle from China seems to have won out.

Forgive the background mess, but I even think it’s quite pretty.

4 Likes

I chose a woman’s saddle. My hips are wide but narrow sharply, so the wider woman’s saddle with a generous cut out seems to suit me

1 Like

It is indeed the holy grail of cycling. I used a brooks b17 for years, then put the saddle on my first carbon bike and it was uncomfortable, rubbed everywhere. I eventually found something that worked on my tarmac, transferred it to my Robaix and could not get on with it.I had a pressure mapping done and the fitter insisted this saddle was the one to go for, so for now I am putting up with the discomfort

1 Like

It’s worth double checking your bike fit too, especially saddle height - all saddles will be uncomfortable if your saddle is too high.

1 Like

Also worth remembering that the physical saddle itself is only part of the equation…
If your crank arms are too long or your q factor significantly out then you may be forcing unnecessary hip movement and causing pressure points on the saddle that you shouldn’t be.
How much you can rotate your hips (or choose to over an extended ride) will also determine which part of your anatomy is taking the most pressure and how.

Lots of factors that come into play in fit alongside simply the saddle shape/cushioning.

1 Like

From my experience, I can say that it is essential I think for a road bike to make sure you are sitting directly on your sit bones, decent bike shop should be able to measure them correctly.

2 Likes

Bike fit first of course but I LOVE my ISM PN 3.1. Best saddle I’ve ever had by some margin. I got it for the very reasons you state.

2 Likes

Might be worth having a watch if this. I’m not saying that changing the saddle won’t help, but it’s worth considering moe than just the saddle. Good luck!

5 Likes

I’ll never understand the idea of asking saddle recommendations on the internet, but maybe it’s just me.

My $0.02 is to see a bike fit specialist in your area. Saddle comfort is almost never just a matter of saddle choice, maybe aside from sit bone sizing.

1 Like

I have a romin on my old road bikes, which is mostly ok, but switched to a Selle Italia SP-01 when I bought a new bike last year. It has completely eliminated numbness problems. Selle Italia has a huge range of widths and perineal cutouts. If your LBS is willing to let you try/swap until you are happy, you might consider one of their saddles. The least pricey version $160 US, but every saddle that makes my seat happy is in that range. Good luck.

2 Likes

I experienced some numbness and after going through many saddles found the Prologo M5 Pas which I like, but as you say saddle choice is very personal, and as others have said position is important and it’s best if you can get your local bike shop to let you try out a few different ones.

2 Likes

Iam a mtber so can’t really comment too much about the road side of things. What I can comment on is the number of saddles I’ve tested before:
Prologo x8
Prologo x10
Fabric Scoop
WTB Volt
Selle
Fizik Gobi
Fizik Antera (or whatever)
Specialized Romin
Specialized Power
Specialized Phenom

Of all the above my vote is with the phenom and volt. I’ve been using the phenom for more than 5 years and have done multiple 200+km rides.

But, saddles are very personal so you may need to try a few :+1:

2 Likes

I’ll second Sir Rob, the WTB Volt/Silverado/Valcon are my saddles and WTB have a self-measurement/sizing calculator up on their web site to pick the right width etc. They also have low-end versions of the same saddles to try out (chomoly). The WTB Rocket is the thicker padded version of these but that seems too much even for MTB (I used the Rocket at first)

1 Like
  1. Make sure your saddle is not too high. 2) make sure you try arch supports in your shoes
    Only then should you try other saddles.

Whoops, just now saw someone else posted this, sorry! But if it gets one other person to watch it, the double post is worth it!

2 Likes

Yup I totally understand. Given COVID restrictions here my LBSs are all currently closed (and when not closed are generally useless I have found when thrown even some basic questions)…I dont have many experienced cycling mates so have to resort to the interwebs to get some guidance :confused:

1 Like

Thanks everyone for your insights, sounds like best approach is to NOT buy a saddle online like I originally planned and head to a bike shop to get sized & fitted :slight_smile

1 Like