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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently competed in a race called Ore to Shore in Michigan's U.P. The race was 48 miles mostly off-road. After about 35 miles, my Specialized Body Geometry seat started feeling like an arse torture device making it hard to get any real power to the pedals when seated. My questions concerns the importance of seat design. Do you think that there are seats that would be comfortable for steady 3 hour hammering or would any seat start punishing after that long in the saddle. How much does the chamois play in the equation as well as chamois cream? On shorter rides it never seems to be an issue but on 24 events or longer races, it seems like it becomes a significant factor.
Opinions please - Thanks
 

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a dad
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you could get one of those old granny seats with all the cushion in them!! only teasing, it seems after a certain amount of time nothing really matters, it just hurts like hell, make sure your shorts are of GREAT quality (yes those damn expensive ones) if you plan on long rides...i just rode 5 hours on sunday and my ass hurt after about 3 or so and i have pretty darn good shorts...
 

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Comes down to this . . .

I had a similar experience and tried many low to mid-range saddles which claimed to be ergonomic and only provided moderate comfort over maybe the first 10 to 15 miles. I could tell you long stories and complex theories as to why this is, but it comes down to this.

Get a real saddle! For the distances your riding--I'm a marathon rider myself--you should be on a serious racing saddle.

Seems to defy logic, but one of those harder, leaner, meaner saddles, when properly adjusted and especially after breaking it in with a couple of hundred miles is MUCH better and more comfortable than some saddle made for comfort. (Comfort saddles are actually not engineered for 35 mile rides--they're for 5 to 10 mile rides, after which the 'comfort' material compresses and after many rides breaks down slowly but surely).

The 'love canal' is a healthy choice, but comfort is largely a matter of proper fit and adjustment not only of the saddle, but the whole bike down to what materials you're using.

If you really want the saddle you can stay on for hours then settle for nothing less than a leather saddle--break it in just like leather shoes. I would also suggest to get it with titanium rails but realize that's very pricing. Don't get steel rails though--go with cro-moly at least. I believe the extra cost is well worth it because the saddle will probably outlast the bike if properly cared for.

Changing to a better seatpost, such as a Thompson Elite, also helps greatly.

My butt is rather happy with my Bontrager Race Lite saddle with a gel dot--I have one that's leather with titanium rails and one that's synthetic with cro-moly rails (which I bought on sale and is the same design aside from the materials) on my two bikes. Both are hand stitched in Italy by Selle San Marco. I was never able to ride for hours at a time until I bought my first real racing saddle.
 

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surly inbred
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With all the rain in my neighborhood lately, I've become a flatlander with a ton of saddle time. First thing I noticed was the worn out chamois and tender arse! I can't imgaine the duration you speak of, but I'd bet quality of shorts has a big role.
 

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Specialized junk-saver saddles are terrible

Terrible, Awful. Painful. All my friends that ran out and got them because of all the hype, ended up getting rid of them. I got one of those, and not only couldn't I stand it for long MTB rides, I couldn't stand it for a casual 16 mile flat fixed gear run up the valley and back. Without a doubt the most miserable saddle since those entirely unpadded totally carbon fiber Flites of about 15 years ago. Pretty much any saddle you can find will treat you better.
 

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beautiful noise...
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Initial BG saddle thoughts...

My initial thoughts on the BG saddle that came on my bike were pretty good. As stated though, once I started increasing saddle time to multiple hours my a$$ hurt like hell. I recently switched to a WTB Rocket V Stealth. Even though it was smaller, narrower, and less padded the difference in comfort level was immediately noticeable (once properly adjusted that is). Now that it's slightly broken in I can ride for 4-6 hours and not even know it's there. Take some of the advice here and check out some different saddles. That's what I did and my rear-end is much happier. :D
 

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Avenir Comfort 2-Density Base

When I first started out on the MTB's I got a Diamondback coil. After upgrading to a Specialized FSR that had the BG seat and one ride on it I went with the seat that was on the Diamondback. Everyone that gets on my bike just loves it and I'd check it out. I ride shorter rides but I wear gym shorts with underarmour. My tushy loves it!! The saddle is a Avenir comfort 2 density base.
 
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