Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 82 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a 61 yr old male rider, recently back on a bike after a 30 yr hiatus. I'm enjoying the hell out of riding again, great exercise, but the down side is the pain I'm having in my posterior after 10+ mile rides. I don't have any medical problems (prostate, urological, etc.), but the Bell Saddle on my bike gets really uncomfortable. Ive been reading about hornless saddles, Spiderflex and SpongyWonder models. Does anyone have any experience with either of them? Do I need any additional parts or equipment to install them? Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,676 Posts
I've never used a hornless saddle, so I can't speak to that. I do know that the saddle horn is one of the ways you control your bike, especially on the down hills when you're off your saddle and holding it between your legs. I've read that this can be an issue for people who've used hornless saddles for mtbing.

Before you give up on a conventional saddle, consider a few things:

It's typical to have some soreness until your butt gets used to it. How long have you been at it? It may take a half dozen rides.

If your saddle is heavily padded, it will feel great at first and then begin to hurt. A soft saddle conforms into your soft tissues and they don't like that. Your sit bones should do most of the supporting. Try a moderately padded saddle.

Some guys like saddles with relief slots down the middle - me, I never found that to be a deciding factor, but all butts are different.

Try a few different saddles - there's lots of good ones for $30 or $40.

If you're riding a hardtail, consider a suspension seatpost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,004 Posts
If your Bell saddle is one of those gel type saddles then that may be your biggest problem as they are notorious for looking comfy and causing major pain. There are a lot of great conventional saddles that are pretty comfortable out there, but Bell is not one that comes to mind. I am almost 53 and I pay my dues every season as I get back into the saddle again. Thats not necessarily an age related thing, but just a part of conditioning. If you have been away for 30 years then its likely that you will have some catch-up to do regardless of what kind of saddle you ride.

One saddle that is supposed to be very comfortable is the Selle Anatomica titanico. It is leather with no padding, but it is designed to flex and "hammock" in a way that provides a really comfortable ride. Not cheap, but if riding is a commitment for you then maybe that would be a another option to the "hornless" saddles which provide no side leverage when riding off-road.

Website for Selle Anatomica saddles: http://www.selleanatomica.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
I've been wrenching for more than a decade and I've only seen two people ever try those things. They both got rid of them pretty quickly. You don't need a gimmick. You need a saddle that fits. More padding does not equal more comfort in any way. Go to a couple shops and ask them about options for demoing a few saddles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
I totally agree with the previous post. After getting on the bike after a 6 year break, I went back to riding my soft saddle due to comfort, after just a few short weeks of consistent riding I actually developed protatitis from the seat pressure. Tried one of the split saddles and it helped slightly, but finally switched to a firm seat with little to no padding and all my issues went away! Your sit bones will toughen up quickly and trust me, it's much better than hurting in other places:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Hello to everyone! My name is Jeff Dixon and I am the inventor of the Spongy Wonder Bike Seat. I like to be logical about these things so hope this helps. I hope no one minds point form:

1. The desire to eliminate pressure to the perineum, genitals and prostate has been going on since the invention of the bicycle as may be seen by the US patents shown here:

Extra Stuff » Spongy Wonder

2. Evidence that establishes that there is an issue can be seen by the very partial and incomplete list found here:

Your Health » Spongy Wonder

3. The existence of "modified" conventional (horned seats) Specialized Body Geometry, Koobi, Cobb, Adamo, etc., etc. and the existence of padded shorts is an acknowledgement that there is a problem.

4. The reports of thousands of riders and their purchase of 10,000s of modified conventional seats and so called "alternative" seats such as the Spiderflex, Hobson and Spongy Wonder is evidence that there is a problem.

5. Then we have the anecdotal histories of countless riders who have suffered.

6. How about plain old common sense. What are the glutes for? Just for looking at, grabbing and locomotion? Would you like to sit on a conventional bicycle seat all day at work?

7. Many riders who post suggest that this all about fit. Well, try as you might you are still placing pressure on the dorsal nerve and internal pudendal artery. Ever have an arm fall asleep? Did you enjoy the sensation? Do you think it would be healthy to repeat to over and over again? In Europe the damage to cyclists is well known and surgical procedures exist to help. No one wakes up and discovers they have cancer on the day the cancer starts. So lots of riders have not yet seen apparent symptoms. Lots of people who smoke do not get lung cancer. Are we now denying that smoking causes lung cancer because not everyone gets it?

It quite obvious that sitting with pressure on the perineum, genitals, tailbone and prostate is unnatural and destructive. Common sense, medical studies, and anecdotal histories have established this beyond question.

Let us also remember that many. many riders have problems they do not admit. Unless of course you believe that riders are more than willing to fully divulge to anyone who will listen that they have trouble in the sack. many riders do not want to buy a seat such as ours because they think others will draw "certain" conclusions. Here is the real conclusion others draw: "That guy is being smart by protecting himself. I wish I had done it sooner." "Thanks honey for caring about us." When on the rare occasion someone on a trail has made a sarcastic remark to me I always say the same thing: "When I get home after my 50 mile ride I am going to take a shower, eat as much pizza as I want, drink a couple of beers and see my lady (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). What are you going to do?" It is very surprising how many of them say nothing in return. HMMMMM?

Thanks for your time!

Jeff Dixon
Inventor of the Spongy Wonder
from the True North STRONG (alternate HARD) and Free!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Hi RipRoar! I was wondering when my post might be called SPAM. You see here is the thing: what makes it OK for posters to "tear our seats a new one" but it is not OK for us to respond? Common sense and the justice system is built (or is supposed to be) on the concept that people have the right to defend themselves.

So then is it OK for people and companies not to defend themselves online?
 

·
OTB Pro
Joined
·
106 Posts
They probably say nothing back because that would be completely creepy to hear from some random stranger. No one was knocking your saddle, but a hornless saddle on a mountain bike does have some disadvantages that were stated above. I can do the same things after a 50 mile ride on my WTB saddle. Quit being so defensive.. not to mention this thread is 2 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
It is absolutely true that for highly technical riding our seat is not the choice because in being wide it is difficult to get behind. Other than that it works very well in every riding category. Sorry to sound like the Sham-wow guy - just trying to correct some false information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
The amount of "grief" we have taken from riders who have never seen our seat let alone ridden one, has been pretty amazing over the years. People research online and find old postings and do not necessary care that they are 2 years old. So I do not see anything wrong in responding so that they can get a more "objective" picture. As far as being defensive goes, if you were in my position trying to run a company and help riders escape the damage they are inflicting on themselves you would think it important to correct information that is patently false and in many cases downright abusive. Forgive me for being blunt but it is easy for riders who have not yet seen symptoms of urological and neurological damage to say "Who cares."

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,264 Posts
It is absolutely true that for highly technical riding our seat is not the choice because in being wide it is difficult to get behind. Other than that it works very well in every riding category.
I'm not saying there is no room for improvement and innovation in bicycle saddles and I realize that some people have developed medical problems riding on traditional saddles, however, that design is both useless and dangerous for off road riding situations. Yes, I have ridden on one and what I discovered is that A) The saddle horn is very helpful for balance and control of the bicycle and B) on a mountain bike ride you need to be able to move all over the saddle, back, forward, and sometimes even sideways to maintain control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,199 Posts
I am 63 years old and I still ride a hardtail mountain bike aggressively in the fairly rocky and rooted North East. I have none of the symptoms you speak of and would not dream of using one of your "seats" or others like it. They may work on beach cruisers on the boardwalk with low saddles and the riders knees up around his ears.

You ask, "What are the glutes for?" Well lets use some of your " plain old common sense". On a performance bicycle like a mountain bike they certainly are not used for sitting on. The gluteus are muscles that are important in getting maximum power to the pedals. if you are sitting on them they can not be working efficiently. Downhill racers sit low on their bikes to lower their center of gravity but they mostly use gravity for forward motion. All other performance riders have their seats extended to the point of near full leg extension. This allows efficient, powerful pedaling. In this position the pelvis is rotated forward and the rider is not sitting on the "sharp" sit bones but rather on the flatter forward edges of the pelvis. This frees the muscles to move but also spreads the pressure over a longer area. Most people that complain about discomfort have poorly adjusted saddles or the wrong width. Most better saddle manufacturers made different widths.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Hi J.B. Weld! I recognize the brand name - great stuff!

Last week I rode through the back trails of The Hillsborough White Rocks Recreation Center in Hillsborough NB. My friend and I ride with SWs. The trail is about 1/2 the size of a dirt road and was very muddy with huge "water bogs." There was a lot of twisting and turning involved and the dry portions were only dry because they were very steep ascents and descents. We had no problems. I fully admit that in technical riding a rider may be better served on a horned saddle. My beef is with folks who say that if you do not have a horn you either cannot steer or you cannot steer well enough so that hornless seats are dangerous. That type of statement as an overarching generalization and it is false! We have a return rate of 4% and no one has ever returned saying they were doing so because they could not steer. We have never received any such report. We sell to pretty much every category out there with technical trail riding being a very small percentage. I am not sure what saddle you rode that was hornless but what I can tell you is that if there was a safety issue we would have heard of it by now and would have been sued out of existence. Perhaps when cornering at 50 mph you might feel you need a horned saddle. Some of that may be psychological as you definitely feel more a "part of the bike" with something "wedged up" into you. Some of the issue may be the fact that 95% of our returns are such that it is obvious that the riders did not really give the SW a "good college try." However, most people who ride are not cornering at 50MPH and most people on a mountain bike do not ride highly technical terrain. So if you want a horned saddle for highly technical riding that is probably a good idea but why hurt yourself when riding everything else?

Jeff
 

·
I wonder why?
Joined
·
552 Posts
The amount of "grief" we have taken from riders who have never seen our seat let alone ridden one, has been pretty amazing over the years. People research online and find old postings and do not necessary care that they are 2 years old. So I do not see anything wrong in responding so that they can get a more "objective" picture. As far as being defensive goes, if you were in my position trying to run a company and help riders escape the damage they are inflicting on themselves you would think it important to correct information that is patently false and in many cases downright abusive. Forgive me for being blunt but it is easy for riders who have not yet seen symptoms of urological and neurological damage to say "Who cares."

Jeff
Unfortunately Jeff, your picture is far from objective, it is biased, self-serving, and demonstrates little or no understanding of riding mechanics.

To maintain safe control of a bike in both road and mountain biking situations the rider must be able to get behind the seat (quickly and efficiently) especially when going downhill. This is of critical importance when the terrain or road get's rougher or the rider encounters obstacles (often unexpectedly). Failure to get behind the seat in these instances can easily result in the rider going over the bars, or losing control.

Therefore, for both road and mountain biking, your invention creates a significantly more dangerous situation than what you are trying to prevent. I do not need to try your saddle to determine this, it is an obvious fact. Which is probably why you've gotten flack from riders. The grief you have experienced has been self created. You are trying to promote something that any experienced rider can see is patently dangerous.

Do you provide an appropriate usage warning to the purchasers of your saddle? You discredit yourself and do a dis-service to your company by touting hyperbole without full disclosure, as you have done here.

Your saddles may be of some use on stationary bikes or beach cruisers. You would be better served focusing on that market.

i1dry?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Thank you Ronnie.

Not everyone who rides will develop serious urological and neurological problems. But then again not everyone who smokes gets cancer.

Bicycle seats do cause damage and as we age a lot of people respond to the "lessening of their sexual performance" by saying things like "Well I guess I am not 18 anymore." This is unfortunate because they do not understand that some damage has been done and an appreciable portion of their loss of virility can be attributed - at least in riders - to the damage single platform seats cause.

You ride aggressively off road so you are out of the saddle a lot are you not? if so then you do yourself less damage than someone who is on their saddle a lot.

As far as beach cruisers etc. We sell to bike messengers, fitness clubs, professional sports teams, every category there is. Every triathlete who has bought our seat and later called said the exact same thing - beyond their praise for the relief they experienced: The SW put them onto their aero bars in a more "natural" way. So I am sorry but our seats work very well in every situation other than "trick riding" and very technical off road riding.

The performance loss through numbing, tingling and the anxiety this creates - as well as the energy drain while the body tries to deal with the damage - is more than offset by the gain in riding without these issues. That includes whatever loss MIGHT be attributed to pressure on the glutes - and this issue of riding while sitting on the glutes has never been studied so let's admit there isn't any data by which to draw conclusions.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Thank you i1dry! We have recently redone our site and I would need to check if the some of the old info has been "carried over" as there have been many changes, but on the old sites we definitely stated that our seat would not be appropriate for technical off road riding. Also, if you have read the other posts you will know that I am not hiding anything from anyone.

As far as road riders go - and specifically those in "classic" road bike configurations - these riders are 40% of our business and once again - for the record - no reports of crashes or any other safety issues.

I need to make the following statement and I want it to be understood that I direct it at NO ONE in particular. There have been so many postings of blatantly false and deceitful information on our product that even the most unparonoid person out there would think that perhaps there is an agenda to kill my company. Indeed, all of this current back and forth is risky as we open ourselves up to false reports of crashes being reported. And once again for the record we do know of at least one instance where this occurred.

In terms of being objective and allowing for a "platform" in which "fair play" is to be sought and appreciated, your comment "Unfortunately Jeff, your picture is ... is biased, self-serving.." is nothing but a string of insults. It is neither objective or can in any way be seen as being in the category of "fair play."

In addition I would add that anyone who has seen our seat "in the flesh" and/or on our site knows it is wide and riders who ride technical trails already know the seat is not the best choice for technical off road riding. In other words someone who rides in particular contexts already has a base of knowledge that is tantamount to full disclosure from us. So your point suggesting we are being in some way dishonest or "keeping something back" is moot.

The truth is that the only people who suggest our seat is dangerous have never ridden one. And as far as being "dangerous" in some contexts - you buy the correct product for the job. If you buy a seat that is not designed for off technical off road riding the issue is not that the seat is dangerous, the issue is you bought the wrong product for the job.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,264 Posts
Jeff, you must go by the theory that "Any press is good press" because I kind of doubt you'll get a lot of love here amongst folks who mostly ride off road (trails). I'll make another contribution for you.

What are these "non-technical" off road riding situations you speak of? Paved bike paths? Groomed snowmobile trails? I'm sure they exist but any singletrack I've ever ridden involved at least some level of handling skills and bike control.

I admit that I'm not sure whether I've used your particular product or not but I have on numerous occasions test ridden bikes with similar ones like the Easy Seat and the loss of control and connection you have with the bike is staggering. I would not consider using one on a road bike for that reason alone, and I would not use one on a trail on a dare.

It puts a ton more pressure on your hands and arms (nerve damage?). The only performance application I could see it possibly working might be triathletes using aero bars where all the weight is on your forearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
hello Again J.B. Weld. A lot of good questions here. A lot of riders have more than one bike. I am presuming that riders who respond to these forums are more than likely to be in that category so if that is the case why hurt yourself when riding in a context that is not technical off road riding? Also this whole "adventure" started with one posting and has definitely expanded.

I am speaking most specifically of situations where "getting behind the bike" is required. I have ridden a lot of trails that did not require that movement but had roots and ruts and rocks - no problem.

"Staggering" is definitely a big word. All I can do is once again state for the record that we have sold almost 17,000 seats now with no reports of loss of control amounting to a problem - staggering or otherwise. I ride in Greater Moncton and probably 50% of the time I am weaving in and out of multi-lane traffic. This riding involves moving from paved roads, to groomed trails, through small alleys, down parking garages (love that) etc. I do signal as much as the situation allows and have been riding in this context with a SW for 14 years. Still here.

It is true that given your bike geometry and the physiological make-up of a rider that additional forward pressure can be an issue. For me it was so I installed a graphite three inch riser handlebar on my bike. The bike still looks "sexy" - if we can say that. Getting higher at the front made my breathing easier and my night time rest better (less pressure on the spine at the neck when sitting more upright). I suspect that the movement of ones diaphragm is better when not 'crunched over" but cannot verify that.

In any case, I found that my performance on the bike and was improved and my "sleep issues" greatly diminished by sitting a bit more upright. Even if those things had not happened, a change in handlebar was a small price to pay for ending the urological and neurological trauma.

Jeff
 
1 - 20 of 82 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top