lizcommotion: silhouette of a female bicyclist riding with a helmet (biker woman)
[personal profile] lizcommotion posting in [community profile] bicycles
"It has always been an idea of mine that the right saddle is to be found. I said, 'You give up that idea. This is an imperfect world, a world of joy and sorrow mingled. There may be a Better Land where bicycle saddles are made out of rainbow, stuffed with cloud. In this world, the simplest thing is to get used to something hard.'"

- Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on Wheels, 1900

quoted in The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling by Edmund R. Burke and Ed. Pavelka, 2000

 I've been having some pain in my, um, lady bits...the really important ones with all the nerve endings. My sit bones are fine with the saddle I have so far, but I think I either need to angle it down or get something different if I want to go on longer rides. (It's a stock Trek/Bontrager WSD saddle.)

FYI, I know for sure I don't want to get a wide, heavy saddle, for a variety of reasons.

So, this may be a fruitless question, but does anyone have any experience with Terry women's saddles? Thoughts?

Date: 2012-03-29 05:13 am (UTC)
ell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ell
I've got a Terry Liberator on my touring bike and a SpeciaLized Ruby (WSD) on my road bike. Both have cutouts/channels and definitely do the trick!

Date: 2012-03-29 02:46 pm (UTC)
ell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ell
While I am also considering a Brooks, the expense is pretty big for something that might not work. So, I'm sticking with what I've got for now. As for the difference, on my road bike, since I'm leaning forward and not sitting up, my relatively hard, flat, narrow saddle is absolutely perfect. I never get sore with it, only tired after 4 or 5 hours, the same way my feet get tired from really long runs. I would definitely go with the Terry, if I were you - BUT if at all possible, head over to the LBS and see if they can help fit you with the right width seat, etc. My partner did that and she is also on the heavier side with a touring bike with flat bars and she has a saddle that is excellent for her. It's a WSD with the channel and gel, but it's a German brand (we live there) so I'm not sure you could find that specific one. So, best advice is to try a few if at all possible. In the past I had a series of uncomfortable seats, and really started to truly enjoy cycling when I started getting saddles that fit me. Good luck!

Date: 2012-03-30 05:37 am (UTC)
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
From: [personal profile] zingerella
I would not recommend the Liberator if your are hoping to do longer rides: the more saddle you have, the worse the chafing gets.

However, if you're keeping your rides under, say, four hours (YMMV, obvs), then the Liberator may be fine.

I'm currently riding a Damselfly, on my touring/commuting/everything bike, and loving it. I should note that I'm 5 foot 3 inches and weigh in at about 130 lbs, a lot of that below the waist, and I ride a touring bike with drop handlebars (so I'm not sitting upright on my saddle).

Date: 2012-03-30 05:40 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Wide does not have to mean soft or puffy. Definitely avoid soft, puffy saddles. But if your sitz bones are wide, you need a wide one.

Date: 2012-03-29 05:49 am (UTC)
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
From: [personal profile] sara
FWIW, I've had great success with Brooks saddles. I was having the ladybits discomfort plus my toes started going numb on long rides, and then, like the esteemed Mr. Jerome, I just switched over to something hard and have been much happier.

Date: 2012-03-29 12:33 pm (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
I switched to a Brooks saddle due to manbits discomfort. It has been wonderful.

edit: Here's their website.
Edited Date: 2012-03-29 12:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-29 06:15 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
It seems totally counterintuitive, but I'd been having so many problems with my old saddle that I switched to a basically non-broken-in Brooks B17 (standard, not the short-nosed version, because I like the control of a longer nose) and did a half-century on it two weeks later with no pain or numbness whatsoever.

Date: 2012-03-29 08:30 pm (UTC)
juliet: (audax)
From: [personal profile] juliet
I don't get on with Brookses because of the lack of a cutout, but have one of these: which is rather like a Brooks with a cutout, and I love it VERY VERY MUCH INDEED. So much so that after fitting one to my long-distance Best Bike (& riding 400km on it one weekend then 600km the next, without ill-effect to my delicate regions), I saved up for one for the hack bike too.

It is, however, not cheap. For me it was worth it because I'd already blown over half as much trying out various other cheaper saddles without finding one that really worked, and it was entirely plausible that I'd go through as much again. So it was worth a punt the first time around, and a no-brainer once I knew I got on with it.

Date: 2012-03-29 08:46 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
I've heard very good things about those.

Brooks has got one with a cut-out, but I haven't tried it because I hear they sag a bit in the middle, and what I found was that after riding on the solid leather version for a bit of a while it sagged enough in the middle that I didn't feel a cut-out was necessary. And I was a bit afraid it would pinch when I went around corners.

Date: 2012-03-30 03:49 am (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
I have also heard good things about those; also, that they have very long rails, so it's a good one to try if you need to adjust how far forward/back the seat is.

ETA: The brown leather is on sale for almost half off; $99.98 is not nearly as pricey as the regular colors.
Edited (lookie) Date: 2012-03-30 04:26 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-29 06:45 am (UTC)
jae: (evoxgecko)
From: [personal profile] jae
I ride recumbents, which have "seats" (or even "chairs") rather than "saddles". Absolutely no pain in my lady bits, even when I ride all day!


Date: 2012-03-29 12:58 pm (UTC)
woldy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] woldy
Have you been cycling through the winter? Last spring I was off my bike for months and when I got back on my saddle seemed crazy uncomfortable, but people warned me that can be because your body is out of practice. After a few weeks of cycling regularly the saddle felt fine.

Beyond that, I have a women's mtb saddle on my road bike. It's moderately wide, with gel bits, and pretty comfy. I think it cost about $50. Alas, I don't recall the brand.

Date: 2012-03-29 03:22 pm (UTC)
abyssinia: Sam Carter's first view of Earth from space and the words "all my dreams" (Default)
From: [personal profile] abyssinia
I have a roommate who does triathlons, and thus spends long hours on her bike and was having serious ladybits problems with the saddle, until she splurged on a Terry saddle (I don't know which one) and she loves it and says it make a HUGE difference.

Date: 2012-03-29 03:38 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
I have a Terry Liberator saddle on my road bike, which I've hardly ridden at all. I also have the discontinued Terry Rosie saddle on my mountain bike, and I love that saddle. For the season, I've biked an average of an hour a day several months off with only a very slight getting-used-to-it discomfort in the beginning. The longest days were around three hours. So, not actually that long for serious biking, but pretty good for a beginner.

Last I checked, Terry had a really good return policy, as do many stores that carry them. I do think they're worth trying. Since the Rosie's discontinued, I'd suggest the Butterfly. (Rosie seems to be somewhere between the Butterfly and the Cite, which just looks too puffy to me. Also, mine has "ride like a girl" printed all over it, which I found annoying at first but realized it would make it less likely to be stolen.)

While I seem to do very well with Terry, the next thing I'd try for the MTB would be the Brooks women's saddles. I briefly road a friend's Trek WSD road bike and didn't find the saddle so great for me.

Some stores apparently have things you can sit on to check the width of your sitz bones and find a saddle that matches. They might also have quick-change seat posts so you can try saddles out; however, I'm dubious of those, because what's comfortable for five minutes may not be comfortable for 50 miles.

Be careful about lowering the nose of the saddle -- if it's right, that's fine! But it can also mean you slide down and use your hands to hold yourself in place, and that will be a problem long-term.

Date: 2012-03-29 06:16 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
I was hoping you'd show up in this thread, since I remember your expert Terry ladies' saddle knowings!

Date: 2012-03-29 07:26 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Haha, I keep replying to myself, but poking at the Team Estrogen threads finds a lot of hate for the stock Bontranger saddles on Treks. Which doesn't mean it won't work for you... but don't feel bad if it doesn't or assume it should. There are also a lot of threads on saddles for heavier women -- it's a biking site, so people are really knowledgeable, but not everyone is expected to be a sylph.

Date: 2012-03-29 08:48 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
Oh, I am increasingly convinced that the best thing to do with Bontrager components is swap them out.

Though the tires have held up really well, of all things.

Date: 2012-03-30 04:09 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Actually, if you can stand the squeaking, you might keep the rear tire for the trainer -- save wear on your real tires. :)

Date: 2012-03-29 10:33 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
For the sake of full accuracy, let me point out that the saddle on your friend's Trek WSD bike was not the stock saddle, it was a Selle Respiro. :-)

Date: 2012-03-30 03:57 am (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Aha! Well, now I know to avoid that one. :) It was fine for a short ride, but would not work for me long-term.

Date: 2012-03-30 05:31 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Nooooooo on the Terry TRX! That's what I think. Unless I've misread and you're leaning over a lot more than I think you are. I have the impression that you're a fairly upright rider?

That seat is made for people whose backs are nearly parallel to the ground. That's what's meant by "Performance" and "drop into the aero bars." If you're not riding in that position, it will likely be an instrument of torture. (It might work -- anything might work -- but I wouldn't bet on it.)

Herein I will babble about anatomy. I am not an expert and I may be wrong, but here goes:

Your ischial tuberosities, aka sitz bones or sit bones, are rounded bony protrusions at the bottom of your pelvis. When you sit up straight, you're sitting on one part of your sitz bones. When you lean forward, your pelvis tilts and you kind of roll to a new part of your sitz bones, and that changes the angle and the distance between the points that hit the saddle. Basically, that distance gets narrower. Some people lean forward so much that the point of contact is the pubic ramis, which is the sweep of bone from the ischial tuberosity to the front of the pelvis. (Yes I looked that up.) The way the bones are shaped, the distance between the part of the bone that hits the saddle gets narrower as you roll forward.

This is bone structure and independent of padding. Heavy women can have narrow sitz bones. Thin women can have wide sitz bones. If your experience is that wider saddles don't work for you, then you may well be narrow; but that may also be because a lot of the wider saddles have a lot of padding (especially the cheaper ones). Padding means that your sitz bones dig into the padding and then it presses up against the soft tissue, which sucks a lot. I like my saddle because it is hella wide (I'm built like a short Jessica Rabbit...) but not very padded and has a cutout, and it's on a mountain bike where I have a pretty upright riding position.

There are a lot of instructions on how to measure sitz bones yourself (sit in undies on printer paper on a yoga mat or carpeted stair, etc.) and most good bike stores should have something.

The cutout test is something like this: sit on a hard chair and lean forward into a biking position. Does your soft tissue feel smushed against the chair? Magic 8 ball says get a cutout.

Date: 2012-03-30 05:34 pm (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
Oh, and also -- a lot of the price for the TRX is going to making it very lightweight, which isn't much value to you. If you really need something that narrow, a mid-priced men's saddle seems like a much better value. If you're going to spend that much, I'd go for a Brooks or the sale An-Atomica (the guy who did them used to take Brooks saddles and add the cutout, until Brooks' prices went up).

Date: 2012-03-31 04:13 am (UTC)
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
From: [personal profile] daedala
I'm sorry; I didn't remember what bike you had.

Date: 2012-03-29 04:11 pm (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
I've ridden my Terry butterfly saddle probably 5,000 miles. Highly recommended. I bought mine before they added gel, though, so I don't know how that will be.

Whatever you choose will likely be better than the stock saddle.

Not about Terry, but still about women's saddles

Date: 2012-03-29 10:48 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
You just hit one of my prompts, I must now spill out everything I think about bike saddles for women. (Sorry.)

I spent a couple years biking everywhere I went, using a men's stock seat. Then I spent a couple years being unable or nearly unable to reach orgasm. (It took me a while to figure out the connection. Then I stopped biking for a few years and I gradually got my response back.) So I have Definite Opinions on the matter, which mostly boil down to: make sure you have a good saddle for your body!

These days I bike nearly everywhere I go, again, without that being a problem. Selle's Respiro seats work very well for my own personal body; your body may vary. I have one in the Women's Athletic model on my road bike, the Women's Moderate on my hybrid, and the Women's Relaxed on my older sit-up-straight bicycle. I tried Selle's Lookin saddle for a little while, too, but I liked the Respiro better so I switched back. OTOH, one of these is the very same saddle that [personal profile] daedala mentions here didn't work for her. So again, YBMV.

(Selle's website still sucks, but what I did learn from looking at it today is that the saddles I have look like they're now called "Respiro Soft," rather than "Respiro." At least, if the picture is anything to go by.)
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
I share my story so that others may avoid it!


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