Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby mfw on Tue 19/Nov/13 6:29pm

It's time to buy (and bed in) a saddle for the Kiwi Brevet. That is, 7 days * 12 hours/day riding on MTB with both upright and crouched (aero bars) riding positions, an unusual setup. Have approx $200 budget.

Firstly I went to all the LBS (Nelson) and saw nothing I liked. So, on to internet research:

Favourite:
Selle SMP (Lite 109, Drakon, Dynamic or Glider models)
I like the large cutouts, and dropped nose for steep climbing, also have a great rep.
BUT I can't find one on budget, even second hand. Cheapest I have found in is $330 (pushys) There are cheaper models (TRK) but they have a poor reputation.

Second choice:
Specialized (Romin or Phenom)
Most ergonomic of the 'regular' manufacturers, not as generous a cutout as SMP, none of the noses look as nice for tip-of-the-seat climbing. And which model? Also, what's the deal with the (cheaper) gel options, should they be avoided?

Other contenders:

Selle Italia SLR Superflow
No relation to Selle SMP company, but share the large cutout design. Flat profile, (prefer the shape of the SMP's). $200+

ISM Adamo etc
Rear 'hook' on all of them may cause issues with seat bag attachment. Shortness may limit riding positions?

Brooks B17 narrow
Classic, surprisingly affordable (NZ $130). Some people seem to get on with them, might not handle wet conditions, may not get used after the 'touring' event.

F:izi:k Arione also seem popular but don't look ergo at all (thinking perenium pressure).

Need to make a decision!
mfw
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby happybaboon on Tue 19/Nov/13 6:33pm

Arione is very comfortable, but gives me numbnuts if I don't stand up frequently enough. Dunno what it does/would do to others.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby shmoodiver on Tue 19/Nov/13 7:51pm

Speccy Phenom on all my MTB's
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby cyclenutnz on Tue 19/Nov/13 9:33pm

Arione has too much height differential between ischial contact and perineal contact points for most people which encourages hip rock and numbness. Is flexible in the wrong places too. I know it's popular but it's a terrible design.

If you intend to be moving around quite a bit then a consistent taper (rather than marked flare) could be a good idea. As seen on Cobb SHC (over budget), Fi'zi:k Antares (no cutout but could go versus channel version, again over budget). I don't have any big cutout models in my test fleet apart from San Marco Mantra (I won't even mention the price of that one). ISM adamo can be a revelation for some riders and a pain in the ... for others.

Selle Royal Seta sport has good ischial support and a channel (rather than cutout) and you could buy 3 in budget (finally I make a somewhat helpful suggestion). San Marco Zoncolan Arrowhead has a massive cutout and is ~150, quite narrow in the nose though. I might add the zoncolan to test collection. Would be happy to send saddles to you (at your cost) to test. Have SMP (can't recall model right now), Adamo, Seta, Mantra. Antares, SHC are out atm.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby NzidaR on Tue 19/Nov/13 10:00pm

I've been using Specialized Romins on both my Mtb and Roadie, quite happily, including 24hr Solos, and some other 12hr + rides. Have ridden a Phenom previously and that was good too, I just prefer the curve of the romin (to push back against).

I haven't had any issues with the 'comp gel' or expert models I've used, and in your price range, probably looking at either the Comp versions @ 140-150 or the Expert @ 190-200 or so. Main difference being the crmo vs ti rails.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby great uncle bulgaria on Tue 19/Nov/13 10:25pm

having had huge problems with seats in the past i really like the specialised ones - they just arent very tough ie i break them and the newer ones seem too padded to me. having said that i currently ride an arione and with the right shorts find it great - not sure a bout a brevet though.

I definitely wouldn't recommend the Brooks though. It wont have enough time to break you in before or during the brevet . . . . :blink:
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby danose on Tue 19/Nov/13 10:36pm

selle italia flite 'original' - the fact they brought back the old model says it all, cutouts are crap
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby mfw on Wed 20/Nov/13 7:51am

Btw: current saddle is Fi'zi:k Gobi Wingflex that came with the bike and it's horrible.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby sifter on Wed 20/Nov/13 7:59am

this is an incredibly personal thing. FWIW, I tried a variety of saddles, but now have about half a dozen Ritchey WCS Marathon V2s sprinkled around.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby danose on Wed 20/Nov/13 8:48am

mfw wrote:Btw: current saddle is Fi'zi:k Gobi Wingflex that came with the bike and it's horrible.


wheras I have gobis on all my mtbs and love them - horses for courses (or saddles for arses as the case may be)

dropping a pile of $ on a SMP sight unseen (and untested) would be insanely brave - at least with the speshy saddles the shop should have loan/demo saddles you can shove on and take for a ride (especially critical since they also come in different widths, whilst their funky 'sit bone measurer' generally is right, the test is in surviving a long ride)
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby Slim on Wed 20/Nov/13 9:09am

I just rode a 26" hardtail in a 115km, 8 hour xc race in aussie on a gobi, no botty problems at all.

I'd definitely want to be trying before buying on a saddle.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby Trail on Wed 20/Nov/13 9:13am

I am liking the WTB Volt at the moment. Not riding Brevet but did ride almost every day for 3 weeks in Canada on it.

Saddles are totally personal. Gotta find the shape that fits your arse.
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby foremannz on Wed 20/Nov/13 11:40am

I might be nuts in recommending this, but for 12 hours of riding, I'd be looking for something a bit more supportive - I'm getting an SDG Bel Air for my commuter, but from all the reviews that are out there, its a great all rounder, even for long rides ...
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby Hedger on Wed 20/Nov/13 12:41pm

foremannz wrote:I might be nuts in recommending this, but for 12 hours of riding, I'd be looking for something a bit more supportive - I'm getting an SDG Bel Air for my commuter, but from all the reviews that are out there, its a great all rounder, even for long rides ...


+1 for the Bel Air. Use it on my commuter (200km/week) comfy as!

Used to use a Gobi on my MTB, hated it for long rides. Swapped out to a Charge Spoon for 1/3 of the price.... no issues on 24hr solos or Kiwi Brevet. It's a personal thing - but you may not have to spend a fortune to get something comfy
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Re: Saddle Choice For Brevet, Selle Smp Vs Specy

Postby Simonius_Titius on Wed 20/Nov/13 5:52pm

danose wrote:selle italia flite 'original' - the fact they brought back the old model says it all, cutouts are crap

I put on a 1995 Selle Italia Turbomatic II just to check it out before selling, since an old one went for $99 recently and the yellow plastics don't work with my skin tone.
Instant major ass-love! Only short rides so far though. (I'm wide-boned, a softy, and don't always wear pants).

Still working up courage to try the Flite. The Trans Am Ti gets raves from some but I find the edges of the cutout ouchy if you land on them the wrong way, and that's just on the road.
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