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#3359541 - 05/02/14 06:56 AM Clydesdales and saddle comfort
Hokiefyd Online   content


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11623
Loc: North Carolina
No, I'm not talking about riding horses.

I'm 6'0", 235 lbs, and have been back on my bike a lot this spring. I say "a lot" because I get out often, but I can't ride for any length of time (5-6 miles max) because of saddle comfort. I have a 23 year old mountain bike that I've converted to a hybrid/commuter with some road bike drive train parts and 26x1.4" road tires. The original saddle used to be comfortable to me when the bike was new; I'd ride with my friend all the time. But for my adult self, it wasn't good. So I replaced it with a larger and softer (and cheap) Bell seat.

Doing some research has led me to realize that the large cushy seats are only intended for light recreational riding and will cause a lot of pressure points if on the bike for a long time.

So please let me know what works for you, and/or what advice you've received over the years. I'm not nearly tired after 6 miles and I'd like to ride for much longer distances at a time.

Oh...I also usually ride with normal shorts, not cycling shorts. Due to a number of factors, I'd prefer to find a solution that allows me to keep riding with normal shorts, though if I really need to move to cycling shorts, I'd do it.

Edit: not to get too personal, but I usually ride wearing briefs. I imagine that switching to boxers would make a big difference, especially since the source of the discomfort is right on the bottom of my bum...right where the brief "line" is.


Edited by Hokiefyd (05/02/14 07:01 AM)
Edit Reason: More info
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#3359544 - 05/02/14 07:13 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
EvanD Offline


Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 286
Loc: well traveled
I had trouble finishing century rides due to discomfort. I got a fitting and found it amazing. I try and fit in a couple every year and I am bigger side and 6'3"
Don't ride without cycling shorts. At least put a pair under your regular shorts.
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#3359563 - 05/02/14 07:39 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 5053
Loc: NH
You can get "mountain biker" shorts, which are not the skin tight shorts used by road cyclists. All the padding but none of the looks.

Unfortunately I don't think regular shorts and undergarments are going to cut it for long. Too many places to get chafing. Also, I dislike cotton these days; ok if I'm not doing anything, otherwise they seem to take forever to dry out.

I too will pay and get a bike fitting when I change bikes. At the least it gets it close enough that it's minor adjustments afterwards. If you're only doing a few miles that may be overkill. I've lucked out and the seats so far haven't been bad for me; a hard saddle and biking shorts pretty much does the trick.

I used to hang out on bikeforums.net and there is a wealth of info there.
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#3359565 - 05/02/14 07:42 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
EvanD Offline


Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 286
Loc: well traveled
hard saddle and cycling shorts is a must have to avoid discomfort.
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#3359570 - 05/02/14 07:53 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4785
Loc: MI
When I got back into road biking a few years ago at age 55, I was lucky to have a friend that was a "Rivendell" lunatic. The guys at that site are a bit over the top, but their ideas about bicycle comfort are spot on, in my opinion.

You have already done the research, but if you google "bicycle seat sit bones" there are tons of articles.

My bum must be easy to accommodate because I never had problems from the get-go. I ride on one of these beauties: Brooks B 17 And, I applied the Rivendell ideas about handlebar height, etc. to a cheap, rescued old steel frame roadie.

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#3359574 - 05/02/14 08:00 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
hatt Offline


Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 1114
Loc: Florida
You're never going to be comfortable without a decent seat and some biking shorts. Go to the bike shop. I bought some cheap $20ish shorts off Amazon and they were junk. For a few $$ more at the bike shop you can get decent shorts.
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#3359580 - 05/02/14 08:04 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24363
Loc: ME
They might make "line less" briefs. Wife's got some bras where the elastic is woven into a spandex that stays two dimensional and doesn't cut in anywhere. Check amazon or a sporting goods store. Basically... a speedo type thing.

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#3359585 - 05/02/14 08:15 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33940
Loc: New Jersey
The best seat I've had is an inbetween design. Not the super skinny and hard ones designed right to the sit bones, but not a typical wide or tractor seat. May have been a selle brand. Key attribute to it is that it has a nice gel pad on the seat yet is conformed to the sit bones exactly.

Saddles are no easy thing.

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#3359622 - 05/02/14 08:52 AM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
You can get fitted for a seat, a good bike store will have a gel pad to measure how wide your sit bones are apart. I have wider hips and the stores would have to order a saddle in for me.
In the mean time, just stand up more. Pick a bigger gear and do anaerobic intervals. It also works your arms and torso more too.
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#3359863 - 05/02/14 01:55 PM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
EvanD Offline


Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 286
Loc: well traveled
You may be too upright a position too. Try lowering the bars or flipping the stem.
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#3361918 - 05/04/14 09:34 PM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
NYEngineer Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 1084
Loc: NY, NY
Definitely get some bike shorts. Great MTB shorts for a big guy are Aerotech Design's Outlaw Short. Not a tight lycra short.
A great, baggy short with a liner and the correct padding.
You also need a WTB Pure V saddle. It's the textbook Clyde saddle. How do I know? I'm 6'5", 255 pounds and I ride almost 20 miles on my fatbike today.

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#3362893 - 05/05/14 09:09 PM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: Hokiefyd]
whizbyu Offline


Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 134
Loc: Carolinas
For my road bike, I use Brooks Swift. I also have a Selle San Marco Rolls which is good. I typically ride 40-50 miles over 3-4 hours. For my MTB I use WTB Rocket V. I have a ride partner who uses WTB Silverado and loves it. He's a tougher rider than I.

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#3409491 - 06/28/14 07:19 PM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: whizbyu]
Oilport Offline


Registered: 06/28/14
Posts: 7
Loc: Ont.Canada
Take a good look at the Selle SMP TRK , Also a smaller Hybrid model also A lot of Clydes like it,, do a search Mtbr forum.


Edited by Oilport (06/28/14 07:20 PM)
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#3411272 - 06/30/14 10:31 PM Re: Clydesdales and saddle comfort [Re: doitmyself]
jimbrewer Offline


Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 904
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
When I got back into road biking a few years ago at age 55, I was lucky to have a friend that was a "Rivendell" lunatic. The guys at that site are a bit over the top, but their ideas about bicycle comfort are spot on, in my opinion.

You have already done the research, but if you google "bicycle seat sit bones" there are tons of articles.

My bum must be easy to accommodate because I never had problems from the get-go. I ride on one of these beauties: Brooks B 17 And, I applied the Rivendell ideas about handlebar height, etc. to a cheap, rescued old steel frame roadie.


I got the Brooks. Works pretty well out of the box, but, I haven't seen any noticeable sign of this vaunted "breaking in" that everyone talks about. The price is way up too. I have maybe 24 hours in the saddle by now. Sure, the fanatical guys burn off 40 hours on their bike like its nothing. OTOH, they probably object to the weight of the Brooks. I've been dutifully putting the proofride goop on it every week and then wiping it off. Some dye came off after three weeks and stained my pants after a long ride (I'm a short-haul commuter and commonly ride in street clothes). After soaking it in Oxy-clean for a couple of days it might give.

I'd consult Road Bike Review for a line on a good cheap saddle. It worked pretty well for me on a mountain bike I had years ago. I can't remember the brand now, though.

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