What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
gbnz
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What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby gbnz » 3 Apr 2019, 7:51pm

Does buying a womans saddle, qualify me as transgender?

On a more serious note, what qualifies a saddle to be a womans saddle, rather than a mans? From what I can see it's got all the necessary cut away sections et al. And why are no saddles qualified as being a mans saddle? Is this a sexist issue?
Last edited by Graham on 3 Apr 2019, 8:40pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Beware of discrimination issues . . . there may be trouble ahead !

reohn2
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby reohn2 » 3 Apr 2019, 7:56pm

Were your eyebrows plucked or done with eyebrow pencil or one of each?
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gbnz
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby gbnz » 3 Apr 2019, 8:00pm

reohn2 wrote:Were your eyebrows plucked or done with eyebrow pencil?


Neither, though the new Turkish barber in town engages in burning one's small hairs off with a giant match / mini flame thrower! Quite entertaining

iandriver
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby iandriver » 3 Apr 2019, 8:33pm

Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

recumbentpanda
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby recumbentpanda » 3 Apr 2019, 8:47pm

To answer the OPs factual question the difference is primarily in width. The male pelvis is generally narrower than the female, hence the need for the padding supporting the ‘sit bones’ to be closer together for males and a little further apart for females. Of course these are generalisations over a population as a whole, and individuals may vary widely. It is probably not helpful to talk of ‘male’ and ‘female’ saddles, but to concentrate on looking for the width appropriate to your actual anatomy.

On the matter of humour, I would refer you to the Irish writer ‘Miles naGopaleen’ and his remarks on the bicycle as the only gendered machine ever invented. He was of course, pointing out the ridiculousness of all such terminology, and poking fun at those who took it seriously: “I’ve known a feller nearly banjaxed with riding a female bicycle”.

Personally, as a recumbent rider, I regard myself as entirely non-binary, and polymorphously perverse . . .

thelawnet
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby thelawnet » 3 Apr 2019, 8:47pm

gbnz wrote:Does buying a womans saddle, qualify me as transgender?


There is no qualification for being transgender as I understand it. 'I think I am, therefore I am.'

On a more serious note, what qualifies a saddle to be a womans saddle, rather than a mans? From what I can see it's got all the necessary cut away sections et al. And why are no saddles qualified as being a mans saddle? Is this a sexist issue?


It depends whether you have testes or ovaries, to a great degree.

Oestrogen regulates the growth of bones, and in human females at puberty oestrogen causes the pelvis to widen, while in males testosterone results in longer bones.

So very simply if you have wider bones then the idea is a wider saddle.

Image

A female saddle such as this one:

https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/equi ... Code=black

has a 260mm length, and 144, 154mm or 164mm width.

This compares to the male

https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/equi ... Code=black

which is

270mm long, and only 128, 138 or 148mm wide.

Which makes perfect sense if you physically have different sized bones.

Apart from that there is the issue of where your genitals are, specifically women's being in a different place, and not moveable, so if you are sitting on them this is an issue.

See
https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/04 ... ddles.html
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/wp ... issues.pdf
and recently https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... e-cyclists

Aside from that I imagine there are other gendered issues at play; for example, if you look at saddles on Wiggle

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/cycle/saddles/

there are 2x more 'men's' than 'women's'. However if you look at 'gel saddle'

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/seating/?s=gel+saddle

It's 50/50.

Why? Well I reckon men are more likely to choose something macho, hard, while women are sold things that are soft. I would be surprised if gel is really better for either sex (it's probably equally useless for both), but it certainly seems to be sold to women more.

There are other issues of course, it was recently noted 'the world is built for men'

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... ar-crashes

I think this applies to cycling in that assumptions about cycling are based on men (who dominate cycling), and have more muscle and less essential body fat, so lots of assumptions from everything to 'where to cycle in the road' to 'climbing up a hill with a certain quality of luggage' may work quite well for the average bloke, but may require an above-average female.

All comes down to puberty, really, and btw being transgender and taking hormones or whatever won't undo it....

pwa
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby pwa » 3 Apr 2019, 8:55pm

If I found that a "women's" saddle was comfortable for me, a male, I would use it without a second thought. I imagine a lot of saddles could be considered unisex, though on average men should find comfort with saddles a bit narrower than those that suit average women, but that is just talking about averages.

reohn2
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Re: Trasgender issues....

Postby reohn2 » 3 Apr 2019, 9:14pm

gbnz wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Were your eyebrows plucked or done with eyebrow pencil?


Neither, though the new Turkish barber in town engages in burning one's small hairs off with a giant match / mini flame thrower! Quite entertaining

I thought they left that to the Brasilians :shock:
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iandriver
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby iandriver » 3 Apr 2019, 9:16pm

Read the BBC article I linked above. Wider for the sit bones is fine if you sit upright. Roll forward into an aero position and it's, well, a whole new world of pain. The conclusion seems to be the usual saddle minefield for anyone is a lot worse for females.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

Brucey
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby Brucey » 3 Apr 2019, 10:31pm

FWIW Brooks do ladies saddles that are the same width as some of the men's ones. However the ladies saddles are a touch shorter; I an given to suppose that this is simply to allow easier mounting and dismounting when riding an upright bike with an open frame.

I have ridden on Ladies Brooks saddle on an upright roadster and it was OK. I wouldn't have relished it on a bike with dropped bars though.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gbnz
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby gbnz » 4 Apr 2019, 7:32am

pwa wrote:If I found that a "women's" saddle was comfortable for me, a male, I would use it without a second thought.


My view precisely, though have to admit I didn't consider pelvic bone issues et al! I was merely bemused that as a male who's apparently being riding around on a womans saddle for years, I only found out on buying a new saddle (NB. The only occasion I've taken measurements of my saddles in use and found that womens saddles definately suit me).

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pjclinch
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby pjclinch » 4 Apr 2019, 8:03am

Good answers above, but while men and women are different in proportion between averages, there is, of course, overlap. Men are, on average, taller than women, but I'm shorter than my wife. I might be expected to have wider shoulders, but we're about the same there (she has terrible trouble finding coats that are wide enough in both the shoulder and the hip). And so on.

So much like other designed-for-women stuff (say, rucksacks) you'll have ladies' models that work fine with a lot of men and "unisex" (typically designed, even if not consciously so, for men) stuff that women prefer to "women specific". As with much manufactured stuff, you're looking for the brand with a tailor's dummy closest to your own, very personal shape.

I like Saucony running shoes, been using them for about 30 years, and recently bought a pair in my usual size 43. After I'd taken them for their first run through the mud I realised they'd been put in the wrong box and were actually the women's version. Can't say I could tell any obvious difference aside from the label.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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andrew_s
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby andrew_s » 4 Apr 2019, 12:05pm

Brucey wrote:FWIW Brooks do ladies saddles that are the same width as some of the men's ones. However the ladies saddles are a touch shorter; I an given to suppose that this is simply to allow easier mounting and dismounting when riding an upright bike with an open frame.

I've always believed that the shorter nose on women's saddles is to interfere with a skirt less.

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pjclinch
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby pjclinch » 4 Apr 2019, 12:19pm

andrew_s wrote:
Brucey wrote:FWIW Brooks do ladies saddles that are the same width as some of the men's ones. However the ladies saddles are a touch shorter; I an given to suppose that this is simply to allow easier mounting and dismounting when riding an upright bike with an open frame.

I've always believed that the shorter nose on women's saddles is to interfere with a skirt less.


I have a C17S I bought as someone was end-of-lining them at considerable discount, seemed fine for my standard B-17 compatible undercarriage when I used it. Lent it to an Audaxy friend who'd never found a saddle that really suited him and wanted to investigate Brooks, declared it the most comfortable saddle he'd ever used and promptly bought his own.

My wife has a rather snub-nosed Spesh on her road bike she likes a lot, doesn't wear a skirt/dress on the road bike...

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

pwa
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Re: What distinguishes between a mens saddle & womens saddle ?

Postby pwa » 4 Apr 2019, 12:22pm

andrew_s wrote:
Brucey wrote:FWIW Brooks do ladies saddles that are the same width as some of the men's ones. However the ladies saddles are a touch shorter; I an given to suppose that this is simply to allow easier mounting and dismounting when riding an upright bike with an open frame.

I've always believed that the shorter nose on women's saddles is to interfere with a skirt less.

That's my understanding too. The only drawback I can think of is less flex from what is a shorter suspended section.