Touring saddle

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Touring saddle

Postby jdudleyuk » 3 Mar 2012, 11:39pm

Hello All,

Can anyone recommend a saddle for touring to go on my road bike?
Cheaper the better really because don't have a lot of money.
What do people think of gel saddle covers?


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Re: Touring saddle

Postby Cachao » 4 Mar 2012, 12:03am

Brooks B17.

It's not cheap but this is not the place to save money.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby alicej » 4 Mar 2012, 1:02am

Gel saddle covers are generally pretty nasty, I wouldn't touch them for touring when you'll be in the saddle for long periods of time day after day. Trouble with saddles is that it depends on your particular behind so no one can really tell you what will work for you, and trial and error is expensive.

Is there anyone who might lend you their saddle for a long ride or two so you can get an idea of what feels best?

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby vernon » 4 Mar 2012, 7:11am

Gell covers is not the way to go. They don't really make things more comfortable.

Selecting a comfortable saddle is a lottery.

I am lucky in that I have found that the much recommended Brooks B17 saddle matches my needs perfectly.

Before my Brooks era I used Selle Italia seats and found them comfortable-ish.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby johnb » 4 Mar 2012, 7:36am

Good saddles cost a lot, good advice your getting for free, heed it and you will actually save money.

Brooks B17 special for me, but they are not for everyone.
The lead Greyhound never has to look at another Greyhounds derrière.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby Brucey » 4 Mar 2012, 7:39am

clothing is important too. You can have the best saddle in the world but it won't be able to do its job without good shorts etc.

Brooks saddles are very comfy but I've toured on all sorts TBH.


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Re: Touring saddle

Postby jdudleyuk » 4 Mar 2012, 10:14am

Brooks B17 isn't really an option considering my low budget and the need to purchase one before the end of the month.

Does anybody have any experience with the Charge Spoon/stool/pan bill?

I need a comfortable saddle that won't make me infertile after two weeks cycling @ 70+ miles a day lol.
Im fairly skinny and so have quite a bony ass if that makes any diff?

I understand that the Brooks B17 is the favoured choice but it just isn't an option unless someone gives me one for free lol

thanks for replies :)

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby nmnm » 4 Mar 2012, 10:36am

I went through a few saddles on ebay. You can sell them back after. Edinb bike used to have a saddle library iirc, probably not now but interesting idea. If you're very careful, masking tape on the rails, you can try out saddles then return them, I find.

Incidentally, I'm pretty boney too and remember being told by a very well padded sales person that saddles don't need to have padding, "it's all about support". Well, horses for courses, I thought. I'm now very happy with a £25 thing (Ed Bike own brand) with a cutaway and a bit of internal gel padding.Image

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby Malaconotus » 4 Mar 2012, 10:46am

jdudleyuk wrote:Brooks B17 isn't really an option considering my low budget and the need to purchase one before the end of the month.

I spent over £100 on various new and 2nd-hand saddles before forking out for a B17. Within a month I'd bought three; one for each bike. I would have saved £100 if I'd followed the advice to get a Brooks sooner.

There is a very good reason that 90% off round the world cyclists use a Brooks.

Sheldon is, as usual, wise on this subject... Where he is wrong, IMHO, is regarding breaking in. I'm a big chap and mine was instantly comfortable. It just got more comfortable over the first 200 miles.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby cycloret » 4 Mar 2012, 11:04am

I commuted to work on B17s for years though they probably got rained on much more than Brookes recommend. They're OK when run in but in my experience you'll have to cover several hundred miles first. Over time I'm not sure which bit gets moulded, the saddle to the bottom or the other way round. I've had other saddles which seemed comfortable for the first 10 miles then became torture and saddles which were comfortable one year and not the next. :?

For my LEJOG in 2010 I bought a saddle from the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op shop. I wanted to buy a Specialized Body Geometry one but they had none left so accepted the advice from the assistant and bought a Revolution Contact which was on offer. There was nothing on the packet which said if it was for man or woman and it does have a central cut-out. Seems it was more for a woman. It's a tad too wide for me but otherwise was comfortable during my 17 day Lejog.

So another vote for the Revolution Contact saddle from Edin Bike Co-op. ... es-leisure

Michael's 2010 LEJOG ... &Itemid=93
Last edited by cycloret on 4 Mar 2012, 11:11am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby barbelfisher » 4 Mar 2012, 11:06am

Always Brooks B17, I now have three with the good lady buying me a honey one for Xmas, the other really nice saddles I have come from hae been from Aldis, which I think are Selle. These are around a tenner but really comfy indeed.

Happy touring


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Re: Touring saddle

Postby DevonDamo » 4 Mar 2012, 11:07am

jdudleyuk wrote:I need a comfortable saddle that won't make me infertile after two weeks cycling @ 70+ miles a day lol.
Im fairly skinny and so have quite a bony ass if that makes any diff?

I'm also a bony-arsed cyclist. I've never been off bikes since my paper-round when I was a kid, and I've never bothered with fancy saddles - I just used whatever was on a bike when I bought it. So long as it was angled correctly it would be fine, and the worst I'd get was a day or two of very minor discomfort after getting back on after a long lay-off.

However, I recently read about the potential for soft-tissue damage from saddles, so I bought a noseless one. (I went for the ISM Sport.) I'd heard scare stories about how they hurt the back of your thighs and didn't allow you to control the bike in corners. Mine DID hurt the back of my thighs, but only until I'd taken a metal file and elongated a slot in the saddle-clamp, allowing it to be angled down sufficiently so the front 'points' weren't digging in to me. The stuff about not being able to control the bike in corners is just an old wives tale.

Most comfortable saddle I've ever owned. The job of a saddle is to support your two sit bones - this does that with a lovely gel pad, but doesn't touch anywhere else. Job done.

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Re: Touring saddle

Postby jdudleyuk » 4 Mar 2012, 11:12am

It seems leather saddles are the way forward, but do also need to be broken in, which I don't really have the time to do.

On wiggle, they sell a Charge Pan which is leather...

will this compare to a brooks?


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Re: Touring saddle

Postby Swallow » 4 Mar 2012, 11:15am

I have a Charge Spoon and find it very comfortable. Worth a punt at £20
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Re: Touring saddle

Postby PH » 4 Mar 2012, 11:20am

jdudleyuk wrote:Does anybody have any experience with the Charge Spoon/stool/pan bill?

If you go to certain Specialized dealers they have a thing you can sit on that measures the width of your sit bones. This is a large determining factor in what saddles you'll find comfortable. Actually I think what it's more accurate at doing is determining which saddles you defiantly won't find comfortable. Gel covers are great for popping down the shops in jeans, what works for long hours is something that supports you in the right places rather than something you sink into. The Brooks B17 Narrow suites me and the closest budget synthetic saddle I've found to that is the Charge Spoon.
Good luck, you've left it a bit late to be choosing a saddle for such a long ride. Maybe you could borrow a few and see which works for you, you don't have to get the same brand or model, just look for the same shape and firmness.

EDIT - Should have asked - What's currently on your bike and what's is wrong with it? That's probably the best starting point.