Let’s talk saddles.
When I got my tri bike, it still had its original 2002 seat on there. Aside from the fact that I put over 500 miles on it last year, and over 1000 miles so far this year, it had ALL of the mileage that my good friend – and AMAZING triathlete – had put on it over the course of 8 years. It was great, but as the rides got longer and that mileage count climbed, it just wasn’t comfortable. There was pressure right on the center of my crotch that was sub-optimal.
It’s not just the saddle that provides comfort – it’s the saddle, shorts and fit, combined. That’s why it can take a while to figure out if a saddle will work for you.
With Groupon in hand AND a discount for being a Beginner Triathlete member, I snagged a sweet deal on a Cobb V-Flow Plus.
It was beautiful. It was cushy. It wasn’t right for me. I gave it a solid month of riding before I threw in the towel. I experienced no pain with it, but I did experience numbness… down there. On every ride. The pressure in the center had been completely redistributed to the sides. My pelvic bones sat right on the cushy sides of the saddle… and apparently this cut off blood flow. So, even though I was pain-free, it wasn’t working out for me.
I re-sold the saddle on Beginner Triathlete for about what I paid for it in the first place.
Next, it was off to a standard-shaped saddle again – a Prologo Scratch Pro. I picked it up, barely used, for $30.
I didn’t expect this to be the perfect saddle, but I figured I’d try the standard design. It was tolerable – and rides under an hour were great. Rides over an hour, however, weren’t so great. I’m usually that triathlete with the enormous grin on my face for 90% of the race, and at the Miami Speed Tri, that was no exception. As I approached the end of the bike, my smile got bigger. A volunteer at a u-turn asked why I was so happy – I told him my crotch hurt so bad and it was almost time to get off my bike! Luckily, he laughed.
The Prologo is awaiting sale…
The next saddle in my life was the Botranger Affinity 1 WSD (WSD means Women’s Specific Design).
While a women’s design isn’t necessary, the shape of this saddle looked like EXACTLY what I wanted. That middle ground between no cutout and a full cutout seemed right. So far, I’ve logged a few hours on it. The real test will be my 60 mile ride this weekend!