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saddles in heat

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by cyclebum, 30 Sep 2007.

  1. cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Location:
    Cheshire
    As some of you may have gathered from previous postings I am off to India in feb to cycle 390km over 5 days, and friday I met up with another mad woman who will be doing the same ride. We are supplied with bikes over there but can take our own saddles (or is that sadals;)!) but this lady's local bike shop has told her that gel seats deteriorate in the heat (should be av 25degs) and she will need at least 3 seats for the 5 day ride. Is this true or just a sales ploy from the shop???:biggrin:. It just sounds a bit dodgy to me. I hired a bike in America while on holiday earlier this year in similar sort of heat and the seat was fine. I can't believe they put new ones on every few days!
     
  2. longers

    longers Veteran

    As a sceptical person - that sounds like bobbins to me.

    If you're going in Feb you've got just about enough time to break in a Brooks. Not used one myself yet but some people will tell you it'll take you that long to get it comfy.
     
  3. bobbins +1 (let's try for bobbins +100!)
     
  4. DLB

    DLB Senior Member

    bobbins + 2

    no way.

    i would however not advise a brookes as i find that the b17 gives me bad saddle sores due to bad ventilation.

    FWIW i'd recommend a specialised alias or avantar
     
  5. stevenb

    stevenb New Member

    Location:
    South Beds.
    a gel saddle will last 5 days.
    I'd choose another saddle over a gel one though.
     
  6. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    I cycle in 39º~40º heat, and I'm not the only one. It's a load of cock. Your saddle will be fine, but make sure you keep your undercarriage clean and well salved (heat rash is a bugger).
     
  7. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    I agree with the above - how ridiculous! Saddles are designed to get hot. I'd not necessarily go for gel myself though - a firm saddle is better for riding every day/distance. Make sue you wear clean wicking clothing and raise your bum off the saddle every so often during the ride, to get some air to it - these both help to prevent soreness from sweat rash.
     
  8. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine Staff Member

    Location:
    Stevenage
    Another vote for bobbins. A saddle has a goodly area of flesh in intimate contact with it - flesh that is about 37 degrees or so, and a layer of lycra isn't much thermal insulation! It'll be fine.
    Handy Hint - don't leave a black saddle in direct sunlight for ages then sit on it. Sizzle! Most uncomfortable that was.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Location:
    Cheshire
    This has all been very encouraging and some great tips too, but now it has left me wondering what seat to take. I am on a mtb, but I must admit since I've had this seat in April I wouldn't say it was anymore comfortable than the basic one I had on the old bike (though I am clocking up more miles on this one). I've never actaully used the seat that came with the bike so I have been thinking of giving it a go. I suppose with only 4 months to go I am going to have to decide pretty quick so I can get used it. ;)
     
  10. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I think the guy in the shop has a point (of sorts): I've certainly seen cheap, plastic, gel filled 'comfort' saddles become a soggy mess in the sun. A black saddle will become way, way, way hotter than 37 degrees (hence the warning above!). Plastic is also a pretty nasty material to be against your arse in hot weather and the cause of much moaning after the longer audax rides when 'leather look' saddles have been unkind to the nether regions.

    Blonde is right, that the longer you plan to ride, the firmer your saddle needs to be in order to remain comfortable. Gel filled, squishy saddles (together with road tyres with tread and cheap aluminium frames) are sold because they meet beginners expectations without any 'conversion' of their inherent knowledge base: Soft is comfy, tread gives grip and aluminium is light.

    But for anything longer than a trip to the shops, I would always choose a real leather covering and a minimum of gel. The crucial thing is then getting one the right shape! That, unfortunately can only be done by trial, and too often, error (plus decent shorts and a certain amount of posterial conditioning).
     
  11. Scoosh

    Scoosh Velocouchiste Staff Member

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    'twas ever thus - both for the Blonde referred to here - and for the generic ;):blush: :smile::biggrin::biggrin:

    But on the OT, an avg temp of 25deg C is much like a normal (if there is such a thing these days) summer in the UK - well, south of Hadrian's Wall anyway !

    I lived in India for 18 months some time ago and visited a friend in MP state half a dozen times since and it's a fabulous country. My advice would be to take many of the 'horror stories' :eek:with a pinch of salt - after all, anyone can come up with equal horror stories of travelling/touring/living in the UK.

    I'm sure you'll have an absolutely fabulous time - and I'm getting a bit envious ;)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Thanks for the advice Tim B, if there is one thing I have invested in it's decent shorts, and I'm working on the conditioning bit.On Sunday I was taken on a ride of just over 34 miles (thanks Patrick:smile:) with no ill effects. I have also been back on the saddle since and been fine. But I get the point about the gel, and if I'm honest I believe I may have heard this somewhere before. I think I am going to try an alternative, but I'm tempted to take a gel seat cover just incase for the later end of the ride.
     
  13. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Location:
    Herts
    I have no experience of a bicycle gel saddle but the one on my motorcycle caused some problems after being parked in direct mid day sun in Spain.

    The refreshing effect of a couple of cold drinks was soon forgotten upon leaping on the 'bike and riding off. SWMBO complained even more than me - but she is, of course, a woman and they tend to do that.
     
  14. Be prepared to spend at least 30 squids on a saddle to get a level of quality suitable for the kind of distances you will be covering.
    Selle Italia are my personal favourite and suit my gentlemans arse very well, whether thats down to design and construction or to familiarity I dont know. What I can say with certainty is that Ive been selling Selle Italia saddles to wimmin for twenty years and had very good feedback. Their Genuine Gel range use a thin layer of gel impregnated foam which doesnt lose its shape with temperature fluctuations. Another good brand, if you can find it, is Georgina Terry. They are actually made by Selle Italia so use a similar last.
    Specialised have a nice range too. Definitely choose leather, central cut-outs are optional. (IMHO natch).
     
  15. OP
    OP
    cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Location:
    Cheshire
    I have been to my local cycle shop (usually exphensive) and have been given advice which supports the ' 3 saddles required' theory as pants, but the saddles he reccommended (non gel) started at almost 50 quid. I know things can be found cheaper on tinternet, but how do I know that what I am buying is going to be a waste of money which I can ill afford? We seem to have a distinct lack of specialist shops in our area.:biggrin: