Women's commuting saddle for hybrid

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Spandango, 3 Nov 2017.

  1. Spandango

    Spandango Regular


    I am having some saddle woes. I'll start by saying I cycle in somewhere between relaxed and fitness posture in normal clothes, not lycra and no chamois. Full disclosure: I have a bony behind. I bought a trek fx 3 recently that came equipped with a 170mm Bontrager nebula :

    But I found it horribly uncomfortable and it rubbed against my thighs a lot.
    I put my old 145mm viscount saddle on and after adjustment got it comfy but this saddle is old and ripped and won't last much longer.
    It is more of a mountain bike saddle:

    I got my backside measured at the bike shop (112-113mm) and ordered two saddles:

    Specialised lithia comp in 143
    And Bontrager affinity in 134

    I'm trying the specialised first but have got off to a bad start. I feel like my sit bones are perched on concrete balls and are about to roll off the saddle and the deep valley in the middle is a little distracting. How do I know of this is too narrow for me?

    Also any other suggestions as I'm worried I'll never find a saddle within my budget (~£60) to suit me!
  2. Reynard

    Reynard Veteran

    Cambridgeshire, UK
    You could try a Charge Ladle - around £15 off Amazon or only fractionally less off ebay. At that price worth a punt, and if it doesn't suit, you should be able to pass it on more or less at cost.

    Charge saddles seem to fit a lot of bums on here, though that's no guarantee.

    N.B. Charge also make a MTB-type saddle, but can't remember what it's called.
  3. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this......

  4. Reynard

    Reynard Veteran

    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Thanks for the tip about setting up the Ladle @I like Skol :thumbsup:

    I'll try that out on mine - had it set up level. Was pretty comfy but "not quite right" so will see if tilting the nose down a little makes any difference. The saddle that came with the bike felt like it had been designed by Torquemada. The Ladle is like an armchair in comparison.
  5. Liz Su

    Liz Su Über Member

    The Specialized Riva is a comfy saddle and is about £20-30.
  6. OP

    Spandango Regular

    Thanks for your suggestions. With the ladle one, the width is 155, so would I be better off with a spoon?
  7. OP

    Spandango Regular

    Thanks liz, the riva looks quite similar to the painful lithia but maybe I'll see if any bike shops have one I can prod and investigate
  8. Turdus philomelos

    Turdus philomelos Veteran

    West Lothian
    I have had a fair few miles of uncomfortable rides trying to find that allusive perfect saddle.

    No one can recommend a saddle, it is a very personal thing. I tried the highly recommend Selle Italia diva but it wasn't for me.

    I would make sure your bike fit is correct also. There are several videos on YouTube on this.

    Good luck
  9. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Bontrager affinity R for me in a 155, have on the two bikes I ride most and have a spare that will go on the Ti bike when I eventually get one! A Specialized saddle was the most uncomfortable I've ever used
  10. OP

    Spandango Regular

    Thanks turdus, I've tried my best to get the bike fit correct and my ancient saddle is comfy so I think that side of things is more or less correct.

    Interesting that you like the affinity saddle vickster. May I ask if you know your sit bone measurement that suits the 155...I'm worried the 135 the shop got for me will be too narrow now.
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Erm that's the one I was told previously by a Specialized shop (when I got the saddle of torture). I'm quite large proportioned and 5'10 so 155 makes sense. I want to say it was like 130 or something on the 'machinery'

    Width actually isn't the only thing, shape is key, cut out saddle don't work for me but others swear by them. It is a bit hit and miss but generally Bontrager suit me. I do start to get sore after 10 miles or so, but I'm carrying too much weight and have all sorts of joint ails so I expect that's more the reason than the saddle per se. I also get more discomfort at the time of the month which isn't surprising!
  12. OP

    Spandango Regular

    Thanks vickster :smile:

    How do you know a saddle is too narrow? Also is is normal for a new saddle to be uncomfortable for the first few rides?

    The Bontrager nebula didn't feel awful for the first few days, and then weeks of sores started...the specialised lithia is painful on the sit bones but should I persevere or just try the next one on Monday? Honestly this saddle feels plain weird to me and the pressure relief channel gives a surprising chill to your nether regions!
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2017
  13. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Are you using good cycling shorts? If not, perhaps get a pair. I'd avoid anything with seams next to the skin, panties, jeans etc

    You can always wear trousers over the shorts :smile:
  14. Too narrow? Your sit bones should rest comfortably on it. If they do, it's not too narrow.

    If you are accustomed to riding, then your saddle should be comfortable from the start.

    That being said, I ride a rock-hard brooks saddle and it was agony when I first got it. Pointing the nose down a little made a huge difference. But it's still not comfortable when I get on it. It's fine, but rock hard and unforgiving. But that's it. It just stays like that. Never gets worse. If was to still on it and ask myself "could I cycle 1200km in the next 100 hours?" I would say no. And I'd be wrong.

    So, if you have invested in a new saddle - then try it for a while, if you can. You might be surprised.

    (can't give specific advice because everyone is different. And I have the sort of expansive arse that could have got me featured in a rap video.)
  15. OP

    Spandango Regular

    Hahahahaha. I love it.

    So if my sit bones are sitting uncomfortably on the saddle but taking the painful brunt of my weight then the saddle isn't too narrow? They seem to sit right on the 'corners' just where the saddle is about to curve off.

    Sorry I'm pretty dumb about this stuff. I hoped it was as simple as measure bum, buy that size saddle. Bingo, end of bum pains. Alas these saddle related stories I hear are full of unexpected and unique twists and quite frankly this is one time in my life when I wish I had a bum double out there to just tell me what to buy! (other uses of a bum double would be for finding those elusive jeans that fit)
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