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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [cabdoctor] [ In reply to ]
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cabdoctor wrote:
Does this hold true for all noseless saddles? I'm currently on an SMP dynamic on all my bikes and I've been having a hard time finding and fitting a noseless saddle because either they are too wide or the narrower models have too narrow of a channel.

I would say it holds true for triathletes on a shorter type of noseless saddle. So, a triathlete on an ISM PR 2.0, PR 1.0, PS 1.1, Cobb Fifty Five, Fizik Mistica, Selle Italia Iron Flow, etc., where the saddle overall length is less than 240mm and you are positioned in front of the saddle rather than on it, rails level, a little low, and a couple of inches back is going to at least be a good starting point. A roadie who is a bit more upright (relative to a tri position), but like the longer ISMs like the PL 1.0, PN 1.5, Cobb Randee (which I consider kind of a hybrid between a traditional saddle and a noseless) because of the cutout aspect rather than the noseless aspect, is going to be a different starting point. They will start out closer to level, maybe more on top, but still down a little lower relative to a traditional saddle.

Your SMP Dynamic is certainly a different, well, uh, dynamic. Aside from looking like something designed by Salvador Dali, the SMPs are very interesting from a fitting perspective (SQlab saddles are, too - they just cradle the pelvis differently, and can be very hit or miss, but are certainly worth trying). Do you have any specific issues with the Dynamic, or are you just trying some different things to see if there is something better?

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [Alex2204] [ In reply to ]
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I have been contemplating switching my measuring technique to use a standard width like 70 or 75mm like that for a while, but have just not had the time to figure out how to adapt my processes and measurements accordingly. To me it makes a lot of sense - what drives your saddle position is not your saddle - it's a reaction to what feels good to your body. Your feet, pelvis, and hands/elbows have a happy place in space, and we put the appropriate contact points of the bike underneath those anatomical places in a way so they support that happy place in space.

In that happy place, the pelvis doesn't move relative to the feet and hands, you might have to position different saddles differently to maintain that anatomical relationship while finding the one that provides the best support (best being a combination of factors like comfort, stability, lack of restriction of movement, etc.). Since the one real constant for the specific rider here is the pelvic width, using a width measurement like that makes sense in my mind. You'll likely more naturally line up with a certain width on each saddle you try than the center of the saddle fore-aft, which may vary greatly as far as the width goes.

I measure pelvic width as part of my body measurements using the SQlab bench (aka "assometer"). It's only one parameter of many that will help suggest what saddle is comfortable for someone. The average pelvic width is 11.8cm for males and 12.8cm for females. I've measured adults from 9cm to 16.5cm wide. The person with that 16.5cm pelvis is the tricky one - they need the width or they are on nothing but soft tissue, making for an unstable, problematic seating arrangement. If we use the 75mm measuring standard, at least we know that they will likely sit further back relative to where the 75mm wide point is on the saddle, depending on how wide the saddle gets. This is also where finding that anatomical center is more useful than just going off of the width - I've had people with narrow pelvises prefer the wide version of a saddle while others with wide pelvises prefer the narrower version. Pelvic width, by itself, doesn't account for other anatomical bits like diameter of the thigh, or even the distance between the lesser trochanters, as a function of hip width.

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [BigBoyND] [ In reply to ]
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BigBoyND wrote:
How is a "good" saddle match defined? I get small saddle sores on the trainer with my PN3.1 while using BodyGlide/DZNuts and have to move around occasionally, but probably spend less than 5 minutes out of a 3 hour ride sitting up. Some discomfort and sores are there, but not enough to require stopping. In an IM I can stay in aero the whole time aside from when I grab bottles in aid stations.

I can't decide whether the sores are enough reason to try the Mistica. Is "good fit" defined as almost no discomfort and zero saddle sores? Or is what I have as good as it gets?

Was it Ferdinand Porsche or Enzo Ferrari who said the perfect race car is the one that wins the race and blows up right after crossing the finish line? I think I have that quote all screwed up, but basically the "good" saddle match is the one that will support you comfortably for whatever distance you ride. From your text above that I bolded, it sounds like you're doing OK!

On the flip side, you also have some soft tissue issues going on (saddle sores). You can take the "suck it up and tough it out" approach along with a bit of lube to overcome the saddle. But, in mind, saddle sores are something beyond just the saddle - the saddle surfaces might be mating up with your body surfaces OK from a static pressure perspective, but the movement could be excessive, and therefore more dynamic. The saddle could be a bit high, causing more pelvic rock, which causes more friction in specific spots. Or it could be a core stability issue - not necessarily that you are not stable - just not quite stable enough. There could be a host of other things, too.

Do the saddle sores happen primarily on one side?

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [Trigirl357] [ In reply to ]
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Specialized generally does do pretty well with their saddle designs. Unfortunately, because I am an independent fitter and not a Spesh dealer, I can't get their stuff in the shop to allow more people to try them. So, my experience with Specialized saddles has been when people come in with one on their bike. The couple of local Specialized dealers around here have their own fitters, so I see a smaller percentage of new Specialized bikes. I have yet to see a Mimic in person.

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [Travis R] [ In reply to ]
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Travis R wrote:
Was it Ferdinand Porsche or Enzo Ferrari who said the perfect race car is the one that wins the race and blows up right after crossing the finish line? I think I have that quote all screwed up, but basically the "good" saddle match is the one that will support you comfortably for whatever distance you ride. From your text above that I bolded, it sounds like you're doing OK!

On the flip side, you also have some soft tissue issues going on (saddle sores). You can take the "suck it up and tough it out" approach along with a bit of lube to overcome the saddle. But, in mind, saddle sores are something beyond just the saddle - the saddle surfaces might be mating up with your body surfaces OK from a static pressure perspective, but the movement could be excessive, and therefore more dynamic. The saddle could be a bit high, causing more pelvic rock, which causes more friction in specific spots. Or it could be a core stability issue - not necessarily that you are not stable - just not quite stable enough. There could be a host of other things, too.

Do the saddle sores happen primarily on one side?

Thanks that is good insight as I didn't think of stability as a potential culprit. I do make sure to use lube every ride and I don't always get the sore. When I do, it shows up just off-center to one side, the same side every time.
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Re: PSA: The Noseless Saddles Triathletes Should Try [Travis R] [ In reply to ]
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" I've seen a few that have had maybe 3000-5000 miles on them and they are holding up well."
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Travis,

First thank you for your insight and expertise in this thread. BUT, 3 - 5000 miles??!! I've got saddles with 30,000 - 50,000 miles and they are holding up well (and so is my back(under)side).

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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