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"Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition
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because we are at a particular moment, where we'll do a lot of our cycling on the trainer, but will begin to migrate outside with the onset of summer and the lifting of stay-at-home orders, we are going to try to foster the fixing of problems that you have on your bike. your position, and your contact point problems. by far, your biggest point of discomfort, according to you, is your saddle. to that end we're going to do 2 things: ask saddle companies to engage in special programs designed to let you try and buy their saddles with no risk; and offer help on THIS forum thread w/regard to the prescribing and use of saddles.

how you set your saddle up on your bike, the tilt, and the fore/aft, does change a lot from saddle to saddle. also, there are newer saddles, such as BiSaddle, which you may not be familiar with, and we'll go thru how this saddle works. there's a home page article (or will be shortly) announcing this, and this thread (and others focused on other common bike problems) is where the real work will take place.

what is the tie to stationary? this is where these problems are most easily fixed. in my experience, stationary is the ideal test lab. once you get your position, your saddle, your pedal adjustment, aerobars, dialed in on the trainer, then you take them out on the road and make whatever minor adjustments need to be made there.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan

I have an Adamo ISM saddle on my road bike. I have ridden it for say 5 years never knowing it was underneath me.

Until two weeks ago. I hit a pothole and knocked it out of position. Now all I feel is saddle.

I started out level. Now I have it pitched forward a bit. It feels better pitched forward, but it’s there.

The other part of the equation is fore / aft. I suspect I now have the saddle further back relative to the bottom bracket.

Beyond trial and error. What are the steps to get this right?

TIA
Last edited by: SBRinSD: May 4, 20 18:54
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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Can't help with getting the saddle positioned right, but hopefully this helps once you do get it dialed.

Take a pic with your phone. That way you always have the position of the seatpost clamp on the rails handy, and a pretty good idea of the saddle tilt (you can actually get it exactly with software by measuring against the known angle of the seatpost).


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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I went through a dozen saddles until I discovered the genius of the Selle SMP line.

I don't know how anyone rides on a non-split saddle these days, especially women.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan this is a fabulous idea! I have been one of those who has been on the search for my "perfect " saddle. I may have found one but like so many things in life it seems so far the problem is trialling and error, which means it is hard to do in a remote part of Canada. I have at least 7 saddles at home I had to buy to try. In a couple of instances I was able to return the saddle that did not work for me but that was maybe 1 or 2? So some idea or agreement from suppliers to allow for trials would be a wonderful thing! Keep up the good work. There is nothing more personal on a bike than saddle preference! and what works for one is a PITA for another literally!
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [NordicSkier] [ In reply to ]
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NordicSkier wrote:
I went through a dozen saddles until I discovered the genius of the Selle SMP line.

I don't know how anyone rides on a non-split saddle these days, especially women.

Are you using it on your roadie or TT? Or both? I've always been interested in this brand but haven't been able to try.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
because we are at a particular moment, where we'll do a lot of our cycling on the trainer, but will begin to migrate outside with the onset of summer and the lifting of stay-at-home orders, we are going to try to foster the fixing of problems that you have on your bike. your position, and your contact point problems. by far, your biggest point of discomfort, according to you, is your saddle. to that end we're going to do 2 things: ask saddle companies to engage in special programs designed to let you try and buy their saddles with no risk; and offer help on THIS forum thread w/regard to the prescribing and use of saddles.

how you set your saddle up on your bike, the tilt, and the fore/aft, does change a lot from saddle to saddle. also, there are newer saddles, such as BiSaddle, which you may not be familiar with, and we'll go thru how this saddle works. there's a home page article (or will be shortly) announcing this, and this thread (and others focused on other common bike problems) is where the real work will take place.

what is the tie to stationary? this is where these problems are most easily fixed. in my experience, stationary is the ideal test lab. once you get your position, your saddle, your pedal adjustment, aerobars, dialed in on the trainer, then you take them out on the road and make whatever minor adjustments need to be made there.


Sportfit Lab in Virginia has a great demo program!

http://www.sportfit-lab.com/bike-seat-demo.html
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman....one thing to keep in mind stationary vs outdoors.

Outdoors you have a retarding force (say at 30-40kph) pushing you back on your saddle from falling off the front of it. Indoors you have no wind retarding force holding you in your saddle. I noticed that indoors I need my saddle to be more level to just stay on the saddle, but that compresses hip angle, so my bars are higher. Outdoors it is much easier to stay lower with the saddle slightly down in the aero and not sliding off the front.

Just food for thought on the indoors vs outdoors. Eventually I just gave up and just ride on an old road bike with clip on bars (if I want to practice aero riding because I will go to an early season race down south) with a hip angle equivalent to what I ride on my TT bike outdoors. The transition to outdoors after that is easy.

If I ride with my outdoor position indoors, I slide to the front of the saddle and have too much weight on shoulders.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [teichs42] [ In reply to ]
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teichs42 wrote:
NordicSkier wrote:
I went through a dozen saddles until I discovered the genius of the Selle SMP line.

I don't know how anyone rides on a non-split saddle these days, especially women.


Are you using it on your roadie or TT? Or both? I've always been interested in this brand but haven't been able to try.

Road: Evolution
Gravel/CX: Blaster

It's not just the split, it's the way the saddle is shaped so you can push back under seated effort and there is no discomfort when you roll forward into a pursuit position.

I've been meaning to update my TT bike but I rarely ride it these days.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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SBRinSD wrote:
Dan

I have an Adamo ISM saddle on my road bike. I have ridden it for say 5 years never knowing it was underneath me.

Until two weeks ago. I hit a pothole and knocked it out of position. Now all I feel is saddle.

I started out level. Now I have it pitched forward a bit. It feels better pitched forward, but it’s there.

The other part of the equation is fore / aft. I suspect I now have the saddle further back relative to the bottom bracket.

Beyond trial and error. What are the steps to get this right?

TIA

I have been on ISM on my road bike for many years and love it. The one thing I remember from the installation video was to have a slight twist of the saddle to the left or right of centerline, depending on which was more comfortable. I can't do that on my QR Tri because of the aero seat post, and thus the road bike saddle is always more comfortable that the road bike. On a cycling trip a friend even was even approaching my bike with his tool post build up saying, hey your saddle is twisted. I mark it with electrical tape and a Sharpie when I find the sweet spot. Good luck!



I miss you "Sports Night"
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Great idea. I’m going to go through some old pics and see if I can get a good enough look at the rails.

Like you said I should be able to pull the saddle tilt with software tools.

Thanks!
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Quo Vadimus] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting about adding a twist.

I know I’m more comfortable with pressure on my left side.

That could help.

Thanks!
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Here is mine...ISN P1.1.

Only the first saddle I bought to change from stock (felt b16). Massive improvement over stock but feel like I should be more tilted.. what do you think?


Last edited by: Poldarn: May 5, 20 11:59
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Poldarn] [ In reply to ]
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what ISM says is that the rails should be level, and that means a nose-down aspect. here's the rule, according to me: nose down as much as you can, until you start to slide off the saddle. if you need to make any special movement or adjustment while riding to keep yourself from sliding forward, then you've gone too far. go just that far, and no farther. stationary riding is a great place to work on that.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Dan.

Yeah.. just come in from a zwift ride and I am certainly not slipping forward..will get my tinkering kit out tomorrow and well... tinker.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [NordicSkier] [ In reply to ]
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SMP saddles were good (I had road and TT models for my R3 and P3), but Specialized have been better for me. Power Arc and Sitero 2 have been a step beyond, and I though SMP were great.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Has there ever been conversation one way or the other with MELD Saddles? Or experience? Obviously demo and returns for a custom saddle isn't possible, but I'm curious why I have never seen more mention of them around these parts. Seems they have a split(ish) nose option too.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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there are newer saddles, such as BiSaddle, which you may not be familiar with, and we'll go thru how this saddle works.


Assuming there is just one version of the BiSaddle that works for both men and women?


In all seriousness though, do you have details on how/what is adjusted? Assuming it is similar to ISM, but with adjustments. Does that make it overly heavy compared to others?

I ride an ISM on my tri bike and either an Asute or Selle Italia on the road, but am always willing to try new things. I also think what you are wearing has a big influence on saddle comfort.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [erik+] [ In reply to ]
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erik+ wrote:
there are newer saddles, such as BiSaddle, which you may not be familiar with, and we'll go thru how this saddle works.

Assuming there is just one version of the BiSaddle that works for both men and women?

In all seriousness though, do you have details on how/what is adjusted? Assuming it is similar to ISM, but with adjustments. Does that make it overly heavy compared to others?

I ride an ISM on my tri bike and either an Asute or Selle Italia on the road, but am always willing to try new things. I also think what you are wearing has a big influence on saddle comfort.

bisaddle has more than 1 model. but the point of it is that it has 2 sides, left and right, and a number of different plates on which these two sides sit. depending on the plate you choose you can have the front of the saddle be as narrow or wide as you want, likewise the rear, where the flanges are.

the very first bisaddle i got, a couple of years ago, was not admirably light. however, i've gotten subsequent versions, and each one makes improvements over the last, including paring down the weight. we've reviewed the saddle twice in our history, on the front page. but i'm getting ready to review it again because, just as we review cobb and ISM and other saddles multiple times, this saddle has morphed some and is due for an updated review.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I've already posted on the shoe fitting problem thread, so let's talk about the saddle issues a little bit here. :)

I have started to feel the left side of the saddle way more recently. I almost feel like I am bearing almost all of the weight on the left side of my Selle SMP Well saddle.

I also have an ISM saddle on another bike on the trainer, and on that too, I feel more pressure on the left side. So what are the possible root causes that we can try to diagnose?

A professional bike fitter had shimmed my left foot to relieve some of this pressure, but that didn't seem to work for too long. So I moved the shims to the right foot, and that seemed to improve things. But I am not sure anymore. I feel like my body has gone back to weighing the left side more again.

Would appreciate any thoughts on diagnosing where the asymmetry lies!
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [tmab2003] [ In reply to ]
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tmab2003 wrote:
I've already posted on the shoe fitting problem thread, so let's talk about the saddle issues a little bit here. :)

I have started to feel the left side of the saddle way more recently. I almost feel like I am bearing almost all of the weight on the left side of my Selle SMP Well saddle.

I also have an ISM saddle on another bike on the trainer, and on that too, I feel more pressure on the left side. So what are the possible root causes that we can try to diagnose?

A professional bike fitter had shimmed my left foot to relieve some of this pressure, but that didn't seem to work for too long. So I moved the shims to the right foot, and that seemed to improve things. But I am not sure anymore. I feel like my body has gone back to weighing the left side more again.

Would appreciate any thoughts on diagnosing where the asymmetry lies!

I have had similar issues and went through a bike fit process to try and resolve things. I was recommended a significant shim on my right foot as my right leg is appreciably shorter than left leg. I tried it but it seemed to cause other issues and after talking to other fitters they were far less convinced over the use of shims to solve this sort of issue. Along the same lines a few year back Emma Poole got a bike fit on GCN where the fitter was amendment she needed a large shims to correct a leg length discrepancy even though she had been riding at the highest level for years without any apparent issues.

The reality seems to be that physiologically humans adapt very well to natural asymmetries. Trying to artificially re-balance the system actually fights years of natural adjustment and can easily make things worse. So if you are really starting from scratch then using a shim is good potential solution but if you have years of riding shims need to be employed with more caution. Its likely trying to re-balance your physiology won't solve the original discomfort.

In my case the extra pressure I was feeling on my left side was most likely a result of my right leg being stronger and naturally shifting pressure to my left side. I have been doing core conditioning and work on a rowing machine to help add stability in the power size to offset the strength difference. Slightly rotating the saddle, as mentioned above, may also help in this situation because your hips may be rotating on the bike from strong side to weak side. I haven't found a golden solution but I do think strength imbalances are more likely to cause problems than physiological asymmetries.
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
what ISM says is that the rails should be level, and that means a nose-down aspect. here's the rule, according to me: nose down as much as you can, until you start to slide off the saddle. if you need to make any special movement or adjustment while riding to keep yourself from sliding forward, then you've gone too far. go just that far, and no farther. stationary riding is a great place to work on that.

I agree with Dan. Tilt it until you start sliding off the front, no further.

I might diverge with Dan on this next opinion... once you start sliding off the front, tilt the *bars* back and not the saddle to stop the sliding. Create "the wedge".

Finally, your cockpit is part of the saddle selection and interface process. There is a right saddle for you, and a right way to sit on it. When you make large your position you change your relationship to gravity and your relationship with the saddle and thus there's a new "right way" to sit on it, or maybe it's not even the right saddle for you anymore once your position changes. Maybe a "bad" saddle is now a good one. You have to try them all, all of the times if that makes sense.

Eric Reid
AeroFit | Instagram Portfolio Coaching and Bike Fitting
Chapel Hill, NC
Aerodynamic Optimized Bike Fitting, Retul Pre-Purchase Bike Fitting, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition
Ask me: Scody Optimized Speed Suits | CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Systems | HUUB Skinsuits and Wetsuits | Bombshell Aerodynamic BMX Wheels
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [scott8888] [ In reply to ]
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scott8888 wrote:
tmab2003 wrote:
I've already posted on the shoe fitting problem thread, so let's talk about the saddle issues a little bit here. :)

I have started to feel the left side of the saddle way more recently. I almost feel like I am bearing almost all of the weight on the left side of my Selle SMP Well saddle.

I also have an ISM saddle on another bike on the trainer, and on that too, I feel more pressure on the left side. So what are the possible root causes that we can try to diagnose?

A professional bike fitter had shimmed my left foot to relieve some of this pressure, but that didn't seem to work for too long. So I moved the shims to the right foot, and that seemed to improve things. But I am not sure anymore. I feel like my body has gone back to weighing the left side more again.

Would appreciate any thoughts on diagnosing where the asymmetry lies!


I have had similar issues and went through a bike fit process to try and resolve things. I was recommended a significant shim on my right foot as my right leg is appreciably shorter than left leg. I tried it but it seemed to cause other issues and after talking to other fitters they were far less convinced over the use of shims to solve this sort of issue. Along the same lines a few year back Emma Poole got a bike fit on GCN where the fitter was amendment she needed a large shims to correct a leg length discrepancy even though she had been riding at the highest level for years without any apparent issues.

The reality seems to be that physiologically humans adapt very well to natural asymmetries. Trying to artificially re-balance the system actually fights years of natural adjustment and can easily make things worse. So if you are really starting from scratch then using a shim is good potential solution but if you have years of riding shims need to be employed with more caution. Its likely trying to re-balance your physiology won't solve the original discomfort.

In my case the extra pressure I was feeling on my left side was most likely a result of my right leg being stronger and naturally shifting pressure to my left side. I have been doing core conditioning and work on a rowing machine to help add stability in the power size to offset the strength difference. Slightly rotating the saddle, as mentioned above, may also help in this situation because your hips may be rotating on the bike from strong side to weak side. I haven't found a golden solution but I do think strength imbalances are more likely to cause problems than physiological asymmetries.

Some bike fitters think everyone's the same. Some bike fitters think everyone's different. I have come to think that everyone is the same kind of different.

I had a similar situation with my own fit at a fit symposium... a lot of good fitters, one or two experts or "masters"... agreed I had shim issues with my left leg and that was causing me to relate to my saddle the way I did. I tried fixing it in the offseason but it just didn't work for me... I went back to my old asymmetries and everything's fine again.

Generally speaking they were right, but it was too late. That's why it's best to get a thorough comprehensive fit from competent fitter early on in the process.

E

Eric Reid
AeroFit | Instagram Portfolio Coaching and Bike Fitting
Chapel Hill, NC
Aerodynamic Optimized Bike Fitting, Retul Pre-Purchase Bike Fitting, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition
Ask me: Scody Optimized Speed Suits | CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Systems | HUUB Skinsuits and Wetsuits | Bombshell Aerodynamic BMX Wheels
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [erik+] [ In reply to ]
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erik+ wrote:
there are newer saddles, such as BiSaddle, which you may not be familiar with, and we'll go thru how this saddle works.


Assuming there is just one version of the BiSaddle that works for both men and women?


In all seriousness though, do you have details on how/what is adjusted? Assuming it is similar to ISM, but with adjustments. Does that make it overly heavy compared to others?

I ride an ISM on my tri bike and either an Asute or Selle Italia on the road, but am always willing to try new things. I also think what you are wearing has a big influence on saddle comfort.

What you're wearing has a huge impact on comfort, as well as indoor vs. outdoor riding. In general, my feeling is saddle should be as firm as possible and high quality bib shorts and shammy should be as tight as possible.

From there, depending on the use case, you need to create a situation where there's more than one comfortable position on the saddle to interface with. It's possible to set your saddle height and setback high enough such that you only contact the saddle in one place in one way. Even the best fit on the best saddle and that will get old after awhile. On the road it's easy, as there's different dynamics going on... on the tops in the peleton, sitting way back on a climb, in the drops and/or descending, and then on the rivet off the front of the bunch. Each one of those is a different "position" for me and a different place to sit on the saddle. This is why I like a long flat saddle like the one I use. I couldn't imagine using my TT bike saddle for my road bike.

Trick with a TT bike is to get the saddle height and setback such that your knee angle is in the center of the range when you're contacting the saddle in the center of the saddle's range. That way, you can slide back slightly or slide forward slightly for comfort. These muscles should be trained as well.

Eric

Eric Reid
AeroFit | Instagram Portfolio Coaching and Bike Fitting
Chapel Hill, NC
Aerodynamic Optimized Bike Fitting, Retul Pre-Purchase Bike Fitting, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition
Ask me: Scody Optimized Speed Suits | CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Systems | HUUB Skinsuits and Wetsuits | Bombshell Aerodynamic BMX Wheels
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Re: "Fix It!" The Slowtwitch hijack of Oscar Rogers: Saddle Edition [ericMPro] [ In reply to ]
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I wonder what the Pro fitters think of my current situation. I tend to rotate saddles, especially lately during lock down. I find if I'm on the tt bike on the turbo any saddle starts to irritate after a while. I have two ism saddles and a dash. Each have different shape and padding and therefore distribute my weight differently.
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