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I recently purchased a 2014 HardRock Sport Disc.

I ride on a variety of road surfaces, including pavement, gravel and dirt.

I don't currently have plans to race, do long touring rides, or rough technical trails.

I am riding mostly for fitness, and doing rides up to 40 miles.

Specialized has a Help Me Choose a Saddle section on the website, but I am not sure how I fit their categories.

I would consider me Fitness/Recreational, but according to the website that's more people who do short rides.

Also I would think that road saddles would have more cushion since your sitting on them for long extended periods compared to say a mountain saddle when your standing up off the saddle more, but it seems to be the opposite.

That is, road saddles tend to have the least cushion.

When I did 25 miles on the rail trail I wasn't tired but my toosh was extremely soar during and afterwards. To note I'm using the standard saddle that came with my bike which does not feel cushiony at all to me so I would assume I would want something with more cushion. But the ones with the most cushion seem to be not recommended for roads.

Gel seems very appealing to me but have heard negatives about that as well.

Can someone recommend what saddle(s) might be best for me? I'm fine with 40 to 100 price range (less of course better if possible) and I'm a 26 male 5'9'' around 160 pounds if that affects the recommendation.

To note the Milano Sport Gel looks like one option. The Targa description looks more like me but without gel it doesn't look like it would be much more comfortable/cushiony than the standard saddle I have now.

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4  
Try to become friends with your "Enter" key. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 13 '13 at 23:41
    
If your problem is "butt burn" then getting your butt "conditioned" will make a lot of difference. (Or you can help it along a bit by shaving the hair off your butt.) –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 13 '13 at 23:44
    
@DanielRHicks I had returns between each paragraph but when I clicked post it combined it all into one. To note I have no "hair" back there. I'm sure the more I ride the it will slightly improve, however since there are so many saddles that offer a multitude of "comfort" levels I assume that's for a reason. But thanks for both your interesting comments none the less. –  cchiera Jul 14 '13 at 1:16
    
It's not the big hairs that are the problem, it's the teeny little ones. They get matted together as you ride and slowly pull themselves out by the roots. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 14 '13 at 1:31
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Wear bike shorts with a chamois and no underwear. They will improve your experience on any saddle. It makes a huge difference. –  Benzo Jul 14 '13 at 15:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The kind of biking you do is exactly the kind of biking I do. I was once a devotee of the Cult of Saddle Cushioning as well.

I was wrong. Painfully, chafingly so. Ow.

You don't want the gel. You don't want lots of cushioning. What you probably do want is springs (saddle suspension) and perhaps something a bit wider in back than your typical Lycra Laddish roadie thing. You may also want to invest in bike shorts with a good chamois. You definitely want to invest in a decent skin-lubricating cream (hunt around here; several posts on that).

I splurged on a Brooks leather saddle for my tourer, and while I'm still breaking it in, I can already tell it's a much better ride than the cushion-packed saddle I replaced. If Brooks is too pricey, but you still want leather, Velo-Orange has some less-expensive ones (though caveat emptor: I've seen some poor reviews).

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I recently switched to a Brooks leather saddle. After a few weeks I wasn't sure if it was really an improvement, so I put my gel saddle back on for a ride. Wow! Did that gel saddle come off in a hurry and the Brooks went right back on. Even though it's not fully broken in yet, the leather saddle is a vast improvement. I paid $98 for mine on amazon.com, so it is within your price range. I highly recommend it. –  Carey Gregory Jul 14 '13 at 15:47
    
Thanks these seem quite helpful. While common sense would lead one to believe when you sit more (long rides) would want more padding/gel, since everywhere I read and these comments seem to suggest the gel fails in comparison to leather. While my bike was a little shy of 700, which I consider a lot I know that's not much compared to high end bikes so at first I thought leather would be overkill but sounds like a Brooks Trekking/Touring if I can find one on Amazon may be the way to go. Thanks for your help! –  cchiera Jul 14 '13 at 19:34
    
Oh PS, @dsalo Which Brooks Saddle did you end up getting? –  cchiera Jul 14 '13 at 20:08
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The Brooks B67s. –  dsalo Jul 15 '13 at 1:08
    
Love my brooks b17 narrow for touring. Takes 500ish miles to break in at least, but once you've done that, it's great. Don't forget to condition the saddle regularly with proofide. –  Benzo Jul 15 '13 at 11:36

It's often wise to spend money on the contact points: bars/grips, saddle, bib shorts (good chamois), and shoes/pedals.

I have-- and like very much-- a Selle An-Atomica saddle on my road bike. I have one for my mountain bike as well. The leather of the saddle flexes with your muscles as you move:

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