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The current saddle on my bike is getting past it use-by date, so I will shopping around for a new one. I use my bike for commuting to work, about 40-45 mins, 50% on seal roads and the rest on forest trails.

My current saddle is a non-sprung version with a high density foam padding.

My bike is a Giant Cypress from a few year back. Here is the 2011 version but it is pretty much the same.

I have seen saddles that are spring loaded and are tempted to go for them. However, I fear that I will be bouncing too much as I ride along. My current saddle is not spring loaded but I I get a very small amount a numbness around the crotch area.

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Edited the title to make the question more relevant to your specific problem. @tehnyit, if my link to chip seal road surfaces is incorrect, please remove it. (This is the first time I've personally heard the term, although I've been on roads like that.) –  Neil Fein Jul 6 '11 at 22:58
    
If you could tell us more about your current saddle--as well as what other saddle(s) you may have tried--I think it would produce better answers. Information about your bike and riding posture might also help troubleshoot the problem. –  Neil Fein Jul 6 '11 at 23:00
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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I used to despise the antiquated look of sprung saddles - then I got one on my retro-bike. Despite all of my preconceived opinions I immediately took to the sprung seat.

Clearly not for the road-racer, the sprung saddle has its place in regular riding, where roads are not exactly smooth. Given the choice of a couple of springs in the seat or a Kona-tractor-style-rear-suspension setup, the couple-of-springs has elegance in how it delivers comfort. Energy lost through compressing the springs is actually returned with marginable 'pedal bob'. The weight of the springs is negligible, your back wheel will thank you for them, even though only you and not the bike is being suspended.

Given the roads you describe I would definitely recommend a sprung saddle. You would not drive those roads without the weight being suspended, on the bike your legs are the suspension, it would be nice to give them a break after a hard day's work, so why not go with the sprung seat.

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+1 for the excellent insight. Cheers. –  tehnyit Jul 7 '11 at 7:04
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Another option is a shock seat post.

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Thanks, I shall check this out. –  tehnyit Jul 7 '11 at 6:55
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A more modern solution is a shock absorbing seatpost such as NitroPro Gas Suspension Seatpost (center of the saddle should be on center or forward of the seat post to avoid issues) or Cane Creek Thudbuster (the long-travel version that would match the NitroPro performance takes few CM more vertical room so if you need the seat in low position this could make it too high)

Disclaimer: I haven't tried either but I am contemplating ordering the first for my hardtail, no front suspension city e-bike, I love going fast but the roads here make it a pain without seat suspension and vibration absorbtion for both seat and hands.

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Never liked them myself, too much movement for me.

Its a preference, and performance of that type of seat may be affected by the weight of the rider.

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My Brooks B67 has springs that squeak. It's not loud but I notice it and it drives me batty. That would be my caution in getting a sprung saddle. –  DC_CARR Jul 7 '11 at 19:11
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A little Phil's Tenacious Oil did the trick for my squeaky B67, but it sure was dang annoying before I fixed it. –  lantius Jul 10 '11 at 0:58
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