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Asked this on diaspora, but was urged to come here, so, here's my question:

I tend to slide BACK on my saddle really far, to the point where my sit bones are very near to the edge. If I try to scoot forward, it's markedly more uncomfortable for the soft tissues and the angle of my legs doesn't feel right. The bike frame itself is the right size-- the shop helped me with that. So I don't know if I just have a big ass, a weirdly long torso, or what?

I was told that I should never, under any circumstance, adjust the seat further back on the post, but I'm somewhat at a loss of what I should do to fit my body's dimensions.

Also, I need a new saddle anyways, so any suggestions would be helpful. (Assuming they won't cost me an arm and a leg. I'm unemployed, after all.)

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    Is this sliding something you tend to do when riding, and is this more comfortable for your back, butt, what? Also, the shops fitting skills are called into question if this is happening so the right frame size isn't guaranteed. – whatsisname Feb 18 '15 at 21:47
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    Regardless of whether you have a big ass, or a long torso, these factors should have all been made irrelevant when the shop helped you with the fit. You can adjust the saddle, as you say there are safety limits on the saddle that you shouldn't ignore. It might also be possible to get a longer stem (can be done quite cheaply). Worst case, your frame might be too small. – PeteH Feb 18 '15 at 22:06
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    I'm not sure what the question is here -- we don't do product rec here, so is the question really "what should I look for when looking for a saddle? " – Batman Feb 18 '15 at 22:42
  • What do you mean by "further back on the post"? There is a straight section in the "rails" under the seat, maybe 3" long. You can, with reasonable safety, place the seat clamp anywhere on that straight section. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 19 '15 at 16:23
  • @whatsisname: Both. I didn't get a pro fitting, but based on my research, and what the shop guy said, a 54cm frame was right for my height and inseam (I'm 5'8".) – lokeen Feb 19 '15 at 17:31
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As others have said, just because the bike shop says it's a good fit, doesn't make it so. Their incentive is to sell a bike off the floor so they'll find the one that fits best and sell it to you.

I got a custom fit and I have longer thighs than most people. This meant that to get the seat position right, I had to have my saddle further back from the pedals than is typical. I ended up getting a frame built to my measurements.

It's possible you have the same setup. If you can't afford a bike fit, then look for a "setback seatpost" and you can do some trial and error.

The goal of having the seat in the right position for you is to allow your legs to cantilever your torso and "unweight" your hands, arms and shoulders. Here's an article that talks about the benefits of unweighting your arms and how far back to set your seat to achieve this.

  • This may be the fix I'm looking for, including the below suggestion for a wider seat. Thanks! – lokeen Feb 19 '15 at 17:34
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You probably just have the wrong saddle. The width of the saddle has to match the width of your sit bones.

My reading of your question is that only the very far back of the saddle is wide enough to comfortably support your sit bones.

The first thing to do is determine the width of your sit bones. This article has some good suggestions.

Is it possible to measure your sit bones at home?

Once you know that distance you have a much better chance of getting a saddle that works for you.

It's still a matter of trial and error though, finding the exact shape that works for you can take a long time. Some bike shops have saddle demo programs that allow you to try a saddle for a week or so. Unfortunately, there's no quick way to know if a saddle will work for you or not. A few long rides is the only way to know for sure.

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You may want to actually try adjusting your saddle up instead of back. If your saddle is too low, you may be compensating by rolling back on the seat as you pedal. Adjusting your seat up will push it back a little anyway, but it's something worth trying.

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I believe that bicycle seat comfort is more about adjusting your expectations for your style of riding than an objective measure of comfort. I do the same thing on my bicycle seats and always have since I started riding seriously 35 years ago. For your reference, I am a man, 5'11" and about 150lbs, so I have a relatively small frame. I have ridden numerous centuries and double centuries (100 miles and 200 mile rides), commuted 15 miles each way for 30 years.

My two most used bikes are a road bike and a town bike, both fitted with leather Brooks saddles that I ride for different purposes. I use a men's B-17 on the road bike which is a narrow, stiffer, harder saddle. The town bike is a converted '80s TREK touring frame that is now a one-speed with upright style bars with a women's B-67s. The difference between mens' and womens' saddles, interestingly enough seems to be the length, not the width.

I find myself moving back on both saddles to get my "butt bones" over the rail because it takes pressure of the softer tissues. I don't necessarily stay in that position, but I do it now and then because it just feels better to change positions. I shift around more on the B-17 than the B-67. I have not tried the B-67s on a road bike with the drop bars. I'm just enjoying it too much on the upright town bike to want to experiment. It is comfortable enough that I have ridden it on some 25 mile rides with less butt fatigue than the B-17.

The funny thing about seats is that even though the B-17 is stiffer and harder, it is my preferred seat when I'm trying to ride fast as in a 10-15 mile commute run where I want to put my head down and get there as fast as possible. The only saddle I don't move around on is the cheap, original mattress style saddle on my 50lb. Schwinn Cyclone one-speed. But I wouldn't want that saddle on a road bike or even my favorite town bike. Why? Because a very soft saddle seems to absorb more energy and feels less efficient.

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You can add on offset seat post but that is more money. A decent is $60.

A saddle has forward and back design points. If you take it way back and sit back then you put a lot of stress on the rails. I had one fail, when out the back, and landed on the tire on my butt - you don't want that.

Tilt the seat down will move you forward.

If the bike size actually is correct consider your riding position may not be optimal. What your bike is telling you may be the best position.

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Try using a layback style of seat post from Thomson.. can then use any of your current saddles, otherwise use a downhill style of seat ...that is usually longer than the "wheenie" std saddle.

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