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I recently switched from a Selle Royal Seta T1 saddle to a Shimano Pro Falcon Anatomic saddle with a cut-out. It's lighter, wider (152mm), and has lesser padding than my previous saddle. The first ride I did with it was 100-km ride, in which I was on the saddle for around four hours. Apart from pain around the sit bones area, it was comfortable. To date, I've ridden 163km in total on the saddle, so three times in total, but every time I have ridden it, my sit bones have hurt.

I am wondering in general how long does it take for a saddle to break in, so to speak. Or, is this a case where this particular saddle isn't right for me?

I'm a heavy rider at 88kg, and I ride mostly in the saddle. I chose a 152-mm wide saddle because it more closely matches my sit bones measurement, which came around 15cm.

Thank you.

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    The rider-saddle interface is probably one of the most hotly debated topics in bike fit. Answers tend to be very specific to each rider, body proportions, flexibility, riding position, and even riding style. Short chamois quality and construction also plays a large role in comfort on modern saddles. – Rider_X May 16 '18 at 15:21
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    Isn't that too narrow? You want your sit bones to sit on the saddle, so I'd expect a 158-160 mm saddle for your dimensions. – Criggie May 17 '18 at 4:37
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    @Criggie Sorry, that was a typo. The measurement came to be around 15cm, so the LBS who measured recommended a 155mm saddle. Sadly, saddles are very hard to find where I live, and until recently, there were not any saddle testing programs here. I bought this saddle, as well as the previous one, from AliExpress. – ayaz May 17 '18 at 6:02
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    As looking at your saddle material, it doesn't looks like it is going to break-in like a leather saddle (e.g. Brooks leather saddle) – mootmoot May 17 '18 at 7:07
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    OK thanks for clearing that up. BTW if you bought a brand name saddle from Ali Express, you bought a knockoff. Look for online bike stores like Wiggle or Chain Reaction Cycles next time. – Criggie May 17 '18 at 9:48
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A 100 km ride is too much to do on a new saddle -- I'd start with 30 minutes rides, hour tops; not too hard. You also need breaks between rides -- riding 100 km then 30 km every day after will probably start you sore and keep you sore.

The saddle won't really change appreciably (break in) as you use it; break in is really for leather saddles which can break in like baseball gloves over time (and even then, theres only so much that can happen -- it either will fit or won't). Either you'll get used to it after a few rides or not. Many better bike shops have a return period for saddles that is long enough that you can probably get in 5-10 rides to get an idea if its comfy or not.

It's a highly personal decision, with body type, bike type and clothing choices coming into play.

Also, make sure the saddle is properly adjusted -- this means adjusting angle, fore/aft position, height, etc; switching saddles isn't as simple as just putting the new saddle in exactly the same position as the old one. You may even end up adjusting the handle bars a bit; saddles can feel too narrow if you have to sit too far forward.

  • Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it. I agree that jumping on a 100-km ride with a new saddle is not wise, and I knew that too, but my heart won over my head, and I couldn't help myself. Sadly, saddles are very hard to get where I live, so I got this and the previous one from AliExpress. I did give a one-week rest between each of the rides. However, now I have put the previous one back on to see if it makes a difference. I'll visit the LBS for a fit again in consideration of the new saddle. – ayaz May 17 '18 at 6:06
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    On aliexpress, you may very well have gotten counterfeit saddles, which aren't built to the companies comfort/performance characteristics. – Batman May 17 '18 at 11:02
  • I agree. But if you are careful, you can find original, authentic items there. – ayaz May 18 '18 at 5:42

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