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Saddle – Sore La Tercera Parte

March 2012
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This, I’m assuming will be the final installment on my new competition road saddle contrasted with my old gel road saddle.

Being a noob, there are certain things that you can look at on a bike and take from the internet that just don’t make sense. We could definitely use manscaping the legs as a good example – at the ether’s request, one should immediately commence to shaving on purchasing a worthy road bike. Reality is a little more forgiving though. The saddle is the same way. You look at a gel saddle contrasted with a rigid competition saddle and the gel saddle should be the epitome of comfort according to common sense. Reality in this case is a little less forgiving. I went for a nice, very fast 16 mile ride today in some fairly windy conditions. As windy as it was, there’s no way I should have been able to average 20 mph but I did that easily – with energy to sprint up all of the major hills, previously unheard of for me at that pace.

First of all, the gel saddle that came on my bike is a very nice saddle. It’s real leather and very comfortable – if I happened to ride very upright and on the hoods or bars most of the time at a more leisurely pace. That’s not how I ride though. I wanted to be in the drops as much as possible into the wind and low on the hoods to maximize aerodynamics because I like to go fast. That simply wasn’t possible without a lot of pain and an impossible time breathing on the gel saddle. The best I could manage in the drops was maybe 3/4 of a mile before I’d have to move up to the hoods for a rest – and I thought it was me.

Today, on my new rigid road saddle, I was able ride the entire time into the wind in the drops – seven miles. Instead of times around 3:45 a mile, I was down around 3:15.

The strange thing – at least to me – is that the saddle is right on the comfort. I didn’t miss the gel a bit, in fact, on the hoods the only difference I noticed was that my right sit bone and hamstring don’t hurt. In the drops, though, the comfort increase was profound. I was able to get my hip angle right which allowed me to breathe easier. In addition, because I have the hip angle right, the width of the seat right (so I could sit in the right part of the saddle), I didn’t get sore or tire out quickly.

I didn’t miss the extra padding once. On the contrary, I’m glad it’s gone – go figure.

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5 Comments

  1. Kimberly / ThePowerOfRun.com says:

    Glad your hamstring is feeling better! I went to the newbie tri clinic today. It was interesting. I think more people were stressed about the bike portion than the swim. And, I’m already arguing with my hubby about the need for a new bike 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks Kimberly… I wanted to add something on arguing with the husband about the need for a new bike… Now each husband (or wife in my case) is different, but there are a few tried and true angles that will work in attaining a new ride. Coming from a husband standpoint, my wife could ask for a new Trek 6000 WSD (she likes the mountain bikes) and because I want her to be happy, ride often and look awesome, I’d find a way to make it happen. If you get into triathlons and like them, you will end up looking better than you would if you just ran (I do)… Don’t be afraid to exploit that a little bit.

      • Kimberly / ThePowerOfRun.com says:

        In theory, your point should be true. When you read the post I will put out there later today, know that the graphic I included is something I did to cheer myself up. I’ll leave it at that 🙂

  2. […] wanted in the drops, a substantial change from before I bought my new saddle.  I wrote about that here.  They’re too low right now, and I can absolutely feel it when I’m in the drops into […]

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