My wife has checked out four saddles in the last month. The one that came on her bike originally, two other Specialized Riva’s (one stout and one squishy) and an Avocet Touring WII. For those who know women’s saddles, that Avocet is worth its weight in gold. Seriously. It is coveted like no other saddle, even more than a Brooks.
My wife hated all of them, and it drove me nuts that I couldn’t figure it out for her.
While on DALMAC I spoke to the owner of our local shop about the problem, and it became a big problem. There’s nothing worse than not being able to get comfortable in the saddle.
My wife, at the end of her rope, went into the shop to discuss options the other day and that’s when the owner pulled out a Specialized saddle measuring pad. She measures out at 150mm. We checked, every saddle she’s tried has been stamped with a 155. Trying to fit 150mm wide sit bones on a 155mm saddle is like trying to use a 10mm Allen wrench to tighten down your brake cable (it’s a 5mm bolt). While impossible is a good word to start with, painful works. I should have thought of this. I had the same problem when I bought my 5200.
We bought her a Ruby 143mm. The clouds parted and sun shone.
The saddle has less padding that the other options but it fits properly.
Unfortunately, there are some language/lingo issues that we just couldn’t bust through that, with the benefit of hindsight, could have made the diagnosing quicker.
Second, I naturally assumed, being a woman, my wife’s hips would be wider than mine. They were, but only by a few millimeters. That was a bit ignorant on my part, though in my defense, she’d been riding the bike for two years…
Finally, I assumed that she’d already done the width test.
As it goes, all’s well that ends well, but I can’t help but feel like I let her down by not figuring this out sooner. That measurement pad should have been the first thing I suggested.
So, my friends, if your saddle feels like it’s too wide to fit between your legs (and I mean that literally), get measured. It probably is. The test takes two minutes and can mean the difference between riding in pain or comfort. Simple a$$ that.