Downside to Cut-Out Saddles?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Stats
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by Stats

I've recently asked the same question of a friend who refuses to ride a cut out saddle...

He describes a cut out saddle for him as being uncomfortable because although it gives him a small amount of relief in the centre, he said that the pressure is focused too hard on the edges of the cut out and negates the benefit...

I've ridden both cut out and non cut out saddles for a number of years on each - personally I found comfort and discomfort on both styles - for me it depended more on the saddle shape than cut out vs non cut out.

by Weenie


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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

It's more about where your sit bones are located on the saddle than the cut out or no cut out.
The proper width of the saddle would be the one that works best.
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eric
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by eric

The Cervelo article that deltree linked to above is very good.

tinozee
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by tinozee

Not all cut out saddles are equal either. I have tried plenty of "cutouts" that didn't do anything for me. The Adamo on the other hand... It's like a different animal.

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SalsaLover
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by SalsaLover

Basically, -in theory- if you sit properly on the saddle and have good flexibility on your lower back, you don't "need" a cutout.

Me, I can ride a non cutout saddle, as long as the width matches my seat bones.

For example, I have a brooks on my commuter and don't feel any pressure on the sensitive parts...

BUT, and that is a big BUT, on longer rides and after many Kms, hills and descents or long flat sections etc, when my body starts to get tired, I tend to lose the good position and slouch gradually and then I put the pressure where it shouldn't go, and I get numbness and problems..

For that reason alone I ride a cutout saddle.

I prefer them wide and flat so the flite flow 2013 is my favorite
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SolidSnake03
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by SolidSnake03

I have actually read the Cervelo article before and do quite like it. I think they do a pretty fair job of looking into how saddles work/function in relation to the human body. The one issue I seem to have however is the section about "flat enough" as a saddle criteria. How does this apply in the case of something like the Selle Italia Flite, arguably one of the most popular saddles for a long time yet it is distinctly "not flat" if I remember correctly? I'm curious due to this saddle immense popularity, like that of the Selle San Marco Concor as another example.

Note I'm referring to the original flite.
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bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

I think the downside is you pay your money and get "less" saddle. That it I think.

eric
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by eric

The rounded saddles fit some people. Or some people can handle them for the riding that they use them for.

I prefer flattish saddled but I had a Concour on my commute bike. It was fine for the 6 mile commute I was doing then, but would have caused problems for a century or a crit where I was in the drops all race.

dmp
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by dmp

wpccrunner wrote:Any knowledge of structural/mechanical engineering lends to common knowledge of higher stress concentration around any kind of cut-out of void in a structure. Any other engineer on this forum can back up my statement, as Davidalone has just done. The engineers designing these saddles know about the higher stresses and therefore reinforce the saddle shells to compensate for the higher stresses thus resulting in a heavier saddle, due to the extra material.


I wasn't questioning the issue of stresses around the cutout- I agree with you there. What I am questioning is the veracity of the "wearing out" issue. I think that Davidalone (assuming that I understood his post correctly) was making an unfounded assumption that all the engineers who designed the saddle did was put a hole in it. It is equally likely (or maybe more likely, as you suggest in your post regarding the weight) that the design and construction of the cut out saddle takes these factors into consideration. I don't know of anyone who has complained that their cut out saddle has failed prematurely, or sooner than any other saddle - and in any case, the pleural of anecdote is not data.

As far as weight goes, I think that many of us will agree that a saddle is the one component on the bike where we are most likely to tolerate a bit of extra weight in exchange for greater comfort- or the maintenance of neural function in a "vital organ"!

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SalsaLover
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by SalsaLover

SolidSnake03 wrote:I have actually read the Cervelo article before and do quite like it. I think they do a pretty fair job of looking into how saddles work/function in relation to the human body. The one issue I seem to have however is the section about "flat enough" as a saddle criteria. How does this apply in the case of something like the Selle Italia Flite, arguably one of the most popular saddles for a long time yet it is distinctly "not flat" if I remember correctly? I'm curious due to this saddle immense popularity, like that of the Selle San Marco Concor as another example.

Note I'm referring to the original flite.


The original flite is rounder and narrow

The 2013 flite (mk3) is flatter and wide
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davidalone
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by davidalone

dmp wrote:
wpccrunner wrote:Any knowledge of structural/mechanical engineering lends to common knowledge of higher stress concentration around any kind of cut-out of void in a structure. Any other engineer on this forum can back up my statement, as Davidalone has just done. The engineers designing these saddles know about the higher stresses and therefore reinforce the saddle shells to compensate for the higher stresses thus resulting in a heavier saddle, due to the extra material.


I wasn't questioning the issue of stresses around the cutout- I agree with you there. What I am questioning is the veracity of the "wearing out" issue. I think that Davidalone (assuming that I understood his post correctly) was making an unfounded assumption that all the engineers who designed the saddle did was put a hole in it. It is equally likely (or maybe more likely, as you suggest in your post regarding the weight) that the design and construction of the cut out saddle takes these factors into consideration. I don't know of anyone who has complained that their cut out saddle has failed prematurely, or sooner than any other saddle - and in any case, the pleural of anecdote is not data.

As far as weight goes, I think that many of us will agree that a saddle is the one component on the bike where we are most likely to tolerate a bit of extra weight in exchange for greater comfort- or the maintenance of neural function in a "vital organ"!



I made no such assumption. I just stated that what wpcrunner was saying had basis for being true- all things remaining equal, ( i.e. design, material ), a non cut out version is going to last longer than a cut out version. there are too many saddle designs out there that we can't make a definitive conclusion, but you CAN make a generalisation based on the principles of engineering design. I'll bet you that there are some companies out there that possibly don't give alot of thought into reinforcing cutout areas/saddles , and alot of the time it's not so simple as adding material.

mattr
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by mattr

I found they pinched as i moved around on the bike.
Not so much of an issue when racking up the miles, but a pain in the undercarriage when doing anything else.
So i don't use one.

hasbeen
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by hasbeen

Ive had problems with cut-out saddles. Every one Ive tried has pinched or irritated me much more than my trusty Flite Evolution. It has always been a bit odd to me but Ive tried more than a few. My personal belief is that if shape and position is correct (rarely is) then the cutout is not needed. Basically the cutout became the norm when road cycling took off and bike fit was something only a Tour rider worried about.
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