I've done the usually shuck and jive through buckets of saddles and haven't yet found one that works. I'd like to know how people like the Antares Versus and what other saddles they've tried.
Here's what I've bought/used:
- Arione: I liked the shape but my bits got numb. Not going to happen.
- Older Selle Italia Trans Am: This saddle fit me fine seven years ago, but I weighed 140 pounds. It brought the pain when I finally got back to hard training last summer. I was also 30 pounds heavier (e.g. quite fat).
- Alliante Carbon: I thought this worked, but it would make me numb on the trainer quick as a wink.
- Kurve Bull: Bought it because of my good feelings towards the Alliante, but we've had some extra cold weather (and now that I train nearly every day I'm on the trainer way more) and so yeah, numbness returned.
What's useful to know: I got out of shape in the last four years (well three, really) and put on a bunch of weight. Social life, only riding a bike to commute, maybe doing a local long ride on the weekend (but like 50 miles, so not that long). I got out of shape. I think the bulk brought out issues. Since last May, I've been back at it hammer and tongs, dropping weight and clocking miles. New custom frame, new setup... and saddles saddles saddles. I can tolerate more things out of doors, where I'm out of the saddle or shifting positions a bunch, so I don't notice stuff. The trainer always seems to focus the flaws in fit more than a long day on the road.
Cue today: 180 miles a week in cold weather (more in nice) of which a bulk of is on the trainer. I do lots of climbing, but I really am comfortable more in the drops than on the hoods. But I'm a bit stocky, even when I'm thin. Right now I'm 5'8" 154 pounds and still dropping (145 would be fine, I dont know if I will ever be as thin as I was when I was in my early twenties again). So think Hinault style (seated climbing, 80-90 RPM though I am working on tempo).
I liked the Arione a great deal, really my ass is hard the numbness thing just kills me. I only spew all of this data because in this case I think it's appropriate. Also the early twenties me (7 years ago) would be laughing that i can't just ride anything. Goddamnit.
I now find the upcurve at the end of the kurve bull (and probably the alliante were I to mount it) to be annoying. I move around too much. Clearly I'm not a bull. (And the spine concept is rubbish, I've always been able to touch my toes.)
The Arione versus seems to get lots of smack as the channel does nothing. I don't care what my riding buddies say, I think I need a slot, at least for a few more months.
I prefer Fizik half out of aesthetic... I rather think their saddles look the least cheesy. If someone in a similar situation has gone a different route though, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
Specialized Toupe (non-s-works version for a bit more give and flex.)
San Marco Regale - bigger traditional shaped. Very comfortable.
Everyone has their favourites, but these are my choices after doing a lot of shifting and swapping over the years.
The most frustrating part of the whole affair is that if it weren't for numbness issues, I've never had a problem with a saddle. My posterior seems to tolerate anything. I've tinkered with angle, height, position and everything all to no avail. I got professionally fitted too and that didn't really seem to do anything other than tilt the saddle down a pinch.
How old are your bibs?
I've noticed that as the chamois wears out, saddle comfort becomes more elusive.
Have you tried a new pair o' bibs?
It happens with all of my bibs: new Rapha Classics, my Primal club kit, newer Castelli, dog old Castelli and Descente... it's not ass comfort that bothers me. I'm actually fine with no chamois (tough ass). It's all down to perineum numbness.
Oddly enough, the NOS Selle Italia Turbo on my commuter (a keirin style track frame... hold the jokes) doesn't bug me but I rarely ride more then 10 miles at a stretch on it. I doubt it would be comfortable/non-numbing but it makes you think.
It can be as basic as that. Saddle height is not just a direct measurement. Its also a function of shoe and cleat stack height too. Also, your overall flexibility will also affect what's a comfortable saddle height/position. If you have changed any of those since the time you were not having these problems, its definitely worth a double take on them.
Also, note too that saddle heights cannot be measured the same way for all saddles. Reason being that your sit bones will have different resting positions on different saddles with different shapes/widths as well as deflection depths.
Use the saddle that you're most comfortable with now, try lowering it say 5-8mm and adjust your setback accordingly.
It might work out from there.
As for the test Antares Versus, I did a 1 hour training video this morning (Sufferfest - Angels) and so far it seems better. I've read people comparing the actual fit/ride of the Antares to the Arione and I have to disagree. The Arione felt more like I was "sitting in" the saddle while the Antares definitely feels more like I'm "sitting on" the saddle. Some of this may be attributable to it's width and some may be the design: no wing flex.
I still have some lingering pain from tinkering with my Kurve... which fit "okay" except for occasional numbness until I started doing trainer rides for an hour every morning as the weather has turned. The thing I did not like about the Bull/pseudo Alliante shape was the rise at the back. I always wanted to shift up over it.
How does the Antares compare to, say, an SLR Flow or Superflow? They look rather similar but the Superflow has a bigger cutout.
Truthfully, I am still in a weight cutting phase so the next ten pounds (nine as of this morning, but you know how that goes) so it's hard to say if that is affecting things too (the ass is still bigger than it should be, haha).
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