So I just got a road bike and I'm riding more and more each week. I've heard much talk of the need for a saddle with a "love channel" and I wanted to get some feedback. It seems like a lot of this comes down to personal preference, but this is a serious topic, guys. I mean, I feel good to be out there riding, keeping my heart in shape and not clogging-up the roads with another vehicle, but if this leads to a decrease in "performance" then you'll quickly see x-cyclists driving huge SUVs to compensate for their shortcomings. I'm not trying to say I'm having any issues, but I think this is something that all male cyclists should consider. Whats the real deal with Rx saddles?
The saddle you choose can make a difference between a great ride and a lousy ride. I have quickly learned that saddle preference is a very individual characteristic. After getting my first bike, I quickly threw away the stock saddle and bought a Fi:zi:'k Arionne. Many people swear by these saddles but after riding for several months I found myself getting numb "down there" on all of my longer rides.
I then tried a saddle with the center groove as you speak of and found it to be even worse. After speaking with many other cyclists, they share the same sentiments about saddles with the center groove. The only one that I've heard is any good is the Selle SMP, and it is pricey.
Personally, I ride the Selle Italia Flite Gel saddle and it has been a life changer. I no longer feel numb "down there" and my overall endurance on rides has increased greatly. Further, it is worth mentioning that I was properly fit for all of the saddles I tried. If you have not been fit for your bike and saddle, you should be before making any changes. Sometimes a proper bike fit will make an enourmous difference in your comfort on the bike.
Here's to good riding!!
Thats great advice and I really appreciate it. I've been doing some research in the meantime and I found the Sella SLK and the SLC and I was wondering if you or anyone else has heard anything about these saddles? The center grove on these both begin in the center and continue and remain separate towards the rear of the saddle creating two independent supports on both right and left side. I look at this and think that the rider would benefit from the center grove, light weight (190-215g) and shock absorption and flex. Thanks for the help.
Try Selle SMP (Glider, Plus, Pro models with pads) they are not light though, around 200-300 grams. It is very comfortable especially on long rides. Read the article and review about it. Sometimes we are too concern about being weight weenies and we sacrifice comfort.
This is a great topic. I too have been looking for a comfortable saddle. I have been looking at the Specialized Avatar. I have been fitted to see which width I should get. I have been apprehensive though buying it because it is pricey, well atleast I think so at $100. I will definitely check out the Selle that has been mentioned. Toby, be sure you get fitted for width, if you get to narrow of a seat, you end up with your ischium, or your Sit Bone, to far off the seat edge this causes pain and ultimately numbness. With the seat I currently have, the stock seat, I get uncomfortable around 18-20 miles and it seriously effects my performance (In the ride) not the other. I am still debating what seat to buy as well. If you find one before me, let me know what you found to be the best.