For the pain and numbness: I highly suggest you get a proper bike fit like Retul. They will measure your sit bones to get the right saddle width and they will test out you flexibility to see what seat shape you need.
Also, I found having the proper bibs helped a lot. I can only do Maap & certain Rapha bibs.
People have sworn on Pas Normal Studios & Assos, but they don’t work for me
I got a Ergon SMC sport Gel women, even tough i’m a man. I got the woman model because it is larger. And because the cutout is closer to the tip. On a road bike, you lean more, so i don’t understand why the cutout is so many times so far in the back.
Also, i got shorts with gel pads, I usually wear underwear for an extra layer of protection.
Been thinking about that. Even tough i think i can fit my bike well enough, like, not at all that badly, but i’m not a pro fitter tough.
Sorry man, but what does “black bib shorts” do more than the usual bib shorts?
Thanks for the link. Will read.
Romin you mean. Yeah i’m thinking getting one of those specialized saddles and i can’t believe i’m close to spending 300€ on a saddle!
Yeah… 300 € for a saddle. But i’m desperate! Rocker plates, hmmm interesting…
I can see at least 3 or 4 different models there, which one you got?
Bib/shorts with pads are not designed to be worn with underwear. The extra layer of protection is causing unnecessary friction.
Gel pads don’t stay uniform like foam pads. They may work ok brand new but, I think you will find the gel will offer less material between you and the seat over a short period of time.
There is nothing magic about 3D saddles. Shape profile and outline still have to jive with your body and how you sit on the machine.
All the Chinese knockoffs are really bad. The shell is very soft and they sway very quickly. Good way to save money in the short term but, a potential injury long term. Shorts and saddles are not areas to be a penny pincher IMO.
I have a Fizik Argo Adaptive and really like it. But I wouldn’t recommend buying a 3D saddle unless you already know the shape that works for you the best.
I know for me that long saddles with no cutouts cause pain. But longer ones with cutouts like the Specialized Romin work well enough. But lately I’ve been using “stubby” nose saddles with the least amount of pain, which is why I went with the Argo. The Specialized Power saddle is what popularized it.
I ride an S-Works Power on my road bike/trainer and the Argo Adaptive on my gravel bike. Overall I want to say the Argo Adaptive is comfier, but there is a chance that the gravel bike is just a comfier position.
I’d highly recommed a bike fit / saddle fit program. There’s no one universal “best” saddle and finding one that suits you takes some effort. The 3D-printed part of the saddle is basically just the cover / padding of the saddle. If the general shape or the width of the saddle doesn’t suit you then saddle won’t be any good regardless of the 3D-padding.
Some of the basic characteristics to consider are:
wavy or flat (side profile)
curved or flat (rear profile)
T-shaped or V-shaped (looking from above)
Cut-out or not
Level of padding
Wavy saddles generally offer more stability and a certail amount of “locked-in” feeling whereas flat profiled saddles allow the rider to move around more. See for example Selle Italia’s flite (flat) and novus (wavy).
Saddles with curved rear allow for more side-to-side pelvic tilt while pedaling but can cause some unwanted pressure on soft tissue. Flat saddles on the other hand put more pressure on sit bones and offer more support, both of which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the rider. Specialized power and power arc is a good exaple of both profiles.
T-shaped saddles are usually preferred by riders who sit more towards the rear part of the saddle with less anterior pelvic tilt requiring more clearance for hamstrings. V-shaped saddles offer wider middle part of the saddle thus suiting better for riders with more pelvic tilt but can cause upper hamstring pain. Short-nosed saddles, such as Specialized power and Selle Italia SLR boost are usually more V-shaped. Sqlab’s 612 is more of a T-shape.
Cut-outs obviously relieve perineal pressure but shift the pressure to other parts. Generally though, cut-outs are a good thing especially if you are experiencing numbness.
And finally, more padding isn’t automatically a good thing. Padding helps to absorb bumps and vibrations from rough roads but too much padding and you “sink in” to the saddle. There are many nerves around your pelvis and sinking too deep into the saddle can cause irritation in those nerves, especially on longer rides. Heavily padded saddles can also hide fit issues delaying the initial saddle pain.
I have a Romin Mirror (i.e. 3d printed one). It’s made numbness worse. But, it makes sit bone pain better. The numbness is scary. So on the hunt for whatever my next trainer saddle is.
I think for me, I need saddles with large cutouts. Bontrager Aelous is what I have run with the best luck on my gravel and mountain bikes. But, it causes a little to much sitbone pressure on the trainer.