Breaking in new Saddle?

Rookie mistake. bought an expensive 3-D printed saddle for my new bike.
Rode it today and was in pain after around 25 miles. Gutted out 50 but it was awful.
I’m pretty pessimistic and don’t wanna blow my season. How many rides would you give before you took the loss and tried a different saddle

I’d see if adjusting the angle or position makes a difference. If not, get rid.

For me at least, if it’s that bad, its usually not the saddle, but the bike fit.

If it doesn’t work for you, it’s usually not so bad that you cannot ride 25 miles, but rather niggling and pressure spots that aren’t working for you.

Saddles have different heights as well, so usually I have to adjust saddle height with a new saddle, just so the new saddle isn’t taller than the old one for example.

Which one did you get? And which one was your old saddle?

Fizik Antares adaptive saddle is the new one.
I had a bontrager (came with my checkpoint , but can’t remember exact model)

looks really wide. what kind of pain were you experiencing? did you scooth forward because you hit your thighs on your saddle and sat on the nose with your soft tissue? because that’s what happenes in my mind looking at that saddle…

and yes, I agree with @Dubadai check your saddle height and fore/aft

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Thats what I’ve heard as well, its pretty wide, so there is a chance that you may be sitting different enough to not use the cutout, hence pressure in unwanted places :slight_smile:

Have you installed it to fit your measurements?
When installing a new saddle, this is the order of things I check.

  1. Height. From center of BB to top of saddle. This should be consistent from bike to bike. Since different saddles often have different stack heights, don’t assume that the distance is the same.
  2. Fore-aft. When seated on the bike with you sitbones on the wide part of the saddle, and the crank horizontal, the front of your kneecap should be centered above the pedal spindle. Keep moving the saddle fore-aft until it does
  3. Angle. I primarily use this to alleviate some pressure on the perineum, when necessary. In that case i angled it forward

For all 3 measurements, it may require multiple attempts to dial it in. Take it out for a ride and make sure to bring a multi-tool. After a while, notice how you feel and make adjustments while standing on the roadside

All the pain was at my sit bones ;(ischium),
Like I needed more padding.

I would take the loss now. Unless you have grossly misadjusted your saddle position (e.g. way too nose down or up), in my experience, a good saddle for you is obvious immediately.

I had a Specialized Power saddle, which worked much better than all my previous saddles. I sprung for the 3D printed version, and unfortunately the shape is just a little different. The Mirror version simply isn’t as comfortable, and it did not have any sort of breaking in/acclimation effect. I’m selling mine.


Contrarian thought. If your pain is at the sit bones, it may mean your saddle is redistributing load to where it is supposed to be - something your previous saddle didn’t do. I ran into significant sit bone pain when I got back into cycling but it went away over a few weeks. Far better to have load on the sit bones than the perineum. Also, could be excessive movement → rubbing but you should be able to tell the difference.

Unless you know this saddle isn’t the right size, I would try to work through it. Very small adjustments can have significant impact.


I’ve had one for a couple of years, but started having issues with pain in likely the same area you are describing. It the opposite side felt like my bad hip before a replacement. Like it was painful to get off the bike, and for a few minutes, was painful to flex my leg due to the pain in that joint.

I had a seat clamp that was sagging on the Tacx Smart bike, and I kept fighting the position, and finally gave up and swapped saddles after an excruciating ride and dismount. I think it’s just wide enough to actually cause pressure at the beginning of the joint itself, and irritate that area. It’s more than likely a combination of the seat clamp sagging, and it potentially sliding forward or back, and potentially being a little too wide.

My butt loved that thing in the beginning, and it’s been on 3 bikes, ending up on the Tacx (where I spend most of my time), but it seems to be really sensitive to position more so than others brands I’ve have. I have thought of getting the Argo actually, but it looks wider still.

At the Local Bike Shop, I was measured and got the one they said ‘fit me’. I wanted to go smaller, but they cautioned against it.

I tried a Power Saddle, and had pain at the tops of my femurs, like the nose was too wide. Finding a saddle that lasts has proven to be an unending quest with long breaks occasionally. Finicky bottom…

I bought the Specialized Avatar, and thought it was just part of the break-in period, and developed near saddle sores from it. I think it was redistributing the load, on one spot on each side. Saddle pain is something so hard to read sometimes, or seems to be for me. I have dropped saddles for pain, and picked them up again and they felt fine, and then there’s always the ‘30 mile saddle’ that I’m sure everyone has run into. It’s great that manufacturers, and bike shops have made saddles returnable, or provided loaner ones to try out for a week. I donated my ‘seat box of pain’ to the local recycle-a-bike group that I had accumulated over the years. 20 some saddles, some only ridden a couple of weeks.

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For me it was about 500 miles both on the trainer and on the road. I have the 3d printed romin. I did not change saddle height. I did move it backwards more than the Sworks saddle that came on the SL7. You sink down into it and therefore it puts more pressure on parts that aren’t used to it. Played with the angle but found it didn’t relieve that sit bone pressure. After 500 miles it and me get along just fine.

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Interesting thought!
It’s definitely “too much pressure “

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I just broke two of the Fizik Antares Adaptive R1 saddles on consecutive early-season weekends. Both were purchased direct from Fizik at the end of last season. The shells on each about 1.5” behind from the nose of the saddle cracked. I was on my gravel bike on relatively smooth dirt roads in temps just over freezing. Fizik refunded my purchase price for both saddles, but cautioned me the saddle is not suitable for my intended use. Fizik tried to steer me into a new Argos adaptive R1. I’m not a fan of short-noses saddles, and had no interest is trying a new saddle design that hadn’t been tested thoroughly.

I installed an Antares Evo Adaptive 00 on my road bike. It’s not quite as comfortable as the R1s were — maybe because the carbon fiber shell is stiffer? I went back to a Fizik Kurve on my gravel bike. I’d steer clear of any Fizik Antares Evo Adaptive R1 saddle, at least until after the next winter season to see if there is a recall or there are stories of more breaking.

Whoa. That’s really worrisome.
Now I’m really regretting my purchase

I was mildly concerned about breakage (the previous saddle rail to seat back broke on one side (A rubber bushing on the rail end split)) but it was the seat clamp that proved to be the difficult part with the Fizik. So I wouldn’t be too concerned.

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I cannot ride an Antares but love the Arione. Would like to try the Arione open, but taking gambles on saddles sucks, there is a bucket of them in the bike room that prove that…

I would try moving the seat around 1/4" here or there and adjust the tilt. For the most part you should be a go no go right away on some of those adjustments. Some saddles seem really tuned to a specific tilt and any out of alignment can make them misserable.

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I switched to a Brooks ‘C17 Carved’, and set it up like normal, and hated it. Apparently it needs to be setup ‘flatter’ than a normal saddle because of the shape. Once I adjusted it with that advice, it fit and felt so much better.

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