The Saddle Shuffle

I have three bikes.

1) A titanium road bike, with fairly moderate geometry.
2) A mountain bike, front suspension only
3) A flat-bar commuter-type road bike.

I have three saddles.

1) An expensive Selle Italia Diva, which is a lot like the Terry Butterfly. This one came in the build kit for my mountain bike.
2) A Brooks B-17. I bought this one from Harris Cyclery, back when they were still my semi-local shop, to go on the titanium bike. I wanted to soften the over-sporty look a little.
3) A powder blue Fizik Vitesse, which you can see in the header. I bought this unridden for a screaming deal (Maybe $25?) back before I knew what I was doing. It was cheap, it was a famous brand, and the stock saddle on the flat-bar bike was excruciating.

That Vitesse saddle is like a parody of bad bike seats. It is narrow. It is hard. But I just can’t escape it. The geometry is, apparently, just perfect for me. I didn’t want it on the TI bike, mostly because it’s powder blue. My road bike fantasy involved Cinelli’s Celeste Green bar tape.

So, I mounted the Brooks on the road bike, in accordance with my fantasy aesthetics. This left the Vitesse on the commuter and the Selle Italia on the mountain bike. The Brooks turned out to be too wide for the road bike. So I switched with the mountain bike, and put the Selle Italia on the road bike. The Selle Italia kills me. I rode it for weeks, hoping that I would get used to it. It’s a very similar width to the Fizik, but because of the cutout it is wider in the center. This made the edges of the saddle dig in to my upper-inner thighs.

Finally, I realized that I was being a stupid. I pulled the Fizik off the flat-barred bike, where it had been for probably 2000 happy miles, and put it on the road bike. Perfect. I left the Brooks on the mountain bike and threw the Selle Italia on the commuter, until I had time to switch them both.

And now everybody is happy. The Brooks would be a more logical choice on the commuter, but it seems to benefit from the mountain bike’s most-upright posture. The commuter bike gets ridden for shorter distances, where the slight-wideness of the Selle Italia isn’t a problem.

Moral: pick the saddle that fits, not the one that “looks right.”

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