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DCLiz
07-01-2011, 06:49 AM
I came across this article earlier this week. It made me a little squirmy to read, but I thought it was really interesting. Anyone out there use one of these noseless saddles? How do you like it?
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/science/28tier.html

Dirt
07-01-2011, 07:06 AM
I make it a habit to never get my nose too close to my saddle. After 10s of thousands of miles, that thing smells RANK! ;)

On topic: 40 years of riding with regular saddles. The noseless saddles that I've tried did not allow my legs to move naturally on the bike. Super cool that they work for many people though.

CCrew
07-01-2011, 07:08 AM
Thanks for that link. I'd had several people at work ask if I'd seen it. How's that for awkward watercooler conversation?

These "studies" seem to come and go on the various bike boards and pretty much go nowhere fast...be interesting to see if this one gains any traction coming from the NYT. Forum topics usually seem to degrade based on someone going juvenile.

I will agree though with the article that I think it's more of an issue based on individual physiology than it being a correction for cyclists as a whole. Without going into specifics I can conclusively say that even with the stupid amount of miles I ride I've never seen the issues described in the article at all. But I also am very particular on riding a saddle that fits my sit bones well.

Dirt
07-01-2011, 07:29 AM
Thanks for that link. I'd had several people at work ask if I'd seen it. How's that for awkward watercooler conversation?
Generally I've found that being frank and open during these watercooler conversations insures that no-one makes the mistake of asking that kind of question again. ;)

Joe Chapline
07-01-2011, 07:51 AM
I haven't tried a noseless saddle, but I've read that you lose some control over the bike. With a traditional saddle, you're sort of holding on to the bike with your legs. With the noseless saddle, you're just perched on top of it.

Greenbelt
07-01-2011, 03:50 PM
Split saddle design seems like best of both worlds. Nose is there for control when standing or maneuvering, but you sit on the split part further back, not on the nose itself!

brendan
07-02-2011, 03:10 PM
Lets just say that the few days after the Total 200 made the article a timely find, for me at least.

Brendan

Riley Casey
07-03-2011, 08:55 PM
It's unfortunate that some of those things, like exotic saddles and unusual bars like trek bars are at once both most needful of being tried on for size to be properly evaluated and virtually impossible to get access to on a trial basis. Funny how that works.

Veliste
07-04-2011, 09:25 AM
Hello, I just bought an I.S.M. Adamo Typhoon and immediately rode it 40 km over very hilly terrain without (a) any adjustment problems or control problems; and (b) any numbness or discomfort. I in fact had been having real problems with numbness, but I gotta point out that in the article their lead police guy thought he was just fine until he was tested. I picked that Adamo thing because it looked like it had a false nose that I thought would help with control issues. So far so good.

avocadoinparadise
07-19-2011, 01:39 PM
It's unfortunate that some of those things, like exotic saddles and unusual bars like trek bars are at once both most needful of being tried on for size to be properly evaluated and virtually impossible to get access to on a trial basis. Funny how that works.

Are there any bike stores in the DC area that sell these? If so, I assume we could buy one, try it, and then return it if it doesn't work. I checked on REI's website and they sell bike seat covers that look the same as the noseless covers, but they just go over your normal seat so they must not be the same thing. http://www.rei.com/category/4500867 There are so many noseless seats out there I don't know which to try, so haven't bought one yet, despite numbness issues with regular seats. I ride about an hour per day commuting.

acc
07-19-2011, 02:02 PM
I just saw them recently in Kmart of all places.

ann

PS - I am on my second saddle and still not entirely happy. Part of my dilemma is I "feel" the road through the information I'm getting via the saddle. I don't want to do anything to screw that up. Yes, I get feedback from my handlebars, obviously, but the saddle comes into play too. And granted I can shift my weight into several different positions depending on how fast I'm going and whether I want to spare portions of my legs. For what Kmart is charging, it may be worth a try but for me I think I may head back to the shop at the end of the summer and try something different. The nice thing is there are a lot of choices out there. And hey, by the end of the summer I may just be tougher.

ann

PanthersFan
07-20-2011, 02:28 PM
After reading the article I bought the noseless saddle made by Spiderflex. I rode 16 miles with it the next day and never felt I had full control over my bike. I adjusted the seat several times, but no luck. I sent the seat back.

Mark Blacknell
07-20-2011, 02:44 PM
Yes, the nose of a saddle is definitely a control point on a bike - I'd never ride a noseless saddle in any conditions beyond 8mph on a boardwalk . . .

Related - http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028141.700-bike-to-the-drawing-board.html?full=true

Dirt
07-20-2011, 04:12 PM
I'd never ride a noseless saddle in any conditions beyond 8mph on a boardwalk .
I've been riding a faceless saddle for a while though.

Dirt
07-21-2011, 07:11 AM
Okay, I finally have a few minutes to give this thread a bit more of an answer.


Yes, the nose of a saddle is definitely a control point on a bike.
I will not be making any comments about how Mr. Blacknell uses his crotch as a source of guidance. ;)

Oh wait. I was going to say something useful. Sorry.

There are obviously many different kinds of cyclists. I was reminded of that when I saw a photo of a friend's bike yesterday. Those of us who are more performance oriented, tend to ride with the handlebars set quite low... often many inches lower than our saddles. This kind of riding cannot be done with a noseless saddle. As Mark stated, the nose of the saddle is actually one of the main contact points with the bike that is used to guide and control the bike. A noseless saddle, or even a wider saddle not only reduces that control, but the also do not allow the rider to fully extend their legs, thus causing knee, hip and ankle issues and reducing power.

We're not all performance riders, however. For more casual riders that sit upright, a wider saddle, and maybe even a noseless saddle might be the best choice. The upright positioning requires a different saddle because the vast majority of the rider's weight is supported by the saddle. The racer-types have a lot of weight on the pedals and handlebars, thus reducing the amount of weight on the saddle. More casual riders need to better support themselves. That's where a noseless saddle or just a wider saddle can be a real source of riding comfort.

Hope that adds a bit of clarity to the issues around saddles.

Love,

Pete

WillStewart
07-21-2011, 09:18 AM
This is one reason I switched from road and hybrid bikes to performance and touring recumbents. Other reasons include;

- one can go faster or farther on the same amount of energy expenditure (not referring to the grandpa or lowest end models),
- most afford better all around visibility over road bikes (in drops). Low recumbent racers with extreme seat angles are an exception here.
- they are far more comfortable, and
- I don't have to resign myself to a steady transition to eunuch status.

This isn't intended to create a flame war over bike preferences, just an acknowledgement that performance can actually increase with choices that also improve one's ability to sustain a healthy, um, reproductive lifestyle.

http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/Resources/misc/newsletter_pbp-rec-update_01.jpg http://thelazyrando.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/img_8281.jpg?w=510&h=340http://www.bacchettabikes.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/bent6smallest.jpg

Dirt
07-21-2011, 09:39 AM
Great reply, Will. I bought a recumbent trike last year when my shoulder was out of commission for 6+ weeks. I enjoyed riding it and can definitely see the appeal of it.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4459837390_bc1faa2905_b.jpg

Here's the most AWESOME reason to ride a recumbent during tourist season. You get your own personal bike lane on the National Mall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrogringo/4517120317/in/set-72157623845504494

Mark Blacknell
07-21-2011, 09:42 AM
I finally got on a recumbent for a short bit the other day. Mostly so I can continue to bag on them, but now with greater knowledge :D

ronwalf
07-21-2011, 10:07 AM
Here's the most AWESOME reason to ride a recumbent during tourist season. You get your own personal bike lane on the National Mall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrogringo/4517120317/in/set-72157623845504494

If you watched that without sound, you're missing out.

CCrew
07-21-2011, 10:21 AM
I finally got on a recumbent for a short bit the other day. Mostly so I can continue to bag on them, but now with greater knowledge :D

Epic....

:)

Dirt
07-21-2011, 11:00 AM
If you watched that without sound, you're missing out.
Yes. The flag thwacking off the bottom of the bleachers is worth the price of admission.