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LibbySkinner

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Reply with quote  #1 
I read the recent Gravel Cyclist article on gravel saddles.  They all seem to be designed for men--or maybe gender neutral. Does anyone have women's gravel saddles to recommend?  A 90-mile ride on Saturday left me very beat up.
Thanks.
Libby
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Hughess04

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Libby,
I ride the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow. I don't think it is gravel-specific.  I have one on my mountain bike, road bike, gravel bike, and indoor trainer bike.  I finally found a saddle that works for me, and it's the only saddle I can use now.  I tested several through a saddle test program at my LBS.  I'm 5'9" and it's good for my size.  I have a friend who is 5'1" and it was too big for her size.  I hope you find some comfort, soon!!!

Here's a link to the saddle on REI's website https://www.rei.com/product/818892/selle-italia-diva-gel-flow-saddle-womens
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LibbySkinner

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks so much.  I will check it out.  In my 30 yrs+ cycling life I have had a few saddles--road, tri, mtn, touring.  My husband just rolls his eyes.  I have had a few serious issues including surgery in January.  Heavy mileage will do that to you...
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Libby - I'm not sure that there really is such a thing as a "gravel saddle," though I'm sure the marketing wheels are spinning on such a thing. I see people using all manner of road, touring and mtb saddles for riding gravel, based simply on what they know already works for them. Maybe a list of saddles that you've tried that haven't worked for you would help with suggestions? 

My Better Half uses a Brooks B17S and a Cambium C17S and she really likes them both. In fact, I doubt she would bother trying anything else at this point. But "gravel" or not, "gender-specific" or not, saddles will always be a very personal thing, and tough to recommend for someone else. 

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LibbySkinner

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Reply with quote  #5 
Appreciate the feedback.  Yes, I think I am just going to try one of the saddles that I know come highly recommended.
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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #6 
If you're looking for wider saddles Specialized has some options in their BG line. The widest saddle I know of that's not a squishy 'comfort saddle' is the Selle Royal Comfort Viento Womens.

For soft tissue problems I've heard that some of the Cobb models have worked for people who couldn't find comfort on anything else.
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LibbySkinner

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Reply with quote  #7 
Cobb.  Good suggestion.  Was going to get a Cobb for my tri bike but had not considered for the gravel bike.  Thanks.
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SpeedyChix

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Reply with quote  #8 
I've been using a couple different saddles and have been happy with these on multiple surfaces.
San Marco ASPide Glamour (155 wide) and Fabric Shallow that are 145 wide.

Have a San Marcos to sell if you want to try one and save over new.
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Slim

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Reply with quote  #9 
I couldn't find he article you mentioned, do have a link?

In general my though is that a 'gravel' saddle simply needs a bit more padding than a 'smooth road' saddle, to soak up the bumps. After that, saddle choice is saddle choice.

You can start by measuring the width of your sitbones, to rule out any saddles that are to narrow for your pelvis. Note that posture does come into this, so make sure you measure in a posture representative of your riding posture for that bike.

Then you try it out. Make sure your weight is supported on your sitbones, not on soft tissue.
Once you have that covered, Make sure you don't have (significant) pressure on the nose of the saddle when you go into the drops. If you do, look for a model with a wider cut-out extending further forward and possible more 'drop' to the nose.

And of course, check for discomfort, like the saddle rubbing the side of your leg or pressing into the back of your thigh at the bottom of your pedal stroke.

I have had several clients (both men and women) for whom the Specialized Oura saddle worked well: fairly well padded for rough roads, available in wide enough widths to suit most people and a good shape to avoid pressure on the nose for many riders.
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imwjl

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Reply with quote  #10 
FWIW: I share bikes with my same height wife. We both found happiness with WTB Pure series. They have width like her woman-specific saddle that I can't stand. She likes it more than the women-specific saddle for MTB riding.

The Pure series were originally considered their downhill model but they come in different trim and weights. They're more padded than a lot of sales but not padded in a way that I find good for long rides.

Women who've tried our bikes and expected an uncomfortable saddle liked the Pure Vs.
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #11 
My $.02: Whatever saddle you like on your road bike, will likely work on your gravel bike. Depending on the type and condition of the unpaved roads you ride, you are going to take much more punishment than on pavement. The best way to reduce the wear and tear on the parts of your body which touch the bike - feet, hands, and seat --- is improving the suspension of the bike. The simplest improvement is wider tires at lower pressure. Going to a 40MM + tubeless tire at 30 psi or lower will probably help you more than a specific saddle choice. That being said, my wife likes her Selle Italia Lady Gel Flo on all of her rides - road, gravel, and stoker seat on our tandem: https://smile.amazon.com/Italia-Womens-Bicycle-Saddle-Manganese/dp/B001CSQ6A2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508676483&sr=8-1&keywords=selle+italia+lady+gel+flow
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LibbySkinner

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hey, there.
I am the original poster. I did buy the Selle Italia Lady saddle. It got me through the Dirty Kanza 200 and a bunch of other big gravel rides this year. I recommend it. Agree about the tire pressure also[smile]

Libby
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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LibbySkinner
Hey, there. I am the original poster. I did buy the Selle Italia Lady saddle. It got me through the Dirty Kanza 200 and a bunch of other big gravel rides this year. I recommend it. Agree about the tire pressure also[smile] Libby

Hi Libby - if you finished the Dirty Kanza 200 - you should be giving me advice and suggestions! 
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