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Saddle choice for a stoker

Stephen Carson2022-08-03 17:50:18

Saddle choice question.

I'm trying to make a saddle choice for my tandem, I'm riding in the stoker position due to being visually impaired.

I'm previously a very experienced solo rider and have spent many hours turbo training.

I know what suits me on a solo bike, do I just buy the same for the tandem?  Saddle on the tandem at present is not good, very uncomfortable on the sit bones.  My choice for a solo would be a Fizik Arione.  On the tandem getting out of the saddle is much achievable, especially as myself and pilot still getting used to each other, so just not sure if I need to rethink saddle choice.

Obviously a Brookes would be a go to choice but expensive and less sporting.

Tandem is an Orbit Velocity with drop bars with 2 fast riders.

Any help greatly appreciated,

Thanks, Steve

Stephen Carson2022-08-03 18:05:39
Christopher Boocock2022-08-03 18:16:44
Hi Steve - I'd say the saddle you used for turbo would be a good start. The other thing to think about is a suspension seat post to help soak up the bigger hits. The picture seems to show a sleeved suspension post on the back. We had that on the back of our road tandem but it just wasn't compliant enough. Switched it for a Thudbuster LT which works much better and we use that off road too. Good luck :-)
Stephen Carson2022-08-03 18:36:40

Thank you, I would compare the stoker position very much to like being on the turbo, long seated periods riding the pedals.

I was also going to look at coordinating out of the saddle periods once more used to each other.

Your right about the seatpost, really just there to take the big hits.  Just not sure I want something with to much movement

Stuart Hibberd2022-08-03 20:55:31
We use the Thudbuster ST on our tandem which has about 50mm of travel and comes with 3 different elastomers to customise for rider weight.
graham waterfield2022-08-04 10:58:00

hello

 

i use an ISM urbain when stoking the tourer and a more racey ISM on the racing tandem.  you need a nice wide back for sitting upright because your seat bones are further part the more upright you sit.  i bought second hand saddles on ebay to try them then re-sold the ones that didn't suit.  this kept costs down.  

for my solo's i have invested in Bisaddle saddles which are expensive but are endlessly adjustable.  they give you your money back if you dont get on with them but you still pay postage to USA.    

happy stoking,

anne

Stephen Carson2022-08-04 11:34:48

Thank you, I was going to say that I'd never heard of ISM, then I googled and have definitely come across these saddles on other people's bikes.

I'm definitely sat up more in the stoker position and I think that is a big part of the discomfort problem.  My sit bones are sore and feel bruised day after riding.  This was my concern with just replicating a solo saddle onto a tandem.  I don't ride a solo any more, but the turbo bike puts pressure further forward, this is solved with a cut out saddle.  A saddle that protected me in a more upright position seems a good way forward.

Kevin Smith2022-08-04 15:22:22

Hi, firstly, with the tandem you have, I'd forget being sporty and concentrate on being comfortable, this equals being able to generate the most power anyway. You still probably have 'sporty' traits from being solo, so did I, I raced for many years. the quicker you realise you have entered a whole different world, the sooner you will be at home on the Tandem. Secondly, some form of shock absorbing seat post for stoking is a must, its night and day. Even when consciously remembering to get out of the saddle, its just not as frequent as on a solo bike, a Thudbuster is the go to for this, taking the sting out of the poor roads we now have. Thirdly, for maximum comfort on any reasonable length of ride, leather will be your eventual end point, so its best to bite the bullet and invest, in place of doing it three saddles down the line, been there, done that! For which type, Giles Berthoud are the ultimate, every part is replaceable, beautifully hand made in France, and Spa Cycles are the cheapest place to get them. Brooks are okay, but quality is not what it used to be and I hear of a lot of failures with old models outliving new ones. 

None of the above are cheap, quality that does what its supposed to, rarely is, but don't waste your money chopping and changing until you eventually do end up with these, its false economy. The picture shows a Thudbuster and a GB saddle. 

Stephen Carson2022-08-04 19:46:27

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your advice, I understand it is given with the best intentions and I note the valuable points you make.  Spending many years around audax I agree with your leather saddle comments, although the GB saddles are approaching prohibitively expensive.

I have previously got on well with an old Brookes B17, may well try one out on the tandem prior to dropping near £200, a GB may well be a good investment but need to justify.

I have also ordered an ISM for a very reasonable price new, this can always be sold on if not suitable for me.  Thanks for the recommendation Graham, this wasn't even on my radar.

Stephen Gray2022-08-04 21:30:21

I always reply to the email I receive from postings and then realise that that doesn't work. So I am a bit late to the party here.

 

You could try a Brooks Cambium C17. Pretty much like a Leather B17 for comfort but doesn't need "running in", "making friends with" or other such euphemisms! Doesn't feel especially comfortable when you first sit on it - a bit on the hard side but I have found that I can ride on it all day. It os more wether resistant than the leather Brooks too.

 

Stephen Gray2022-08-04 21:30:21

I always reply to the email I receive from postings and then realise that that doesn't work. So I am a bit late to the party here.

 

You could try a Brooks Cambium C17. Pretty much like a Leather B17 for comfort but doesn't need "running in", "making friends with" or other such euphemisms! Doesn't feel especially comfortable when you first sit on it - a bit on the hard side but I have found that I can ride on it all day. It os more wether resistant than the leather Brooks too.

 

Stephen Gray2022-08-04 21:30:21

I always reply to the email I receive from postings and then realise that that doesn't work. So I am a bit late to the party here.

 

You could try a Brooks Cambium C17. Pretty much like a Leather B17 for comfort but doesn't need "running in", "making friends with" or other such euphemisms! Doesn't feel especially comfortable when you first sit on it - a bit on the hard side but I have found that I can ride on it all day. It os more wether resistant than the leather Brooks too.

 

Stephen Carson2022-08-05 21:56:16
Thanks Stephen, a C17 seems a good one to try, especially with all weather capabilities in mind