Two days of my Bike Mini-Challenge are done and I have 50 miles in. Tonight is 30 more miles in the wind with 3.75 running afterwards. After riding on Tuesday, I finally decided to buy a new saddle. The discomfort of riding just has not improved like I had hoped. So I journeyed to one of my local bike shops and hoped for the best.
Unfortunately, there are not many options for women-specific tri saddles, at least not at most bike shops. Since I wanted the option of returning it if I didn't like it, I wanted to shop in person instead of online. Again, unfortunately there are not a lot of people who can help find an appropriate saddle, either.
First, I asked the only female employee working if she had any saddle recommendations to which she responded "This is only my fourth day, come back in a month and I'll have all kinds of recommendations." Hmm. I'm guessing she doesn't really ride that much, just needed a part-time job. Next, an older gentleman came over and asked if he could help. When I told him I was hoping to find a women-specific tri saddle, he pointed me in the direction of the commuter saddles. When I told him those wouldn't work, he sayd "Oh, you're in one fo those riding positions where you're on your elbows." *Sigh*
Can anyone help me?
Finally, a younger guy came over and showed me how to measure for saddle width, which was the most helpful thing so far and also pointed me in the direction of the performance saddles. After staring at the rack of all 4 women's saddles, I picked up the Bontrager Inform. It's not a tri saddle, but it is a women-specific saddle for more aggressive riding positions.
So far, I have a very happy heiney. It is much harder than my previous saddle, but it keeps all my weight where it should be. There are some parts of the human anatomy that just are not meant to be load-bearing. The stock saddle I had been riding also did not have any cut-out area for, um, lady parts. Sorry if this is TMI, but saddle problems can ruin an otherwise perfect ride.
I also feel like I slide around less. The nose of the saddle is shorter and more narrow, which is much better for short riders climbing out of the saddle. It will still take some getting used to, but I am very optimistic. I'm carrying my allen wrenches with me so I can make adjustments as I ride. Other than my bike fitting, this may be the best $100 investment I've made.