March 14, 2017

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Bike Handlebar Tape: A Beginner's Guide

Worldwide, there are nearly 1 billion bicycles currently in use -- double the number of automobiles on the road. We use bikes for everything from exercise to transportation to recreation. If you've just started cycling, you're probably learning quite a bit about your individual comfort needs. While a comfortable bike seat should be a top priority for ensuring a smooth ride, there's another component you may have overlooked: bike handlebar tape. While there are all types of bar tape, it's important that you learn a bit more about the bar tape basics before making a big investment or heading out for a long-distance ride.

 

The material matters

There are all kinds of bar tape, but you should give careful consideration to the material -- and cost -- of the tape you end up using. Don't make your decision only based on how cool the design is. More than anything else, you need your tape to be fully functional and comfortable. If you cheap out on your tape, you might have to deal with a slick surface that requires frequent replacement. A high-quality leather bar tape will provide a bit of stretch and will let you get a tight wrap. And while leather bar tape may be a bit pricier, one of the advantages of leather handlebar tape is that it will outlast other materials. That means you won't have to worry about replacement for a long time.

It will need to be changed

That being said, even leather bar tape won't last forever. If you ride on a regular basis, sweat and grime tends to build up in your bar tape, so if you aren't using leather, you'll have to change it at least every year. Some riders may change out their bar tape every few months. If you opt for leather handlebar tape, you won't need to change it nearly as often, but at some point, you may need to replace it.

Wrapping can be tricky

There isn't really one correct direction or start point for wrapping your handlebars. Whether you start at the center or wrap clockwise is really up to you. The one point everyone agrees on is that you need to keep the wrap snug. That way, the tape won't slip as you ride and you won't experience discomfort.

For all of your bicycle handlebar tape needs, Selle Anatomica has you covered. For more information, contact us today!

March 14, 2017

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comfortable bike seats ›  


Comfort Tips For Long-Distance Cycling

Even for experienced riders, long-distance cycling can be a huge challenge. If you want to be successful, dedication and passion are a must. Of course, you need to have great equipment, too. Since outdoor enthusiasts spend over $10 billion a year on bicycling gear, accessories, and vehicles, you need to make sure your investments are sound ones.

With experience, you'll gain more knowledge about what kinds of equipment work best for your needs. The last thing you want is to finish a long-distance ride in physical pain. Fortunately, if you know what kinds of equipment to look for, like comfortable bike seats and saddles, you'll be able to ride pain-free. Here are a few tips about what to look for and how to prepare for long-distance cycling.

 

Wear the right clothing

You may not think your choice of clothes may make a huge difference in how you feel when you're on your bike, but it's a component you shouldn't underestimate! Regular gym shorts or lounge pants may feel comfortable, but they can wrinkle and ride up, creating pressure points and pain. Instead, invest in some high quality bicycle shorts without bulky seams. They're designed to lie flat against the skin, so you won't feel any discomfort due to your duds.

Choose the right bicycle saddle

For long-distance rides, firm and supportive saddles are usually best. For many people, leather bicycle saddles will be the way to go. Although gel seats may feel cushy and nice at first, they're really designed for people who don't ride frequently. They can also break down more easily and will actually be less comfortable over greater distances. If you want to avoid perineal pain while cycling, leather bicycle saddles are often the best bet.

Fuel up

Hydration is key on long-distance rides. Be sure to drink enough water leading up to your trip. You should drink at least once ever 30 minutes. During that time, you should consume an energy bar or dried fruit. You should never feel hungry during a ride; that's a sign your body is going to run out of energy. Don't forget to bring food and drink with you!

Use handlebar tape

Something as simple as bike handlebar tape can make a huge difference in how comfortable your ride is. Leather handlebar tape will often cause riders to feel a stronger connection to the road. Other riders may prefer tape with gel integration, but that extra cushioning may be too much for some. Try out a few options and see which type works better for your needs.

At Selle Anatomica, our equipment can ensure a smoother, more comfortable long-distance ride. For more information about our leather bicycle saddles or bike handlebar tape, contact us today.

March 03, 2017

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How Female Cyclists Can Alleviate Saddle Soreness

leather bicycle saddle

Approximately 36 million Americans over the age of seven rode a bicycle more than six times in 2015. Of course, serious cyclists will spend a lot more time on their bikes. And while cycling can be great exercise, there's one widespread problem that plagues many of these athletes: saddle soreness.

Saddle soreness can be especially problematic for female cyclists. Part of the issue is that the perineal area isn't designed to withstand a lot of weight. But cycling puts a lot of pressure on this area -- as much as half our body weight, in some cases -- and can cause compression of the nerves and blood vessels in spots that are already very sensitive. In women, this can lead to intense pain and even sexual dysfunction.

Adding to this issue is the misconception that most women require a wider saddle than men do. It's true that some women's sit bones are wider and therefore require a wider nylon or leather bicycle saddle. But a lot of women end up choosing leather bike seats that are actually much too wide for their bodies. When a saddle is too wide, thigh chaffing usually occurs. And while some women like the types of bike saddles with a cut-out in the middle to relieve pressure on the main genital area, it can actually result in additional pain and numbness.

Fortunately, there are some steps that female cyclists can take to reduce their risk of perineum pain.
  • Choose the right saddle
    Bicycle saddles are not one size fits all. One woman may love her leather bicycle saddle while her friend experiences pain and numbness using the same seat. A lot of women swear by bike saddles that are typically marketed to men. It's really personal preference and how your body works. The only way to determine the seat that's right for you is to try them out and see what feels best. Once you find a comfortable bike seat that fits your needs, you won't ever want another.
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  • Adjust your bike and saddle
    Even if you've chosen the perfect leather bicycle saddle, it still might not be totally comfortable due to additional necessary adjustments. If your saddle is too high or your bicycle handlebars are too close, you may still get sore pretty quickly into a ride. Your saddle should either have no tilt or should be titled slightly downwards. A tilt adjustment of just a degree or two can make a world of difference in your comfort level.
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  • Wear bike shorts
    There's a reason why bicycle shorts are recommended. Other types of clothing may bunch up or won't sit right, leading to pressure on certain parts of your body. Bicycle shorts are made to fit tight and lie flat, thus preventing the wrinkle issue. Seamless bike shorts with padding are definitely your best bet. They'll feel much more streamlined and comfortable during long or intense rides.
Whether you're a serious cyclist or a recreational rider, you shouldn't have to deal with numbness and pain. If you're looking for a new leather bicycle saddle that won't cause soreness, Selle Anatomica can help you find the saddle that's right for you. For more information, get in touch with us today.
February 28, 2017

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Finally Tried out the Seat Today!

I finally tried out my seat today on my mountain bike. My first pain free ride in years. I am 42 and have had lower back issues for the last few years. Finally got it under control and started trying to ride my bike again. After 3 or 4 miles my back and butt are just killing me. I have tried 3 or 4 different seats and nothing helped. I ordered an X series seat from you in December but I haven't gone for a ride until today. Let me tell you, I love this seat. My back never hurt either. I guess my other seats were so painful it made me sit a certain way which apparently was making my back hurt. I already want to ride again. This is the best seat My butt has had the pleasure of sitting on. Thank you so much for such a great saddle!

Will

February 10, 2017

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C Series Review

Carol THANK YOU! The Saddles came in time :) I tried the C series and that is a KEEPER!!! While I probably won't ride it in ultra events because i have a nice new X series for 5+ hr. The C series is super nice and is going to fit in to my short track racing nicely. The only complaint I ever had with your co. was that there was not a "sporty light" saddle and the C series covers that perfect. I would like to request 1 thing. The Saddle has oval carbon rails, while this is common many people maybe unaware that they will need a carbon specific seat post/mast. If this could be added tot he webpage for the C series it would be nice.... maybe3 even suggest some compatible seat post... or maybe a set up where you can chose saddle only or saddle w/ seat post? Anyways again thank you so very much. Excellent design, workmanship and customer service...and made in America doesn't get much better than that! Take care see ya in a year when I need another saddle.

DJ Wright

Canandaigua, NY

December 29, 2016

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My saddle

Hi Selle Anatomica team,
As a former racer and with 45 years of cycling behind me, I initially was quite reluctant to try a massive-heavyweight leather saddle. One pound when normality sits around 200 grams, that a big gap! Anyway, I gave it a try for my indoor trainer bike. Two reasons for that, the first one is due to the non-consequence of the additional 300 grams on your performance when you are stationary, and the second one is that there is no position like 1:30' or 2 hours on a trainer for your butt. Always in the same position and no free wheeling are painful for your butt... but the miracle happened!
I have never experienced any saddle as comfortable as the SA, more over, out of the box! I received it this week and I have endured two sessions of 1:30 and 1:45' on the trainer with absolute comfort. First time in my life. Now, If the C series offers the same (or almost the same) comfort, I think that I am going to order one of those for my sub-7 road bike. Congrats guys, you have done an amazing job on what is the most important frustration of any long distance cyclist.
December 20, 2016

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SA Down Under!

I am a customer and user of Sella Anatomica saddles for around five years now and have to say that it is the only saddle that for me is truly comfortable.
I'm not a big guy at 65 kg/ 143lb but no other saddle has allowed me to ride for so far or so long into the day ( longest single ride 385k/ about 240 miles) and get back on the bike the next day like I had not ridden the day before.
I decided to build a very light weight bike for climbing ( Bianchi Speciallissima frame) so that these old 72 year legs could still get up the big babies in France and Italy.
For this I chose a SA Carbon saddle but fortunately it did not arrive to me in Australia in time so I used the standard SA T saddle and had a very comfortable experience if not quite the lightest. Yes with my daughter we climbed Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia, Galibier, Madeleine, Alp d'Huez and more.
On arriving home the C saddle was waiting however there were some issues with fitting it to my seat post, just would not clamp up with out some vertical movement. Of course I informed carol at SA and this morning have had an email saying that there had been some issues with the seat rails and some seat post but a new saddle was on its way with remodeled rails that will fix the problem.
Thank you SA and the team for your service and I hope to report success once the new saddle is fitted and tested.
Westly: Melbourne, Australia.
September 28, 2016

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Squeaking wasn't your saddle after all!

Carol,

Thanks for your offer to give the saddle a “tune-up”.  However, I feel I must decline and offer an explanation as to WHY.

I removed the saddle from the bike a couple of days ago, after trying grease, T-9 lube, loosening, tightening, prayer and also calling it every name I could think of.  I reached my limit!  I put on the old saddle (which kind of feels like riding on a marshmallow) and then took off for a quiet, squeak-free ride.  And it was… for the first couple of miles… and then the squeak came back.  Not quite as loudly as it was previously, but loud enough to both piss me off and to make me realize that I had falsely accused this saddle of a crime it didn’t commit.

It appears that what I thought was a creaking saddle was actually my SPD cleat grating against some part of the pedal.  A guy at a local bike shop listened to my description and then suggested a teflon based lubricant spray… and the 20 mile ride home was pedaled in blissful silence.

So I thank you for your offer of taking care of the saddle — it’s nice to see a company that will REALLY stand behind their product!  But apparently it’s not your product that was giving me all this grief for the past several months!

Now… can anyone explain how a pedal and clip combination can do a ventriloquist act that makes it sound like the squeaking is coming from the saddle instead of the pedal?  Because both my wife and I could have sworn that the sound was coming from the seat area — not from the pedal or crank!

Rich

April 26, 2016

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Okay, so I really did make a good decision

to make the Metric Century my first real ride on the new saddle. I have been searching for the last 5 years to find a comfortable (read not painful) saddle. We (my wife and I) began cycling in 2011 for fitness as our knees wouldn't allow us to run anymore. As we began to ride we found so much enjoyment in it that we began to do longer and longer rides. It was at this point I began to experience saddle problems (my wife had none) and thus the search began. I found myself starting to avoid longer rides because of the saddle issue. A few months back after our local ride group's recovery ride I was explaining my saddle problems to a friend. He told me about how he had had similar problems 3 years earlier before he found this Selle Anatomica saddle. I was a little skeptical to say the least when he stated that the saddle was unbelievably comfortable....RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX! Well, he lent me his old saddle that I mounted on my trainer. After a few training sessions I was impressed enough to order an X series (oh yes, on closeout). I mounted it on my Roubaix last Friday night planning a test at an organized ride on Saturday. Well, as we departed the start line, I was unsure. At 2 hours, it was like I was on my couch. I kept expecting the pain to start. It never did. No pain, no chafing, nothing. 65 miles later, primo! Sold! Just ordered another one for my other bike. Awesome saddle! Thanks SA!

-Ron

April 14, 2016

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Fan Mail

I am 68 and have purchased a number of saddles over the years. Of course all of them claimed to be comfortable. I tried the Sella Anatomica X series, and I remain amazed. I just ordered one for my wife's bike. I couldn't be more pleased.
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