The Bottom Line on the V-flow Plus Saddle

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V-flow PlusThe new V-flow plus saddle is working out great, and I’m keeping it! I’ve had the saddle for two full months now, and logged about 700 miles on it. Wow, am I really biking 350 miles a month? Lucky me!

The V-flow plus saddle comes with a 180 day money back guarantee. It took a bit of tweaking and persistence to get it just right. I am extremely picky about all things bike related, and I also have very sensitve skin which is prone to issues. (Remember my poision ivy rash?) The bottom line – the thing that really did the trick – was moving the saddle down 1 cm.

After I installed the saddle according to the instructions, I shot some video. John Cobb looked at my video and recommended I move the saddle down at least 1 cm. I tried this, and felt that my pedal stroke was less powerful, so stubbornly put it back up and kept riding.

Eventually, I got more butt pain and blogged about it. John Cobb saw my post, and emailed me, once again asking about the saddle height. With his permission, I am including that discussion below. Some of this is kind of embarrassing talk about female butt pain. But, if it can help someone else avoid some misery, it’s worth my embarrassment!

John Cobb:
I was reading your Blog and saw that you had more seat issues. First, I think you did the smart thing by taking your wrenches and making adjustments. So, I’m trying to decide how I can help you, are the saddle sores located more to the front or rear? It sounds like you have a good plan for chamois creams etc. personally, I like to ride in Tri shorts more than the thicker bike shorts when I’m outside. For grinding out hours on the trainer, bike shorts seem to help. Let me know if I can help.
Thanks,
J Cobb

Carol:
Thanks for checking in. I used to like wearing tri shorts alot better than bulky bike shorts, too. That was on my road bike with my old-old saddle. That saddle just didn’t seem to work on the tri bike, which is what led me to this quest!

The new saddle sore is in the front part of my butt, on the right side of my labia a bit toward the center. My old saddle sore, which is gone, was near the back on the right. It was the right leg that you said needed a spacer, btw. Have not yet explored that idea!

A week ago, even tho that long ride was good, I was feeling too much pressure on the pubic bones, and had alot of bone soreness afterwards. So I had tried tipping the nose of the saddle up to relieve that, as your instructions said to do. I was also trying to ‘glue’ my butt to the saddle while I rode without ‘scrubbing’. Those two things, and wearing my tri shorts, is what led to my latest pain episode!

If you have any ideas, I’m all ears. I know it’s hard to tell much based on an email message tho!
Thanks, Carol

John Cobb:
Carol,
I believe that your seat hight is still to high causing all of this missery. Try lowering the seat at least another 1cm. I’m pretty sure that doing the cleat shimwould be a good thing also. I’m working on finding you some shorter cranks to try, that will cure all of these things. Keep after it.
Thanks,
J Cobb

Carol:
I tried lowering the seat when you first recommended it, but I didn’t feel powerful that way, so I put it back up. I don’t have a power meter…I just go by feel. Does that make any sense?

John Cobb:
Yes, that is why a lot of people have issues. Their seats are to high because it feels good. It’s one of those “trust me” things, lower it and give it a couple of rides.
JC

Carol:
Hi John,
I tried lowering the seat, and I think it did the trick. I’ve done
three rides, 2 short (30miles) and one 60 miler. No serious butt
pain, yay! I have never, ever done a 60 miler without serious butt
pain!

Can I quote what you said on my blog, about lowering the saddle, and
trust me, and how lots of folks make this mistake? I think this would
benefit my readers alot. Thanks! carol

John Cobb:
Carol,
Feel free to quote me, I’m just trying to help people find comfort on their bikes. A taller seat height always “feels” better, it’s just not really better. The further you ride the bigger the problem grows as your muscles get tired. I sent you some shims for your right shoe, they should be there anyday.
Thanks,
J Cobb

Footnote:
After this conversation, I still tweaked the saddle a bit by moving it forward because I found myself inching forward on the saddle anyway. I also played with the tilt of the nose because I was feeling little too much pressure on my pubic bones. I spent one long ride stopping alot and getting off the bike to tweak the saddle (forward and nose tilt only, NOT height!). I tried to make it feel so that my sit bones were taking the brunt of the pressure, and there was not much pressure on my pubic bone. I figure sit bones are made for long periods of bearing pressure.

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4 comments on “The Bottom Line on the V-flow Plus Saddle
  1. Carol says:

    Hi Katie,

    I’m so glad that you are figuring out your saddle issues, thanks for keeping me updated. Nothing worse than butt pain to get in the way of enjoying your bike!!!

    For nutrtion, I wrote up what I do in this race report: Scroll down to the bottom and look for the Nutrtion & Hydration heading.
    http://www.triathlontrainingblog.com/?p=806

    I am also testing out something called Infinite. Alot of people on the Beginnertriathlete.com website rave about it.

    At Rev3 I am going to use Gu Roctane instead of regular Gu. I got some free samples of it. It’s just like Gu, but has some amino acids (~1.2 grams of protein). Supposedly, that keeps your mind sharp during long events. It’s double the cost, but might be worth that if it really does help keep you mentally focused.

    Also, a friend gave me her detailed nutrtion advice for Ironman. I might try some of the stuff she recommends, too.

    So many choices, it’s confusing! I’ll do a post about all of it if/when I figure it all this out. Until then, I will keep using the Boost and Gu as outlined in that race report link above.

    Carol

  2. Katie says:

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks for the thoughts – thought I drop a line with an update. Well, I fiddled some more and then some more with the saddle and I think in the process my bones got conditioned – just like you mentioned. I had a great ride a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t start to wiggle around until about an hour into the ride. More time in the saddle should get me where I need to be for an August oly.

    You’ve a great blog, by the way – love the product reviews! Would love to hear your thoughts on your preferred nutrition…drinks, etc. I’ve had it with syrupy gatorade, so I’m on a mission to find something significantly less sweet and something my fickle belly with tolerate.

    Oh! and good luck this weekend at the race! Kick ass!!

    Cheers!

  3. Carol says:

    Hi Katie,

    Have you contacted Cobb Cycling? If not, you should. I’m pretty sure John would look at a picture or video of you and give you some advice. My friend Alice ordered one and they told her to let them konw if she had any problems. She never did, but my feeling is they are willing to bend over backwards helping you like their saddle!

    As for me, it took quite a bit of tweaking to get it right. I had to lower the saddle 1 cm. I resisted this change because it didn’t feel as powerful, but John told me to do it anyway. (maybe you read that already).

    In addition, I had to move the seat forward more and play with tilting my pelvis in a certain way such that my sit bones were bearing most of the pressure and my front bones in the pubic area weren’t taking on so much.

    Also, I think it takes time for those bones to harden up. As long as there is not chaffing and sores, the bones can harden. It’s the soft tissue stuff that doesn’t seem to ever toughen up for me anyway!

    Hope you can figure out your saddle woes soon, wether it’s with this saddle or some other. I know it’s such a terrible pain!

    Keep me posted. I’m curious how your story ends. And maybe I’ll do a blog about it if you don’t mind (you could be named by first name only, if you are embarrassed!)

    Carol

  4. katie says:

    Hi,

    Been reading about your trials and tribulations with the saddle. I’m getting close to returning my v flow plus since I just can’t seem to stop wiggling around. I’m envious that you’ve been able to get yours to work. I have a lot of pressure on the front of my pubic bone and hardly feel like my sits bones are on the saddle. I’ve gotten off my saddle numerous time riding fiddling with angle and “forwardness” and have even adjusted the height but I just can’t seem to reduce the pain in front. i’m curious to know how you resolved this issue…argh!

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "The Bottom Line on the V-flow Plus Saddle"
  1. […] you are in need of a new saddle for your bike,  read this post about the Cobb V-flow […]

  2. […] I am honored to be part of the Cobb Mobb triathlon racing team for 2015!   My racing friend Ginger Spansel inspired me to apply to the team, and I was chosen as a Team Captain!   I am super excited to be part of this great group of athletes, and happy to represent the superior line of Cobb cycling products.    My tri bike saddle is a Cobb V-flow, which you can read all about here. […]

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