How Do I Choose The Perfect Saddle? | Ask GCN Anything

How Do I Choose The Perfect Saddle? | Ask GCN Anything


– Welcome to ask GC anything
and this week we have questions on how to choose
your perfect saddle, how to get back to fitness after injury, and what to do before race day. – Don’t forget if you want to have your questions answered in the comments below use the hashtag TORQUEBACK for all of your cycling related questions. But to be in the chance of winning a free three month subscription to Zwift, use the hashtag ASKGCNTRAINING. – Yeah and that, yeah
would come in useful. – Yeah, it was like ice skating. – Yeah, through this snowy wintry weather. Right, let’s get into it mate. First question is from Darren Horrocks. If you know your FTP which is the maximum you can do for one hour,
how do you work out? What is sustainable for two hours or three hours or even longer than that? – Well, Darren, it’s a brilliant question, but there really is no
one size fits all answer. It depends very much on
the type of rider you are. So for example, I was a sprinter. And my one hour power was significantly different to my three hour power. And it also depends on your
training history quite a lot. So if you never work on training
really hard for three hours and trying to boost
your muscular endurance, then you’re not gonna have high numbers. – [Hank] Yeah so for
example, Chris, you’re on one side of the spectrum with
quite a considerable drop. And then- (laugh) And then someone like Brightly Wiggins or Fabian Cansaro or Tony
Martin or a TT specialist or even a climber for that matter, they’re not gonna see such a drop. But out of interest mate,
what was your kind of peak. – I’m glad you asked. – 20 minutes, go on let’s see it. – So, for the 20 minutes,
we had 426 watts. – And go on for an hour. – For an hour, 398 so that’s
quite a difference already. – Yep. – And then, once you get
past an hour, so 90 minutes 354, that’s quite a steep drop I think. And then when you get down to three hours, it was only 320 watts. – Yeah, so as you can see there is a quite a considerable drop but that’s
still good numbers babe. – Well, I survived (laugh) (electronic music) – And the winner of this
weeks Zwift question is Jelmer Benjamins, and he comes in with this question: Hi
GCN, I’m a 20 year old road cyclist from the
Netherlands who competes at local races. I train
about 11 hours a week on my road bike. Since I’m
currently in my gap year, I decided to start delivering
mail two times a week. It’s about three hours of
cycling each delivery day, so around six hours in total per week. Does this count as training as well or should I do some additional training when I’m done delivering mail? I hope you can help me with this question. Well, we hope we can help you. Chris. – Yeah. – Have you got any ideas on this one? – Well I do James, that’s why I’m here. So despite those rides obviously taking up quite a bit of your time
and you will be pedaling, they don’t really count toward
your weekly total of training because they’re not
specific sessions and you’re stopping you know,
however many yards to pop post at a house. Um,
instead, on those days, you should view them as a long walk, for starters, so imagine
you’re taking a dog for a walk for like three hours, or whatever it is, and then you’re much
closer towards the effect that it’s actually having on your body even if you do make it
the occasional effort. Instead what you should
do on those days is focus on doing some short, intense
efforts because obviously if you’re delivering mail all morning it’s going to take a lot
of time, then do a short intense session in the
afternoon. So something with five minute efforts, so
either sprints or anaerobic efforts, that sort of
thing, and you get a really good training effect because
of course you’ve got 11 hours, – That’s plenty of time there. – Yeah. – Yeah. – If you’re doing 11 hours
a week there’s plenty of time to build enough
fitness to do the races you’ll be doing over in
that part of the world and Holland’s got some
amazing roads for training specifically as well so
you’re not going to be lost. – Yeah and now you’ve got
three months free subscription from Zwift, what don’t you
use some of the workouts that Zwift allows you to
use and it also will make the winter go a little bit easier. – Yup. – And you can, yeah, and
there’s also some really good work outs in there
that will really help you implement those tools. – Enjoy. Next up is Richard Isaacson,
any tips on choosing a new saddle? My current
one feels wooden and has got to go but the choices
and prices seem to be never ending. Will more
comfortable saddles cost more or are those two factors
generally independent? Fit, comfort and not giving
my wife a financially triggered heart attack take priority over weight and savings. – Right, interesting
question, and as we all know saddles are an incredibly
personal item and they’re like you said before,
there’s no one size fits all. Everyone is different,
everyone has different size sit bones and that’s ultimately
what you’re sitting on. So first off is, I would go
and get yourself measured so you can sit on this,
kind of like, sand platform things so you can work out
your distance your seat bones and then find a saddle that
fits because ultimately the fitting is the best you want to take fitting
over price, cost et cetera. – Yeah, definitely. – And most uh, saddle
manufacturers will offer a range so they’ll offer the
same style, same shape in a few ranges going
from carbon rails and super ultra light to
more alloy or even steel which will be a lot less on
cost. But first 100 percent work out one that fits
and that is comfortable so that’s going to a
bike shop and trying one and then work out what
your price range is but uh, I wouldn’t go for the carbon one if it’s uncomfortable, I’d go for an
alloy one if it is comfortable. – [Chris] But I would add
that actually generally most manufacturers offer you a money back guarantee so you can take the saddle back and exchange it for
another or you can just get your money back, and
also over the last few years I used to buy my saddles
because I didn’t like the ones we were sponsored
with and I used to buy sale items. I think this
Physique saddle that I bought last year was actually 45 quid. So 45 pounds whatever that is in dollars. – Yeah so it’s not too
bad for a really nice comfortable back side,
which you won’t regret spending the money on, trust me. – Next question comes in
from Lon Zoomer, I hope I pronounced your name right. I will be doing a sportif
but at the start there’s an hour waiting in a
designated area, is it useful to warm up before that or do I just do some stretches whilst waiting? – I think it’s definitely
still beneficial to warm up for a little bit
even though you’ve got that long cooling off period. – It did feel though when
you, before a race we were often did a good
warm up and then we’re sat on the start line for
ages, you know, waiting for this that and the other – – Yeah. – To, to, but it was worth it, wasn’t it? – Yeah definitely, I don’t think you can undo a good warm up even – – [Hank] No. – [Chris] if you have a long
break between the actual finish of the warm up and
the start of the event. One thing that is crucial
though in that interim period you want to say
well hydrated, well fueled, and you actually want to stay warm. So if you can take, like,
thin layers with you bits of plastic actually work really well you can then tuck in
your pocket for later. – Yeah, or if you do have
a friend or family member or someone who is there
on the sidelines watching then you can always put a cape on or a big thermal layer and then give it to them before the start,
that always works well for us. – Yeah definitely. – So yeah, good luck
with that and good luck with your sportif. – Next up then is Matt Parsons. – Is it better to focus
on one training session and do it three to four times a week or change it up and have
a sprint session, FTP, Vo2 max every week et cetera? – Uh, personally depends
on what you’re kind of going for and what you’re goal is but I personally would split
up and mix up as well. I would get put in some
Vo2 sessions, put in some FTP sessions, and yeah,
really keep it, you know like, diversify all the sessions,
cause I think it’s better, and I think your body
likes it, prefers it more. – Yup, also the key times in the year so you don’t want to be
throwing all your energy at trying to stretch yourself to thinly – – No. – Certain times of the year are great for building certain aspects of your fitness but on the whole, mix it up. – Yup. Next up Alfonso
Ferguson. I’ve just finished an FTP booster and have
2 weeks before I go on a trip for 3 weeks so
I won’t be able to train. What kind of training
should I be doing before the trip to keep me motivated and fit and what is best when I get back? – Well you know what
Alfonso, it’s going to be hard for those three weeks, isn’t it? So whilst you’re away,
we’ll start with that, you want to do as much as you possibly can movement wise so that will
keep your heart and lungs going at least, if you
can run up the stairs instead of walking up the stairs – – Yeah. – It’s a great place to start. – Yeah or if you don’t
have a bike do go out on a run just to keep that
cardiovascular fitness up. – Yeah that’ll make it
easier when you get back, but before then you want
to really, really push the ceiling of your
fitness. So you really want to go out and set some PV’s as it were. Just absolutely push
yourself as hard as you can for the next couple of
weeks because you’re not going to dig yourself
too big a hole before you go away, but the fitter you are before you come back before you
go away, the quicker and easier it will be to regain your fitness. – [Hank] Yeah exactly, and
if you do work really hard remember you’ve got those three weeks rest so you can drive yourself
kind of really quite low, – Yeah. – Or go really high
because you have got that three weeks rest period
or recovery period. – You might find that
you actually get pretty good when you get back. – Yeah exactly. – Sonic Jazz is up next with how often should I check my tires PSI? – Good question and I
personally I ride Clinton tires at the moment so I
would check them around once or twice a week
depending on the weather and the temperature, but if you’re riding tubular tires then I would check it more kind of like once a day really. – Yeah. – If you are – – Yeah latex tubes allow – – Yes they do – – Pressure to seek out a little bit. – Seek out, so yeah try that. Next question is from Ed
Markey, on the topic of losing grip and coming
off your bike, this may seem like an odd question
but what’s the right way to fall off? I’ve read
we should keep our hands on the bars pull elbows
in and take the blow with bigger body parts, any advice? – Well I’m not sure about that you could fracture a rib, couldn’t you? – Yeah, I would say I’m
quite good at falling off. – I’d say you are as well. – Because I haven’t actually, touch wood, uh broken any bones but, – Apart from when you thought
you broke your kneecap. – Oh yeah. (laughs) – I thought you were going
to skip over that one. – Nope. – But uh, but yeah, I
personally would try and, if you’re going over the
handle bars, try and land on the back side of your shoulder, so if are feeling like
you’re going kind of roll up and then don’t land on
your head or your neck. Try and protect those
areas, so like tuck in and more go into a forward roll. – To be honest I just
aim for something soft. (laughs) Always, always look for
something soft to crash into. – Yeah, that’s a good point. – Lars Borgman comes in
with Hi I have a question about training. How much
training do I need to do over the winter to not
lose any of my fitness because I don’t have
any motivation to go out in the cold and dark. I’m
15 years old, greetings from the snowy Germany. – I can completely understand not wanting to go out in the cold and the dark. – It’s snowy and cold here as well. – Yeah, so like four to
six hours of some sort of exercise, I’d, if you want to keep your cycling fitness, then
you want to do cycling but at your age it’s
still great to do loads of other sports, so uh,
skating maybe over there? Running, um hockey, any
sorts of interesting sports. – [Hank] Yeah anything that
raises your heart rate really. – [Chris] Yeah. – [Hank] But yeah exactly,
if you do want to just work on your cycling specific
then trying to get a couple hours in on the indoor train
or something like that, – [Chris] Yeah. – [Hank] Would be really useful. – Or if you got a cross bike
at the weekends you can go out – [Hank] Oh that’d be fun – [Chris] In the snow. – [Hank] Or a mountain
bike, fat bike, yeah. – Yeah. – But of everything. – Then we have Logan Duffy,
what’s the best session to do the day before a race? – Right, good question
and uh, I personally used to do some openers, so
the day before the race, we would normally travel on the Friday if we were racing the
Sunday and on that Saturday we would do a ride, like a
pre-race ride and that would, – No, I’ll tell you what
happened we would do a pre-race ride, and Hank
would sit on the rollers. – Yeah they would do a
pre-race ride and I would sit on the rollers because
that’s kind of what I like to do, but yeah I used to do a good 15 minute warm up, and then
do some kind of ramp ups and rev outs and that
would normally kind of like get that travel out my
legs, get the blood going and I would actually,
yeah, do better in the race if the better pre-race ride
I had, if that makes it easy. – Yeah and I can vouch
for this, we’d come back and Hank would be
absolutely dripping in sweat but sure enough come the
race day I can rarely think of day when you
were actually going badly. – Aw thanks man, yeah I was um, yeah. – Whereas the rest of us we’d go out and have a bit of a ride but we wouldn’t do as quite specifically sometimes. – Yeah I did like, I always
got quite nervous too before big races so I
used to really focus on that pre-race ride being
a really important part of the whole race situation.
So yeah getting a good pre-race ride in is
important, so try that. Try getting on the rotors or the turbo and implement some hard efforts
and that should help. So now we’re done with
the quick fire round, we actually did our meet
the presenters video well you did yours a
week ago and I did mine the week before that and we got loads of questions from all of you lovely people and we thought it’d be a good
time to answer them here. So Chris, here’s a question for you. That was quite a ride,
what an interesting peek into your background
and character, you made a comment at some point
about how you didn’t enjoy races at the end of your career, paraphrasing heavily sorry, near the part you talked about your
grumpy, anguished race face could you explain any,
a bit more about that really. – Yeah well I just felt
like I was missing out on other bits of life,
you know family life and just other stuff I hadn’t yet done. – Mm hmm. – And that was huge,
huge factor in deciding to stop to be honest. – Yeah because you started racing super early didn’t you and that’s
kind of what you just cracked on with. – Yeah. – And it is a full time job, when you are racing pro it is totally full time, it takes your entire focus. – Yeah 24/7 and if you
don’t live your life like that then your performance just suffers. – Mm hmm. – And that was another factor really. – Ah cool. – Right you’ve got one now. – I have. – From rob23wheeler,
nice to hear of a fellow Gloucestershire lad doing
well, what motorbikes do you own? – If you’re not from the
U.K. and you don’t know where Gloucestershire
is, it’s in the Cotswolds which is in a like, down
the south of England which is in the country side and yes I own a few motorbikes I own a Triumph Thruxton which is an air cooled
vintage looking motorbike. I’ve got a BMW GS 1200 and I’ve also got a K1000 which is kind of a cafe racer. I think actually my
motorbike garage is bigger than my bicycle garage (laughs). Right, question for you Chris. I really enjoyed this
vide may I offer something to try? Have you ever gone
dairy free for a month as I see you’ve got asthma,
what about whole food plant based for a few weeks? It might help with your asthma some. – Well Andrew when I was racing I was dairy free from
like I think 1999 onwards and it did help, I was lactose intolerant it’s just one of those factors. Plant based yeah, I
think it was a big sell when I was a kid actually, – Do you? – I did decide that I’m
a vegetarian but I think that was more about
losing weight than it was actually about being a
vegetarian and I didn’t notice any difference in that. – But you coped quite well
at the last minute don’t you? – Uh, eventually yeah.
I had to have loads of different inhalers, like trial periods, – Yeah. – Until I actually got
one that worked for me. – Oh wow. Well it worked
out for him, so if you have got asthma out there,
you can still become a pro. – Next up question for
Hank, James A. McGuire says I knew that was Nigel
Mansell at 4:33 he was my childhood hero when it came to F1. What I couldn’t figure out
though was why on earth he’d be standing in the
middle of a pro cycling team, how did Nigel have the
relevant skills to mentor you? – Good question, and I would say Nigel had the relevance to coach
us because he was at the top end of the
sport. He was a Formula 1 world champion , so, and he was actually, – Income. – Yeah, one year, one
year the biggest paid sportsmen of all time,
so yeah he was able to coach us through the relevance of being, how to be a professional,
how to be an ambassador, how to hold ourselves and how to cope through nerves and pressure. – And actually the best
thing about him was that he only dealt in facts and figures. If you couldn’t quantify
something, he didn’t care so how you felt or
anything wasn’t relevant unless you could actually put it into facts and figures for him. – Yeah he’s a great man. – We’ve come to the end of
this weeks Ask GC anything – We have. If you want
your questions answered next week don’t forget to
use the hashtag TORQUEBACK for all your cycling
related questions and to be in with the chance of
winning the free three month subscription to Zwift, use
the hashtag ASKGCNTRAINING. – Yeah and don’t forget if you did enjoy this video then give it a big thumbs up, and if you would like to
see our meet the presenter videos then click down there.