Author Topic: Russell vs Sargent - overall comfort, shoulder pain & distance to bars?  (Read 488 times)

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OfflineJack_the_Lad

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    • Model/year: R1200RT 18 & others
    I know and understand that a large number of people swear by Russell seats but there's also quite a contingent out there with Sargent seats.


    Currently, I have a Russell on my 2018RT, along with Wunderlich risers.  The made-to-order seat is comfortable (although not nearly so much as an old one I had with 50,000 miles on it!),but I find that even after a ride of an hour or so I have considerable muscular pain between my shoulder blades which endures for a couple of days afterwards.


    I'm 5 foot 10, 32 inseam leg, and about to 225lbs, so in theory this should be a good fit for me although I cannot flat-foot at a stop.  I'm completely unsure if the issue is caused by poor ergonomics or poor muscle condition or both.


    It seems that my Russell seat bucket needs to be moved further forward, which would take some time and money to ship back to Russell for alterations with possibly uncertain results.


    I've also been well pleased with Sargent seats after the usual break-in, so I'm considering one of those as a replacement knowing that it would certainly be a bit lower than the Russell.


    Does anyone have any similar experience, thoughts or comments?  I'm specifically interested in the similar experience or really relevant comments, and would like to avoid simple comments along the lines of "I have XX and love it but otherwise have nothing to add to the conversation".


    Thanks in advance for your ideas.


    JtL
    « Last Edit: 2020-02-06 01:17:01 by Jack_the_Lad »

    OnlineCasbar

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      Well, not what you want, but I'm a shorty at 5ft 8, and have covered over 50k on my 1200 and 1250, still on the standard seat, no issues, regular stops (bladder dictates). But my theory is big milage means riding fit, so you get used to it. But then again, I'm not a big bloke (read overweight) so maybe not as much pressure on my butt, or maybe I have a butt that just doesn't ache.

      OfflineJack_the_Lad

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        Appreciate the reply but you're right - at 5-8 and on a stock seat there's not a lot of relevance.  The issue has nothing whatever to do with butt pressure.


        I've noticed people in Britain - which included me long ago - don't seem to go much for aftermarket seats anyway.  I suspect that is in part due to shorter distances usually covered.


        JtL

        OnlineCasbar

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          Appreciate the reply but you're right - at 5-8 and on a stock seat there's not a lot of relevance.  The issue has nothing whatever to do with butt pressure.


          I've noticed people in Britain - which included me long ago - don't seem to go much for aftermarket seats anyway.  I suspect that is in part due to shorter distances usually covered.


          JtL


          You might be better asking your question on a US centric site, such as luxury touring, in Europe we have to import seats so they are expensive, so Sargent and Corbin are the only ones that have a UK distributor. Disagree with distances though, we do have a things called ferries and a tunnel that connects us to mainland Europe so I have done 700 mile days on holiday, but not all in a straight line of course.


          Here is the luxury touring site url - https://www.bmwlt.com

          OnlineCasbar

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            Also, thinking about this, isn't it about time in the saddle rather than distance, so 8 hour days is the same regardless of distance. There is also a RT facebook group, which has a lot of US contributors as well  8)

            OfflineJack_the_Lad

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              Yes I'm fully aware of tunnels and ferries etc, having been lucky enough to have had many trips around Europe (mostly originating from Aberdeen),the longest trip being 14 weeks.  And yes, you can rack up significant mileage.


              Where I live, mileage tends to be quite high for an average day ride, as you have to go roughly 80-100 miles to get to some decent twisties, play for the day, and then home, so can easily be 250-400 miles. I hate mileage just for the sake of it, and avoid motorways and interstates like the plague.


              I think the conversation has gone completely adrift - I was asking about pain between the shoulder blades after a short amount of saddle time probably related to my seat being too far back relative the handlebars, or perhaps some muscular deficiency.  Clearly not a topic that is drawing any help or interest so I'll leave it at that.


              JtL




              OfflineDee Dub

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                Compared with many bikes, the RT has a relatively upright seating position; the standard handlebars are raked back quite a long way and risers might put them closer still. Perhaps the design of your seat puts you further back and/or too low? Purely for an experiment, can you try padding up the the seat, moving the padding around and so on?


                Just a thought: also try adjusting your posture by rolling your hips forward, i.e. point your coccyx ('tail') towards the bike's rear light cluster. You should then find the bars within easy reach. I accept it can be difficult to maintain that posture permanently, but it should help with the reach, and moving around should always be beneficial.
                DW

                OfflineMillman

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                  My last bike was an 2016 RT with a Russell seat.  I am kind of the opposite of you at 6’5, 250lbs but I experienced the same pain.  I found that by having the bars not at the right height for my posture was the issue.  The Russel raised my seat up about 2” which was great for my legs but i had to get 2.5” risers.  The other thing i got was the backrest.  I didn’t think it would make a difference but that pressure on your lumbar does help and puts you in the right riding posture.  You should check out Cycle-ergo.com.  You can input your measurements, bike type and play with the adjustments on bar risers and seat.  Also you may need a lighter helmet.  I ride with a neo-tech2 which is heavier than a full face.  That extra weight on your neck puts strain on your scapula muscles.  Hope this helps.  Also try going to a reputable bicycle shop and talk to them about the fit.  They spend hours with customers getting the bicycles fit properly. 


                  Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

                  OfflinePeteM

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                    Also, thinking about this, isn't it about time in the saddle rather than distance, so 8 hour days is the same regardless of distance.


                    Not totally; before I saw the light I rode a Triumph Sprint ST, an early 1050 with low handle bars. I found I could ride all day with no problem on fast twisties because I was moving around and the wind pressure on my chest took some of the weight from my wrists. Lots of very slow riding killed my wrists and lots of motorway killed my shoulders and my right hand from the vibration.

                    Offlinebandytales

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                      Not totally; before I saw the light I rode a Triumph Sprint ST, an early 1050 with low handle bars. I found I could ride all day with no problem on fast twisties because I was moving around and the wind pressure on my chest took some of the weight from my wrists. Lots of very slow riding killed my wrists and lots of motorway killed my shoulders and my right hand from the vibration.


                      Absolutely. That's the same for me on my RTLC. On twisties I can ride (litterally) all day and still want to go further. However, if I ride on Motorways I am in pain almost instantly.

                      Offlinerealshelby

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                      I know and understand that a large number of people swear by Russell seats but there's also quite a contingent out there with Sargent seats.

                      Currently, I have a Russell on my 2018RT, along with Wunderlich risers.  The made-to-order seat is comfortable (although not nearly so much as an old one I had with 50,000 miles on it!),but I find that even after a ride of an hour or so I have considerable muscular pain between my shoulder blades which endures for a couple of days afterwards.

                      I'm 5 foot 10, 32 inseam leg, and about to 225lbs, so in theory this should be a good fit for me although I cannot flat-foot at a stop.  I'm completely unsure if the issue is caused by poor ergonomics or poor muscle condition or both.

                      It seems that my Russell seat bucket needs to be moved further forward, which would take some time and money to ship back to Russell for alterations with possibly uncertain results.

                      I've also been well pleased with Sargent seats after the usual break-in, so I'm considering one of those as a replacement knowing that it would certainly be a bit lower than the Russell.


                      First let me say I have owned Russell seats for years and they have been the only seat I have bought the last two new bikes I have had. Russells have the reputation for the best long distance seats, and after owning about every other seat out there I agree with that. Sargent seats can be good, or absolutely awful. Depends on the bike. Some just work better than others. Most owners buy a Sargent to save money. Some buy a sargent or other seat because they don't like the looks of the Russell.
                      At 5' 10" and 32" inseam you are slightly shorter...but have a bit longer leg length than I do. I too have bar risers, but simply to keep me from locking my elbows after I had the Russell and sat higher with it. I do not believe the ache in your back is the seat. Or at least all of it. Sure, you are changing sitting position from stock. I will assume you are an occasional rider. I suspect this is coming from gripping the bars too hard, or being tense while riding. Think about this on your next ride...do you feel like you are pushing your backside to the rear against the back of the seat pocket? Hard habits to break actually. If you could get in some regular time, your muscles will adapt too.  But meanwhile I know this is making the ride unpleasant. Are you running the seat in the High or Low position?


                      Flat footing? A new seat will get softer and conform to you a bit and give a slightly better leg reach. Not much. But I suspect you need to learn and perfect the "Russell scoot"! When slowing to a stop slide ALL the way forward. I mean ALL the way. Then see how much more easily you can flat foot the bike when stopped! That is why the Russell is narrow at the front with the wide sides tapering quickly to the front. I have a 31" inseam, can easily flat foot the bike when the (taller than average Russell) seat is in the low position. On trips with the seat in the high position...I can still flat foot the bike! So put the bike on the center stand and practice doing this. On the center stand I can barely get my toe tips to touch from my normal sitting position. I can put the ball of both feet down when I scoot forward, there is that much difference!
                      Moving the Russell "bucket" forward will likely make the reach to ground even harder.
                      WERKS Quiet Ride windshields and Headlight Protectors for R 1200-1250 RT

                      Offlinebandytales

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                        Ahh, flat footing.
                        I ride with some girls sometimes and they are bot pretty diddy (short). One rides a non lowered GS and the other one rides an RT. They have an amazing technique that a few of the vertically challenged riders need to learn from. It is a joy to watch. When coming to a stop, just as a matter of routing, they do a full buttock slide in the direction of camber (or whatever is best for the current terrain). I guess they shift down to first gear, and then brake as normal and then with sufficient time in hand the buttock slide takes place and they are fully flat footed. When the time comes to pull away, they just accelerate, ease the clutch out and buttock slide back to their central stance. n'er a moan about not being able to get a sure footing. (The GS girl also does off road riding with great success too).

                        OfflinePeteM

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                          Ahh, flat footing.
                          I ride with some girls sometimes and they are bot pretty diddy (short). One rides a non lowered GS and the other one rides an RT. They have an amazing technique that a few of the vertically challenged riders need to learn from. It is a joy to watch. When coming to a stop, just as a matter of routing, they do a full buttock slide in the direction of camber (or whatever is best for the current terrain). I guess they shift down to first gear, and then brake as normal and then with sufficient time in hand the buttock slide takes place and they are fully flat footed. When the time comes to pull away, they just accelerate, ease the clutch out and buttock slide back to their central stance. n'er a moan about not being able to get a sure footing. (The GS girl also does off road riding with great success too).


                          A mate of mine when he was doing his police bike training with the met, had a relatively short female plod on the course with him. It was only on the last day the instructor noticed she was not putting either foot down when stopping so had to fail her, despite her (obviously) being the best slow rider in the group and one of the best pursuit riders.

                          Offlineevildoctor

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                            I had a Sargent seat on my 2003 ST1300 and loved it. I bought a 1250RT in Sept. and rode about 2500 km before I put it away for the long Canadian winter. Coming from 14 years of riding 3 Goldwing 1800s I found the stock seat on the BMW torture. After about 1000 km my butt was getting somewhat friendlier with the seat however once I put on Illium highway pegs on the bike I found it made a huge difference. Putting weight on the pegs now and again greatly relieved pressure on my butt. Nonetheless I was still considering a Sargent seat for the new bike until I found someone selling a 2 year old Sargent seat for 500 CDN (about $370 US). A no brainer. I will put it on the bike in the spring. If I don’t like it I’ll simply sell it and I’m sure I’ll get my money back. BTW, I’m a short (5’8”) old guy.
                            « Last Edit: 2020-02-10 23:37:48 by evildoctor »

                            Offline82DRIVE

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                              I have a Sargent seat (low setting) but also fitted Helibars.  I am pretty short at 5’ 5” and the combination works really well for me.  I commute everyday, have ridden 6+ hour days and no issues.