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Thread: Russell vs Sargent - overall comfort, shoulder pain & distance to bars?

  1. #1

    Russell vs Sargent - overall comfort, shoulder pain & distance to bars?

    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

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    I have found that pain between the shoulders has more to do with the handlebars for myself. I have a 2018 RT with Illium risers. That helped me to fit the bike better.
    Never get to busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

    2018 R1200 RT- 26.5K miles and counting

  3. #3
    wanderer
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    The whole seat preference debate is highly subjective. Every Butt has it own needs and opinion.
    The more prominent brands are all of high quality, so that is not a discriminators.

    Almost all the brands give your butt more seat surface area(more sq inches) to keep the pressure per sq inch lower and less tiring. Most also round the areas at the edges so your thighs are better addressed too.

    My butt perfers Sargent because their seats are firmer,( form fitting over time) flatter and ususually longer so on long day the butt can move around. This might help you shoulder issue.

    The Russel puts your butt into a wide, pillow like bucket which some butts prefer. I find this gets hot easily and is too confining on long days.

    Try some, listen to what your butts says.

  4. #4
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtbob View Post
    The whole seat preference debate is highly subjective. Every Butt has it own needs and opinion.
    The more prominent brands are all of high quality, so that is not a discriminators.

    Almost all the brands give your butt more seat surface area(more sq inches) to keep the pressure per sq inch lower and less tiring. Most also round the areas at the edges so your thighs are better addressed too.

    My butt perfers Sargent because their seats are firmer,( form fitting over time) flatter and ususually longer so on long day the butt can move around. This might help you shoulder issue.

    The Russel puts your butt into a wide, pillow like bucket which some butts prefer. I find this gets hot easily and is too confining on long days.

    Try some, listen to what your butts says.
    RT and GS seats are fairly common. Keep checking on the classifieds, ebay and beemerboneyard
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  5. #5
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    I am also 5'10" with a 32" inseam and had pretty similar shoulder pain when riding my R1200RT. I now have an R1200GS that has wider handlebars than the RT had and I also have them on 1-1/2" risers... no more pain!
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  6. #6
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Is there a quality shop near you (or a club) that could evaluate your ergonomics on that bike?

    Pete
    '18 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '12 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
    '15 Honda CRF250L for exploring places I'm afraid to take the big GSA!
    http://travelswithbarley.com/

  7. #7
    I get pain at the back of the base of my neck when I ride with my torso leaned too far forward. This position requires that I tilt my head slightly up to level my vision with the horizon and this tilt to the neck causes stingers after an hour or two.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    I am pretty much the same size as the OP and I also have a 2018 RTW. I have a Sargent saddle on my bike. No modifications to the handlebars, save putting some grip buddies on those small, hard grips that came with the bike. No shoulder pain for me. I also have the Illium crash bars with the highway pegs added. It is the highway pegs that make longer rides tolerable.

    I have had shoulder pain on other bikes, e.g. my R100GS/PD. I kept fiddling with moving the bars a little in the clamps on the top triple tree. Finally I hit upon a position which would allow my to ride in comfort with no shoulder pain. It is funny that such a small amount of change could make such a difference in my comfort level.

  9. #9
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    Physical condition makes a huge difference. If your core, shoulders and back are not up to snuff, you will end up slouching forward.. Whether you think you are or not. That leads to all sorts of back and neckpain.

    Changing seats and bar position can only do so much.... Regular time on an indoor rowing machine will do a whole lot more.
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 09 K1300s

  10. #10
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    Regular time on an indoor rowing machine will do a whole lot more.
    Is there a cup holder for my coffee? I mean, I swing my leg over the bike and bend my knees when they're on the pegs....Isn't that enough??
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
    1) My expectations are never low enough & 2) Incompetence is infinite ........David Brooks

  11. #11
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I now wear a posture brace on long rides for that very reason.
    Dave Selvig
    2008 Black LT
    2004 Black LT
    2000 Canyon Red LT

  12. #12
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstayner View Post
    I have found that pain between the shoulders has more to do with the handlebars for myself. That helped me to fit the bike better.


    I had this shoulder pain on both bikes until bar risers were installed.

    Problem solved.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    rallyvolunteers@bmwmoa.org

  13. #13
    Registered User jonnybow's Avatar
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    When I first got my K16GT, I had horrendous pain in-between my shoulders and into my neck after even a 1hr ride. I had horrible pain into my right arm as well. My neck doctor told me that the nerve bundle that goes into your right arm is being impinged, you need to go see a PT doc.
    I went to physical therapy and thankfully, the doc was a good one. He had me bring my bike in and he watched my posture while on the bike. His comment was that I was holding my head higher on this bike than I was on my old bike and that's why the pain was occurring. He showed me some really good stretches and thankfully, doing the stretches helped me ride pain free.
    On my RDL seat, I have no sciatica which I had when I had a Sargent and stock seat. Between the stretches and the RDL seat, I have done many 700+ mile days on the bike.
    I think the RT has similar ergonomics as the K16GT, but as always, YMMV.
    Jon
    K1600GT & R1200GSA
    BMW MOA #220293

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    Here is the link for a motorcycle ergonomic calculator. https://cycle-ergo.com/ You might find the information helpful. I had some discomfort on by current bike when it was new and I took some longer trips. I plugged in my old bike which didn't cause any problems, and compared the ergonomics to my new bike and looked for the differences. I then made some adjustments, i.e. a new seat and lower foot pegs, and the problem was solved. It was easier and cheaper then just making random changes until something worked. Good luck.
    Bob, MOA#143234
    2014 R1200RT

  15. #15
    Thanks for all the constructive notes.

    Alex

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