Saddle Shopping: Cut That Out!

I have been riding on the same stock saddle that came with my Infinito for over two years now and really haven’t given it too much thought, which is odd since we cyclists have a fairly intimate relationship with our seats!

Well, it’s time for an upgrade and payday is in a little over 2 weeks. I am turning my attention to the overwhelmingly complicated subject of saddle choice. I think that, since we all have different shapes ‘down there’, saddle preference is quite a subjective thing. One that fits you fine might make me lose all feeling where I really should have some. Therefore, I won’t ask you for your opinion on specific saddles (although I will welcome them anyway), but I would like to know what you all think about the ‘slit, no slit’ controversy. Here’s what I’m talking about. This is my current saddle – the Fizik Aliante.

aliante

No frills, flat-ish surface. Next is one of the saddles I’m thinking about, the Fizik Antares 00. Still flat (much flatter, in fact than my Aliante, which slopes right from the center.

download (2)

But I’m getting off track. Following are two saddles from Selle Italia, the Tekno and the Tekno Super Flow. The first one looks like it has a bit of a groove for your sensitive bits, while the Super Flow is totally ‘open air’. Surprisingly, the 1st is lighter than the 2nd.

tecno

superflow

So as not to give too much press to the Italians, here’s a Specialized S-Works, with their version of ‘the slit’.

specialized

And a nice-looking one from Selle San Marco – the Aspide. These guys can’t decide whether they want a hole or not, it seems, so have gone with what looks like flood drain.

sanmarcoThere are plenty of other examples out there with even bigger holes and lots with differently shaped grooves/indentations for, I presume, rider comfort.

Here’s the thing, though. I only feel the pressure ‘down there’ after a few hours on the bike (the indoor trainer is the big exception here, since you are usually sitting). I am not sure how badly I need a gaping hole in my saddle, but I can be influenced easily, so those more educated than I, tell me the way it is!

And I haven’t even started to talk about ‘sit bones’, and how the distance between these things might affect the type of saddle I should buy. Like I said, it’s all a little overwhelming.

I wish Brooks made a saddle that was light enough for me – the one I have on my touring bike is the most comfortable thing in the world and will last me as long as I can still ride, I’ll bet. Unfortunately, horse leather only comes so light. The best Brooks can do is the B15 Swallow Titanium, at 370 grams, unacceptable for the weight weenie I seem to have become. It’s pretty though, isn’t it?

brooks

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11 thoughts on “Saddle Shopping: Cut That Out!

  1. If you like brooks, but live in France, have look at Gilles Berthoud saddles.

    About your question: When I, m looking for a new saddle, I do not look for slit/non slit. I am more concernd if the saddle is more flat or rounded. and how wide it is. maybe you should measure the distance of your “sitting bones”

  2. I’ve heard Brooks are great saddles, but like you said, too heavy for what we do.
    I’m also shopping for a saddle and am leaning towards the Antares, but will need to wait to get back on my bike. My local shop has nicely offered to let me try a few.
    Like you said, saddles are subjective, so I cannot really answer, plus I haven’t had much experience with hole saddles.

  3. I have a Brooks B17 on my fixie which I use for commuting. I rode 3,000 km on it in 2012 and it just keeps getting more and more comfortable. The road bike does not have a Brooks…Selle Italia…definitely lighter!

    • Funny, I’ve got the same saddle on my touring bike (who knows how many kms on that, but lots) and a test Selle Italia SLR on the road bike now. Is that what you have? It sure is hard and weird compared to my cushy stock saddle I was using, but I have the feeling I’ll get used to it. 130 grams savings also, which will help in my quest!

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