We're taking a look here at the saddle round-up we brought you in Issue 30. While saddles aren't always the most exciting piece of equipment to look at, they have a very definite impact on your riding enjoyment and are key to your comfort. See some of the latest saddles here and maybe you'll find your next seat.
by The CXM Test Crew
Saddles, like helmets, have gone through a number of technology and construction changes recently. Even if you think you found the right shape for you a long time ago and have been loyal ever since, it’s worth a look and test ride of the latest generation of saddles to see if there’s a more comfortable ride.
Until recently, shopping for saddles has been mostly about finding the right shape, and then perhaps deciding how much padding you wanted. Maybe you also decided whether you wanted to save some grams through tubular rails or exotic materials. More recently, cyclists and cyclocrossers could opt for a cut-out for potential pressure relief or water cooling during a wet race.
Now, construction techniques, shock absorbing materials, width options and even new rail designs are all being touted as the secret to a more comfortable ride, especially when the terrain is not smooth asphalt. And for those of you with new bike lust, but a new chain budget, a new saddle, paired with some cushy new bar take, can be the ultimate trick to feeling like you got a new ride.
We put seven of the latest saddle designs to the test in Issue 30 to see which ones are deserving of your upgrade dollars. Saddle up!
Ritchey Logic Link
Ritchey Logic threw out traditional rail designs when designing its latest saddle and seatpost. By molding the entire shell in one piece, Ritchey was able to avoid the limitations of traditional saddles’ bonded anchor point rails. In the process riders gain more fore/aft adjustment due to the longer, fatter monorail. You can feel the difference, as the ride is more compliant without relying on padding. And for racers with unique fitting needs, the ability to slide the saddle pretty far forward or back is welcome. Of course with this unique rail design you need a unique post, and Ritchey offers several. Our first, a carbon road version with a bit of flex, failed to keep the saddle angle during our roughest remounts, but Ritchey acknowledged some early posts were not quite to spec in terms of tolerances. The company sent a replacement, a longer mountain version, and it has held firm during offseason remounts. But it’s worth noting that it’s not the two-bolt front/back design that we swear by. Gravel racers shouldn’t have such worries, and may find Ritchey’s new design reduces a bit of the buzz of gravel miles in a good way. This was one of our favorite saddles for gravel.
Price: $129.99 USD
Weight: 172 grams
Options: black or white
More info: ritcheylogic.com