RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Reply To: Reccomendation for bike seat-Mens Road Bike

Charlie S, June 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I know this is an older thread, but in case anyone is still in need of a saddle at this late date, I can highly recommend a suspension-type over padded.

There are a number of these on the market, the oldest and most well-known being Brooks. The drawbacks to the traditional leather Brooks are weight and the lengthy break-in period. I have a Brooks Cambium on my commuter bike (suspension but fabric and rubber construction rather then leather) and like it quite a bit. It’s still on the heavier side but has no real break-in was needed and it’s far more comfortable than the Selle Italia SL it replaced.

My recommendation would be the Selle Anatomica X that I have on my road bike – the one I’ll be bringing to RABBRAI. Again on the heavier side but extremely comfortable out of the box (Anatomica uses a different leather than Brooks) and it has only gotten better. By far the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever used.

There have been reports of the Anatomica’s rails bending (they are longer than most rails to provide more adjustment options). From what I see, this has happened only to folks closing on the 250 pound max recommended rider weight limit or when used on a mountain bike. While not an issue for most riders, my understanding that Anatomica changed the rail material in response to the complaints.

Alternatives to Anatomica are Rivet (very similar, also gets great reviews) and Berthoud (Belgian I believe, expensive but with a very enthusiastic user base.) Any leather saddle except for Brooks won’t like rain, so when they get wet, you need to loosen them up until dry or risk stretching the leather. A minor issue to me but some folks find this unacceptable.

There’s still time for you get and fit an Anatomica or Rivet, as the break-in for either is minimal. Both have generous return policies, so you could even use the saddle for RABRAI and then send it back if you didn’t like it.

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