Trying to find the perfect saddle that’s both comfortable and stylish? Try sifting through online reviews or eyeing the display walls at your LBS, and you’ll probably just find a saddle that looks like what you want. Pop it on your bike, though, and that’s it–it’s not returnable. Because you can’t really know what a new saddle will ride like until you try, you’ve gotta…well…try it.
With my first real bike, I searched the internet for reviews and ended up with a Specialized Ruby 155. So many people raved over it, and I’m sure they were telling the comfortable truth, but I ended up suffering for almost a year with an ill-fitting seat (did I mention I was too cheap to buy another one? I just decided to suffer and complain).
Thankfully, I was introduced to the test ride program at Art’s Cyclery, to the rejoicing of my ride buddies who were sick of hearing me whine. For an $80 deposit, Art’s let me borrow one saddle per week, and helped me lock on to serious comfort. I narrowed down features and brands I did or didn’t like–channel, wing flex, widths, Specialized, Prologo, Selle Italia, Fizik–it was all as easy as riding my bike.
I ended up with a Fizik Arione Donna (which I was super stoked about except for the subtle, black floral print that I didn’t notice until I opened the box. What’s wrong with plain colors??? Not all girls like floral prints, guys). But I went through about 9 saddles before I landed on the Donna. The wing flex made a huge difference in the feel of the saddle in relation to my pedaling style, and it was obvious after only a few miles.
So what does it matter that I like my new Fizik? Well, it means you’ve really got to try before you buy. If you’re local and you can check out Art’s, do it! If not, call around to your local shops and see who participates in a similar program. Trust me, it’s worth the effort. Plus, you get to try out a ton of gear before deciding on one.
A Few Tips:
A Few Things to Remember:
So get out and have fun trying some new gear. Then reward yourself for all that exercise with a brand new, awesome saddle.
Questions? Ask away!