best tri bike saddles
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Triathlon-specific bike saddles: 10 of the best reviewed

A sore backside can wreck your race, so it's crucial you choose the right saddle. We test 10 of the best tri-specific bike saddles to discover which brands know how to make a good perch

After spending a small fortune on your dream machine, it can be all too tempting to stick with the stock saddle that comes with the bike without as much as taking a test ride. But your saddle choice is one of the most crucial elements of your ride. There are only three contact points between you and the bike: your feet, hands and, of course, your gluteus maximus, the latter being the largest part and where you generate the most power from.

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How to choose the right triathlon bike saddle

 Triathlon bikes buyer’s guide

  

No two backsides are the same, and there are many different styles of saddle to choose from, depending on variables such as the width of your sit bones and the type of riding you do. A big, comfy saddle with plenty of gel padding might feel lovely for short commutes in the city, but on longer rides it’ll deform as you sink into it, which can cause chafing and saddle sores. 

A technical saddle will have minimal and strategically placed padding that works in conjunction with the chamois in your shorts to provide comfort in the areas that are planted to the seat, and pressure relief where there’s movement. For triathlon, where the rider can be perched on the end of the saddle for long periods in the aero position, designs with stubby and wide noses are popular. On road bikes, saddles are narrower at the front, with greater width towards the back to provide a sweet spot for the rider to sit in when their hands are on the drop bars. 

Some bike shops offer a saddle-fitting service that includes measurement of your sit bones. This is well worth having – and we’d also suggest experimenting with different models. Ultimately, saddle choice is a personal thing. So to reach our verdicts, we considered value for money and, using feedback from fellow triathletes and cyclists, how likely it is that each saddle will work for a wide cross-section of triathletes.

Of course, saddle choice is incredibly personal, so the highest marks here have been awarded to saddles that we think will work best for the greatest number of riders, feature the greatest innovation and material construction, and are at a price that represents value for money.

ISM PN 3.1

£136

ISM’s distinctive ‘noseless’ saddles have become firm favourites with triathletes, and the PN 3.1 comes with chromoly rails to bring the price down. ISM says the saddle’s tapered edges increase blood flow and reduce pressure in sensitive areas, while the slight slope towards the front provides support in the TT position. For us and many other triathletes, ISM’s unusual yet functional saddle design does the trick for long rides in the aerobar position – we’ve simply never had a bad experience with one, with the padding striking just the right balance between density and softness.upgradebikes.co.uk

Verdict: Divisive looks, but it works a treat in practice 89%

Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk

  

Prologo TGale PAS CPC Tirox

£179

The TGale is another very tri-specific perch, with Prologo’s ‘perennial area system (PAS)’ designed to stop numbness in the pelvic area. The stubby nose is narrower than the Fizik and ISM saddles, and we found it firmer too, but the flat top with a grippy microfibre surface should fix you in place. This mid-range version of the TGale has Tirox rails, made of a light alloy-steel material that’s highly resistant to traction and torsion, but it still weighs a fair bit more than similarly priced saddles in this test at 275g, so it isn’t our top choice of the more expensive saddles here. 

Verdict: Expensive, but well designed for triathlon 78%

Buy from www.chainreactioncycles.com

  

Bontrager Aeolus Elite

£89.99

This road-racing saddle has a large central cut-out and rails made out of austenite, which Trek says is lighter and stronger than hollow titanium, bringing the weight down to 222g for the larger 155mm-width version. The rails are also housed at the very front of the saddle, the idea being that this’ll allow for some flex in the shell for added compliance and conformity to the rider’s body shape. It works a treat – with the nose being wider than a normal road saddle, there’s plenty of comfort when hammering in the drops (and it should also work well on a tri bike for some). 

Verdict: A fantastic wide-fit saddle with superior comfort, 90%

Buy from www.trekbikes.com

  

Continue reading our guide to this year's best tri saddles  (2/3)


 
 

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danD2

it looks like there's been a massive development since 2013-14 as i cannot see any Koobi saddles here originally praised and reviewed all over the place.

i guess i know why now

no bitterness, no pretends, this is just a reflection over a couple of mistakes i made recently and a piece of good advice that might help you to avoid this far from marvellous product

I have owned this saddle for several months now which is pretty much how long it has been taking me to readjust to this saddle. i am not sure how anyone can see it as a comfortable mid range mileage saddle of a good value.


I have bought this saddle, following a lengthy research and various recommendations of people i considered experts in their field including fellow cyclists and triathletes.
to my great surprise and dismay what arrived was far from the superior light-weight split nose saddle i was convinced i had bought.
perhaps the most obvious are the bizarre sides near the sit bones area made of black textile - allegedly kevlar?tha is hard to believe as they are not durable as expected !? (the black part on the side - the photo on the internet does not provide a detail - for a good reason i guess) most ridiculous - why would I want the sides of my saddle made of significantly less durable material than the rest. to save a couple of grams? i can only hope now that i will remember not to lean my bike against a wall or anything ever again to avoid damage of these fragile ‘patches’. Having examined this thoroughly i can see clearly now how the stitches are unevenly tightened as if someone was trying to stitch it on the hard support part. i can definitely feel the seams border lines after about twenty minutes. takes some getting used to and thus I do not consider it a sleek design at all.

I am not expecting this saddle to last more than one season. the stitching is already showing a sign of strain and wear.

just one more thing -
I have stuff shipped from the US to the UK regularly and it seems a very common practice of the senders/internet sellers to declare much lower value of the items shipped on the label/declaration sticker than is the actual price of the items - it often prevents customs from snooping around and damaging parcels which are then inadequatly re-taped, it saves customers a lot on import duty and tax, which is ok with most of us.
i am not quite sure what koobi was thinking declaring higher price of the saddle on the label than what i actually paid as this resulted in Customs demanding a hefty import duty, without them even opening the package as the label was so carefully filled out!

danD2

the model in question to avoid is Enduro Au

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