I know that saddles are highly personal. One person’s sofa is another person’s razor blade… blah… blah… blah. Most of us might have a ‘Saddle Imelda’ friend out there—yes that’s you Greg—who swaps saddles regularly and never seems to be comfortable. Not me.
I personally have had loads of different saddles over the years and got on fine with all of them from the cheapest to the most expensive. I do have my favourites, Fizik Arione for the road and Selle Italia Flite for off road but basically I don’t think I’m fussy when it comes to saddles.
With this in mind I thought that I’d bling up my new Trek Fuel EX8 (review to come) with something a bit more upmarket than the Bontranger branded saddle it came with. At Pearson Cycles they had a Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow saddle (Wiggle) which seemed like a good choice. It does look kind of odd with a swoopy rear edge but it has lots of ‘features’ – cut away middle for pressure relief, perforated leather top, suspended rails, dropped nose and gel padding. Plus it was a brand I like, so it went into my shopping basket.
With all of this in mind I put it onto the Trek for it’s first ride. Throwing my leg over the saddle and starting up from the house, I sat on the saddle for the first time and without turning a pedal thought ‘Jeesus that’s uncomfortable’. Things didn’t get better, it didn’t bed in and considering I was on a big plush full susser I came back from the ride with everything aching much more than if I’d been riding one of my hardtails.
It’s just the most uncomfortable saddle I’ve every sat on – period. It just goes to show that ‘features’ do not make a saddle comfortable. Vlad the Impaler could use it as a torture technique. New saddle please!