Performance Bike Seats
Bike saddles – for new riders they can look downright intimidating with their skinny, rail-hard appearance. The thought of shimmying up against one of those for hours at a time can turn rookies straight to the comfort saddle section. However, performance mountain and road saddles can be surprisingly comfortable and increase your power output as long as:
a) it’s the right fit for you
b) it’s correctly positioned
Pick what feels good for you
Just like everything else in the bike world, saddles are very rider-specific, which makes it difficult to eyeball a display case of bike seats and pick one on the fly. And, just because you’re favorite pro cyclist rides a certain saddle doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Within the pro peloton, there is a huge variety in saddles. For example, Manuel Quinzianato of BMC rides an Fizik Aliante Carbon Braided (a wider, cushier saddle) while Ivan Basso of Cannondale prefers the narrower fit of the Arione CX Braided.
Because of the wide range of cyclists’ needs, fits and preferences, most bike seat manufacturers and bike shops work together to create a demo saddle program. Our flagship store, Jans on Park Ave in Park City, UT as well as our sister shop, White Pine Touring on Bonanza, both have a full range of bike seats from different companies for new and experienced riders to find their perfect match.
A step in the bike fitting process
Ideally new and experienced riders would demo a saddle as part of a bike fit – check out www.jans.com/custom-bike-fit. That way a Jans expert could find the ideal position for the new saddle. Customers are certainly welcome to take part in the bike seat demo program separate from a bike fit, though. Here’s the nitty gritty on how it works:
Just like a bike demo, customers leave a credit card number as a security deposit which is immediately shredded upon the test saddles return.
Feel free to use that saddle or exchange it for another until you find the perfect one, for up to one week.
Saddle brands we carry
At White Pine Touring, a full line of products from both Fizik and Specialized are available to try out. Specialized has a fit finder on their website (www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/saddle-finder) which narrows down your options depending on category (mountain, road, etc.), gender, position, padding and rail material so you’re a little more prepared when you bring your bike in.
Jans Park Ave also has a full line of Fizik Saddles including the Vesta, Arione, Aliante, Antares as well as the Versus option for each. Fizik’s Versus saddles are the same geometry as the original versions, simply with a cutout relief channel.
Additionally, Jans carries a full line of Bontrager saddles which, although not available for demo, have a 100% satisfaction guaranty. If you purchase one and figure out that it isn’t the saddle for you, come back into the shop and exchange it for another until you find the right one.
What fits my butt
Personally, I prefer the Fizik Arione R1 for both road and cross-country mountain biking. Its length allows flexibility in shifting my body position forward or back and feels good wherever I sit on it. When I’m attacking on an uphill I’m able to scooch forward a bit to get that extra power and still sit comfortably. But, there’s all sorts of riding positions and styles out there as well as butt shapes so it takes testing out a saddle to really know.
Saddle choice ain’t no small thing – if you’re not comfortable on your saddle, you’re less likely to want to ride your bike. And riding should be fun! So keep your butt happy and let the experts at Jans help you find the ideal bike seat.