Every two years or so, we go on a spirit quest to find the best new saddles on the market. Every two years or so we are 1000 bucks more poor, but our ass still hurts at the end of the test. Part of that is because the perfect saddle already exists, and everyone is just trying to figure out if there is a secret ‘new’ design that will work better. They’ve been trying for 100 + years. The best saddles today are the ones that mimic Brooks saddles. Not from a materials standpoint, but from a shape standpoint. Good saddles have the following in common:
Firm to no padding for support. Think: If you have super soft insoles in your hiking boots, like if Dr Scholls got together with Jet Puff Marshmallows, you couldn’t do anything in those shoes except lounge around the house. Your bones would have no support for walking. Even foam shoes, like Crocs, are actually pretty firm and supportive. If you are not riding a Brooks, which is like Birkenstocks for your ass, then you should ride something like a WTB Silverado or Pure V, which is like Crocs for your ass. Which is to say that a saddle needs to be supportive before anything else, then it needs a good shape. The Crocs are just foam Birkenstocks, and both have a good shape that works with the material support your bone structure. Good saddles, unlike shoes, need a wide flat back, so your sit bones don’t hang down the sides of the saddle. Rounded back saddles are bad. If you are a worrier regarding crotch numbness, rounded saddles are your worst nightmare. Imagine walking around with a shoe that has a 5x higher than usual arch. You’d feel like you are on a painful teeter toter. Is there a secret connection between Tater Tots and Teeter Toters? I think yes. I’ve sent in a tip to Chanel Rion, to see what she can dig up.
Other good saddle traits: narrow neck for minimal chafing, durable materials, chromoly steel rails.
The Silverado is one of the few saddles that comes on bikes from the factory that you don’t have to immediately junk. If you want a bit more padding, or a bit wider of saddle, something more like the Brooks Professional, get the Pure V.
We carry these saddles in three variations, two of which are exclusive to our friend Blue Lug, in Tokyo. Green camo, so you can sneak up on your oat milk latte, and Vegan friendly faux leather brown. The latter pairs well with Brooks Microfiber tape in antique brown. As with any saddle, set it up with your bike on a level surface. Steal your roommate’s level and level the saddle tip to tip. There should be a slight dip in the middle after ya do that.
These saddles have a slight cut away for pressure relief, but it’s just there because that’s a trend that won’t die. You don’t need the cut out if your bars in the right spot, but you also won’t feel it, if the bars are high enough.
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The best tools out there are beautiful, highly functional, durable and serviceable. Enlightened bikes are efficient, beautiful, comfortable and fun to work on. A bicycle brings you closer to experiences, they enrich a locality, they are spiritual partners on your journey through life. Analog Cycles builds enlightened bikes for life’s peregrinations.