I must be difficult to shop for, or at least extremely picky. For my birthday I got money and gift certificates from most of my family. Most of them know that I am more than likely going to want something bike-related, and if I explained exactly which part or doohickey that I am currently salivating over will either; A. think it is too expensive (it usually is), or 2. get that glassed-over look in their eyes because they don’t have a clue what I am talking about or are overwhelmed by the complexity of my description. Like I said, I must be difficult to shop for, or extremely picky.
So, I am trying to decide what I want to buy this year.
I am leaning towards a saddle for the road bike. But that seemingly simple decision has opened up a whole other can of worms. There are dozens of saddle manufacturers with dozens of models available ranging from inexpensive to hock-one-of-your-kids expensive in a full range of materials from steel, to carbon fiber, to titanium to a combination of all of the above and a myriad of colors and materials. It’s a pain in the rear! (pun intended).
Part of what makes this such a difficult choice is unlike other parts, you can’t really use the customer reviews. We’re talking about the most intimate point of contact you have with your bicycle. Less than 1/8 of an inch of padding and Lycra separates your can from your bicycle (less if you participate in the world naked bike ride, which won’t be discussed here because this is a family-friendly blog) and not everyone’s posterior is the same. What one person gives high marks for, saying that they can ride all day long may cause someone else pain and sores.
The reason I am undertaking this search is about 2 seasons ago my wife, bless her heart, was bringing my bike to pick me up from work so I could do a ride up north after work. I had put it on the roof rack of our van before I left for work so she wouldn’t have to, and even hid her garage door opener so she wouldn’t forget it was up there and drive into the garage. All good in theory, except she did forget it was up there and went through the drive through at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription… No damage done. Fortunately, the pharmacy had a bar hanging from a chain to warn about clearance, the bar went just under the nose of the saddle, and lifted the bike and rack up slightly. She heard the noise, and stopped just in time, and was able to back up before any damage was done. She then drove to my mom’s house to drop off the boys… and drove into her carport… She made it past 3 rafters before she realized what the noise was… Somehow the bike still survived. The only damage appeared to be a few scuffs tears and paint transfer on the saddle.
So, here I am. Looking for a new saddle to replace my old saddle. I have a couple in mind, one I can afford that looks suspiciously similar to my old saddle, and one that I will have to offload some stuff on Craigslist to afford. Fortunately, both have a 90 day return policy if you aren’t satisfied with how your butt feels after riding their saddle. I am probably going to get the cheaper one, and trade up if I am not happy with it.