2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Saddles

Five bike saddles from the 2013 Triathlete Buyer's Guide.

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The 2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide magazine is out on newsstands now (and check out the digital version), and we’re giving you a sneak peek right here. Check out the saddles section from the guide below and check back to Triathlete.com for more Buyer’s Guide content.

Dash Stage 9

$465, Dashcycles.com
The draw: Ideal for men with aggressive fits

If the unique shape and extremely light weight of the Stage 9 don’t strike you, then the high price tag certainly will. Men found this saddle to be more comfortable than did women. This saddle is at home on a tri bike—it will not work well with an upright road position. The saddle is firm, it allows for a forward pelvic tilt and the rails provide a good amount of adjustability. The saddle is available in three widths, custom colors and with customized amounts of padding. Dash offers a demo program that’s worth checking out if you’re considering this pricy saddle.

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Cobb Gen 2

$200, Cobbcycling.com
The draw: Suits upright aero fits

According to saddle mastermind John Cobb, this saddle is best for road riders or triathletes who do not ride in a very aggressive position. Our testing has shown this to be true: If you are a nose rider, this saddle is likely not for you. It supports the sit bones very well without undue perineal pressure, and it seems to encourage riding with good posture. The rails allow for a lot of fore-aft adjustability, and the saddle comes with a proprietary water bottle mount, which secures better than most other systems.

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Bontrager Hilo RXL

$180, Bontrager.com
The draw: Versatile comfort

Bontrager has created a special saddle with the Hilo RXL. Both male and female riders found it comfortable while riding on the nose and when sitting upright. No saddle works perfectly for everyone, but you can expect to see more of these in the transition area. The saddle rails are of average length for decent adjustability, and there is a small transition rack hook at the rear of the saddle. This saddle has a big brother named the Hilo RXL Speed Dial, featuring an adjustable-width nose that tailors the saddle’s tip.

RELATED – Interbike 2012: Custom Saddle Fit

Fizik Arione Donna Versus

$159, Fizik.com
The draw: Best for a road bike

Two notable changes separate the Arione Donna Versus from Fizik’s popular Arione saddle. It is wider in the rear to accommodate a woman’s wider sit bones and has a shallow indentation down the middle to reduce pressure. Our testers found this saddle to be more comfortable when riding in an upright road position. In the aero position, the pressure relief groove wasn’t as effective. While this saddle is technically “for women only,” testers found that it can also be a comfortable saddle for men who like the Fizik Arione but are looking for more pelvic stability.

ISM Adamo Attack

$250, Ismseat.com
The draw: Same pressure relief, less hamstring rub

The latest refinement to the ISM’s extremely popular Adamo saddle features a narrower rear section for better hamstring clearance and a longer central pressure relief channel. Both changes allow the rider to make better use of the whole seat while in aero and sitting upright. A few longtime Adamo users preferred this saddle to the original. As with all ISM saddles, this one features very long rails, which allow a lot of adjustability.

RELATED: 2013’s Ultimate Tri Gear

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