I’ve written about this before but I suffer in the saddle. I’m not talking about climbing, racing, trialing and so on, I’m talking about saddle discomfort. There’s something about almost every saddle I’ve tried that leaves me with some pain, numbness and general discomfort… until now. It took me a while to try one of these saddles, possibly because (at least in my circles) there is a little bit of negative stigma attached to this brand – it’s got a rather incorrect reputation as being saddles for women.
When I first tried an ISM Adamo saddle I hated it. It was an odd feeling having my weight spread into different areas of my under carriage and it was a little uncomfortable. But I persevered for a bit knowing that the likely cause was simply because I wasn’t used to it. I’m very glad I didn’t give up. Worryingly I am one of those people who incorrectly and dangerously put myself through saddle pain just to enjoy cycling. Some pain is good – saddle pain is not and numbness can be an indicator of larger problems – gents will regret it later in life! After my first ride on an Adamo I noticed that the numbness I had previously suffered was gone. Score one for ISM.
ISM have an Adamo saddle for every occasion and their website has a very useful saddle selector to help you chose which is right for you. Hopefully once you know which ones you should be looking for your LBS (local bike shop) can lend you their tester. I lucked out big time with mine when my LBS went out of business (sorry guys!) and I picked up the Road model for a discounted price. I had started with the Podium version which was good but seemed slightly bigger in comparison. The Road model also allowed me added set-back which was an almost instant cure to some lower back pain I’d also been getting on long rides on my Boardman.
I also recently got a new time trial bike, and yes I got an ISM too. If I’m honest I think the amount of saddles ISM do is a little confusing (14 on their selector). The biggest problem is testing them all. My LBS (before shutting) didn’t have them all and never had their tester in. I found a site online that allowed you to test them via post. Great idea but sadly after I returned the first one to try another I got a rather awkward email and no further correspondence. Almost as if they expect you to buy the first one you try. Not the greatest business model nor does it do the brand any favours.
Moving on though if you’re one of these people who like to know the science behind things take a few minutes to check out their website and you’ll find large amount of studies that back ISM’s case. Check out forums and the overall opinion is a positive one. But don’t be one of those people who don’t buy before you try. If your LBS can’t give you a tester find a new shop who can lend you a saddle. The last thing you want to do is shell out anything between £75.00 and £150.00 on something you won’t be able to get used too.
And yes I got lucky you might have to try more than I did but what have you got to lose; apart from saddle pain and discomfort. The fact that most time trial bikes seem to come with these saddles as standard speaks volumes for them and I think there will definitely be more riders’ converting to using them on road bikes with time.
And finally even if it isn’t an ISM saddle you end up buying don’t suffer in silence, make a change that you (and probably your partner!) will appreciate.