If, like me, you are no stranger to discomfort after a prolonged period perched on your faithful steed then you will have probably tried a wide and varied range of saddles in an often unforgiving attempt to distance yourself from the common problems of ill-fitting saddles. Whether you have suffered from pain, numbness or a combination of both and more, you will be looking for something inspirational to change the “face” of saddle technology!
I have tried almost all the different brands of saddles with features ranging from cut-outs, duel noses, padded, not padded, or just standard and, although my search has yet to diminish my discomfort, I have found a saddle that I am almost entirely happy with but not so that I will part with my hard earned cash… Yet…
A brief explanation of saddle position for those who aren’t regular road cyclists, is that your contact point on the saddle is, usually, more forward and stretched out as your back position is leaning more forward. The weight that is carried through your rear is focused on your perineum area rather than traditional cycling where your body is more upright and focused more on your ‘sit bones’ – your perineum is the area between your genitals and anus, your sit bones are pretty much as described, the bones that take the weight when you sit down.
However with me, even when I’m riding on the road, and not in a Time Trial position where you are even further bent forward, I sit in a very aggressive position with my weight primarily on the tip of the saddle, the bars and the pedals. Unlike when Time Trialling, I do sit-up at times like climbing or resting and it is when this happens that I notice the main advantage of the RLt, my weight does seem more spread out on my sit bones like RIDO’s website and marketing claim.
When I first saw the RLt saddle from RIDO I was a little dubious but also very intrigued, could it really be as good as their website and reviews from some of cycling’s big name’s suggest? So I arranged to take a tester saddle for a while to try out, this is not available through their site so you need to email them direct to get it, but the whole process is very efficient and very friendly. It was dispatched almost immediately and I received it with a couple of days. Very good so far…
It comes with all the instructions and explanations you need to setup the saddle. It took no time to swap it over and get in the right position with the only thing I immediately noticed being the height of the saddle (i.e. the measurement between the rails to my bum) being slightly more than the previous saddle I had on there, so with my saddle height slightly lowered I headed out for a long ride. This ride coincided with Strava’s Gran Fondo 3 challenge, 160 km or just shy of 100 miles – a personal best distance for me.
This ride was in tough conditions, and I was on my own, but I certainly wasn’t focused on what was happening in my seated area. I wasn’t shifting my weight around as much as I have to on some saddles to relieve the discomfort, which I’m quite sure is the reason I sometimes get a sore back. It wasn’t a cure to my discomfort, certainly on my following rides of shorter distance I had moments where it felt just like any other saddle I’ve tested, but, as I stated above, I still haven’t found a saddle that cures me of my pains, but then maybe I need to toughen up, rule number five anyone…
So will I be buying it? Not at this time, I just don’t think it does enough for me and my possibly over-aggressive riding position; it is also a little bigger and heavier than I would like. Would I recommend it? Yes, what have you got to lose? The trial isn’t free but it’s realistically priced to cover their costs. The saddle itself is very reasonably priced, it comes very highly recommended (not just by me!), and the science behind the saddle seems just. Good work RIDO!
Next weeks review is about Energy Drinks, what they are, how they work, and some of my favourites! As per usual, please share this around with your friends.
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