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Saddle Quest

Old 12-03-22, 11:56 AM
  #1  
MattyWillPDX
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Saddle Quest

Hi,
I'm currently building up a new bike packing set up and I'm looking at saddles. Right now I'm looking at a stupid expensive french made leather saddle with Titanium rails. Been coveting one of them for years and it may be finally time. I hear a lot of folks out there speak of the comfort of Titanium rails and I'm skeptical. My bike will be steel and my seat post aluminum. Do the metals below the saddle itself cancel the dampening effects or is it just whats immediately under my butt? Can anyone out there explain the science of it? There is some minor weight savings with the titanium but not sure if it justifies the cost over the stainless steel model. I'd also be interested in any composite opinions or saddle suggestions. I've ridden with mostly Brooks B17 and also Cambium. I'm also pretty fussy about aesthetics, so keep that in mind, however if there is just some crazy good saddle out there that isn't a show stopper looks wise I'd still like to hear about it.
Cheers
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Old 12-03-22, 06:15 PM
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It's a saddle rail- they will be stiff regardless of material used. TI rails are just a touch lighter. Get em if you want to pay more for the weight savings.

Everyone is different, which is why there are like 400 different shades on the market. What works for me will be an asshatchet for someone else. Or vice versa.
I like C17 saddles, but even with Cambiums there are 4 different sizes for good reason so my size may annoy others.

Get a French leather saddle if the shape seems like it'll work.
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Old 12-04-22, 06:15 AM
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I think the leather is going to give you more dampening than Ti rails

If by French saddle you池e talking Berthoud keep in mind their shape is very different from Brooks and Ideal
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Old 12-04-22, 06:18 AM
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Jusy get one That FITS your Butt.
My test ssi a 100 Mile Ride.
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 12-04-22 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:43 AM
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brooks sells a replacement set of hollow rails for the C17 that shaves 75 grams total game changer...
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Old 12-04-22, 11:00 AM
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It is the Gilles Berthoud Aravis. People swear by them like the B17. The price is the only thing holding me back. Some forums had mentioned that titanium rail flex more than stainless which provide rough road dampening and I was curious if that was truly appreciable?
I知 on a used Selle Anatomica right now and it痴 comfortable but annoying while in the saddle climbing, as the front is free to rotate. Maybe to prevent getting something super uncomfortable I値l look for a used one?
Ive also read the SQ Lab MTB S Tube Saddle works well and is lightweight. Anyone use that one?
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Old 12-04-22, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MattyWillPDX View Post
. Some forums had mentioned that titanium rail flex more than stainless which provide rough road dampening and I was curious if that was truly appreciable?
My butt may just not be as sensitive to the subtle improvements of a TI rail vs steel rail.
...or, like with many products in cycling, there is some heavy confirmation bias going on when it's claimed some short rigid saddle rails are providing noticeable damping. Like, how is that even rested in the real world? Nobody is riding a 10mi gravel loop and then immediately swapping the saddle for the same one with different rails and noting the difference in real time as the course is completed.
I'm sure a lab could test vibration reduction, but we all know what happens in a lab is often immaterial to what's experienced out on roads.

Saying a TI rail is better at vibration damping sounds like people who just claim 'steel is real' when discussing comfort, without even acknowledging the reality that frame geometry plays a huge role in comfort and feel.
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Old 12-04-22, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MattyWillPDX View Post
It is the Gilles Berthoud Aravis. People swear by them like the B17. The price is the only thing holding me back. Some forums had mentioned that titanium rail flex more than stainless which provide rough road dampening and I was curious if that was truly appreciable?
I知 on a used Selle Anatomica right now and it痴 comfortable but annoying while in the saddle climbing, as the front is free to rotate. Maybe to prevent getting something super uncomfortable I値l look for a used one?
Ive also read the SQ Lab MTB S Tube Saddle works well and is lightweight. Anyone use that one?
If you're not stuck on the B17 shape the Berthoud might be the answer. The nose is thinner than the Brooks but that leads to a more exaggerated flare which isn't pretty but my rear and junk appreciates the difference.

I don't think you're going to go wrong ordering one but it's an expensive gamble





Last edited by Germany_chris; 12-04-22 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 12-10-22, 10:46 PM
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Earlier in the year I pulled the trigger on the narrower Berthoud saddle. I could not get comfortable on it and sold it. I had previously ridden/tried B17 (for years), Cambium, though was recently riding 'plastic' saddles with padding. The Berthoud was nothing like the Brooks. I now have a Brooks Professional that I like, but not more than my other saddles. But I'm not selling it. This is all to say that you may not like the 'expensive' saddle you covet, and Ti rails won't make a saddle you don't like, a winner. So it's a gamble! Good luck.
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Old 12-10-22, 10:50 PM
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Germany_chris Is that a new Surly in your line-up? How are you liking the carbon fork on one of your CC's? Also, just because I'm curious re: fit, what size frame are your CC's and how tall are you? I'm 5'11, ride a 56cm, and I'm using about as many spacers under the stem as you, and I'm using a 80mm stem with a Zipp handlebar that has 80mm reach. I feel like I'm fighting the fit of the CC more than is ideal. Thanks!
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Old 12-11-22, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
Germany_chris Is that a new Surly in your line-up? How are you liking the carbon fork on one of your CC's? Also, just because I'm curious re: fit, what size frame are your CC's and how tall are you? I'm 5'11, ride a 56cm, and I'm using about as many spacers under the stem as you, and I'm using a 80mm stem with a Zipp handlebar that has 80mm reach. I feel like I'm fighting the fit of the CC more than is ideal. Thanks!
I知 62 w/ a 31 inseam, all the bikes have Redshift Kitchen Sink bars. The Cross Checks are 58cm both with a 110mm stem, the KM has an 80mm. The carbon fork CC has 50mm of spacers the steel fork has 40mm
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