Cycling sacrilege is right! But let me go back a bit, to bring this home correctly. You know me, I don’t do much half-assed…
Five months ago, a friend gave me a Selle Italia carbon saddle. It’s ridiculously, outrageously light. It also required a special saddle collar to fit on my Venge so I tried it on my Trek first, just to see what I thought until the proper collar I ordered for the Venge came in. The saddle was magic on the Trek. It was so perfect, I almost cancelled the collar and left the saddle on the Trek. But I had to try it on the Venge. I had to. After all, an ultra-light saddle would perfectly round out that spectacular bike (it also took the bike from the high 15 pound range to the mid-15’s).
Well, a month(ish) into that experiment and I didn’t like the result. Most of my problems are likely due to fit, but I’ve adjusted the saddles and I just can’t quite get to the bottom of the issue… if you know what I mean. The saddle on my 5200 was spectacular. On the Venge, it was a little closer to “meh”.
Over the last month, as I’ve started ramping up the miles, I just couldn’t get the Selle Italia saddle to a position I liked as much as I had on the Trek. I hemmed and hawed for at least two weeks about switching them back. Then, with my second big tour of the year looming, I decided to switch them back – against every weight weenie fiber in my body. Unfortunately, a flared up hip made the decision a little easier. After changes are made, sometimes it takes a good bit of miles to really evaluate the change. I really started feeling the pain last week, maybe two weeks ago, butt in hindsight only. With two hundred mile days in a row looming, I had to change something before that sore hip became an actual injury.
And just like that…
My first ride after having swapped saddles was a big one – go big or go home (or both in this case). Typically, it’s
a little stupid not adviseable to swap out a saddle and head out for a big mile ride, but if you’ve read this blog for very long, you know me; overconfident in my mechanical abilities, and often lucky enough to be right (or at least close enough for government work).
Last week, my Garmin died toward the end of a 65 mile ride so I had my buddy, Chuck add me in to his for Strava. He finished that ride with 71 miles, though, so I had some penance miles to make up. Well, I got four of those done on Tuesday night but I still had two left, so I decided to make them up checking my saddle position yesterday morning before our ride. It felt great so I rolled with it.
Fourteen miles into the real ride and I knew I’d missed the mark, but just barely. At our first stop, because I was smart enough to bring an Allen wrench with me, I lowered the saddle by a millimeter. And there it stayed for the remaining 64 miles. Amazingly, the saddle felt like butter – much better than it did on the Venge. I have no idea what gives, but I really don’t care at this point. My hip soreness even let up after 20 miles.
My 1999 Trek 5200 is now down to the low 18 pound range and My Venge is still technically a 15 pound bike – and both bikes are now wildly comfortable. I made the light bike heavier and the heavier bike lighter…
Sometimes you have to go to any length for things to work out right in the universe – or buttiverse as it is in this case. My heinie is happier… and I’ll stop there, before going over the line – or down the crack. In this case, even though that badass (there I go again) Selle Italia saddle belongs on the race bike, it just doesn’t work. No sense in trying to stick with it till I was injured.
And incidentally, with the Specialized Romin saddle back on the Venge, the good bike is vastly more comfortable as well. I did two more penance miles on the Venge to make sure I’d gotten that one right as well. I can live with an extra 110 grams (a quarter-pound) for a peppier posterior.