Over the last few years, I've ridden a few saddles lots of miles. As my riding style has changed, so have my saddle choices. Fortunately, after the first one, it's all been good.
First on my list is the women's Avocet O2 Air 40 anatomic saddle. Avocet has been in business since 1977.
It's a great saddle with a ThicThin anatomic shell for all-day comfort, Durable leather cover and protective bumpers, ShortRail system for support and strength, with racing, men's, and women's models. Women use it for some pretty aggressive riding as well. It has just the right amount of cushioning in the right spots. It provides a good platform for the proper positioning of your sit bones and alleviates pressure in the front on those tender bits and pieces. It also comes with either titanium or cro-moly rails. There is also a kevlar model with ti rails for aggressive off-road riding or just color-coordinating with your road bike with seven color choices. The MSRP ranges from about $45 - $75.
I put in a number of days exceeding 100 miles and lived to ride the next day! Over thousands of miles, I literally wore out the cover!
I replaced it with the Fi'zi:k Vitesse saddle with ti rails, which retails for $90 - $100. It has a 74mm titanium high frame for extended range of adjustment and improved flexibility. It's a fairly narrow, hard saddle with a shortened nose for women, and it weighs in at 230 grams. The foam, gel and carbon-reinforced shell, and a high back offer a great seat with flexibility. And, then there's the Twin Tech Ti model. Depending on the model and rail material, the MSRP is $59 - $116.95.
I am again at that point where the cover is on its last legs after many miles. Love this saddle.
Last winter, though, after hours on the trainer, I was experiencing some very real crotch fatigue and went in search of relief. I checked out Fi'zi:k's site. Hmmm, a little short on info, but clearly posted contact information. Within five days of sending an e-mail to Italy, the FedEx man was at my door with a crispy, crunchy brand-new Chrono to try out. It's got a little more padding, a little flatter platform, a 1-inch-shorter nose than the Vitesse, and is contoured front to back to relieve pressure. It also came in a snappy black-and-white cover with nose and shoulder guards. Definitely relieved the problem. It has a gauge on one rail to make switching from one bike to another simple and maintain the same position. And, it's definitely a saddle that you'll want to use for different riding styles and situations. The MSRP is $59.95 - $70.95.
Fi'zi:k's new Aliante, coming out in November and already on back order, is the perfect combination of lightness and comfort. It's a 100% Italian handmade carbon fiber saddle with revolutionary twin flex carbon fiber shell, 85mm carbon rail reinforced with a tubular aluminum grooved wrap, and a kevlar mesh reinforcement underneath for maximum flexibility. They're claiming it's also the lightest saddle out there, weighing in at 160 grams. It is available with scuff guards.
I'm told that if you are already a fan of the Vitesse, you will definitely be jonesin' for this saddle with a much lower profile due to the rail placement. The bad news is that the MSRP is around $180 if you can even find it.
With all the times GirlGroove has talked about Wylder's bikes and components, you might be beginning to think that we actually have a financial interest in the company! Let me say now, unequivocally, that that is the farthest thing from the truth!
However, it is a chick-owned company making very high-quality products especially for women and we are always 100% supportive of that. And, their stuff is great!
That being said, we love the Juliana saddle for knobby and skinny tire riding. At first inspection, it seems wider and squooshier than what you'd think would be comfortable over the long haul. Not true! The high quality leather saddle cover is stretched over a variable foam density core that isolates trail and road shock. Cro-moly rails will set you back $80 while ti rails come in at $100. Well worth the price!
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