The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family, look back on the year's accomplishments, and give thanks for everything we have. But they're also an excellent excuse to stock up on triathlon gear for next season! Obviously, we're partial to our own Switch Aero System, but in this 12-part series we'll highlight and recommend some of the best triathlon gear that will get you to the finish line faster in your next race.
So, what's the deal with saddles for triathlon? In order to cut minutes off the bike leg, you need to put in hours on the saddle. And to survive those hours, you need to find a saddle that is comfortable for your body shape and riding position.
Because of the importance of aerodynamics in triathlon, the typical riding position involves a lowered torso, which causes your hips to rotate forwards relative to a normal road riding position. This leads some triathletes to prefer a "out-on-the-nose" position when riding in aero.
What to look for in a saddle for triathlon:
Saddle width: People come in different sizes, and so do saddles. A saddle that is too wide or too narrow will end up putting pressure on soft tissues and ultimately lead to discomfort on a long ride. Finding the right fit for you is usually a matter of playing Goldilocks; trying out multiple options until the you find the one that's just right.
Saddle shape: If you're changing between an aero and a road position on the same bike, you may want to look for a saddle that has a longer constant width section giving you some ability to move fore-aft between the two positions.
Personal fit: With saddles, it really comes down to a question of personal preference. Your teammate's "perfect" saddle may feel like sitting on a pair of deer antlers to you. Luckily, some companies, like Cobb and Adamo offer try-before-you-buy programs that allow you to return a saddle if it's not the one for you. Redshift is similar, in case you did not know, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee.
One important note - replacing your saddle is not just a matter of taking the old one off and installing the new one. Different designs will have different height/tilt and fore-aft position relative to the rails which could significantly affect your fit. As with all bicycle products related to fit, we recommend that you work with your local bike shop to find the best fit for your needs.
Adamo Podium - ISM's nose-less saddles are designed to move the pressure off your soft tissue and onto your sit bones. They're a totally different breed of saddle and will require some getting used to, but they have plenty of adamant fans.
Cobb Plus - It's maybe not the most attractive looking saddle, but the Cobb's Plus is one of their most popular. It's a bit less wide than the Adamo line-up and appeals to a broad range of cyclists.
The Bontrager Hilo RXL Speed Dial- A unique offering that allows you to adjust the width of the nose by up to 16mm to dial in that Goldilocks fit.
The Specialized Sitero - Designed for the triathlete, the Sitero offers an integrated hook for a rear bottlecage and easy racking in transition.