Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Directly above the center of the earth
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Specialized Alias review by a Clydesdale
I bought a Specialized Alias saddle that fit my physique, mounted it on my Kona Dew Deluxe, and did about 30 miles today. First impressions are as follows:
The "Alias" is very similar in concept and execution to the Fizik Dolomiti that I tried a while back. The design is indended to focus the rider's weight on the sit bones exclusively. The center of the saddle has a perenial cutout to alleviate pressure there. You can actually look down through the perenial cutout and see the seat post head underneath! The saddle tapers to the nose more gradually than the Fizik, but the taper is fairly slippery and neither chafes nor prevents fore-aft motion while riding.
The pads where the sit bones go are only lightly padded. Perhaps lighter riders can stand the sit bone force for a longer time, but (like the Fizik) I found my sit bones feeling sore and bruised after about 30 to 45 minutes of riding. The Alias is not a "cheek support" type saddle.
The Alias (again, like the Fizik) was extremely successful at preventing perenial irritation. The center cutout and the sit-bone perch combine to put all pressure on the sit bones and none on the perenium.
If I were 60 pounds lighter, I think I'd really like this saddle (and, probably the Fizik too!). At my current 260# weight, however, the padding of the Specialized Milano is advantageous. The Milano, incidentally, is designed like the Alias, but with padding on top.
The Specialized Alias is a relatively expensive saddle (going for up to $75 used on e-Bay). It also comes in three different sizes to accommodate various sit-bone widths. Specialized dealers have a "memory foam" board upon which customers can sit. The imprint in the foam left by the customer's sit bones is then measured. The distance between bones determines which Specialized Alias width is recommended. If you're using the dealer's measuring apparatus, obviously, courtesy dictates that you purchase the saddle from the dealer. My dealer often has used saddles to choose from.
The Alias is a light weight saddle, but didn't protest when I sat on it. That tells me that the saddle (probably) has a fair margin of safety built in despite the light weight. This is speculation on my part, as I have no scientific means to measure the saddle's strength.
I plan to hold on to both my Specialized Alias and my Fizik for future use. I believe that as I lose weight, the saddles will become comfortable for longer periods of riding. As for now, however, the Specialized Milano is still my top choice. The design is good and the padding makes longer periods in the saddle possible without bruising or soreness. For perenial comfort, though, the Alias and the Fizik are tops!