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Old 03-02-08, 05:19 PM   #1
shmulb
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First ride with my new Allay Air saddle

Today I had my first real ride with the Allay air saddle. http://www.allaysaddles.com/line/racingsport.htm
My first try for a few miles yesterday did no leave me too impressed. Today I did 25 miles after moving the saddle about 1cm further back.
The front part with the bladder definitely seems to work as advertised. I definitely felt less "squashed " than normal. The back is much harder than the Terry Fly Gel I was used to. It took a while and during the ride I felt better as time went on. After the ride my "recovery" seemed to be much quicker.
I,me not convinced yet, but also not sending it back either.

Last edited by shmulb; 03-03-08 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 03-02-08, 08:38 PM   #2
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That is an interesting saddle. Please let us know how it works out for you after you have ridden on it some more.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shmulb View Post
After the ride my "recovery" seemed to be much quicker.
What's "recovery"? I never even notice I've been riding on my Fizik Arionne.

I've looked at the ad's for your saddle and thought it looked interesting, if a bit over-engineered.

Please continue to post your observations. Also, how much do you usually ride in a week?
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Old 03-16-08, 09:02 PM   #4
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Saw them on scambay and wanted to know more before contributing more $ to my saddle testing fund.

How do you determine which size to choose? Never seen one in an LBS and I guess they have a butt-o-meter similar to Specialized. Can you give some idea of how this saddle compares to others you have ridden?

Update requested.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:39 PM   #5
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Hi, coincidentally, one of my colleagues gave me an Allay to try as a sample. I put it on my commuting bike and so far have about 40 miles on it (my regular saddle on that bike is a very nicely worn in 26-year-old Brooks Professional).

My first impression is quite positive. It's really comfortable. And the middle of the saddle has no pressure to it at all...my old saddle really wasn't bothering me but riding with no pressure at all is actually a nice change.

I did tilt the nose up a bit, as recommended in the literature, but after a 2nd ride I tilted it up even more.

About the only downsides I can think of are:
1. I think you have to be a bit more comfortable w/the saddle positioning than on a Brooks. I find that on the Brooks I can slide around a bit and try different positions during a ride...it seems to me that on the Allay there is one optimal place to ride; it's super-comfortable, but you gotta stay there.

2. The traditionalist in me still says it's a little gimmicky. The air bladders/air cushions seem like "moving parts" to me that will eventually wear out. I guess any saddle will wear out, but I do wonder about longevity.

In any case -- after years of riding a Brooks -- I've been trying several different saddles lately...I think this saddle (so far) seems worth checking out.

I'll check in w/an update after more riding.

EDIT: I think I have a slightly different model than the one the OP mentioned. The one I am testing is the Allay Sport 1.1.;
http://www.allaysaddles.com/line/sport.htm

(BTW, on one of my other bikes, I'm about 200 miles into a new Selle-Anatomica. It's quite nice, but 3x more expensive than the Allay).

Last edited by BengeBoy; 03-17-08 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 03-17-08, 04:51 AM   #6
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I rode my original saddle for about two years, what came on my Trek. I went thru the same sort of issues that apparently everyone does. I just put up with the issues. Recently I purchased, with reluctance, a SMP saddle. Same as you, the first ride, I had mixed opinions. I have about three hundred miles on it now and what a differance. The new seat has completly eliminated going numb, moving forward on the seat, and associated pains. This seat is the best thing I have done to the bike!

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Old 03-17-08, 10:40 AM   #7
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I've got about 100 miles on my Allay, but I'm reserving judgement until I play with setup some more and put another couple of hundred miles on it. I was hoping for instant gratification with this saddle, but as it says over there to the left, I should know better. My general impressions are favorable, but we'll see if those are borne out by pesky reality. For those just starting to experiment with the fit of various components, take it from me--measured and methodical is the way to go, unless of course you're troubled by vast amounts of extra money lying around that needs to be spent on bike stuff.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:54 AM   #8
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I have had another hour on the saddle, as the previous poster mentioned I have the "Sport/Racing" model. I did not measure but just based on my size I got the medium size. I am getting used to it, as BengeBoy mentioned, there is definitely a small "sweet spot". The main problem I had this time out was an irritating "creaking" sound, but I may have not had my seatpost / saddle attachment tightened enough. The front end though is still comfortable. I keep my saddle flat with almost no tilt. So the jury is still out for me.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:07 PM   #9
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If you want your measurement find an LBS that sells Specialized saddles. They generally have pad you sit on that deforms for your sit bones and then you can measure the distance. Specialized provides this for their BG saddles.
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Old 03-18-08, 10:00 AM   #10
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Put another 20 on the Allay (mine's the Racing Ti small) yesterday after moving it back by 2 cm--major difference! If you're riding an Allay and the sitbone area feels underpadded, try moving the saddle back--really did the trick in my case. Figured out toward the end of the ride that I needed to lower it by a cm, so with any luck today's ride will be even better. The effect of the air bladder was also much more pronounced in the new improved position, BTW.

Last edited by Long deKlein; 03-18-08 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-18-08, 11:02 AM   #11
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So just how does this air bladder thing work? I mean what part of the saddle is "air adjustable" ? The other thing is if you are in a sudden stop or something would the front part support your body weight, if only temporarly.

I am always interested in new stuff but the feild is littered with the next best thing that did not really work, especially saddles.
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Old 03-18-08, 11:11 AM   #12
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So just how does this air bladder thing work? I mean what part of the saddle is "air adjustable" ? The other thing is if you are in a sudden stop or something would the front part support your body weight, if only temporarly.

I am always interested in new stuff but the feild is littered with the next best thing that did not really work, especially saddles.
There's an air bladder under the back part of the seat (under your sit bones). There's another long, thin air bladder that runs up the middle of the saddle. Just think of the air bladder as a replacement for the cushioning that would normally be in a cushioned saddle. No problem w/sudden stops.
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Old 03-18-08, 11:46 AM   #13
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If you want your measurement find an LBS that sells Specialized saddles. They generally have pad you sit on that deforms for your sit bones and then you can measure the distance. Specialized provides this for their BG saddles.
Most Trek company stores now offer this too. I've seen the "fitting pad" at two of them.
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Old 03-20-08, 09:52 PM   #14
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2. The traditionalist in me still says it's a little gimmicky. The air bladders/air cushions seem like "moving parts" to me that will eventually wear out. I guess any saddle will wear out, but I do wonder about longevity.
Bad news. My seat started "squeaking" after about 50 miles. I've done another 30 miles and the squeaking comes and goes...I just figured out where it's coming from; there is some wiggle room between the metal seat rails and the plastic shell of the seat.

Not good. I'm doing one more commute w/the seat tomorrow and if it doesn't miraculously heal itself the saddle is coming off the bike.

BTW, the saddle is still quite comfortable. The model I have is less than $50, and it's much more comfortable than any stock saddle I've tried. It does require careful fit, but feels good once well adjusted.
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Old 03-27-08, 02:17 PM   #15
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I have done 2 more 20 mile rides. Dropped the post a few millimeters and found the comfort increased. For now I am keeping the saddle, at least until I can get some longer rides in. The squeaks seem to have gone for now. The front of the saddle is definitely comfortable.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:06 PM   #16
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i'm also trying this saddle out.
i'll admit, on first try, it wasn't very comfortable. like many have said, i needed to adjust it quite a bit to be able to find a comfortable position. right now it's pretty comfortable, but i wonder if it can any more comfortable.

on the instructions it says to move it forward a bit, but i read that people are finding more comfort when they scoot the seat back a bit. also, i have the air sac close to deflated.

i guess i'm still in testing phase. so far so good. but this is only my second saddle EVER.
i'm sure this isn't the end...
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Old 08-19-08, 01:43 PM   #17
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I have the notion that the saddle and shorts have to be taken into consideration together, not as separate.

Most of this Allay is about blood flow, fit, and reduction of pain. It doesn't address the shorts. Suppose you would change the shorts from Pearl Izumi to Assos? What happens then?

Or does Allay make some kind of claim that a rider can ride without padding? What happens during a hot day and a two hour ride? Friction and heat and sweat.
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Old 08-19-08, 02:38 PM   #18
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I put about a thousand miles on my Racing 1.1 (actually, 2 of them--first one creaked as mentioned above and was replaced by Topeak's most excellent customer service). Saddles, like all fit-related components (and for that matter, clothing), are a very individual thing. The only information that's really useful in someone else's review, IMO, relates to quality of construction and manufacturer support. Comfort is something you just have to judge for yourself--although I'm sure having input from a good bike fitter would cut the amount of experimentation required to find your perfect saddle. For me, the Allay just isn't quite right--although the inflatable bladder does make it somewhat more versatile than most saddles. My Neuvation S3 should be here any day. As Bullwinkle J. Moose used to say, "This time, for sure!".
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Old 08-19-08, 02:59 PM   #19
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I have done 2 more 20 mile rides. Dropped the post a few millimeters and found the comfort increased. For now I am keeping the saddle, at least until I can get some longer rides in. The squeaks seem to have gone for now. The front of the saddle is definitely comfortable.
Take her for a 75 - 100 mile ride with a report.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:23 PM   #20
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wasn't the "J" was Rocky's middle initial? as in Rocket Jet Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose....

be well,

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Old 08-19-08, 06:04 PM   #21
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wasn't the "J" was Rocky's middle initial? as in Rocket Jet Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose....
Are you suggesting that my memory is less than photographic? Why, I oughta......wait, what was I talking about?
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Old 08-29-08, 12:43 PM   #22
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I just picked up the Racing Sport 1.1 in medium width. Put it on during my lunch break (working from home has its benefits) and plan to do a short (5-10 mile) break-in ride after work. Hoping to do at least a 30 mile ride with it this weekend, too.

So far the saddle looks a little strange, with it's nose being significantly longer than the previous saddle that came with my OCR-A1 (Selle Royal Viper), but it seems fairly well built and reasonably light. I like the built-in click for my Topeak wedge back, so that was a plus. I followed their mounting instructions (moved the seat post down 10 mm, the seat forward 10 mm, and titled it back a couple degrees). I'm not sure about the tilt, but I'm bringing my allen wrench on my next few rides, just in case.

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Old 09-02-08, 08:33 AM   #23
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Did two rides with my Racing Sport 1.1 this weekend. Saturday was an easy paced 20 mile ride around the coast in Kennebunkport, ME. The saddle was pretty comfortable, and I noticed no numbness or tingling in the important bits.

On Monday morning I did a moderate to fast (I'm still pretty new to cycling) 35 mile ride in just over 2 hours. The boys did just fine, but my legs felt like there was some circulation problems because of where the saddle falls. Perhaps it's just me getting used to the different saddle position? Maybe some additional tweaking of the saddle is needed? I moved around a bit every 20 minutes or so and stayed fairly comfortable for the whole ride. I'm not too sore today, either.

Anyway, after 55 miles on it this weekend, I'd rate the saddle as promising. I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but it's staying on my bike for now. I plan to to get another 30 or 40 miles in this weekend, so we'll see what happens...

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Old 09-03-08, 06:25 AM   #24
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I now have well over 2000 miles on mine. Including 5 days of Bike Virginia with up to 65 miles of significant hills on some days. I also commute 25 miles round trip about 3 days a week.
I am very happy with the saddle and currently have no plans to change it. As I posted before I did need to fiddle about quite a bit to get it right.
The only strange thing I notice is that around the 10th mile I start feeling a little discomfort for about 3 or 4 miles, then it settles down and I finish 50 -60 miles with no problems.
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Old 02-15-09, 08:04 PM   #25
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My thanks to all who contributed to this thread, you've aided my desicion making process considerably. I purchased an Allay Sport 1.1 last week and did my first couple of rides over the weekend with no discomfort at all. Sure, this perch is unconventional and a little bit precious with regard to exact adjustment, but I felt no discomfort at all during or after my rides, which was the main aim. Mission accomplished.

The Sport model also has shock absorbing rail springs which have helped me infinitely on Australia's modest roads.

Thanks again.
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