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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 05-02-07, 08:20 PM   #1
jpearl
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cyclocross-proof saddles

So as I embark on lightening up my Cannondale CX, one of the areas I'm focusing on is the saddle, which is the stock Fizik Poggio, which is heavy and not so comfotable. While there are many light and minimalists, yet comfy saddles out there, there is one concern I have.

I was watching a CX race and saw one rider finish with the railings of his saddle, but no saddle shell. He told me that in all of the mounting and dismounting, and generally bumping around during the race, his saddle had broken off, and that "road saddles" clearly had no place on a CX race bike.

So my question in this:
Can a minimalist saddle like a Flite or Arione stand up to the rigors of cyclocross and cyclocross racing, or am I better and safer off with a sturdier saddle by somebody like WTB. I've been checking out some of thier saddles, and even though many of them are minimalist and light, they still look tough with features like scuff guards on the sides of the saddles in addition the WTB's general MTB background.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:56 AM   #2
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I've been running a Specialized BG Comp, it's been rugged and comfy. Spec and WTB pretty much keep my saddle business, both companies seem to fit me well. I like a flattish platform saddle preferably with a groove down the middle.

Unfortunately no two people ever seem to like the same saddles so it's hard to recommend anything.

Ron
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Old 05-03-07, 02:31 PM   #3
i_r_beej
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpearl
his saddle had broken off, and that "road saddles" clearly had no place on a CX race bike.

So my question in this:
Can a minimalist saddle like a Flite or Arione stand up to the rigors of cyclocross and cyclocross racing, or am I better and safer off with a sturdier saddle by somebody like WTB.

Yeah-- it seems that many "road" saddles take any weight-saving measure available. Thus durability suffers. So i'd stick with something stronger.

You can also experiment by removing the padding of a sturdy saddle-- presto! Light (-ish) AND strong!

But i've seen "MTB saddles" disassemble themselves. *shrug*.

Bottom line? Just avoid saddles targeted to "gram counters".
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Old 05-07-07, 05:07 PM   #4
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i used an old fizik airione last season on my cross bike and it held up fine, and looking around at the start line it seemed like most people did the same thing i did: took whatever old saddle they used to have on their road or mtb bikes and used it 'til it broke.
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Old 05-09-07, 10:52 AM   #5
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I did ~20 races last season on a Fizik Aliante SPORT -- the ones with the plastic shell that you can get on eBay for like $40. EOM on some bikes. I wanted the Aliante because that's what I ride on the road but I'm not too worried about a few extra grams. It held up very well.
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Old 05-09-07, 11:31 AM   #6
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I bet you couldn't kill a Brooks.
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Old 05-09-07, 12:11 PM   #7
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Avoid carbon rails at all cost. Cromoly is probably best. I used a Flite w/ Ti rails last year and had no problems. My pit bike has a WTB. It really depends on how much finesse you have mounting. But there is always that one real bad sloppy mount that can tweak a saddle.
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Old 05-09-07, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
I bet you couldn't kill a Brooks.
In cyclocross? Unless the 'cross action is happening in a dry climate like the Southwest of the USA (and thus can't really be called cyclocross), then I wouldn't bet too much.

Brooks saddles are supposed to be protected from exposure to rain by a cover.
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Old 05-09-07, 03:55 PM   #9
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I thought Ti absorbed shock better than chromo, and the rails would be less likely to snap.
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Old 05-09-07, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_r_beej
In cyclocross? Unless the 'cross action is happening in a dry climate like the Southwest of the USA (and thus can't really be called cyclocross), then I wouldn't bet too much.

Brooks saddles are supposed to be protected from exposure to rain by a cover.
Well, with steady use of Proofhide I think it would be fairly well protected.

As far as regular saddles go, just suck it up and get the SLR XP (or Flite or whatever) and when it shreds, rip the cover off and replace it with fabric from a Good Will find (get your hot glue/staple on, etc.).
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Old 05-09-07, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
I bet you couldn't kill a Brooks.
thats where you are wrong my friend... too much sleet and my brooks came out looking like a hammock(sp), it never held tension after that.

I've destroyed 2 brooks in different races, it didn't help that one of them was an 8 hour ally cat in a snow storm.
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Old 05-11-07, 10:35 PM   #12
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I use an arione on all of my bikes (road, track, MTB, cross) and have never had a problem with it. I know one guy who has been using the same arione on his 'cross bike for years, racing just about every race that comes through these parts.
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Old 05-12-07, 06:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garagegirl
I thought Ti absorbed shock better than chromo, and the rails would be less likely to snap.

Ti rails are not as strong as the steel alloys for parts made to the same dimensions. They are certainly more prone to breakage as a saddle rail.
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Old 05-14-07, 07:53 AM   #14
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FYI, I run a Specialized Toupe (The standard non-padded, Ti rail one) on my cross bike and have zero issues with it. It is just about as minimalist as it gets..... but it is also flexible.... so when it takes a hit, it bends and absorbs the shock. Heck, I run one on my MTB and haven't broken one yet.
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Old 05-15-07, 02:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
I bet you couldn't kill a Brooks.
Even a cover won't help in wet weather. The real killer is all the water and mud from underneath. Not too many guys run fenders on cross bikes. At least racers don't. That's why I don't put a Brooks on my MTB.

Tim
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