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Old 05-28-11, 11:57 PM   #1
Northwestrider
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Selle An-Atomica

Has anyone tried the Selle An-Atomica saddle? Opinions ? In comparison to Brooks?
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Old 05-29-11, 12:01 AM   #2
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While I haven't tried one myself for any length of time, I've spent a few minutes on them, and fondled them at my LBS. They actually seem rather unlike Brooks, the leather is much softer and there is a more pronounced 'hammock effect' when riding. It's not exactly uncomfortable, but it's very different.
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Old 05-29-11, 12:21 AM   #3
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Yes, they seem different to me as well although I also have just held one at my LBS, they are pricey. OTOH supposedly there is no break in period. Has anyone ridden them as well as the Brooks?
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Old 05-29-11, 12:34 AM   #4
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I've logged a few thousand miles with a Selle An-Atomica, but only a few hundred miles with a Brooks.

FWIW, I put the Selle on my bike just a few days before the 2009 RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, ~190 miles in 2 days). I never experienced any break-in period, it was comfy from the beginning. The tension of the leather "hammock" is adjustable via an easily accessible hex screw. Other than an occasional adjustment, mine hasn't required any other maintenance.
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Old 05-29-11, 12:52 AM   #5
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You got to like the cut out.

.. they can be special ordered without.. contacting the manufacturer, direct.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-03-11 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 05-29-11, 07:12 AM   #6
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got to like the cut out.
How is your position on the bike? Do you ride with a drop between saddle and handlebars?
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Old 05-29-11, 09:41 AM   #7
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Has anyone tried the Selle An-Atomica saddle? Opinions ? In comparison to Brooks?
I find SA saddles to be very comfortable. I can ride 300K in one shot without padded shorts. There is no break in and you can get waterproof versions which are handy.

While I can ride a Brooks B17 comfortably all day they are not as comfortable as a SA saddle. Not bad - just not the same sitting on a cloud sensation.

Given the relatively low cost of a Brooks B17 I use them on my lower daily mileage bikes and save my SA saddles for bikes I use for longer distances [100K+]. The one exception is I have a SA on my MTB - don't really need it there, but it's comfy and I can get it wet so I have just left it.

SA saddles have some quirks like the tension bolt needing loctite and the saddle squeaking sometimes. These can be resolved. Back in 2008 I had a SA saddle stretch out prematurely. They sent me a new one without complaint even though I was out of warranty [new saddle that sat on my shelf for 2yrs before being used].
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Old 05-29-11, 10:11 AM   #8
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While I haven't tried one myself for any length of time, I've spent a few minutes on them, and fondled them at my LBS. They actually seem rather unlike Brooks, the leather is much softer and there is a more pronounced 'hammock effect' when riding. It's not exactly uncomfortable, but it's very different.
I owned one for a short time and concur with the above. They are incredibly comfy out of the box but due to the much softer (and thinner?) leather, I could feel the hardware under the nose of the saddle. I know this may be unfounded but I just wouldn't trust one on a long tour because of the soft leather and think it would stretch out too much. I am a clyde and that doesn't help. My 10 year old Brooks was stiffer than the new SA.
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Old 05-30-11, 09:48 PM   #9
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I used several Brooks B17s and a B17 narrow, as well as several other saddles, before getting the Selle, and for me, the Selle is the most comfortable of the lot. If you're uncomfortable in a Brooks, you might give it a try. I also appreciate the claim that it needs no special protection from the weather; but when leaving the bike out in the rain, I still put a bag on it, so I haven't tested the truth of that. As far as stretch goes, I think it's doing better than the various Brooks did.
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Old 05-31-11, 02:19 AM   #10
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I bought an Anatomica when I was still getting saddle sores on my B17 after over a thousand miles on it. The SA is better for me, I had it on tour last year and it took about 2 weeks and then I got a sore in about the same place as before. Still, better than the B17 for my particular butt. It does squeak, and I have had to adjust it quite a ways out in a relatively short time (2.5 yrs).
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Old 05-31-11, 07:52 AM   #11
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Except for the ^ report of a squeak, it seems everyone is satisfied with the SA. It is expensive, but I may end up giving it a try for my wife as she seems to like the idea.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:30 PM   #12
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I believe they now have what is a new web page http://www.selleanatomica.com/ I called them up to ask about the squeak some of you had mentioned. The lady I chatted with was very helpful, and admitted that yes, some of their saddles had developed a squeak, that she said was easily remedied with a cheap gasket fix, that she then described. I didn't follow her explanation very well as I don't have one of their saddles yet, but for any of you that do, you may wish to give them a call.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:47 PM   #13
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I've used two Brooks (B17 and Swift) and the SA. The SA is hands down more comfy out of the box. To be fair, I realized after far too many miles that I do not have a Brooks butt. Wish I did, they're gorgeous. Though I am not a Clyde (170lbs), I opted for the Clyde version of the SA due to reported stretching issues. It has worked out well. I also had some squeaking, but no more.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:51 PM   #14
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+1 more. I have a SA and B17 (butchered). I have thousands of miles on my SA and lots of long MTB rides on B17. I just got back from a 6 day 290 mile mixed surface tour around Utah on my B17. I did a 9 day 500 mile tour in August on the SA. Like others have said, hands down SA is more comfortable. My arse was pretty sore by day 5 on this last trip and I had no issues with the 9 day tour on the SA.

Regarding the break in period I didn't find the break in on the Brooks the onerous process some make it out to be. I think if you are a regular rider the break in on a Brooks is not that bad. That said there was no break in on the SA. I had about 75 miles on the SA before doing a double century. The SA was comfortable the whole day (all 13.5 hour straight).

Is the SA worth the extra coin; in my opinion - any day of the week.

PS, the other big advantage of the SA over the Brooks are the longer rails. The rails on the Brooks doesn't allow for a wide range of fore and aft adjustment.
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Old 06-04-11, 08:39 PM   #15
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I am getting more convinced to try an SA now!
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Old 06-05-11, 12:16 AM   #16
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I just scored one of these saddles for $139... dunno how long the deal will last.
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Old 06-05-11, 03:39 AM   #17
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dwmckee: +1, I'll be picking up one for my wife,
Zippy: Do you have your SA in hand already? That does seem to be a very good deal. My problem is I have a need to see something in front of me before buying. Maybe it's my age getting in the way...
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Old 06-05-11, 06:58 AM   #18
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No, but a guy that I ride with has one, so I tried out his. That's what sold me. Plus this:

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Old 06-05-11, 11:53 AM   #19
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Yes, thats a pretty cool video, thanks.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:52 PM   #20
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I really like my S/As. They aren't perfect though. Mine all squeaked - one was just unbelievably loud - but all were fixed by removing the little nose cup thingy and liberally greasing the metal-on-metal parts. They also have very light-gauge rails, as compared to other saddles. There are multiple reports of bending. I took care to set them in the middle of the rails and so far have not had problems, even at 200 pounds. If you need the saddle far forward or back, though, be forewarned. I also find them occasionally "pinchy" at the cutout. The folks at S/A adamantly deny the possibility, but I'm here to tell you it can happen. It's not a big problem, at least for me, but the possibility exists. Finally, it seems to me that the quality just doesn't match the price tag. There's nothing about the saddle that screams "quality" the way a Brooks does. It all works, but I'd be a lot happier with, say, a $100 price tag.

Now, having said all that, I've never owned a Brooks that was as comfortable as an S/A. I've tried a half-dozen over the years, tried every break-in trick in the book, used a two-bolt microadjust post to dial the angle down to a fraction of a degree... they just don't work for me, while the S/A does. So I'd definitely try one, if I were you.

But having said all THAT, I'll note that I've been using the Velo-Orange leather saddles for the last year or so and find them even more comfortable than the S/A, and they're a heck of a lot cheaper, too. The only downside, so far, is questionable quality. None have yet let me down, but again, they are obviously inferior in quality to a Brooks. If Brooks would only make a saddle with a top shaped like the V/O...
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Old 06-07-11, 12:19 AM   #21
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I really like my S/As. They aren't perfect though. Mine all squeaked - one was just unbelievably loud - but all were fixed by removing the little nose cup thingy and liberally greasing the metal-on-metal parts.
A lady at SA said there is a fix involving a rubber washer of sorts that will stop your squeaking saddle, it may be worth a call to them. I wonder if the fix is incorporated in their new models, hmmmm.
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Old 06-07-11, 12:22 AM   #22
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The grease - common boat trailer bearing grease - has stayed put and done the job with no downside, so...
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Old 06-07-11, 04:33 PM   #23
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Love my S-A. I had it refinished after about 5,000 miles or so; it was not completely worn out but far enough stretched that I wanted to start over.

I also have ridden Brooks saddles for 30+ years; I prefer the SA, though I still have Brooks saddles on two bikes.
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Old 06-07-11, 07:17 PM   #24
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I just scored one of these saddles for $139... dunno how long the deal will last.
Great price. I just ordered one. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 06-13-11, 12:35 PM   #25
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Just bought one for $140, my lbs gave me 20% on all accessories, and a coupon for one more purchase. 12 miles on Friday and 50 on Saturday. Little sore in the legs Saturday eve but only because the bike fitter raised the seat and adjusted my cleat angle. On Friday right after I got the seat, my bike was parked at a local grocery store, and I met a local randoneur, apparently these saddles are all the rage for randoneur groups in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.
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