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ISM Adamo "Road Full Gel" Pix/Initial Review

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ISM Adamo "Road Full Gel" Pix/Initial Review

Old 11-10-14, 05:10 PM
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ISM Adamo "Road Full Gel" Pix/Initial Review

Well now...turns out my rich riding bud at work came through and handed me his "ISM Adamo Road Full Gel" saddle this morning at work telling me...

"Ride it for a week and if you like it?...flip me $20."

A few weeks back?...someone tossed up a very positive (if not "glowing") post about these ISM Adamo saddles....me?...I tried to pooh-pooh them and find all that could possibly be wrong with them...after seeing the MSRP! LOL!...figuring I'd never own one as they are priced higher than what I bought my last bike for! LOL!...my $120 Trek Mountain Track...and then low and behold?...one falls in my lap for $20? LOL!

Now in all honesty?...I asked my friend what it was he didn't like about it and he stated he just found it too wide and chaffed his inner thighs in the nether regions...but of course thanks to this forum and the poster I mentioned above?...I felt like maybe I knew a little about them and had actually watched the factory set-up vids as out of compassion and friendship?...I didn't want to see him screw himself out of what is a very pricey saddle (just shy of giving it away) and asked him...

"XXXX?...are you sure you set it up right?...because these saddles are designed extremely different from a standard saddle and they are supposed to be...."

and that's when he cut me off telling me about all the bikefit sessions he's been through and paid for and all the thousands of miles more he's ridden than me with a "who do I think I am questioning him" demeanor so?...I smiled and said...

"Thanks!!!...I let you know by Friday!

That said?...these ISM Adamo saddles are designed to be set back much further than a standard saddle....and are actually "missing" about 1 1/2-2"s of "Nose" as compared to a standard shaped saddle...and they are of a "Split-Finger" design which incorporates a generous sculpted gully to keep pressure off the Pudendal Nerve with super long rails to accommodate a vast range of set-back adjustment...and here's a comparison pic of which I speak with regards to the long rails and missing nose section....



and now onto my "Initial Review"....

First Impressions?....this seat is amazing!....my trek 800 sport has an 18" seat tube which makes it feel like a Goldy-locks bike for my 5'6" self...(i.e. "a perfect fit")...and I set the seat up as instructed on ISM's video...swung my leg over and took off for my first test ride and wow!...nice but pulled right back in the driveway to move it back another 1/2" with just a slight tilt forward and bam!...there it was..."Right Where My Boys Told Me It Should Be!"...with nothing but micro-mesh walking shorts on...and here's where this saddle shines...as my family jewels never touch seat....they just sort of dangle just off the front...(sorry...I know it sounds disgusting but there's just no other way to explain it with justice)...meanwhile on the back 40?...my sit-bones felt like they just fell into the hand of God yet with full, positive support!

Another thing that stood out to me?...was the quality of this seat...as it appears first class, top shelf in that department...couple that with it's far superior design with regards to comfort?....and suddenly the inflated MSRP starts to make sense...and now it appears I have escuklated the overall price of my trek too $140....$120 for the bike and $20 for it's new saddle cause I'm keeping it! LOL!



and this is going to be a game changer for my plans because...while I was thinking of using this trek as my "Full Rigid Mountain Bike" and then blessing myself with a Specialized Sirrus (for what I really want..."a CX") I'm thinking this trek is going to get some less aggressive tires and become my CX...and then buy myself a fully suspended number for a mounatin bike...so my old bones don't get beat up too badly...but meanwhile?...the new saddle stays on the trek!



Hope you enjoyed and L8R, Bill.
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Old 11-10-14, 05:27 PM
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I was having issues with perineum pressure. I wound up with an ISM Adamo Century - problem solved; as you point out it's important to watch the videos for proper setup. I tried one of their slightly narrower saddles, podium perhaps, and it was a bit too narrow. The only improvement I'd like to see is an identical saddle that is a bit firmer, but buying bibs with a thin pad has worked well.
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Old 11-10-14, 07:23 PM
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The ISM seems to be a favorite with the Iron Man riders.
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Old 11-10-14, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
The ISM seems to be a favorite with the Iron Man riders.
Don't recall seeing an overwhelming number of ISM seats at IMFL.
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Old 11-10-14, 08:45 PM
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Now please take into consideration that while I used to be a somewhat avid cyclist 25 years back (pedaling a 27 miles loop daily)?....I just quit smoking 2 1/2 months ago (after a couple decades of 2+ packs a day) and drug out my old Giant OCR3, Found this place and started pedaling...and too date?....a little over 11 miles has been my longest ride thus far...(still trying to get my old diabetic legs back on)...that said?...

First ISM "Real Ride" (for me) Update:

Which came about in a peculiar way as initially?...I had just finished dinner and figured...okay...now lets go see how that Adamo really feels.

My plan was a simple one...just play it safe and do this one (1) mile loop south of my house....this way if any discomfort does arise?...I'm only a few pedal strokes from home and my wrenches...so I fired up my metrolight and origin8 tail-light and off into the darkness of unlit backstreets I went....next thing I know?...I'm already back with my legs just starting to warm up and not near enough saddle time to detect anything uncomfortable so past the driveway I went and did the 2.5 mile loop on the north side of my house...and next thing you know?...I'm back again and thinking...

"Well that took all of about 12 minutes...and no reports from the inner thigh & butt department yet so?...I need to pedal some more!"

And that's when the wild hair hit me as I thought...

"That's it!...This is too dang boring!....I'm GOING FOR IT!"

and by "IT"?....I'm referring to the ominous and treacherous "MAIN ROAD"...."ROSSER BLVD"....where there's a long stretch of well lit, elevation ridden, curvy sidewalks (as there are no bike lanes in this area)...but to get there?...required me to roll down some pitch black backstreets and then traverse about 200 yards of clumpy grass on sugar sand via a single track trail blazed by the local neighborhood kids to get too the sidewalk...miles of it...and like a crazed man on a mission?....off I went!.....and?....IT WAS AWESOME!

The first thing I noticed that blew me away?...was when I left pavement and hit the clumpy grass bike trail?...I was moving at a pretty good clip and expecting a bit of a jostling from my full rigid mountain bike but there was none of that....as between the ritchey climb-max knobbie balloon tires and the Adomo full gel seat?...it seemed they soaked up the lumps and bumps with grace and glory and there actually wasn't much of a difference at all as I continued to blaze through the grass and a minute or two later?...I hit the sidewalk with a vengeance! LOL!

The second thing I noticed?...was I was getting crazy!...whipping past the light posts within inches...chopping the grassy corners and jumping curbs thinking...

"DANG!....I FEEL LIKE I'M 12 YEARS OLD AGAIN!"

Next thing i know?...I'm at the corner of the 6 lane main drag "GATLIN BLVD" headed out too I-95 and pumping strong!.....past Chase Bank...past Sams Club...past Wally World, McDonals, Taco Bell...then the Gas Stations and got all the way out to the interstate ramps and decided...okay...time to turn around and head back towards the house...which I did...and even kicked it up a notch on the way home learning that...even at 56 years old...with typeII diabetes..."I Still Love Jumping Curbs & Scraffing Sidewalks!" LOL!

and here I am...45 minutes and 10 miles later...on a balloon tired mountain bike that weighs 1 1/2 times as much as my RB....after what started out to be...

"Just a short,,,,,SADDLE TEST RIDE" LOL!

Oh yeah...almost forgot...the saddle...it was never an issue...or a thought...and I guess that speaks volumes...as it was nothing but supportive and comfortable....D@mn I'm Hooked!

Hope you enjoyed that and L8R, Bill.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:58 AM
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I hope people keep giving you bike stuff. Your reviews are fun to read.
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Old 11-11-14, 01:06 PM
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I've been riding an ISM Adamo Prologue for over 3 years and it's the most comfortable saddle I have tried. I was having issues with the OEM saddle on my Colnago and my fitter recommended the ISM. After trying out several saddles, none of which were cutting it, I bit the bullet and bought the Prologue. It was installed and I headed straight for the MUP and did a 30 mile ride. It was "love at first sit" and I haven't looked back since then. I just completed a 210 mile cross state ride and at mile 210, it was as comfortable as it was on mile 1. I've never tired it on a hybrid or any bike where you tend to sit straight up but on a road bike, I will not use another saddle as long as I am able to ride.

With all that said, I do tend to notice that riders with wide sitbones or riders in the clydesdale category tend to have issues with these saddles on road bikes. My friend (at 250 lbs) tried a Prologue and his sitbones weren't even touching the saddle unless he sat all the way to the back (not the way this saddle is intended to be used). This was causing some severe rubbing and chaffing to his inner thighs and he ended up taking the saddle back. Other riders that I know with wide sitbones have had the same experience. You and I just happened to luck out and have sitbones that are in the correct range.

Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
Don't recall seeing an overwhelming number of ISM seats at IMFL.
ISM was the saddle of choice for the men's and women's Olympic Team in the last olympics. It is now the OEM saddle on tri bikes for both Cervelo and Quintana Roo.
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Old 11-11-14, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
.... I do tend to notice that riders with wide sitbones or riders in the clydesdale category tend to have issues with these saddles on road bikes. My friend (at 250 lbs) tried a Prologue and his sitbones weren't even touching the saddle unless he sat all the way to the back (not the way this saddle is intended to be used). This was causing some severe rubbing and chaffing to his inner thighs and he ended up taking the saddle back. Other riders that I know with wide sitbones have had the same experience. ....
It's strange in that I'm "only" 6', 200 lbs and while I don't recall my sitbone measurement I'm not overly "wide". I've used a number of conventional saddles that were fine width-wise, but painful otherwise. The ISM Adamo Century may be their widest saddle and is just perfect for me. As I mentioned in the post, above, it's a shame they don't make this same shape in something just a bit firmer.
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Old 11-11-14, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by freedomrider1 View Post
I hope people keep giving you bike stuff. Your reviews are fun to read.
Thanks!...I guess the downside here is I have not been as "lifelong commited" as many seem to be here but the upside of that?...is like I found a new, old love again!...hence my amplified enthusiasm...I think....cause everytime I thought of last nights ride at work today?...a smile came on my heart and face!....and if I didn't have my Men's Bible Study tonight?

And I also..."think I know"...this....

While this ISM saddle seems to be working out great for me so far?....and in an application it was not really designed for?...and from what I've experienced so far?....I think I would be very hesitant about recommending any saddle to anyone else claiming any one particular model to be the bomb diggity for everyone as we all have different shaped butts of differing soft tissue textures and I now know for a fact that "Size Matters"....and in more ways than one...including sit-bone and physical weight of the rider.

I went through about 3 saddles before I finally ran into a LBS who actually asked my sit-bone size and then measured me...just prior to me buying a specialized romin evo comp gel from them for my Giant OCR3 RB...and it took several "ride/adjust sessions" before I got it dialed in real good and while that saddle is very comfy now?...my boys can still wind up doing the tango on the tongue when I go for the drops but...it's still surprisingly comfortable considering the ergo's and my still puny leg pedal power...but the last ride?...my romin evo didn't get considered either so it's comfy as well....but took a lot more "to get there" than did this ISM on my old trek full rigid mountain bike.

and for the record?...when that LBS measured my sit-bones?...I was right between a 143 and 155 saddle size..so I went with the 155...also?...I'm a fireplug...at 210lbs.
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Old 11-12-14, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Don't recall seeing an overwhelming number of ISM seats at IMFL.
Here's the bike count and other parts for the Kona

2014 Kona Bike Count Results | LAVA Magazine
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Old 11-12-14, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
It's strange in that I'm "only" 6', 200 lbs and while I don't recall my sitbone measurement I'm not overly "wide". I've used a number of conventional saddles that were fine width-wise, but painful otherwise. The ISM Adamo Century may be their widest saddle and is just perfect for me. As I mentioned in the post, above, it's a shame they don't make this same shape in something just a bit firmer.
In the Adamo series, I believe that you are correct in that the Century is their widest saddle (in that style). I pushed the Prologue on my buddy and it was too narrow for him, so I'm glad the shop took it back without any problems. Not sure what the difference in width is without going to their web site to check. The Century also has a bit more padding then the Prologue and is considered one of their comfort saddles. The Prologue has a bit more padding than some of their performance saddles. I haven't seen any of their new series saddles that's on their web site in any of the shops yet. Wonder how the compare to the Prologue?
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Old 11-14-14, 05:59 PM
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Okay this saddle brand has caught my interest. But I have to ask Jinkster what your riding posture is? We are the same age, but I come from a recumbent background and now trying traditional diamond frame bikes again. My riding position is nearly upright. Even leaning forward 30 degrees is a major strain on my neck.

I went to the ISM website and see there are two saddle categories. All of the saddles mentioned so far in this topic are performance models, that is they're all are relatively narrow. ISM also makes some wider saddles which is what I'd prefer. I live in Southern California, which has an abundance of bike shops. Most shops listed don't even stock ISM saddles, and those that do, only have the performance models in stock.

I am curious as to whether anyone has used any of the Adamo performance oriented models in a more upright riding position...
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Old 11-14-14, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by smalltalk View Post
Okay this saddle brand has caught my interest. But I have to ask Jinkster what your riding posture is? We are the same age, but I come from a recumbent background and now trying traditional diamond frame bikes again. My riding position is nearly upright. Even leaning forward 30 degrees is a major strain on my neck.

I went to the ISM website and see there are two saddle categories. All of the saddles mentioned so far in this topic are performance models, that is they're all are relatively narrow. ISM also makes some wider saddles which is what I'd prefer. I live in Southern California, which has an abundance of bike shops. Most shops listed don't even stock ISM saddles, and those that do, only have the performance models in stock.

I am curious as to whether anyone has used any of the Adamo performance oriented models in a more upright riding position...
Wow...somebody asking me a tech question here?

And I don't say that to be a wise butt....I say that so you know to take my words, suggestion and/or advice with a grain of salt becuase I'm a long ways from a know it all! LOL!

That said?...here's what I do know....My trek mountain bike (the one the ISM adamo is on) is set-up so aggressive...and my Giant RB (that has a specialized romin evo saddle) is set up so relaxed?...that they both share the same 36" saddles/38" handlebars height as measured from the ground while being held straight up...and maybe that's why the ISM works on my trek mountain bike...that along with the fact that I spend about 20% of the time "off the saddle and on the pedals" on the mountain bike...but with this new crosstrail hybrid I just purchased?...I don't think the ISM Adamo would work out so swell as it's too narrow and I sit far more upright on it with the saddle at 36"s and the bars at 41"s....and while the stock Targa bodygeometry crosstrail saddle isn't any wider than my romin evo saddle?...it does have a fuller and much broader top profile....so I woukld answer your question with a "NO"...you do not want an aggressive performance saddle for an upright riding position (like I have on this new-to-me crosstrail hybrid...you want something with a nice broad and supportive top suface as the more butt surface that gets supported?...the less pressure sensitized your butt will be and remember...that's JM (very) HO.
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Old 11-22-14, 10:04 PM
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Alrighty then...so...y'all got my initial review and now for the...

"Final Review Of The ISM Adamo Saddle"

Ready?...here goes...

It sucks eggs...big time....Story goes like this....

I got this over-priced miracle saddle from a bud at work who paid full boat for it new and wound up hating it claiming it to be too wide and chaffing.....so numb nuts here (that would be me)...figures he just robbed fort knox buying the saddle used for $20...came home...mounted it on my $120....17 year old...used MB and in all my "Such a Deal" excitement went for a 10 miler and it mysteriously felt great that night...well?...this being like a $180 saddle?..I figured it deserved a better perch and off the old (but sweet) beater of a MB it came and on my Giant OCR3 RB it went taking the place of my awesome Romin Evo and?...even with a ton of toying with it?...no way....the thing is like a chaff-omatic...even when adjusted severely nose down and only sitting on the front 1/2....so even though it's the "Road Full Gel" model?...I figured my RB must just be too aggressive because after all?...it worked out fantastic on my MB (the first night)...so off my RB it comes as I transferred it onto my newly acquired Crosstrail Disc Hybrid and?...no dice...spent a good 90 minutes moving, adjusting and riding and could never replicate the same feeling I got that first night (that I based my initial review on)....so alas?...

I digressed to the point of figuring...well?...maybe it's because I set it up as a nose down low rider on my old Trek MB...riding bolt upright and spending a significant amount of pedal time jacked up off the saddle...long story short?....it's back on my old trek MB again where it started...the stock bodygeometry targa is back on the Crosstrail and the Romin Evo is back on my Giant OCR3 RB where it belongs...and I'd like the targa to go back on the Trek MB so I'm going to do/get something better for the Crosstrail...was looking at the Selle Anatomica NSX on sale for $99 but?...I can get another Romin Evo or Toupe for the same cash at the LBS and I KNOW they work with zero issues...but still mulling it over....even thought about a brooks for the crosstrail but?...one things for sure...the ISM Adamo?....wish I had my $20 back!
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Old 11-23-14, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
...one things for sure...the ISM Adamo?....wish I had my $20 back!
I'd send you $20 in a heartbeat just to try it as I'm sure many others here would.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:47 AM
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Had a tri friend try one and he couldn't stand, or sit, it either.
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Old 11-23-14, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'd send you $20 in a heartbeat just to try it as I'm sure many others here would.
Well?...my initial thought was to tell you...

"Make it $30 to cover shipping and it's yours!"

but...I think the right thing to do is check with the coworker who sold it too me first...before I go offering it up for sale as who knows?...he might want it back but I certainly can't figure out why he would at this point unless he'd like to recoup more of his lost money from someone he doesn't know...but if he gives the okay?...and you're willing to part with $30 for it shipped TYD?...you got dibbs.

Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Had a tri friend try one and he couldn't stand, or sit, it either.
Dude...after trying, adjusting and testing this thing on 3 different levels of aggression bikes?...my wrenches are worn out trying to find a happy spot on any of them...and here's the weird part...while it says it's a "ROAD"...."FULL GEL"...model?...it actually hurt the worst on my RB...closely followed by my Crosstrail Hybrid....and is barely tolerable sitting bolt upright on my MB...and here's the even weirder part...

"The Stats Say": That this saddle is far and away the #1 choice of saddles by the top tri guys...which had me monkeying with this thing to no comfortable end on 3 different style bikes....figuring...

"I Must Be Doing Something Wrong Here!"

but at this point?...I'm convinced of one of three things....

1. ISM has some deep sponsorship pockets or?....

2. Have so many saddles they can't sell that they give them away at major events or?....

3. You need sit-bones that rub against each other with thighs of a stork to get comfy on one! LOL!

Too add?...the more I look at the ISM Adamo the more is begins to not make any sense at all...I mean here they advise you that a proper seating position should leave their billboard style logo's exposed...imagine that...all that free advertising...and then at what cost to the rider?...i mean the nose is already clipped by nearly 2"s (as opposed to a conventional styled saddle) and then they're telling you to "not sit on the back 1/3rd" of what's left?....so what is left?...a very small skinny portion in the middle of what is a front end so wide my thighs get chaffed just looking at it and a back end that you get to tote around but not use because ISM wants you pedaling around their logo's for free advertising?... really ISM?


One things for certain...if I did pay full boat for this saddle?...I'd be like.....

Which takes me full circle to the beginning of this particular post...which means bruce19 may be in luck...depending on how you wanna look at things...cause now I'm pretty sure I know why I got this comparatively super expensive saddle for $20!
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Old 11-23-14, 10:22 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
Well?...my initial thought was to tell you...

"Make it $30 to cover shipping and it's yours!"

but...I think the right thing to do is check with the coworker who sold it too me first...before I go offering it up for sale as who knows?...he might want it back but I certainly can't figure out why he would at this point unless he'd like to recoup more of his lost money from someone he doesn't know...but if he gives the okay?...and you're willing to part with $30 for it shipped TYD?...you got dibbs.
If he doesn't want it back I'm in. Thanks.
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Old 11-23-14, 10:58 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
If he doesn't want it back I'm in. Thanks.
Done...I'll see him at work tomorrow and if he doesn't want it back?...it's yours...letcha know as soon as I get home from work tomorrow.
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Old 11-24-14, 06:09 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
If he doesn't want it back I'm in. Thanks.
Well?...it took just a little explaining but?...congrats...it's yours if you still want it.

LMK...then just PM me your mailing addy when you get a chance.
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Old 11-25-14, 06:37 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Jinkster
..... 3. You need sit-bones that rub against each other with thighs of a stork to get comfy on one! LOL! .....
I've never heard myself described this way , but I still would not give up my Prologue for any other saddle out there. Sorry that you had problems with it but like any other saddle on the market, they aren't meant for everybody.
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Old 11-25-14, 07:20 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
I've never heard myself described this way , but I still would not give up my Prologue for any other saddle out there. Sorry that you had problems with it but like any other saddle on the market, they aren't meant for everybody.
John...no one was describing you...it was just my personal thoughts...experience....and strong final opinion of this Adamo saddle...possibly overemphasized a bit but due to severe aggravation with it...not you.

Please accept my most profuse apologizes. L8R, Bill.
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Old 11-25-14, 07:42 AM
  #23  
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3. You need sit-bones that rub against each other with thighs of a stork to get comfy on one! LOL!


Originally Posted by John_V View Post
I've never heard myself described this way , but I still would not give up my Prologue for any other saddle out there. Sorry that you had problems with it but like any other saddle on the market, they aren't meant for everybody.
Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
John...no one was describing you...it was just my personal thoughts...experience....and strong final opinion of this Adamo saddle...possibly overemphasized a bit but due to severe aggravation with it...not you.

Please accept my most profuse apologizes. L8R, Bill.
I read it as a universal "you" such as "one needs sit-bones....."

Dang printed net words, many times misconstrued.

As to my reply mentioning not seeing numerous Adamo seats on the bikes at IMFL, guess the standard equipment for Cervelo and Quintana Roo got changed out by owners.
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Old 11-25-14, 08:15 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
John...no one was describing you...it was just my personal thoughts...experience....and strong final opinion of this Adamo saddle...possibly overemphasized a bit but due to severe aggravation with it...not you.

Please accept my most profuse apologizes. L8R, Bill.
Bill,

No need to apologize as I knew exactly how you meant it to be. I found it quite humorous and thus my reply. Unless it's a direct attack towards me, I don't take offense to what's posted on any social media sites.

I had a similar issue after the OEM saddle on my Colnago started to give me a problem. After reading all the praises and testimonials about the Brooks B17, I tried one hoping that it would work for me. It was the most uncomfortable of all the saddles I have tried, prior to the Prologue. I know that there is a break-in period for a Brooks but it hurt so bad sitting on it that I just could not endure the pain and discomfort while waiting for it to break-in. I know how frustrating it is to find just the right saddle, especially if you ride every day, as I do.
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Old 11-25-14, 08:21 AM
  #25  
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Yeah...sorry folks...I ain't right these days...got too much life stuff going on...been using the bikes and this forum as an escape...again...sorry if I took things wrong or?... made them sound that way...inadvertently.
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