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-   -   Carbon saddle rails (https://www.bikeforums.net/long-distance-competition-ultracycling-randonneuring-endurance-cycling/1201683-carbon-saddle-rails.html)

samkl 05-17-20 10:07 AM

Carbon saddle rails
 
I got a deal on a Selle Anatomica with carbon rails, but with a spare set of tubular steel rails included. What's the consensus: are carbon rails too finicky for randonneuring? This would go on a bike that has a saddlebag attached to the bag loops, if that matters.

My impulse is to go with the steel to be safe, but SA's website suggests the carbon is even stronger(?!), and I read SA had issues at one point with the steel rails bending.

i.e., I'm stumped.

unterhausen 05-17-20 11:52 AM

Is it one of the saddles where you can have the saddle way back on the seat post? I have seen one of those (steel rails) break. OTOH, if you need a setback seatpost and use a zero setback seatpost, that can happen with just about any saddle.

clasher 05-17-20 12:00 PM

I wouldn't worry about it myself... I ride a titanium railed saddle but it's attached to a carbon post and a carbon bike so eventually one of those things is supposed to explode randomly according to the steel-is-real crowd.

atwl77 05-17-20 08:44 PM

I am curious about this myself. So far I have been avoiding carbon rails because on long brevets I use large saddle bags to store my kit and this can get relatively heavy.

kingston 05-18-20 10:02 AM

I'd go with the steel rails. If they bend you can probably bend them back and at least finish the ride with a saddle. If the carbon breaks you're standing up for the rest of the ride. Same reason I use aluminum handlebars, seatpost and stem. Steel doesn't have the same catastrophic failure mode that carbon does, and the small weight savings doesn't seem worth the risk to me.

scubaman 05-19-20 12:17 AM

I have one Selle Anatomica saddle like that, with interchangeable stainless steel and carbon fiber rails, and several Selle Anatomic saddles with non-interchageable steel rails. Three comments. (1) on your saddle, the carbon rails have more avalable setback than the stainless rails; that matters for me, in that I need the carbon rails to position my saddle where I want it. (2) So far as I'm aware, issues with Selle Anatomica rails bending - which has happened to me - were mainly or entirely for the older saddle models with non-interchageable rails. SA has changed the design and the rail material of those over time to make bending less likely. Your steel rails are relatively strong stainless, and the available setback is shorter than on the non-interchangeable saddle models, which makes bending less likely. (3) Are you within the weight limits Selle Anatomica specifies for your particular saddle? If so, I'd think you're OK.

All that said, if you can position the saddle where you want it with either set of rails, I'd probably use the steel rails for travel, because I prefer the failure mode of steel to that of carbon fiber. (Same reason I ride steel bikes.)

Carbonfiberboy 05-19-20 09:09 AM

The whole idea of carbon saddle rails is that they absorb some vibration. Try switching them with steel and see if you notice a difference. If SA says they're stronger, then they're stronger. They're also less likely to fail from fatigue, though steel is pretty good in that respect also, just that carbon is better.

To some of the above comments regarding seatpost position on the saddle rails: If your seatpost clamp is not somewhere near the middle of your saddle rails, you need a seatpost with a different setback. That's how one is nice to one's saddle rails.

masi61 05-19-20 09:34 AM


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 21484356)
The whole idea of carbon saddle rails is that they absorb some vibration. Try switching them with steel and see if you notice a difference. If SA says they're stronger, then they're stronger. They're also less likely to fail from fatigue, though steel is pretty good in that respect also, just that carbon is better.

To some of the above comments regarding seatpost position on the saddle rails: If your seatpost clamp is not somewhere near the middle of your saddle rails, you need a seatpost with a different setback. That's how one is nice to one's saddle rails.

+1 one to getting the amount of setback so that the clamp is centered on the rails as much as possible.

Also, for seatpost selection I had to order the optional 7x9 carbon rail clamp kit for my Thomson post. I used a Selle Italia Turbomatic Team Carbon railed saddle on both my main bikes. The Thomson is on a compact aluminum Flyte, the other Turbomatic is mounted to a Ritchey Superlogic carbon post in my titanium Veritas. With the carbon rails, the saddle weight is quite a bit less. The Turbomatic Team carbon is about 250 grams. Not the lightest saddle out there but it is a substantial saddle (long, with moderate width (143mm) at the back).

As for using a bigger bigger saddle bag with a carbon railed saddle I canít help much there. I would think that it would be OK, but you would have to watch for excessive abrasion to the rails.


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