Notices
Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Carbon saddle rails

Old 05-17-20, 10:07 AM
  #1  
samkl 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 338

Bikes: 2004 Trek 520, hot-rodded 1987 Cannondale SR400, rando-modded 1976 AD Vent Noir; 2019 Wabi Classic; 1989? Burley Duet

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 10 Posts
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.
samkl is offline  
Old 05-17-20, 11:52 AM
  #2  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,709
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 357 Times in 272 Posts
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.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 05-17-20, 12:00 PM
  #3  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,534
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 23 Posts
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.
clasher is offline  
Old 05-17-20, 08:44 PM
  #4  
atwl77
Kamen Rider
 
atwl77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: KL, MY
Posts: 759

Bikes: Fuji Transonic Elite, Marechal Soul Ultimate, Dahon Dash Altena

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 58 Posts
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.
atwl77 is offline  
Old 05-18-20, 10:02 AM
  #5  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,190

Bikes: https://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1393 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 132 Posts
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.
kingston is offline  
Old 05-19-20, 12:17 AM
  #6  
scubaman
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
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.)
scubaman is offline  
Likes For scubaman:
Old 05-19-20, 09:09 AM
  #7  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 16,218

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 101 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2329 Post(s)
Liked 398 Times in 293 Posts
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.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 05-19-20, 09:34 AM
  #8  
masi61
Senior Member
 
masi61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 2,544

Bikes: Puch Marco Polo, Saint Tropez, Masi Gran Criterium

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 588 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 58 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
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.
masi61 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.