While a full carbon saddle may not be for everyone, if you have the buns of steel to accommodate one, it can provide a unique sense of comfort.
As a rider who suffered immeasurably from chafing in the past, needless to say, I tried virtually every brand of chamois cream and embrocation along the way, rising to the level of carnival grease in a desperate attempt to soothe my undercarriage to no avail.
After all attempts failed, I began experimenting with different saddle shapes and materials.
To make a long story short, I ultimately arrived at a full carbon saddle as a way of trying to reduce the amount of friction between my love-making tackle and the bike seat.
I must admit however, the initial transition from a padded saddle to one with no more cushioning than a railroad spike, was not an easy one. However, over time my beef cakes began to develop an endurance for a carbon saddle, and at one point it actually became quite comfortable.
That was nigh-on to twenty years ago. And, until this day, I’m still riding a full carbon saddle. And, yes the elevator still goes to the top floor.
Every once and awhile though, I’ll revisit a padded saddle. However, it isn’t long before my undercarriage revolts, and I quickly retreat back to my coveted carbon slab.
On the style side of things, I must admit how I admire the way the carbon saddle looks on my bike, and how it serves to shave-off quite a bit of weight as well.
I equally enjoy the reaction from other riders, who when they see it, inevitably ask the question – “how do you ride that thing”? – to which I often respond, “quite dedicatedly thank you”.
There aren’t a lot of full carbon saddles available on the market. But, if you have the will (and the buns of steel as I said), every now and then a new model emerges.
The most recent comes from the Italian boutique brand Alpitude, which among a number of slick looking carbon cockpit pieces, offers a full carbon saddle called the Gardena that weighs in at an astonishingly light 65g.
The Gardena measures 245mm long, and features a central cut-way that spans almost the full length of the saddle, while a slightly curved profile provides the requisite amount of perch.
The 250€ Gardena is available in three widths (128mm, 140mm and 150mm) with either a 3K or matte unidirectional finish, which has a surprisingly robust weight limit of 187 pounds.
For 18€, Alpitude will add a 3D-printed tab to the Gardena’s rear cross section, allowing cyclists to mount a GoPro style action camera or a rear light to the saddle up to 250g.
Alptide is taking pre-orders for the Gardena now, with an expected delivery date by the end of January 2020.
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