Tri saddles are going through a chopped-off, split nose revolution right now, but how do the latest saddles stack up when you are sitting on them for hours? We put six to the test…
Pro Aerofuel TI: £129.99 madison.co.uk
The new Aerofuel based on Pro’s top Falcon road saddle has a thinly padded, firm-feeling tail. The deep, broad central trench runs full length to widely spaced, soft and rounded tips that spreads pressure as you roll forwards.
Despite the wide nose we never struggled to settle into a comfortable position. The extended plastic tips are designed to improve aerodynamics. Behind the seat bottles are awkward to attach and it’s heavy (297g)
for a titanium railed saddle.
San Marco Aspide Triathlon £120 paligap.cc
San Marco’s ASPide is the lightest by far (189g) thanks to the XSILITE rails and lightweight padding. The very soft drooped nose feels great when you’re sitting up, or if you tend to sit in the centre of the saddle when in a tuck.
The narrow nose is hard to centre when you roll forward on the tip, meaning you’re more likely to slide off sideways.
Forward set rails don’t help with behind the seat bottle and tool pack placement either.
Prologo CPC Zero Tri Pas Tirox £139.99 i-ride.co.uk
Prologo’s new tri saddle certainly isn’t the most soft and friendly to start with, especially as the sticky top detailing makes sliding about to find a sweet spot awkward.
But the longer you sit on the Prologo the more you’ll appreciate the firm support and those grip strips really anchor your pedalling position if you’re ploughing a big gear round. Various changeable tail inserts are available for personalisation.
Selle Italia Iron Flow S £129.99 chickencycles.co.uk
The raised rear shape with small grip dots means there’s really only one place to sit upright and if you shift too far forwards there’s potential for a lot of tip pressure as the nose sides can move. If you get it right however the honeycomb means loads of ventilation and fast drip-drying.
Bottle attachment is easy and the extended styled back end is designed to help aerodynamics by deliberately provoking turbulence.
ISM PN1.1 £99.99 upgradecycles.co.uk
ISM started the split saddle revolution and has a very wide range of cloven nosed seats to choose from. The new PN1.1 uses steel rails to keep cost down and the plushest level of padding, but that makes it heavy (388g).
Correct set up is crucial as the broad front and mid section will splay legs uncomfortably unless you set it up 5-8cm further back and 5mm lower than a normal saddle so it contacts your sit bones not your soft bits.
But for the riders who love ISM it’s worth it.
Fizik Tritone 6.5 Carbon with carriage kit £229.99 extrauk.co.uk
The firmly padded, triangular rear offers solid support in a conventional riding position, but the brutally chopped, deep trough nose means there’s nothing to get in the way when you roll forward.
It needs careful positioning but the padding is stable and supportive.
It has a nose hook for easy hanging in transition plus optional bottle/C02 cartridge/tube carrying brackets.
You can always opt for the cheaper metal rail version at £149.99.
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