‘Twas A Good Saddle
Friday night, before the True Grit 50, I was tuning my bike up with Chris Holley. OK. Chris Holley was tuning my bike up while I watched. I gently patted my Selle Italia SLR saddle.
“I love this saddle. Best I’ve ever owned.”
“Yeah, I really like mine.”
“I found it on eBay for $50. It’s been one of the best bike purchases I’ve made.”
The next day I was racing along the Stuki Springs Trail (before it became an unrideable disaster), about half-way through the race. I was feeling good. Really good. Ahead of me I could see the group of riders that snuck away from me on Zen. I was gaining ground. I rode through one of the gazillion little compressions on Stuki and heard a “pop”. My saddle became wiggly.
I kept pedaling, trying to figure out what had happend.
The seat wasn’t going anywhere, so I kept riding, and eventually caught the group. It wasn’t until I hopped off the bike at the feed station to clean and lube my chain that I saw the damage: one of the rails had snapped.
“Awww. I like this seat!”
I rode 12 more miles—about 20 in all—with the broken rail.
It was a good seat. Comfortable. Light. Slick. It served me well in the Dixie Lite, the Point 2 Point, 24 Hours of Moab, and several muddy, wet ‘cross races. It survived Camp Lynda and nearly survived (like the field of racers itself) the True Grit 50. Yeah. It was a good seat. In fact… it’s going on The Wall with my number plates, medals (the few I have) and other memorabilia—including the Gary Fisher X-Cal frame I rode in the 2006 KTR—from races past.
Time to get a new saddle. Maybe this one?
Dave ByersMarch 30, 2011
I too have given in to the allure of a carbon railed saddle only to snap a rail 30 miles into the Cream Puff. It was warrantied but then I snapped another one later that year during cross while executing a less-than-graceful remount. I will stick to Ti or Mag rails now.
Grizzly AdamMarch 30, 2011
The saddle that snapped had Ti rails. However… I went over the bars during the race on Barrel Ride. It’s possible I cracked the rail then. A couple of years ago I went OTB on the same trail, and then snapped a Ti railed seat a few minutes later on Zen. The lesson? Stop going OTB in St. George.
AaronMarch 30, 2011
The saying has normally been “light, cheap, strong, pick two.” The slr saddle allows you to pick one: light. That said, I’ll always go back to the slr cuz I fits my butt so well.
Between my broken slr and yours I bet we could piece together a working saddle, since my rails are still intact.
RBMarch 30, 2011
Never had carbon rails, but I’ve broken a few saddles at the rails previously. On the road, of course.
BobMarch 30, 2011
As mentioned before, I have ridden and raced thousands of rough off road miles on hardtails with a carbon railed saddle. 2+ seasons on it. The only problem is that the rails are loosening from the shell.
I believe most people snap carbon rails quickly because they did not follow proper torque specs. But they really don’t weigh that much less in the long run.
DerronMarch 30, 2011
The SLR is a great saddle. Have one on my Air 9 right now. I also got mine on ebay (for $35-45). Great deal, only Vanox rails instead of Ti. Almost same weight and they seem really strong. My advice: Just get another SLR on ebay and stop going over the bars!
RicoMarch 30, 2011
I rode only SLRs for years but went to Specialized Phenom and have since sold all 6 of my SLRs..yeah they are that good. Good enough to take a weight hit