- by Chad Pedrotti
- Published: 9 March 2011
‘The King of the Alpes’ is one of six bike seat designs available from the new Aussie company, Thrones. They’re the new kid on the team. Think of them as the kid who plays the game but likes to do things a little differently. Thrones are on a mission to phase out the term ‘saddle’ and to call it what it is, a seat. When discussing bike seats with someone who is not a part of the Master Race (a non-cyclist), I personally opt for the term which best describes its function. A seat. For sitting…
I chose the King of the Alpes design as it matches the most striking jersey in the peloton. Could it be a slight contradiction that I, a 92 kg ‘sprinter’, find it hard enough climbing up the banks of the velodrome, I think not.
The first challenge came after removing my current Selle Italia Flyte and trying to fit the Throne seat. It wasn’t a direct fit and we got feedback from Troy McKinna of Thrones; "Sometimes companies create seats with thicker rails at different widths, but they are then designed to go with specific seat posts. The Thrones follow the industry standard with 7mm rails and 50mm wide. That being said, the rails are designed to allow for some flex and can be stretched into place"
Using a little muscle, I was able to flex the rails of the Thrones bike seat to fit into the seatpost. Although Selle Italia is an exception, fitting will not be an issue with standard seat posts.
The Throne bike seat is noticeably taller than my Selle Italia Flyte which kind of mimics an Italian super car. I noticed the extra length but it didn’t affect my riding, though I did consider whether I needed to check my cycling positioning and lower the seat to compensate for the height. The slightly higher seat caused the nose of the seat to hooked the back of the chamois in my nicks.
The fit of the bike seat is hard to gauge, a bike seat is a very personal piece of equipment. For me however, I found it much nicer than my Selle Italia Flyte.
This seat fitted me well from the first ride while my Selle Italia Flyte in comparison split me in half for ages. I found that after very long rides, the throne sometimes gave me sit-bone pain. At this point I want to emphasis that everyone has a different bum print and it is really down to trial and error to get a good fit.
Eyeing it up
Lets move onto the highlight. Visual Performance.
In two words: Theseatlooks freakingawesome.
It matches my Pinarello well, it stands out and hey, the colours are spot on! I liked that this bike seat is not just a carbon brick – it is half retro, half modern. On the Pinny it looks rather dashing, on my mates steel bike, it again, looked rather dashing with a touch of retro.
Blazened across the saddle is "Meilleur Grimpeur". Most hipsters wouldn’t understand this (French is way too mainstream… right) so they would go for straight for those crazy dots! If red polka dots however mean a bit more to you, and if you have even put yourself through a bit of pain on some tough uphills, you will appreciate the dots numbered one through to 21. One for each of the hairpins on the Alpe d’heuz.
This bike seat appeals to me and I have created a guide so you know how it will look good on various types of bikes:
Track bike? anabolic’ool!
Time Trial? Aeradynamic!
Regardless of your style of cycling, the King of the Mountains inspired bike seat can really help you lift your game. While it looks good, you have to do it justice, you have to harden up, you need to get the head down and conquer that challenge. Look the part, play the part.
In all seriousness, what’s cooler than a seat covered in polka dots? Nothing!
The King of the Alpes bike seat weighs in at 215 grams and has a carbon injected Nylon base and ‘Hollow Ti’ rails.
Thrones is a new Aussie brand and their range of six bike seats were released this year and retail for $159 each. You will find them at various bike stores in Victoria and they are slowly making their way over the state borders – though you can contact Thrones directly.
More info from www.bikethrones.com