Need a stronger saddle, it seems

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Need a stronger saddle, it seems

Postby Jean » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:29 am


On my hardtail MTB I've been using a Ritchey Marathon Comp saddle, which supposedly has 'steel rails', which given it is the cheapest saddle in that range probably means the rails are solid round bars. The problem is my hefty frame bouncing around on them has managed to bend the rails :oops: , so I need to look at something stronger. I like the saddle a lot, but the next two models up the range have tubular Cro-Mo and then Crn-Ti rails (with suitable price steps) and whether they will be stronger is anyone's guess.

Can anyone offer a guess or a possible alternative? Here's the saddle in question for shape reference (its 271x130mm), though the cosmetics have changed since I bought mine.


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by BNA » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:57 pm


Re: Need a stronger saddle, it seems

Postby trailgumby » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:57 pm

I've been using Fizik Gobi XM with Ti rails and have them on both the dually and the hardtail. At 87kg plus fully laden with riding gear and full Camelbak it has stood up to my bony bum quite well.

I have broken a Fizik Aliante (potholes, grrr), but not managed to bend the rails.
When all else fails, persistence prevails -- Lew Hollander
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Re: Need a stronger saddle, it seems

Postby zero » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:42 pm

all saddle rails are likely to be tubes. solid steel bar has terrible structural properties compared to its weight and cost.

Your tubes have permanently deformed because they were stressed beyond their yield strength. Presuming that they were made of lowest bidder chinese steel, I would expect an actual cromo tube of the same wall thickness/diameter to have twice the yield strength of your tubes, and I'd presume a cromo rail would be made with materials that are more consistent, so its less likely to have impurities, and its less likely to be weaker than expected.
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Re: Need a stronger saddle, it seems

Postby Jean » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:09 pm

Thanks. When I make the change I'll be interested to cut the rails and see what they are. Doing some tapping I think they are solid bars, but the seatpost clamp could simply be damping the sound. I once had a very well used San Marco Rolls saddle rail break, and I'm pretty sure it had a solid rail, but that was a long time ago and my memory could be wrong.

I think the Cro-Mo is the way to go - titanium would be an expensive experiment.
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Re: Need a stronger saddle, it seems

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:22 am

Jean, I've been collecting Selle Italia saddls of late as I've found that their general dimensions seem to suit my bum and their pricing is reasonable too. All three have similar dimensions to the Ritchey Marathon. They are:
Selle Italia SL XC Gel Flow (~$80 from T7) - has a flexible base on it so there's a bit of give on the bumpy stuff. Also has one of those fancy cutouts for your baggie
Selle Italia C2 Gel (~$80 from Evans) - stiff base, gel padding and rather light but surprisingly comfy
Selle Italia Flite 1990 (~$90 from Evans) - long, plump and retro...and surprisingly light.
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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