FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
How do I return an item?
Help! My saddle squeaks!
What's the best way to care for the leather?
What's your saddle guarantee?
How long should a saddle last?
With all that said, 5,000 miles is a reasonable amount of miles to expect from a saddle. 10,000-15,000 miles is at the high end of the scale. 15,000-20,000 is looking for rail or base failure. (All of these expectations can be severely reduced by an abusive riding style, extremes in temperature and one or more of the other things listed above.)
A saddle that is "broken in" should feel "softer" than a new saddle. The base hasn't been "seated" onto the rails; the foam hasn't contoured to the rider's sitting position; the leather is still stiff.
The saddle can continue to be ridden for many more miles if:
* the cover isn't torn
* the edges of the leather cover aren't showing signs of wear through
* the foam under the leather doesn't have any "soft" spots indicating foam breakdown
* the edges around the soft tissue area aren't breaking down
The only other thing that might happen is a rail breaking due to a stress riser caused by the seat post cradle. That is something that you can't predict as it won't show up until the rail breaks. Some brands of seat post cradles break rails more quickly than others -- Syncros, early Control Techs and American Classics all used "straight cut" sharp edge seat cradles that create stress risers. These stress risers can be reduced by rounding the edge of the cradle with a file where the rail exits the cradle -- top/bottom and front/rear.
How do I adjust my saddle for more comfort? I've recently purchased a new saddle and am having pain!
Set the height of the saddle so there is a slight bend in the knee of the leg that is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If the saddle is too high, your pelvis will rock from side to side; too low, and you wont get the best use of your leg power. Your knees can take a beating from an improper saddle height as well.
The saddle should be level when viewed from the side and it shouldn't appear to be nose up or nose down. If the nose is tipped up, you'll feel add pressure! Tipped down, and you'll be forever sliding forward and bearing a lot of unnecessary weight on your arms.
The fore/aft saddle position should be set so that when a plumb line is dropped from the front of the knee of the forward most leg (with the crank arms in a horizontal position), it intersects the pedal spindle. This will give you the most power in your stroke.
Your bike fit is as important as your saddle set up. If the bike doesn't fit properly, you may never find a truly comfortable saddle. The most common complaint we hear is that the nose of the saddle still places an undue amount of pressure on the rider, even if the saddle is adjusted properly as discussed above. If the riders reach to the handlebars is too far, the pelvis can tip forward enough to put pressure on sensitive bits. By shortening/raising the handlebar to bring the rider into a more upright position, the pelvis will rotate back enough to move the riders weight onto other areas.
If you've done all of the above, it still doesn't mean the saddle will be comfortable. (What?!?!) No kidding -- that old expression "one woman's trash is another woman's treasure" applies to saddles too. It might take some experimenting to find the perfect saddle. Rules are meant to be broken, so don't feel bound to any of the starting points above or to a saddle that everyone else thinks is great. Its your comfort, after all!
The cover on my saddle is coming off. Can I fix it?
The other glue we use is a "Lokweld H20" glue that is applied to the loose leather then left to dry for a day. Once the glue is dry, we fold the leather around the saddle base and clamp with light clamps for several hours. This gluing method leaves a better finished product but it takes more time and fuss.
What's the weight limit for saddle rails?
Most riders have problems with bending or breaking a rail:
a) when impacting the saddle during landing after becoming airborne! The earth won't move or give so the saddle must.
This usually happens during aggressive MTB riding when the bike gets airborne, the riders foot slips off the pedal, the rider loses balance and the rider impacts the seat when the bike hits the ground.
Bent rails can even happen when road bikers "jump" a pot hole..curb..railroad tracks..and don't time the jump correctly impacting the saddle.
b) Stress riser caused by the seat post cradle: the sharp edge of the seat post cradle creates a stress riser which will eventually cause the rail to break.
As with most things that can bend or break (stems handlebars/rims/seat rails), the riders riding technique or riding circumstance when it bends or breaks has more to do with durability than the product material.
The advantages of Titanium are it is lighter and it flexes more than other materials. The advantages of Cr/Mo and/or Manganese are they are lighter and flex more than steel.
Cycling Bottom Considerations
How do I wear a chamois in my cycling bottoms?
Layering for Colder Temps
Many cool weather rides get warmer as the day goes on. To accommodate these temperature changes, consider knee and arm warmers, a bolero, moisture wicking base layers, a beanie under your helmet, full finger/thermal gloves, wind vest or jacket, wool jersey, wool socks, toe or shoe covers, and knickers or tights.
*Knee fibers should be protected in temps lower than 65 degrees!
How should I care for my cycling bottoms?
What should I look for in a cycling jersey?
Note: Jersey pocket contents may include “ emergency data information (name, address, allergies, emergency contacts, and blood type), easy food options for fuel (bars, gels, bananas, etc), hydration powder packets (to add to water fill ups), lip balm, sun protection, cell phone, some emergency cash and a personal ID.
What should I look for in cycling gloves?
To measure for a proper glove fit, wrap a flexible measuring tape around your palm (without your thumb) for your size:
Cycling Gear FAQs
What should I look for in eye protection?
What should I look for in a cycling helmet?
2) Pick a helmet that feels and looks good; so you'll want to wear it!
3) Position it on your head so that it is level and snug but not tight. Use the padding inserts and rear stabilizer to adjust it properly.
4) A good helmet will fit right, allow good air flow, manage sweat with a brow pad and meet safety standards.
5) Helmets made for the U.S. market must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standard, so look for the CPSC sticker.
6) Helmet replacement guidelines include: after any impact, every 5 years, and any helmet made before 1990.
What should I look for in cycling shoes?
Road shoes have a bottom which is smooth, stiff and transfers power efficiently. A more casual riding shoe will have a tread-style sole, which is easier for off-the-bike mobility.
What goes in my seat/saddle bag?
Once you have your kit assembled, take a basic bike maintenance class at your local bike shop¦ you will be glad you did!