After a protracted and bumpy trip with earlier variations of the Selle Anatomica saddle, we have been completely happy to see the discharge a stronger and lighter Collection 2 saddle body. For this long-term assessment, we put a couple of thousand miles on the X2 leather-based pores and skin after which swapped it out for the brand new heavier obligation H2.
Feb four, 2019
Pictures of totally outfitted rigs that includes well-worn, riveted leather-based saddles have been one of many first issues that caught my consideration after I found bike touring. Most long-distance cycle tourers swear by the basic Brooks B17, particularly. One would count on this development to be extra about consolation than aesthetics, however I attempted one again in 2011 and might say with certitude that the B17 just isn’t for me. After working it with Proofide, permitting a greater than satisfactory break in interval, and easily making an attempt to persuade myself that it labored, it will definitely turned acceptable, however by no means actually comfy.
That’s proper across the time after I found Selle Anatomica. Selle Anatomica has been manufacturing their uniquely slotted leather-based saddles since 2007. Its flagship Titanico had that basic Brooks look, however with a number of advantages over different fashionable touring fashions, most notably the anatomical slot reduce out. The lengthy, patented “Flex-Fly Slot” permits either side of the saddle to maneuver independently and relieve stress on the “gentle tissue.” This design appeared odd to me at first, nevertheless it made good sense as quickly as I attempted it. Not solely is it comfy, it requires no break in interval, not like the B17. My essential concern on the time was that it won’t be sturdy sufficient for the lengthy haul. Quick ahead over 6,000 kilometers of rugged using and I used to be offered. Nevertheless it wasn’t all roses…
I’ve since tried different saddles by Ergon, WTB, Chromag, Terry, Brooks (the Cambium sequence), amongst others, solely to return to Selle Anatomica for lengthy journeys. Sadly, earlier fashions of their saddles had points. Specifically, the unique leather-based pores and skin stretched greater than anticipated. To make issues worse, the lengthy chromoly metal rails discovered on the Titanico and X1 have been liable to bending beneath a heavy load or when put beneath sudden stress, equivalent to unintended jarring from a giant bump. A few years in the past, as I used to be being carted out of a small mountain village on a stretcher, a fairly giant Georgian man rode my bike down a hill to fulfill the emergency medical jeep. As he descended a very bumpy monitor in a totally seated place, the X1’s metal rails bent like a banana and just about decommissioned the saddle. Gin had the identical difficulty after an prolonged tough trip in South Africa, and I’ve since heard comparable tales from different riders. In all equity, my first Selle Anatomica noticed no such demise, and with correct care this destiny might be averted. Even so, it’s removed from superb to have this danger with a long-distance touring saddle.
Luckily, the family-owned and operated San Diego firm continues to enhance its saddles. For the reason that unique Titanico, Selle Anatomica has launched a number of up to date iterations of its leather-based skins to enhance sturdiness. This consists of three variations for particular person rider weights. The T sequence suits riders as much as 120 kilos (54.four kg), the X sequence is made for cyclists as much as 190 kilos (86.2 kg), and the brand new H sequence is a beefier pores and skin for these as much as 250 kilos (113.four kg). As well as, Selle Anatomica simply introduced the R sequence, an EPDM Vulcanized Rubber Prime for individuals who want an animal-free saddle.
Selle Anatomica Collection 2 Body
The most important enchancment—the topic of this text in addition to our Gear of the Yr award—was introduced mid-2017. The all-new Collection 2 body is a totally overhauled modular design primarily based round a solid alloy C-form on the rear of the saddle. This way allowed Selle Anatomica to make use of shorter upgraded chrome steel rails (as a substitute of chromoly on the sequence 1 body) that plug into two cylindrical holes throughout the kind. Not solely does this development strengthen the general construction of the saddle, it additionally weighs 95 grams lower than the Collection 1 body. As well as, the brand new design is totally consumer serviceable, that means it’s doable for anybody with a 2.5mm Allen wrench to swap out their outdated pores and skin for a brand new one.
Selle Anatomica’s “WaterShed” leather-based used on the T, X, and H skins has two layers of laminated full grain leather-based with a climate sealed high so it doesn’t require a rain cowl to protect the leather-based, not like the Brooks. That mentioned, Selle Anatomica doesn’t suggest leaving it out within the rain. You should utilize “Saddle Sauce,” the corporate’s proprietary saddle therapy, to assist defend the leather-based from unavoidable rain showers, dew, and different such climate occasions to be anticipated on any given bike outing. I put a pair coats of Saddle Sauce on the underside, edges, and high to assist protect my X1, and I’ve left it out in torrential rain loads of occasions with no points to talk of.
Leather-based Saddle Care and Stretching
As talked about, Selle Anatomica’s slotted saddles are extremely comfy. I purchased my unique Titanico in 2012 and it was fairly agreeable from the get-go. On our first large tour by Mexico and Central America, I packed one pair of padded chamois underwear and two pairs of sunshine wool boxer briefs. The Titanico was comfortable sufficient that I ditched the chamois throughout the first week of the journey. I’m completely happy to report that the up to date X2 pores and skin is equally as comfy, and held up even higher than the unique.
My one criticism concerning the unique Titanico saddle was the quantity and fee at which the leather-based stretched. On the unique Titanico, I had used about ⅔ of the adjustment bolt at about 6,000 kilometers—the saddle’s pores and skin is tightened through a single 6mm hex key rigidity bolt tucked beneath the nostril of the saddle. This appears to be much less of a difficulty with the X2, and the corporate now claims that the leather-based will cease stretching after 500 miles. That is doubtless attributable to upgrades Selle Anatomica made to its “NewSkin.” After about Three,000 miles (four,500 km), I’ve tightened the strain bolt roughly ⅓ of the way in which by its 55mm threading and the speed at which I’ve tightened it has tremendously decreased. With that mentioned, a number of people appear to love letting the Selle Anatomica saddle settle right into a ‘hammock-like’ profile, whereas I are inclined to want it fairly taught. The stretching might the truth is degree out, however I’m guessing that on the present fee, the X2 would wish a brand new pores and skin at round 10,000-12,000 miles. For the report, I weigh about 170 kilos and sometimes carry a hip pack with my digicam (2-Three kilos). It’s additionally value noting that a lot of the mileage placed on the X2 was path using, so there was a big quantity of additional bumpy using, in addition to a few of out of the saddle descending included within the mileage estimation.
Altering the Pores and skin
For the sake of this assessment, I made a decision to swap the X pores and skin to the burlier H model. Not solely would this enable me to report on the serviceability of the brand new Collection 2 body, however I’d additionally be capable to gauge whether or not the heavier H pores and skin stretched much less, in addition to learn the way comfy it’s when in comparison with the lighter and extra supple X pores and skin. Set up was pretty simple, though it required a bit wrestling to get the Chicago screws to line up behind the saddle. Right here’s a video by Selle Anatomica that describes the method.
I’m happy to report that the H pores and skin didn’t appear to really feel noticeably much less comfy than the X pores and skin. It’s a little firmer, however the saddle nonetheless has the identical flex high quality and motion which is what provides it the comfortable trip high quality. So far as stretching, after 400 miles with it, I’ve solely tensioned it as soon as, and that was a minor adjustment, so I’ve a sense that the H pores and skin will stretch far lower than the X pores and skin. I’ll make sure that to replace this submit as soon as I put a pair thousand miles on it.
Flex-Fly slot system is tremendous comfy out of the field.
New Collection 2 body design is powerful and appears extra sturdy, to this point.
Enticing, basic look and out there in a number of colours.
Self-serviceable for altering pores and skin (plus a rubber model is on the way in which).
Made within the USA by a small family-run firm.
Squeaky at occasions, particularly in dusty environments.
Altering pores and skin required a bit elbow grease to get the screws to line up.
Heavier than mountain bike saddles at an analogous worth level.
The unique Selle Anatomica saddle is a long-time favourite amongst bike vacationers and bikepackers for its unmatched consolation. Nevertheless, they’d a difficulty with sturdiness, particularly the leather-based stretching too quick and the rails bending from heavier riders. The corporate has frequently made upgrades, and the brand new Collection 2 body is an unlimited enchancment. Even with a modular design, solid aluminum help, upgraded chrome steel rails, and the added skill for riders to vary the pores and skin, the brand new body remains to be 95 grams lighter than its predecessor. All-in-all, I’d extremely suggest the X2 or H2 saddle to those that are usually not fairly comfy in your present saddle or are planning on spending lengthy days on the bike on a giant journey or simply large weekend rides. Selle Anatomica saddles aren’t the most affordable, or the lightest, however for me, they’re unmatched in consolation and properly definitely worth the funding. As an added bonus, they’re made proper right here within the USA.