Somewhere there is a product manager for Wilderness Trail Bikes getting a bonus for having cut out anything resembling comfort in this saddle:
A ride on this saddle is like experiencing one of the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno. My first ride was a short ~16 mile out and back on a paved recreational trail. Smooth asphalt and concrete the whole way at a nice 16 to 17 mile per hour pace. Nothing special and nothing extreme. Oh boy did my rear end hurt at the end.
I chalked it up to the first ride of the season, which is always a somewhat tortuous experience as winter’s rust is shaken off. Seriously, I feel like some kind of waylaid creature summoned when the weather warms up—kind of, if you know what spring has been like in Iowa this year—who breaks free of magical stone shackles. No seriously, how can I spend the winter working out five and six days a week yet suffer mightily on the first easy ride of the season? It’s like I should stop trying.
A subsequent ride confirmed my worst fears. This saddle was designed to drive traffic into bike shops by users looking to upgrade to something that would not turn their most personal of areas into overcooked brisket. Thankfully the solution to this problem was in my garage already: the Selle Anatomica Titanico X on the old dirtwagon. Much better:
A human being interfaces with a bicycle at three contact points: pedals, handlebar, and saddle. At each contact point there are almost infinite options for one to choose from, but the saddle stands out for products to really suck. Maybe it is personal preference or just the many ways our asses can be shaped.
On a related note, I had forgotten just how much fiddling was required to get a new bike dialed in. After you have ridden thousands of miles on an old bike these little details are generally already taken care of and you just throw a leg over to get riding. On a new bike you are fiddling with saddled tilt and height, fore and aft position, SPD cleat alignment, and the list goes on. At this rate I do not think I will have everything locked down until well into May.