April 6, 2005

    I had a custom fit done on my new Specialized Hardrock Comp XXL (I
m 6’5”, 235 pounds), and part of this custom fit was pushing the saddle as far back as it could go, making the seatpost clamp go to the very front part of the saddle’s rails. After I bent the rails on the saddle that came with the bike, I put another saddle on, and I had bent the rails again in a couple of days, and then one of the rails actually broke as well.
    Today the bike shop gave me a new saddle embossed with the words “Liberator Ti Race.” The salesman assured me that titanium rails would hold up. I
m not sure Im going to be comfortable with this new saddle, however; I much prefer “comfort” saddles. I just bought a new Body Geometry Comfort Plus saddle, which Im very used to and love, but Im afraid to put it on the bike for fear of bending and/or breaking the rails.
    I know I could adjust the saddle to position the seatpost clamp in the middle part of the rails, but then I would lose the geometric adjustments done as part of my “custom fit” (and this fit has made me feel better than I ever have on a bike). I could also get a seatpost with more of a “layback” to the clamp, but I don
t believe they make extended-layback seatposts with shocks.
    One mechanic suggested getting a seatpost with a longer clamp on top, but would adding just a fraction of an inch to this really make a difference? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thanks.

Martin R.

    I like to say that the more hardware you use to fix a problem, the more problems you end up with later.
    Unfortunately, to address your problem’s three parameters—setback, strength, and cushion—I’ve had to create a real Frankenstein monster of seat configurations. I think it’ll work, but the villagers might riot.
    First, to get the seat back far enough we need a laybacked seat post. A couple suspension posts—such as the Bracer Offset models from Post Moderne—do have minor laybacks, but I presume you need something more dramatic, like a curved seat post.
    Next, we need a way to grab the seat’s rails in the right spot so you can use non-titanium rails without bending ‘em. This we can do with a device made by M2Racer called the Power Module—which basically lets you slide a seat back and forth without moving the seat post clamp.
    Last, you need that cush. I suggest you try a leather Brooks spring saddle. The combination of leather (conforms to your sit bones) and springs gives you both comfort and suspension.
    You could start out using your Body Geometry seat instead of the Brooks saddle, but you might miss the suspension. You might not.

Mr Bike

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