Choosing the Right Triathlon Bike Saddle


– Who, what, why, where, when, saddles, and how to select the right one for you. Now as far as split nose saddles go. (grunts) (upbeat instrumental music) What’s up, trainiacs? Very quick video today
because I just got in from a 30 hour saga of flying yesterday and I had a bad Larabar this morning and I don’t feel very good. So today we’re going to
talk what’s in this box, and I really hope that what’s in this box is what I think is what’s in this box because otherwise I’ve got to come up with an entirely new video idea. What I believe is in this box is a set of Cobb cycling saddles. Now I assure you, this video is not just an unboxing video. I want to talk saddle
selection in general. Woo, good, okay. Saddle selection in general
because comfort in the saddle is what’s going to keep you on your bike. The more time you spend on the bike, the faster you’re going
to get on your bike, and it’s quite counterintuitive that the most comfortable saddle isn’t at all the cushiest saddle. I would actually argue
that the cushiest saddle that you can get is
probably one of the worst saddles that you can get
because doing this 100 times every single minute when
there’s a lot of stuff smashed in there, there’s a lot of stuff that’s rubbing on your parts. So the most comfortable saddles are saddles that fit you well, or saddles that are structured properly for your biomechanics,
or structured properly for the position that
you’re going to be in, whether you’re on a road
or a triathlon bike. All those things go into
selecting a proper saddle and we’re going to talk
about that today, alright? Number one, we have a Cobb
Tenace, ten-ah-say, tan-ah-chay, ta-nah-chay, 55 IRONMAN. Look at that, it’s a little IRONMAN, with a hydration pack
and a flat repair pack already mounted on the back. Thinking Cobb. This is actually the saddle
that Patrick Lange used to win IRONMAN Hawaii 2017, and this saddle is all
blinged out with M dots because Cobb just entered
into a partnership with IRONMAN that I think that they are the official saddle of IRONMAN. Then I have a surprise kit that looks like Randy Macho Man Savage would wear. Alright Cobb, I see where
you’re going with this. Loud and proud. Equally loud shorts, I approve. Water bottle, water bottle. Drink cozy, stickers. Ooh, what’s this? San Remo saddle, it’s a road saddle there. Finally, the last thing
that we’ve got here is a bright pink 55 Cobb saddle. This is very similar to the 55
saddle that they’ve got here, but this one is for Nichole
Walker, who loves pink. If you don’t know, Nichole Walker is a local half IRONMAN
and full IRONMAN pro that is in our training group, and she loves her pink. Now this is definitely going to be TMI for the fellows out there. Something that I learned
about saddles for ladies is like how they are built actually has a big factor on
what saddle works for them, so I’m going to give this to Nichole and then I’ll put on my earmuffs one day and we’ll do a video where she
talks about all that stuff. Alright, who, what, why,
where, when, saddles and how to select the right one for you. It’s not to say that these Cobb saddles are the best saddles because frankly they just sent them out to me. Disclaimer, I didn’t pay for them. We’re giving them a try. They liked all the content we did in Kona, they reached out and they said hey, Patrick Lange just won
that race on our saddle. Do you want to try it? I’m like yeah, okay. Do you want to try several? I’m like yeah, okay, cool. So thank you, Cobb, but
there are some things that we can learn by comparing the different saddles
that they’ve sent out. So number one, the width of the saddle is crucial for getting a good fit. You look at say the San
Remo versus the Tenace. You can see right there that
the nose of the San Remo is quite a bit more narrow
than the nose of the Tenace. And even on the saddle
area, like the back, the seat area of the San
Remo isn’t nearly as meaty as the seat area of the Tenace. Like look at, look at how
much you got going on there versus how much you got going on there. How you can check that
out is your bike shop should have the setup
where you go and sit on, it’s kind of like memory foam, and in that memory foam,
when you sit down on it, there will be indents
where your sit bones are, and then they’ll take a
scale ruler, basically, and they’ll see how
wide your sit bones are, and from that they’ll determine
how wide a saddle you need. And then in addition to that, comparing these two saddles,
you can look at the curvature. So look at the curvature
of the San Remo here. It’s basically straight
once you get off of the little hump here from the seat area. All of that is more or less straight, which is almost identical to the saddle that I’ve got on my Cervelo S3. However, with the Tenace, you look at this and you can see that there’s a curve almost the entire way. There’s almost no part of
it that’s dead straight. How it was explained
to me at the bike shop is that there’s something
in your back called, I think it’s thoradosis,
where there’s curvature in your back and you want
to mimic that curvature and basically accept that curvature with a curved saddle. I don’t have that, so I tend to go with a fairly flat saddle. Now as far as split nose saddles go, these have been all the rage in triathlon for, I don’t know, I would
say almost 10 years or so. These two saddles are more intended for a road bike, whereas
this full split nose saddle, where the split goes
all the way to the end, has been really common,
popularized largely by the ISM Adamo saddle, which
is what I have on my bike. However, what I will say
about these split nose saddles is that in my experience, the Adamo saddle is incredibly finicky to figure out the exact right spot to make it work and not be like brutally uncomfortable. Is that going to happen with the Cobb? I don’t know. Getting the right spot for an aft, that’s forward and
backward, over top of peaks, settle down. What you have on saddles
is a lot of tick marks to figure out exactly
the right spot for you. Over top of your cranks is critical. In my experience, like a
one to two millimeter change is the difference between
incredibly uncomfortable and just right baby. Quick little mention that’s a cool thing, doesn’t really have to
do exactly with saddles, but the most aerodynamic spot, if you’re using round
bottles on a tri bike has been found to be right
in behind the saddle, so it’s kind of cool that they have that fully integrated already. And even here, with the
bike repair kit bag, because it’s basically
aerodynamically invisible in the wind and behind your butt, especially I think if you
got a big, wide butt like me. So number one, get the right saddle. Number two, figure out where
that saddle position is. If you can’t do it on your own, what I would recommend you do is find a bike shop like mine at Alter Ego where they do what’s called
saddle pressure mapping, and what we’ve done over at Alter Ego is there’s a pad that goes onto the saddle and it measures how much
pressure is on the saddle, and what you don’t want is like extremely high pressure
there and no pressure there. You want it evenly spaced over the saddle. I haven’t done a video on that, but hit the like button below if you’d be interested in me when I start setting these saddles up going and doing a video
on that saddle pressure mapping system so that
you understand what it is and then you can call around
to your local bike shop and see if they do that. So don’t go and get yourself
a big cushioned saddle. Do go to your local
bike shop and get fitted for the right saddle
and then get that saddle in the right position and you will have a lot of comfort on the bike. Take that comfort, go bike a lot, be fast. Be fast. Bye.


19 Responses

  1. Andrew Collins

    November 3, 2017 7:20 pm

    Nice vid man – congrats on Worlds too. Just finished week 5 of your sprint plan and it's been great so far!

  2. Brad Stelflug

    November 3, 2017 7:35 pm

    Great Vid! Totally agree with getting saddle fit at LBS. The saddle my Tri bike came with looked and felt awful. Had the bike and saddle fitted and now love the setup! Did IM Boulder this year and the saddle was comfortable for the whole ride.

  3. M Lenz

    November 3, 2017 7:50 pm

    Would love to see how you get fit for the saddle. I'm definitely going to be getting a new saddle in spring.

  4. xGshikamaru

    November 3, 2017 9:27 pm

    I use an ISM Adamo on a road bike, IMO they aren't restricted to tri bikes, great saddle compared to the awful ones you usually get by default. Not sure if there couldn't be a better saddle for me, but I like my ISM

  5. DocTacDad

    November 3, 2017 10:19 pm

    My new bike has the Adamo saddle on it and HOLY COW I was sore after the first ride! I think I'm getting it more dialed, but I'm not 100% sold on it yet. It seems to be a bit too wide for me as well.

  6. David Mosier

    November 3, 2017 11:23 pm

    6:02 "……thoradosis…" What? Lordosis is the curve in the lower back ….the lumbar region.
    Kyphosis is the curve in you upper back or the thoracic region.
    What you said is not a thing. At all. Nope.

  7. Cyclopathic Tendencies

    November 3, 2017 11:48 pm

    Started using a ISM 2.1 and I love it. Took some figuring out where to sit and to roll my hips forward, but now I love it.

  8. neckrein85

    November 4, 2017 1:36 am

    Not gonna lie….around the 6:25 mark you lost me! I couldn’t stop watching Pete 😂 He is absolutely hilarious, love his soulful expressions 👌🏻 Pete wants more camera time!

  9. Roland R

    November 4, 2017 2:07 pm

    On your next saddle video, it would be cool if you can include tips on proper height and positioning. I love that Cobb include the rear bottle and tool bag into one unit and I love their M. design too. I've been happy with my San Marco Selle saddle but I'm always open for new designs as well. Thanks Taren.

  10. Darren Clark

    November 4, 2017 2:53 pm

    In the end…it's all about the butt. See what I did there? And you could use a bigger knife next time to get into those boxes. 😜

  11. Luka Auld

    January 7, 2018 9:54 pm

    Hey Taren I'm trying to build my own tri bike and I was wondering if you had any extra split nose saddles? Thanks

  12. Andy Krohn

    July 22, 2018 3:25 am

    Man this guy is awesome. Kept me strong watching the videos whilst in recovery and now back in the saddle. Thanks Taren

  13. Paul Murray

    April 18, 2019 5:52 pm

    I would be inteyrested in whether you think Rak- it would help make my transition faster – I found it at


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