Let me start off with a disclaimer…
I’m still fuming after making a pretty eye-opening / disappointing discovery this evening as I prepared our triplet and tandem for this weekend’s Southern Tandem Rally.
Here’s the deal: We purchased a Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle for Debbie at the May ’13 Georgia Tandem Rally after Debbie had started struggling with comfort issues on the saddle she had been using for a couple of years. The Selle Titanico was a Hail Mary as we were going to be doing a metric century the next day. Suffices to say, the Titanico was the first saddle that Debbie used that didn’t become the source of any discomfort: it was perfect! As you’d expect, there’s a detailed review in an earlier blog entry.
Fast forward to GTR ’14 in Athens this past May: Debbie thought she’d be OK using the same F’zik saddle on the triplet that she used on her single bike and that’s what we used on the Friday ride. Yeah, well… that didn’t work. Fortunately, I’d brought the Calfee along and was able to move her Titanico over to the triplet for the Saturday & Sunday rides. But, I decided that before the Southern Tandem Rally (STR) in October when we next pulled the triplet down from the rafters I’d get a second Titanico for the triplet.
With STR approaching, I went out and purchased what I thought was the same Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle in September and set it aside to install in October before we headed to Columbus, Georgia for STR. Tonight was that night and boy did I get a rude surprise: they redesigned the darn saddle and completely changed the rails!
Below is a pretty good comparison of the original design at the far right, with the new design in the middle and at right.
- Take a look at how long the straight segment of the rails are on the original model at the far right.
- Note how narrow the rails are at the nose and through the neck of the saddle and how far back and narrow the rails remain where they taper along the nose.
- Now look at the new design and notice that the amount of fore/aft saddle adjustability has been reduced by a full 1/3d from the original.
- Consider how the wider and more forward taper near the nose of the saddle really adds nothing to the function of the saddle, while creating an interference point for anyone who rides knees-in.
New & Improved “T” Model
This new design made it impossible for me to get Debbie’s riding position far enough forward for a proper fit. In fact, the change in saddle rails left the nose of the saddle sitting a full 3cm too far back from the handle bars and the correct saddle nose over crank set-back for a proper fit.
Thanks Selle Anatomica for eliminating what was a great saddle option for my wife. Of course, I’d already chucked the packaging and other materials that came with the saddle back in September when I foolishly assumed the saddle would be dimensionally similar to the original so I’m pretty much stuck with it and out $150. I’ll be offering up for sale on eBay just to get rid of it as I now have to figure out if Debbie will do best on a Rivet Cycle Works knock-off of the Titanico with its anatomic cut-out, or a Brooks. I’m guessing the Rivet will be my next move as I don’t want to put Debbie through the pain and suffering that seems to go hand-in-glove with a Brooks saddle.
Still shaking my head on this one; what the hell were they thinking? Then again, these were the same folks who decided to undercut their dealers by offering a deep discount / blow-out of their saddles via their on-line store during winter 2013/14, leaving their dealers holding saddles in inventory purchased with a much higher MSRP than what was being offered by Selle.