By Rick Schultz
- Limited Availability, Limited Width Options – Still an issue
- I think this would be a far superior saddle if they got rid of the webbing and keep the original power cutout – Addressed in this article
In my previous article, I had an issue with this saddle causing me numbness. I was blasted by several readers commenting, “Well, it doesn’t happen to me” and “I don’t go numb.” Sorry for dissing your favorite saddle, but, just because it doesn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to someone else.
To be fair, I did try the saddle several more times and the exact same numbing started right away.
Since I purchased this saddle, I thought, “I don’t want to just set it over in the corner never to use it again — let me take a look at the root cause.” My conclusion: too much webbing.
My plan was to cut out 1 of the 3-layers of webbing, then ride the saddle to see if it made any difference. The way the saddle is built, there is a perforated plastic base layer with several layers of 3D printed webbing on top. It looked to me that cutting one layer would not impact the integrity of the saddle.
Using a pair of modelers snippers, Figure 1, I carefully snipped out one layer of webbing and then tested the saddle. Snipping, it turns out, is more difficult than I initially thought. The material is very elastic and difficult to cut since each hexagonal piece is vertically supported by six posts as well as each cell is locked to the other (Figure 2).
Once done, I tried the saddle again. After two minutes, I went numb. Cutting out just one layer made little to no difference. Looking at the saddle again, it appeared that I could cut out the middle layer of webbing as well. After another 45-minutes of snipping, the middle layer was removed.
Out for a ride again, it took a whole 15-minutes to feel myself going numb. So, back to the drawing board.
One last look at the saddle and I snipped away the 3rd later of webbing. I could get access to most of the webbing except directly underneath the edges.
Now, down to the base layer (Figure 3), I rode the bike again. This time no numbness.
A total of 7 x 2-hour rides later and no numbness. The saddle is now very comfortable, and I can now easily ride for several hours at a time.
NOTE: The plastic base layer looks like it can also be removed if needed. Something I might eventually do to turn this into more of a Power saddle with a full cutout.
All-in-all, I cut out around a centimeter of webbing height, allowing more comfort (Figure 4).
At this point, the “cutout” is down to the plastic base layer (Figure 5).
This operation was a great success, and the integrity of the saddle has not been compromised.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.
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