Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Satisfied: Titanico X

I'd like to do a series of posts where I discuss bike components and kit that I've purchased and am satisfied with.  I am not a paid endorser nor do I have any business relationship with these companies.  I'm just a satisfied customer.

Your bike's most important part is the ass on the saddle.

Anyway, that's what some people say ....

Colorful metaphors aside, a comfortable saddle is more important than anything else on the bike.  This is especially true when you've been riding all day and your butt-cheeks feel like they've been pounded into hamburger. You can be hot, sweaty, thirsty, sunburned, with sore legs and back, but it all pales in comparison to the inhuman torture of a saddle that just ain't right.  As a result, a comfortable saddle is the Holy Grail of cycling.

My quest for the Grail began a few months after bringing my GT home.  It came with a decent saddle, made by a reputable company, but became very uncomfortable after about 20 miles.  I tried the Rule 5 ploy, hoping to get used to it, but my backside just wasn't diggin' the saddle at all.  So, after giving it a good 5 months I decided a different saddle was in order.

Titanico X
I tried several saddles that didn't really feel a whole lot better than what I already had.  Then, I went to a shop to look at a well-known English-made leather saddle, one that everyone raves about, only to find out that it wouldn't work on my bike.  In order to get a proper fit, the saddle needed more setback than the that saddle allowed.  The fitting specialist immediately suggested a different leather saddle that offered considerably more setback and in his opinion, would be even more comfortable than the other saddle.  This saddle was made by an American company, Selle Anatomica, and was called the "Titanico".

I'd never heard of it.

Choice of saddle is a very personal matter.  A saddle that works for one may not work for another.  The shop had a loaner saddle and we mounted to the bike so I could ride it for a weekend and decide for myself.  That decision was not long in coming.  I rode 15 miles after work the next day, and 50 miles over the weekend.  I was amazed at how immediately comfortable the saddle was.  Really, really comfortable.  I was impressed after the first ride, but by the time the weekend was over I was sold.  I ordered a saddle right away.

The new saddle arrived in time for the Denver Century where I'd be riding a Metric Century for the first time.  Ordinarily, you don't use a brand-new piece of equipment on a ride like that, but I felt confident this new saddle would serve well.  It did not disappoint.  It was a brutal day's ride, but at the finish, my butt was the only part of me that didn't hurt.

Since then, I've put a lot of miles on my Titanico.  I love it.  It's proven to be as easy to own, dependable and durable as it is comfortable.

No treatment was or is needed for the Titanico.  No cremes or oils had to applied to the leather.  The laminate, "Watershed" leather was perfect right out of the box and continues to be so. You never have to do a thing to it.  No maintenance is required and that's a good thing in my book.

Although it never required a break-in period as with other leather saddles, mine stretched just a little in the first weeks. Tensioning the saddle was simple - using a tensioning screw in the saddles's nose - and since then has required no further adjustment.  It didn't take long to find the saddles "sweet spot" - in my case just a couple degrees down at the nose.  The saddle has kept that setup and has required no further adjustment.  You can count on the saddle being the same as it was last time you rode it.

Recent picture of my Titanico X
My saddle is amazingly durable.  The rails are strong and support my 200+ pounds very well.  It holds up beautifully - after 6 months it looks every bit as good as it did the day I brought it home. Just recently I rode in a cold, shitty rain for 20 miles and left it uncovered for 1/2 hour with no ill effect.  This is a damned tough saddle.

The saddle is extremely comfortable in all riding positions. The cut-out to prevent perineum numbness works well and doesn't cause any discomfort.  It's still comfortable all day long.

So, I'm extremely satisfied with the Titanico X.  It has proven to be all that was promised and more.  It's a saddle I'd recommend to anyone, anytime.