Saddles are the bane of my existence, as they are for many people who put in long steady distance rides. In contrast to short, fast rides that require repeated bursts of high-intensity pedaling—often out of the saddle—on longer rides you often sit…and sit…and sit. A comfortable saddle is a must.
I’ve preferred the Brooks Swallow for a long time now. It’s narrow enough to fit neatly between my thighs and has a flat profile, which suits my skinny ass well. Like other leather saddles, it appears rock hard, but there’s a bit of a trampoline effect that provides a cushion, particularly when the saddle is new. I like it enough that I use it on wildly inappropriate bikes, like my English, which really deserves a 100-gram wonder saddle.
I’ve tried other saddles without success, including the Fizik Kurve, which—despite claims that it offers the benefits of a Brooks in a modern saddle—has all of the initial drawbacks of a Brooks without the benefit of being able to break it in after a few hundred miles.
However, I still experience some pain, particularly when I’m in the saddle for longer than 10 or 12 hours. As importantly, the Swallow tends to collapse after seven or eight thousand miles. Not good if that’s about how far you ride each year, and especially not good considering that it costs more than $300.
This is the Rivet. It looks like a Brooks Swallow and, in fact, has almost identical dimensions, but it also has a cutout in the center.
If you’ve got your saddle set up properly, there’s no need for a cutout because you’re not sitting on your perineum. However, the slot offers one key benefit: It allows greater flex and permits the saddle to move naturally with your pedal stroke.
I received the titanium-railed saddle a few days ago, and my initial impressions were favorable. In particular, the leather appears to be thicker than on the Brooks (closer to a Berthoud saddle) and is at least equally well finished.
I went for a 35-mile ride today with the saddle with positive results. It has been a year since my last Brooks Swallow, so my recollection may be off, but the saddle was comfortable immediately, unlike the Brooks which takes at least a few hundred miles to break in. This may or may not be a good thing—if it is comfortable immediately, as the saddle breaks in it may become less comfortable.
Only time will tell if the Rivet is more durable than a Brooks. If it is—and it continues to perform—I’m a convert. So far, so good.
I’ll report back after a thousand more miles, and PS, the Kurve Bull is for sale, if anyone wants it.
Glad to see others trying the new Rivet Saddles. I own two of them and have ridden many miles with both the Diablo and the Pearl. The Pearl fits me better. Mine has a bit over 3000 miles on it and still fits perfectly there has been little need for adjustment and I continue to find it the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden. Oh and by the way, Deb Banks the principal of Rivet Cycle Works is a gem.
Of course you’d be sore after sitting 10-12 hours in anything. I think you have unreasonable expectations to be in a saddle for more than a day’s worth of time and not feel something.
I disagree. A saddle should be comfortable for 12 hours and beyond. If it hurts at 100 miles, you’re going to be dying at 200.
I’m with John on this one, 12 hours is a duration of ride I like to do at least once a week. I know that for some a 12 hour ride is an epic, perhaps once a year thing, but I like to ride long and frankly, I am not that fast. So 12 hours is an adequate test for a saddle. It gives me a pretty good idea of what I can expect in 20 or 30 hours. After that, I am not sure things change much. There will be pain, but it ought to be minor at 12.
I am on the fence with the Rivet. How do people like them long-term?