Friday, October 3, 2008

Red Wall Review: Bontrager Inform RL Saddle 7 Months Later

If you might remember, back in March I purchased the Bontrager Inform RL saddle instead of the Brooks B17 I had originally liked but due to availability issues jumped to the Inform. If you would like to read my first thoughts on the saddle go here.

As stated then and I would reinforce now, Bontragers 90 day comfort guarantee was the sealer for trying this saddle, because in all honesty I planned on returning it since the whole sit on the sizing tablet to dial in the seat seemed very smoke and mirrors to me.

After 7 months with this saddle I couldn't be happier. I have probably around 1,500 miles, maybe more I stopped tracking, on the Inform and over the course of the summer have already put 2 more on other bikes. Outside of the first adjustment I made on the saddle [just a few MM back, due to discomfort], there has been no adjustment needed and I have highly recommended this to any cyclist logging more miles and/or racing. Keep in mind, a vast majority of my riding I am not wearing cycling shorts or lycra. I'm not joe-racer, I'm a commuter. I wear Chrome Knickers on occasion but often it's just shorts and the boxer-briefs [yes, too much information but I feel it's important to note]

The sizing system I believe is the key, although the technology that Bontrager used in developing the saddles specific padding helps I have found that their sizing is where the magic happens. Most of you might have already drank the juice on how this works but bare with me as I attempt to explain in simple man terms.

What is measured is your sit bones, these are the bones that you sit on when you of course, sit. Not when you ride keep in mind. But, those sit bones as they move towards the soft tissue area, they move inward at a relatively consistent manner. Where they narrow on your soft tissue is actually where you sit on a saddle, especially when in a more aggressive or race position. The more 'comfortable' of a position you are in the more a rider moves back in towards the 'seated' position of the sit bones and thus needing a larger platform. The Inform system measured me out and when I compared this measurement to the Brooks they are strikingly close and I believe that is why I have never had any problems or have had to go through the typical break in process with my B17 to enjoy it.

I will have a hard time moving away from an Inform and recommend it to anyone. Remember, $100 is a small price to pay for an extremely important area! And heck, you've got 90 days to figure it out!

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