Why Test a Saddle?
Perhaps nothing is more personal on a bike than the choice of saddle. An uncomfortable saddle can quickly take the joy out of riding. There is no reason for that to happen. There is a saddle out there for you.
Many saddle brands have come up with flexibility tests and body measurement tools to guide you to the right model. This may get you in the ballpark, but the only sure way to know if a saddle will work for you is to take it out on an extended test ride - ARB recommends at least 25 miles. And more would be better. But before you start testing saddles, make sure you have addressed bike fit and cycling shorts first!
There are many factors that can cause saddle discomfort. First and foremost, you want to be sure you are fit properly on your bike. Fortunately, we have a Retul & F.I.S.T. certified fit specialist right here at ARB Cyclery! So if you have never been fit to your bike, we strongly recommend doing this first before testing other saddles. It is also important that your saddle is aligned properly and level within a couple of degrees.
Poor quality cycling shorts can also lead to saddle discomfort. That's why we always recommend paying a little bit more for quality shorts such as those made by Castelli or Giordana. If you skimp on shorts, your century ride can quickly go from exhilarating to painful.
Choosing the Right Saddle
There are some guidelines to follow when choosing a saddle. Too narrow, and you may put too much pressure on the soft tissue area as opposed to the sit bones. Too wide, and one problem you may experience is chaffing. These are just a couple of the factors to consider when choosing a saddle.
For a more complete discussion on saddle comfort, click here.
To learn more about the philosophy behind the Selle Italia designs, click here.
Using our memory foam stool, we can measure the width of your sit bones. This will give us an idea of the appropriate saddle width for you. But even if two people have the exact same sit bone measurement, they may have two completely different responses to a given saddle. That's where ARB Cyclery's test saddle program comes in.
How It Works
You can test any of our 30+ saddles for a $25 rental fee and have up to a week to try it. If you choose to buy that model saddle, the rental fee will be credited toward the purchase price. If the first saddle doesn't work, you are free to try a different model for another $25 rental fee.
You have up to a week (7 full days) to test it out. You can keep trying until you find a saddle that works best for you. If you ultimately buy a saddle through ARB Cyclery, the total amount of any rental fees incurred is credited toward the purchase price. For example, if it took three test saddles to find the right one, your $60 in rental fees would be credited towards the purchase price.
Test saddle rentals can only be made in store. Call or text us at 949-752-2080 if you are interested in a specific model saddle. If we don't have it, sometimes we are able to get it.
When you get to the shop, a hold for the retail value of the saddle will be placed on your credit card, but the card WILL NOT BE CHARGED, unless you fail to return the saddle within a week. Upon return, the hold will be released and you will only be charged the test saddle rental fee. Please note that only one saddle can be taken out at a time.