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  1. #1
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    saddles with strongest rails

    I seem to always bend saddle rails. I've owned a variety of saddles and nothing lasts more than 6 months. My latest was a WTB Velo that fit great, but on my second singletrack ride, the saddle rails bent like wet noodles. I don't even notice a hard hit. I do run my saddle most of the way back in the rails, as this gives me a better fit, making bending a bit more problematic.

    When my seatposts were constantly bending, I bought a thomson, and put that matter to rest. Which saddle rails are the thomson seatposts of saddle rails? Thanks.

    edit: 1. please don't recommend I change my riding style, I know that's a possibility, but that's not my question. 2. I would use a seatpost with more setback, but haven't found one that's long enough (450mm), so that would be a useful recommendation too, but nothing super expensive please.

    Older threads I've searched recommend a lot of saddles that aren't available anymore. I work at a shop, so if you can suggest parts distributed by qbp, hawley, or j&b, that would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    When you say "most of the way back in the rails" do you mean most of the way back in the area marked on the rails or do you mean back outside of the marked limits? If you clamp the rails outside of the allowable area then I think bending is inevitable with any saddle. If the rails are bent when clamped inside the allowable area then you should make a warranty claim.
    I like Specialized saddles because they fit my butt and are sturdy. Obviously, you'd want to stick with steel and stay away from titanium or carbon rails.

  3. #3
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    saddles with strongest rails

    Chromag make some nice strong saddles. I have bent lots of wtb in the past. Chromag moon DT seems to be holding up really well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    edit: 1. please don't recommend I change my riding style, I know that's a possibility, but that's not my question.
    I know what you're asking, but I'm not sure that there's going to be much variance in rail strength for a given material. Perhaps you could find a saddle with solid rails, rather than tubular rails, but even then the difference in strength is fairly insignificant because you're talking about such a small difference in mass of material.

    Obviously, the easiest and cheapest option is to change your riding style. Stand up on hard bumps, use your legs as suspension, etc etc. I ride some rocky stuff in Nevada on a hardtail with a saddle with titanium rails and I've never had issues. I weigh 180# and the seatpost is a Ritchey with a lot less clamping surface than a Thomson. Here's the token "YMMV."
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  5. #5
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    How big are you? What type of riding are you doing? Have you had a saddle fit test to determine the best width for you? These are all things to consider with the biggest being what fits your butt. If the saddle doesn't fit, it doesn't matter if the rails break because you're not going to ride it enough to break them. You'll just gripe about a sore butt instead of busted rails.

  6. #6
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    remaining seated thru the rough is going to bend the rails on any saddle. get an i-beam seat if you don't want bent rails...


  7. #7
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    The WTB aviator has 8mm chromo rails and its super comfy. I have the dh race version that i found on clearance so I bought 2.

  8. #8
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    While I think this is primarily a technique issue, perhaps one of those seatposts that are designed to flex may absorb some of the impact on the rails. There's the Syntace HiFlex, Thudbuster, I think FSA makes one, there are probably others I'm not remembering ATM.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  9. #9
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    Thanks to everyone who's tried to offer useful saddle suggestions.

    borabora, the front of the clamp was about 8mm from the start of the bend. Regardless, I don't think any company will warranty a bent saddle unless the customer just gets lucky.

    The I-beam post isn't long enough, so that's out unless there's a 450mm version I'm unaware of.

    Like all seat rail questions, the "change your technique" recommendations are inevitable. I had hoped to avoid such obvious responses by asking that they not be provided, but I only hoped that my request would reduce the frequency of displays of the obvious, not stop them entirely. The question of changing one's technique has a lot to do with what you're riding. It's easy to change technique for a 100 yards, but pushing yourself to your limits doesn't leave much room for changing technique. I sit down and stand to maximize speed without compromising safety. I think there's a trade-off that would require me to slow down in order to stay off the seat more. While I'm not the fastest guy in the world, I am one of the fastest in my town and can best many cat 1 or 2 riders (on technical singletrack, not gravel or road rides) as well as card carrying "expert" mountain bikers. As my fitness improves, I'll ride further and harder, so standing up where I've previously sat down when very fatigued will still only be practical if I ride slower.

    Does anyone know if the chromag saddles have varying rail strength other than the overture with 8mm rails? I'd definitely go with the 8mm rails, but not sure if the rest of the saddle will be comfortable for pedaling since its so FR/DH specific. I'll keep an eye out for the aviator at a good price too, but I prefer saddles with a channel.

  10. #10
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    I am a bigger dude and was bending WTB nicro rails like crazy, I bought a Moon with Ti rails and ran it for a year with no issues, I now have a Chromag Trailmaster LTD that has Ti rails and will let you know how it lasts...but I suspect I will have the same experience as I did with my moon.

    The Mountain Bike Life: Chromag Goodies - Product Preview

  11. #11
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    The more I read about your bike setup, the more I think you're riding a bike that is too small for you. I can't imagine needing a post that long on a bike that fits properly. Maybe that's something to consider too.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shytie View Post
    The more I read about your bike setup, the more I think you're riding a bike that is too small for you. I can't imagine needing a post that long on a bike that fits properly. Maybe that's something to consider too.
    My bike is comfortable and very fast, so I can't imagine why I'd want to change my position on it. I just want a seat that works well with the good fit I've setup.

    Regardless, most larger models just stretch out the front end, they don't have slacker seat tube angles, so I'd just have a shorter stem and post, but would still need to run the seat far back to get my pedals where I want them relative to my butt/center of gravity. In fact, because I'm riding a krampus which has a bent seat tube, the seat tube angle is variable and the larger bikes appear to be set up so they would actually move me forward, making the seat-pedal relationship more like a smaller bike. It's hard to be sure about this because the surly info is insufficient to fully compare there different sizes when a bent seat tube is present.

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