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Up to the top of Haleakala and back…Your how-to guide...

Posted on Apr 8, 2013

Up to the top of Haleakala and back… by Rick Schultz Several years ago, my wife, daughter and I traveled to Maui for a fun-filled family vacation. My wife and daughter wanted to take one of Maui’s famous bicycle tours from the top of Haleakala volcano back down the road to the bicycle shop 37 miles away – yes, basically it’s a 37 mile downhill ride. This sounded like a great outing with the family, but seemed a little too easy, so I opted to do the ride both ways – up the 10,023 foot volcano and back down! My wife and daughter would ride in the tour van and meet me at the top so I could ride down with them on their downhill excursion. Here’s the official Haleakala webcam – http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakalanew/webcams.shtml BACKGROUND: I have often been asked, “how would you rate this ride?” I always tell people that Haleakala is a good ride, but you need to be in shape. Several people I know have attempted it, but turned around at the park entrance which is still...

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Saddles Part 1 – BACKGROUND

Posted on Apr 7, 2013

PURPOSE OF TEST Before getting into the actual analysis, testing and recommendations, I would like to preface these recommendations with the caveat ‘my choices are 100% dependent upon my personal attributes and no way imply the quality of any saddle tested’. What I have learned in this research and testing is that since we are all created differently “What works for me, might not work for you”. I have spent the past several months researching all of the literature and studies from different manufacturers websites, Urology experts, ergonomic experts, etc.  and learned A LOT.  My research started as a quest to find the best fitting saddle. Cutouts, no cutouts, long, short, wide narrow, flat, curved. Everyone seems to have an outspoken preference and I have found out you don’t argue religion, politics, or saddles. What seems to be comfortable for one person might feel like a 2×4 to another. Why?  As it turns out the ‘RIGHT’ saddle depends on several important factors and a small difference in any one of these between two people will result in a complete...

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Saddles Part 2 – SELLE SMP

Posted on Apr 6, 2013

PICKING THE RIGHT SADDLE Here is what the manufacturers have been researching, as well as my analysis after testing these saddles (in the order that I received the saddles from the manufacturers)… SELLE SMP – Their racing saddles fall under one of two product lines. One product line is for cyclists with XSmall-Small-Medium hips, the other product line is for cyclists with Medium-Large-XLarge hips. At the top of both product lines are full carbon saddles. You can equate hip width to sit bone width as these two measurements should be directly proportional to each other.   Since most cyclists prefer some degree of padding, Selle SMP measures the padding in 3 locations to best suit each cyclists preference for comfort. 2” from the front Saddle midpoint 2” from the rear   Each of these different padding thicknesses equate to a different saddle model as can be seen with the three models tested. This also means that each SELLE SMP might have more or less curvature depending on the amount and location that the padding is placed.   BENEFITS of...

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Saddles Part 3 – ISM ADAMO

Posted on Apr 5, 2013

ISM –IDEAL SADDLE MODIFICATION. Their saddles are used by many triathletes. I havent seen too many mounted to road bikes so I thought this might be something to explore.  ISM reports that Dr. Sommer commented that with the ISM saddle, blood flow in the perineum area remained at 100% throughout his tests. Dr. Sommer stated, “ISM – A saddle where there is hardly any blood loss. Which is excellent to preserve sexuality and for preventing erectile dysfunction.”   In a recent April 2009 Study, NIOSH concluded that the best bicycle saddle is one with no-nose. The 2 attached graphics summarize this article which shows the pressure points of a tradtional saddle (left) vs. a noseless saddle, which turns out to pretty much match ISM ADAMO racing saddle pressure points (that include a ‘nose’ -see figure below). These great results are due to ISM placing the riders groin in front of the saddle arms. For 2013, ISM has 11 ‘racing’ style saddles (they will be adding the ATTACK) and 2 sport/touring saddles which offer a wider seating platform and a...

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Saddles Part 4 – SPECIALIZED ROMIN EVO EXPERT...

Posted on Apr 4, 2013

SPECIALIZED’s saddle technology was developed with ergonomic expert Dr. Roger Minkow. This technology is called Body Geometry. The Body Geometry line of saddles is designed with a cut-out or groove to take the pressure off of the arteries and soft tissues for improved blood flow and comfort. Of equal importance is correct saddle width. In order for a saddle to have the Body Geometry classification, it must allow 75%+ blood flow. To get fitted, you sit on a piece of dense memory foam which imprints your sit bones. A measurement is taken then associated with a table to get your Specialized saddle width (see graphic). They will then ask you a question of riding position which is that final factor in determining saddle width. My results were that I need a 143mm wide saddle. SELECTING THE RIGHT SADDLE Specialized has 4 basic lines of saddles, MTB, Road/Multisport, Recreational and BMX/Youth. The line of Saddles I chose was Road/Multisport. Within this category, there are 3 lines of racing saddles; Chicane, Toupe, Romin. The Toupe and Romin are similar, except the...

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Saddles Part 5 – SELLE ITALIA SLR SUPERFLOW

Posted on Apr 3, 2013

SELLE ITALIA has a process called idmatch. You get professionally fit with a 4-step system where they measure General parameters – age, height, weight, gender, type of cycling Intertrochanteric distance Thigh circumference Pelvic rotation/flexibility Numbers 2 aboce is used to determine the width of the saddle, while number 4 is used to determine what part of your anatomy comes into contact with the saddle. Funny thing is that even though they measure thigh circumference, they never use it in the calculation, or in the design of the saddle. I will even offer that they need a #5 – Qfactor to complete a move accurate fitment, but more on this later. An example of why #4 is so important is that a cyclist who rides in an aero position could have very little flexibility in their pelvis, which means that even in an aero position, their pelvis is coming in contact with the saddle as if sitting totally upright. In this example, their spine is doing all of the bending. While, at the other end of the spectrum, a cyclist...

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