The Third Time’s A Charm

I have finally found my little slice of heaven…

I have been through so many bike saddles I should open up shop and start a demo business. Just this past year alone I have sampled and REJECTED:

I don’t know WHO the hell sits on this thing…it was pure and evil torture in my opinion

About 2 years ago I discovered ISM (Idea Saddle Modification). Most of my issues are with the nose of the seat while in the drops/aero, so I’ve always believed one of their models was going to be my answer…

The Adamo Road saddle has been my “go to” saddle from that moment forward. While it was wh-ayyyyyyyy better than the 1st (unnamed) one, it still wasn’t “right”.

Oh I could ride for a few hours, but I knew later that night and well into the next day something had been…uh, down there for a while 🙂

Which led me to experiment…

OK, the fact that it’s uber badass was what REALLY led me to the Adamo Race saddle here, but I also had high hopes that the more narrow channels would be just what I needed. A saddle can be badass racked, but the RIDER has to be able to follow that up with some skills….and that’s not gonna happen if said rider is miserably uncomfortable.

I was very VERY sad to retire this to the storage bin. 😦

I was back on the Adamo Road saddle and making do when I purchased my tri bike. It was the opinion of my fitter that my seat choice was incredibly wrong.

Hey, I’m always up for any suggestions!!

That led to this being thrown in with the QR purchase….

The Cobb V-Flow Plus is a very specific seat for/to me. I CAN ride it on my tri bike for about 25-30 miles before I start to get antsy….that need to shift positions and begin thinking about ending the ride. I can’t ride with it on my road bike for more than 10 miles before that same process starts.

I had just about given up and resigned myself to a certain level of discomfort…

and not riding consecutive days in order to…errr….facilitate soft tissue healing.

I elected to use the ISM Adamo Road saddle for my 70.3 and sure enough I was miserable uncomfortable on the return trip to T2. I was up and down out of the aero bars, standing, shifting positions….doing anything I could think of to simply make it back and get off that bike. I ended up riding the last 1/4 of the race upright (along the seawall mind you…ie in the wind) in hopes of just maintaining whatever comfort I could.

When I got back to Mississippi I emailed ISM.

What I needed was something in-between the Adamo Road and Adamo Race. The Road had the comfort, but the channels were too wide and the Race had the channel fit, but the seat was harder than anything I’d ever experienced in my life….and Lord knows I tried for months to get use to it!

I knew they HAD to have an answer that would be better than the suggestion of my LBS…which was to simply cinch the channels together with plastic to make the Adamo Road seat a bit more narrow…OUCH!

And of course, they did….

About 2 weeks ago UPS arrives.

My husband’s groans could be heard around the country as I opened my package which contained…SURPRISE…… ANOTHER saddle. 🙂

I promised him, “This time it’s gonna be different…this one is gonna work!”


Yesterday I FINALLY found out that comfort CAN and DOES exist on a bike.

The ISM Prologue is a seat made in heaven. It feels like someone took a mold of my ass and then made ME a saddle.

Now, I was a little skeptical at 1st. I got on and it felt a little too hard, but as I got going and warmed up it was as if it warmed up with me and then conformed TO me. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you, I rode the entire 33 miles in the aerobars and ONLY came up because outside factors warranted my doing so.

The more I rode, the more amazed I became…

Later in day, hours later, there was no residual soreness/tenderness…no feeling of violation…no dread of having to get back on and ride again…

Today is the same story. I have no signs or signals to remind me that I rode 90 minutes yesterday AND if it wasn’t for my ongoing ITB/knee/overdoing it syndrome I would be back out there right now, but I’m holding off until tomorrow….chomping at the bit to do it all again mind you!! 😉

The ISM Prologue is a definite blend of the Adamo Road and Race saddle. The best of the 2 in my opinion. The seat was comfortable, yet firm at the same time. The narrow channels finally allowed me to peddle efficiently as I wasn’t worried about creating a saddle sore after 45 mins of work. There was also a slight “nose down” tilt to the seat which, I found, aided in smoother and more efficient peddling. Normally, I work pretty hard to keep my seat level so I’m NOT tilted down AT ALL, because I tend to feel the need to keep scooting back. That wasn’t the case here. It worked and it did so perfectly.

To say I’m thrilled and relieved is an understatement.

If you’re having a hard time finding that perfect seat, as I was, I encourage you to call ISM. They’re not cheap, but you will spend a small fortune blowing through cheap ones trying to find the one that works.

You can visit their website and then shoot them an email or give em’ a call. They have superb customer service. Also, TriSports has a bike seat demo program for ISM as we all as many other seats so you can try before you buy…ANY brand!!

This process is so personal and subjective. Just because I love (or hate) a particular seat doesn’t mean that’s going to be the case for you. Each and every seat I’ve tried over the past 3 years (no lie, 11 total) have been on the recommendation of someone else until I asked ISM for help.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get that skull and butterfly design transferred to my NEW seat….

Then…it would be PERFECT!!

Ride Happy, My Friends!

11 thoughts on “The Third Time’s A Charm

  1. I’m so happy for you! I just use whatever came on my bike (a QR that I bought used on Craig’s List)…seems comfy but then again I have nothing to compare it to. Hope this seat is for you!

    • Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!! You’re lucky!! I’ve been fairly uncomfortable from the start..amazing what one does to just get those miles done!!

  2. “it’s like they took a mold of my ass” bhahahaha!!
    I think the cross bones one is pretty bad ass!!
    Glad you found a good saddle though! Yeeeeesh, this is the kind of thing that I have to look forward to soon, then, right?

    • I LOVED that Betty Designs saddle with all my heart, but it was so uncomfortable….I could race on it, but not train and THAT was a full fledged pain in the ass 😉 …to keep changing out seats simply b/c it looked so fabulous…I’ll figure something. My husband is a male Martha Stewart. I’ll have to promise him exotic favors in exchange for seeing what he can do for me!! As for your seat, you’d know if it was bad…mine were awful from 5-10 miles, I would just grit my teeth and keep searching for something better….hopefully yours works. Its flat here, so we don’t change positions much like when folks ride hills so there’s lots of pressure/contact, on the soft tissues for long periods of time….maybe thats why????

  3. Nice review Jenn. Though your anatomy is likely to be very different to mine 🙂 I’ll bear it in mind when the issue arises!

    • David, my husband LOVES his Cobb V-Flow Max saddle on his tri bike. He’s going to take my Plus and see if it works on his road bike b/c sometimes you really do need different seats for different set-ups.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I am in the market for a new saddle now… it only took me three years to realize that all seats were designed t be torturous. Imagine that…. I was thinking ISM but just didn’t know which version. Might have to start with the prologue and go from there.

    • Obviously I really like it, but email them and tell them what your riding and what you don’t like about it. Like I said, it took me 3 tries within the ISM system, but b/c my issue was with the nose more than anything else I knew I’d eventually find the right one….rode again today in YOGA pants…ZERO padding and was fine!! You know it’s good when you can basically go bare bottomed and come out praising the seat! 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for this info on the prologue, I felt like I was hearing about me & many of my demos! I’m currently trying the adamo racing & I just cant hang with it, it’s a little to stiff & causes me to have groin pain along the insides of my legs, plus it’s not very comfy in Tri shorts. I have also tried the road…no good. I will call ISM, maybe I can demo it first. Trisports does not have the prologue for demo 😦

    • I hope you can find one to try. The groin/pain on the inner thighs seems to be one of muscular origin,,,not that you really need to strengthen it, but it just needs to be “broken in” so to speak. Kinnda like the butt did when we first climbed ON a bike. There’s just more muscle there. Also, if you find 1 leg is taking the brunt of things more than the other tweak it to the side a mm or so….NOT very much. Sometimes thats enough…AND if NOTHING else is helping, lower your seat…again not very much, but they had me up at what appeared to be the proper seat height/angle and it never felt right….I always hurt and once I lower the seat a few mm it resolved. I’ve tried to raise it a few times and I’m just too uncomfortable. There’s no way to be fast or efficient if you hurt!! Good Luck!! Let me know if you need anything….I’ve worked with these seats for 2 years now so I can give you some ideas if you need some…

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