South African endurance brand Ride Farr, brings us the Saddle Farr S-RZ CRN-Ti
Words and photos: Mike Blewitt
Your five contact points on your bike are one of the areas where you can take all the advice you like, and read all the reviews as well, and still be unsure if something is right for you. From grips and gloves, to shoes and pedals and of course shorts and saddles, it's all pretty personal on what we want and need from the respective products.
Without wanting to change for the sake of change, those who spend a fair bit of time pedalling will have noticed the trend to shorter and wider saddles. The Specialized Power Saddle made it very popular, especially for those riding road. Shimano's component arm, PRO, brought their own short and wide saddles out, and even just released a mountain bike specific model. Last year, South African endurance brand Ride Farr brought their own saddle range out that is based around being short and wide. With a few colour options available, and either a carbon railed model or CrN-Ti like we have here, the saddles are designed for long-distance comfort while still keeping low weight in mind.
If you're wondering why you would want a wide saddle when so many bike saddles are really skinny, it's all based around proper support of your sit bones. Many long saddles are designed to be sat on in a variety of places. The short and wide ones tend to work more for two positions. Sitting on them, and of course scooting forward a little when climbing. To that end they have a relief channel and a wider nose. So when you're sitting further forward it's actually still pretty comfortable, and when sitting centred on the saddle it's very supportive.
Given I had been riding on a similar PRO saddle on a couple of bikes, I was really interested in fitting the saddle up. At about 265g they're not crazy light for the racers out there, but the more time you spend on the bike, the more I think you will like it.
Fitting the Ride Farr saddle up was easy enough, but do pay attention to matching your position. You might need help from a friend when measuring set back, or how far behind the bottom bracket you are sitting. Given the saddle is shorter, measuring from the tip of the saddle to your bars won't make for a straight forward swap.
After the expected amount of fiddling around with the exact position on my first ride on the Ride Farr saddle, it blended into the background. It was notably more comfortable on long, steady climbs and longer days on the bike. Being a little wider I did notice it on descents as it's a bit more width to get behind. That just took a minor adjustment in positioning when getting behind the saddle.
The only real downsides here are to do with delivery. Ride Farr deal direct, and while they have an outpost in Western Australia, you order online and have items delivered directly. This method means the value for money with their gear is really high, but it does take away the chance to take a closer look at any equipment prior to purchase. Saddle demo programs are quite popular in many local bike shops, but it's not an option that is available here.
For endurance riding, I have really liked testing this saddle out. That said, it didn't make it onto my XC and marathon race bike, yet. If you spend a lot of time in the saddle pedalling, you will likely love this style of saddle. Whether that is someone who rides an eMTB, someone doing big days on a gravel bike, or solo 24 hour racers and the like – that's your call to make. But overall this is a very comfortable saddle without being a lounge attached to your seat post.
RRP: $124.70 plus shipping
- All-day riding comfort
- Good choice of materials
- A few colour options
- Great value
- Can be hard to get behind in steep terrain