The Bike List

Adamo Century Saddle £85

Tested by Claire Maxted, tester for The Bike List

Well who on earth would go back to using a regular mono-prong saddle after one of these? Not me! I am fully converted to the double-pronged saddle, it's so much comfier, and I'm not even a bloke. I used to feel saddle sore after 4 hours of riding, think 'Ah, that's just the sign of a long ride' and put up with it, but the Adamo Century has solved a problem I didn't even know I had.

The double-pronged design takes the pressure off your perenium and soft tissue between your legs, and at first it can feel a little odd - the prongs a little wide, brushing the inner thigh, and weird that the usual contact area is free and breezy. Being a typical woman I hate reading instructions, so of course I hadn't taken the Century's short front into account - I needed to move the saddle back further on the steel rails to avoid the prongs rubbing my inner thighs because Adamo knock off about 5cm off the front of their saddles to avoid hitting soft tissue.

The saddle also has a higher seat profile than traditional saddles to move the pressure points to the sit bones and pubic rami bones, so you need to lower your seat post by 2-5mm to accommodate this. They advise taking an allen key out with you on your first few rides in order to get your saddle set up perfect, and this is an excellent idea. With the correct set up you should then have about three finger widths of seat space behind you when bent forward in the riding position, and a much comfier time of it all.

Although definitely more comfortable after a few 'bedding in' rides, there's no denying that the sensation is strange at first. The best way to describe it is being perched on the front of the seat without the usual between-the-legs pressure point grinding of a regular saddle. You do need a few rides to adapt to the new pressure points, and on one 25k ride I felt lopsided with most of my weight on just one of the prongs, but slight tweaking and some perseverance got my muscles used to it and now I have a near perfect saddle set up for long distance rides.

But, and there's always a but even when you think things are going swimmingly, there's no getting away from the fact that this saddle is easily four times the price of your bog standard, it'll do, regular saddle, but then it's also easily a good £30 under top of the range mono-prongs, and let's be honest, who wouldn't pay a one off fee for comfort on longer rides every time you hit the 75km mark? The weight, 343g, is also heavier than your standard mono-prong, sometimes by as much as 100g, but again, like the price, this is something you have to weigh up with the comfort factor. I'd personally rather lose 100g body weight to make up for it.

Despite the heavier weight and possibly higher price, I will never be going back to mono-prong saddles, and right now I'm struggling to see why they were even invented - especially for men.

At a glance

Verdict A uniquely and amazingly comfortable saddle that avoids painful pressure points making it especially great for long distance rides of 4+ hours.

ISM says:

If you have problems, we have solutions. 100 milers or the weekend warrior rider. As its namesake suggests, this saddle works for distance riding and your bum will thank you after that long Saturday or Sunday workout. Great for aero bars or the hoods. This very soft saddle delivers the comfort you have been searching for while also having slightly narrower arms to prevent chaffing. The Century's sleek design uses plush foam padding & gel, Lycra cover and satin steel rails 255mm long and 145mm wide.
Available in Black