Bontrager inForm RXL saddle review

April 10, 2009

Bontrager inForm RXL saddle review

Summary: I tried out a Bontrager inForm RXL saddle for two weeks and took it on two 70+ mile rides. It was ok on short rides but after about 40 miles it started to hurt. By the end of the two long rides I was hurt so bad I needed a couple of days to recover. The saddle also has a fairly slippery cover that I also found undesirable. I prefer a saddle that presents more resistance to lateral forces so I don’t slide around unexpectedly.

Background and requirements: I am 44 years old, male, with 40+ years cycling experience. I ride long distance events and recently started road racing. On my long distance comfort bike I usually ride a Brooks B17. It is generally comfy but puts too much pressure on the perineum when riding low on the drop or on aero bars. I can start to feel my family assets go numb after only about 100 miles on a B17. That’s ok if I’m in no hurry because I can sit up more but I’m planning on riding the Saratoga 24-hour time trial this July and would like to do 400 miles if I can. A B17 isn’t going to work for that. I need a saddle that will be comfortable for 24 hours with a lot of that spent low on the drops or aero bars.

My racing bike has a Specialized Toupé saddle that is pretty good but also not comfortable enough for long rides. After about 80 miles the tissue under my public arch (the bone cyclists sit on) gets sore. So I’m looking to solve that problem too.

I was interested in the Bontrager inForm because of their claim to have put some formal scientific study into the physiology and biomechanics relating to saddle design. I was also attracted by their 90-day trial period. I was measured and chose the RXL medium width. It was good as far as reducing pressure on the perineum was concerned. The problem, like the Toupé, was with the tissue under the public arch. I became so sore after about 40 miles on both the longer rides that I found myself standing far too often just to relieve the pressure. The pain was present for a couple of days after both rides. It is a wonder that anyone could achieve such an uncomfortable saddle design. I returned it.

So I’m still looking for the right saddle. Fizik Airone has many followers, perhaps the Tri version. And I was recommended Sella Italia Flite Gel Flow and SLC Gel Flow. Any other ideas? Trial and error can get expensive in this game.

6 Responses to “Bontrager inForm RXL saddle review”

  1. Tom said

    What about something like a Selle San Marco Rolls or Regal?

  2. noor said

    I just bought this too only because of the guarantee (otherwise that would’ve been 165 down the drain). Um, first impressions aren’t too great, doesn’t offer much more comfort over my san marco ponza (UF)

    I’ll have to put more miles and hear what others have to say.

  3. thefsb said

    I’ve tested several saddles in the mean time.
    – Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow was a disaster – similar in discomfort to the Bontrager but worse.
    – Selle Italia Signo was much better but not impressive
    – Fizik Arione was easy on the butt but was squashing the family jewels
    – Same with the Aliante, though this is really comfortable on the butt
    – Antares was as bad as the Selle Italias

    I was going to try a couple of Specialized (Alias and TriTip) but I found a shop with a demo Selle SMP Stratos. This totally works to relieve pressure on the front bits. I wasn’t so comfortable on my butt but I’m fairly confident that a wider model (e.g. Lite 209 or Pro) will sort that out. The Stratos is narrow and has little padding. So the same not-quite-so-local is going to find me a Lite 209 to try out.

  4. cal lee said

    I’m also looking for more comfy saddles. Please keep suggestions flowing in.
    I ride about 40 miles a day, 3-4 times a week. I need a comfortable saddle.

  5. Kevin said

    Did you ever find a saddle you liked? I’ve had similar experiences with the SLR, Toupe, and Aliante. I’ve tried the Specialized Romin and Alias and it hurts my sit bones too. The Aliante Versus is very comfortable on the butt but it numbs the family jewels after a while–not as bad as the regular Aliante though.

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