A Review: Body-Customized Meld Saddles

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:24 am

by C36

I just placed an order. It was a long time i was not as interested in a product. 40 years ago you could customise your brook, either by adjusting tension or reshaping it. When you think about it, you can have a custom frame, custom shoes insole but where you sit, 95% of the time remained std despite the recent width option.
Going for a short carbon rails version on normal shell.

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by Weenie

Posts: 104
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 6:02 pm

by refthimos

antonioiglesius wrote:Btw the pic you posted from Photobucket isn't showing up, it seems they want you to upgrade your account or something.

Thx, yes I saw their FB post, and as they noted, I put very little space (essentially none) around my logo so it came out larger than most of the others I have seen on their site. It's still a relatively small area, compared to the entire saddle and bike, so it's definitely not overpowering or anything like that. I plan on sticking with the same logo for future saddles.

Yes, I need to get away from Photobucket. That site has been getting worse and worse for a long time. I posted a link to the photo, not sure yet how to embed in the post but if you click you can see the photo.

EVO Hi-Mod | 9070 Di2 | Rotor 2Inpower | Aeolus TLR 3/5
P5 | 9070 Di2 | Rotor 2Inpower | Aeolus TLR 7
T1 | Power2Max Type S | Rolf Prima FX58/Zipp Super 9 Disc
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Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:08 pm

by antonioiglesius

C36 wrote:When you think about it, you can have a custom frame, custom shoes insole but where you sit, 95% of the time remained std despite the recent width option.

I *think* I saw someone had a customizable option a few years ago. He had this mold which can be mounted on a bike, then the rider pedals for a while with the mold capturing the body shape. I believe the mold is then used to make the carbon shell. Went for US$500-ish I believe.

refthimos wrote:I posted a link to the photo, not sure yet how to embed in the post but if you click you can see the photo.

That looks waaaayyyy better.

thumper88 wrote:And if there are no issues, what now that you are a few months down the road are your thoughts about build quality and quality materials?

I took the saddle off to get another look and take a picture (don't mind the dirt):

General thoughts:

1. It looks like it's not 3d printed, at least I don't know a printer that does this. The closest is one that lays carbon tow, the surface of the saddle looks like normal weaved carbon fiber. It looks like it's made using conventional methods, probably some sort of compression is involved (i.e. not hand layup). I don't think I heard any cracking sounds, which is always a good sign.

2. The adhesive used to stick the rail cover and rail ends onto the shell are pointed to by the blue arrows. There is some gap between the parts. The adhesive appears to be somewhat elastic. If say we use some kind of epoxy, with an additive to make it non-sagging and space filling, that'll crack over time from the vibrations and general fatigue (as the saddle flexes) since epoxy is generally brittle. I expect an elastic adhesive to last longer. Perhaps dampen vibrations a little (??)

3. The edge pointed to by the green arrow is curved, not sharp. That combined with the adhesive (in point 2) looking like it's 'cleaned up' are the little details which say they put some thought and effort into the finishing. Sometimes I see carbon saddles with huge blobs of adhesives: the worker probably just took the shell, blobbed the adhesive, plonked the rails onto that, and moved onto the next saddle. In this case they bothered to clean up the excess adhesive. Maybe it's not a big deal in the end, but it says something.

4. The shell surface is not processed. In some of the videos taken in bike component factories, we see the workers scrubbing carbon parts then painting over them. This gets rid of any surface irregularities and generally makes things look good. There's none of that in this case. It says that it's not something made in other factories since it's unique, and I think it says that the way they handle/cure the carbon fiber is good enough that further processing is not that necessary. I'm sure there are people who prefer the more 'normal' looking, smooth carbon look though.

5. The general thought I have is that carbon, if made properly, can handle fatigue (normal flexing) pretty well. So, if properly taken care of, we should be able to use it for many years. This is as opposed to say nylon, which can deform over time. The problem is impact, e.g. when we hit potholes there's a large amount of force exerted on the saddle over a very short period of time. There's that thread where someone's aluminum top-tube was hit by a falling conker, and it looks like the frame was trashed as a result. How much impact should any component be able to reasonably handle in the real world? Is it reasonable to assume components can handle abuse, which isn't easily quantifiable (it varies from person to person)?

I mentioned in another thread that I don't think a component used by a pro in a race implies that the component is good enough. If say a carbon frame is used in Paris Roubaix, I'm pretty sure that that's a brand new frame and it probably won't be used again after the race. Cracks can develop during the course of the race, but not grow over that relatively short period of time and so nothing goes wrong on TV. For stage races, the mechanics most likely thoroughly check each bike and replace where they suspect there might be issues. Contrast with normal consumers who usually ride a frame for at least a couple of years: they're going to continue using that frame after riding on the same cobblestones, giving any cracks formed the chance to develop and result in the component ultimately becoming unusable.

I'm digressing but I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not sure where to draw the line with regards to how much abuse we should expect equipment to handle in the real world. Also, from the manufacturer/dealer/retailer's point of view, it might not always be possible to know how the damage actually occurred anyway.

If anyone has any thoughts about any of this, it'll be great to listen to them.

Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:15 pm

by random101

Hey guys,

Thought you'll all be interested to know we can get a group deal going if we register WW. we maybe able to get a 10% discount. (10+ orders) - 5% for 5 orders.

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