Carbon railed saddles, yay or nay?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Shrike
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by Shrike

Tried the Fizik Antares with plain old manganese rails. Really comfy saddle! Wish I tried one before.

Anyway it's white going to sell it. Saw they have a posh version the R1 with carbon rails that I can use some Ritchey oval clamps to get it on my seat post.

Reckon it'll be harsh? Saw some guys say carbon rails are a bit rough on the saddle as they're too stiff. Also, can they take a bit of abuse from someone who moves around a lot on the saddle?

RussellS
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by RussellS

I have a Fizik saddle with carbon braided rails. About 6 years old. Comfortable. Use a Control Tech carbon seatpost. Comfort, stiff, rough from the saddle rails? Whatever.

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spookyload
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by spookyload

I use a SLR kit carbonic. I also have the same saddle on another bike in ti rails. I can't tell the difference except the weight of my wallet.

antonioiglesius
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by antonioiglesius

My impression is that carbon rails are supposed to flex, and should absorb some road buzz (though not as effectively as lower tire pressure can). I can imagine that it'll be stiffer if the resin-to-carbon ratio is higher...

They should be ok moving around on the saddle. People say that for rides with more impact, e.g. cyclocross, carbon rails should be avoided.

FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

My impression, going from titanium to carbon rails was the opposite. Carbon rails transmitted more of the road feel, as they were stiffer, less prone to flexing (I'm riding Bontrager saddles, BTW). The carbon saddles (Affinity RXL, now Affinity Pro) were lighter than the metal counterpart (Affinity RL).
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by prendrefeu

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kgt
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by kgt

Actually it depends on the design of the saddle but I would agree that, in general, carbon rail saddles feel stiffer-firmer. At least IME. There are though some superlight full carbon saddles (AX. Tune, etc.) that seem to be more flexy than ti or steel rail saddles.

racingcondor
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by racingcondor

I'm going to say it depends on the saddle (and how you mount it) too but I've spent years on the Antares so can comment here.

The Kium Anteres rails flex a fair bit and the saddle shell does too. I also found that over time it stretches and therefore sags a bit (think the body of the saddle is nylon based).

Carbon railed version is definitely stiffer but I've never found that to be a problem, just something I needed to get used to a bit (you get a bit of a kick up the bum first couple of times you ride over a speed bump). The saddle also seems to last a lot longer though, I can only assume that this is because the body of the saddle is a carbon reinforced plastic and doesn't stretch as much.

I've been riding the carbon versions for several years now, really like them.

shotgun
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by shotgun

Carbon railed ones don't flex as compared with Ti. However, Ti is heavier so... YAY.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Thanks guys, preordered the carbon railed one at a pretty low price. should be able to get my money back on resale if it's too harsh.

JackRussellRacing
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by JackRussellRacing

I use an Antares R3 with carbon braided rails. I cannot tell a difference in stiffness compared to my Ardea Versus MG saddle. The difference in comfort seems to be the material on the R3 which is nicer suede-like stuff.

FWIW, I think the Antares R3 is so expensive because of the packaging. Sure, I like pretty boxes and nice velvet bags and stuff -- but really, I wonder how much of that cost was passed into the product's pricetag. eTap is the same way, with absurdly over-the-top packaging.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Yep agree. Fizik and SRAM should wise up with the packaging. Leave that OTT nonsense to monkey-dung chocolates or whatever it is 1%'ers eat :o

Menkromsen
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by Menkromsen

I've used a Fizik Antares R5 for a couple of years. With use it become very flexy and comfortable!
Changed to a Fizik Antares 00 (carbon rails) because of looks and weight. That saddle is indeed more stiff in every way! No flex from the rails, and certainly not from the shell which is also made in carbon compared to R5 which have a flexy nylon shell. Less padding as well.

After a bad crash during a race the Antares 00 saddle broke/got servery scratched (the accident completly *f##k* up my hip - broke the hip/legbone right under the joint/hipball or whatever it is called in english. That is 1,5 years ago. Now I'm in for a second surgery in one month for a total hip replacement. Guess I will function okay when I pass 2 years after the date I crashed)
But - I cannot fault the saddle for the crash :P

Changed the saddle to a Fizik Arione 00 which is also very, very stiff with minimal padding. Great saddle though!
On a different bike I use a Fabric Scoop Shallow with carbon rails. That saddle is indeed very flexy with great padding and less roadbuzz. It looks awesome as well (but not as racy as the Arione 00)

True story; Carbon rails looks awesome on a black saddle, it's weightweenie stuff - and for all fellow cyclists out there; do take care and not crash/land on your hip. If it breaks your in for some serious recovery!

CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

I have a Fizik Antares R1 on one bike and an 00 on the other. I wouldn't classify either of them as harsh or too stiff. In fact, I'd say they're exactly the same, except the R1 has a few little plastic bits so you can mount Fizik's light/saddle bag while the 00 is a straight up, mount nothing on it race saddle. The materials on the cover are slightly different with different patterns, but not enough to make a difference in comfort.
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parleez1
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by parleez1

Menkromsen wrote:
After a bad crash during a race the Antares 00 saddle broke/got servery scratched (the accident completly *f##k* up my hip - broke the hip/legbone right under the joint/hipball or whatever it is called in english. That is 1,5 years ago. Now I'm in for a second surgery in one month for a total hip replacement. Guess I will function okay when I pass 2 years after the date I crashed)
But - I cannot fault the saddle for the crash :P

True story; Carbon rails looks awesome on a black saddle, it's weightweenie stuff - and for all fellow cyclists out there; do take care and not crash/land on your hip. If it breaks your in for some serious recovery!

------------------------------------------------
Hey, Menkromsen,I had a total hip replacement in January 2013, doing fine. I was back on my wind trainer in 6 days! You'lll do great, just make sure to go into it in good physical shape. Best of luck!

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