So Mike May and the Gam Jams network want to know what seat I rock.
Truth is, like the Highlander, There Can Be Butt One!
The bottom line is that I'm a FiZik Arione guy and I am not looking back.
Specialized has this theory that the size of a seat needs to match one's sitbone width. My sitbones are about as far apart as Chicago and Millwaukee. Specialized, not surprisingly, makes a seat that would just about fit, being about as wide as Pittsburgh is distant from Cincinatti. I'm not a big fan of that.
No, I'm much more comfortable on the Arione, which is crafted for skinny little bastards. It wedges in between my sitbones, but believe it or not, it's comfortable for me. Like a Lazy Boy. Now saddle fit is a totally individual thing. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean comfortable (though it improves your odds) and cheap doesn't mean uncomfortable. Various design features (like relief slots) don't necessarily make it comfortable and things you think would be awful - like say a prominent leather strip down the middle of a saddle, and two seams - may be unnoticeable. Try before you buy, or at least don't take the tags off and get it dirty if you're going mail order. You just never know how a saddle will fit you. FiZik saddles generally are something I can get behind. (Their peaked or pan-shaped saddles, like the Aliante, not so much).
The Arione fits me perfectly. It's a long saddle, which allows me to slide way forward if I'm grinding hard or way back on long hills. It has "wing flex," which means that pre-cut serrated bits on the edges of the plastic base crack in such a way as to provide a slightly flexible platform under your sitbones. So in spite of being narrower than the gap between rock bottom in my checking account and my mortgage payment each month, the saddle is comfy. It's got thin padding, which, if you've ever ridden in a really nice car, you know if more comfortable in the long run than deep Lincoln Town Car-esque pillows. Plus it comes in a variety of colors and styles, ranging from plain old' black calve's leather (I rock a couple of these) plus a pimptastic white cover (I have one on my crabon fibre bike). It's a great saddle, retailing from around $110 for a basic version up to around $300 for the maxed out carbon / carbon versions. I usually ride the basic stripped down rump version, which has all the comfort features along with durable K'ium rails, whatever the K'ium is. (I think it's made from orphans. Very strong stuff).
The B saddle is the FiZik Rondine. It's FiZik's version of a comfort saddle - wide, wing flexed, and it has a couple little bits of enhanced padding right under the sitbones. I've run it on my mountain bikes and on my Surly Cross Check, and it's superbly comfortable. Right now it's on my cross bike but may migrate back to the fixed Cross Check, because spinning the fixie for two or three hours at a time is tough on the fundament. I'd say the durability is a little low because the leather is starting to separate from the plastic base, but that wouldn't be fair; I've ridden so much on this thing and abused it so badly, that I think it's actually held up really well in the nearly three years I've been riding it so maybe I'm being an ass to complain about it. No tears in the leather, which is remarkable considering how it's been abused The one downer is it came with an integrated bag that clipped nicely into a little bracket underneath the seat; this was really handy to take off for cleaning, but I busted the zipper pretty early on in the thing's life. You can fit a normal tail bag, no problem, but it was a bummer losing that very sano solution to the bag question. It's a good saddle with or without the bag; I just hope they've improved their zippers since they first started including them with the saddle.
In addition to selling comfortable wing flex saddles, I like FiZik because they stand behind their products. A few years back I had one of the original run of Ariones. The plastic base broke right across the middle. Now that was a saddle with flexibility... I was bummed about the prospect of maybe having to buy a new one, and my LBS guy Jon said not to fret, he'd try a warranty claim. He contacted FiZik and they provided a new saddle, no questions asked. They explained that the first run of saddles had a problem with breakage like that, so it was a free (new and improved) saddle for me. That impressed me and I haven't really bothered looking for a new road saddle since that time. (Giant and Redline are two companies that have similarly made good on products I've busted. Being good plus standing behind your product when I blow it apart in the normal (absusive) course of my riding is how to win brand loyalty from me).
The C saddle is a WTB Speed V Pro Gel. It's keeping my ass from hitting the rear wheel on my 29'er. I broke a cheaper version of this inexpensive (~$50) saddle in a big crash on the MTB last summer; this inexpensive replacement has held up much better. Over a couple hours of riding it would probably be pretty uncomfortable, I do not like "love channels" at all because "love channel" in Rouleur speak translates to "taint pincher," but on a single speed mountain bike, you go from seated to standing more than you would at a typical Catholic church service, so comfort is never really an issue. WTBs do have one thing that I find to be a fatal flaw, and that is they always have stitched seams on the sides of the saddle. This is no big deal if you have skinny thighs. If you're the type of person who needs, to put it charitably, Keirin Cut Jeans, these seams will tear out the inside edges of your shorts and wear holes on you inner thighs / hamstrings. They are bad news for me on a road bike, especially on longer rides. On a mountain bike, where I'm constantly shifting position? Not such a bad deal.
For seat posts I rock a generic QBP seatpost on the Surly - it's stout like me - with no complaints. The seat tube on the Giant TCR is a standard, stock Giant carbon fiber tube. Half the carbon seat tubes in the world are probably made in Giant's factory, so call it whatever name brand you like, it's effective and the wide Giant two bolt clamp keeps it safe. I have a stock WTB seatpost on the 29'er. It's durable but has scuffed up pretty easily. When that breaks, I'll replace it with a Thomson Elite like I have on my cross bike. Really, if you need a durable tube that will hold up under any sort of abuse, Thomson is the way to go. It's light, like everything else made by Thomson it costs around $90 (+/- 10%), and it's friggin' bulletproof. Seriously - if a seatpost holds up under my large hindquarters in cross, the most abusive type of riding this side of progressive jumping - then you know it is stout beyond measure. Any bikes I build in the future are getting a Thomson post. The one on my cross bike is the Elite, which is their entry level model (being nothing like anybody else's entry level products, except maybe Ferrari's) and it is a setback post, which is just the ticket for ensuring both efficient power transfer and a low seat height.
Full disclosure: I make a little bit of bank if you click through on those links and buy through Amazon. Not a lot, but occasionally enough for a few sixers of sweet, sweet malt beverages. Now check it out, if you are planning on buying from your LBS, I encourage that, it's the best way to go. But if you're going to buy from some mail order joint anyhow, what the hell, why not buy from Amazon and help keep me fat and buzzed? I would certainly appreciate that and the people who live with me would appreciate your efforts to keep me relatively jolly and sedated.