Bicycle Seat Review – Indian Roadster
Bicycle seat, also called a bike seat or a bike saddle is a very important part of a bicycle. Just because, you are perched on top of it for the full duration of your ride. So it is very important to choose the correct design of a bicycle seat for a comfortable and enjoyable ride on a bicycle.
One month back, I had written a review of Avon bicycle which is an Indian Roadster. I had mentioned in the review that I was very satisfied with my choice of bicycle. I stand by that opinion. But this review is not about the bicycle, rather it is about a small, albeit very relevant and important part of the cycle namely the bicycle seat.
All Indian roadsters are fitted with an ubiquitous saddle whose design goes back right to the dawn of cycling. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then see the accompanying photos. The saddle which came with my bicycle is of the same design.
This saddle is a very complex product. The person at the bicycle shop tells me this saddle is made up of 22 different parts. The complexity of the saddle makes it one of the most adjustable saddle you can get in the market. You can raise or lower the height of the saddle by nearly 2 inches just by adjusting the position of its spring.
And talking about the spring, it is heavy duty spring made of steel. It can absorb any vibrations while riding the bicycle. At the same time, it is quite sturdy.
The one drawback of this saddle (and it is a major one) is that the top of the saddle is made of some kind of cheap plastic. And it hurts to sit and ride the bicycle for long distances. Agreed, when buying the bicycle, the saddle came with a seat cover which had foam padding. But the seat cover itself is flimsy and tears after even a few rides. Sitting on the saddle sans the seat cover is not a comfortable experience.
It fails me to see why the manufacturers have skimped on the saddle top while going to great lengths in ensuring the high quality of the frame. The saddle has more or less the same design and size as the world famous Brooks saddle. All it needs is a comfortable top. And oh yeah, the saddle weighs nearly a kilogram. But the weight is not an issue as the cycle is rather heavy in itself.
I rode my bicycle for 20 Kilometers at a stretch and at the end of the ride, my butts hurt like hell. It beats me to see why the Indian bicycle manufacturers go to great lengths to design good looking bicycles only to ignore the saddle which should be considered the most important part of a bicycle; just because, the rider’s bums are in contact with the saddle for the entire duration of the ride.
This neglect is not particular to just Avon bicycles but is a feature of all bicycle manufacturers in India. The result being, the bicycle rider has to either suffer through the discomfort while riding or splurge his hard earned money to buy a scientifically designed saddle from abroad at exhorbitant cost.
Width : 9 Inches
Length : 10.5 Inches
Weight : 990 grams or 2.18 pounds.
Spring : Heavy duty steel coil.
Saddle top : Plastic
Cost : Rs 150 ~ US $ 3
Rating: 4 stars (If not for the cheap plastic top, it is a good saddle, though you should probably look for some other saddle if you are going to do long distance riding over 20 Kms at a stretch).
If you really want to enjoy riding your bicycle, then buy yourself a top class, scientifically designed bicycle seat.