What's Cool In Road Cycling

Saddle Test: Koobi Vs Selle Italia

On Test we have two of the most comfortable Road Race level saddles available, The Selle Italia Prolink Trans Am Gel-flow (the longest name of any product ever tested) and the newest entry from Koobi, the PRS.

Both of these saddles deploy a shock absorbing system (shown in the photos).

The Selle uses a combination of a thin absorber between the rails and shell and a gel flow padding up top, while the Koobi has a brand new system that places large and functional elastomers between the Rails and Shell. Both saddles tested are made by Selle Italia (the Koobi is to Koobi’s specifications). The Selle is a shaped shell, while the Koobi is more of a flat saddle. Both have a pressure relief area or “nut cut” for the technically disadvantaged, and both, allow for a few different positions while maintaining comfort.

To get the least important factor in a saddle out of the way, The Koobi weighs less than the Prolink (299 grams VS. 320). I say least important because there are almost no Super light saddles seen anywhere in the Pro Peloton, because they are both uncomfortable and not very durable. I have seen SLR’s fly to pieces (on three occasions) in very mild crashes… almost no other damage to the bike, and the guy had to ride home standing up.

Now for the important part.

Selle Italia’s Prolink Trans Am Gel-Flow’s large rails, elastomers and Gel Flow top combine to simply out perform most other standard saddles in comfort. It is extremely stable while doing so and is built with top-flight quality. This was until today my saddle of choice.

The Koobi was just a shocker (for a lack there of). The elastomers actually functioned so much that my ride partner kept saying, “You can see it working! You can see it working!” This saddle had more flex and movement that the Prolink, but not in a way that damaged my pedal stroke. It kinda moved with me… And rather than simply soaking up light vibration, it also took most of the heavier chatter and some of the small bumps away as well! It simply does what Koobi says it does, and does it noticeably (no small deal in the land of B.S. that Bicycle marketing is…)

Bottom line is that the Koobi win’s the first test for both comfort and weight savings. Both are very comfortable, but the Koobi is just more of everything good except weight… The only area’s of concern were that you need to be sure that there is enough clearance between the shell of the Koobi (it’s nut cut creates a low spot on the shell) and any bolts sticking up, and Koobi needs to get a more relaxed color scheme…

The Koobi PRS is more of a main stay in Mountain Bike circles than road, and it is to our stodgy, traditionalist detriment. Slapping this thing on a super stiff road platform (Like the Pinarello Prince we tested this on) is a revelation! And unless you have 4% body fat and make a living trying to make up 3 seconds on Roberto Heras in a 35k TT up a 12% grade, you should be giving the incredible advancements in Saddle technology a try (not the advancements that consists of removing all the padding and shaving material from the frame and shell). You will enjoy a long-term comfort and performance benefit because of it (and nobody will laugh behind your back at the 102 gram, brittle jack hammer you ride now).

For more info, check out the company websites at:
Koobi and
Selle Italia

– and tell ’em Pez sent ya!

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