Test Saddles, for Custom Saddles

“What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?”

Our saddles are designed such that when sitting upright, the rider’s sitbones should be located around the widest part of the saddle. We call this the anchor location. If say the bike is too large and the saddle cannot be pushed sufficiently forward, the rider will be sitting on the saddle nose instead which is not our design intention.

The problem we’re trying to solve is this: we want to know if a rider’s bike can allow for sufficient saddle fore/aft adjustment so that she can sit on her Meld saddle’s anchor location, before that saddle is made available.

“These saddles are custom made, how is a solution possible?”

We make use of the fact that for all our saddles (except those with short rails, which have been discontinued), the anchor locations are approximately the same horizontal and vertical distances from the corresponding rail clamping zones as seen from the side. In addition, the anchor locations are roughly the same distances from the saddle tips:

This means that if a rider can adjust any other Meld saddle’s (except one with short rails) fore/aft position so that she can sit on that saddle’s anchor location, it is very likely her own Meld saddle can be positioned without issue.

“We went looking for a Meld saddle to try but my friend isn’t letting anyone else near hers. She is fending us off with a fireplace poker. Help.”

For those unable to source a Meld saddle from a cycling mate: we are working on test saddles which we call Rudolph. Here is a prototype:

These will probably be made available in Q1 2020. There will be a deposit required, and when the saddle is returned within a week, all but a small amount (to cover shipping and handling) will be refunded. Alternatively, the refund can go towards purchase of a saddle if so desired.

Note that these Rudolphs are not meant to be sat on for longer than a couple of minutes, nor are they any indication of comfort provided by the actual saddle. They are only used to check that the bike allows for proper fore/aft adjustment of the saddle so that the latter can function as designed.

“What’s with the red saddle nose?”

Some riders think that having sitbones on the anchor location means sitting somewhere on the saddle nose but have a bit of the bum touch the anchor location. Unfortunately, this isn’t similar to American football, where a touchdown is scored as long as the ball touches the goal line. When we say ‘sit on the anchor location’, we mean that that location supports all of the rider’s weight, and the saddle nose supports none. The red nose hopefully makes it clearer that the rider should not be sitting on any part of it.

“Any caveats?”

In general there will be slight differences with regards to the distance between anchor location and rail clamp zone. As such, the closer the seatpost is clamped to the end of the test saddle’s rail clamp zone, the more likely it is that the actual saddle cannot be appropriately installed:

In addition, metal rails have a longer clamping zone compared to carbon ones, with approximately an additional 1 cm on both ends:

And again, our Rudolph test saddles should not be sat on for more than a couple of minutes. It is not intended for any ride, and are definitely not indicators of comfort provided by the actual saddle.

“Sorry, I was distracted by Rudolph’s red nose, what are we talking about again?”

We can use any other Meld saddle (except for those with short rails) to check if the actual, yet-to-be-made saddle can be installed appropriately fore/aft-wise. Correct fore/aft installation is needed for the rider to sit upright on the widest part of the saddle, so that it can function as designed. A Meld saddle can be borrowed from anyone with one, or a test saddle shipped from us starting sometime in Q1 2020.

Found this article useful? Check out other cycling-related stuff at meld3d.com/blog.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store