I’d been considering replacing the saddle on my Trek 5200 for a while now. I love the look of the US POSTAL branded San Marco saddle as it matches the bike perfectly, but comfort over a long rides just wasn’t quite there.
That’s not to say it was horrible, I’ve completed numerous metric century rides on the saddle, it just wasn’t great. Shorter rides were fine, but I’d start to “notice” the saddle around the 50km mark, by 80km it was getting more “annoying” and distracting me from the ride, then anything over 100km had me wishing for something else to sit on!
By contrast, the Pro Stealth saddle on my Canyon Aeroad is super comfortable. Riding that I don’t give the saddle a second thought over any distance. I started looking around for something similar. I really wanted some blue highlights to match the bike and eventually eBay came up with the goods. I stumbled across this interesting listing:
From the photos, it looked almost identical to the Pro Stealth! That one cost me $150, so at under $20 delivered for the eBay generic saddle I thought I’d take a chance, what’s the worst that could happen? I hit BUY ME NOW! Then waited, and waited some more. Eventually, four weeks later the saddle landed in my letterbox.
Check out the resemblance! From a simple side-by-side photo they look very similar. The cheapo saddle may look the same, but definitely it’s NOT the same. The “frame” seems on par, shaping is very close, but the padding is much frumpier on the eBay jobbie and the cut-out is noticeably shallower. The covering doesn’t have the same “quality” feel to it as the Pro Stealth. Still, it’s remarkably close.
I excitedly installed it onto my Trek 5200 and went for a spin. It doesn’t quite have the same classic look as the original saddle but I’m willing to make a few small sacrifices in the name of comfort over long winter rides.
First impressions were better than expected. Initial comfort felt great and roughly the same as the Pro Stealth. It was definitely an instant improvement over the rock hard San Marco saddle. If anything it could do with a bit less padding as it was a little squishy – sometimes more is not always better. That said, during the ride I actually forgot about it for a while, which is always a sign of a well matched saddle.
Will it remain comfy? Will it hold up? Will it disintegrate at the first sign of a hard ride?
Only hours on the road and a bunch more miles will tell, but so far so good!