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Saddle Talk : Adamo Saddles

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About 3 months ago, my shop started carrying the Ideal Saddle Modification (ISM) Adamo saddles.   These saddles, at first, look very goofy.  There is no nose on the front of the seat and often are referred to as the tuning forks.  Flash forward the last three months and these saddles have themselves on more bikes than I originally thought they would.

Originally I really thought the saddles were a joke, we would try them out on a few bikes and see what happens.  The women and triathletes fell in love.  All the pressure from the frontal soft tissue was separated back into your two sit bones, where the weight belongs!  Women were able to get into the aero position or drops of the handlebars without cutting off circulation.

This saddle is still towards the end of the saddles I automatically go through in my fit process.  I think there is a need for them, but find they can be too wide and long term will be modifying the shell of the saddle so not to hit the groin or tendons of the inside leg.  Soon the saddle will go on a personal bike of mine so I can give you a true review.

Do you know any women using this seat? If so, what are their thoughts and feelings?  Where do they feel pressure, if any?

About the Author

Bike Shop Girl has over 12 years of bicycle industry experience and hands on knowledge. Hoping to empower women and others on the bike so they too can feel the freedom and power that two wheels can give someone.

10 Comments

  1. I purchased the Adamo with my Trek TTX bike in November. I don’t yet have a lot of hours in the saddle, but so far, I love it! Best way to describe it: There’s seat where you want it – not where you don’t. I have noticed the wider front end, but have not experienced any discomfort in the groin/tendon area. I’ll give you more feedback after I’ve spent a few more hours on the bike.

  2. I haven’t tried it and I think I’ll be skipping it. I don’t think I could give up the ability to scoot up to the nose when sprinting, ducking into a stiff wind or pushing on a seated climb. I ride an Arione and I definitely find myself using the length, and especially the nose.

    • If this is the csase, check out our new Adamo Podium and Breakaway saddles to be released early Feb. Longer and slightly narrower.

  3. I use it and love it on my Felt B16 tt bike! Initially I started out with with the typical long-nose saddle but it usually gave me saddle sores and then during my first Ironman my butt was so sore by mile 80 I had trouble staying seated. So then I went back to the bike shop and they put this on and so far it has been love! No more saddle sores and no rear end pain in my second Ironman. They did clamp the front “arms” together since I am a narrower person. However, I found it doesn’t really work on a normal road bike.

  4. I’m interested to hear reviews. I never would have thought this saddle might be good for women. The first time I saw one of those weird saddles, I was on a bike trip and – admittedly – we all snickered about it behind the owner’s back. He was a super rich guy (think Coca Cola) with a whole bunch of cycling memorabilia and a custom-made bike. So we just thought it was a rich-man’s toy.

  5. yes there’s a fair few of us use them in the UK for timetrials, men and women but especially women, and some for roadracing too.

    I’ve got Adamos on my tt bike (tribars, carbon Planet X Stealth tt frame) and my turbo/training bike (drops, normal Giant road frame). There’s a video on the ISM site which shows you how to set an Adamo saddle up properly.

    http://www.ismseat.com/ and click on Seat Installation video

    It takes pressure off the front pubic bone/soft tissue area and also gives a space for your soft tissues to sit, uncompressed.

    Sitting on the seatbones feels a little hard at first but you soon get used to it provided you set the saddle up properly to start with and then tweak if needed along the lines they suggest.

    Under pressure I do tend to slide forwards a bit but looking at other people under pressure on bikes, so do they. Sliding forwards isn’t too uncomfortable, less uncomfy than sliding forwards on a normal saddle.

    The Adamo saved my racing career, I could not sit in the tt position for any length of time (3 miles was enough before I’d start wriggling) with any “normal” shape of saddle, with or without cutouts. With the Adamo I do all distances up to 100 miles.

  6. This looks like a godsend! I have had a horrible time trying diffrent seats, settings, adjustments, angles, you name it. If it’s comfortable when we leave it more times then not, is uncomfortable when we get back. I can’t wait to get one and try it out. If you have used this saddle please update with a review.

  7. I have been riding in this saddle for a while (8 months) and love the cut out.
    While training for my first ironman, I have been getting more sore everytime I ride my bike, I was comfortabke riding 60 miles but every ride lately have been getting more sore and developing lumps right where the saddle hits, that I can not even go 10 miles before I am in agony and can’t wait to get off my bike. I have been in so much pain from this saddle, I do not want to get back on my bike. Only 3 months to my ironamn and too sore and swollen to ride – not looking too good for my race.

    • MDLK, Have you changed shorts, shaving habits or anything like that?

  8. I just rode my first Ironman (yay!) on a tri-specific bike, aero position with an ISM adamo podium. I demo’d the original adamo triathlon specific saddle and I found that it was much too wide for me. The podium is more narrow which seems to fit myself (and anecdotally, other women) better. The plus side to the podium is that I had absolutely NO saddle soreness after 112 miles. Nadda. I love it for that.
    Unfortunately, there are two downsides I’ve experienced. First, you need a week of sometimes uncomfortable rides to introduce your sit bones to any ISM. I did this over the winter with my bike on a trainer. At first everything felt OK, but by 30 minutes into my first workout I was really uncomfortable. The ISM package warna that this will happen, but I was surprised by how uncomfortable it was. In fact, I was so frustrated that I switched back to my old saddle. At that moment I realized my original nosed-saddle was actually even more uncomfortable. I waited a day, then did a second ride. There was some soreness then, but by my third ride (a 3 hour session) I was fine.
    The second issue is that the ISM “fangs” do not get along well with many bike shorts. I have only found a handful of shorts with a flat enough saddle-pad-seam to ride comfortably on the ISM. It seems that the unusual shape creates contact between a part of your leg and the seat where other saddles don’t. I was able to lessen this during the Ironman with a lot of vaseline and some strategic… uh.. feminine landscaping. :)
    Personally I’ve found the ISM podium to be a huge improvement over traditional saddles, but still not 100% because of the bike short issue. It is worth a try (do a demo) and be sure to hang on through the first couple rides. Happy riding!

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