Fix It Or Replace It?

Here are 11 simple ways that routine maintenance and timely replacement will make your rides faster, smoother, safer and more fun.

– By Mike Cushionbury

7. Saddle

As with shoes, there is a certain romance to a tarnished saddle, but anything that harms its structural integrity should be your signal to get a new one. Such flaws include a peeled cover, bent or broken rails, chips or gouges that reach to the inner shell, or lumpy spots caused by shifted or hardened gel or padding. Any of these can concentrate friction and cause saddle sores, or force you to alter (and unbalance) your riding position in an effort to alleviate discomfort. Worse, a saddle that snaps at the rails can cause you to lose control and crash. In our experience, the average life span of a saddle that’s ridden about 8,000km a year and doesn’t experience undue damage is two to three seasons.

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