Bent seat rails

Posted by SuperClydesdale on March 25, 2011 under Mountain Bikes, Seats, Surveys | Be the First to Comment

I remember when, during a massive wind storm, a huge tree fell across the road in front of my place.  The wind had been howling all night, and I knew all hell was breaking loose outside.   The following morning, I went outside and saw the tree, with a trunk probably four feet in diameter, resting on top of a very cool old VW station wagon.  The car looked relatively unscathed, other than the fact that it was being pressed down so hard that the body was practically touching the ground.  It was surprising how well the VW held up. It looked like if you lifted the tree off, you could open the door, start it up, and drive away.  I thought “damn, that VW is a strong ass car!”

As the hours passed, I was amazed to see the tree slowly crush the car.  By the middle of the day, the car was horribly disfigured as the weight of the tree steadily bent the metal. I thought, “damn, that tree is heavy!”

I was thinking of that poor VW the other day when I noticed that my bike looked a little odd when I took it out of the car before my last mountain bike ride.

Nothing says “damn you’re heavy” like bent seat rails.  Yes, somehow, my fat ass has managed to bend the damn seat rails.   I’ve been riding road bikes for many years, and never bent a seat rail.   This mountain biking thing is tough on components!

The seat is a  Specialized BG Phenom.  It’s the stock seat that came with the 2010 Stumpjumper.  In going to the Specialized web site, I think I have discovered the design flaw for a big guy seat:  hollow rails.  In an effort to shave off grams, Specialized uses hollow chromium rails.

As for chromium steel, they used chromium steel to contain King Kong.  Look how that worked out.

I think a 240 pounder like me needs solid rails.   Ideally, solid carbon steel.   I don’t care about a few grams.  I need strength and comfort.  I miss my ass hammock, aka the Selle An-Atomica, that I use on the road bike.

My riding is not too extreme.  I’m not a downhiller.  In fact, my mountain biking is comparable to how I played basketball during my “career” – which is to say the amount of air between me and the ground is usually pretty modest.  I was never nicknamed “Air Jack.”  Actually, my nickname was “The Hammer.”   As with soccer, I was a rather talentless hack — pretty good within about 10 feet of the rim, but as my ability to jump was curtailed by knee and ankle injuries, the floor and I became close friends.  We were rarely seen apart from one another.

My  massive weight bearing down over the jostles of the trail have, like that tree, just worn down the poor seat.  That poor seat – meant for someone else – just cannot take the steady beat of 240 pounds of ass on it.    Chromium Steel?  Ha!  I spit on your grave!

Time for a new seat, I’m afraid.

If you are a big dude and have a seat that has held up to your fat ass on a mountain bike, let me know by filling in survey below.  I will post responses when I get enough.

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