2012: Adamo ISM Breakaway Saddle REVIEW

The crucial test for any product must surely be “If it broke would you buy another?” The summary answer for this saddle is “Yes!”. Although at approximately £125 it is an expensive ‘yes’.

So this looks like a girl’s seat right? Why would YOU want to buy it? Well if you have the numb-bum associated with cycling then you will probably be looking at ways of reducing pressure on your perineum (that is the bit between you ‘bottom hole’ and your bits – either male or female).

<Here> is where I got mine from.

The numb-bum can be symptomatic of only 10-15% of blood flow getting to the right places apparently served by the perineal artery during exercise. OK that’s potentially VERY uncomfortable but also the word ‘artery’ always sounded very important to me when related to getting oxygen to muscles during exercise…but then again I’m no doctor. For anyone who cycles, including triathletes  and especially long distance triathletes/duathletes/cyclists, then this one is sold as being able to resolve the problem.

I approached this saddle with some trepidation. Having just had a BG Bike fit with Sigma Sport I could see all that good work going to work because of new saddle geometry. (Note to self: When you have a BG fit make sure you have the saddle, pedals and tri-bar you intend to stick with!).

Not to fear though. The kind chaps at Sigma set up the new saddle for free. Which boiled down to pretty much the same position but back a tad (as I had been sitting in all sorts of places to avoid the abovementioned perineal discomfort/pain). This also gave me room to move forward to what I felt was my natural position should I need to. Also the saddle post was left at the same height despite the Adamo being a tad lower than my original saddle. The rationale for this was that I had developed a small amount of right knee pain and the slightly lower effective saddle height corrected this.

So all was good?

Yes and no, I guess.

Firstly the perineal pain went totally. So the main goal was achieved.

Secondly The saddle was/is a bit lighter than my original, which never hurts. But that played no part in my decision. I’m sure you can easily find a lighter saddle for the money if that’s your thing.

Thirdly the wider supporting section of the saddle is nearer to the front of the saddle than many other saddles (2/3rds vs 3/4ths the way back). So for those of us inclined to go forwards and go more aggressively aero there may be some benefit here. I wouldn’t buy it for this reason tho if I were you.

If I had to be negative/balanced I would say the following:

The two pointy bits on the front of the saddle do stick in and cause very mild bruising somewhere in the nether regions – to either side of the perineum. The saddle was/is harder than the original.

The front of the saddle has quite a degree of flexion in it when compared to a normal saddle. I’m not sure if this would cause a minor loss of power or actually aid comfort. I’m not sure if this weakens the saddle structure so making it more likely to fail sooner – I doubt it.

However on balance the overall comfort is greatly increased. I suspect it will not impact my race times either way as I only have to suffer 30-60 minutes on the bike (depending on the event). I could endure most mild but otherwise unnecessary pain for that long. It more comes to the fore in training where we spend much longer on the bike and place ourselves much more frequently on the bike. It just makes hard training quite a bit more bearable. Dare I say it…even enjoyable!

In a nutshell: If you’ve got a numb bum…buy one. I’ve got one. If it broke I’d buy a replacement. Top product.

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