I finally replaced the faithful silver Fizik Aliente saddle that has been on my Sampson bicycle since around 2004. The saddle was still functional and comfortable, but it was worn around the edges and cosmetically looked very beaten up.
The Sampson is my ‘travel’ and ‘bad weather’ bike. It has a titanium frame that is pretty much indestructible. It has nice, but slightly older components and weighs in at around 18 lbs. Back in 2000 I purchased it from Delta Cyclery and until 2007 it was the only bike I had. I probably have ridden 40,000 miles on this frame, and at least 25,000 of those have been on the silver Fizik saddle. That translates to around 1,700 hours of very intimate, close contact.
No single piece of cycling equipment is more a matter of personal choice than a saddle. A model that is perfect for one rider will be a torturous torment for another. We are all shaped a little differently in that area and it is impossible to tell whether a saddle will work until you ride it. The Sampson came with a Specialized ‘Body Geometry’ saddle that was literally a pain in the …. But the Aliente was comfortable from the first ride, and I now have the same model on all of my bikes.
This particular saddle really got to see the world. It went to France and Italy and the Canadian Rockies. It toured the Oregon Coast, mostly from the roof of a van serving as my backup bike in case Stoker got tired (she didn’t). It has been to Southern Utah and Colorado twice and climbed Mount Shasta and circled Crater Lake. It supported me through the dry heat of Death Valley and climbing Boulder Mountain in a snowstorm.
The silver Aliente is no longer in service, but it will not be tossed into the trash. I have too much respect for my old friend to do that. It hangs from a hook in a place of honor on my bike tools and parts rack, and I hope it enjoys its retirement. It is probably relieved to have seen the last of my backside descending onto it and weighing it down for hours at a time.