Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

Last November, I received the Dash Strike 9, a noseless saddle with full carbon fiber construction and a well padded split shell. They gave it their reinforced, heavier duty layup for my 185lb body. And it weighed in at just 111 grams.

Surprisingly, the odd shape of the saddle didn’t take too long to get used to. Basically, it’s just a truncated bike seat without the full nose, so all the important sitting parts are there, plus a vestigial tail. It did take a bit of work to get it adjusted to the right position, though, which was forced by the design of this particular unit, but something Dash can overcome since each one is hand made.

Sit in for the full review…

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

The difficult part about fitting the Strike 9 to a bike is that the front of the rails merge into the shell pretty far back when compared to a traditional saddle. I tend to push my saddles forward a bit (not triathlon forward, but a good centimeter or two more forward than most of my riding buddies), and even so it took a setback seatpost to get it into the right position.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

Fortunately, there’s plenty of room for the 90mm rails to move forward or aft.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

And Dash is happy to do just that if you want. Fortunately for me, ENVE’s 25mm setback post worked perfectly, and it comes with both standard round and oversized rail clamps.

UPDATE: From Weston at Dash regarding the rail position: “We actually did change a few things on the saddle since the version you have. We adapted the rail position and tweaked the nose shape just slightly. It gives the same overall feel but makes it so you don’t have to slam the saddle all the way back to get your position.”

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

The part that makes contact with your sit bones is pretty traditional, and pretty comfortable. The “love channel” is wide enough to be effective, I can’t recall any numbness while riding it. They offer two different levels of padding to suit your preferences.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

Where it gets different is the lack of a nose. Shown here next to a normal saddle, it’s pretty obvious how much further back on the bike the Strike 9 sits.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

A couple more viewpoints. Click to enlarge.

On a mountain bike, having the nose between your thighs helps quite a bit with steering. Less so on a road bike…for me, anyway. Most of my road bike riding doesn’t involve parking lot slaloms or dodging reflectors, so not using my crotch to push the bike around tight corners or carve berms doesn’t detract from this saddle’s functionality. Thus, the freedom of movement is all plus, no minus…and that’s the thinking behind the design: Remove any friction or intrusion for the thighs so there’s unrestricted movement for the hips.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

Unlike most carbon saddles, Dash’s use 7mm round rails rather than oblong ones.

Dash Cycles Strike 9 carbon bicycle saddle review

White shorts beware, there’s no stopping the rain from leaving an extra long, slightly punctuated skid mark.

Overall, I really like the Dash Strike 9. It’s a unique design done for the sake of functionality over form, which is cool, but ticks all the other important boxes, too: comfort, durability and light weight. I also like that it doesn’t feel abnormal. The only “learning curve” associated with riding it is getting the measurement and positioning correct. Once that’s done, it feels like riding a normal saddle, just without anything protruding between your legs. I can’t say that I feel a whole lot more freedom in my hip’s range of motion, and going back to a regular saddle isn’t suddenly awful. So again, all upside. Plus, I get a lot of comments, which helps start conversations and make new friends.

The only downside is the price. It’s $465, but that includes your choice of color accents in the cover, rails and logo, padding thickness and custom layup based on body weight (some changes add a bit of lead time). To make it a bit easier sell, Dash will let you test one of their saddles for $100 plus shipping. Like it and that’ll go toward your purchase, or just return it and you’re only out the shipping and handling.

I rotate through a number of saddles either for their own reviews or on complete bikes we have in on test, but this one’s found a permanent home here. It’ll definitely be on my build for the climb-a-liscious Hincapie Gran Fondo this fall.



  1. I have a custom, narrow nosed, version of the stage. 9 (same saddle without the shelf on the back) and it is by far the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in an aggressive position.

    The extra length in the rear is to make it UCI legal.

    If you don’t want to drop 500 bucks on a saddle, don’t, but these are hand made for each customer, in the US, and their process for making them is pretty unique. One piece, no after bonding. Enough said.

  2. I have a stage.9 too. I’ve been riding it for quite a while now. A few notes:
    – I broke one early on – the actual seat body. Weston @Dash took care of me right away. When I took it off I noticed the rails looked pretty wore out/frayed too. I concluded that the issue was having my rails so far off-center (like yours – but I had them the other way to get the saddle forward). Now I have them well-centered and all is well. Keep an eye on it.
    – I tried the strike.9 too before buying the stage, and I couldn’t tell too much of a difference in feel. I thought it might give me more control (this is a 100% road/climbing bike – not TT) but I ended up feeling fine with the stage. I’ve since altered my fit a bit and now sit more squarely on the saddle (versus the front) so I may try the strike again.
    – I rocked mine in last year’s Hincapie ride and will again in October. It always amazes me how quickly/often people spot the saddle and comment on it. I guess we have no choice but to stare at each other’s asses a lot more than we would like to admit in road cycling. Alas (s) .

  3. If I were an ugly seat, I would not take my picture with such a beautiful seatpost. Makes the seat look even uglier if that’s at all possible.

  4. ““The extra length in the rear is to make it UCI legal.”
    well, thanks to the uci it ended up even uglier… pfff…”

    The UCI ruins everything… seriously…

  5. It’s also the rear passenger seat, similar to a motorcycle. So really, the price isn’t that bad, because it’s like TWO saddles!

  6. Don’t hate it for being expensive. $465 makes it an aspirational product, but it’s also inspirational: after reading this article, I immediately got to work finding a better position for my ass hatchet.

  7. haha @ Paul in VA! “I read all the way until I saw the price. Even though I was 95% done with the article, I said NO MORE.”

  8. Obviously the way a saddle looks is more important than anything. Jeez. I mean, think about how ugly that thing will look when you’re riding your bike. What? You really can’t see saddles when someone’s riding their bike? Hmm. So, when can you see saddles? Let’s see…hmmm….I guess it’s only when a bike is standing still, not being pedaled. So, the point then must be that such an ugly saddle won’t look good to your friends, passersby, or in pictures. Ok, I guess that puts the mindless comments into perspective.

  9. good point psi but it’s still ugly. It’s still expensive(if money is scarce) but there is nothing wrong with wanting great aesthetics with high dollar purchase…ever.

  10. Just like Calfee, they’re great craftspeople, yet they appear so blinded by what they can make that they might forget what people might want, and yes, that involves some expectations in the looks department.
    Now I’m sure that a lot of people will understand the benefits of a noseless saddle. It just needs to find the right technical + looks + price balance.
    There’s also probably other ways to reach the UCI legal length than growing a fake saddle appendice.
    Hiring an industrial designer would help…

  11. WHAT rider adhering to UCI rules is considering this saddle??? At the listed price I know exactly who is riding this saddle, and they aren’t pinning on numbers.

  12. @Psi: If you had been capable of reading, you would notice that the main problem here is performance and price, not looks.

    Making it UCI legal makes it useless as a mountain biking saddle, unless your idea of riding is bike paths and fireroads. That is what is stupid, along with your inane rants.

  13. It looks like the unholy spawn of something from a handicapped-accessible bathroom in a nursing home and a regrettable, drunken purchase from an ‘adult novelty’ store.

    Seriously. Yuck.

    (And +1 to both @logic and @elk above.)

  14. This saddle is for Cat 4 Masters racers who have run out of things to make ceramic or carbon.

    I also think that when you become a dentist your degree comes tucked in that big gap.

  15. These same goons have not been aware of pros riding ISM adamos or trimming the nose of saddle off. Try to stay hammering in the drops for ten 100 mile stages back to back with a dildo shaped fizik. Not talking about neighborhood crits with caad10s and slammed stems. You could ride a crit with no saddle.

  16. I would imagine this could be a boon for time trials under UCI rules. Getting a forward position would be much easier, since there is a minimum setback and this moves the saddle position forward for the same setback. No more Contadorian shuffle.

  17. Rico, that’s only on TT bikes and because of the lame UCI rule where the nose of the saddle has to be at least 5cm behind the bottom bracket. “Try to stay hammering in the drops for ten 100 mile stages back to back with a dildo shaped fizik.” – rico. Dude seriously, I’d bet 70% of the pro peloton at the Tour De France was on a “dildo shaped fizik” their bikes actually fit correctly so they don’t need band-aid saddles.

  18. l guess l dont understand what makes this better then a normal seat. Why do l want to buy it? Maybe l missed that part.

  19. Huh, so nobody remembers that Mike Creed (longtime pro roadie) rides one of these ALL THE TIME? This is just like my ridiculous looking Selle SMP- no amount of proper bike fit can make up for a special needs crotch, and sometimes function seriously trumps form. Got an ass that can handle the Fizik 2×4? Awesome, ride it and enjoy, but don’t give people shit for riding weird looking stuff that makes their (riding) lives better.

  20. what devin said.
    after trying every saddle out there, i went with SMP and now have zero problems. yet it’s also butt-ugly. but that’s okay, cuz my butt covers it.
    ive ridden this dash saddle and it works very, very well.
    @JulienM, you say that like dash has a hard time selling these saddles. i think theyre selling just fine.
    the people i know riding this are all serious racers. no masters/cat4, no commute-time-trial.
    @haters, do you guys live in a box? gotta get out more.

  21. @jeb: Pros on the tour are not human and don’t care about pain and fitting… How many pros are running wrong solutions because of money or trends and still perform…..?

  22. I am using, and have used many carbon saddles. They are very different to metallic railed saddles, and therefore need to have a good blend between the rails and the seat structure, and also need a seatpost connection that avoids stress concentration. This saddle, for its price, does a poor job at the rail to top structure connection. For that price, it really should be better engineered.. Tune have one of the best designed railed carbon saddles, with the rails molded nicely into the sides. That is a great design. Carbon saddles that you pay that high a price for need a better, more carbon specific interface in the places where the stresses are going to be concentrated. Never mind the rest of the design!

  23. Listen to all you weenies complaining about the way it LOOKS. Enjoy your pudendal nerve compression on traditional saddles. Or maybe you’ll just have the typical arterial/veinous scaring that will decrease total volume and this oxygen to your junk.

  24. Ugly, schmugly — that’s obviously subjective and irrelevant. Form follows function … except the UCI-mandated back porch. Maybe Dash should make one without it for people who aren’t riding under UCI rules. It could get way, way down under $400, I bet.

    I definitely use the nose of my saddle, though, to help steer at times. And yes, I’m one of those who rides without having to worry about the UCI, aka regular guy.

  25. Seems like the ISM Peak(http://ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-peak) might be one of the better mountain offerings for this style of saddle. Getting off and back onto this saddle looks a lot easier than most conventional saddles and it looks like it taint gonna hurt my mammal toe zone as much either. I use the Racing II in the rare case that I do a time trial and position and comfort are great.

  26. I remember when the first double-bun noseless saddle came out. Boy it was popular. And then titanium and magnesium railed saddles. And then carbon shelled saddles with the aforementioned rails. I memorized the Dr’s findings on why this saddle was better than that one. Then I stopped racing and just started riding…for pleasure (gasp!). Now my sack and cheeks are perfectly happy on the style of saddle that started it all…a Brooks.

  27. I do not recommend this saddle. My bottom is permanently scars and still hurts after two weeks on three tries. I have a very high pain tolerance and both sides on my bottoms blistered and now it looks like charcoal. This company has bad support especially when their product doesn’t work. No replies once they know that I wanted return and get partial refund.

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