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Can a US handmade Catahoula saddle offer you riding relief?

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Catahoula_semi-cutsom-ergonomic-bike-saddle_trail-bike

At first it may sound a bit odd to think that a saddle that you can’t try out ahead of time is going to offer a better fit and improved performance, but upstart Missoula, MT company Catahoula Ergonomics thinks that it can solve your saddle woes with their semi-custom saddles. Having developed their saddle shape and manufacturing technique over the last four years, now they are putting their designs out via Kickstarter to offer cyclists unsatisfied with their current perch on the bike a new alternative. Available in a couple of widths and padding styles, the Catahoula saddles promise a highly supportive and comfortable platform for all types of bike riding. Check out the details after the break…

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Catahoula starts with a solid seating platform to allow a rider to square their hips and get consistent support. From there the mostly traditional-looking saddle offers a wide relief channel – 25mm at the shell, but 35-40mm at the top of the padding – that maintains support of the hips, but creates less perineal pressure. The idea is that the saddle offers a classic fit, but with better long-term comfort.

Catahoula calls their saddle “post-gender”, basically in that there is more than enough variation from one person to the next that any cyclist really just needs to find a saddle that works with a rear/hip width and front nose width that works for them. In the end Catahoula focused on developing a saddle with an overall nose length that lent good bike control without getting in the way, and then uses rear widths, nose widths, and padding levels to meet individual needs.

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To go ahead with their Kickstarter launch Catahoula went with the classic 140mm width that they settled on over years of testing. Their thought is that it will meet most riders needs, and once they deliver on the crowdfunded campaign they will also include the wider 150mm width that they have also tested. Their hand-laid carbon and fiberglass shells then are available with either standard width 39mm or wide 48mm noses to fit a range of riding styles. While overall width doesn’t change, the wider nose results in a bit more padding overall and is said to be a good fit for more aggressive trail riding.

Catahoula_semi-cutsom-ergonomic-bike-saddle_sizes

Then the shells get padding to meet rider choice – either standard or more firm, then also the possibility to add a viscoelastic gel. Total padding thickness is in the range of just 12-15mm, so they are still talking a fairly firm, performance feel to any of the configurations. The gel is also said to have a big impact on rides where you stay in one position for extended periods, so they actually recommend it for all road use, since it adds just 30g to the final saddle.

Rails are ovalized, tubular stainless steel and get some unique shaping. The laminated shell is co-molded with the rails for a creak-free and durable fit. The saddles can either get synthetic or leather covers. Catahoula is pretty confident in the long life of the saddles and will also offer a service to install replacement covers after the tops wear out over time.

Catahoula_semi-cutsom-ergonomic-bike-saddle_wide-top

Early backers on Kickstarter can pledge $260 for their customized saddle, with delivery anticipated for the end of October 2016. If you miss out on those, 20 buck more will get you in one of the next batches for delivery before the end of 2016.

Detail Specs:
Saddle Widths: 140mm (150mm to be released in the future)
Nose Widths: 39 or 48mm
Rail adjustment length: 80mm
Rail clamp size: 7x9mm oval (side-clamp seatposts require 7×9 carbon rail adapters)
Rail material: Hollow heat-treated 17-7PH stainless steel
Cover material: Majilite Finesse nylon microfiber or natural leather
Base material: prepreg carbon/fiberglass hybrid
Total saddle weight: 210-230g

Catahoula-Ergonomics.com

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Chader
Chader
6 years ago

“they settled on over [how many?] years of testing”

On the article, great to see a local Montana group making a go of it in this industry.

Price seems a bit high even if it’s “custom”. Large saddle makers offer enough variants of a typical Saddle that equation to the differences you seem to pay for here.

But, those are not hand made in the US, so I can see the price from that perspective.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago
Reply to  Chader

That variation isn’t always enough. There isn’t a single Selle Italia saddle that I can sit on and they make tons of options. This could be perfect for “someone”, I think every saddle is. The real cost comes from being US made and not making 20,000 saddles a month.

theonelegged
theonelegged
6 years ago

CATAHOULA CATTLE DOG

Fanderson
Fanderson
6 years ago

Any S-Works Saddle = $300. Most high end Selle Italia saddles = $300+ (or even $400+!!). Even WTB’s high end carbon saddles are $250. Seems like a great deal for an American made hand laid carbon saddle to me.

Loki
Loki
6 years ago

@Fanderson
FWIW none of the carbon saddles you mentioned use stainless rails; the entire saddles is carbon. The Catahoula appears to use stainless rails (hollow 17-7PH according to the info) although one would assumed wrapped in carbon if one needs adapters for side clamp posts.

That would also explain why it weighs in at 230g when an S-works is 150g, a Fizik Arione is 140g etc.

Brian at Catahoula
6 years ago

Thanks for the interest, guys. The rails are indeed hollow 17-7PH stainless; it’s an 8mm tube manipulated to a 7x9mm oval at the clamp area and an 8x5mm rectangle at the rear, then heat-treated. The rail is about 70g, so there’s a small weight penalty over carbon but we think it’s worth it for a product meant to last.

@Loki the large majority of the weight difference between ours and the saddles you mentioned is in the padding. Dense, effective foam padding is heavy and there’s not much way around that, and in our testing, 12mm is about as thin as we think works for a really comfortable ride.

Would also add Catahoula has quickly become the favorite saddle for former US XC national champion Sam Schultz and London para-cycling gold medalist Megan Fisher.

Cheers-

Brian

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