Kontact Saddles debuted in early 2014 with a uniquely shaped saddle promising to fit your sit bones better and provide unencumbered pedaling. What I found is it does all this and positions the pelvis in a forward rotated position for a more powerful pedal stroke.
Add to that a durable design and materials, a competitive weight and price and this could be the perfect saddle for intense efforts like cyclocross and XC racing. For longer rides that that aren’t full throttle, well, maybe…
The Kontact saddle comes with just one rail option, hollow chromium-titanium, and two colors – black ($120) and white ($125). The cover is a natural leather, base is carbon reinforced composite with relief holes to enhance the lightweight foam padding’s cushioning.
The top is flat front to rear with a slight slope at nose and tail, making it easy to maneuver off the back on the mountain bike or dismount during ‘cross. Since the rear section drops off without the usual transition to the nose, you get more space between your thighs when pedaling without resorting to weird shapes. It measures 133 x 267mm.
What sets it apart is the flatter shape across the rear section. Instead of sloping off into a rounded shape, it stays flatter, creating an almost rectangular rear shape. They claim this better supports the sit bones without having a center section that pushes into your body. I found that to be true, and that the way the rear section curves toward the front also helps roll the pelvis forward. With modern jobs having us all sitting and slouching, it’s easy for the body’s muscles to shorten and tighten such that we end up with hips that have rolled toward the rear, creating a rounded back. This is not a power position. By rolling the hips forward (think top of your hips forward, bottom of the sit bones backward), the back straightens and you’re able to use the glutes more effectively. This may not have been Kontact’s intention, but it certainly seemed to work for me.
The rails insert into a one-piece shell with a design that allows a bit of flex.
Claimed weight is 190g, mine came in at 198g.
I’ve used the Kontact saddle on my cyclocross bike for all of last season’s races and all of the training, fun and commuter rides for the past 18 months. It’s been ridden in wet, dry, warm, cold and left damp and dirty plenty, yet it looks remarkably fresh and hasn’t developed any wiggles, creaks or groans. Even the leather cover looks really good despite the occasional spill:
For me, the design works best when I was applying higher forces to the pedals, as in a race. On the casual rides or longer, easier training days, it was still pretty good, but depending on which shorts I chose that day, the thinner center section could be apparent. Not intrusive or numbing, really, it’s just that I was sort of aware of it more than when racing. To be fair, I was less aware of it than with many other saddles, so overall comfort ranks pretty high.
But it’s the racing where it shines. Seated power is impressive. My hunch is it’s the forward positioning of the hips that it facilitates along with providing a squared off perch from which to push hard against the pedals.
As a package, it’s kinda hard to beat: Good price, light weight and comfortable. And they have a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy so you can try it out. I’d highly recommend it.