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Raffi Gets a New Saddle

Much to my surprise, the saddle that came with Raffi, my Di Blasi R34 tricycle, wasn’t half bad. But it also wasn’t the most comfortable for me, so I swapped it out.

Even though this is a familiar saddle — it’s a Specialized I’ve used on other cycles — I didn’t expect the comfort level to rise particularly once I’d installed it. I was wrong!Anyone who cycles a lot will tell you that it’s always worth seeking out the right saddle for your particular anatomy, and, now that I think of it, that may matter even more on a trike. On a vehicle with an intricate fold, like this trike, though, swapping out (and adjusting) a saddle can be a bit more restrictive than on a conventional cycle.

Necessarily, every part of an R34 must allow the fold to act smoothly, and that includes the saddle and mount. The saddle angle on Raffi can’t be adjusted independently — but became more comfortable for me when I installed the Specialized saddle. The only real adjustment is forward and back — and, with the original saddle, that’s rather limited.

This new saddle allowed me to gain a forward inch, which resulted in a better overall geometry for my body. My ride has now gone from “fine” to “excellent” with this slight change.

That said, the swap involved some challenges: the Di Blasi mount is tight and fixed, and both strength and persistence were necessary to slide the new rails onto the mount. The original Di Blasi saddle is trimmed to allow easy installation of the bolts; I had to originally mount the new saddle in a position that was far from what I wanted, in order to get the room necessary to re-install the bolts. Tolerances along the rails are tight, and finagling the saddle to the exact position I wanted was painstaking. But well worth it!

I tried it out on a lovely little five mile (8 km) ride. It was terrific!

I don’t have any affiliation with either Specialized or Di Blasi, except as a paying customer. See my Disclaimer page.

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