On several occasions a friend of mine has called me a “bike snob” (you ought to hear what my enemies say about me). I think one of those occasions was when I was extolling the virtues of $200 handmade Italian bike saddles, as opposed to those saddles “the commoners” buy at their local bike shop. Well, I am a bike snob no more—I found an inexpensive off-the-rack bike saddle that rocks! If you are in the market for a new saddle you really need to try the Planet Bike ARS Standard Anatomic Relief Saddle.
I recently purchased a new Surly Necromancer Pugsley, and while the bike itself is fantastic, the stock saddle that came with it was extremely uncomfortable—in fact, it was downright painful. To put it another way, I think my wife and I are done having children, but I don’t want a bike saddle to take that option away from me. Instead of just buying another Italian saddle I decided to shop around and try something different. Somehow I stumbled upon the Planet Bike ARS Standard Anatomic Relief Saddle, and I have to tell you it is one fantastic saddle!
The main feature of the saddle is the full length center recess that provides anatomic relief for the perineum (your “taint”). It also has comfortable (but not mushy) gel pads in the area of your sit-bones. This saddle has steel rails and a waterproof cover.
After I put this saddle on my Pugsley I liked it so much that I bought two more for my other mountain bikes. I have logged several rides of 40 miles or more with this saddle without the slightest bit of discomfort. I would highly recommend this saddle for any commuter or mountain bike rider. However, this might not be the best choice for distance cyclists—on rides of 50 miles or more I prefer a firmer saddle with less gel.
The Planet Bike ARS Standard Anatomic Relief Saddle retails for $45, and in my opinion it is the best value for a bike saddle you can find. This saddle comes in two sizes. The men’s saddle (SKU #5020) is 7″W x 11″L and weighs 470g. The women’s saddle (SKU #5021) is 6.75″W x 9.75″L and weighs 416g.
In case you were wondering, the photo for this review was shot with my iPhone while I was out on a ride on the Pugsley. We had about six inches of snow on the ground and with the Planet Bike ARS saddle I think I could have spent all day out on the trails!