Updated: May 18, 2019
Finding the right saddle is never cake walk, it takes a lot of experimentation and patience of course. If you've landed yourself on a long tour with the wrong saddle, you're going to end up with an uncomfortable ride as that might not be the right shape or size for you.
I love bicycle touring and I have been exploring the world on my bicycle. When I am on the road, I spend 6-8 hours each day on the saddle and that makes it a lot more than just casual cycling and is done with a lot of intricate planning. Usually a saddle which is wider and can accommodate your sit bones is said to be a comfortable saddle, every individual would have a different width but don't you worry, there has to be a saddle that hits your sweet spot for sure! With that said let me hit the arrow right here - on a personal poll, I've come across most tourers using the Brooks saddle for its comfort and durability. As I was planning my Bike-packing tour to Ladakh in 2018, I got introduced to the ABC saddle as a cost-efficient alternative to Brooks and to be having the same quality. Hence I took the opportunity to use the ABC B-15 saddle which has a slip-proof texture and is made of leather (it comes with a tightening wrench).
As I received the saddle, my first thought at seeing it was "this is going to be hard as hell". I had next to little knowledge about choosing a saddle, over which I was unaware of the breaking period for this particular model. There I was on the road with this vulnerable seat trying to put my best foot forward; none of the tourers I interacted with would believe it to be of leather and questioned me how had I been pushing all the way on a seat that hard? Over the time, I got Haemorrhoids and reached to a situation when i could no more continue to ride with the pain. There is a chance that the saddle's hardness added friction as it had already made my butt sore and after a long ride to Khardung La from Leh I was in a miserable condition - I resented finding an alternative.
On a retrospect, I learnt that the saddle also features some kind of reinforcement plastic layer attached to the underside of the leather. It seems due to the reinforcement the saddle doesn't quite break-in the same way a Brooks does and remains firm. In my opinion this particular model didn't work out for me as it should have and I'm back to my normal saddle by Marin. If I have to compare it to the Brooks saddle, I would come down in favour of brooks most importantly because it breaks into the shape of the user's sit bones progressively.
I would recommend readers to first know more about the saddle before purchasing to make sure you're making a suitable investment.
To summarise, I give a list for pros and cons based on my experience for the ABC Wanderer B-15:
Pros: 1. Wider saddle (Good for touring posture) 2. Bigger rails to mount a seat tube bag 3. Cheaper than Brooks
4. Another layer to protect it from water which will outlast brooks.
Cons: 1. Has a plastic feel to it but it's genuine leather.
3. No good images found online 4. Wore out pretty soon from sides. 5. Less technical information available
That's all about the saddle if you have another opinion or reviews for the ABC Wanderer B-15, put it down in the comment section.
I hope my insight helps you in find the right saddle for you. Cheers!
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