ISM Seats – It’s What’s Behind You That Counts
I hope you are having a wonderful week. This past weekendwas a holiday in Canada so I spent it with some of my favourite people doing some of my favourite things.
As you may have noticed, cycling has taken the main stage in my training at the moment as I lead up to the ironman. I’m still perfecting my swim stroke and doing about 60 KM of running a week, but the greatest gains I can make are on the bike and I am working my tail off for it. This means that 6 hour rides have become a fixture for my Saturdays and it is getting increasingly important that my choice of saddle is working with me.
In March, when I went down to race the FLROC 72 hour, I connected with the awesome team at ISM Seat to meet the people behind the brand and learn a little more. To be clear, I purchased this saddle. I did my research and this was by far the superior saddle from both the test rides and the reading I did and it worked out to connect with the team while I was in Tampa.
One of my favourite things about them, besides the product, is that it is a family owned and run business. In my short time there, there was a toddler and a dog in the office as well as a room full of bikes. Literally, a place you cannot help but feel pretty dang happy at and the kind of company that you just want to support – authentic, real people selling great products.
So why did I need a new bike seat?
When I ride on my TT bike, I need a set up that allows me to sit on the front on my bike seat to allow for increased power output and aerodynamics. A traditional bike seat makes this uncomfortable, if not impossible. The ISM saddle was the first to come up with the concept of a more comfortable bike seat that allows the rider to anchor their sit bones at the front of their bike seat, instead of the back. ISM has taken the first 2-3 inches of the saddle away to minimise pelvic compression.
They have many different styles of seats so I rode a few different models before meeting the team in Tampa. They also have upgraded their line and given the traditional models new names so they are now under PN, PL, PS, PR and PM lines. I chose my saddle from the PN (Performance Narrow) line.
Why did I buy it directly from ISM?
In my research on the saddles, I found that there were knock-offs in the market. If you provide an innovative idea, people are bound to imitate it. While there are reputable companies that offer alternative versions of the saddle, there are many companies that sell counterfeit ISM saddles that are poorly made and ruin the point of getting a quality saddle. ISM covered counterfeit saddle issues here.
I chose to buy directly from the supplier to make sure that I was getting the real, quality product. Goodness knows I am spending hundreds of hours on the seat, I may as well be as comfortable as possible.
6 + hour rides have become a THING for me now as I ramp up for the Ironman and I have never been more grateful for a good seat. I have not developed a single saddle sore, there is no chafing and the main worry I have is which direction I am going, not about pain “down there”. This is the most comfortable bike seat I have ever ridden on and I am planning on purchasing a seat for my mountain bike from the PM line. (It may come in handy for the adventure races where I spend upwards to 25 hours straight on my bike).
This whole experience has me questioning why it took so long for me to upgrade to a more comfortable bike seat.