Saddle: Berk, Alpitude, Gelu, Saevid, Mcfk

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ms82
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:29 pm

by ms82

Looking for a good looking comfortable saddle to complement my new Look Huez RS :-)

Recently I've changed saddle from Fizik Arione to a wider Selle Italia SLR (basic version), in their language it is L3 (wide with a cutout). Finally, I've found the proper position and it is getting very comfortable (but took some time to sort it out). For the new bike, I would like to try a carbon saddle without padding. Eventhough it will be a fair weather bike it will be ridden quite a lot. I need a comfortable saddle for 2-5 hours. When my fit is dialed I don't have many complaints about the saddle. I've changed the Fizik's Arione because of the indoor discomfort, outside it was fine too. Selle's SLR allowed me to get much lower without the usual issues. I am taller at 189 cm and from what I have read longer saddles are more appropriate. The current trend of shortened saddles is better for someone shorter than me. I do have wider sitbones.

I am considering Berk Lupina, Saevid Allien, Alpitude Gardena or Mcfk open. Gelu seems quite a lot more expensive and almost no reviews. I've read probably everything I could find here and know that Berk is rated highly here. On the other hand there was quite a few failures of their saddles. Weight is not the only concern for me, comfort, safety and realiability trumps that. I would be glad if anyone could share their experiences with those saddles and even better a direct comparison. I know saddles are personal but still, this is the best I can get without buying them all and testing for myself.

alcatraz
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by alcatraz

Bontrager xxx seems to be a good "flexier" carbon saddle that doesn't break easily and it's 66-68gr.

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Yoln
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by Yoln

alcatraz wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 10:36 am
Bontrager xxx seems to be a good "flexier" carbon saddle that doesn't break easily and it's 66-68gr.
Berk Lupina is a good "flexier" saddle that doesn't break easily, and it's only 77gr (or 95g with "padding"). It's also very comfortable (I have the similar history coming from Arione then SLR, and the Lupina is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden). On the plus side it's almost half the price of the Bontrager...
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RyanH
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by RyanH

Yoln wrote: Berk Lupina is a good "flexier" saddle that doesn't break easily, and it's only 77gr (or 95g with "padding").
Debatable

spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

oh... it breaks. :). in fairness it has always been the glue used for rails to saddle
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Wookski
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

RyanH wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 10:21 pm
Yoln wrote: Berk Lupina is a good "flexier" saddle that doesn't break easily, and it's only 77gr (or 95g with "padding").
Debatable
Yep- my 64kg ass has broken 5. Can't argue with Berk's warranty replacement service :lol:

GeoffS
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:52 pm

by GeoffS

There's a 150mm Lupina on a well known auction site at the moment. If I wasn't after a 132mm version, I would buy it myself :)

bilwit
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Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

I have a couple padded Berk Lupinas (132mm) and have just recently replaced one with the Alptitude Gardena (128mm -- bang on 65g btw). Hard to say which is more comfortable when I've only used the Gardena on the trainer and have yet to put some serious time into it. My initial impressions are that it's definitely more stiff (not as flexible, which is not a good thing in terms of saddle comfort) than the Berk, and it's shape (top-down) pretty much aligns with the Lupina other then the Lupina extends a bit more in the back and the nose is longer. Height-wise they were surprisingly spot on, I didn't even have to adjust the seatpost at all.

As for the Berks tendency to break, I've had one break and have seen several similar breaks here on this forum but every time it's only been with round rails. I had them replace mine with ovals (which is now the default option in their store) and never had an issue since. I will say that the round rails were a bit more comfortable (more flex) than ovals though.

If I wasn't chasing grams then I would have been perfectly content with the padded Lupina. I am enjoying the more modern, shorter shape of the Gardena though. I think maybe a padded Berk Dila would probably be the compromise, though it's more wider/stubbier profile than the Gardena.

Dat
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:57 am

by Dat

I'm riding a mcfk open. Decent amount of flex and a lot more than an SMP full carbon lite. It's also more flexable than the non padded SMP nylon models. I'm very happy with it on my 25mile commute but won't know for definite until I'm back audaxing.
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BikeEatSleepRepeat
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:13 am

by BikeEatSleepRepeat

To me the Berk Lupina is ALL it's made out to be, and so is the 785 RS.

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Last edited by BikeEatSleepRepeat on Sat May 16, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LewisK
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:11 pm

by LewisK

Interestingly enough, I've also just switched to a selle italia SLR after riding an Arione for years, for me it's not night and day, but the SLR i do find the better of the two.

If you get on with the SLR, have you considered the selle italia C59? Or perhaps it would be too narrow?

matioli
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 9:23 am

by matioli

My saddle today is the Fabric ALM Ultimate. Very good and saddle. When I bought a Cannondale Black Inc this saddle came with the bike and now I bought others to changes for my others bikes.
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aeroisnteverything
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:43 pm

by aeroisnteverything

bilwit wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:35 am
I have a couple padded Berk Lupinas (132mm) and have just recently replaced one with the Alptitude Gardena (128mm -- bang on 65g btw). Hard to say which is more comfortable when I've only used the Gardena on the trainer and have yet to put some serious time into it. My initial impressions are that it's definitely more stiff (not as flexible, which is not a good thing in terms of saddle comfort) than the Berk, and it's shape (top-down) pretty much aligns with the Lupina other then the Lupina extends a bit more in the back and the nose is longer. Height-wise they were surprisingly spot on, I didn't even have to adjust the seatpost at all.

As for the Berks tendency to break, I've had one break and have seen several similar breaks here on this forum but every time it's only been with round rails. I had them replace mine with ovals (which is now the default option in their store) and never had an issue since. I will say that the round rails were a bit more comfortable (more flex) than ovals though.

If I wasn't chasing grams then I would have been perfectly content with the padded Lupina. I am enjoying the more modern, shorter shape of the Gardena though. I think maybe a padded Berk Dila would probably be the compromise, though it's more wider/stubbier profile than the Gardena.
I like the look of the Gardena saddle. Curious to see how you get on with it when you have a chance to put in some outdoor mileage and if there is a difference in perceived comfort vs Lupina. Also - why did you go for the 128mm width? I thought that the lupina padded effectively amounted to c. 140mm width because of the padding, so I would have instinctively gone for the 140mm Gardena to match Berk.

RyanH
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by RyanH

bilwit wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:35 am
As for the Berks tendency to break, I've had one break and have seen several similar breaks here on this forum but every time it's only been with round rails. I had them replace mine with ovals (which is now the default option in their store) and never had an issue since. I will say that the round rails were a bit more comfortable (more flex) than ovals though.
Two of mine developed cracks in the wing on the clear coated version. A few friends had the rails come unglued. Berk is the only saddle mfg that I'm aware of that glues the rails on like that. Mcfk rails are merged into a layer of carbon that looks like it's done during the moulding process.

On saddle comfort, a lot of people will say how comfortable the Berk is due to flex but many ignore that that flex causes numbness during prolonged seated efforts since the saddle doesn't support the sitbones. If you're riding a Berk and find yourself constantly getting out of the saddle to get blood flowing again then you have the same problem with Berk that I did and a handful of others I know that have used that saddle.

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ms82
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:29 pm

by ms82

So it seems some had more luck with Lupina than others. I really wouldn't want to exchange the saddle 5 times. If it would only be round rails that wouldn't matter much as I would opt for oval ones. But it seems it is prone to craks in wings and at the place of bonding the rails.

On the other hand there is not much experience with other saddles. Alptitude Gardena seems less flexy, Mfck is not enough longer rides. As for suggested Bontrager or Selle's C59 they are both quite expensive, C59 is on par with Gelu. If I knew it is THE saddle I might pay even that but since I can't try it I'll probably try some of the mentioned above.

Still not convinced one way or other. Please share some more experiences if you have. Thank you all.

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