Found: Kontact Rethinks The Holy Grail, Your Saddle

Kontact_Saddle_Black

The bicycle saddle has been labeled by some as the holy grail cycling component – get it right and your ride will be bliss – get it wrong and it won’t matter that you dropped $6k on an Italian steed, your ride will suck. The people behind the Kontact saddle claim that finding the right saddle need not be a daunting, Indiana Jones adventure. Swing past the break to see how they might just be right…

Kontact_saddle_comparison

The theory is simple: people’s pelvic sit-bones do not vary as greatly as some would think. Women and men, tall and short, the variances are not more than 9% (according to Kontact cited studies). The key, claims Kontact, is providing a flat surface upon which the sit-bones can be properly supported, and combining this with a drastically tapered nose that leaves the oscillating thighs unencumbered.

Kontact_Saddle_White

If you have been blowing through different saddles, always on the hunt for your own holy grail, maybe give the Kontact a whirl. At 190g, and with a 30 day 100% refund policy, you can’t lose. $120 for black; $125 for white.

Comments

Eyal - 01/22/14 - 6:16pm

Along the lines of the Ergon SM3 at 1/2 the price and probably much better. I’m going to try it.

Dolan Halbrook - 01/22/14 - 6:19pm

I’d love to know how this compares to a Selle An-atomica. I love my Selle but it would be nice to drop a half pound from the saddle alone. With that refund policy it’s probably worth giving it a try.

B - 01/22/14 - 6:48pm

Ah yes, that famous Hindu super-archeologist Indian Jones.

Dave - 01/22/14 - 6:51pm

For the weight and claimed comfort, the price seems ridiculously good. So far the closest thing I’ve found to a holy grail saddle are Fizik’s Kurve line of saddles. Not perfect but pretty damn close. But their about twice as much as the Kontact.

Tyler Benedict - 01/22/14 - 7:56pm

B – good catch, fixed.

Sam Placette - 01/22/14 - 10:34pm

I believe these are essentially the same (or very similar) the older E3 saddle. I bought an E3 used several months ago and I really like it. The E3 used to sell for around $30 or something ridiculously cheap like that and I don’t think people took it seriously at the time. I’m glad it’s still available in some form, even if at 4x the cost.

Gary Anderson - 01/22/14 - 11:03pm

I’ve been riding a Kontact saddle for a couple of years now and have been extremely happy with it. My experience has been that you can ride any saddle for 25 to 50 miles so you won’t know whether is saddle is going to work unless you ride a single or double century. I just had my main ride in the shop so I was riding my backup bike which had some flavor of Specialized saddle — ouch! Glad to get my main ride back from the shop tomorrow.

EM2 - 01/23/14 - 7:19am

Flatter saddles are out there for so many years now
Comfort has to do with proper saddle seting and how the rides seats on it , it is not a natural position and may take some time to adoped .

Matt - 01/23/14 - 8:54am

This saddle is apparently a reboot of the E3 Form saddle Performance Bike used to sell. I thought it looked familiar as I almost pulled the trigger on an E3 years ago….

http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/e3-saddle-renamed-kontact/011486

It had a lot of good customer ratings from performance bike as well…

http://www.performancebike.com/reviews/performance/power/pwr/product-reviews/Bike-Parts/Bike-Seats-Saddles/Men-s-Saddles/E3/p/50__3085-E3-Form-Titanium-Saddle.html

Vincent - 01/23/14 - 9:00am

I agree with sam, this is an E3 !

I remember the guy behind E3 did some research in ergonomics for his studies and then launched is brand.

I own one also, but never liked it too much. I might give it another go one day.

Ryan - 01/23/14 - 10:43am

I’ve been happy with my WTB Laser, but maybe I don’t know what I’m missing? Is ignorance bliss, or should I try this?

EpicThroatBeard - 01/23/14 - 11:48am

Wow, only a minute nine percent difference in peoples sit bones. I’m gonna take a tiny 9 percent longer lunch break and tell Supervisor Steve that I need an insignificant 9 percent raise

kurt_sc - 01/23/14 - 1:25pm

Mr. Throatbeard makes a good point. Good luck with Steve.

Dave B - 01/24/14 - 9:16am

I tried the E-3 when Performance had them at a sale price and really didn’t like it. My go-to saddle for the past 20+ years has been the Avocet Air O2 40. With Ti rails it weighs about 230 gms and the price is reasonable at under $100. It is reasonably wide and flat and the seating area looks a lot like the Kontact pictured above

Avocet seems to have committed commercial suicide and pretty much disappeared from the bike shop and internet marketplace but I have three new ones of these on the shelf so I’m good for another 100,000+ miles.

Shamus - 01/27/14 - 12:54pm

They must have bought the rites for this from Performance Bike, who had an identical saddle out about 4-5 years ago, the Form E3. The most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden. The bad thing is that the saddle started to rattle on the rails and sag after about a 8 months. I had about 4 of these things at $60 a pop, but couldn’t stand changing them out and moved on. I’ll try this one, but I’m hoping they improved the durability issue.

Andrew - 01/28/14 - 3:32pm

Hello, I’m the owner of Kontact Bicycle Components.

Just to clarify, the 9% mentioned is the difference in sit bone width between men and women. Cyclists don’t sit on the sit bones, but on the narrow bones just ahead of the sit bones, which are narrower and have even less measured variation. All a saddle has to do to accommodate a range of riders is to have a flat section that is slightly wider than the maximum and doesn’t interfere with riders at the minimum. Realistically, that might only be about 6mm of range per side. That isn’t hard to offer if the saddle nose is narrow enough not to interfere.

The Kontact saddle’s carbon reinforced base is a bit more resilient than the old E3. It is long lasting and generally more comfortable.

Micah Redfield - 01/28/14 - 4:23pm

Hi Andrew, thanks for your clarification and weighting in.

Johann Cat - 08/18/14 - 3:19pm

I own two of these that I bought as “E3″ seats when they were priced to move at Performance Bikes. The design is genius. This is exactly what I want. The seat is not only comfortable but it is suited to efficient power transfer as one isn’t a) rubbing legs on the side of the seat b) losing power to useless rubbery-ness (either is flex or squishy padding) in the seat. Many seats that look lean and mean can not compare to these seats. These keep pressure off the perineal area, and are the most comfortable seat I have ever had. Be assured that neither squishiness, nor width, nor funny slots cut in a racing seat equal comfort. The key is revealed in the diagrams above: it is the shape and sturdiness of the rear platform of the seat. I have ridden only E3s for ~10 years.

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