Saturday, October 24, 2009

more "Special" with An-Atomica

I have been calling my bike "Special K" on this blog as it is a Specialized bike and the K is for my name Kinya. But, I have to admit that it isn't really all that special. It's a gray mediocre aluminum frame road bike. I am not unhappy with it, but there are plenty of other more special bikes to be seen on the blogosphere. If I had the money to spend, I might get a custom bike or something more "special", but for the time being, I have this bike and I am going to make the most of it.

I have made a small modification to Special K which might make it a tiny bit more special than before.

It has a new saddle.

Brooks saddles seem to be the popular choice of saddles these days, but this is a Selle An-Atomica saddle and not a Brooks. I had been considering a new saddle for some time because for short rides the Specialized saddle that came with the bike is just fine, but on longer rides, it becomes more and more uncomfortable and takes away from what would otherwise be very enjoyable experience.

(the Specialized saddle, a bit scratched up)

So, I have been looking for a new saddle. The first saddle I thought of was Selle San Marco Rolls, which was the best saddle I had when I raced. I looked it up online to see how much it's going for these days and I was shocked. It's now become a "classic", but to me it seemed unreasonably expensive. I remember the first after market saddle I ever bought which was a Selle Italia Turbo and it cost only about $25. The Rolls was a bit more, but much cheaper than what it costs today. So, I couldn't bring myself to buy a Rolls for so much more than what I paid for before. Meanwhile I'd been reading raving reviews of the Selle An-Atomica over at Eco Velo. It was a different kind of saddle than what I've been used to, but it sounded just like something I was looking for. It has a big slit in the middle, but otherwise it's leather and very good looking. I also like the fact that, like good leather boots, it can last a longtime if you take care of it and it's even repairable if needed.

So, I decided to go for it and ordered one and it came yesterday. It's quite an expenditure for me, so I'm really hoping I will like it.

I put it on and rode it around town a little bit today. I made the mistake of not measuring everything I needed before I took off the old saddle, so I couldn't replicate the exact position I had before. So, I wasn't exactly comfortable on it today, but it's a lot more adjustable than most saddles with a tension bolt in the front. I need to play around with it and also it'll have to be broken in, but I really hope that it turns out to be a good investment.

This is how the bike looks with my Minnehaha Utility Pannier bag which I ride with most of the time. It has a thin leather belt strip in the center. It's a different color of leather than the saddle though. I think getting leather bar tape or tape of that color would probably make the bike look even better, but I'm going to hold off on that until the bar tape I have now is worn out or torn.

I will keep making adjustments to the saddle to dial it in and I hope I will soon write a raving review of it here.

I would like to note, I have not received any compensation or items from Selle An-Atomica nor any company for that matter. I wouldn't mind if companies gave me things that I think I can make good use of, but I don't think this blog really has enough readership yet for that to happen. Of course, if I did receive gifts, I would say so and give my honest opinion about the product.


  1. good luck. I have had two fail and have heard that they stretch out too fast also. Even heard of frames bending. When I tried to get satisfaction on the second failure I was treated rude and found a dead end.

  2. ooh, that doesn't sound good. I'm not too heavy and I haven't broken too many bike parts, so I hope this will last me a while. Thanks for the comment.