Another year, another radical new saddle design. So, just how does this differ from other cycling seats? Well, the Rido RLt aims to take pressure off your perineum by lifting it off the saddle.
The theory is that its shape pushes your weight onto your sit bones while still allowing you to move around. There are no channels, no holes, nothing mysterious about the padding – it’s all down to the shape.
Rido pioneered this ‘Pressure Shift Geometry’ in their rather chunky R2 saddle. Their RLt perch aims to bring the same design to performance-orientated riders in a lightweight package.
While the R2 used a moulded nylon skeleton to provide flex, the RLt uses a similar construction to most saddles – titanium alloy rails, a rigid hull, padding and cover. At 225g (claimed 230g) it’s a competitive weight – there’s clearly little penalty for the Rido’s ergonomic design.
Its 238mm length puts it up there with the Fizik Arione, though its shape means 235mm is what you’ll actually use. It’s 138mm at its widest, similar to most saddles, but the sit point is rounded and peaked rather than having a conventional flat profile – so you’ll be sitting differently. The nose’s 40mm width is narrow, but we never found it an issue.
Rido recommend setting the RLt up with a slight nose-down tilt. At first the saddle feels quite peculiar – you’re perched on your sit bones and it feels like there’s nothing else there at all, a similar effect to Adamo’s time trial saddles. The Rido’s advantage is that it’s still conventionally shaped – unlike nose-less designs – so you’ve room to move around, useful when climbing.
The padding is very firm, but that actually helps the saddle to work. Any softer and you’d sink into the seat. The raised rear gives something to push against, too. Obviously, there are times when you’ll want to perch on the nose, when it feels much the same as any other saddle, but the rest of the time there’s noticeably less pressure on your perineum. It’s available in three colours, and with chromoly rails for just £34.99 (US$55.50).
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.