The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” could take a modern twist of necessity being the mother of incessant internet searching. After Hernia surgery, I was not able to get comfortable on my traditional bike saddle, and knew there had to be some other guys out there who have had the same issue. Surprisingly there was little information to be found out there on the topic, so I dug into the world of split saddles thinking this would be a fantastic starting point. I stumbled upon the ISM Adamo product line which looked really promising. It claimed several things which caught my attention such as “soft tissue pressure relief in men and women” and “blood flow in the perineum remained at 100% throughout the test”. I corresponded with ISM and decided to give the Adamo Peak a shot.ISM has answered the mountain bike bell with 3 saddles specifically designed for the mountain biker in mind, the Adamo Peak, Breakaway and Prologue. I threw the flagship MTB saddle, the “Peak” on my trusty steed and went about putting it through its paces. The fitting of this saddle seemed to have a lot of focus on all of the internet media I found. Various websites have technical advice about how to fit this saddle, and the ISM team offered their services if help was needed. The biggest and best piece of advice from the manufacturer was "don’t be afraid to take your wrench on the trail and tweak it in the setting it is being used in."
Before I go any further, I need to make clear I am not a small guy. I’m 6’0 215lbs and wore “husky” jeans as a kid. I do not have a road biker’s physique and could be described as “chunky like peanut butter”. I say that because most of the media I saw had skinny guys sitting on these saddles talking about the fit and the “Sit Bones” that are at the core of why this saddle works. I thought to myself, “My sit bones are padded naturally, so I’m not sure how that’s going to relate to me”. Instantly upon sitting on the saddle, I could feel my sit bones finding their home on the saddle.
Finding the sweet spot was not that difficult. I raised it a little here, slid it back a little there, pitched the nose down slightly, turned it on its axis a bit, over-corrected it a bit, and then it happened. I was about 30 minutes into my 3rd ride and I realized I hadn’t even thought about my seat. What else could you ask for? I wasn’t focused on shifting from side to side, fore or aft. I had found this sweet spot that felt like sliding your feet in an old pair of Nike's you found in the closet…except these weren’t feet that were feeling so comfortable. Over the remainder of my ride, I kept reaching under my seat in disbelief. The nose of the saddle, by design, stops just behind your soft parts. So my man parts were resting just barely in front of the split of the saddle nose.
Technically speaking, the saddle weighs in at 313 grams. It’s approximately 1 inch shorter than my Specialized Body Geometry Riva. That said, there is plenty enough of a nose there to use your inner thighs for control on technical areas. The Peak saddle allows you to climb more forward on the saddle and ride off the back of the seat for descents and get back on without catching your clothes. The back of the seat has a smooth round transition to accomplish this. It uses gel and foam padding, and the sides are reinforced with Kevlar. It comes in black or white and measures 255mm long and 135mm wide. With a price tag of around $185 MSRP, it can present a little sticker shock, but after riding with it, I would spend the money time and again. You can sleep on a pillow from Wal-Mart for 7 dollars, but that 80 dollar fluffy goose down pillow from Bed Bath and Beyond sure is more comfortable...same thing applies here. The time spent in the saddle is improved in both quantity and quality. Time spent not focusing on your undercarriage is time spent enjoying your ride.