Go Triathlete

Dash Cycles Tri.7 Saddle Review


In preparation for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, I spent quite a bit of time on my bike in the 8-weeks leading up. During that training block, where I road 5 or 6 days each week, I began to utterly despise my previous saddle. No amount of chamois cream could make up for the discomfort I was bound to encounter.

 Being the type who like to stay up to date with the latest cycling/triathlon products, I came across Dash Cycles and contacted them about their line of triathlon specific saddles. Only days after contacting them and discussing which saddle would be suit me best, based on my weight and preferred width, their Tri.7 saddle arrived on my doorstep. The following is my open and honest review.

The Dash Cycles Tri.7 Saddle

The box felt empty when I picked it up from my doorstep - it weighs a measly 79 grams! The saddles is molded out of a single piece of carbon fiber and the rails are a combination of carbon fiber and kevlar. For comfort, it features a triple layer of padding with a leather covering. Comparing it to most other saddles, it is rather small, measuring just 190 mm by 115 mm (~7.5 in. by 4.5 in.). Enough about the specifications though, the ride comfort is what truly matters.

My first ride on the saddle was nothing short of bliss coming from my previous saddle. No unnecessary pressure and equally comfortable riding on the hoods or in the aero position on a TT-bike. After some adjustments to get the angles just right, the saddle wasn’t noticeable - I believe that if I don’t consciously have to think about how something feels while training, then it has been well designed and therefore, is comfortable.

Its first true endurance test came at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, as I didn’t have an opportunity to put in a very long day on the saddle prior to the race. The bike segment there covers 124 miles, most of which is flat. Once I settled into the aero position and passed the 80 mile mark, where I had typically become fidgety in the past, I found that I felt just as comfortable as I do when starting a ride (in terms of saddle comfort, not my legs). I realize one’s bike position has a lot to do with comfort, but I consider the saddle to be the most important contact point; if I’m not comfortable there, moving about trying to find a comfortable spot will take me out of rhythm and keep me from riding at my potential.

In regards to Abu Dhabi, the saddle passed the long-ride endurance test in my book.

Then there’s the hills. In particular, long, sustained climbs. To test out how it felt, I rode a sustained 8-mile climb and totaled 7,000+ feet over the course of 70-miles. Again, I didn’t notice the saddle; no numbness or need to fidget except for when it’s necessary to stand up and stretch out the back.

With the entire saddle being constructed of carbon fiber, it diminishes much of the vibration that rough roads send that direction, but is rigid enough that you don’t feel it flex.

An unexpected benefit of the Tri.7, and the same would go for their Stage.9 and TT.9 saddles (their saddles that feature a cutout), is that there is a lot of room underneath the saddle to store things. It will easily accommodate a spare tire, tire levers, and CO2 cartridge. For Abu Dhabi, I ended up storing some of my nutrition there - bar and gel chew packets.

The cost for the Dash Cycles Tri.7 saddle is much higher than your typical triathlon or cycling saddle, $495, however, you get what you pay for; a well-designed, high-end saddle. Comfort on the bike, as I mentioned before, is the most important thing to me and on those grounds, the cost is worth it. If you’re still skeptical, Dash Cycles offers a demo program.