The number one complaint about bicycles in a 2005 consumer survey was uncomfortable saddles. 57% surveyed wanted better saddles, and an astonishing 79% said they would ride more often if saddles were more comfortable. Many saddles are overstuffed and designed to feel comfortable on the sales floor, which is good only in that it helps to sell bicycles, but on the road they are less than adequate and may contribute to discouraging people from riding their bikes. On the other end of the spectrum, saddles designed primarily for racing are fine for their purposes but may be too inflexible and narrow for less aggressive riders.
Selle An-Atomica is a relatively young saddle company that has garnered a lot of attention with their Titanico LD Watershed leather saddles. S-A saddles are acknowledged as being some of the most comfortable saddles available, especially among randonneurs and ultra-distance cyclists who ride very long distances and spend long hours in the saddle. S-A spent fours years researching saddle issues, building prototypes, and doing a significant amount of real-world testing before introducing their product. The result is a uniquely comfortable saddle with hammock-like qualities that conforms to a person’s physique more than any other saddle I’ve ridden.
I’ve been riding S-A saddles for about a year now, and on any bike with handlebars at or below saddle height, they’re my saddle of choice. The shape and contour are similar to the Brooks B17, but the leather is much more flexible, and the patented slot relieves pressure on the sensitive tissues between the sit bones. Unlike the Brooks, the S-A doesn’t require a break-in period and is comfortable right out of the box. Construction is excellent with long, straight rails for generous fore-aft adjustment, attractive copper rivets, and maintenance-free, waterproof leather. This last bit is especially important for year-round commuters.
The S-A website is loaded with interesting information related to saddles, from sit bone measurements, to saddle height, to anatomical issues related to poor saddle design/fit. The site also has a video showing the underside of a Titanico while being ridden.
I have to throw in the caveat that each person’s physique is unique, and no one saddle will work for every person and every bike build. But if you’ve found average to slightly wider than average saddles workable in the past, you’re likely to love the Selle An-Atomica Titanico.