Bicycle Saddle Reviews
Gear: Koobi PRS Saddle
by Dain Zaffke
Not long ago, a reputable doctor horrified riders with supposed
facts relating cycling to male impotence. Suddenly, our girlfriends,
wives and mothers begged us not to ride until we all bought the latest
junk-saving saddle. The doctors (and most other people) have since
lost interest, but this turbulent time changed our seats for good.
Saddles are very personal; back then, I thought this crazy new breed
was only for the elderly, feeble and overweight.
Over the past few years, I've learned more about these saddles, and I've realized there may be more to the story. The Koobi PRS is one of the few "comfort" saddles designed with performance in mind. Its rails transmit trail shock directly into small, rubber bumpers, creating a smoother, "suspended" ride. Koobi understands that riders vary from Clydesdales to bird-like climbers, and so designed the PRS (Personal Ride System) with easily replaceable elastomers.
The best thing about this suspension system is that you can't feel it moving beneath you -- the terrain feels naturally smoother. The PRS won't take the place of full suspension, but handles trail vibrations with ease. Tuning the saddle to your specific weight is easy -- the elastomers swap out in a snap. The most complicated part of the process is removing the seat from the post.
Although Koobi is located in Colorado, Selle Italia manufactures the PRS in Italy and applies exquisite craftsmanship with flawless stitching and durable materials. At the moment, the PRS is only available in a red-white-black color combination heavy on Italian panache. I know, I know, it won't match your "stealthy gray" or "natural green" ride, but think of what they say about riders who color-coordinate their bikes. Do you want to be one of them?
Of all the ergonomic, split-shape saddles I've tried, the PRS is the most comfortable. Shape is a little wider than my usual Flite (Selle Italia), but the extra girth was great on short- to medium-length rides. If you're accustomed to narrower saddles, the PRS feels too wide for rides longer than four hours and the excessive chafing is hard to ignore. Considering its split shape, this saddle is very stiff and won't flex when you're powering up steep climbs. Overall, I found this physician-approved design great for most rides and light enough to race (298 grams).