By Vernon Felton
Tested: Chromag Lynx Saddle
Saddles are the bane of bike reviewers for a very good reason: you run out of things to talk about. Quick. Saddles don't have complicated suspension curves. They don't heat up and fade on you during long descents. They don't have knobs and dials that enable you to fine-tune the quality of your ride.
And then there's this second problem: saddle reviews are entirely subjective. Your arse and my arse are not the same and because that's true, you may actually hate what I love.
And, yet, if your saddle sucks, your whole ride sucks. I've actually had a saddle wear a hole in my derriere during one long, maiden voyage. And, yeah, that hurt as much as you’d think it would.
So, saddles matter…and that's why I'm about to explain why the Chromag Lynx has become my go-to saddle for any kind of riding.
For starters, it's versatile. Chromag bills the Lynx as their "XC/All Mountain" saddle and that makes sense. It's built on a fairly slim chassis that’s decidedly “cross-country”. But then, again, I've seen the Lynx on dedicated downhill bikes. There aren't a lot of saddles that can span that spectrum.
While I normally shy away from any saddle that bills itself as “cross country” (most of which seem to be nothing more than medieval torture devices cleverly disguised as bike seats), I run the Lynx on both my XC and All Mountain rigs. At 265 grams, the Lynx is reasonably light (the titanium rails help out here). The streamlined chassis is also a plus–I don't get any of the chafing wider saddles can dish out during all-day-in-the-saddle jaunts. The Lynx's rounded tail section makes it easy to get behind the saddle and to maneuver around the seat during the heat of battle. There's also just enough drop in the nose to prevent the saddle from snagging baggy shorts when you're shifting your weight fore and aft around the saddle.
While we're talking about the saddle's nose, that bit of the Lynx gets a fairly heavy dose of padding, which makes scooting forward and weighting the front end during steep climbs a painless affair. Since most of my bikes sport slack head angles, that's pretty much a prerequisite for any saddle I'm going to use.
And then there's durability… I'm brutal on my equipment. The Lynx has been taking a beating for a couple years now and has yet to utter a whimper or complaint. No tears in the genuine leather upper. No bent rails. And somehow, the saddle just keeps getting more comfortable as it ages. I absolutely hate expensive things that need to be handled with kid gloves. The Lynx takes abuse and keeps coming back for more.
For all these reasons, Chromag's Lynx tops my list of favorite saddles. Does that mean you should run out there and buy one? No. There's that whole subjective saddle review thing I mentioned earlier. I’m not going to pretend to know what you find comfortable in a saddle. But you should definitely check the Chromag out. You'd be mad not to.
Finally, when it comes to colors—I'm running an outdated color here. The latest versions of the Lynx are available in black, blue and mocha brown.