Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gear Review: Cobb Saddle V-Flow Plus

I've written about my new Cobb saddle in a couple of other blog posts (here and here), but I'm finally ready to do an official review of it.
The details...
Manufacturer: Cobb Cycling
Model: V-Flow Plus
Price: $149.99
Return policy: 6-month guarantee (you can't beat that!)

Testing terrain: trainer rides, road rides from 30-60 miles, and one half ironman.

Why I chose Cobb: It was a no-brainer that I needed a new saddle, but the options on the market are overwhelming.  I had heard of Cobb saddles mentioned in the triathlon world and decided to call them and get some info.  After one conversation with Ginger Cobb, I was sold.  She asked me important questions like body type, weight, bike model, how aggressive of a position I ride in, what I'm looking for in a saddle, etc.  She made a couple of suggestions, recommended a style, and gave me John Cobb's cell phone number in case I had any issues with installation.  A couple of days later I came home to the package on my door step.

Each saddle comes with an installation video, a list of fit tips, and a tool kit.  In less than 5 minutes, this baby was mounted in my Cervelo ready to ride.  Yes, less than 5 minutes!  I had my husband help me take the measurements (it's easier to have another set of hands), but installing the saddle onto the bike was cake, and very easily can be done on your own.

My thoughts...
Fit: Pure comfort.  Every single mile.  Even on multiple days in a row.  Even in a half-ironman being soaking wet and 95+ degree heat.  No chaffing, no rubbing on the inner thigh, no horrifying soft tissue pain, and no numbness.  The width of the V-Flow Plus is perfect, although I wouldn't complain if it were even a tad narrower.  The nose is nice and squishy, but not overly plush  In fact, I hardly even knew it was there except for when I went super-aero and scooted forward onto the nose.

Style: Yes, style matters.  And this is a pretty sweet looking product.  It looks just different enough that it stands out.  And it ups the "awesome factor" on my ride.

Durability: Granted, I've only put a few hundred miles on it so far, but it still looks brand new.  I have the black, so I'm not sure how the white would hold up.  My guess is that it's comparable to any higher-end saddle on the market.

Overall opinion...
1) Their customer service is amazing.  And with their comfort guarantee, it's zero risk to give them a shot.
2) It's a well-made product.  Obviously, some saddles just aren't going to work for some people.  But if you're like me and have spent hundreds of dollars on various styles, and way too much ride time in pain, it's worth taking one of the Cobb saddles for a test ride.
3) No other saddle I've ridden has even come close to how this one feels.  What I thought was somewhat comfortable before would be intolerable after being on my V-Flow Plus.  I'll also be test riding the V-Flow Max, but honestly, I don't know how it could be any better than this one.


joelle said...

Sarah, I have been trying to find reviews by women about Cobb saddles and there are very few out there, so thank you for yours!! I am torn between the V-flow and V-flow plus. I do primarily triathlon riding in the aero position and have never been comfortable. John Cobb recommended the V-flow for my "soft tissue" pain and bruising issues but I am still drawn to the V-flow Plus. Do you have any advice on which would work better for my issues? I suppose I could order them both and try them out but any advice would help!! Thanks!! Joelle

Sarah K said...

Hi Joelle! Obviously, I'm in love with the V-Flow Plus. But I haven't tried the regular V-Flow, so I have nothing to compare it to. And I STILL haven't tested the Max, because I just can't bear to take the Plus off my bike. Sorry, that's not helpful at all.

My advice -- talk with Ginger and see what she recommends. And then if you don't like it, you can send it back and try another one. John and Ginger are so easy to work with. They'll help you find the best possible saddle. Let me know what you end up with!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your review of Cobb plus saddle. I've been interested in trying one for a long time. I'm riding a Terry FLX on my Specialized Shiv tri bike. I've been professionally fit so many times and tried numerous of saddles. I was finally told my best option was to lose weight and it will help. Well, I've lost almost 14 lbs since IM Muncie and ya know STILL feels like a bunch of damn nails are stabbing me along my pubic ramis. No matter what shorts (some better than others) or how much chamois butt'r, hooha ride glide, or trislide I use it still chafes and digs into me. I am hoping to complete my first Ironman next October so I must get this saddle issue under control. 20 miles today and I couldn't stand the thought of riding 92 more miles. Thank you for the review and I will check out your awesome blog more!