Sunday, October 20, 2013

Shimano Pro Turnix Titanium “TU” Saddle Review

The bicycle seat.  It is coveted by few, misunderstood by others, and hated by many.  While it is a necessary component in cycling (well, to most people), a lot of riders view them as a necessary evil.  The good news is that it does not have to be that way.

Enter the Turnix.

Courtesy of the fine folks at Tweaked Sports, of Glendora, California, I was provided with a Shimano Pro Turnix TU, or “Tail-Up,” titanium-railed model to put through its paces.  I mounted it up to a Ritchey WCS alloy, one-bolt post, and took the Turnix for both long and short rides to see where this saddle fell in the grand scheme of things: Comfy bliss, torture rack, or somewhere in between.  

Well, I am happy to report, and don’t just take my butt’s word for it, the Turnix is the most dynamic saddle I have tried, to date. Dynamic, you say?  What does that mean?  Well, at first glance, the shape of the Turnix makes one wonder if it will even work, with its sloped-down nose, its up-turned tail, but this is what gives the saddle its unique qualities.

Think both comfortable AND supportive and you have the idea. 

The beauty of the Turnix is in its shape. There's room for everyone!
This is definitely one saddle many people will find comfortable due to the inherent shape, padding, and construction.  The nose slopes down to aid in getting low in the drops, while the “Tail-Up” back of the seat adds support by providing your butt with something to push against during climbs.  It is due to these attributes (including a relief-channel), that the Turnix offers many different levels of adjustment to suit different riders’ tastes.  Though the Turnix measured almost 19mm shorter than my trusty Fizik Arione, I did not notice the missing real estate at all.   

Additionally, this is one saddle where the horizontally, dead-level rule need not apply.  And, that is why this seat can be so much to so many riders.  You can aim it up, you can aim it down, and it will not feel weird once you find your own, personal “Eureka” with the angle.  Try that with any other saddle!  There is a little more padding than most other saddles, and this actually adds to the dynamics of the Turnix, even if you don’t have Shimano’s relief cut-out version of the Turnix. 

In the top photo you can see the relief channel. The bottom photo of the rear shows it even better.    

Overall, the Turnix has been quite an amazing saddle to work with.  While most saddles strive to provide the rider with a specific “Sweet-Spot,” the Turnix amazingly has more than one, making it the most versatile saddle I have ever used.  In attempting to create a saddle for the masses, well, Shimano may have indeed, actually succeeded in doing just that. 

I have tried quite a few saddles from the big players in the business, such as Fizik, Selle Italia, Bontrager, Ritchey, and WTB, however, now that Shimano is on the scene, they are taking their saddles very seriously.

And, so should you.

The Stats:
·         Available in Black or White
·         Available in Flat or TU, “Tail-Up” rear profile for comfort and power
·         Microfiber cover with hi-density foam padding
·         Carbon-reinforced nylon base for increased rigidity
·         Lightweight & strong oversized, hollow titanium rails
·         Also available with carbon rails and a relief-cutout  
·         Approximate weight: 200g.
·         Dimensions: 132mm Wide, 280mm Length
·         Retail $145.00 USD

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