I recently got my hands, err butt actually, on Dash Strike 9 saddle and to sum it up in seven words, it’s “the comfiest, most utilitarian road saddle ever.” Yes, that’s a bold statement, but I genuinely mean it.
Ever since I first discovered the brand in early 2012 and their Tri.7, I’ve been a big fan. In my opinion, their saddles are everything a saddle should be and nothing it shouldn’t. There’s even unexpected benefits, such as being able to store goodies in the cavity between the carbon rails and seat itself.
So, why is it so awesome? It’s comfortable, which should be the most important aspect in determining the right saddle. Always. No contact point (pedals, handlebars, seat) is more important; we are talking about that region anyways – in a strictly business-like sense. Seriously though, the more you move around on a saddle finding a comfortable or tolerable position, the less efficient rider you are. The longer the ride, the greater the likelihood that your efficiency will decrease.
Another way of looking at the situation is this: you buy a sweet set of race wheels, say, the Rolf Prima TdF 60 SLs, because they’re fast and will save you “x” amount of watts over a given distance. However, you accept the saddle that came with the bike. After all, the wheels were expensive. The wheels are awesome, but you’re not comfortable and it’s costing you watts. Therefore, you’re not realizing the full potential of the wheels. Get a comfy saddle, go fast. Simple as that – in theory.
While the split-nosed saddle is far from being new and novel, by and large, it doesn’t seem to be executed all that well – at least in my other brand experiences. Dash Cycles on the other hand, have nailed it. It’s not a sliver of a cut-out that allegedly reduces pressure; it’s an adequately wide channel that does reduce needless pressure. Perhaps my sit-bones align perfectly with the Strike.9 (and Tri.7) specs, because I feel completely supported while riding.
The Strike.9, like their other split-nosed saddles, has a distant similarity to the likes of an Adamo, but looks a heck of a lot better and weighs much less. For comparisons sake, the Adamo Road saddle weights over 2.5-times more than the Strike.9 (304-grams vs. 115-grams).
Being that the Strike.9 is a road-specific saddle, it’s wider than their other offerings and features flared wingtips – like a traditional saddle. Those wingtips provide more sit-bone support, given the more upright riding position; compared with a TT position. Overall, the saddle is relatively compact (250-mm by 135-mm) and I have mine set as far forward as possible, though that’s also due to my seat-posts’ being setback.
As I mentioned above, there are unexpected benefits to riding on a Dash Cycles saddle. When racing or just out riding, I can fit a spare tube, CO2 cartridge, and tire levers in the cavity between the carbon rails and seat itself. That’s especially nice when racing, when I’m pocket-less and prefer to not decorate my bike with electrical tape.
Since the Dash Strike.9, like other saddles from Dash Cycles, is so light, it’s rather firm. For some, that might mean it’ll take some getting used to. For instance, when I switched over from my previous Fi’z:ik road saddle, there was a noticeable difference post-ride, as I wasn’t ideally situated on my sit-bones before. By the third ride, the amazingness kicked in and happiness ensued.
You’ve likely heard of Dash Cycles by now. Well recognized sites often post builds of super-bikes and guess what saddle sits atop each? Here are some examples from TriRig, Inside Triathlon, and NAHBS’s “Best of Show” (second from the bottom). With that, you’ve probably noticed that their saddles are not cheap. The Strike.9 sells for $465. My take: worth every penny! They offer a trial program and are one of the more personal brands I’ve ever had the pleasure of communicating with. You can also pimp out your ride by doing a custom color-scheme too.
Last words: Treat your butt with respect. Sit on a Dash Cycles saddle.