Tested: Cobb DRT SHC Saddle

Gear Pro Review Saddle
A high-quality, light and tough seating option that helps keep chafe at bay

A slight swoop suits those who prefer a bit of curve, but not a cereal bowl of concavity, in a saddle top.

The Bottom Line About My Bottom Line

I’m 6’2” and weigh 190 pounds most of the time, give or take a quart of ice cream here or a pepperoni pizza there. In my experience, seat reviews from cyclists who weigh a buck-thirty soaking wet and put water on their muesli instead of milk don’t typically provide actionable information for my personal saddle selection decisions.

Conversely, if you’re a member of the wispy climber cartel, my saddle insights might not work for you. In the past, my personal saddle preferences have tended to run towards narrow noses, cutouts and flared tails with pelvic-cradling properties. As a point of comparison, I’ve found that 143mm Specialized saddles with a touch of taint curve work well for my build.

Compact cutaway relieves pressure in the magic zone.

Details

Cobb Cycling bills the DRT SHC as its premium, lightweight, off-road saddle. However, it’s nearly identical to its top-of-the-line road model, the SHC, with a few touches to enhance durability that you’ll greatly appreciate if you gravel grind, race ’cross, or like to lean your bike against walls without ripping a hole in your $200 seat. Specifically, you’ll find Kevlar on the tail of the DRT SHC to increase durability without inhibiting movement on and off the saddle.

The tail spreads to a maximum width of 130-mm in back where Kevlar fabric resists abrasions from leaning or crashes.

Available in white with black tail or all black, the DRT SHC has titanium rails, a narrow nose with a pressure-relieving cutout and a flat, compact aft section that reaches 130mm at its widest point. The padding is firm, dense and has a similar volume and feel as the padding on a Fi’zi:k Arione. Claimed weight is 204 grams, but my DRT SHC hit the scales at 198 grams out of the box.

At $199, it’s priced on par with other offerings in the category. You’ll find carbon-railed, minimally (or non) padded saddles that weigh less, but the DRT SHC design strikes a solid balance between durability and weight.

The saddle shell extends down to cover the front portion of the rails, a welcome touch if your thighs sometimes rub the exposed rails or seat clamp on other saddles that lack this feature. You’ll also find clearly marked guides on the rails for precision setup and future reference if you transfer the saddle to another rig or equip a second bike with another Cobb saddle.

Cobb also provides extensive fitting information in the DRT SHC box that encompasses both printed materials and video tutorials to help you adjust the saddle to find your optimal position.

The Ride

Out of the box, I followed the Cobb setup instructions and after minor adjustments got the saddle tilt just right. I have problems with saddles that don’t have a lot of clearance between the top of the saddle and the bottom of the rails as they can compress far enough under the load of a larger rider to kiss the top of some saddle rail clamps.

The Cobb has taller rails in the rear than most saddles, and I appreciated the flexibility this gave me for tilt adjustment without having to worry about the interface between the cutout and the rail clamp mechanism.

The wings that extend from the saddle top over the front of the rails help prevent chafe against sharp-edged rail clamps found on some posts.

After putting more than a thousand miles on the Cobb Cycling DRT SHC over mixed terrain on rides both quite long and hard and rather short and casual on my cross bike, I can say that it works very well for me. I’ve found the use of certain saddle rail clamp mechanisms in conjunction with certain super minimalist road saddles can lead to poor results with massive chafe. The thigh guides on the DRT SHC made for smooth, chafe-free pedaling.

Table-top flat saddles don’t work for me, nor do overly curvy saddle shapes. The mild dip in the DRT SHC fit just right whether I rode on the tops or rotated my pelvis forward to grab the drops and dig. If you like a seriously big scoop in the middle of your saddle, though, I’d recommend you look to an SMP or some of the offerings from Specialized.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, I found the DRT SHC to be as worthy of consideration as other top end saddles from Specialized, Fi’zi:k, Selle Italia, Koobi, SMP and other manufacturers. Whether or not the DRT SHC will work for you depends entirely on your build and preferences. If those preferences skew towards lightweight, narrow saddles with tall rails and squat tails and your riding skews towards pavement with a touch of dirt or gravel grinding and cyclocross, give the DRT SHC a test ride. You might like it.

Price: $199.99
Weight: Claimed 205 grams; Actual 198 grams
More Info: www.cobbcycling.com

Tested: Cobb DRT SHC Saddle Gallery
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Cobb Top View

Compact cutaway relieves pressure in the magic zone.
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Cobb Side Profile

A slight swoop suits those who prefer a bit of curve, but not a cereal bowl of concavity, in a saddle top.
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Cobb Kevlar Tail

The tail spreads to a maximum width of 130-mm in back where Kevlar fabric resists abrasions from leaning or crashes.
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Cobb Chafe Wing

The wings that extend from the saddle top over the front of the rails help prevent chafe against sharp-edged rail clamps found on some posts.
About the author: Andrew Vontz

Andrew Vontz is a writer, trainer, cycling coach and adventurer based in San Francisco. He writes about people, places and things at the limits of human experience. His work has appeared in Rolling StonePlayboyOutsideBicyclingMen’s Health, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the UFC magazine and many other publications. Find him @vontz on twitter and instagram. Find more of his stories at www.andrewvontz.com.


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