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One of the rails on my saddle broke this morning on my way to work. The saddle is a San Marco Rolls with solid steel rails. I am 6'4" and 245lbs. I commuted on this saddle for about 6 months, 30 mile round trip, 4-5 days a week. The left rail snapped in the rear right near where it emerges from the seat post clamp. What do you think is the most likely reason that my saddle failed?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 

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lets consider one rail. It is clamped over a distance of 2" or so(with most seatpost designs). There is gonna be more stresses acting on the rail at the rear (as this is where most of your weight is) than the front. As you cycle/pedal there is fatigue (cyclic stresses) acting on the rails (other than where they are clamped). These cyclic stresses are gonna be the greatest where the seatpost clamp ends in the back (which is where your rail broke). There could also have been other factors like the quality of the metal in different locations but that's probably not the case here. I think they got the quality control of seatpost rails under control.
 

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wsexson said:
One of the rails on my saddle broke this morning on my way to work. The saddle is a San Marco Rolls with solid steel rails. I am 6'4" and 245lbs. I commuted on this saddle for about 6 months, 30 mile round trip, 4-5 days a week. The left rail snapped in the rear right near where it emerges from the seat post clamp. What do you think is the most likely reason that my saddle failed?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
A Rolls is a sturdy saddle which has been tested to death and at 245lbs you're not overly heavy for it..

Having said that most of the rail breakages I've seen have been more down to the clamp not being as tight as it should. This allows the rail to flex more than it would if held tight. The other thing I wonder about is whether the saddle is at it's extremes of fore/art adjustment (ie all the way back or foreward). With your weight that might have been a little too much for the saddle to cope with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ultimobici said:
A Rolls is a sturdy saddle which has been tested to death and at 245lbs you're not overly heavy for it..

Having said that most of the rail breakages I've seen have been more down to the clamp not being as tight as it should. This allows the rail to flex more than it would if held tight. The other thing I wonder about is whether the saddle is at it's extremes of fore/art adjustment (ie all the way back or foreward). With your weight that might have been a little too much for the saddle to cope with.
After taking it off last night and getting a better look at it, I think that you are right on the money about having the saddle as far aft as it could get being the problem. This should not be as much of a problem after I get my new bike built (larger frame, my current ride is too small for me and the cockpit is a bit cramped).

I will make sure to get the clamp tight enough since I would like a saddle to last longer than 6 months.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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wsexson said:
After taking it off last night and getting a better look at it, I think that you are right on the money about having the saddle as far aft as it could get being the problem. This should not be as much of a problem after I get my new bike built (larger frame, my current ride is too small for me and the cockpit is a bit cramped).

I will make sure to get the clamp tight enough since I would like a saddle to last longer than 6 months.

Thanks for the advice!
If that's the case, you might want to consider a seatpost with some setback.
 
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