When we received the Tri.7 from Dash Cycles we honestly wondered if this saddle could have come from the same insanity that brought us the Mad Fiber Clinchers. These two products share a number of factors that make them seem like cousins, if not close brothers.
Standing Out in a Crowd
First among those is that the Tri.7 certainly isn’t cheap. The Tri.7 comes in at $465, or nearly twice the price of an Adamo Attack (which is not exactly a cheap saddle to begin with). While this is not an economical purchase by any stretch of the imagination, the saddle is one of the main points of contacts between you and the bike. So if you can stretch your budget, spending more here can pay for itself.
Secondly the Tri.7’s weight is so incredibly far below the norm that it redefines the term “light.” We measured our test saddle to weigh 74 grams. Once we realized how light the Tri.7 was, we went a little nuts with weight comparisons. For example, the box the saddle came in weighs 190 grams, an Adamo Road weighs 354 grams, and a single Power Gel weighs 42 grams. Therefore, you can choose to go with a Tri.7 and 7 power gels for the same weight cost of an Adamo Road.
Lastly, you simply can’t miss the shape and design of this saddle. The first thing anyone notices is just how small it is. While most riders consider the Road to be a small saddle, the Tri.7 makes it look bulky. In addition, you have the bare bones carbon construction of the saddle. The saddle skeleton is completely carbon fiber, which you see on the bridges between the padding as well as the rails themselves. Needless to say, the Tri.7’s design is simply one of a kind.
One of the unique features of the Tri.7 (and all Dash saddles) is that the entire product is customizable. There are 7 saddle colors, 6 logo colors, 4 rail colors, 3 padding choices, 3 widths, and 3 rider weights (saddle builds) to choose from. That makes for 4536 total combinations to choose from (if our math is correct). We went with a simple black saddle, a lime green logo, and blue rails—a perfect match to our CD0.1 test bike.
No one is going to buy a saddle for looks. Some may buy a saddle for weight (or lack thereof), but that would never (and should never) be the only reason. We buy a saddle based on the fact that it’s the main contact point with our bike. When we conducted the Adamo Attack review, we said that the saddle would be perfect if it was just a bit shorter. The Tri.7 clearly rectifies that issue. In fact, the Tri.7 is 80mm shorter than an Attack (55mm shorter than a Road). The shape is near perfect (says Mike), especially when you rotate your hips forward into a TT position. All of the weight ends up on your sit bones where it belongs—not on any sensitive pressure points.
The only concern we have found so far is that in an attempt to remove all unnecessary weight, the Tri.7 uses minimal padding (and we do mean seriously minimal). During the build process we went with the standard 3-layer padding. If and when we decide to build our next saddle, let’s just say that we’ll probably take the 5-gram weight penalty and go with the four-layer padding. It’s not that the three-layer padding is so minimal we cannot ride it or get used to it. It’s just that the minimal chamois of a tri-suit tends to demand just a bit more padding in the saddle. But this is also why Dash offers a trial program. For a deposit of $100 plus shipping you can take the time to determine what saddle build works best for you.
With only 100 miles on the saddle, we aren’t quite ready to make our final determinations. That’s what the next 30 days are for. But we can tell you that we already know this saddle’s shape works for those who like a small, minimalist saddle that offers a front channel. Considering how different this saddle is from so many others on the market, you can be sure we are taking our time to cover all the basics in owning and riding the saddle. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook to see the latest updates on our testing. And as always, feel free to submit questions about the Tri.7 that we can answer between now and our final review.