We’ve been riding Cobb’s Max Saddle for a few months now, and we can honestly say that we’ve fallen hard for its unique design.
As we discussed in our First Look article here, Cobb developed this road/triathlon saddle with maximum comfort and speed in mind. Many riders compare the Max with split-nose saddles like those from Adamo, and we still agree that the Max provides all the benefits (and more) of a split-nose design. One big differentiator between the Max and much of the Adamo line is its narrow width. The Max measures 58 mm wide about 75 mm from the saddle’s tip, while an ISM Adamo Podium measures 73 mm at this same position. We found the narrow width added to the overall saddle comfort since it cradled our sit bones in all the right places without increasing the risk of chafing.
However, we weren’t head over heels with the Max from day one. This saddle did take a little tweaking to get the fit exactly right, which according to Cobb, is to be expected. After our first few rides with the Max we determined that it was most comfortable when we adjusted the nose down by about 1 degree, which doesn’t seem to be uncommon when compared with others who have ridden the Max. The saddles extra-long rails also helped us dial in the saddle’s fit.
The Max also employs such a triathlon-specific design that we thought the saddle felt better with minimally padded tri shorts than with traditional cycling shorts. Certainly a welcome find for race day!
All in all, while the fitting may require an exercise in patience, we can tell you the reward is well worth the wait. Since installing the Max on our test bike, we’ve spent hours in the saddle and have experienced very little numbness with absolutely no saddle sores or hot spots.
The only downside we’ve seen with the Max actually exists in the precision of the fit. Once we found our ideal saddle position we quickly determined that the slightest change could put it out of whack. For example, we immediately felt a decrease in comfort if we shifted position due to fatigue, wore a different pair of shorts or bibs outside of our normal rotation, or if the saddle position slipped ever so slightly. Therefore we found the Max to be an “all or nothing” kind of saddle. But again, we would gladly pay the price after experiencing the unparalleled comfort this saddle affords—even in the most minimally padded tri shorts.