The Adamo split nosed saddle has become almost as synonymous with tri bikes as the aero bar. You cannot walk though transition without coming across practically the entire Adamo lineup. But every so often you will find that athletes need to alter the saddle a bit to best fit their body dynamics. The most common being the zip-tying of the seat rails in an attempt to minimize the width of the saddle. Unfortunately this has the negative affect of voiding the warranty and can compromise the seat design (more here). So what do you do when you want a split nosed saddle, but the Adamo isn’t quite right for you?
Meet the Bontrager Hilo RXL Speed Dial – a saddle with 16 mm of channel width adjustment. The Speed Dial is quite possibly the perfect saddle for those looking for a split nosed saddle but need have the need to dial in the right amount of saddle and channel width. Based on Bontrager’s excellent Hilo RXL, this saddle ups the game with the addition of what Bontrager calls the “Speed Dial”—a nose width adjustment that allows you to increase or decrease the width of the saddle, and thus the channel running the length of it. Accessed via a 5mm allen wrench, the Speed Dial is easily adjusted to help you get that perfect fit.
As with the standard RXL, the Speed Dial is built with Zone Density padding intended to provide cushioning and support where you need it most. You also get Hollow Titanium rails and integrated transition hooks or the RXL (though we tend to ignore the hooks since we slap on a rear hydration system the minute we mount the saddle to the test bikes.) One of our favorite features of the Speed Dial is the textured surface at the rear of the saddle that helps keep our position.
The Speed Dial weighs in at 335g, which is an 80g increase over the standard RXL’s 255g. This falls well in line with what we consider its primary competition, the Adamo Podium’s (weighing in at 308g). The max width of the Speed Dial is 140mm with the front measuring from 40mm to 55mm, which again compares to the Podium’s max width of 130mm and 55 mm at the nose. Finally, when comparing price, the Adamo will set you back roughly $225, while the Speed Dial is slightly more at $250.
So that covers what the saddle is, but the question we are here to answer is how does it ride? The short answer is quite well. We have put roughly 200 miles on the Speed Dial so far, and in many ways we are reminded of the afore-mentioned Podium. Like the Podium, the Speed Dial is a long distance hauler that is comfortable both in the aero position and riding the bull horns. We did find that we had to drop the nose of the Speed Dial a bit as compared to the Podium. But that was an easy fix after our first ride.
The saddle’s contoured surface does an excellent job of holding our position and preventing slide. Compared to a number of other saddles we have tested, we would say that we felt most planted in this saddle.
Overall, the Speed Dial has worked out for us as well. We started the channel width adjustment in the middle position and found it to be quite comfortable. When we set the dial to the minimum position we experienced a bit of numbness and at the max we experienced a bit of chafing. The middle is just right. We expect, however, that each rider will have their own preference. After all, that’s the point of the Speed Dial. No longer do you need to void your saddle’s warranty to get the perfect width. Instead, just tighten a single bolt and you have made a significant change to your saddle.
As always, these are just our first impressions. We have another month planned with the Hilo RXL Speed Dial before we render final judgment. In that time we have some long distance rides, including at least one century, planned. Make sure to comment below or message us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions or would like to see us do any specific testing.