Wednesday, July 11, 2012

G.A.B.S. Bicycle saddle

My bike with the G.A.B.S. saddle
I have been curious for a good many years at this odd bicycle saddle that a Courtenay man invented called the G.A.B.S. bicycle saddle. I have seen this fellow and his saddle featured in the local papers and driven by his house in downtown Courtenay several times, never stopping, but knowing that one day I would. The G.A.B.S. would have a vehicle in the holiday parades in town for the past bunch of years and I was not sure if this was a going concern or mostly a R and D kind of thing. Last summer while on tour I suffered from a horrible case of saddle sores. I was unable to comfortably ride after the first day. With so many more kilometers to go and hills to climb, it was pain that I do not want to re-visit. Thoughts of this strange saddle danced in my head as I grimaced up another kilometers long hill, trying to keep the weight off my backside to relieve the pain.

A few weeks ago after the Farmers Market, I was puttering about town and decided to stop in and see this invention for my own eyes. Maybe try one out. The sign said "Open" and I rang the bell. An elderly gentleman answered the door, and introduced himself as George. We had a chat and soon he had me sitting on his bike that was attached to a trainer. I spun the pedals and we talked about the mechanics of how a saddle should work and his experiences with bicycle touring. Upon retirement from his job as a plumber with the school district George decided to ride across Canada to raise money for a charity he was involved with. After completing that ride he under took many other long distance rides around Canada. All these kilometers in the saddle, while fun and exciting, were uncomfortable. He tried 17 different saddles on his journey across Canada and never found one that worked the way he wanted, including Brooks, which is the go to for most long distance riders. The idea behind the G.A.B.S. saddle was born and soon George had a patent and was even featured on CBC's "The Dragons Den"

My meeting with George resulted in the purchase of a saddle. I love home grown bike products and the simplicity. There are no gels, shocks or strange high tech materials. A firm foam cushion and a vinyl cover is all the the saddle has. The feature that makes it stand out from the competing manufactures is the lack of a horn, at least a horn that will impede the rider. Instead of the frame of the saddle running under the horn and the seating area, the G.A.B.S. has a plastic frame and the seating area is built on top of it. The only contact that ones rear end makes with the seat is right on the seat bones. Very comfortable and unimpeding. No perineal contact what so ever. If you have ever gotten numb from a bike seat, this will correct that. I can get off the bike after a long ride and walk like normal not feeling like I have been on a saddle for an hour. The parts of your legs that move do not contact any part of the saddle, making for a chafe free experience. At first the saddle will feel somewhat hard, and that is because the other saddles most are used to have so much padding to try to make them more comfortable. The problem is in the contact parts not the cushioning.

I highly suggest if you do any amount of riding to give a G.A.B.S. a try. For $75 these saddle are competitively priced with other manufactures and they are built in our town, by a local. A great product George, I hope you get many more sales and I am working to spread the word on you wonderful product. I would like to give it a shot on my mountain bike too. Find Adventure.

4 comments:

  1. I would be hesitant to place it on a mountain bike. Compared to a static posture on a touring or road bike, the mountain bike is worked back and forth by the horn of the saddle on the insides of the legs.

    You might also be victim to the standard size mtb seat, I went for a 155mm seat and have had many numb free miles on my mtn bike.

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  2. Thanks Colin. My MTB seat is not that bad, I was just wondering if it would be useful at all. Maybe for an off road tour, but not on the trails. Have you tried one of these saddles?

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    Replies
    1. I switched to a wider Specialized road saddle on my mtb and have had great luck.

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  3. You should post a gabs saddle review on youtube! I have been looking for saddles recently as I am not happy with my current one. I somehow came across gabs and the design looks so ideal. I don't see much out there about gabs online.

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