Hi Sydcyclers!

Yes, a few years between drinks, but it's another installment of that fun game for all the family, "Tell Mike O where to go", in which you advise me on cycle touring routes, and I get to bamboozle you with subsequent WITWIMB challenges.

The focus this time is on North America. I have a wedding to attend in Chicago (my little niece is all growed up!) in the last week of May.

I'll be there for a week and will have the Surly to hand but I don't sense that Illinois and environs is a great bike touring destination save perhaps some lovely rolls along the lakeside(s).

So plan is to fly back to Sydnerney via Vancouver. From there I can head down into Washington State - the coastline and hinterland - and/or north into Cannuckland. Maybe a bus up to the Rockies and roll around there, I dunno. I will be travelling solo, all tented and panniered up (thinks, might need a warmer kipsack).

UPDATE: I will have SEVERAL WEEKS at my disposal on the west coast. 

Yes, there is a Paranoid Planet (Dangers and Annoyances!!) guide to US West Coast cycling that has input from one of our number ...

Anyone been in those parts? Any advice? All suggestions gladly welcomed, although tips like "no no go to Newfoundland/Hudson Bay/Tijuana" will probably not be acted upon :-)


Mike O'

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The  seat is not UCI compliment.  Better watch your back :)

But Mr O’ likes those saddles as does John K, Neil A does not and I am undecided as yet

ps tip of nose is over 60mm behind B.B. 

60mm behind the B.B.  He's ready for ITT's :)

My saddle of choice too

Not mine! I even penned this review of the product for Chain Reaction and they refuse to publish it! Shows how they bias their product reviews. This shows their first request that I re-submit my review, which I did by removing the highlighted clause. They subsequently asked me to re-submit it again and referred to their policy on reviews. I can't see where it has breached their policy, so I asked them to point it out to me - still waiting for a response!


The highlighted section(s): was written lacking personal experience

After having read the many effusive reviews about these SMP saddles, this one in particular, I felt that a bit more balance was needed. As a result of so many positive comments, I purchased this saddle (from elsewhere because CRC didn't have it at the time) and looked forward to an armchair ride. After having persevered with trying all sorts of adjustments over 700kms to make it comfortable for me, I gave up. Others whom I've subsequently discussed this saddle with, had similar experiences with their SMP TRK purchase - couldn't get it comfortable. I've never persevered for so long to get a saddle comfortable, nor have I had to. I searched the internet for "how to's" in case I was missing something - tried them all with no success. I've now re-installed my former saddle, and expect to get a few more not-as-uncomfortable as SMP TRK years out of it. It might be a good shape for some, but it certainly wasn't for me! Don't be surprised if you've wasted your money.

Saddles are a bit of a special case. What may be perfectly comfortable for one person can be quite unsuitable for someone else, depending on the body shape and sit bone dimensions in the relevant areas.

A bit like ski boots or mouthguards, it's a very personal fit and it can take a bit of trial and error to find the right one for you. 

Yeah the TRK is my choice for touring saddle and has never caused me trouble. Horses for courses. 

"Horses for courses."

Agreed! However, my point is that it appears that Chain Reaction don't publish reviews that show a product in a negative light. In this case, there was an overwhelming number of "wonderful" reviews and bugger all negatives. Yet of the people that I know who have them, no-one apart from you, Andrew and herzog have anything good to say about them!

It becomes a case of treat the reviews with a great deal of skepticism if dealing with Chain Reaction. 

Don't come the all innocent NA with us, you started  it! http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/blogs/n-a-syndrome-theory-and...

Dabba might add Ma Dame Velo, Eleri, John Knight and other luminaries to the SMP lovers list. I used a TRK for a few years on the Cannondale and the Vivente for about 25 200s etc but it never seemed to get on with the Lynskey. Have struggled since with too many saddles, anything works for up to 100 but the second 100 separates the sheep from the goats. Had "invested" in SMP Avant & Plus saddles a year ago (half price so I don't feel to bad) which are performing ok, getting better , leaning to the Avant, given up on leather

Nice table drain. 


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