Ideal Saddle Modification (ISM) Company Logo

As we all know, Ideal Saddle Modification, or ISM for short, the makers of the Adamo line of  saddles is by far the fastest growing bicycle seat for aftermarket and OE (original equipment) sales in the Road, Tri, and MTB, markets worldwide. ISMer can be found on the podium of most professional triathlon events worldwide and are steadily making gains in the professional cycling ranks as well. Celebrities and media personalities are also drawn to the added comfort that can only be provided by an ISM saddle. The Adamo has been written about and praised by everyone from the Triathlon and cycling media to the New York Times. The ISM logo can be found on the side of race cars, in most Triathlon and Cycling publications, and on the rider next to you on your next group ride.

The ISM saddle has been medically proven to be the healthiest choice, and recently endorsed by the New York Times as one of  the only style saddle that should be used.

The popularity growth of the ISM line of seats is easily evident and is most pronounced at the Ironman world championship in Kona Hawaii were it was in fact second to only to Fizik at the prestigious Kona product count this past year.  I believe that Fizik was only ranked higher due to a few reasons, it was the best of the rest for its style for many years, some triathletes can be tentative to change and that the Fizik arione is in fact an OE saddle by many manufactures.

Fi’zi:k: 485,  ISM: 328,  Selle Italia: 241,  Specialized: 136,  OE Spec’d: 115

Following the current trend, I am positive by next year’s race ISM will in fact, have dominationISM in this Kona count.  I have personally watched many a triathlete light up with joy per the realization that they no longer need to ride the unsupported and uncomfortable noise of their seat to maintain the power position they dear the most, with the added comfort no other seat can provide.

During the acclaimed NBC coverage of the Ironman world Championship event 3 of the 5 feature stories included riders racing with ISM saddles, coverage also  including the ISMer and early race leader on the bike.  70.3 World Champion, Any Potts

The features included:

Tara Costa a TV celebrity and Biggest Loser (TV Show) runner up who came to visit Elite Bicycles Philadelphia  to benefit  from our in-house Bicycle fitting Protocol,  Biomechanical  Bicycle Positioning (BBP) and introduced to the pleasures and benefits available with an ISM saddle.

David Greenfield Bike fitting with Tara Costa

Indy race car driver Vitor Meira is seen below with another NBC featured athlete, Indy race car driver Tony Kanaan. Both of who are avid ISM saddle users.

ISMers Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira on the race track

Additionally, Tony Kanaan was just presented by the major USA based triathlon magazine as the cover photo and was the feature story in that recent issue. Tony is also one of very few athletes with his own custom signature saddle. Whoot Whoot

The thing I personally find very cool about having Tony Kanaan as a devoted user of ISM is that he has the ISM logo on the side of his race car just above the gas tank in perfect view during all pit stop coverage during his Indy events. This may be the first and only bicycle brand logo seen on a professional race car.

Along with the laundry list of over 30 high profile top professional triathletes, including Olympic distance and Ironman world champions (both full and 70.3 distance). ISM has recently signed a deal with the newest Triathlon supper team, Wattie Inc.  Shawn and I have been friends for many years, and with his long time history of involvement with Triathlete magazine within their sales and marketing division. I am sure that his continued ability to promote and market his team of athletes will be unmatched by any others. His alternative and provocative flare is a new approach to marketing within the triathlon industry and I’m sure will catch the eyes of many.

ISM is also making steady gains in the Pro Cycling circuit. This is most evident in the Time Trial (TT), however there are several who ride ISM on the road as well including the Pan American gold medalist and Curacao national champion Marc de Maar.  Who now rides for the prestigious United Heath Care pro Cycling Team, (an Enve Composites sponsored team for race wheels and bicycle  components)  Also in the cycling pro ranks, Team Spider Tech from Canada has recently signed a deal with ISM saddles to be their seat of choice for the 2012 race session and beyond.  The At this year’s UCI time trial world championships it appeared as if a third of the female competitors were utilizing an ISM and additionally a healthy number of the men’s field as well.   The ISM Adamo seat will give the rider a relatively steeper forward angle due to the body position on this particular saddle.  Thus the ISM Adamo seat will allow riders who need to conform to the UCI regulations that command that the noise of their saddle be 5cm behind the center of the bottom bracket to be in a more effective forward position in space.  Furthermore, comfort counts for all riders including road cyclist who ride professionally.

Recently Dan Empfield of Slowtwich (the most popular website for triathlon on the planet by far) posted a multi-part analysis of the modern bicycle saddle designs and applications. There is defiantly a pro ISM element to much of what is written.  You will also find at the base of the first article part 1 there are some very positive remarks made by a variety of readers, all in favor of ISM. Additionally, I took the liberty to make a comment about saddles shape usage for triathlon and time trials in part 2 and I answered a question poise by Dan specifically about ISM in part 3.

Just recently, the very popular Asian on-line magazine Togoparts.com for news, reviews, events, resources and athlete forum just posted a very positive review of the ISM breakaway saddle.

Just as a FYI, (and since I have been asked on several occasions) I would like to point out the difference between the Racing and the Time Trial (TT) model.   Both the Racing and the TT saddles by ISM are built on the same chassis. Thus, they are the exact same size in length and width, and are also relatively the same weight.  They both utilize titanium rails and a full leather cover. The difference between the 2 seats is that the racing uses foam and gel padding throughout the entire structure of the saddle, whereas the TT is foam throughout with an additional set of gel compartments (2 in total) located just to the rear of each “nose” pawl situated on either side of the seat in the midst of the sitting area.

Bellow are two very helpful links that show an anatomically detailed diagrams. They have been specifically designed to show how a male or female rider would sit on an ISM seat.



Finally, I would like to share a few guild lines to assist with the installation and ensure that the ISM Adamo saddle is positioned correctly on the bike for a new user. This following information is written from the prospective that a professional fitter with the full line of ISM Adamo saddles would be involved with the fit and change to an ISM seat.  Self installation is certainly welcome if there is not local access in your area to an authorized ISM dealer.

Please note ISM saddles by design will “pitch” the rider relatively forward when sitting correctly on the seat with approximately three (3) fingers width exposed worth of saddle behind the rider compared to a standard bicycle seat. If you were to line the noise of any ISM seat up to where the previous non-ISM saddle noise was on the athletes’ bike, the rider would end up seating in a more forward position (increases for/aft) compared to the previous position using a Non-ISM saddle.

First things first, check the current knee angle and for/aft of the rider on their current saddle for reference and to fine tune the replacement and installation of a new ISM allowing the rider to maintain the same place in space at this contact point.  If the fitter does not deem this numbers to be optimal for leg extension, (either too high or too low) and or the for/aft is not ideal for the riding application intended by the rider.  This will provide a perfect opportunity to revisit the option for a full fitting  including all of the  appropriate tests and assessments that would go along with it.

Additionally, I would suggest watching how the rider approaches riding on their current saddle before making the swap.  practice a few hard intervals and view for, forward motion, Lateral sifts* and rotations*.  If the rider sits firmly on the bulk of their existing seat please follow the steps below and replace the new ISM to a one to one ratio to where the athlete is positioned on the previous saddle at this contact point in space. Conversely, if the rider has been exclusively riding on the noise of their previous saddle (ouch) or trends towards the front of their seat during a high power output and or at race pace scenario, move the replacement ISM the same relative distance forward as the rider has shifted.

ISM saddles have a slightly taller stack height than many others brands and is most likely much shorter in length than the saddle it is replacing. In order to place the rider in relatively the same place in space for the saddle contact point on a new ISM seat, verses their position on the Non-ISM seat a few steps are needed. First step is to measure the current saddle being used on the bike from middle top (measure the overall length of the existing saddle and find the mid-point, half the length) in a straight line to the center of the bottom bracket, write down the number, Use this same mid-point and measure to a parallel point on the front end of the bike (the bar end shifters on a TT bike or the stem clamp, drop bar intersection on a road bike, for examples) Again, write down the numbers. After you install the ISM re-measure using the same steps and adjust the saddle height accordingly, and in conjunction with For/Aft as they affect each other.

Start with rails parallel to the ground and adjust from there accordingly from rider feedback.  Ask the rider many time throughout the proses and with every change made “how is the tilt of the saddle feel, noise up, noise down?”

If you are diligent with initial saddle selection and pitch, exchanges for other ISM models will be very low. First, know the proper saddle girth for the individual rider. Check the pelvic cradle to see if the hips are pitched forward, neutral or rearward. Make an initial saddle size presumption from the location of the greater trochanter as a guide for the athletes build,  please remember that a forward posted GT usually but not exclusively results in a widened ischium, and vice-versa. Second, after you choose the initial saddle. Physically feel for where the ischial tuberosity and ischiopubic ramus sit on the seat, if they are hanging over the edge of the saddle, rocking, pressure, and lack of stability will most likely occur.  If too much saddle is exposed on either side, (i.e. narrow sit bones, “baby birthing hips”) friction and splaying of the upper thigh can occur. This will also destroy any ability to create a straight, piston like, efficient movement of the legs. (Granted the feet are properly supported with a foot-bed and all torsion, stands-width, and fore foot Varus or Valgus is addressed)  Third, try both chassis styles of ISM saddles to determine which style they like. (All models are suitable for all styles of riding, there is no defined usage, comfort and support is what is most important) fourth, let them try all the ISM saddles in those genera. Again, with every saddle and change, always ask how the pitch of the saddle is, noise up or nose down. Finally, to double check that ISM it their best choice, try some non-ISM seats in the width and position they need. This final step will immediately confirm and that ISM is by far the better choice.

Ideally, any pelvic obliquities should and would be neutralized prior to mounting the bike, as this is essential in creating neutrality and balance in the pelvic cradle.  however this is a learned technique that I would need to teach over time and in person to ensure proper execution of the procedure required and that the myofascial release is performed properly.

Lateral Sifts* and any Rotations* in the pelvis while  riding at any speed or output would need to be further investigated and addressed separately as this could result from numerous reasons.

For most people who try an Adamo saddle the immediate response is “why did I not get this sooner” additionally people who ride an Adamo will never ride any other brand of saddle ever again.

Please feel free to contact me with any subsequent questions, comments or concerns you may have about the ISM line of saddles or the installation of a new ISM seat.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.ismseat.com

Athletes or dealers from the territories listed below who would like to enjoy the benefits of an ISM product are encouraged to contact either myself directly david@elitebicycles.com or Elite Custom in Singapore who are fully stocked with all models and styles in all of the color options available to aesthetically match anyone’s race machine.

Elite Custom is the official distributor of ISM saddles for the Asia Pacific region.

Singapore,  Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Oman

Elite Custom Pte Ltd
Blk 2 Balestier Hill Shopping Centre #01-649
Singapore 320002
Tel: (+65) 62562028
Email: info@elitecustom.sg


This post was written by: DGG

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