Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Cobb Cycling JOF Fifty Five Saddle

I've used a bunch of saddles designed by Cobb Cycling (and by a "bunch" - I mean all of them).  They flat out work for me, and I've never experienced discomfort, numb pepis (man parts), or saddle sores.  All were somewhat common problems with other saddles and they simply vanished when I got on a Cobb Saddle (first the SHC 170, then the Vflow, then back to the SCH, then the Gen 2).

Being that I'm a pretty open minded person - I've tried a variety of other brands with little to no luck - so when I first saw the JOF 55 saddle online - I had mixed emotions.
The saddle's "wide back" threw me off initially when looking at it in online photos.

"Man, this looks a lot like the Adamo that didn't work for me"

"Holy cow - this saddle looks badass!"

"Looks kind of wide - doesn't that kill the point?"

"Holy cow - this saddle looks badass!"

Anyway, I knew that I had to give it a shot and see how it worked for me, but I had tempered expectations simply because it was different from the other Cobb Saddles I was currently riding.

So I finally got my grubby little mitts on one, and here's what I thought:


The first thing I thought when I got the saddle was "JOF?"  "55?"  "WTF does that even mean?"

Well, JOF stands for "Just Off Front" - which describes how the saddle is intended to be ridden.  For many of us, this will mean "Junk Off Front" - which basically amounts to the same thing.  It's a train of thought with this saddle that incorporates a very tri-specific geometry (although I've seen lots of road riders - like the Haute Wheels Racing Team - have great success with this saddle in an aggressive road geometry).  The shorter nose of this saddle allows you to "scoot" further forward and still remain comfortable.

The "55" is the distance between the two prongs up front.  55 mm.  This is actually important for this of us who look at this saddle and think "Oh man, this is going to be different from the saddles I've become accustomed to".  It's actually not.  I was a "nose-rider" anyway on the old saddles - and the narrowness of this saddle up front (not that much wider than other Cobb saddles) made it so things were pretty similar.

View from above - you can see that it's not as "big" as the pictures make it seem.

The first ride I put on the saddle was a 1 hour interval session on the trainer.  From just sitting on it, you immediately shift into your "sweet spot" and find where it's comfortable.  The time it takes to "get used" to how the saddle feels is extremely minimal.

One word of caution:  I was lucky enough to have my fitter tell me what adjustments to make when putting this saddle on.  Due to the height of the rails on the saddle, and the geometry, you likely will not put this saddle in the exact same spot as your old saddle.  It might take some tinkering on that end to get just right in terms of your fit.

The saddle "disappears" underneath you - which is perfect in my opinion.  I've had it on 4 hour long rides with no issues whatsoever.  It is extremely comfortable in the aero position, but just as comfortable if you sit up and scoot back to just chit-chat while riding.  

Sitting on the nose of the saddle, extremely comfortably.
As seen in the picture above - the JOF 55 is compatible with the Cobb Rear Hydration unit - which is an outstanding way to carry fluids / nutrition for long course racing or training (or any racing - as I use it in all my events).  
The saddle with the rear hydration system.  I use Arundel Mandible bottle cages - which I find to be the best carbon cages around in terms of holding bottles.

I would recommend this saddle to anyone looking for something different or for anyone who is having issues with discomfort, saddle sores, aero positioning due to the saddle, etc.  No single saddle is a universal fix - but I'd imagine that most people would be able to get this saddle to work for them very well.

For me, it's an outstanding saddle that will be a mainstay on my time trial / triathlon bike.

The TT bike with the Cobb JOF 55 on it.

Go to Cobb Cycling JOF 55 to purchase or find them at any of your local Cobb retailers.

1 comment:

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