Review- SDG Duster RL Saddle and Lock-On Grips

A little more than a month ago I got my hands on an SDG Duster ti railed saddle.  At first I was taken by its very vogue green and white color scheme and competitive weight but unsure about the comfort factor.  Saddles preference is very individual, so although some models have broad-ish appeal nothing is going to make everyone happy.

I’ve had really good luck with the WTB Devo and have spent a fair amount of money outfitting all of my road and ‘cross bikes with them.  After some initial fiddling I got the Duster installed close to where I thought I’d want it.

On my first ride I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable the Duster was.  The overall shape is very different from the Devo but I’d argue that in some ways it’s more trail-worthy.  The tapered tail allows more leg clearance when moving back or around the saddle and the cover also doesn’t stick to shorts- baggy or lycra.  So far the cover has held up well and hasn’t shown signs of fading or yellowing.

The rails on the Duster are pretty long and allow for ample fore/aft adjustment.

From this shot you can get a sense of how the profile of the saddle is rounded side-to-side.  That’s probably not the right shape for me for long road rides where I spend hours in the same position on the saddle, but it’s great for a balance between seated comfort and offroad maneuverability.  Although I like the Devo’s support its wide tail section does tend to get in the way during technical sections.

I’ve also been running the SDG Lock On Grips and was really impressed with the comfort and grip.  For longer rides and races I’ve been using a much wider profile grip, but the overall density and feel of these made me consider the benefits of a standard round profile.  These have been comfortable for rides up to 2 hours and may be fine beyond that, but I haven’t done any rides longer than that with these installed.

Here you can see the clever usage of the SDG logo as a grip pattern.

And here’s a shot of the tried and true ODI lock-on clamps and end cap.

I would recommend the Duster RL saddle to riders looking for a good balance of comfort and maneuverability for trail and XC racing applications especially in technical terrain if you’re not running a dropper post.  I’d want to get a few more long rides on it before signing off on it for marathon racing, but I am considering running it for the 40 mile CircumBurke later this month.

I would also recommend the SDG lock-on grips.  The weight, feel and security of the well established ODI system make them a good option for any technical riding pursuits.

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