Here’s a nice new model in SDG’s super light I-BEAM seat range that’s just come through the door – their 2015 I-FLY Gripper Storm.
It’s probably fair to say that I-BEAM products are a matter of taste – if you don’t know, they do away with conventional seat rails which are replaced by a slider and clamp that grips around the ‘I’ shaped beam – get it? SDG tout it ‘the ultimate strength to weight ratio.’ This seat weighs in at 165g.
All Fly models incorporate an EVA foam, minimalistically designed with a snag-less, flat-forward, NO BS approach. Ideal for advanced cyclists with limited seated movements and those who prefer narrower, stiffer saddles.
The Fly series is for power and performance, catering to a wide spectrum of disciplines and available in multiple coverings from 1 piece kevlar covers to dual panel designs.
Personally I like these only on a downhill bike; they are slimline and pretty sturdy, although the lack of spring (that you get from a conventional seat) is uncomfortable where any actual prolonged sitting is involved. Funnily enough that’s why SDG’s I-BEAM seats aimed more at XC/trail/enduro have a ‘Flex Cavity.’ That’s that cleared up then.
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Basically, the I-FLY Gripper Storm is – as the name might suggest – one hell of a grippy seat with almost sandpaper-esque surface (that sounds uncomfortable, but it isn’t quite like that), a funky pattern, and the high level of construction and desirability that SDG are known for. It’s stiff, light and sleek for those who just want to go fast and get the power down without their seat getting in the way when standing, without slipping off when sat, especially in stinking wet and muddy conditions. If your priorities sound something like that then it’ll be right up your street.
If you don’t like the idea of I-BEAM, there are other Gripper options available with standard rails from the 2015 range.