By Scott Smith
Contributing Editor, Police Magazine
I do not claim to be a world class rider, heavy duty rider, or a cop on bike patrol. What I am is a beat-up GI, former federal police officer and reserve deputy who has had bi-lateral knee replacements. This means I needed a good way to rehabilitate my knees from surgeries.
Fortunately, my orthopedist is a big fan of pedaling and suggested setting my Fisher on a stationary rack. It seemed like a good idea to me; however, my butt disagreed. I had forgotten how much a bike seat hurts when you haven’t ridden in many moons. If this rehab thing was going to work, I needed to find a better saddle. Fortunately, I had just returned from TREXPO East with my mountain of magazines and advertisements. In one of them, I noticed an advertisement for RideOut Technologies’ Storm Quest saddle.
The Storm Quest, built from waterproof Kevlar, is designed for the rigors of bike patrol and other prolonged daily excursions. According to the information on RideOut Tech’s website, their saddles are built to reduce pressure points, chafing, and bike-induced inflammation; in general, to be markedly more comfortable. The images of the seat looked good, and the idea of the saddle not making my butt hurt was what I had in mind.
I contacted RideOut Tech’s head bike seat designer, Jeri Rutherford, and she quickly sent one of the Storm Quests on its way. Initially, I thought the seat was a bit small because, in the photos, it looked larger, like a touring saddle. However, I thought, “I’ll give it a whirl,” and put it on the Fisher. I was surprised to discover that the Storm Quest was very comfy on my delicate little butt, OK, no laughing; my big a**.
The Storm Quest and the other Comfort saddles are designed to be minimalistic. Jeri told me that less is good when it comes to bike saddles, not just to reduce weight, but also to reduce chafing and wear on the body. It is how the saddle fits and contours to your rear end, and ultimately how it supports you, that matter.
What makes the Storm Quest and the Comfort Carbon saddles unique is the patented “crossbow supports”. These carbon fiber supports flex to dampen by absorbing and dispersing the road shock through the entire seat. The thermal molded base plate is molded to the contours of the human body to “fit” your butt better. Multi-density foam is used to deliver a saddle that is comfortable for the long haul. The fit, padding and flex of the Carbon Comfort saddles will make your ride more enjoyable.
When you try this saddle, you should lower your height about a half an inch as it sits a bit higher on the stem than a standard bicycle saddle. Personally, I found I needed to raise my handlebars, but the Storm Quest changed how I sat, and raising the handle bars took stress off my shoulders.
When I did try the saddle on the street, I found the design of the Storm Quest allows for a smooth exit. This means you can exit the bicycle quickly should you have to move to a foot pursuit.
Another feature I like about the Storm Quest is the Urban Touring Bag. This is an optional-purchase bag which attaches to a bracket on the Comfort Carbon and Storm Quest saddles. I suggest it because of the three built-in, flashing red LEDs. They are very bright and will draw motorists’ attention, adding to your safety.
Overall, I like the Storm Quest. It rides well, especially while endurance riding, like on a stationary set-up, when your butt and inner thighs seem to get sore more quickly than during real riding. I did not have this issue with the Storm Quest. Like shoes that fit, having a bicycle saddle that fits helps make the ride and the day go better. When the ride is literally going nowhere as it is on a stationary rack, a slightly sore, tired butt is a good reason to quit. The Storm Quest has helped combat this. It just felt right, and continues to feel good daily as I work on rehabilitating my knees.
If you are looking for a new bicycle saddle for your patrol or personal bike, consider RideOut Technoloies’ Storm Quest. You will appreciate the comfort and the ride.
Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer. He is a certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor who has attended several major training centers. He can be reached at email@example.com.
(c) IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of IPMBA News.