Rails: carbon, titanium, steel, aluminium? Round or oval?
Another exciting question arises with the saddle in regards to the frame, also called “rails." Carbon is popular with gram counters because it allows you to save a lot of weight. Around 100 grams can be quite comparable to its sister model with metal rails, sometimes even more. There is actually nothing wrong with carbon, except its higher price compared to other materials. Those who prefer downhill riding sometimes avoid carbon saddles in order to avoid the risk of splinters in the not-unlikely event of a fall. Titanium is almost as light as carbon and is used by many manufacturers as a material for stays on sporty saddles. Sometimes, as with the company SDG, it’s utilised in the form of a titanium-aluminium alloy. Other aluminium alloys are also popular for lightweight saddles, such as those from Italian manufacturer Fizik. Finally, steel is the most widely used material for rails. It's sturdy, affordable and doesn't even have to be heavy. By the way, saddle rails are available in round and, in the road bike sector, also in an oval shape. Such oval rails need a corresponding seatpost and vice versa. However, different rail shapes are not compatible with each other. The good news for round rails: they all follow a standard 7 x 7 millimetre measurement and consequently fit all commercially-available seatposts that are designed for round rails.