Tioga Spyder Outland Seat - Review

Jan 20, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Tioga Spyder Outland seat review test


Tioga's radical looking range of Spyder seats feature webbed construction that the company says is able to conform to a rider's behind while also staying pliable and active. The $140 USD Spyder Outland version tested below employs removable silicone pads that should make it even more comfortable than the already impressive Spyder Stratum, but they do bump the weight up to a still-feathery 205 grams. Is the Spyder Outland more comfortable than its medieval appearance might have you believe?


Why did Tioga take such a different approach to seat design? ''The Spyder aims to address a major deficiency present in mainstream padded saddle construction: shock absorption and, more specifically, its rate and frequency of absorbing energy from bumps,'' Tioga's Kai Cheng explained. ''We found that padding on saddles is an inefficient shock absorber because its level of absorption is proportional to its mass; more absorption requires thicker and heavier padding. As most performance saddles utilize padding of well under than 15mm thick, and then factoring in the padding compression once you sit on it, there’s not much shock absorbing value left to take on the hits.''
Spyder Outland Details

• Dual material flexible web frame
• Removable silicone padding
• Dimensions: 285mm x 125mm
• Hollow chromoly seat rails
• No rider weight limit
• Colours: black, white
• Weight: 205 grams (w/ silicone pads)
• MSRP: $140 USD
www.tiogausa.com

So, instead of using standard seat foam that Cheng says will just compact down and become useless, Tioga went with a dual-material shell with a webbed design that's said to be far better at conforming to a rider's underside while also remaining flexible enough to still be forgiving.


Tioga Spyder Outland seat review test
  The darker material is the Spyder's more rigid frame, while the light grey coloured material is the softer shell and inside of the silicone padding.

It's the Spyder's dual-material construction that makes the design possible. First, a stiffer base material is used to create the seat's general shape (shown in green to the right), after which a softer, more flexible material is bonded over the top of it to create the Spyder's shell. The finished product looks pretty seamless, but you can spot the two different materials if you get close, and you can actually feel how the top is softer than the edges if you use your fingernail to try and scrape both. Tioga's 'DualTech' two-piece construction took awhile for them to get right, and they tested and decided against designs that offered both more and less flexibility.
Tioga Spyder Outland
The stiffer base material, shown above in green, is used to create the Outland's shape.

The Spyder Outland's shell measures 125mm across, which is ten millimeters narrower than the racier looking Spyder Stratum, but the Outland's nose is a bit wider, and is intended to offer a more flexible and forgiving feel. Tioga has also added neat silicone pads that mesh with the Outland's webbed shell, although I have a feeling that the removable padding is more to convince people to try the seat than to actually increase comfort.


Tioga Spyder Outland seat review test
The silicone pads give the Outland a far less intimidating appearance.
Tioga Spyder Outland seat review test
The pads can be completely removed if you find that you don't need them.





Performance

Despite what my riding buddies were predicting, my underside wasn't rendered a bloody mess by the Outland's webbed shell, and I can vouch that all of my functions still function after roughly a year's worth of use. Of course, I already knew that would be the case because I spent a very long time on the Outland's lighter weight, less flexible brother, the Spyder Stratum. I've told people that the Stratum (which broke a rail during my time on it) was easily on my top five list of most comfortable saddles, so I expected the Outland to be pretty similar, if not even more comfortable due to the neat silicone padding that Tioga has added.

The Outland turned out to be quite different than the Stratum. To begin with, although its webbed shell looks very similar, it's actually 10mm narrower at the back and about 6mm wider at the nose, something that gives it a very different feel under you. The Outland was still comfortable enough for me to move it from test bike to test bike throughout the year, but I could definitely feel that pressure was being applied to a smaller area of my bum. This is purely down to the seat's shape rather than its funky webbed shell or silicone padding, which I know because I rode it with and without the silicone add-ons. Further highlighting that shape is far more important that how much padding a seat has, I actually found the Outland to be more comfortable without the silicone padding. I was happy enough with the shape to spend well over a hundred days with it under me, but I'd advise that it's best suited to those with narrow sit bones.


Tioga Spyder Outland seat review test
  At 125mm wide, the Spyder Outland is ideal for riders with narrow sit bones.


Much like I found with the Stratum, the Outland's edges could feel a bit harsher than a more traditional, padded seat when you get them into your gut or the inside of your thigh. I don't think I'd be putting this one on my dirt jump bike. But, if you're an open-minded kind of rider who prefers a seat on the narrow side of the spectrum, the Spyder Outland is worth looking it. The Outland also proved to be reliable, with it not emitting a single squeak or squawk over the last year of use, and its rails are still dead-straight.



Pinkbike’s Take:

bigquotesThe Spyder Outland's appearance is going to be enough to scare some riders away, which is a shame because I can almost guarantee that those who prefer a narrow seat will find the odd looking Tioga to be quite comfortable. - Mike Levy




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91 Comments

  • + 252
 I farted while riding this saddle and it sounded like dubstep.
  • + 13
 This literally made me bust out laughing! Bravo!!
  • + 15
 Quick and easy cleaning for sharts as well!
  • + 7
 Fack!!!! LOL
  • + 10
 LOL...tea spat out all damned keyboard lol
  • + 6
 seat will grate your nuts like parmesan. just say when.
  • + 2
 Won't have to stop and get off for deuces anymore, except for house cleaning.
  • - 1
 wow so did i but mine was just a squeak. i really think its this seat, the holes and everything its just it allows the gas to just pass through.
  • + 2
 Comment of the year so far...gold!
  • + 3
 Wub wub wub
  • + 38
 The other day a guy came into the shop I work at asking for a saddle that wouldn't effect his sex life. I would love to see the look on his face if I showed him this.
  • + 19
 did you sell him some Viagra from under the counter ? Smile
  • + 33
 A saddle that would *effect* your sex life would be a lot more than $140!
  • + 0
 Sounds like he is riding a saddle that's too narrow for him: his saddle is pinching the nerves between the sitting bones, instead of his sitting bones resting on his saddle. Since this saddle is so damn narrow, numb genitals will happen to the majority of the riders, unless you have very narrow sitting bones. Can't understand how they only made a size XS for this saddle. Meaning 80% of the market won't fit on this correctly.

Back to the dude at your shop: find him a wider saddle. My saddles are 150mm and 160mm wide. My innerlegs are nut rubbing against the saddle, what many people would think with wide saddles. If the wider saddle is not enough, sell him an ISM saddle in the correct width and softness for him. Looks ugly but is apparently the best saddle ever made from what I heard. Big chance that once their 10 years patent ends, all other saddle companies will jump onto this design aswell, and the shape will become accepted as normal.
  • - 3
 I have a solution for him - saddle with an extending spike pinching his balls every 5 minutes, staying up for at least 5 minutes. Just stop sitting on the saddle so much damn it. You can also tell him to install bleeding ports in his balls so that he can flush the system at pressure. Now seriously: most flow saddles are friendly to man bits. I also like WTB saddles since they never give me a Numb Willy Syndrome. I did get that a lot on Selle Italia SLRs
  • + 3
 Standing up more often is actually not a bad idea. I do that on my track bike quite a lot to increase the intensity of the training.
  • + 1
 For only $140 you can enter the world of hemaroid flare ups!
  • + 26
 - Look! I am here for a god damn saddle, not for advice on how should I ride my bike.
- Sir - I am trying to save you money here, we are not a store that will throw a 300$ carbon saddle at you
- I want to speak to your manager, this is none of your business, in fact seated pedaling is more efficient, you obviously have no idea about cycling. Can I speak to a manager here, not some dude on a summer job?
(manager shows up)
- Sir we have not a single saddle that can guarantee that your sex life will be improved. I am not putting my money on what looks like a potential lawsuit in the future.
- Then I will go to Specialized store, they have ergonomic saddles!
- Please do but for it's worth I can tell you that from my 20 year experience in cycling an married life, I can tell you, that if you can't do it in standing position for more than 5 minutes your sex life is worthless anyways...

Man leaves the store
  • + 2
 Brooks cambium carve, available in three widths, one even has carbon rails to meet enduro standards.
  • + 2
 Mattin Nut rubbing Hur hur
  • + 2
 I think the best saddle for that dude would be something really uncomfortable. That way he wouldn't be out riding his bike and would be at home making sweet love to the lady.
  • + 5
 I started riding a trainer for the first time this winter. An old mtb with a flite saddle, never had a problem with real riding. 10-15 minutes on the trainer and baaad problem no blood flow to johnson, restoration takes a while but is getting worse daily, is going to mean no more trainer... fiddled with adjustments, tried another saddle from my road bike (a leather san Marco) and same problem in 30 minutes. Probably because I'm never standing. Along with helmet this is something I've no problem spending money on. Went to 2 great stores, both happy to let me take saddles home to try on trainer. Price is no object.

Tried Sella san Marco rolls ti, scoop, giant contact sl, plus 7-8 more on store fit bikes (fizik, newer sella italia with and without cutout, some OEM seats). Was going to settle for the giant (narrow, no numbness but hard as a rock) when out of desperation I went to the specialized dealer... on their smug advice I took home a phenom comp. Problem solved. 2 hours sitting is no problem and it is narrow enough it doesn't chew on my inner legs. Like magic.

All that doubt and skepticism.Turns out my seat height was fine, saddle nose height was fine, forward back was fine, bar height, etc, etc. Key for me was getting weight off perenium while keeping nose narrow. Now >100 days and still no problem. Don't give up hope there is a saddle for every ass.

.
  • + 4
 www.ismseat.com/saddle/adamo-peak

Looks likea camel toe but it rides great.. and it's probably not a coincidence.
  • + 2
 @captaingrumpy

I've been using Specialized saddles for years, and I buy them at retail because my bike shop does not sell Specialized. I also do lots of bike fitting for road bike customers so have plenty of experience fitting customers to saddles, and to their bikes Smile

This is my new saddle "Specialized S-Works Power" which is incredible

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb13018870/p5pb13018870.jpg

All load bearing is onto the ischial tuberosities (sit bones) with practically no soft tissue contact. This takes some getting used as most saddles actually shared load between sit bones and soft tissue to some degree.

The Power saddle takes a couple of rides to get used to because of the direct sit bone loading, but there is no contact with the perineum which allows an aggressive forward postion - on many saddles including my previous Specialized Toupe you'd get perineum contact when rotating forward into the drops which caused uncomfortable pressure. You can't relieve this pressure by angling down the nose more than 1-2 degrees because you become unstable as you slide forward and place load on the upper body to provide support.

The tricky thing with saddle choice is there are 2 elements: "Support" (a good fit) and "Comfort".

The two are not the same, and you can have a saddle with great support but perhaps not comfortable in terms of transferring road shock

Then you have saddles which are comfortable but provide a poor fit (width, shape, too much padding) in that the pelvis is hunting for a stable position, causing instability under load which then causes a cascade of issues to the hips, back and knees.

I'd always take a saddle with support rather than comfort, as your body will adjust (harden) to the supportive saddle quickly, whereas a comfortable saddle with poor support will just cause ongoing issues and long term injury
  • + 2
 @hampsteadbandit

Wow, terrific response and explanation. Exactly in line with what I experienced. Exactly right the perenium pressure was not something that I was conditioning to, seemed like road to permanent damage.

I wanted to like the scoop, it is beautiful but was too soft and wide and didn't relieve perenium pressure. The Giant Contact SL was the one other saddle that gave me good support without perenium pressure but it was EXtremely hard. I was prepared to endure because my sitbones would condition themselves but I would never use it off-road because it was like steel coated with a mm of vinyl.

Something I'm wondering: My current off road seat is an oem yeti seat. Doesn't look like much but is narrow enough and extremely springy. Not good for long seated rides but if I crash into it when riding it gives like a spring. I'd like another phenom for my main bike but it is pretty damn rigid. Have you found the more expensive phenoms have more spring?
  • + 2
 ive had the numb slong problems on a saddle not pleasant
  • + 2
 That sounds like a cock and balls story to me...
  • + 2
 @captaingrumpy

I'm currently using the Romin with carbon fibre rails on my MTB (29'er) because its setup with a neutral drop (compared to a road bike); this has a thin padding on the top. I could not get on with the Romin Evo because I found the nose too wide despite the rear width being the same at 143mm.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb13081562/p5pb13081562.jpg

Specialized tend to offer different levels of padding, say level 3-2-1 with level 1 being the firmest.

in addition the choice of rail material has a small influence on the absorption of the saddle to road/trail shock, with the carbon fibre being stiffest / lightest, titanium being softest / mid weight and steel being somewhere in between in terms of stiffness but obviously heaviest

What can happen with two much padding is you get the "comfort" but not the "support" as the thicker padding may not allow your sit bones to find a good perch, but can cause excess movement as you float around on the thicker padding - this would be more of a problem with a road bike as often the uneven surface you encounter on your MTB causes constant movement in the saddle.

If they offer a 30-day swap out programme try experimenting with some different saddle models to find one that suits Smile

I've seen a live demo of the blood flow analysis Specialized use to test their new design; a guy had a sensor glued to his johnson (!) and sat on a road bike with a variety of saddle models from SBC and competitors mounted to the same model of seatpost marked at the same height so they could swap it out quickly.

SBC won't release a BG saddle unless it maintains a good blood flow of say 50%. if it drops below this you start getting damage from restricted blood flow which is not something you can directly sense as pain (like liver damage) and only becomes an issue later with erectile disfunction. some of the competitor saddles they used during this live test dropped blood flow to below 10% within 2 minutes of pedalling - real scary!
  • + 13
 I have the previous generation spyder saddle and love it, I actually put it on my road bike and have no problem with it on 80 plus mile rides. But I originally got that saddle because it was cheap and light, and this is not cheap.
  • + 3
 I have the old version too but on my MTB, I'm always getting asked about it and people are surprised when I say it's actually very comfy and has been very strong so far.
  • + 1
 So, for water and mud coming up off the back tyre....that seems like it might be a bit of an issue for general backside dampness, no? Hoping not, looks interesting. Might try the lighter cheaper version.
  • + 1
 I did have mud seeping through the holes on the last muddy ride I did but I figure if it's muddy them I'm going to be getting dirty regardless
  • + 1
 @DC1988: and if you have any tears on seat with foam it will collect water unlike this one!
  • + 17
 Waffle chode.
  • + 11
 It's like that pesky mud stuck in the funny holes on a fork arch, but only worse because you're sitting in it?
  • + 2
 I use a chinese copy of the Twintail design (Sorry Tioga but I was broke), made of mere plastic, and you know what ? It's the most comfortable saddle I've ever had, and it didn't break yet even with many crashes. For the mud thingy, actually it's way better this way, the mud doesn't get stuck in these holes and overall you don't get that "wet ass" feel from when your saddle is coated with mud. Also it's very light, under 150g
  • + 1
 I actually have a friend who metal filled in his fork arch, sanded and painted it to match the original white. It actually came out pretty good and he never had the mud problem again. I bought a fender, although it was his dirt jump bike he did that too.
  • + 6
 PB: "I've told people that the Stratum (which broke a rail during my time on it) was easily on my top five list of most comfortable saddles . . ."

Top 5? Is that a compliment? What are the other 4 - name names.

These saddles are very light, but as you said, rather narrow. I wish they came in 140 - 142mm width which is what the ass crack measurement device tells me I need.
  • + 1
 Where can I get one of these "ass crack measurement devices" you mention? What can I do if my ass crack is too large?
  • + 1
 so far as I know - only shops have the 'crack-O-my-ass-meter'.
  • + 6
 Who honestly prefers a narrow seat? If I could ride a recliner the whole way down, I would.
  • + 11
 I would really enjoy seeing one of those super wide black vinyl seats with the "quilted look" and the butt cheek shock absorbers on somebody's DH rig
  • + 6
 A great many people. It all matters how far spaced your sit bones are from one another.
  • + 2
 @nvon how about something like this bad boy?https://www.bicycleseats.com/mobile/adjustable-backrest-bicycle-seat.html
  • + 1
 And only $80??
  • + 5
 A narrow seat is great when not sitting on it and that´s when most fun is had anyways.
  • + 3
 maybe you're looking for something closer to this? 26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l1tdjkXHAr1qzzhs8o1_500.jpg
  • + 3
 I rode an old seat with no padding and a bunch of holes drilled in to achieve a similar idea for a short while. It wasn't bad, and i wouldn't be surprised if this was a comfortable saddle too. The only problem is your buddies will never let you live it down if you show up to ride with it. Trying to explain how a cheese-grater looking seat is comfortable is no easy task...
  • + 27
 Why are your riding buddies so concerned about the state of your ass?
  • + 41
 depends on what kind of riding he's doing
  • + 23
 heyooo
  • + 12
 Just tell them "trust me, I'm an engineer" works every time
  • + 3
 205 grams for a narrow 125mm saddle is not feathery, it is rather standard for hollow chromoly rails. And you must add the mud. I don't even want to think about what happens if you run in some sticky mud!
  • + 1
 I would love to try one of these out. I've been riding old school (1990's) Bontrager C30 and/or Plus-10 (115mm/125mm wide) saddles exclusively for ~20 years. I've tried others but the shape of the Bontragers just "fit" me. The old Bontragers are getting hard to find though, and even when you find one they are beat or just aged to the point of junk. This saddle looks to be nearly the exact same shape/size/contour as the old Bontrager Plus-10's. But >$100! F_ _ _ _!!!
  • + 1
 If your man bits are getting numb on long extended periods of seat time (like on long road rides), that is NOT GOOD. After speaking with a urologist about this, I was informed it can lead to prostate flare up (painful) and other issues including ED (look it up, its why viagara was invented).
Research lead me to the line of SMP saddles from Selle Italia. They are goofy looking but comfortable and do not restrict blood flow to your bits. So thats what I ride with on my road bike.
The Tioga saddle looks interesting. I would rock try it on my MTB, except I dont think I have narrow sit bones.
  • + 2
 I have a Tioga Spyder (not sure what model) on my race bmx. Many years of being at the track sitting on all types of thinly padded seats, this has been the most comfortable. I would be willing to give the stratum a try.
  • + 2
 Since when does anyone sit on a saddle on a race bmx bike except the 5 seconds before you stand up for the gate to drop???
  • + 13
 For exactly those 5 seconds. And also a few mins at the dairy waiting for ice cream. Or just coastin back to your monster truck after spraying champagne everywhere victoriously on the podium.
  • + 2
 Props for the term dairy..
  • + 2
 @AdustytrunkMonkey you've clearly never hung out with your buddies between laps discussing lines and causing ruckus.
  • + 0
 Ive used the stratum on my past 2 bikes and Im loving it. Ive done 6 hour endurance races no problem with it. Only downfall if if you crash and it hits a rock. Theyre not that rugged. Broken 2 so far rocks
  • + 1
 I really like the concept, but only making a 125mm wide version causes 80% of the cyclists not to fit correctly on this. It is like making a men's t-shirt and only sell it in size XS.
This makes me doubt how much they actually know about the anatomy of saddles. To me this looks like they just wanted it to be as light as possible and didn't know what the negative effects are of a super narrow seat.

If they'd make a normal and a wide version aswell I would be interested in the seat. But 125mm wide? No thanks.
  • + 2
 Maybe they wanted to avoid bigger people to use it?
  • + 1
 I'm sorry ..'$140'.........ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS.......ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS........breathe... .breeathe.......ONEHUNDRED ANNNND FOOORTY DOLLARRRSSSSS....... *dies*
  • + 0
 This is the only one seat I broke in my life....I weight 65 Kg....Landing in the seat while doing DH is not unusual thing...I ride a plastic seat from other brand whit no problems. Few scratches in the ass and buying a new seat to the bike owner was my experience...
  • + 2
 Pass. Tried the older version and it just didn't fit my butt. Couldn't even sell it to some fixie riding goofball. And my butt got dirty and or wet.
  • + 3
 They should make it look like a spider man mask
  • + 1
 I have a Tioga Spyder saddle on my commuter road bike. Its pretty comfy saddle but it constantly feels like it hasn't been attached the seatpost well
  • + 2
 Speed holes are rad. I would use one but 140 is a bit much (not a Dentist).
  • + 2
 I had one of the road versions on my mtb, most comfortable seat I have ever ridden, until it broke...
  • + 4
 Um! Scrot pinch anyone?
  • + 1
 There are so many other saddles out there to be reviewed..!!!
www.pinkbike.com/news/tioga-spyder-stratum-seat-review-2014.html
  • + 1
 This saddle would make naked bike rides very uncomfortable. For that reason I shall take my "business" elsewhere.
  • + 1
 I should have done a more thorough review of the market before I bought my most recent seat. (kicking myself commences)
  • + 0
 Yeah nice review as always. In my opinion pinkbike is the best bike news site with the best community


Check out my latest video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Cv3WJI_Gw
  • + 2
 anybody else nocided Ka Ching? Big Grin
  • + 1
 Love my spyder stratum...best seat ever....
  • + 1
 Who prefers a narrow seat?
  • + 1
 My narrow ass!
  • + 1
 Been riding 125mm wide sadlles for 20 years! Guess that means I do.
  • + 1
 Fresh air to the Date can only be a good thing..!
  • + 1
 i like mine, i use the road type one... my mates laughed but it works...!!
  • + 0
 Take care to remove ANY SPIDERS before seating !
  • - 1
 god that's one ugly perch !!
  • - 1
 Will my ass' comfort outweigh the pain it takes when I pay that much?
  • - 2
 I heard their next model will be called the Black Widow.
  • + 2
 Or the cheese grater.
  • + 2
 And if it looks like Scarlett Johansson I'm in
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