You Won't Believe These 12 Outrageous Tour de France Bike Seats! [PHOTOS]

Jun 27 2013

Earlier this week, Spanish Journalist Laura Meseguer tweeted a photo of Joaquim Rodriguez’ custom saddle (that’s the technical term for “bike seat”) for the Tour de France.

It’s pretty crazy, but it’s is far from the boldest we’ve seen. Here are 10 other outrageous bike seats from other professional cyclists:



1) Marco Pantani – The Pirate

Pantani custom saddle

Marco was a pioneer in many ways.

(via rainorshinecycles, late 90s-early 00s)

Pantani—nicknamed “The Pirate” for obvious reasons—was one of the first riders to have a custom saddle, with fairly disastrous stylistic results—thought keep in mind, it was the 90s. He was also one of the first riders to find himself unceremoniously kicked out of a Grand Tour with a commanding lead due to a bad blood test. He was a flamboyant, exciting climber, and complicated, emotional man. He committed suicide on Valentine’s Day, 2004



2) Filippo Pozzato – Blond Angel

Pozzato Blonde Angel Saddle

I can’t help but feel something was lost in translation

(via cyclingnews, 2006)

Sometime-classics contender Pozzato has always been a bit weird, but to be fair, he did ride this “Blond Angel” saddle to a win at the 2006 Milan-Sanremo. Bonus fact: Pozzato has a sprawling script tattoo on his back that says “only God can judge me.”



3) Alexandre Vinokourov – The Thing

Vinokourov The Thing Saddle

This isn’t too far off…

(via Cozy Beehive, but I’m pretty sure he stole it from somewhere else, 2007)

Not a bad match for the stocky Kazakh, who did seem to launch every attack with “It’s clobberin’ time” and was indeed imbued with extra-terrestrial powers—though from blood transfusions, not the Van Allen Belt. Vino’ gets additional style props for sticking with the style for most of his career, as this 2011 photo shows.



4) Tom Boonen – The Thing (again)

Boonen The Thing Saddle

I’d be clobberin’ that logo, too.

(via cyclingnews, 2011)

Aside from the fact that this branding is already spoken for, “The Thing” is wholly inappropriate for Boonen, who is a rangy 6’4″, and known for his ability to ride with impressive finesse on rough cobblestone surfaces. At least Prologo got the right comics universe—Boonen’s Autobot allegiance is well-established. Specialized would sort out a proper saddle for Boonen the following year, though there’s no indication he ever rode it BOOM—dude totally rode it.



5) Brad Wiggins – Union Jack Scooter

Wiggins Scooter Saddle

Just…ugh

(via Team Sky, 2010)

This could have been a kitchy bit of Austin-Powers mod. Instead, Prologo hired the airplane safety pamphlet guy and got Wiggins, on top of scooter with four headlights, crouched on a track & field starting block, waiting at a stop sign that’s apparently in the middle of the Chunnel somewhere. No wonder Wiggo (the 2012 Tour champ) could only manage 23rd place on this thing.



6) Andy Schleck – The Schleck Brothers Tour

Schleck Brothers Tour Saddle

It’s 3000km miles to Paris, we got a bus full of bidons, half a pack of clif bars, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

(via Bike Radar, 2009)

So there’s a Tour, and some brothers, and really, the similarities end there. The Blues Brothers were elegantly plump, the Schlecks are awkward and gangly. Still, with little less literal interpretation—glasses on Andy’s saddle, hat on Frank’s—maybe? Alas, shoddy execution makes the duo look like refugees from a Brad Neely cartoon—which, I guess isn’t actually that bad, considering the year Andy’s been having.



7) Alberto Contador – El Pistolero

Alberto Contador Pistolero Seat

Like shooting fish in a barrel. With a finger gun.

(via Bike Snob, but he stole it from Pez, 2010)

Do I really have to say anything about this? I mean, it’s a finger…under his taint…shooting little colored squirts for each of the Grand Tours. No, really. The best that can be said about this design is that its successive versions were far less suggestive.



8) Danilo DiLuca – The Killer

DiLuca Saddle is Clearly a Shark

I’m sorry, but this is clearly a shark.

(via cyclingnews, 2007)

DiLuca, nicknamed “The Killer”, has the nearly-unique distinction of being suspended for doping on three separate occasions. In a similarly unscrupulous move, he rips off the nickname of fellow Italian and reigning Giro champ Vincenzo Nibali—known as “The Shark”—with what are obviously shark graphics. More on Nibali below.



9) Vincenzo Nibali – Insieme si può

Nibali's Insieme si può saddle

A pictographic microcosm of the difference between DiLuca and Nibali

(via BikeRadar, 2011)

Despite the nickname, Nibali himself is known for his soft-spoken personality. In a lovely contrast to DiLuca, he’s ridden with a saddle supporting the Insieme si può charity.



10) Ivan Basso – what we hope is a flower

Basso blotch flower thing

I mean, did anyone consider the placement?

(via BikeRadar, 2009)

Basso lost his mother to cancer in early 2005—her battle with the disease even moved the cold, dead heart of CancerBot to gift Basso a Tour stage in 2004. The green/red spot at the tail of his saddle is supposed to be a single flower in tribute, but it’s awfully, uh, abstract. And taken in light of the whole cyst thing from this April…just maybe hire a new graphic designer, ok?



11) Giovanni Lombardi – Pulp Fiction

Lombardi Pulp Fiction Saddle

“I want you to go into that bike shop and find my saddle”

(via Bobke Strut, 2006)

The best lead-out man for the best sprinter ever, Olympic gold medalist, triples up on Grand Tours from time to time, and poaches a stage win every now and then just ‘cuz he can. Giovanni Lombardi is a bike racer’s bike racer, and has the saddle to match. (And thanks—we know it’s fake).



12) David Millar – Autographed by Mark Cavendish

David Milar's Mark Cavendish-signed saddle

The early work of a fashion icon.

(via Eff Yeah Mark Cavendish, 2010)

Cavendish, the dominant sprinter of his era, launched a new clothing line just last week. But some of his earliest fashion work can be seen here on the saddle of David Millar, at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Seems Cav felt inclined to remind the Scot of his consistent superiority over Millar’s Garmin teammate, Tyler Farrar. The gamesmanship had little impact on Millar, who won the time trial and third in the road race that year

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4 Responses to “You Won't Believe These 12 Outrageous Tour de France Bike Seats! [PHOTOS]”

  1. Anonymous June 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Cosmo you twit, autobots are not marvel or dc.

    • cosmo July 2, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      UNTRUE! Transformers had (have?) a series of comic books, produced by Marvel, and interacting with characters in the Marvel Universe. In Prisoner of War! Spiderman sees a spaceship and thinks to himself it would impress Reed Richards, AKA Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.

      And yes, I looked it up before publishing. Because I know comic nerds care.

  2. huphtur June 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Tom says he rode the saddle that Specialized (aka Garrett Chow) made for him http://instagram.com/p/URT5hIQa_0/

  3. Peanut Butter July 17, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Cosmo, you don’t know how happy it makes me that Boonen has Autobot socks. It makes me feel less nerdy about putting Decepticon symbols on my bicycle and naming it Skywarp.

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