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.
— Laura Meseguer (@Laura_Meseguer) June 26, 2013
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
(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
(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
(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)
(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
(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
(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
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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