Reform Seymour Custom-Molded Saddle: 1,500km Review
From the folks behind Landyachtz Bikes in British Columbia, the Reform Seymour is a saddle that thermo-molds to your body to improve comfort, weight distribution, and balance on your bike. Find Miles’ long-term review of what Reform calls “the world’s best fitting saddle” here…
If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d someday be testing carbon saddles with power cords, I’d probably have laughed in your face, but here we are. We’re all aware that the ongoing search for comfort while riding is a hot topic, and the factors at play are only exacerbated when you consider riding long back-to-back days on a loaded bike. While getting a proper bike fit is probably one of the most effective ways to find comfort and efficiency on your bike, there’s something to be said for a well-fitting saddle too. So, what if I told you there was a saddle out there that you plug into your wall, heat up, and mold to your bottom? The future is now!
Run by the same team behind British Columbia’s based Landyachtz Bikes, Reform manufactures heat-moldable saddles that permanently form to your shape. Launched in 2017, the Reform saddle is made up of a carbon shell, leather-covered foam upper, and a middle segment that heats up when plugged in. The heating unit is situated where most of the pressure is on the saddle or where your sit bones rest, and when plugged in, it allows the saddle to form to your specific anatomy and sit bone structure.
The Reform Seymour is offered in one size and is currently the only saddle model available from the brand. It’s 142mm wide, 252mm long, and weighs just 197 grams. It has 9x7mm oval carbon monocoque rails, which are compatible with seatposts that clamp downward onto the rail, not from the side. Combined with the carbon shell and simple leather foam upper, the Seymour saddle is impressively lightweight. The power port connects to the saddle via a lightweight, two-prong magnetic cable. The connection is loose, so during setup, it’s best to loop the cord through the saddle rail to ensure it stays connected.
The molding process is quite simple but works best with a trainer. The Landyachtz team did say some people without access to a trainer have simply heated up the saddle and quickly jumped on for a ride with good results, but I imagine the results might be better in a stationary position. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the molding process from Reform.
- 1. Install saddle to an optimized riding position. A professional bike fit is highly recommended.
- 2. Attach bike to a stable stationary trainer system.
- 3. Set a timer with an audible tone using the provided time table.
- 4. Fill out the Forming Details card with rider info and forming conditions.
- 5. Inspect the AC Adapter connector and port at the base of the saddle, remove any debris.
- 6. Ensure AC adapter is toggled to OFF position then plug adapter into saddle from the rear side.
- 7. Plug adapter block into AC power source. Assure cable won’t catch moving bike components.
- 8. Mount bike and begin to pedal at a steady cadence.
- 9. Initiate timer and switch power to ON position simultaneously.
- 10. When the timer has expired turn the AC adapter toggle to OFF.
- 11. Shift between 3 riding positions during cooling every 30 seconds (hands on flats, hoods, drops).
- 12. Maintain pedaling cadence for 6 minutes while the saddle cools to room temperature.
- 13. Unplug the adapter from the seat then unplug the adapter from the power source.
- 14. Make notes of forming results on the Forming Details card.
- 15. If a greater forming impression is desired allow 30 minutes for saddle to cool and repeat steps 1-14 with an additional 30 seconds of forming time.
Truthfully, I didn’t heat up my saddle until quite recently. I tested the saddle out on a few short rides and then immediately took off on a 1,000-kilometre scouting ride on the Tree to Sea Loop on Vancouver Island. I was a little nervous taking a brand new saddle on such a big trip, especially because I normally pride myself on riding without a chamois, but it was a good opportunity to put it through the paces. For this particular trip, I opted to wear the lightly padded Foundation Boxer Briefs from 7mesh, and the combination ended up working great for me.
Since saddles are such a personal choice—heavily dictated by your specific anatomy and riding style—there’s only so much I can share, but I will say the rather minimal silhouette of the Seymour saddle felt surprisingly plush, and the faux leather finish didn’t hold onto dirt and grit, making it easy to wipe off after a long day on the bike. Some saddles tend to cling onto debris tossed up from your rear tire, and can sometimes wear the top of the saddle and your clothing out if not properly cleaned—a good reminder of why fenders exist, I suppose.
A few weeks ago, I finally set up my bike on a trainer for the heat molding process. Following the instructions closely made for a smooth process, and although they cater toward setting it up with drop bars, I did my best to shift around as much as possible. Once complete, I was surprised to immediately see and feel a difference in the top of the saddle. There was a clear indentation on the left side of the saddle, presumably caused by something unique to my anatomy.
Funny enough, I’m often asked if I’m nursing an injury when I walk. What I think is swagger might actually be some sort of limp, and I’m wondering if I have some form of imbalance, which might explain the molding results. Perhaps a side benefit of the Reform saddle is discovering certain fit or anatomical issues that could have been causing issues in the past. In my case, maybe I need to shim one of my cleats to help straighten things back up. Of course, all of these questions and more can be answered by an experienced bike fitter.
I ran this by the Reform team and they said an asymmetric mold is quite common. According to the team there, most people have a slight imbalance or different-sized sit bones that cause one side to indent more than the other, and they say this is where the saddle shines because it then allows people to be square on the saddle. If you want to double-check the results, you can always re-mold the saddle.
- Unique molding process actually works
- Comfortable and low profile
- Made in Canada
- No signs of wear after a lot of use
- Expensive, with no guarantee it will work for you
- Only offered in one size/width
- Trainer required for an ideal setup
- Oval rails don’t work with all seatposts
- Material: Carbon/Leather/Foam
- Weight: 197 grams
- Place of Manufacture: British Columbia, Canada
- Price: $449 CAD ($350 USD)
- Manufacturer’s Details: ReformSaddle.com
I have a hard time reviewing saddles as it is, and I won’t pretend like a $450 saddle isn’t one of the most unlikely things we’ve reviewed here on the site. Aside from the price, the Reform saddle technology is very interesting and actually works. For the performance-minded or anyone with unique fit issues, the heat-moldable design of the Seymour saddle might be worth looking into. The fact that it’s made in Canada is great to see, and after well over 1,500 kilometres of use, it’s proving to be reasonably durable as well. I do have some drop-bar bikes in for review this spring, so I’ll be sure to try the Reform saddle with them to see if my findings remain the same.
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.