Prologo Vertigo Max Review

by Brian Mullin on February 11, 2010

I have been out riding the Prologo Vertigo Max saddle for several months now on multiple bikes, and on terrain varying from smooth singletrack, to rough technical rock gardens and everything in between. The Vertigo Max has been incredibly comfortable, and it has made my usual forays into my favorite All Mountain terrain much more enjoyable. “More Cush for the Tush”

Prologo Company
Prologo is an Italian saddle manufacturer based in Cavenago di Brianza, just north of Milan. They burst onto the scene (or is that rode) in 2006, and made themselves a niche in the very competitive road saddle market.They solely focus on saddles, which allows them to invest, research, test and develop with lots of innovation, technology and flair. They sponsor several professional teams, such as Saxo Bank, which gives them a great test and feedback gallery to help refine their product suite.

Prologo Vertigo Max
The saddle is constructed with a Microfiber and Protex cover, which provides abrasion resistant, with enough tackiness for controlled movement. It has the atypical mandolin shaped body of a modern saddle, whose technology has been morphed over from the road racing world. The saddle uses what they call light foam padding, and it has been engineered with multiple density areas in different portions of the saddle. The front or nose zone is a low density (softer), the central or perineal zone is a medium density, and finally the back or seating zone is a higher density (firmer). The saddle has been designed specifically for the trail rider, and its styling and functionality blend a freeride and cross country saddle. It uses a Carbon Fiber Injection Base which provides excellent structural rigidity, along with their PRO TI 1.4 Nickel-Titanium alloy rail, which has a 1.4 mm wall thickness.

Weight Weenieism
Being a weight weenie has long been considered a disease by the cognoscenti of the mountain biking community, and although I am a devoted disciple, my bikes have been slowly evolving towards a more All Mountain setup. One of the places I have saved weight, was by having a lightweight saddle. I have been through my share of saddles, and on occasion the weight weenie versions just plain hurt my butt. I had one particular saddle that actually gave me short term nerve damage, and I kept getting numb legs, and subtle aches and pains until I stopped using the saddle. I slowly evolved towards a heavier and more comfortable saddle, but I still tended towards the lightest vein possible. Of course my weight weenie crowd subjected me to torment when a barely 200 gram saddle I was using, was considered a boat anchor! I have found that most of the more cross country oriented saddles allow a more aggressive pedaling style, and their structure allows a lot of useful movement, control and leverage, especially up on the nose of the saddle. Sticking your cheeks right up on the nose of the saddle is paramount in really hard and steep climbing, else traction and power loss occurs, along with control.

Impressions
The first time I got on the Vertigo Max, I felt like I was on a comfy chair. I just seemed to melt down into it, and it provided very nice cushioning, and sort of cradled my derriere. The saddle has a long blunt and fat nose, and during aggressive nose riding it was a bit cumbersome, and I found it difficult to apply the pedal to the metal during spirited steeps climbs while pressing on the nose. Where the saddle really shined was banging along rough terrain, bashing through rock gardens and obviously anything downhill. This winter I have been riding the technical terrain at the Lake Pueblo Colorado trail system, and the rocky terrain, is ledgy, has lots of drop offs and can be somewhat abusive. The Vertigo Max takes the edge off the roughness, and makes riding there so much nicer. Whenever you are bashing and crashing through ugly terrain, the saddle is not only comfortable, but it gives you an excellent level of control, stability and security. The carbon fiber injected base provided a stiff substructure, was uber quiet, and the well padded and scooped out rear cradled you just right, and added an extra amount of control. On occasion during steep descents, the clunky nose and scooped rear gets in the way, unless the seat was lowered properly. I can rightfully say that as soon as I put the saddle on my 29er (which I tend to use in the winter at Pueblo), the bike’s comfort level went up greatly, and my butt cheered with joy! I am not sure if my butt can actually cheer, outside of its usual emissions, but you get the drift. For comparison, when I switched to a more cross country saddle (the fizik tundra), my butt defiantly felt a bit sorer, and I had to stand up and pedal to relieve muscle tension (or is that butt-al tension?).

ass, bottom, buns, buttocks, can, cheeks, fanny, heinie, keister, posterior, rear, rear end, seat, behind, bottom, butt, buttocks, derrière, fanny, posterior, rear, rump, seat, tail, tush

After enough time in the saddle, I have also gotten a bit used to the fat nose (easiest to call it that), and I can now climb pretty well with it, although it still isn’t a cross country hammerer. It took me some time to find the sweet spot for horizontal alignment (leveling), so it took some experimenting to get that set properly, so I was doing a lot tilting up or down. My Moots cinch seatpost made these micro adjustments extremely easy, and I finally ended with more forward tilt then I would have thought.

Durability
I have crashed pretty hard a number of times, and the material doesn’t seem to tear nor get abraded easily, and in addition a built in rear bumper protects and strengthens the lower back section. I have put the saddle through a lot of miles and abuse, it barely shows any signs of premature wear. The saddle is well padded (its squishy), so right below the long middle horizontal stitch line, there is a subtle wrinkle, but it has aged well (much like me) and has not shown any signs of weakness.

Measured Specs
—————
Weight – 267.8 grams
Size – 5 5/8 inches wide x 11 inches long
Nose – 1 3/4 inches wide x 4-5 inches long x 1.5 inches tall

Bottomline
The Vertigo Max saddle isn’t the lightest around, but it’s competitive within its class. However, its comfort level far outweighs (pun intended) any disadvantage. The comfort, control and stability for long rides, rough terrain and downhills is exceptional. If you use a cross country saddle, it will take a short period of time to get acclimated to the blunt nose, but in time your body English will correct itself. The saddle is a great example of a performance saddle that has borrowed some technology from their road saddles, and melded it over to the All Mountain world.

Strengths

-Comfortable
-Supportive
-Durable
-Well made

Weaknesses
-Blunt nose is difficult to use during steep climbing
-Blunt nose can get in the way on technical/steep terrain
-Scooped rear can get in the way on technical/steep terrain

MSRP $159.99

Technical Specs
Size: 282x145mm
Cover: Microfiber + Protex
Fill: Light Foam
Base: Carbon Fiber Injection 14%
Rail: Pro Ti 1.4
Weight: 265gr
Use: XC-TRAIL

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