English Saddle Fittings/Pads
Manufacturer: Composite Stirrup
Model: Composite Stirrup
Category: English Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: I bought these online at Adam's for about $36.00. After trying all the fancy, expensive irons to alleviate ankle and knee pain to no avail, I thought I'd give these a try. My idea was not only would the flex of the pad on the foot bed (not the foot bed itself)help, but perhaps the light weight would be a benefit as well. So far, after about of month of riding in these stirrups, my theory is correct.
Likes: Although it's a composite (a similar plastic as what is found on your car's dash board), it still looks really nice. The foot bed is about 1/4" wider (front to back)than the typical iron. I'm finding this to be helpful in relieving foot pain. The pad is flexible, not the foot bed itself. I think this is good. I had the MDC Intelligent irons, and other flex irons. I found with a flexing foot bed, I gradually lost my seat. Besides, I've never had a problem with keeping my heels down, which meant I ended up over flexing my heels with any flex iron. This not a problem with the Composite stirrup. Additionally, I found with offset eyes of any kind, I lost contact with my foot on the stirrup's foot bed. The twist in the stirrup leather helps create the angle needed to maintain contact across the ball of your foot. You lose this with off set eyes. The Composite stirrup allows you to take advantage of the angle the twist in the leather creates without creating torque on your ankles & knees. I used to have extreme knee pain with regular fillis irons. I had extreme foot pain with MDC irons. I am thinking that the combination of the above-mentioned factors and lack of weight creating more pressure on the foot is a huge benefit with the Composite stirrups. I am also using Nunn Finer leathers with a nylon core & 3/4" spacing between holes. I'm exactly 3/4" off in leg length, so this works nicely.
Dislikes: Be aware that the tread on the foot bed is a little on the sharp side; thus, DO NOT DRAW YOUR STIRRUPS UP WITHOUT FIRST WRAPPING THEM IN A CLOTH OR SOMETHING! This never occurred to me, and the leather on my very durable (made of the good stuff decades ago & still looks new) cutback saddle got a little scratched up. A lesser quality leather (such as on today's saddles) would have been chewed up by these stirrups. On the plus side, I decided that since these stirrups are so light weight, there is no real need to draw them up since it's not like it's going to hurt if one of them bangs into my knee. So now I just leave them down.
At first I wasn't sure I'd like the light weight as I normally ride in a phylis iron. Admittedly, if I lost my stirrup, I may not be able to regain it the same as a phylis iron. However, I'm using these with Nunn Finer leathers with a nylon core. These leathers tend to keep the shape and stay turned, so if I need to find my stirrup, it may not be too hard with these leathers.
Quality: Initially, they look really nice and seem to be well made. It will be interesting to see how they hold up over time. I think with the quality of today's polymers and molding processes, these stirrups could very well hold up for a long time.
Summary: The design of the Composite stirrup is excellent. If you are looking for something to relieve pain while riding, you should consider paying $36 for these and find that they work before paying over $170 for others and find they create problems. They are a little different, but take a no time to get used to. I getting a great ride from these every time. I don't lose my seat and there is no pain or numbness resulting from these stirrups.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
125 reader(s) voted.
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