There was some sad news in the Mollusk household this week. My dearest riding partner died at the tender age of 26. I am speaking of my beloved Brooks Pro saddle, of course.
I had bought this saddle back when I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois in 1980. It was initially mated to my first road bike - an cheap Peugeot. The cost of the saddle was more than 50% of the cost of the bike when new!
The saddle (and Peugeot) came down to Gainesville with me when I started working at UF in 1982. In 1983 I bought a REAL road bike (a celeste Bianchi) and the Brooks Pro was moved to my new ride. In 1986 my beloved Bianchi was stolen and I bought a Cannondale with the insurance proceeds and some more $'s. A few months later the stolen bike was recovered, but I didn't have the $'s on hand to buy it back. I did have the $'s to buy the saddle, however, and so I was reunited with my old friend.
This past December I finally bought a "modern" bike - a used 2002 Lemond Zurich. I rode that bike with it's stock saddle for quite some time but became increasing annoyed that my bike shorts were wearing out holes within 1000 miles. I finally figured out that the stitching on the saddle was in just the wrong place and that was the reason, so I moved my trusted old friend over to my new ride. At that time I was aware of a small "check" in the leather near one of the rivets, but I was hoping that the crack wouldn't propagate too fast. Well, that hope was in vain. 26 years and over 100K miles with the best riding partner I have ever had and now it is over.
This past weekend I bought on Ebay a very lightly used Fizik Arione. I wanted a saddle with a long nose like the Brooks Pro because I ride aggressively and in the drops a lot. Today there was a package on my screen porch that seemed to be empty. In fact it was the saddle! Dang it is light compared to the Brooks! Of course I immediately mounted it on the bike and took it out for a nice 12 mile/20 mph test ride.
First "impression" is that I think this is the start of a wonderful new friendship.