I stopped at my LBS yesterday looking for a new saddle and to ask bout hitch mounted racks. Also picked up a chainstay protector, but thats neither here nor there.....
First on the rack. The owner of the LBS and former mtn. bike racer had an older, modified 4-bike Hollywood rack (similar/same as the one in the link below). What he did to modify it was he removed the factory bike tie downs with the exception of one (the one closet to vehicle). Then he slid a clear rubber(?) tube over both arms. What this does is you mount a bike on the last tie down (closet to the vehicle), then slide more bikes right on the rubber covered tube then bungie cord them altogether. That and a lil bit of rust, he was asking $60 for it. Compared to the original $180 price tag, doesn't sound bad. But without the separate tie downs, I'm affraid that the bikes would rub against each other. I could possible prevent that with spacers(?). What are you opinions? The fact that its cheap is what I'm after, especially since its a good name brand, but the fact thats its modified the way it is is making me question if I should try it. Hell I could probably always sell it for same/near same price.
Second, on to the saddle. When I stopped in, I went straight to the saddle section to see what they have. Unfortunately, they don't have a huge selection (and from what I've been hearing, the only other LBS has far less selection on everything & I've had bad experiences with them). I was looking at the Specialized BG Comfort saddle, which they sell for $39 and is the only saddle of that "type" they sell. Low and behold, the guy I geneally deal with walked out of the back, noticed me looking at the BG and held up the used one that he had in his hand and said $10. SOLD......so I mounted it yesterday and rode to the park with the kids. With no adjustments (the C9 I tried took bout a dozen adjustments to feel right) the saddle actually felt pretty good! With the exception that I feel that if it had just a tad bit more padding and or slightly wider, I think it would be perfect! I could actually feel where my sit bones sat on it and it seemed just a tad too narrow. When I looked this saddle up on the specialized site, I noticed they have same saddle in I guess a plus size(?) (BG Comfort PLUS). I'm wondering if that one would be the one I'm after? Any how, this saddle and my stock Giant ('09 Boulder SE) is almost a toss up. Any suggestions now on saddles very close to the BG, just maybe slightly wider and tad more padding? Should I try out the BG Plus (I'll have to order it, possibly no returns?)?
Thanks for your patience and help! And if it matters, I ride a 09 Giant Boulder SE, mostly paved, 4-10 miles at a time, put'n around with the kids or really goin at it when by myself. But I also plan to do longer treks and want to get into some beginner mtn biking once I find the time and place.