an automotive or aerospace designer can make worthwhile comments on race cars and space ships respectively
so why shouldnt i comment on sports cars and tensioned leather saddles
i am some guy on the internet
A Theological engineer for me on this highly technical task.
I wouldn't call a rear-engined Porsche or the Brooks saddle "flawed" -- I'd say they are products that require the user to have a little more skill and care in their use. The ACVW/Porsche oversteer can be useful in the right hands, and the Brooks saddle will be comfortable for decades if cared for.
My most regular commuter these last few months has used a road style shingle. How bad could springy leather be?
One bike and/or one saddle: I would not be a happy guy.
Flawed or obsolete design is incorrect thinking, imho. You wouldn't wear an Armani suit to go hiking, that doesn't mean it's a flawed design.
I'm not sure I'd want to see a carbon base or exotic leathers and colors. But a lightweight, nonmetallic structure with rail adjustment as long as Specialized provides would indeed be nice. But in my opinion the Specialized Toupe has those features, and is also not perfect.
I think that it is not possible to make inferences (beyond raw opinion) on the design processes of sports cars and bike saddles, much less to compare them, based on perceived flaws in the product attributes. The weight of a Brooks or the short rails say nothing about the design process, and the handling ideosyncracies (or in some cases lack of such) of the various Porsches say nothing about the design processes. They could have been design choices, carefully made in order to maintain or expand a target market.
There are three types of cyclists: those who own a Brooks, those who have a more modern/plastic saddle (and love them, i,e,. They stick with this one saddle and don't try other ones), and there are those who keep trying different saddles--maybe even a Brooks--and who may even bash a Brooks after not trying one or only trying it a couple times...
im in my thirties, one of my bikes is modern, with Ultegra 10sp, some carbon, etc, and I have a Brooks on it. Very uncommon for me to see another cyclist with a Brooks, let a lone on a modern bike. Shame.
i just changed the saddle on my cross bike; this bike is ridden in winter on salty roads, on trails and through mud and after telling myself a plastic selle Italia is better choice, I had to go back to a brooks. I would rather trash this one and buy another one then ride anything else.
A few things to keep in mind:
1--A hundred years ago there was a lot of companies making leather saddles 'just like Brooks', and eventually all of the others went out of business. For some reason, Brooks held on. It could have been better management practices but it probably wasn't a better product, since all the old saddles were built basically the same. They might be the best of leather saddles now, but literature of the time doesn't claim Brooks to have any significant physical differences compared to other similar products of the era.
2--If you like the way a leather saddle looks that's okay, but the leather sprung saddle doesn't guarantee any level of comfort and people have complained about discomfort issues with them as long as they've been around. You can find this problem mentioned in 100-year-old bicycling journals as well. And all the other materials tried (canvas, wood, rattan, leaf springs ect) that was the same general shape got the same comments. The useful shape of an upright bicycle saddle is constrained by the riding position and the amount of comfort you will get from sitting on a bicycle saddle is also rather limited, and that's why the chairs that came with your dining room set don't look like bicycle saddles. No seats anywhere else look like bicycle saddles....
3--if you want comfort while riding, then get a recumbent bike. A recumbent bike seat DOES look like the chairs in your dining room, most recumbent bikes still have only one brand/model of seat available and recumbent riding shorts have no padding in them at all. There is basically no butt pain, no numb hands and no sore neck--and what little riding pain does occur takes drastically longer to happen.
Bike seats are made for pedaling, not "sitting". Think about it...
I think what's tough to argue on leather vs plastic/gel: a leather saddle will (over time and to some degree) change to fit your bum, a plastic/gel one won't. There is a benefit to this.
Re: recumbent bike - if I sit at my dining room chair for more than 30-45 minutes I'm uncomfortable...I get up, move around. My old wodden chairs were much more comfortable than my new pleather ones (harder is better). Would love to try one of these bikes though...