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  1. #51
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I don't share that perspective. I mean, if a NASA engineer or an F1 engineer, for example, can help build a space shuttle or a race car yet never pilot one, I still think they are pretty qualified to speak about them! No, they wouldn't be the go-to guys for input on what it's like to pilot one, but in the same sense, where not here talking about what it's like to sit on a Brooks or in a 911, either.
    your argument can be summed up thusly

    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
    after all
    i am some guy on the internet


  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    How many angels can dance on the rivet of a Pro or the shifter knob of a Carrera do you think?

    -Bandera
    An engineer who designs rivets and shifter knobs could tell you exactly; drivers and riders are probably not the ones to ask.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    your argument can be summed up thusly

    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
    after all
    i am some guy on the internet

    Not really, no.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  4. #54
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Not really, no.
    really
    yes

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    really
    yes
    I figured you knew the real answer, you Interwebz PhD!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  6. #56
    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I agree on both counts, and came quite close to getting a Kurve Chameleon myself, but wound up going with SMP's Dynamic, which I adore. I'd still love to try one, though.

    I'll post my final impressions after a hundred miles, initially it's quite comfy. I have a Selle Italia Max Flite SLR to try out as well....

  7. #57
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    An engineer who designs rivets and shifter knobs could tell you exactly; drivers and riders are probably not the ones to ask.
    Would that be an Electrical, Mechanical or Theological engineer?

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnfilteredDregs View Post
    I'll post my final impressions after a hundred miles, initially it's quite comfy. I have a Selle Italia Max Flite SLR to try out as well....
    Cool; I'll look for it.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    Would that be an Electrical, Mechanical or Theological engineer?

    -Bandera
    Oh, I'd suggest you go for an Anthroposophical Engineer first.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  10. #60
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Oh, I'd suggest you go for an Anthroposophical Engineer first.
    Rudolf Steiner couldn't sprint, climb or time trial and his etheric body was spiritually weak as well. He wouldn't know angelic presence if it manifested on the material plane on a rivet or shift knob.
    A Theological engineer for me on this highly technical task.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  11. #61
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandrada View Post
    I simply don't have the patience or the ass to break one in.
    You might not have to have such patience. My six Brooks saddles (four "Professionals" and two B-66's) have all been perfectly comfortable right out of the box.

  12. #62
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  13. #63
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    You might not have to have such patience. My six Brooks saddles (four "Professionals" and two B-66's) have all been perfectly comfortable right out of the box.
    My first several took a bit of time to break in ... although they weren't bad to start with. My last one felt great right out of the box. I'm not sure what the difference was, but I forgot it was a brand new Brooks about 1 km into the ride.

  14. #64
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    My first several took a bit of time to break in ... although they weren't bad to start with. My last one felt great right out of the box. I'm not sure what the difference was, but I forgot it was a brand new Brooks about 1 km into the ride.
    I think it is known as "Brooks Butt"...

    I know the last few I purchased were great right out of the box. They were a B-66, B67 and a Flyer. I have a B-33 that I haven't gotten around to putting on the bike yet.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  15. #65
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    My most regular commuter these last few months has used a road style shingle. How bad could springy leather be?

    M.

  16. #66
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    I am intending to get my first Brooks (and upright bike suitable for it) this spring, wherein I'll be about 26.

    I don't understand why, if I like one end of the spectrum (leather saddles like in the old days) I am required by some kind of cultural law to dislike the other end of the spectrum (carbon shingles).

    Every thing can have appeal. Use reason.

    I wouldn't put a Brooks on my alu drop bar road bike because it would be at odds with the ascetics, but that's just me.

    M.
    I ride a half dozen different saddles, bike specific. I wouldn't ride a Fizik Anteres on my tourer or a Brooks B17 on my tri bike or a Iscaselle on my MTB. If there is one saddle that does it all, I sure haven't seen it. For my Roubaix I have two seats and posts ready to go, 30 second swap depending on the ride: a SMP with zertz seatpost for long rides, a Fizik with less of a setback carbon post for fast rides. Easy Peasy.

    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.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 12-17-13 at 08:35 AM.

  17. #67
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    It occurred to me that the Brooks saddle is a lot like the Porsche 911, in that it's an essentially flawed design that the march of progress almost consigned to the dustbin, but were saved by zealous enthusiasts more concerned with tradition and style over substance. Even the lacing of saddles reminds me of why the whale tail spoiler was fitted to the 911, in an effort to overcome one of the many essential shortcomings of the respective designs!

    Of course, I do appreciate the style of the Brooks, and am certainly impressed with how Porsche managed to bring the 911 into the modern era (purists be damned), so I'm not bashing or wishing either were not with us today, but just indulging the thought of parallels. It would be nice if Brooks had continued to develop their saddle designs in the way Porsche did the 911; who knows what they might have come up with! Carbon fiber substrate, magnesium rivets, titanium adjuster screws, exotic leathers, carbon fiber chassis...don't lie, you know you want a Ti railed B17 in python!
    If Brooks designs are flawed, can you identify a few examples of consumer products that you don't think are flawed? My view is that all products have some limitation. Whether those are flaws is another matter. And I think it has something to do with the expectations of the consumer. Yes, the consumer is always right, but some expectations might not be reasonable, or at least feasible.

    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.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 01-18-14 at 02:02 PM.

  18. #68
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    That is, of course, what he intended when he started this thread.
    So we're all just feeding a troll!

    We've been in a terrible cold and snow snap here in Michigan - maybe Chaadster is just experiencing cabin fever!

  19. #69
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    To find out if you have direct experience in using the subject of your post.
    It's not unknown to find that folk on the inter-web post opinions about kit that they have never used, shocking but true.

    -Bandera
    Or that their usage is so far in their past that it's hard to give it much credibility in evaluating current kit. And about that, I am shocked, shocked, I tell you!

  20. #70
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    I don't share that perspective. I mean, if a NASA engineer or an F1 engineer, for example, can help build a space shuttle or a race car yet never pilot one, I still think they are pretty qualified to speak about them! No, they wouldn't be the go-to guys for input on what it's like to pilot one, but in the same sense, where not here talking about what it's like to sit on a Brooks or in a 911, either.
    As a design engineer on automotive products and formerly on space vehicles for NASA and other agencies, I think it is totally possible to design any of these products without personal experience. This is because of the methods of capturing and specifying design target characteristics, wants, and requirements, processes to validate engineers' conceptions in response to those needs statements, and the validation of the design results as meeting the design intent and of satisfying end users' expectations, wants, and needs for that product. For cars and aerospace I can speak on this with strong authority, for bike seats not so much. But these process features are typical attributes of modern product design (which can be applied to a retro product like a leather saddle) that I think have become pretty standard throughout modern industry.

    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.

  21. #71
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I ride a half dozen different saddles, bike specific. I wouldn't ride a Fizik Anteres on my tourer or a Brooks B17 on my tri bike or a Iscaselle on my MTB. If there is one saddle that does it all, I sure haven't seen it. For my Roubaix I have two seats and posts ready to go, 30 second swap depending on the ride: a SMP with zertz seatpost for long rides, a Fizik with less of a setback carbon post for fast rides. Easy Peasy.

    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.
    Bingo! Products are designed for specific purposes, and are not expected to perform satisfactorily in uses beyond the design cases.

  22. #72
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    As a design engineer on automotive products and formerly on space vehicles for NASA and other agencies, I think it is totally possible to design any of these products without personal experience. This is because of the methods of capturing and specifying design target characteristics, wants, and requirements, processes to validate engineers' conceptions in response to those needs statements, and the validation of the design results as meeting the design intent and of satisfying end users' expectations, wants, and needs for that product. For cars and aerospace I can speak on this with strong authority, for bike seats not so much. But these process features are typical attributes of modern product design (which can be applied to a retro product like a leather saddle) that I think have become pretty standard throughout modern industry.
    So, you have people who know what the requirements are for a rocket or car. Who's your requirements authority for a bike seat?

  23. #73
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    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.

  24. #74
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    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.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    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.
    Good point about Brooks not being the best at making leather saddles, but the only (or one of a few) companies to survive and who still offer a leather saddle.

    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...

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