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Old 12-16-13, 10:03 AM   #51
Wilfred Laurier
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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

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Old 12-16-13, 10:03 AM   #52
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How many angels can dance on the rivet of a Pro or the shifter knob of a Carrera do you think?

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An engineer who designs rivets and shifter knobs could tell you exactly; drivers and riders are probably not the ones to ask.
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Old 12-16-13, 10:07 AM   #53
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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.
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Old 12-16-13, 10:14 AM   #54
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Not really, no.
really
yes
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Old 12-16-13, 10:35 AM   #55
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really
yes
I figured you knew the real answer, you Interwebz PhD!
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Old 12-16-13, 10:43 AM   #56
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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....
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Old 12-16-13, 10:55 AM   #57
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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?

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Old 12-16-13, 11:36 AM   #58
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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.
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Old 12-16-13, 11:40 AM   #59
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Would that be an Electrical, Mechanical or Theological engineer?

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Oh, I'd suggest you go for an Anthroposophical Engineer first.
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Old 12-16-13, 12:09 PM   #60
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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.

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Old 12-16-13, 02:19 PM   #61
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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.
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Old 12-16-13, 05:17 PM   #62
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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.
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Old 12-17-13, 01:27 AM   #63
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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.
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Old 12-17-13, 07:30 AM   #64
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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.

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Old 12-17-13, 08:36 AM   #65
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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.
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Old 12-17-13, 09:13 AM   #66
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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.

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Old 01-18-14, 02:57 PM   #67
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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.

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Old 01-18-14, 03:24 PM   #68
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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!
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Old 01-18-14, 03:53 PM   #69
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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.

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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!
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Old 01-18-14, 04:19 PM   #70
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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.
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Old 01-18-14, 04:21 PM   #71
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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.
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Old 01-20-14, 05:42 PM   #72
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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?
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Old 01-21-14, 04:42 AM   #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.
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Old 01-21-14, 01:26 PM   #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.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:24 PM   #75
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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.
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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