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1981 - What would have been the most popular racing Saddles?

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1981 - What would have been the most popular racing Saddles?

Old 08-21-21, 04:43 PM
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La Brea Bike 
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1981 - What would have been the most popular racing Saddles?

Slowly working through undoing the upgrades done to SB4484. I am not doing a restoration of this bike as much as returning it to as-raced spec in '81-'82. I'm leaving her bumps and bruises alone... It has a beyond nuked Bernard Hinault Turbo on it, which I believe he added later (too early for that, right?). Anyway, I am typically a mid-late '80's guy. What would your recommendation be for an appropriate '81 saddle? TIA.
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Old 08-21-21, 04:48 PM
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Cinelli was still selling and not easy to replace.

sella Italia Criterium Superleggera was a good saddle but I have three, long bed them till they had transverse tears.

there was also the Brooks Pro Team select-
was developed for Raleigh- extra thick leather
hard to find- I sold mine for $115. A few years ago essentially NOS
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Old 08-21-21, 05:03 PM
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Concors were still on plenty of bikes then.
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Old 08-21-21, 05:34 PM
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hmm...
I've got a 1980 Bike Warehouse catalog, but it doesn't show much...





the 1981 Bikecology catalog shows more options...





The copy of the 1982 UK Raleigh catalogue shows an Isca saddle... which I've never heard of....







Practically, something like a Turbo is probably fine. A Unicanitor might be better, but can you even find one nowadays?
Other option... put a Brooks Swift on it. That's what I did.



They haven't gotten any less expensive since I bought mine, and the titanium versions don't seem to be made anymore. That's a shame.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-21-21, 06:07 PM
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.
...if you go up into the stickies section, and look at the thread on links to online catalogs, you can pull up the various catalog pages for the year (1980-1981). then look at their top of the line bike offerings, and see what they were putting on them to sell them. I would try to avoid paying a lot of money for a Cinelli saddle from that era, even though I have and ride a few of them. The SI Turbo is usually easier to find. The only problem with Brooks Pro is the weight. If that's not concern, you see those on a lot of classic steel bikes, just because they've been around so long.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:12 PM
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Wait, what, is there a question here?

Brooks, period.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:29 PM
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Wow, love the super quick expert response!!! Thanks! Concor... Hmm, there's a very nice one on flea bay right now!
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Old 08-21-21, 06:44 PM
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I love the Brooks stuff, and have them on other bikes, but were any competitive teams running them? They seem awfully heavy for that duty. I am going to stick with the actual race grade stuff on this one, as it is a Race Bike with (amateur) provenance.
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Old 08-21-21, 08:20 PM
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I like a Concor Supercorsa.
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Old 08-21-21, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by La Brea Bike View Post
I love the Brooks stuff, and have them on other bikes, but were any competitive teams running them? They seem awfully heavy for that duty. I am going to stick with the actual race grade stuff on this one, as it is a Race Bike with (amateur) provenance.
While these are as cool as can be, they were no flyweights like the actual team bikes, 22lb for a tiny 22.5in frame listed above.

Anytime I see a C+V Raliegh, be it an SBDU, Pro or anything above an SC, I expect to see at least a Brooks.

Very few people would question a Pro on one of these regardless of actual correctness.

It becomes correct the minute the two come together, IMO.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by La Brea Bike View Post
I love the Brooks stuff, and have them on other bikes, but were any competitive teams running them? They seem awfully heavy for that duty. I am going to stick with the actual race grade stuff on this one, as it is a Race Bike with (amateur) provenance.
I did have the pleasure of going to see the 1982 Iron Horse Classic race in Durango, Colorado. A buddy was racing, and it was a unique experience for me.
There were a lot of the best racers in the USA there, including a number of SRC (Skunk River Cyclists) team riders on their Raleigh Team bikes.
Looking over my photos, I can't tell what saddles they were using. Based on this, I think you are free to use whatever you like.
But I do think it is likely that a Unicanitor or Turbo or Concor would be a good guess.... and I still think a titanium Brooks Swift would be very appropriate too.

a couple of photos with SRC riders...





Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-21-21, 11:44 PM
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Concor. I put together a Serotta right around '81 and I was club racing with a Avocet Touring II Saddle. There was nothing wrong with the Avocet, however, insecurity got to me and I had to spring for what the Class I and II riders were using. I saved up and bought the Concor. The bike looked much faster with it and the Benotto tape.
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Old 08-21-21, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
While these are as cool as can be, they were no flyweights like the actual team bikes, 22lb for a tiny 22.5in frame listed above.

Anytime I see a C+V Raliegh, be it an SBDU, Pro or anything above an SC, I expect to see at least a Brooks.

Very few people would question a Pro on one of these regardless of actual correctness.

It becomes correct the minute the two come together, IMO.
I respect your input, as I have learned a lot from things from you over the years, but Niel's research has never shown that there was a different "Pro" vs. Retail product available at the SBDU. This is a Pro spec frame
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Old 08-22-21, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by La Brea Bike View Post
I respect your input, as I have learned a lot from things from you over the years, but Niel's research has never shown that there was a different "Pro" vs. Retail product available at the SBDU. This is a Pro spec frame
Agreed, however the actual team bikes were undoubtedly massaged and worked over in ways not done on the public offerings. There is no way the team riders would have tolerated their bikes being heavier by much if any.

My point was that for us mere mortals, a top of the line Raleigh can always pass muster with Brooks.
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Old 08-22-21, 02:04 AM
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Supercorsa all the way. I like the little kick they have at the tail, I can push back on it with my butt when climbing in the saddle.
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Old 08-22-21, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Agreed, however the actual team bikes were undoubtedly massaged and worked over in ways not done on the public offerings. .
Niel actually has multiple frames used by the Ti-Raleigh team in his collection, and weighs all of them. We'll have agree to disagree on this one. In addition, Weiderholt rode this one for the SRC-Raleigh Team, so if there was a difference... I am positive what was hung ON the frames was indeed special, however.

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Old 08-22-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by La Brea Bike View Post
Niel actually has multiple frames used by the Ti-Raleigh team in his collection, and weighs all of them. We'll have agree to disagree on this one. In addition, Weiderholt rode this one for the SRC-Raleigh Team, so if there was a difference... I am positive what was hung ON the frames was indeed special, however.
All good, no disagreement on that, that was/is my point, the titanium parts are a good example. Many broke in use, some didn't, some still got used, some didn't.
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Old 08-22-21, 11:14 PM
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Seems to me, since saddles are so personal, using anything that was available at the time would be period correct. I would hate to say that you have to use a specific saddle that was merely because of which side of the bed the purchasing agent/spec manager woke up on the day that the decision was made.
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Old 08-22-21, 11:46 PM
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If you go Turbo, State Bicycle has a fantastic deal on the "Vintage 1980" model... 3 colors!
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Old 08-23-21, 12:18 AM
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Turbos don't suck. So little do they suck that I don't think I've ever met anyone who had a worse opinion of them than "not my favorite, but it's OK." And they're available everywhere and they're cheap and they're period correct for your bike..

Unicanitors utterly, irredeemably suck. And they're really hard to find. And, for reasons that are ungrokkable to anyone who's ever had to sit on one, they're really, really expensive.

--Shannon

PS: Or you could just put a Rolls on it. No, they're not period correct, but they're only out of scope by a couple of years, and they look great, and they're awesome.
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Old 08-23-21, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
I'm sure that's the cheaper non-leather version and I bought one a few years ago. It's real slippery and the logos rub off fast. The shape is good but it doesn't feel like the real ones. For the price it's not bad at all but the real leather ones are much better.
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Old 08-23-21, 01:41 AM
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Turbo saddles and Bike Ribbon vinyl padded bar tape was "de rigueur" in the first half of the 80's.
Running second in the saddle department was the Concor Sulerleggera.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:06 AM
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I've decided on the Concur for this one for sure. I'm fan of the Turbo for the later stuff!
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Old 08-23-21, 11:22 AM
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The Brooks was old hat even back then. The most common for the racer set was the Turbo and the Concor. I prefer the Turbo, as the Concor has that upturned "lip" on the back that always forced me into a fixed position. The flattish top of the Turbo gave me more room to scoot around.

You cannot re-write history here. Putting an extremely heavy Brooks on a "racer" of that era is fine, but one cannot pretend that it is period correct. You have to remember that we were young back then and weighed a LOT less than we do now, and there was no reason to run a Brooks. We could ride on a wooden plank and be fine.


I was in the race scene back then, and the Brooks saddle wasn't even in the conversation.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:26 AM
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This is the bike as raced... Black bar tape is boring to me, but it's going to happen. No shots of the back of the bike, hence the saddle question.


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