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How much does your leather saddle deflect?

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How much does your leather saddle deflect?

Old 07-03-22, 06:09 PM
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uncle uncle
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How much does your leather saddle deflect?

On my weekly rider, I have an old saddle, tagged in the back "Royce Union made in Japan". The finish was so knackered, I couldn't read what was imprinted on the side, but, the shape of saddle almost is more 70's French than 70's Belt/Japan. Anyways, I applied some salve and love to it, but with each ride, the alligatored finish was ripping up my shorts more and more... so I scraped the gator finish off, mostly, and applied more salve and love. I estimate I lost about 5% of the total thickness with this scraping process. This was like a decade ago, so, my 17$ investment/Ebay purchase/gamble (2$ sale price, plus 15$ shipping) paid off, at least to my accounting rules. The saddle continues to look ugly, but survive... and probably has gotten a bit better, with the love, salve, and butt sweat treatments. Anyways, to make a long, needless, intro segue to the actual question... how much should an old, tired, well loved, bicycle saddle deflect when you mount? My Royce Union saddle deflects about a 1/4- 3/8" with some moderate thumb pressure... is that about normal? (thanks in advance of your answers)

I'm just a bit concerned that maybe I removed too much thickness, and a future, fatter me, might tip the scales...

Last edited by uncle uncle; 07-03-22 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 07-03-22, 07:36 PM
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I can just see it now: a fixture with a dial gauge, so that when you put the bike on a trainer and sit down, the amount of real deflection can be quantified. Perhaps with enough data, we'll be able to answer what's "normal."
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Old 07-03-22, 08:04 PM
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I suspect the saddle is near done. Typically, applications of suitable 'salve' (Proofide) are few and far. and if a saddle requires serious mileage before becoming comfy, it wasn't the right saddle out of the gate.

Making saddle leather thin is never optimal. I'm already at the 'future, fatter me,' stage.

Hey what about pics?

Last edited by clubman; 07-03-22 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 07-03-22, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
with enough data, we'll be able to answer what's "normal."
I've got a fin for your 'Go Fund Me' research. Just do it quickly.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:18 AM
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^the deflection, with just a moderate amount of thumb pressure

^at rest, straight edge used to show some sense of normal levelness

^the royce union label.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:31 AM
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I would not ride that!
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Old 07-04-22, 07:49 AM
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I think that saddle has served its purpose and should be retired.
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Old 07-04-22, 07:55 AM
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I don’t see any real tears in this, and it isn’t in a real saggy state at rest. I suspect most here are a bit more consumed by aesthetics than the general population. if a person is of limited means just after a saddle to get around on and not be stylish, I bet that this one would last a long time. I would also venture that it is comfortable. I probably wouldn’t put any more conditioner on it. You aren’t out anything more now.
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Old 07-04-22, 08:23 AM
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You can fix that for $14 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1ZK4CBF...ing=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-04-22, 08:50 AM
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Far too saggy and not because of aesthetics. Here's a 50 year old, well-used Pro, never tightened, lightly treated. All of my riders look like this, B17's, Swift's B15's, all of them


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Old 07-04-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I would not ride that!
I get this response about a lot of my bicycle equipment (and kit).
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Old 07-04-22, 02:50 PM
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That saddle does seem really flexy under just thumb pressure. Can you feel the rails when you sit down on it?

Got a chuckle out of the tomato stickers on the frame, though.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:06 PM
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You asked "How much does your leather saddle deflect?". All my Selle Anatomicas deflect as they are designed to !/2", and once an adjustment can not get them to only a 1/2" the leather seat is replaced. You appear to have used up every bit of value in that saddle..
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Old 07-04-22, 05:15 PM
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I have rarely run across a suspended leather saddle that I can, significantly, deflect with thumb pressure. More often than not, the saddles found are stiff as a board to the touch. With time and use, combined, they will reshape but still maintain the stiff as a board feel when touched. That said...

I tend to use only Brooks saddles. I have used others, a wee bit, and can say that the Wright's saddle does allow for slight deflection when pressed hard (I experienced this when vigorously rubbing Proofhide into the saddle.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:26 PM
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About the ugliest in use saddle Iíve seen. Congratulations on that at least .
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Old 07-04-22, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
You asked "How much does your leather saddle deflect?". All my Selle Anatomicas deflect as they are designed to !/2", and once an adjustment can not get them to only a 1/2" the leather seat is replaced. You appear to have used up every bit of value in that saddle..
The saddle has never had the tension adjuster moved at all... in theory, it still has it's entirety of adjustment in that way. Thanks for that info though, it gives me a ballpark to play with.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I have rarely run across a suspended leather saddle that I can, significantly, deflect with thumb pressure. More often than not, the saddles found are stiff as a board to the touch. With time and use, combined, they will reshape but still maintain the stiff as a board feel when touched. That said...

I tend to use only Brooks saddles. I have used others, a wee bit, and can say that the Wright's saddle does allow for slight deflection when pressed hard (I experienced this when vigorously rubbing Proofhide into the saddle.
Maybe I just have incredible thumb strength? Thanks for the words though, as I live in a C&V and leather-saddle-users desert and thus have no one to make comparisons with.
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Old 07-04-22, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That saddle does seem really flexy under just thumb pressure. Can you feel the rails when you sit down on it?

Got a chuckle out of the tomato stickers on the frame, though.
I cannot feel the rails when I place my hinder region upon it, nor do I encounter them on even the worst of potholes. The stickers are actually banana stickers... there was a time that a ride above 20+ miles meant a banana in the pocket, for quick energy, around the the turnaround point, and a well peeled sticker was a "badge of honor" indicating said effort. I told my grand that story, and she's been putting banana stickers (and others) on there sometimes.
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Old 07-04-22, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
About the ugliest in use saddle Iíve seen. Congratulations on that at least .
I will carry your words as an unseen badge of honor... I will soldier on with this heavy burden, freeing others in the peloton, with it well hidden under may also not so-beautiful-either rumpus.
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Old 07-04-22, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post

Maybe I just have incredible thumb strength?
Try your pinkie

Gotta say, it's impressive that you've gotten this far on it without issue. The checked portion looks like it would give a person like me saddle sores just from looking at it, but if it works for you...

From a guy who had an interesting saddle failure earlier this year: be ready to ride standing up, and limit your riding to however far you feel you can do that without passing out!

DD
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