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Ideale Saddles

Old 02-09-16, 09:37 PM
  #51  
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Random seats.
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Old 12-25-18, 10:32 PM
  #52  
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Brooks vs Ideal

Best saddle ever was a new B17 in tan. It seemed hard as a rock but I never even knew it was there. One of the worst saddles was a B17 that actually seemed a little softer. Go figure!
I wound up with a free shwinn that had an Ideal saddle and saved it from the trash heap. It's a 88 I think. It's somewhere between the two. Pretty nice but not invisible.
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Old 12-26-18, 07:52 AM
  #53  
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I use mostly Brooks Pro saddles, of the seventies vintage and like them a lot. I also have a modern B17 Brooks that is comfy. My 1971 Stella sports an Ideal 87 (old) leather saddle that is at least equal to the comfort of the Brooks. All are great saddles . Joe
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Old 12-26-18, 10:49 AM
  #54  
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Have not had a really uncomfortable leather saddle so far. My 1st Brooks was a thoroughly broken in B72 that came on my Raleigh Sports Commuter back in 1980. The deep indents happened to align with my sitz bones and was very comfortable. Had many B17's and a few Pro's over the years. A rumor that Brooks was going under led me to stock up on B17 Std. or Champion models. The Std. models all had slightly thinner leather than the Champions, and broke in within 300 to 400 miles of riding. The heavier leather on the Champion models takes much longer, months & miles, although pretty comfortable from day 1.

Another French brand is Pryma: I got a parts bike that had Campagnolo pedals and a French Pryma leather saddle. I used both on my Grand Jubile for a while. The Pryma has thinner leather than a Std. B17, but similar comfort. The thin leather gives a suspended on a "hammock" feel.

Here are 2 pics taken after a few years use. It's been on different bikes over the years. Recently, one of the rivets has begun to tear out. So it may become a wall hanger now. I'll add a current pic so you can see how it has held up. Don
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Old 12-26-18, 01:34 PM
  #55  
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There is now a small company in France that has revived the design of Ideale 90 and has them available as new product. I think Compass may be selling them.

BTW, I don't think there was any such thing as an Ideale Professional. Berto published dimensional measurements that indicate the Brooks Pro and one of teh Ideales (my guess is 80, 88, or 90) had similar dimensions, but I don't think Ideale used the name.
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Old 12-26-18, 01:51 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
There is now a small company in France that has revived the design of Ideale 90 and has them available as new product. I think Compass may be selling them.
This is apparently the place, but the page is dated 2017: The come back of Idéale saddles | Cycles Victoire
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Old 12-26-18, 04:49 PM
  #57  
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Ideale has been revived. Bicycle Quarterly has a write up on them this month. They look, well, ideal.
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Old 12-26-18, 10:06 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
...BTW, I don't think there was any such thing as an Ideale Professional. ...
For nearly a couple decades ca 1948-1966? most of the better quality Idéale saddles were available in two grades, the "type record" and the "professionel." The leather is the latter was treated to make it waterproof and "indeformable." The "professionel" had an aluminum badge affixed to the back, each with a unique serial number. The lowest numbers I've seen were around 4000, on saddles from the late 40's, and i don't remember the highest numbers. Somewhere over a quarter of a million. Anyway, the saddles that came in both versions had similar stamps; but the "type record" saddle stamps just have incuse letters, while the "professionel" stamps have an impressed background with raised letters.* Both of these were common on* model numbers 48 through 65 or so. On the early ones the manufacturer is identified as FT, on later ones TB.

Sometime in the 60's they gave up on the serial numbers.* By 1965 they reached 270,000, and up to that point they seem to have issued about 15,000 serial numbers each year. The highest number I've seen was under 285,000, so probably 1966.

"Speciale Competition" was another treated leather option, and it may have replaced the "professionel" treatment. Hard to tell after fifty years.

Last edited by rhm; 12-27-18 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 12-26-18, 10:33 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
For nearly a couple decades ca 1948-1968 most of the better quality Idéale saddles were available in two grades, the "type record" and the "professionel." The leather is the latter was treated to make it waterproof and "indeformable." The "professionel" had an aluminum badge affixed to the back, each with a unique serial number. The lowest numbers I've seen were around 4000, on saddles from the late 40's, and i don't remember the highest numbers. Maybe a quarter of a million? Anyway, the saddles that came in both versions had similar stamps; but the "type record" saddle stamps just have incuse letters, while the "professionel" stamps have an impressed background with raised letters.* Both of these were common on* model numbers 48 through 65 or so. On the early ones the manufacturer is identified as FT, on later ones TB.

Sometime in the 60's they gave up on the serial numbers.

"Special Competition" was another treated leather option, and it may have replaced the "professionel" treatment. Hard to tell after fifty years.
I bought a 92 in 1984 in a local bike shop. *Aside from what I've read on line over the years since then, that's the only actual fact I have. *How does this fact fit in? *Should I be able to discern whether my saddle is a Record or a Professionel? *And what if myne also has the Daniel Rebour designation.

Were they model numbers, or serial numbers. *My saddle does not have a serial number, as far as I can tell.
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Old 12-27-18, 09:42 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I bought a 92 in 1984 in a local bike shop. *Aside from what I've read on line over the years since then, that's the only actual fact I have. *How does this fact fit in? *Should I be able to discern whether my saddle is a Record or a Professionel? *And what if myne also has the Daniel Rebour designation.

Were they model numbers, or serial numbers. *My saddle does not have a serial number, as far as I can tell.
The serial numbers were on the aluminum badge riveted to the back of the saddle. The 92 didn't have serial numbers. Only the Professional saddles had serial numbers. The badges are often missing and the stamps illegible, but you can still tell the incuse lettering (record) from the relief lettering (professional).

As I said, the "professionnel" was a leather treatment, as opposed to "speciale competition" (another leather treatment?) and "type record" (untreated). Many models (51, 52, 57, etc) were available as either "professionnel" or "type record"​​​​​​ versions.

The model 80 was usually "type record"​​​​​​ but there was also a comparatively rare "speciale competition" version, apparently indistinguishable from models 45, 70, and 87, which were also comparatively rare. These all had the "special competition" treatment, all the same frame and same rivets etc. As far as I can tell, they are exactly the same. Were they all made at the same time, or did the model number change? I don't know.

Furthermore, some models (80, 90) could be had with either a steel frame or an aluminum one, whereas other models were either one or the other.

So anyway, the Rebour stamp on top of the 92 refers to another leather treatment. I don't know much about it, apparently a Proofide-like goo that (as the stamp says) was applied by hand. I have heard that these saddles came in a plastic bag and you had to wipe off a bunch of that stuff when they were new. Hearsay; I have never seen a new one.
it is really hard to tell what these various leather treatments were like when they were new. The saddles are now 50 or more years old and they've been ridden and left out in the rain and maybe treated with Proofide etc, who knows what any given saddle has been through.
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Old 12-27-18, 10:04 AM
  #61  
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I'm going to try to share some photos, to support the above...

Here's a typical professional model, a no 52 from the 50's-60's:


It's serial number:



and here's another 52, this one a record, from the same era:


It has a plain badge:


Note that the stamps are the same design, but one has relief lettering, the other incuse. This dichotomy holds for all the better Idéale saddles from about 1950 until the ones with the rectangular stamps came out.

Some of the cheaper saddles are also found with both incuse and relief stamps; the 39, for example, is almost always incuse but occasionally relief. I don't know if there's any logic to this....
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Old 12-27-18, 10:13 AM
  #62  
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Brooks was kept in production by an ownership change , and expanded ..

Ideale ceased making new. some years ago, . but revived you say? I have a couple Ideale saddle clips .. for straight seatposts....

another French company Berthoud has been in production recently.. premium stuff..






..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-27-18 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 12-27-18, 11:03 AM
  #63  
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So, I can't see those photos. Can anyone?

I'll try again in January when I can use my work computer.
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Old 12-27-18, 12:50 PM
  #64  
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rhm-

Text shows but with narrow, empty spaces where there should be your photos.
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Old 12-27-18, 12:54 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
So, I can't see those photos. Can anyone?

I'll try again in January when I can use my work computer.
Here is the weird part:
If I go into the quote/reply mode (like I'm going to post a followup), icons appear where the images should be.
I can put the pointer on an icon, and open the image in another tab.
I haven't seen this before.
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Old 12-27-18, 12:56 PM
  #66  
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The current Ideale mania is particularly ironic in light of accounts that I've read that BITD, Brooks saddles were much preferred, even in France!
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Old 12-27-18, 12:57 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'm going to try to share some photos, to support the above...

Here's a typical professional model, a no 52 from the 50's-60's:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0xmzju2qcu...2%20p%20a6.jpg

It's serial number:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9lqq1kykcp...p%20b%2001.jpg

and here's another 52, this one a record, from the same era:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wrpsjr7rhp...r%20k%2006.jpg

It has a plain badge:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1hm2162hol...r%20k%2004.jpg

Note that the stamps are the same design, but one has relief lettering, the other incuse. This dichotomy holds for all the better Idéale saddles from about 1950 until the ones with the rectangular stamps came out.

Some of the cheaper saddles are also found with both incuse and relief stamps; the 39, for example, is almost always incuse but occasionally relief. I don't know if there's any logic to this....
Image links fixed.
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Old 12-27-18, 01:08 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Image links fixed.
Thanks!

But I'm still seeing the url, rather than the image. Well, whatever! People can click the link if they want to see the photos.
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I put new leather on ruined saddles like Brooks, etc. You can reach me by private message.
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Old 12-28-18, 07:41 PM
  #69  
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As much as I love French bikes, I csn't seem to like Ideale saddles......
I just find them a bit blah to look at, compared to their main competition, Brooks....something to do with the shapes of most Ideales....just blahhh...
But I guess I would not hesitate to have one if I had a Singer or an old PX10 to go with it!
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Old 12-28-18, 08:00 PM
  #70  
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Old 12-28-18, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
The serial numbers were on the aluminum badge riveted to the back of the saddle. The 92 didn't have serial numbers. Only the Professional saddles had serial numbers. The badges are often missing and the stamps illegible, but you can still tell the incuse lettering (record) from the relief lettering (professional).

As I said, the "professionnel" was a leather treatment, as opposed to "speciale competition" (another leather treatment?) and "type record" (untreated). Many models (51, 52, 57, etc) were available as either "professionnel" or "type record"​​​​​​ versions.

The model 80 was usually "type record"​​​​​​ but there was also a comparatively rare "speciale competition" version, apparently indistinguishable from models 45, 70, and 87, which were also comparatively rare. These all had the "special competition" treatment, all the same frame and same rivets etc. As far as I can tell, they are exactly the same. Were they all made at the same time, or did the model number change? I don't know.

Furthermore, some models (80, 90) could be had with either a steel frame or an aluminum one, whereas other models were either one or the other.

So anyway, the Rebour stamp on top of the 92 refers to another leather treatment. I don't know much about it, apparently a Proofide-like goo that (as the stamp says) was applied by hand. I have heard that these saddles came in a plastic bag and you had to wipe off a bunch of that stuff when they were new. Hearsay; I have never seen a new one.
it is really hard to tell what these various leather treatments were like when they were new. The saddles are now 50 or more years old and they've been ridden and left out in the rain and maybe treated with Proofide etc, who knows what any given saddle has been through.
I bought one new in person from a US retail shop, and there was no goo nor a plastic bag, but it could have sat in the shop for a year or so.

I'm looking for a 92 frame so I can have you make me a new skin. Or maybe a 90 if that frame shows up sooner.
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Old 12-31-18, 07:45 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Have not had a really uncomfortable leather saddle so far. My 1st Brooks was a thoroughly broken in B72 that came on my Raleigh Sports Commuter back in 1980. The deep indents happened to align with my sitz bones and was very comfortable. Had many B17's and a few Pro's over the years. A rumor that Brooks was going under led me to stock up on B17 Std. or Champion models. The Std. models all had slightly thinner leather than the Champions, and broke in within 300 to 400 miles of riding. The heavier leather on the Champion models takes much longer, months & miles, although pretty comfortable from day 1.

Another French brand is Pryma: I got a parts bike that had Campagnolo pedals and a French Pryma leather saddle. I used both on my Grand Jubile for a while. The Pryma has thinner leather than a Std. B17, but similar comfort. The thin leather gives a suspended on a "hammock" feel.

Here are 2 pics taken after a few years use. It's been on different bikes over the years. Recently, one of the rivets has begun to tear out. So it may become a wall hanger now. I'll add a current pic so you can see how it has held up. Don


I recently sold to another BF member a Pryma that had originally come on a Stella SX 73. My first wife bought the bike new around 1976 but always complained about how hard it was, so it was replaced by a women's Avocet BITD. Later replaced the wife, too !
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Old 01-01-19, 10:07 AM
  #73  
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Yes, the women's Avocet were cushy from new and I still see a few coming through our NW Hub co-op. Sometimes more "saddle time" can eliminate the need for replacement. Don
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Old 03-13-19, 04:21 PM
  #74  
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Frame parts for Ideale 90




Looking to replace/repair the aluminum frame in my Ideale Saddle. Old frame was broken in a severe crash in 1988 and has been sitting in my "spare parts bin" since. Unusual because the rails are aluminum as shown and clamped to the seatpost with the "adapter" that broke in the crash. Still looking for the broken part.
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Old 03-13-19, 04:44 PM
  #75  
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My 1975 Moto Le Champion still has the original Ideale saddle
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