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Leather saddles

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Old 02-09-19, 06:23 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Brooks Cambium has Competition in the marketplace wonder is it a non stretch rubber.. SA are well known for the leather stretching.. after riding on them a while..
Been through this many times before, but many members here have had the saddles stretch, used the tension screw to compensate, and then the stretching stops and the saddle holds its shape. I can't say all users have found it to stop, but ... I bet we aren't the biggest group S-A sells to in the first place.

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Old 02-09-19, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Been through this many times before, but many members here have had the saddles stretch, used the tension screw to compensate, and then the stretching stops and the saddle holds its shape. I can't say all users have found it to stop, but ... I bet we aren't the biggest group S-A sells to in the first place.
Yep, I agree, 2 SA saddles with 900+ miles each and no further stretching. I don't recall, when the stretching stopped, but they have settled in . My other SA saddles have about 500-550 miles, and don't seem to need adjustment . KB
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Old 02-09-19, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I'm not sure which big saddle companies want a piece of Brooks (other than the Italian one that bought them), but several companies have developed and are marketing different visions of what great leather saddles are, most notably Selle Anatomica, Giles Berthoud and Rivet.
To learn 'which saddle companies want a piece of' the tentioned leather saddle market, read post 9!

Is Rivet manufacturing their own saddles now? Last I heard their saddles were being made by Gyes to Rivet's specifications.
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Old 02-09-19, 08:51 PM
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Thanks, I skimmed over it. You must have researched this market quite a bit.

I bought a Rivet about a year ago, and the person said they are made for them in Asia. She did not say it was Gyes, and the materials (top leather) seems to be much higher quality than a previous V-O Gyes I had.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:00 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I don't believe I've ever seen a bicycle saddle with fringe.
I think it might have been a thing around 1958, when I was but a wee pedaler. We weren't too concerned about aero effects at that age. Bling was where it was at! That, and cowboy hats.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:38 AM
  #31  
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So the original question was, are leather saddle riders a fringe of the cycling world? We really haven't tackled that one.

I think leather users are a fringe group, because of the obvious weight and in some cases cost. Today, weight is still all-important if you're not a cruiser or roadster rider. Less so perhaps for fans of vintage sport-tourers, but for most people it's aluminum or carbon. 500grams (> 1 lb) is more than most will touch, and for most leather that's a $100+ saddle. Ti rails and cantle make some improvement, but prices then go up to more than $175. Smaller brands like S/A and Rivet are working on better leather and comfort, and S/A has even released a full-carbon saddle, but it is $400 last I looked. With small number of exceptions, traditional construction methods still dominate and can hold a good measure of quality and the price around $100. Fitting can be an issue, because not many saddle designs have long mounting rail sections.

However, the prices in the plastic arena have increased. 10 years ago here folks recommended WTB saddles in the $30-$50 range. I never tried one since I'm a leather fringe guy, but I had my "butt hurts" threads and many recommended various WTBs and Terry Fly models. I did try some Specialized models but am now back to leather, mostly.

But while Specialized (yes, I know, this an argument based on taking one example of a saddle-maker and hence questionable, but I think it shows a direction) weights are from 300g (less than $100) to less than 200g (top model Toupe, about $300, lots of carbon). So while it may be more common now to make higher-end plastic saddles for high-end performance bikes, the technology still exists to mold out huge volumes of plastic saddles at vanishingly small per-unit costs. This down-scaling could happen mo' better with leather/steel construction, but hand labor and chunky leather will never get as cheap as plastic. So I think for the masses of $1000 faux-performance bikes and drop-bar and straight-bar BSOs flooding the markets from the Ether-space, I don't think leather will ever become what the bike houses will press upon the population. Cost is going to rule in favor of plastic.

So I think leather saddle riders, especially us crazies that own a quiver of them, are a fringe and will remain a fringe, regardless of effective, inspired, and diligent efforts of Brooks, Ryan Hosmer (SA), Debra Banks (Rivet), Giles Berthoud (Berthoud) and many others (see post #9 ), leather will always be more massive than a molded plastic top, and the cost of sourcing and processing leather and assembling with rivets will cost more than modern plastic processing methods.

But all those saddle designers still working to make it better, means more good choices for folks like me!
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Old 02-10-19, 08:03 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I bought a Rivet about a year ago, and the person said they are made for them in Asia. She did not say it was Gyes, and the materials (top leather) seems to be much higher quality than a previous V-O Gyes I had.
The very first Rivet saddle I saw was pretty much just like all the other Gyes saddles one can buy with someone's name embossed on them. Fairly quickly Rivets began to have unique features and attributes. Kudos to Rivet for a unique vision and the effort to improve, and kudos to Gyes for accepting and building models 'not invented here'.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:39 AM
  #33  
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On my V-O Model 5 saddle (Gyes, but V-O would not admit it), the leather sagged nearly immediately and did not respond well to tightening. On the two Rivets I've had the leather is stiffer, supports weight better. I have a Pearl which is about the same size as a B17, but I haven't been doing much riding for a few months. But it has been mounted and I find it has held up very well. I think a Rivet Pearl is a lot better than what Gyes has sold to some others.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Brooks Cambium has Competition in the marketplace wonder is it a non stretch rubber.. SA are well known for the leather stretching.. after riding on them a while..
So many great leather saddle choices, I have used many and love the SA and Brooks offerings.
Many of us also love leather bar wraps and ofcourse Brooks makes some of the best.
I have an single speed from the UK that the Cambium was the more proper choice than the Selle, both to me had about the same comfort and performance, except for protection against rain.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:06 AM
  #35  
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What is the purpose of the string tied saddle.?? No chaffing.??
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Old 02-10-19, 11:26 AM
  #36  
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What string?
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Old 02-10-19, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
What string?
Some of the Brooks saddles have holes along the outside/lower edge of the leather. You weave the string back and forth under the saddle and tie it off. Why I don't know.??
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Old 02-10-19, 01:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
So the original question was, are leather saddle riders a fringe of the cycling world? We really haven't tackled that one.

I think leather users are a fringe group, because of the obvious weight and in some cases cost. Today, weight is still all-important if you're not a cruiser or roadster rider. Less so perhaps for fans of vintage sport-tourers, but for most people it's aluminum or carbon. 500grams (> 1 lb) is more than most will touch, and for most leather that's a $100+ saddle.
Given that the OP is posted on the General Cycling Discussion list and NOT the Road Cycling or competition oriented lists, I believe that bicyclists who hold the view that the weight of their saddle is "all-important" are members of a fringe group, no matter what material they prefer for its construction.
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Old 02-10-19, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Some of (tensioned leather) saddles have holes along the outside/lower edge of the leather. You weave the string back and forth under the saddle and tie it off. Why I don't know.??
The leather can splay out. The lacing combats this tendency.

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Old 02-10-19, 01:40 PM
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My Brooks B17 allows my butt cheeks to shift from one hemisphere to another hemisphere without needing me to apply for a visa.

The stock saddle is also British Fabric Scoop Radius elite. I lied on the bed for two days discovering exactly where my sit bones are because it hurt like hell.
I went on the internet to do research. The B17 has worked for a lot of people over 100 years. They used to race, tour with it and I couldn't be happier with my decision. They used to sit up straight as if the rider is a professional pianist . So I thought, hmm...if they can sit like that for hours, it must be okay.
They come with weight penalty (300g or so)but it like sitting on shinny leather that allows every little shifts and movements my bottom desired. The minute I sat on it, still with A LOT of pain from the previous saddle, my sit bones started healing. I felt "free"!
Leather has a bouncy quality that just takes away the uneven surfaces on the road. Tire psi also has to do with comfort. It is even more comfortable than the sofa like spring seats I have on my cheaper bike. I know there are people out there who would just laugh at us as they insist their US$500 fizik saddle is more comfortable. Well, I don't believe you! Are you guys sure that it is the seat that is comfortable or did you force your butt to like it and adapt to it because you've spent so much money on an almost weightless saddle?
I don't know about the newer brooks saddles because it doesn't look slippery enough for my butt's micro-adjustments. They are make of cloth-like material. And their reviews are not so good. Another thing I like is that they break in in time. They are individually customized for your bottom if you ride enough, like a tailored suit. I also like you could oil it up like a classic Oxford shoes. It just gives it that much more fun for me. Leather saddles have been tested for more than a thousand years on horsebacks.
I am never going back! Leather forever!
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Old 02-10-19, 01:59 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kcblair View Post
I have 4 SA saddles on 7 of my bikes. Comfy, right out of the box. Always ride with padded cycling shorts. I beleive it is one of the cycling rules , when riding road bikes. KB


Still working on this one...

could mean three bikes have no saddle,

or could mean total of 28 saddles on 7 bikes. (really, really like them?)
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Old 02-10-19, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Still working on this one...

could mean three bikes have no saddle,

or could mean total of 28 saddles on 7 bikes. (really, really like them?)
4 bikes have SA, 3 standard type (non-leather) saddles (I think) Man, I don't communicate well these days KB
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Old 02-10-19, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Given that the OP is posted on the General Cycling Discussion list and NOT the Road Cycling or competition oriented lists, I believe that bicyclists who hold the view that the weight of their saddle is "all-important" are members of a fringe group, no matter what material they prefer for its construction.
I don't know the cycle preference demographics of the GC discussions group, nor of the Road Cycling group. In RC it is probably safe to say the preference is for racing or faux-racing machines, and hence presumable in favor of lightweight saddles. Weight weenies are found in many places. I hope to be accused of weight-weenying my 1952 3-speed Rudge (I know, it surpasses rationality ... ). But I think my assumption that lower-price road buyers prefer reduced weight when they can, is good. I don't have proof that it's valid but I stick by it unless some data does appear. My whole statement about fringe is my opinion anyway, and I don't think how a "rational" answer will necessarily be in better.ing in GC.

I don't therefore believe anything in my opinion needs to be revised just because I'm not talking specifically to the Road Devotees. The question asked was a general one in my opinion, and the answer I proposed attempted to discuss the general situation. If you have some data, propose something different. If you have a different opinion, present it and explain it.
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Old 02-10-19, 11:48 PM
  #44  
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I donít do the mileage, either daily or total, to become accustomed to a hard saddle and that includes the Brooks B17 that I tried.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:01 AM
  #45  
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Glad to see that I am not alone in my love of leather saddles. Although I do have Brooks saddled on our tandem, I have more Rivet's than anything else.

Cycling, like any activity, brings us into contact with people who have a love for what they do. I've had several chats with Debra of Rivet and occasionally drop a note to just say hey. The same with Doug Curtiss of Curtlo Cycles. Doug built us our custom tandem. Just a couple of people that I've met that are great to talk to about cycling in general.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:23 AM
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Well , other options are: Various densities of foam padded and thin leather or 'Pleather' covering..(lightest saddles even use a very thin Pleather, )

Some of the utilitarian saddles mold the foam rubber to be the skin of fhe saddle , and sell millions of those,
such that they can later afford to buy out Brooks and have a division making the lightest saddles ...

with no leather in them.. that so many pros use.. no break in period..


....

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Old 02-11-19, 11:30 AM
  #47  
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I have 5 velo orange model 6 saddles. This is the narrow one. I also have a B17 narrow and a regular B17. This because I have 7 or so bikes I ride regularly as the mod strikes me.These are used on bikes with bars level or a few inches below saddle level. The VO saddles have consideably thicker leather, some sort of mesh laminated on the inside, and a leather bit riveted under the saddle to prevent splaying. They are a little marred cosmeticaly due to dropping the bike and accidents but after thousands of miles on the 3 oldest VO saddles there is little or no sag. The B17s are at least 40 years old and need a tighten every couple of years. I favor Rivendell shorts and pants with a gusset, and cotton or polyester/wool underwear, depending on the weather. I have had far less saddlesore issues with the leather saddles and the only problem is they absorb water, so need not to get wet. Yes, tthey weigh twice as much as synthetic saddles, but so what? 250 grams or so on a 25 lb bike is no biggie if it results in being comfortable. The break priod has been negligible for the VOs, the B17s coming with used bikes and already broken in. One of the things I like about these saddles are the built in bag loops on the saddles. Luckily, I've found what works for me although your preferences may be completely different.
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Old 02-11-19, 12:35 PM
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Fringe? Nah, My wife and I solely were looking for comfort. Turns out we both settled on the Brooks Flyer (sprung version of B-17) after trying about a dozen saddles each on our daily riders.
We also have a pair of vintage Raleigh 3 speeds (Fringe? Maybe or just geeky ). We decided on B-67's for period correctness. (I should have just got another Flyer in hindsight)
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