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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Other People's Bikes: The Sad Saddle Club edition

As you already know, I like bikes, and I like leather bicycle saddles. Not everyone likes leather saddles, though. Many balk at the higher price, while some don't like the heightened degree of maintenance* involved with leather saddles. If one doesn't take care of a saddle, things can happen.

Take, for example, this specimen spotted on Monday. It is a Selle An-Atomica. The cut-out section is supposed to relieve perneal pressure, which is supposed to be "better". Some people really like these saddles. (I don't.) Like them or not, the cut-out means a less rigid saddle, meaning more opportunity for the leather to stretch and sag. Which is what has happened here.

More a hammock than saddle, now.

Or this interesting Raleigh Sprite. I've spotted this bike several times in front of one of my favorite coffee shops,** so it is regularly being ridden. And the frame itself is in decent shape. But the devil is in the details. Like the front bottle dynamo positioned in an interesting angle. The grip-less handlebars. The rear blinkie pointed skyward. And the saddle.

Yep it's a Brooks, possibly a B72. Unfortunately I didn't get a close enough shot of the saddle to know for sure, as I always feel a bit funny taking photos like this. Anyways, not only is the nose pointed upward at a painful angle, the saddle leather is literally disintegrating.

I would love to see the owner of this bike on the bike itself, just to get an idea of how they ride it.

*Meaning: maintenance at all.
**Coffee Division, 3551 SE Division St. You're welcome, Chris.


  1. Ouch, that first one hurts my heart. Sometime you can love a saddle to death...too much proofide can soften the leather to the point of diminishing its strength. So sad.

  2. But in the end, the two bike saddles kissed and all was made well.

  3. Both saddles are tragicomic.

    A thought on the second one. I just tuned up a friends bike and her saddle camp wasn't tightened enough. She had been riding it around with the saddle pretty much able to swivel freely up and down. Riding to the shop to work on it was disconcerting. Wile riding, it sort of stayed level, but when I stopped and got off my shifting weight made it tilt upward as in your photo (though not as badly).

  4. I have a Selle An-Atomica and I do like it, but now I'm terrified that the first picture illustrates its true fate. I wonder how many more happy days my saddle and I will have together before the undthinkable hammocking sets in?


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