[CR] Leather saddles vs leather covered

Example: Bike Shops

To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: Ken Wehrenberg <wnwires@htc.net>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 12:43:49 -0500
Subject: [CR] Leather saddles vs leather covered

Steve opined:

Why did?many?bicycle brands?abandon Brooks-style all-leather saddles for Unicanitor-style (leather cover over a plastic shell)?? Was it cost or weight?? Let's face it - the whole 1970s fewer-spoke/drillium fad was all about shaving-off a few precious ounces (possibly important to a pro-cyclist?in a long climb but otherwise magrinally benificial to the rest of us).? ? My personal opinion is that market "hype" is often a potent factor in many cycling "innovations".? Some are truly worthwhile, but others you sometimes have to wonder about.?

Ken Freeman added:

Plus even back then some hated the initial hardness of a Brooks, as can be seen by the proliferation of gel and foam padded racy looking saddles on a plastic base, and feared the potential for rainstorm destruction.

I will add that, yes, some of us were just not built for the Brooks/ Ideale, although I have them on my riders from the '50s and '60s. I even have a narrow Italia saddle on my Frejus track and keep its refinished leather tied with a 2" strip of terry cloth. I also use some of the leatherworking tricks I learned by word of mouth from my grandfather who was a harness maker in the early 1900s. That being said, in order to establish my pedigree, I will ask how many of us are day in and day out wearing leather soled shoes??? And why are we presumably not? I would (from atop my New Balance SL2s) say all day comfort, whether we stand, walk or sit at our daily tasks is the reason. My newer all day rider sort of bikes like the red LeJeune or the orange with blue Eisentraut get color-coordinated Selle Italia comfortable saddles, just like my daily shoes. And they are of course much more ergo friendly for the prostate area which should probably start to concern this group.

OK, so I was a professor in a major health-care university in a prior life.

Ken Wehrenberg, Hermann, MO