Re: [CR] Dating the Ideale 90 alloy rail saddle and comfort...

(Example: Component Manufacturers)

Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2011 21:40:27 -0500
From: "Jay Dubiel" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Dating the Ideale 90 alloy rail saddle and comfort...

Jan, Marketing or not, this still does not answer my original question: "Does anyone know if production of both styles continued simultaneously thereafter, with the spring being an option, or was the non spring version dropped?"

Jay Dubiel Halifax, VA USA

At 2:04 PM -0800 1/9/11, Mark Petry wrote:
>>The alloy rails saddle had a reputation of riding more harshly than the
>>steel rail version, so this might have been pure marketing, or maybe
>>something was lost in translation. Looks to me like the leather's own
>>"give" is the real shock absorber.

The alloy saddles (pre-90 model) were quite popular in 1940s France. The influence of the technical trials... you saw them even on camping bikes, like the Rene Herse in "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles."

However, as Mark pointed out, they did have a reputation for a harsh ride. Daniel Rebour noted several times things like: "This team used the same tandem in the Poly de Chanteloup as last year, except the alloy-railed saddle has been swapped for a steel-railed one to improve the stoker comfort."

I once rode a 300 km brevet on an Ideale 57 (which was attached to a 1952 Rene Herse). The bike had wide 38 mm tires, and the saddle leather was a bit harder from age and non-use, so it's hard to say much. I do recall that my bottoms started hurting after only 10 hours on the bike, which is unusual.

I haven't ridden any of the saddle with the little spring, but I doubt that a little spring could make a big difference. The steel rails offer considerable suspension travel, and the recent titanium Brooks saddles are noticeably springier yet... whereas the tall rails of the aluminum saddles are very rigid (as they have to be to prevent cracking).

Jan Heine