Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Arty Farty Parts

Well, this choice was one of the hardest I've had to make to date.

The saddle.

Nearly 90% of people I've quizzed on saddle choice for a touring bike have pointed toward a Brooks Flyer and have ridden one for 30 times around the world/since the Jurassic period/born with one pre attached to their bums. And there are threads on touring bike sites which seem to endlessly wax lyrical about sofa style comfort on huge distances.

I do have a Brooks saddle already on my Steamroller. A Team Pro which I have to say took a few rides to get my 'nether regions' to return to their normal colour after riding it for a few miles. Now however its one of the few saddles I've ever ridden without the need cycling shorts. Plus, they're British, handcrafted and horrifically stealable in Central London.

So, back to the Brooks Flyer. Nothing but good reviews. Everywhere I looked. Everywhere.

But I had a problem with it. A major problem.

Black rails.

I wanted silver. To go with the silver part for the rest of the bike. So it matched. I'm an Art Director/Designer. I like things to match.

I wrote to Brooks and said they said they don't do the Flyer with silver rails.

I sighed. I hovered over the 'buy' button and then stopped.

Stick to the plan.

Silver is what I wanted. I wanted a retro feel saddle with springs. And the only other company I could find that were able to offer me the good were Velo Orange again with their VO Saddle range.

First impressions from out of the box were it looked cheap, felt plasticky and was very heavy. However, after putting it on the frame I found a bit of love for it. It's bulky sure, but it has a classic feel to it and I'm sure when the ultra tough leather has bedded in a bit it'll look the part. I liked the drawstring idea to stop it flairing over time and it does have the additional 10mm length on the rails for the all important adjustments you don't get on Brooks. Plus and a big plus, you get Silver rails.

Obviously, ride purists would argue against merely accepting parts to make the bike look good opposed to making it ride good. Only time will tell. Chances are I'll ride it until it dies. It hasn't had bad reviews. Just more people ride Brooks.

Besides, decisions like these are the reasons why God invented eBay.


John the Monkey said...

Don't think you can got far wrong with Velo Orange, tbh.


I've read good reviews about them to date too. I feel a little bad for buying American instead of buying British. A level of national pride I rarely feel so its a little scary.

I'm sure it'll pass quickly though.

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