Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's time for a new seat

Alas, my faithful and intimate companion is close to retirement. I speak of my bike seat, which has served me well for many years. It took me a while to find just the right one, and I have a few old seats in my shed which did not pass muster before, inevitably leading to numbness and later to soreness on account of being too soft. Many recreational seats are marketed for their padding, but after more than a few miles, all that squishy padding ends up acting like a tourniquet on some pretty important arteries. I will say no more.So, the question arises of what to replace with. I'm thinking of two options, and they represent two quite different approaches. The first is less expensive, will not last as long, but would probably be OK for several years more. The critical feature is the cut-out, as shown in the $40 example below:
The other option appeals to the pay-for-quality buy-it-to-last-forever side of me, which is the fabled Brooks saddle:
You have to read the website and look at a couple of pages of Google search on "Brooks Saddle" to understand just how truly special it is. It is in fact a stretched leather upper that breaks in over a month or two and becomes personalized to one's own particular shape. There are plenty of stories of people riding the same saddle for 50 years and more. Apparently, after it's broken in, it more or less disappears from underneath you and you don't notice it any more. The only catch for me at present, and the reason that I hesitate, is the usual $80+ price tag. It is ill-advised to buy one used since it may have broken in on someone else's bottom...
So, that's the dilemma. I'll post a photo of the new saddle once I've decided.

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