Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

23 January 2011

Gyes Parkside: Product Review

I've been commuting on my Gyes "Parkside" saddle since September. 






I've been riding it on Marianela, my old Schwinn LeTour III.  The new saddle, oddly enough, didn't look out of place on a bike whose finish has more pits and pockmarks than some streets in this city.  Perhaps it had to do with the saddle's brown color, which goes nicely with the frame's orange hue.


Yes, it's an attractive saddle.  Now, the inevitable questions:  Does it ride as well as it looks?  And how is it holding up?


Well, I'll deal with the simpler question first:  The seat seems to be breaking in, not breaking down.  Being a sprung saddle, it doesn't take as much to break in.  But it also doesn't have to break in as much as an unsprung saddle would need to in order to be comfortable.  I say this as someone with Brooks B17 narrow saddles on two of her other bikes and a standard B17 on another.  


Of course, I'm not comparing those saddles to the Gyes Parkside.  However, I've had a Brooks B66, which is similar in dimensions and other design characteristics to my Gyes.  (I'm such a fast woman!)  As I recall it, the top is flat, as it is on the Gyes.  However, it seems that the way the top flares toward the end (or tapers toward the front, depending on your persepctive) is more gradual yet not as smooth on the Gyes.  Sometimes I have felt the edge of the top of the saddle.  Then again, I was wearing thin skirts and stockings when I felt the edge of the saddle rubbing against the inside of my thigh.  Back when I had the B66, I was living a different lifestyle and dressing differently for work, which was the destination of most of my rides on that seat as well as the Gyes.I should also add that I felt the rubbing after about two hours of riding:  near the end of my commute home.  And, perhaps I won't feel it anymore as the saddle breaks in more.


Perhaps the most significant difference between the ride of the Gyes and my memory of the B66's ride is that the Gyes seems a bit cushier.  I think the B66 had somewhat firmer springs than the Gyes saddle has.  If that's the case, and if I'm correct in recalling that the B66 has somewhat thicker leather, it may mean that a Gyes may not last  as long as the B66.  That is not to say, though, that the Gyes isn't a sturdy saddle.  If anything, the carriage rails and springs seem to be as robust as those on the B66, or other Brooks saddles.  And, if this matters to you, the Gyes rails are chromed steel, while current B66s and B67s (which are the same as B66s, except that they're made to fit modern seat posts with intergral clamps) have rails and springs that are painted black.  


On the whole, I give the Gyes Parkside two thumbs up.  It can be had for about a third less than the equivalent Brooks models.  That makes them a good value which will get even better if the Pound Sterling should recover some of its valule against the dollar.  

1 comment:

  1. My understanding is that the Guys saddles are made by the same manufacture as the Velo Orange saddles. I am new to leather saddles so based on cost and break in period I bought the VO saddle on sale. It is just like the Guys saddle you have on your schwinn. Every time I check out a Brooks saddle it feels as hard as plastic and I can't imagine how long and uncomfortable it would be to break it in. I think the Brooks are beautiful with their smooth surface but I just can't do it.

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