Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

30 September 2010

New Saddle, Used Saddle

I've  been having computer troubles.  At least they're more tractable than man (or boy-toy) troubles, I think.  Welll, now you know why you haven't seen my posts for a couple of days.  Today, if  you can stand it, I'll talk more about changing saddles. 


Would Mel Brooks have made a movie called "Changing Saddles"  if he'd had a slightly different outlook on life?  Hey, can you get any more ironic than a man named Brooks making a movie with "saddles" in its name?


Before I decided to switch saddles, I had a B17 narrow saddle that I saved from a bike I sold about three years ago.  I didn't ride it long enough to break it in, but I recall liking the shape and width of it.  So I planned to use it on either Arielle or Tosca, and I bought another saddle like it.


Then I saw that Wallingford Bicycle had another saddle like it listed on eBay.  Someone had exchanged it under Wallingford's six-month return policy--and, apparently, ridden it a bit.


The listing contained a photo and description that depicted the saddle's condition honestly.  So I bid on it, figuring that it would take less time to break in.  I won the auction and paid about twenty-five or thirty dollars less (including shipping) than the saddle would have otherwise cost me.   Today it arrived.


I think I'm going to install it on Arielle, my geared Mercian Audax Special.   And Tosca, my fixed-gear bike, will probably get the saddle I saved from the bike I sold.  I figure that the saddle that since the saddle that arrived today will take less time to break in, it makes sense to put it on Arielle, as I usually ride fixed-gear more than derailleur-equipped bikes during the winter.  So, even if I don't ride Arielle much after, say, the middle of December, at least the saddle will be broken in for next spring. And since my winter fixed-gear rides are usually shorter than my geared rides during the rest of the year, it won't hurt as much if the saddle hasn't broken in yet.


So I have a spare B17 Narrow, in case I wreck one  or decide to build another bike (!) that calls for one.  I'm not going to give it to Helene; instead, she's getting a standard-width B17.  I have one that was treated with a little bit of Proofhide but was never ridden.  I'll use it, unless I get lucky and find a partially broken-in B17 at a reasonable price.


One thing I discovered about the B17 Narrow is that, unlike the standard-width model, it's not made in a "special" model.  Still, I think the saddle will look good on both bikes.  And, in one of those "only-with-Brooks"  quirks, the "special" model of the Professional, which has the big hammered copper rivets, is available with chrome or copper-plated rails, while the B17 special has somewhat smaller copper rivets and is available only with copper-plated rails.  To tell you the truth, I'm not so crazy about the copper rails, in part because the plating comes off fairly quickly.  (At least it did on the copper-railed Professional I rode.)


It's funny how I was able to prepare in all sorts of other ways for my surgery and my life after it.  But there are some things nobody tells you about.  Hmm...Are there other cyclists who are about to have Genital Reconstruction Surgery? Just remember:  All you have to lose is your old saddle.  Well, maybe.

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