08 October 2010

Replacing Stolen Booty

If you saw yesterday's post, you noticed that I was on my Le Tour III.  And, a couple of weeks back, I mentioned that the seatpost and seat had been stolen.  The guys at Habitat gave me a seatpost and clamp that had been in one of their used-parts boxes; I installed it with the Terry Butterfly saddle I had on my Miss Mercian.  Someone else is getting the Butterfly; I am going to try a new saddle I saw on sale.

It's made by a company called Gyes.  I think they make the Velo Orange and a few other "own name" saddles.  The one I'm installing on the Le Tour is the Parkside model, which is very similar to the Brooks B67--which, of course, is a B17 with springs.

That means I'll again have all-leather saddles on all of my bikes.  A B17 is perched on Helene, and both Arielle and Tosca sport the narrow versions of the B17.

I'll admit that I'm starting with a certain prejudice:  The Gyes is on my mass-produced, beat-up LeTour (which I've decided to name Marianela), and the Brooks saddles are on my handbuilt Mercians. Although the Gyes has a couple of features that Brooks doesn't (e.g., the flaps of the saddle skirt riveted together underneath the main part of the saddle), I still expect it to be of lower quality and lesser workmanship and not to last as long.  That's another reason I put it on the Le Tour:  If someone takes this saddle, I don't think I'll be as upset as I'd be if someone took one of my Brooks.  

This should be interesting.  I haven't ridden the seat yet, but I expect it to at least by early in the coming week.  


  1. It's very nice, if appearance is any guide. As long as it's real leather, I can't see any reason it wouldn't last every bit as long as a Brooks, even if the workmanship isn't as nice. My Wright saddle is 40 years old now. Of course, presuming nobody snabs it before then. And, if it DOES last over 40 years, you'll have to have a new blog title by then!

  2. Steve: You're probably right about durability and workmanship. However, I don't think I'd put a Gyes, or any other brand of leather saddle, on my Mercians. That just wouldn't be right.

    I remember Wright saddles. When I first started cycling, there were many more brands of leather saddles offered for sale. And there were others that seemed to be available only as original equipment on bikes: They were usually the cheaper models.

    Once Ideale went out of business (apparently, during the mid-80's), it seemed that Brooks was the only one carrying the torch. And, from what I heard, their workshop burned up. That might be the reason why Brooks saddles were all but impossible to find, at least in the US, for much of the '80's and '90's.

  3. Hmm, I am curious how it will compare to your Brooks.

    I am generally as weary of trying new saddles as a cat of moving into a new apartment -probably because so few saddles feel right to me. My vintage Trek came with a Brooks Titanium Finesse which everyone was super envious about, but which I for some reason dislike. So now I am thinking of selling it and just getting another B17, which I already know will work for me.

  4. Velouria, the Finesse has essentially the same shape on top as the Professional: It is somewhat convex, while the B17 is flatter. So, I'm not surprised that you didn't like the Finesse if you liked the B17. Also, I'm wondering: Are you riding the men's or women's model B17. (The women's models are usually follwed by "S" after their model designations.) The Finesse, like other women's-designated saddles, is wider and shorter than its men's-designated counterpart (in the case of the Finesse, the Professional or "Pro").

    If you sell your Finesse, you should get more than enough to buy a B17. Go to Wallingford Bikes and see how much a Finesse costs!

  5. My "professional" with its copper rivets is a wall decoration in the garage...

  6. Coline--One thing about a "Professional" (or, for that matter B17 or any other Brooks model) with copper rivets: It's beautiful to look at!