01 November 2013

Everything New Is Old Again

Early in this blog's history, I documented using, at the suggestion of my gynecologist, Terry "donut" saddles.  I found that I didn't like them:  They reminded me of the Avocet saddles with the "groove" in the middle, which I tried not long after they came out.  Both saddles had the same effect:  They created pressure points, and discomfort, around my genitals--even though my genitals were not the same when I rode the Terry as they were when I rode the Avocet.

After the Terry experiment, I went back to Brooks saddles and have had no problems.  That may have something to with my post-surgery genitals healing and developing:  Although the area around them is more tender than it was in my days as a male, it's not quite as delicate as it was in the days just after my surgery.

Brooks has been making stretched leather saddles for nearly a century and a half.  Over the past decade or so, other companies have begun to make similar saddles.  At least even the most casual cyclist knows that those companies are appropriating and,in some cases, tweaking an old technology.  

The same was not true when Avocet first came out with its "grooved" or "double hump" saddles in 1977 or when Terry came out with its "donut" seats in 1994--or, for that matter, when AnAtomica started cutting out the middle sections of Brooks saddles in 2005 (or when Brooks began to sell its "Imperial" saddles in 2008. Every one of those ideas had been tried before.  Those companies marketed those saddles--and the public believed they were--innovations. 

Take a look at this Garford ladies' padded saddle from 1895:

Or this one, introduced five years earlier:


Yes, that is the original "Imperial" saddle, in the Brooks 1890 catalogue.

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