Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Velo Orange saddles
Two things happened that led me to revisit this decision. First, I noticed that my Brooks B67 had splayed pretty significantly after only a few hundred miles of use. The saddle had flattened noticeably and my attempts to re-introduce tension via the adjustment bolt were, at best, only moderately successful. I started to think that maybe the stiffer leather of the VO saddle wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
Come to think of it, there was a third factor to my decision. In roaming the Internet, I stumbled across someone's photos of a restored Superbe nearly identical to my 1971 coffee-colored favorite. The restoration featured a Flyer saddle, one of the Brooks being mimicked closely by a Velo Orange model.
So, I went for it. I bought a black and brown Model 8 (or 5?) which is supposed to replicate the Flyer. I put the brown one on Blaise, my Mercier mixte, and the black one on Takumashi, my Nishiki Citisport.
But when it comes to saddles, looks aren't everything. The jury is still out on whether these saddles will become sufficiently comfortable. After about 30 miles on each, the Nishiki is proving more adaptable to the change. In both cases, there's no mistaking the fact that you are sitting on something very solid and pretty hard. There is no noticeable "give" in either case.
In the case of the Mercier, though, it's more pronounced. I can feel both sit bones after about 5 miles, resting somewhat uncomfortably on a hard surface.
Interestingly, the VOs feature a fabric-like lining on the underside of the saddle. This would appear to guard against moisture and dirt, but I'm wondering if it will provide an unwanted barrier to the effects of Proofide. I slapped a fair bit under there anyway, and we'll see if it helps hurry the break-in period along.
I'd be interested in any perspective or counsel my experienced readers have to offer. If a saddle isn't a good match, do you know right away or is patience a virtue in these situations?