Spa Aire Saddle

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
boris
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby boris » 29 May 2016, 5:41pm

I have 2 brooks team pro type saddles which have much thicker harder leather than B17s and flyers. the team pro is from about 1960. neither of them has changed shape noticeably and they are pretty hard but I like them with a good pad in the shorts for long rides. I gave each a good rubbing with dubbin when I got them , both sides , but it made no noticeable difference, so now I just keep the leather reasonably waterproofed with nikwax aqueous ( which is not an oily rub just a surface protection). I have not ridden them soaked in water that I can remember, always use mudguards and would cover the saddle with plastic bag if necessary. The nikwax aqu seems very effective.
I have a flyer bought 10yrs ago .The leather is much lighter weight and has sagged fairly quickly so I have made holes for laces and tied it which seems to be keeping the shape fairly well , but like the B17 it feels more like a hammock than the team pro types.You cannot slide to and fro on it , sitting on the nose or the back edge feels very hard, you feel the metal frame. The springs and soft leather make the flyer a good choice for touring . I use nikwax aqueous on it because I certainly do not want it to stretch any more quickly than it does, if indeed the use of oils/wax has that effect on the thinner leather.

pete75
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby pete75 » 29 May 2016, 9:05pm

I have a Spa Nidd which was bought not long after Spa started selling them , from the second batch they imported as the first batch had all been sold when I rang up. It's on my son's bike and has probably done about 3000 miles now. Initially it seemed much stiffer than a B17 but now the leather is much softer than a Brooks. Despite the lacing the tensioner has had to be taken up just over half way. My older and many more miled B17 has the adjuster taken up about a quarter and the leather is harder and stiffer than the Nidd - it certainly doesn't need lacing. From this I'd say a Brooks is a better long term bet though the Nidd has a good few years left in it. Could it be that the Nidd uses a leather treatment which is not as robust and long lasting as a Brooks or do I just have a duff one...

martinn
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby martinn » 30 May 2016, 6:30am

Sat on the Aire yesterday for the first time, it's like sitting on a rock! There is absolutely no give in it any where. I have thought about reducing the tension, just a little bit, to give it a slight amount of "give" anyone done this, or is this a bad idea?
Many thanks for you replies so far, water and a hammer next.( I have put some of the supplied leather cream on it as well)

Martin

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DaveP
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby DaveP » 30 May 2016, 7:31am

Oh for goodness sake - Just Man Up , will you?
http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html

When I first read the suggestion to reduce the tension to produce a bit of give I remember thinking "Wonderful idea - I'll try that!" Unfortunately, when I looked, there was only about a half turn available. I didn't bother.
You might be more fortunate...
'Luck 8)
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

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georgew
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby georgew » 30 May 2016, 10:30am

pete75 wrote:.............. From this I'd say a Brooks is a better long term bet though the Nidd has a good few years left in it. Could it be that the Nidd uses a leather treatment which is not as robust and long lasting as a Brooks or do I just have a duff one...



Brooks' uses no "leather treatment" at all. The forming process used by them leaches all the natural oils from the leather which of course is why they are so hard. This lends itself to the "breaking-in" and the creation of indents as the leather fibres being so dry, break forming these depressions. However the leather being dry and so lacking in oils means that in time the leather will crack and deteriorate.
With the Spa saddles, it appears that the manufacturers have impregnated the leather with a waterproofing agent which means that the leather will not allow the creation of indents but I would guess it means that they will outlast the Brooks' product.

pete75
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby pete75 » 30 May 2016, 11:05am

georgew wrote:
pete75 wrote:.............. From this I'd say a Brooks is a better long term bet though the Nidd has a good few years left in it. Could it be that the Nidd uses a leather treatment which is not as robust and long lasting as a Brooks or do I just have a duff one...



Brooks' uses no "leather treatment" at all. The forming process used by them leaches all the natural oils from the leather which of course is why they are so hard. This lends itself to the "breaking-in" and the creation of indents as the leather fibres being so dry, break forming these depressions. However the leather being dry and so lacking in oils means that in time the leather will crack and deteriorate.
With the Spa saddles, it appears that the manufacturers have impregnated the leather with a waterproofing agent which means that the leather will not allow the creation of indents but I would guess it means that they will outlast the Brooks' product.


Well the Nidd I have certainly has indents. One of the things that makes a leather saddle comfortable is equal pressure on the backside and it needs to form indents for the sit bones to achieve this for many peoples bums. Some people find leather saddles most comfortable when they turn into a hammock, others to keep them firm. I prefer the latter and with the saddles I have the Brooks it appears it will last longer for my preference. This is just based on a sample of one though and, as I said, it may be a duff one.
Given the age of some Brooks still in use it'll be a long time before anyone will know if Spa will outlast Brooks.

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georgew
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby georgew » 31 May 2016, 9:03am

pete75 wrote:
georgew wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Well the Nidd I have certainly has indents. One of the things that makes a leather saddle comfortable is equal pressure on the backside and it needs to form indents for the sit bones to achieve this for many peoples bums. Some people find leather saddles most comfortable when they turn into a hammock, others to keep them firm. I prefer the latter and with the saddles I have the Brooks it appears it will last longer for my preference. This is just based on a sample of one though and, as I said, it may be a duff one.
Given the age of some Brooks still in use it'll be a long time before anyone will know if Spa will outlast Brooks.



I'd like to see a photo of these indents if that's possible.

The thicker the leather used the less the chance of forming indents as those who like myself now use Berthoud saddles already know. Those saddles which use the "hammock" principle are IME just as comfortable.
I've had many Brooks' saddles and my oldest one (B17) lasted 35 years before I sold it on, but then I conditioned that one.That said I've seen many that have crumbled away or spilt around the rivets due to the leather being dry but then this is true of any leather which remains untreated.

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Vetus Ossa
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby Vetus Ossa » 31 May 2016, 9:21am

DaveP wrote:Oh for goodness sake - Just Man Up , will you?
http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html

When I first read the suggestion to reduce the tension to produce a bit of give I remember thinking "Wonderful idea - I'll try that!" Unfortunately, when I looked, there was only about a half turn available. I didn't bother.
You might be more fortunate...
'Luck 8)


Liked the link to Sheldon's site, it made me chuckle.

martinn
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby martinn » 31 May 2016, 10:46pm

Well now done around50 miles, and it now feels comfortable.
I have changed from a B17, which had gone abit saggy.
My other bike has a fizik saddle which is on the firm side.

Did like the link from the Sheldon site, thought there might be a " rule 5" shout from the first line about maning up!

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DaveP
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby DaveP » 2 Jun 2016, 8:26pm

martinn wrote:Did like the link from the Sheldon site, thought there might be a " rule 5" shout from the first line about maning up!

Sorry! just trying for a provocative "headline" - I'd forgotten all about Rule 5! :shock:
I'll be OK though - I don't think many of them come here...
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

pete75
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby pete75 » 3 Jun 2016, 7:34pm

georgew wrote:
I'd like to see a photo of these indents if that's possible.

The thicker the leather used the less the chance of forming indents as those who like myself now use Berthoud saddles already know. Those saddles which use the "hammock" principle are IME just as comfortable.
I've had many Brooks' saddles and my oldest one (B17) lasted 35 years before I sold it on, but then I conditioned that one.That said I've seen many that have crumbled away or spilt around the rivets due to the leather being dry but then this is true of any leather which remains untreated.


It's not that easy to photograph saddle indents but I've had a go.


DSC_0212.jpg
Image Attachments
DSC_0213.jpg

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georgew
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby georgew » 4 Jun 2016, 11:46am

pete75 wrote:
georgew wrote:
I'd like to see a photo of these indents if that's possible.

The thicker the leather used the less the chance of forming indents as those who like myself now use Berthoud saddles already know. Those saddles which use the "hammock" principle are IME just as comfortable.
I've had many Brooks' saddles and my oldest one (B17) lasted 35 years before I sold it on, but then I conditioned that one.That said I've seen many that have crumbled away or spilt around the rivets due to the leather being dry but then this is true of any leather which remains untreated.


It's not that easy to photograph saddle indents but I've had a go.


DSC_0212.jpg



Thanks for that...but I have to say that these are not what I would call "indents" which are deeper and more defined having been made by one's sit-bones. Still....as long as the saddle is comfortable what does it matter.

pete75
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby pete75 » 4 Jun 2016, 12:26pm

georgew wrote:
pete75 wrote:
georgew wrote:
I'd like to see a photo of these indents if that's possible.

The thicker the leather used the less the chance of forming indents as those who like myself now use Berthoud saddles already know. Those saddles which use the "hammock" principle are IME just as comfortable.
I've had many Brooks' saddles and my oldest one (B17) lasted 35 years before I sold it on, but then I conditioned that one.That said I've seen many that have crumbled away or spilt around the rivets due to the leather being dry but then this is true of any leather which remains untreated.


It's not that easy to photograph saddle indents but I've had a go.


DSC_0212.jpg



Thanks for that...but I have to say that these are not what I would call "indents" which are deeper and more defined having been made by one's sit-bones. Still....as long as the saddle is comfortable what does it matter.


As I said they're not easy to photograph but they are normal sit bone defined indents. I know exactly what they're like because I've seen them in the flesh. You haven't.

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georgew
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby georgew » 4 Jun 2016, 1:01pm

pete75 wrote:
georgew wrote:
pete75 wrote:
It's not that easy to photograph saddle indents but I've had a go.


DSC_0212.jpg



Thanks for that...but I have to say that these are not what I would call "indents" which are deeper and more defined having been made by one's sit-bones. Still....as long as the saddle is comfortable what does it matter.


As I said they're not easy to photograph but they are normal sit bone defined indents. I know exactly what they're like because I've seen them in the flesh. You haven't.



I will happily concede that you know best the damage wreaked by your bum on a defenceless saddle.....

pete75
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Re: Spa Aire Saddle

Postby pete75 » 4 Jun 2016, 6:50pm

georgew wrote:
pete75 wrote:
georgew wrote:

Thanks for that...but I have to say that these are not what I would call "indents" which are deeper and more defined having been made by one's sit-bones. Still....as long as the saddle is comfortable what does it matter.


As I said they're not easy to photograph but they are normal sit bone defined indents. I know exactly what they're like because I've seen them in the flesh. You haven't.



I will happily concede that you know best the damage wreaked by your bum on a defenceless saddle.....


Except it's not me who rides with that saddle.