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Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 3 Sep 2018, 2:48pm
by KTHSullivan
I am trying to source a high quality female orientated saddle for other half's Audax bike that needs to have saddle loops. She is unable to get on with Brooks and to be quite honest would not appreciated the "break in" period associated with other leather saddles (Spa, Rivett). The main aim is to be able to use a Carradice "classic" saddle bag frame to gain some height above the back wheel. At present she utilises an xxs small road bike and even a "low saddle" long flap hits the rear tyre if hung off the back of the saddle. I have scoured the web for info but the only thing that comes remotely close is a Brooks "cambium" but there appears to be some issues with frame failures (rack not saddle).


Any one out there have any ideas?

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 3 Sep 2018, 3:04pm
by backnotes
You can add bag loops to many saddles with rails by adding these:

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/luggage/car ... -per-pair/

Some assorted Nyloc nuts, star washers and Loctite may be needed as well, if you don't want to worry about the bag coming loose.

I have used a pair to provide a lower anchor point for the hook on elastic on some old Karrimor panniers used with a modern rack, so I have no direct experience of how well they do at attaching a saddlebag to a saddle. Reviews suggest they work.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 3 Sep 2018, 3:34pm
by slowster
I used to use those Cyclo bolt on saddlebag loops with the original Karrimor version of the Uplift, but I never felt it was a satisfactory set up and always expected the loops to fail. They never did, but I was careful not to carry very much weight in the saddlebag.

How about the SQR system? It looks like it might raise the bottom of the saddlebag about as high as the Uplift, providing the saddlebag is one of the smaller models.

https://www.carradice.co.uk/products/accessories/sqr-system

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 4 Sep 2018, 8:47pm
by bogmyrtle
You need to know why the Brooks isn't working then look for a style of saddle that addresses the issue. Only after that start considering how to attach a bag.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 11 Sep 2018, 2:28pm
by Flinders
bogmyrtle wrote:You need to know why the Brooks isn't working then look for a style of saddle that addresses the issue. Only after that start considering how to attach a bag.

Seconded.
A lot of females (including me) have found the Selle Italia Women's Gel saddle works for them; provided your partner finds a cut-out comfortable it might be worth a try. But of course no saddle fits everyone!

I too have heard about broken rails on Brookes saddles. My own LBS doesn't stock them for that reason.

I'm a very small frame size, like your partner, and also have an audax-type bike. For me clearances are impossible when it comes to the usual saddlebags, so I just have a rack. I appreciate a lot of people don't like them for aesthetic reasons, and in her case it may be a no-go for reasons you don't mention, but you can get lightweight ones these days, and having one does give me lots of choice over what bag to take for what sort of trip.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 14 Sep 2018, 7:21pm
by KTHSullivan
Many thanks for the replies, Mrs KTHS uses a Selle Italia on her road bike and thinks its "wonderful", the heavy tourer has a quite old Terry "liberator" which she is also quite fond of, but that is coming to the end of its useful life. Having said that it doesn't owe her any money and I consider it has at least 20,000 miles on the clock; so to speak. We are progressively moving away from cycle camping and the main impetus is to, as previously stated find a saddle that is saddle bag friendly to utilise her audax bike for fast and light touring. I hasten to add that at our ages fast is not that fast and light is very light.

With reference to Flinders, I personally have been subject to a broken rail on a Brookes B17 , but that was in the days when I was crashing in 500-600 miles a week (those were the days) turned out to be an "inclusion" in the metal rail according to a metallurgist friend of mine. I sent the saddle back to Brookes and the gratis replacement is still in use some 20 years later, although subject to far less hammer these days.


Thanks again for all the info. But the quest is to continue.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 17 Sep 2018, 9:40am
by Nigel
KTHSullivan wrote:.......... We are progressively moving away from cycle camping and the main impetus is to, as previously stated find a saddle that is saddle bag friendly to utilise her audax bike for fast and light touring. I hasten to add that at our ages fast is not that fast and light is very light.


Some time ago, I did a few weight calculations when deciding how to carry day-ride stuff. A Tubus Fly rack and a light rack-bag was considerably lighter than a Carradice saddle bag (and even lighter when a bag-rack is added). Since doing those sums, the Fly is now available in even lighter titanium (though I wonder if the few grams are worth it) and there are some more light bags from the likes of Alpkit which may swing the total even further in favour.

Most of Brooks leather saddles are fairly heavy. To those who fit a Brooks the weight is probably irrelevant. To those who find them the wrong shape, then its both uncomfortable and heavy. You may find that a sprung seatpost from USE plus another maker's saddle comes in at the same weight as the fixed seatpost plus Brooks.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 17 Sep 2018, 9:44am
by Flinders
KTHSullivan wrote:Many thanks for the replies, Mrs KTHS uses a Selle Italia on her road bike and thinks its "wonderful", the heavy tourer has a quite old Terry "liberator" which she is also quite fond of, but that is coming to the end of its useful life. Having said that it doesn't owe her any money and I consider it has at least 20,000 miles on the clock; so to speak. We are progressively moving away from cycle camping and the main impetus is to, as previously stated find a saddle that is saddle bag friendly to utilise her audax bike for fast and light touring. I hasten to add that at our ages fast is not that fast and light is very light.

With reference to Flinders, I personally have been subject to a broken rail on a Brookes B17 , but that was in the days when I was crashing in 500-600 miles a week (those were the days) turned out to be an "inclusion" in the metal rail according to a metallurgist friend of mine. I sent the saddle back to Brookes and the gratis replacement is still in use some 20 years later, although subject to far less hammer these days.


Thanks again for all the info. But the quest is to continue.

It was about 8 years ago when I had my last bike built that my LBS made the comment on the Brookes saddles, so it may have been a batch problem around then...

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 28 Dec 2018, 10:00pm
by atoz
Flinders wrote:
bogmyrtle wrote:You need to know why the Brooks isn't working then look for a style of saddle that addresses the issue. Only after that start considering how to attach a bag.

Seconded.
A lot of females (including me) have found the Selle Italia Women's Gel saddle works for them; provided your partner finds a cut-out comfortable it might be worth a try. But of course no saddle fits everyone!

I too have heard about broken rails on Brookes saddles. My own LBS doesn't stock them for that reason.

I'm a very small frame size, like your partner, and also have an audax-type bike. For me clearances are impossible when it comes to the usual saddlebags, so I just have a rack. I appreciate a lot of people don't like them for aesthetic reasons, and in her case it may be a no-go for reasons you don't mention, but you can get lightweight ones these days, and having one does give me lots of choice over what bag to take for what sort of trip.


My Mum thought the world of Brooks saddles. It was the frame size and reach she had issues with (she was 5ft 1). When as a teenager I grew out of my Raleigh Hustler she soon nabbbed it for her job as a dinner lady at a local school. This had a Wright's saddle, which in reality was a budget Brooks and just as good. So the kids used to say "there goes Miss on her racer"- cool. Even the Hustler was not perfect for reach, but a vast improvement on the horrific Robin Hood ladies bike she had previously- it wobbled in every direction.This was a lady who back in the late 1930's turned up at a club run with the (new fangled) 3 speed derailleur gear on her new BSA bike. I tried to persuade her in her old age to have one of those rather nice Specialized Dolces, but by then her health and traffic meant it was a no no. i remember clearly her looking over the new Tifosi CK7 audax bike I'd just riden from my LBS- index gearing, triple chainset,clipless pedals and mountain bike style gearing and she said "is there anything you can't ride with that?" She was envious of all modern tech, coming from an era of fixed or 3 speed Sturmey.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 2:13pm
by iandusud
Not wishing to hijack the thread but would appreciate input from you ladies. My wife and I got a tandem last year and we love it. I decided to fit it with Brooks B17 Imperial saddles (the one with the cut outs - hers is a S ladies version). I love mine but my wife is struggling with pressure from the nose of the saddle. We have fiddled around with the angle but to no avail. Do any of you have experience of this and is it a case persisting to allow the saddle to break in or should we be looking at something else?

Thanks, Ian

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 4:26pm
by charliepolecat
If you've tried lowering the nose of the saddle but to no effect - doing so though will put extra strain on the arms if the angle is too steep but a fraction of an inch at a time is recommended - I suggest you investigate nose-less saddles. I'll see if I can find any info on these and post.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 4:29pm
by charliepolecat

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 4:43pm
by Vorpal
iandusud wrote:Not wishing to hijack the thread but would appreciate input from you ladies. My wife and I got a tandem last year and we love it. I decided to fit it with Brooks B17 Imperial saddles (the one with the cut outs - hers is a S ladies version). I love mine but my wife is struggling with pressure from the nose of the saddle. We have fiddled around with the angle but to no avail. Do any of you have experience of this and is it a case persisting to allow the saddle to break in or should we be looking at something else?

Thanks, Ian


I have a similar problem with Brooks saddles. I think they just aren't the right shape for me.

My solution is Serfas Rx saddles, but saddle choice is personal. I think that the Specialized and Bontrager fitting mats are a little more likely to get a comfortable saddle than many other solutions.

A tandem stoker has to deal with somewhat more shock / impact on the backside, and may consequently need a little different solution than for a solo bike.

Good luck figuring it out.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 10:36pm
by bogmyrtle
iandusud wrote:Not wishing to hijack the thread but would appreciate input from you ladies. My wife and I got a tandem last year and we love it. I decided to fit it with Brooks B17 Imperial saddles (the one with the cut outs - hers is a S ladies version). I love mine but my wife is struggling with pressure from the nose of the saddle. We have fiddled around with the angle but to no avail. Do any of you have experience of this and is it a case persisting to allow the saddle to break in or should we be looking at something else?

Thanks, Ian

I gave up on my Brooks saddle for the same reason. I now have a Selle Italia Diva. The whole saddle is longer so the cut out extends further forward taking pressure off the soft tissue that was previously being nipped and bashed on the rock solid nose of the Brooks.

Re: Saddles (Probably Again)

Posted: 19 Jan 2019, 9:14am
by iandusud
bogmyrtle wrote:I gave up on my Brooks saddle for the same reason. I now have a Selle Italia Diva. The whole saddle is longer so the cut out extends further forward taking pressure off the soft tissue that was previously being nipped and bashed on the rock solid nose of the Brooks.


Thanks for the input. I've read this article which is insightful.

http://cyclingspokane.blogspot.com/2010 ... erial.html

I might try putting my saddle on the back of the tandem just to see if the longer cutout helps.

Cheers, Ian