I got myself into a big job helping someone clean up thier property of fallen trees. Supposedly at the end of all this work I’m supposed to get a mess of firewood, but at this point I’m just getting my butt kicked with mucho physical labor. While I’m in need of firewood and I could use the exercise; I’d rather be riding…
During the Codorus S24O, we spent a fair amount of time checking out each other’s bikes and discussing various likes, dislikes, problems, and gear. First and foremost were saddles. Bone was having issues with his B17, but had recently been riding his roadster with a B67, and was very happy with the overall feel. That has him considering options for his Trek to make that a more comfortable ride. Scott was also having some saddle issues with his B17 after it started to mis-shape because of the rain.
That got me thinking and working on my saddles over the last two evenings. I noticed that my Flyer was sagging a bit and that I would have comfort issues on longer rides lately. It has developed a ridge in the center, plus the sagging has forced me to raise the nose because of a sense that I am sliding forward and need to put more weight on my arms. So I pulled it last night and went to work. First thing I noticed was that the cord I was using to tie in the flaps had stretched and was serving no purpose. When the flaps are taunt, the top does not sag as much. I also devised a clamp system to bring the contact section of the saddle top back to flat. I really should have taken some pictures, but it is so convoluted you probably couldn’t make it out anyway.
So while the thing is all clamped up and sitting upside down on my workbench, it is also stuffed with a large sponge and some damp rags. This will hopefully soften it a bit and then it should harden in the intended shape as the moisture evaporates. When that is all done, I’m going to get some leather shoelaces and re-tie the flaps.
I currently have the Selle Titanico on the Trucker, but that saddle also underwent some modification. I stopped using it after it got wet and stretched beyond the limits of the adjustment screw, even though it supposedly is the Watershed model. Had I known that this was a common problem and that Tom was offering to replace these, I would have taken advantage of that; but I just put it on another bike instead. Anyway, I got to looking at the tension mechanism and decided that I might be able to lengthen it with some additional hardware. The main bolt is a custom part, but I managed to extend the threaded base that it screws into using a metric flange nut and an allen headed stud, all for $1.50 from J&W Hardware. It took a lot of fiddling to get it all lined up and assembled in the proper order so that I didn’t tear the leather, but it finally worked.
It’s back on the Trucker, along with my cheap suspension seat post. And since I had tied the flaps on that saddle some time ago, it no longer chafes my thighs. I used a pair of zip ties to secure the Pendle bag until I sort things out. I need to take it on a longer ride with some padded shorts to assess how it feels.
So if all goes according to plan, I may end up with having to choose between two comfortable saddles. How could I be so lucky?
The other thing we talked about was lighting. When it started to rain on Saturday near the end of our ride, the lights came on, and we also ran lights most of the ride back on Sunday. Scott’s Trucker has a dynamo head light and tail light, while Bone and I are running dynamo headlights with battery tail lights.
I was running a Superflash on constant since we were in a group. Scott has the B&M Toplight Line Plus. While both lights are about the same brightness, the Superflash is just a single point. The B&M is a four-inch horizontal line, possible through two LEDs and some fancy optics that B&M is known for. It’s the best dynamo tail light I’ve seen, and has me considering taking the plunge. With the light and mount it would be about $45, but that includes not having to fuss with batteries and, bottom line, is a brighter light. My bike budget is tapped out for the year, but I might have to raid the change jar on my dresser.