new year, new saddle!
The orbea has been in my possession now for about 14 months, in which time it has become a familiar and lovely thing, its combination of aluminium framed stiffness and the comfortable ride making it a great ‘general use’ bike.
Like most bikes, the orbea came fitted with a miserable, cheap OEM saddle that was, if I recall correctly, made by selle italia. It seemed to me that the design priority was that it should colour-match the frame as opposed to any comfort-related criteria, and as such it was summarily replaced last summer by a specialized alias 143. This has been a decent, if aesthetically uninspiring perch, and I must admit that if truth be told it will suffice for the forseeable future. But whilst it can list, with quiet confidence, qualities including long term comfort, zero maintenance and near unbreakability, it fails miserably to be gorgeous. And this, i’m afraid, causes me a big problem.
I have posted several times in the past regarding the blue bike, which had a Brooks B17 leather saddle fitted last summer. Weather and other issues have prevented me making as much use of this bike as I would like, but I still marvel at the beauty of the Brooks when I’m in the garage, and intend to ride it much more in the coming year.
Now, overcome with a rush of blood to the head, I have placed an online order for a Brooks B17 Narrow in honey leather for the orbea. Conscious from my experiences already that weight is not one of the Brooks’ key advantages (530g as opposed to the alias’ 255g!!!, although it’s also wider at 155mm as opposed to the Specialized at 143mm) , I shall nevertheless be anticipating the delicious moment when the package is handed over and the period styled box is prised open, revealing the hunk of cow hide inside. I shall be reporting on this very blog forthwith, the experiences that occur as a result of this. The key issue is inevitably going to be the ‘breaking in’ period – I’m already recently experienced in this, as I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks breaking in a pair of these….