Monday, February 07, 2005

"Where a gentleman sits..."

"Where a gentleman sits is very important."

I don't remember the source of that quote, but I do know that it was in reference to Brooks saddles. I put an ancient Brooks Professional on my Centurion fixed gear back on Saturday. Sure,it's a little incongruous on a Japanese bike, but it is a rather nice straight gauge, chrome-moly frame, perfect for a fixie. The saddle has some small cracks in the leather around the rivets, so its days are probably numbered.

When I left the house this morning, I was surprised at the difference the saddle made! Fit and feel are so important to cycling. The Brooks Pro felt like a comfortable old chair. It was a remarkable difference from the overstuffed Schwinn saddle. Sometimes a saddle just feels right. This one does.

It looks different too, and despite my preference for function over aesthetics, the Brooks just LOOKS right on this old bike. It's a lugged steel frame with horizontal drop outs, definitely retro.

Bicycles are uniquely personal vehicles. Perhaps that's why we get so emotional when one gets broken or stolen. They're far less expensive than a car, and in fact, the Centurion is worth less than the deductible on my car, but unlike the Ford, the Centurion has been built up to suit my tastes and my uses. With cars and motorcycles, it seems that we have to fit ourselves to them, rather than the other way 'round.

But I'd forgotten how comfy that Brooks Professional can be. When it goes, I just may have to look for another leather saddle.


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