04 December, 2006

Non-Italian Saddle Covers and Ideale Saddles


Our Italian saddle covers sold like the proverbial hotcakes and within a couple of weeks we ran out. Ever since, we've been getting e-mails asking for more. Judging by the time the new shipment is taking to arrive I fear it was sent by gondola. So we did a little research and found a waterproof saddle cover made in the US. The Aardvark cover looks thicker and more durable than the Italian version.

Like the Italian cover it is waterproof and basic black. So not only will it protect your expensive Brooks or Ideale saddle from the elements, but potential thieves will think it's cheap plastic seat. The cost is $9.75.

Speaking of saddles, I did a little test and rode my Brooks Pro and my Ideale 90 saddle back-to-back to see which one I was going to put on my new VO rando bike. I've owned two Ideale saddles and despite the French mystique and patented Rebour process, I find Brooks saddles to be more comfortable. Yet collectors regularly pay over $1000 for rare Ideale saddles. (I hope they have an Aardvark cover.)

Did you know that the Rebour process of softening saddles was invented by Daniel Rebour, the wonderful illustrator whose drawing often appear in this blog and are the mainstay of the The Data Book?

So a honey titanium-railed Brooks Pro is going on my bike, after I take the photos that is. The images are from Classic Rendezvous Ideale page.

5 comments:

Andy said...

I use an Ideale #6 saddle on my 50s Columbia cruiser. It's very comfortable, looks great and has saddlebag loops. It's short and seems wide. Would be perfect for a city bike. The #6 looks a little odd, so they don't fetch crazy money on eBay. I love it.

nv said...

Chris said:
"I did a little test and rode my Brooks Pro and my Ideale 90 saddle back-to-back to see which one I was going to put on my new VO rando bike."

Any word on your Rando? I'm very much looking forward to seeing more detailed pix and the paint!
Can't wait!
Best,
nv

thefastfifty said...

i installed (if it can be called that) an Aardvark on my new Brooks last week after i couldn't get an Italian from V-O. it's the spitting image of a cheap gel saddle's cover, feels slightly padded, very slick/smooth, thin and plain. saddle and bike are still intact after a week in downtown DC.
and i paid $11.95, from what i thought was the cheapest place on the Web.

Chris Kulczycki said...

NV,

The frame is at the paint shop so I might see it late next week, depending on how backed up they are.

david_nj said...

For the most part I think Brooks saddles, while not quite up there with Ideales on the coolness factor, are more comfortable because they are pretty much straight (meaning, lay a ruler on top and it will be touching the leather the whole way), and you can have a good seat in a few places on them, whereas Ideale saddles have a bit more of a depression and they kind of have one specific area in mind. Personally I think that far and away the most comfortable leather saddle is the humble Brooks B-17 -- which coincidentally is totally flat.

That being said, I think a regular road bike saddle (my choice has always been a Rolls or a Turbo) is far, far, far better for cranking out serious mileage. But that's just me.