17 August, 2009

VO Touring Saddles by Air, Updated

We had to arrange a special air freight shipment to restock a couple of popular items, so we included a few cases of the new VO touring saddles. It's cool to get new products ahead of schedule for a change.

Like our other saddles, these new models are made of the finest Australian cowhide. They have a special anti-stretch layer laminated under the top. The frames are sturdy chrome plated steel. The midsection of the aprons are tied together underneath so the saddle won't splay out over time. The Models 3 and 5 have copper rivets and the edge of the skirt is skived. The top is embossed with a slightly textured pattern. The rails are about 10mm longer than on Brooks saddles.

The Model 3 saddle is 170mm wide and 285mm in length. This is a size that most will find ideal for long distance touring and casual riding. It is particularly appropriate if your handlebars bars are set at, or above saddle height.



The Model 5 saddle is a sprung version of our Model 3 saddle. The sprung frame is more comfortable on rough roads and extended tours.


Since we only shipped a few boxes by air, we'll probably run out before the ocean shipment arrives in a few weeks. So order soon if you don't want to wait.

This completes our basic line of VO saddles. We'll wait a while to see how they sell and how folks like them. I'm especially interested in how folks find them compared to the Brooks B-17, B-17 Special, and Flyer. If all goes well we'll start designing new saddle models this winter. What styles of saddles would you like to see?

UPDATE:

It turns out that the factory used copper-plated rivets instead of solid copper rivets in the saddles. Damn! They function perfectly, but the copper color will wear off over time.

We'll try to get the right rivets in the next production run. This explains why there was so little additional cost for the new rivets.

Also, we ran out of Grand Cru seat posts last week, but we now have more.

24 comments:

Fred Blasdel said...

Are they really only 185mm long?

Chris Kulczycki said...

285mm. Fixed. Thanks.

Ian Whitney said...

How's the set back compared to a Brooks?

Chris Collins said...

There are two types of butts. Those that fit the B-17 and those that fit the Professional.

Brooks made matching sprung models:

B17 - Flyer
Professional -> Conquest

Brooks discontinued the 'Conquest'.

Folks who want a sprung saddle and whose butts do not sync up with the B-17 are out of luck.

Please make a sprung model that works for those of us with 'Professional' butts.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Would very much like to see a non-leather/vegan alternative to the B-17. I know I am not the only one!

david_nj said...

As someone said in the other thread, those rivets have really gotta be set better. These look like they would tear clothing and/or just plain hurt.

That being said, I'm willing to try one. I'll order it today. Pick one out where the rivets aren't so ridiculously high!

Justin said...

"professional butts" ha ha that's funny.


Justin Davis
Freight Quote

Lip said...

Chris,
I enjoy riding off on excursions, but don't have room for a second bottle cage. I would buy an attachment for two cages, such as built by Minoura. However, the attachment is not wide enough for the rails on a Brooks B17 Standard. Two questions:

1) Would these attachments be wide enough for your saddles? (unsprung)

2) Would you consider possibly producing a version that does fit correctly, or is an improvement on the current design?

On a side note, what's the word on that silver braided cable housing?

J ustin. said...

Are they 175mm or 165mm wide? Website and blog are contradicting each other.

Anonymous said...

Chris Collins,

thanks for that clarifying comment. I also have the Pro model butt, not the B17 model.

best,
michael white

Anonymous said...

I am really glad you are developing these saddles. I love Brooks saddles, always have, but Brooks has spun out of control a bit over the past couple years, in my humble opinion, and needs some competition (read: at lower prices...). I have high hopes for these, as well as the Berthoud saddle(s).
Merci (pour tous),

Anonymous said...

Bag loops don't work (for me) on sprung saddles. I always just strap them to the bottom coils. There must be a solution to this.

Uncle Ankle said...

Are we only talking leather-hammocks here? Because I wouldn't mind a wider (~165 mm) San Marco Rolls or a resurrected Avocet O2.

Really like the look of that Model 3, though.

Kilroy said...

Greetings,

I don't need a new saddle. I've got several Brooks' models I'm happy with, and I'm "set" for a while. Yet, this VO model 30 is interesting. Not only is the saddle more visually appealing than other leather saddles but, the minor improvements could be "major" improvements.
The jury is still out on this, but if the feedback is favorable, and the economy bounces back,.....Yeah, I'll buy one. I'm feeling patriotic today. The whole bicycle experience "sits" on one point: the saddle. If the saddle doesn"t fit, forget aboutit.

Best regards.

John said...

Theory: The new Brooks Professional and the saddle of the same name from the 1970s have different shapes. Or so it feels to this guy's behind. The new one I tried was quite rounded, and to me felt like riding on an iron pipe -- had to dump it. The old one I resurrected with neatsfoot oil is much flatter, and I can ride it all day. But it's got some cracks and stuff that worry me.

I could probably be convinced to buy a replacement for the old-shape Professional. That said, it doesn't strike me that there's a hell of a lot of whitespace in the saddle market these days.

Terry said...

do those sprung saddles squeak as much as their British counterparts?

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

Chris Collins,

I am a proper lady. Therefore, I resent being referred to as a "Professional" butt! LOL.

By the way, I do ride the Professional on two of my bikes. The B17 was too wide.

eriq said...

Are these the made by or the same as Cardiff?

squig said...

How about a B17 size top with a B72 type spring? Coil springs are too bouncy.

Anonymous said...

what is the price on the sprung model?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Oops!The Model 5 is $89. I forgot to fill in the price field on the site.

Will said...

I'm worried about the positioning and raised nature of those rivets. Even totally flush-hammered copper rivets on my B-17 Champion Special sometimes can irritate my bum. As an alternative (perhaps for a future design) I'd like to see the rivets positioned on the back plate of the saddle frame. I know that sounds unclear, but take a look at the new berthoud saddles (http://www.wallbike.com/~billlain/berthoud/selle/selle.html)

I see that as being vastly superior to having those raised rivets tear into my buttcheeks.

Le Cagot said...

Will, Cyclists have been riding on saddles with rivets placed exactly where these are for over 100 years. Their butt cheeks have not only survived unscathed, but prospered. If the rivets bother your derriere, your saddle position may need adjustment or perhaps you have the wrong model for your shape.

Brad Hurley said...

I'm another fan of narrower saddles (I noticed a few others in the comments); I use a Brooks B-17 narrow and it's perfect for me for long tours; I've had it for three or four years now and it has held up very nicely, no hammocking or soft spots. I've been impressed with the few pieces of VO gear I've bought so far so would definitely be interested in a VO saddle in the future, but it would have to be a narrow model for my touring bike.