In Memoriam: Leather and Brass

In Memoriam: Leather and Brass

by / / 104 posts

Composites, microfibers, synthetics. They amaze in their qualities; light, strong, durable – unyieldingly stiff or unimaginably suple, depending on our whim. When modern components arrive on my doorstep, upon lifting the unremarkable cardboard box I often wonder whether there is anything at all inside or if perhaps the person on the other end of the postal system had allowed their mind to wander beyond the task at hand and neglected to place the product in the box before sealing it and handing it off to a worker whose uniform invokes the wrath of dogs the world over.

This was not the case when my vintage 80’s-era Selle San Marco Rolls was delivered from deep within the bowels of eBay. The box had a heft to it that hinted at something substantial within its confines. Freed from its cardboard prison, the saddle lay heavy in my hand, its heft signaling an inherent quality about it that only heavy products seem to convey. But the saddle showed its age; the leather was dry and worn, the brass trim and emblems tarnished black.

This saddle isn’t made of synthetics, it was no lost cause. This saddle is made of organic materials that require care and maintenance in order to maintain their beauty. And, when let fall into disrepair, they can often be restored to their original glory. Out came my polishes and waxes, and within a few minutes the leather covering the saddle which had only moments before been worn and gray was now gleaming with a deep, black finish. The brass, touched up with polish and the tarnish wiped instantly from its surface. Within a quarter hour, the saddle was once again a beacon of a bygone era.

These old leather saddles took a few hundred kilometers to ride in; not as long as their all-leather predecessors, but much longer than our carbon-shell, microfiber modern saddles. With time, the rubbing of chamois-clad tooshie polished the leather into a gleaming beauty which whispered of the long journey over which it had carried its rider as they forged their path together along La Vie Velominatus.

Heavy and big as they were, these saddles had character; one would somehow be more comfortable than another which was supposed to be identical. Each would develop its own unique finish as the characteristics of the leather cover and the shape of it’s rider’s backside would reveal its unique beauty over time. The saddles owned by the Pros in the 80’s and 90’s became impossibly shiny; I remember being enraptured by the sight of the gleaming saddle swaying back and forth as Gert-Jan Theunisse moved en danseuse up the Galibier in the 1989 Tour enroute to a solo win atop l’Alpe d’Huez.

If today’s saddles are marvels of lightweight and comfort, these old saddles were a looking glass into the history that rider and machine had forged together.

// In Memoriam

  1. @Deakus Well bless my soul, you’re right! You learn something new every day. Thanks, Deakus.

  2. @Oli I was feeling a bit out on a limb there because I had read in several places that they both used them but a fairly extensive search of google images on just about every interation of Merckx Coppi Brooks and Saddle was giving me very little pictorial evidence….one photo does not make a career but it does seem to get mentioned with a lot of confidence in text in a few places…..I might look at some youtube footage tomorrow and see if I can’t dig up something a little more concrete than one small fuzzy black and white photo!

  3. @Deakus

    Wow, awesome!!!  And check out how much pain the chain is in!

  4. Just succeeded in securing a Brooks swallow for £57 including postage off ebay….not too bad considering they are £155 brand new!  It is a bit weathered in parts but nothing that won’t polish up over a few days….not the titanium version but it is going on the rain bike so i don’t really care about the weight…might have to do a before and after photo.

  5. er i mean £115 brand new…

  6. @frank Can’t argue with that, so I won’t!

  7. @ChrisO

    What size frame is that?

  8. @frank

    The pros are already riding with weights in their saddles and aside from Boonen who rides an unbadged Regal and Pharmstrong who rode a Concor Light, I’m not aware of any Pros opting for classic saddles over the new ones.

    Stuart O’Grady rode a Rolls for many years.

    But given the relationship of marketing and sponsorship to what they ride/wear/sit on I don’t place too much emphasis on that.

  9. @Deakus

    @Oli I was feeling a bit out on a limb there because I had read in several places that they both used them but a fairly extensive search of google images on just about every interation of Merckx Coppi Brooks and Saddle was giving me very little pictorial evidence….one photo does not make a career but it does seem to get mentioned with a lot of confidence in text in a few places…..I might look at some youtube footage tomorrow and see if I can’t dig up something a little more concrete than one small fuzzy black and white photo!

    I could swear I a seeing regular glimpses of rivets here and a possible Brooks shape so I am convinced.  Besides which it is a great montage!

  10. @DerHoggz

    58cm – i’m 6’3″ / 192cm so I tend to just go for the biggest frame.

    The bike I am most truly comfortable on is my Roberts – custom built, fits like a glove. They’re in a tiny shop in the back of Croydon where the lights in the front dim as the guys out the back do their welding.

    Doesn’t matter what I ride, going back to the Roberts is always a joy.

  11. I have an old Rolls in the basement, served it’s purpose for many years. Did my longest rides on that saddle… I went through a lot of bikes back then, but I just kept switching it from steed to steed.  it leaves me with some very fond memories.

    Now I’m running the Regal, a black one with copper rivets on my Lemond and a white one for my R3. By far the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden. I even get compliments from time to time, no doubt from someone just like you. I don’t think I timeless saddle ever looks out of place on a bike.

  12. @Deakus

    @Deakus

    @Oli I was feeling a bit out on a limb there because I had read in several places that they both used them but a fairly extensive search of google images on just about every interation of Merckx Coppi Brooks and Saddle was giving me very little pictorial evidence….one photo does not make a career but it does seem to get mentioned with a lot of confidence in text in a few places…..I might look at some youtube footage tomorrow and see if I can’t dig up something a little more concrete than one small fuzzy black and white photo!

    I could swear I a seeing regular glimpses of rivets here and a possible Brooks shape so I am convinced. Besides which it is a great montage!

    Fucking +1!

  13. Well, I now have to blame all of you for the fact that I’ve added a Brooks B-17 to my Christmas Gift Demands/Wish list. I hope you’re happy.

  14. Those Rapha “epic” videos can go fuck themselves.


    Avon Celli e L’Eroica from WP on Vimeo.

  15. @frank

    @Nate

    @Ron

    I have a sky blue & white checkboard Rolls.

    You must post a photo of that.

    Seconded.

    @VeloVita

    How does one properly care for/polish a leather saddle? I have one on my ’84 Club Fuji that has lost some color around the apron. I’m hesitant to use any coloured paste wax/shoe cream for fear that it would rub off on my pants (the Fuji is my around town bike and I don’t ride it in black lycra). I’ve previously treated it with Sno-seal for moisture protection, but that doesn’t do anything for the colour.

    Some nice compounds have been mentioned here but I’m not sure any wax etc without pigment will restore your faded leather. I used black saddle polish and rubbed it with a white towel like I was shining a shoe until the towel stayed white, then I put wax over the top of it to seal it in. I’ll let you know after I ride it in the new all-white V-Bibs if it rubs off.

    A bit of research (mainly horse riding sites) and yet another Amazon order.  I am about to restore a Brooks Swallow and it looks quite scuffed/faded.  I have ordered the following:

    1.  Fiebings leather dye (black)

    2.  Leather Saddle Soap

    3  Beeswax.

    As far as I can tell the process goes as follows:

    1.  Rub down the saddle with methylated spirit (to remove any residue, current waxes etc)

    2.  Rub with saddle soap to clean the leather.

    3.  Dye twice, with a sponge leaving it to dry in between.

    4.  Rub down with beeswax to seal it from the wet and buff to a nice high shine if you wish…

  16. @Steampunk Why be such a hater? They are spiffy guys that probably love cycling more than others. Their video truly looks way better than others and is interesting. The Maeko Roubaix video posted on here somewhere is practically a non-video.

  17. @ralph

    Well, I now have to blame all of you for the fact that I’ve added a Brooks B-17 to my Christmas Gift Demands/Wish list. I hope you’re happy.

    Are you sure you want to do this? Trust yourself and not the reverence for one saddle or another. Your post sounds like regret has already set in.

  18. @mxlmax

    @ralph

    Well, I now have to blame all of you for the fact that I’ve added a Brooks B-17 to my Christmas Gift Demands/Wish list. I hope you’re happy.

    Are you sure you want to do this? Trust yourself and not the reverence for one saddle or another. Your post sounds like regret has already set in.

    I read it as the regret is a “mock” sort….all the chat and pics of lurvvly leather has led to temptation and this in turn is leading to a guilty pleasure….maybe the kids are going without food for a week or two, or the house remains unheated…these things are the price we pay for Reverence!

  19. @mxlmax

    I simply thought the vid I posted was much cooler without trying nearly so hard.

  20. @ralph

    Well, I now have to blame all of you for the fact that I’ve added a Brooks B-17 to my Christmas Gift Demands/Wish list. I hope you’re happy.

    Classic – what colour and what’s it going on ?

  21. Museeuw’s full swing Bianchi, topped off with a Regal.

  22. @ralph

    Well, I now have to blame all of you for the fact that I’ve added a Brooks B-17 to my Christmas Gift Demands/Wish list. I hope you’re happy.

    Only a saddle?  The list will grow soon enough.

  23. @Steampunk Not the best one I’ve seen, but I thought the sentiments were genuine and, oh, those bikes!

  24. @Deakus If my daughter has to skip a few meals I’m sure she’ll understand.

    The “regret” is very much of the mock variety. I have been having a hard time finding a saddle that I truly like (although I have a generic Giant brand one that I got for $5 at a thrift store that I’m liking well enough for now), so your descriptions of how Most Excellent they are helped to tip the scales.

    As for what sort of bike it’s going on, that’s a subject for a much longer reply. Suffice it to say that I’m currently riding a 25+ year-old steel Schwinn that has managed the twin feats of being too small a frame yet way too heavy. It is in no way a classic, but rather the best my Velominatus Budgetatus status can afford for now. My hope is that Santa tells my employer  to provide a year-end bonus that will make the acquisition of a new bike possible. It still won’t be anything special, but at least I’ll be able to get out of my own way.

  25. @ralph

    @Deakus If my daughter has to skip a few meals I’m sure she’ll understand.

    The “regret” is very much of the mock variety. I have been having a hard time finding a saddle that I truly like (although I have a generic Giant brand one that I got for $5 at a thrift store that I’m liking well enough for now), so your descriptions of how Most Excellent they are helped to tip the scales.

    As for what sort of bike it’s going on, that’s a subject for a much longer reply. Suffice it to say that I’m currently riding a 25+ year-old steel Schwinn that has managed the twin feats of being too small a frame yet way too heavy. It is in no way a classic, but rather the best my Velominatus Budgetatus status can afford for now. My hope is that Santa tells my employer to provide a year-end bonus that will make the acquisition of a new bike possible. It still won’t be anything special, but at least I’ll be able to get out of my own way.

    May pennies come tumbling fourth from the pockets of your employer…in the meantime my restoration saddle and your breaking in of a new one post Christmas will ensure this thread stays alive for some time to come!

  26. No offense to all those retro-types out there.  But I just dont get nostalgia.  The reason padding has gone from saddles to shorts is because it’s better.  The reason that shifters moved off the downtube is because it’s better.  The reason cassettes have gone from 6 cogs to 12 is because its better.  And because they can. A modern Golf GTI is faster, cheaper, and better than a Ferrari 308 GTB.  Granted it might not look as good. 

    Hmmm …        Well anyway, its just better.

  27. @GT

    A modern Golf GTI is faster, cheaper, and better than a Ferrari 308 GTB. It looks like a Transformer crapped out a lego brick with wheels and needless to say a Ferrari looks better.

    Aesthetics matter.

  28. @GT

    No offense to all those retro-types out there. But I just dont get nostalgia. The reason padding has gone from saddles to shorts is because it’s better. The reason that shifters moved off the downtube is because it’s better. The reason cassettes have gone from 6 cogs to 12 is because its better. And because they can. A modern Golf GTI is faster, cheaper, and better than a Ferrari 308 GTB. Granted it might not look as good.

    Hmmm … Well anyway, its just better.

    What’s your criteria for better – Comfort ? Looks ? Weight ?

    There’s only one of those where an old-style leather saddle will always lose to a modern saddle, which is weight.

    On looks, it depends on the bike – a Flite or an Aliante looks out of place on a classic bike, just as a classic saddle looks out of place on a Bianchi Oltre or a Cervelo P5.

    On comfort, well that’s a personal thing depending on the shape of your arse, but I’ll go for a leather saddle anytime. You will find many Brooks and Rolls in the audax crowd, who do 400-600km rides and more so that suggests that comfort is not better for modern saddles.

    @ralph

    I started with a B17 but soon moved on to the narrower, lighter models and I would only put a B17 on a cruiser or a town bike now. I have it on my fixie actually.

    A Team Pro is a bit sportier and lighter, without going all the way to the narrower Swift and Swallow. I think the standard model is around the same price as a B17 and if you upgrade your bike you can just move the saddle.

  29. @GT

    No offense to all those retro-types out there. But I just dont get nostalgia. The reason padding has gone from saddles to shorts is because it’s better. The reason that shifters moved off the downtube is because it’s better. The reason cassettes have gone from 6 cogs to 12 is because its better. And because they can. A modern Golf GTI is faster, cheaper, and better than a Ferrari 308 GTB. Granted it might not look as good.

    Hmmm … Well anyway, its just better.

    The past informs the future – I find great satisfaction in looking where we came from and using that to try to better understand not only where we are today, but where we might be off to tomorrow.

    The reason I started converting the TSX to a more classic setup – downtube shifters, monoplanar brakes, Rolls saddle, etc was because when it was set up with Ergo 10spd and other modern components, I simply never rode it; on any given dry day when given the option to ride either the R3 or the TSX, it was the R3 every single time.

    So I agree completely with the sentiment that all these new things are better from a technical perspective. That said, there is something in looking back at where we came from that gives us reason to appreciate where we are today. To measure progress only be technical improvement seems short sighted to me, and misses the point completely.

    Maybe its because I like creating things and building things that I appreciate what goes into a product’s design, but there is something in the quality and attention that went into the production of components in the past that just doesn’t happen anymore. The polish on the old Campa stuff, for example, is otherworldly. There was care and attention put into those parts and those old hand made frames, wheels, and tires, that is missing from what we ride today.

    But to your more tactical assertions, putting the padding in the shorts is only better for the people selling the shorts; the pads in my bibs wear thin in a season and are unridable after two; this old Rolls saddle of mine is going strong after twenty-some-odd years. So no, that’s not better.

    10 or 11 speeds gives more gear choices, but the drivetrains wear out twice as quickly as the old 7 speed sets did.

    Finally, your Golf GTI may be faster than your Ferrari 208, 308, or 328, but it won’t be around in 10 years, whereas the Ferraris are already 35 or more years old.

    To ChrisO’s point, it depends on how you’re measuring “better”.

  30. @frank A1  I could not have put it better myself.

    Finally, your Golf GTI may be faster than your Ferrari 208, 308, or 328, but it won’t be around in 10 years, whereas the Ferraris are already 35 or more years old.


    Plus Thomas Magnum…would not have been seen dead in a Golf GTi….not even a mark 1 Rabbit.

    I the same kind of vein I would interested in everyones views on Di.  There is a lot of marketing hype in this and huge resources are being put behind launching new bikes with EPS or Di2, but I just cannot see why I would want to.  Yes the shifting is smoother, yes it self trims but honestly some of the love I have for the bikes it the pottering about, the adjusting, the cleaning, repairing even something as simply as changing my own bar tape a couple of times a season to make my cheap bike look lovely…

    Why would I want to ride a piece of machinery that is designed for self locomotion under human power, that is then reliant upon a battery and actuators for gear changes that I can do myself with a flick of my thumb or finger….is this really progress?  I feel a bit like a Ludite and I am sure in 20 years time ppl will be saying “I’m building a retro bike, with manual gears!” in the way that we talk about down tube shifters and toe clips but somehow I am just not sure you won’t still find me on my manual gears….after all….would you rather have a Ford Fiesta automatic or a Porsche 928…the price is largely the same these days.   One will cost you more to run, but you accept when you take it on that it is a labour of love…

  31. @Deakus

    It seems almost every item these days needs a battery.  I will resist putting anything on my bike that needs one, with the exception being lights at night.  I might have a couple “non-exact” shifts on the rear cassette per long ride – big deal.  What next, electronic ass wipers?

  32. @itburns “What next?” Well talking drivetrains of course. “Your next SHIFT is approaching. SHIFT now please.”

  33. @frank

    10 or 11 speeds gives more gear choices, but the drivetrains wear out twice as quickly as the old 7 speed sets did.

    Next Columbus (steel)* frame that I find and secure is going to be built 8 speed. I think the are greater in *many ways*.

  34. More or less to his dying day (when he began to meditate on more pressing matters) my father was obsessed by Sturmey Archer hub gears and was convinced that dérailleur gears were the work of the devil.

    It took more than a decade since he passed on to that great highway in the sky for me to find out that Henri Desgrange thought exactly the same thing.

    Dad was also able to cycle 150km’s in a day on his three speed hub geared bike wearing only Sta-Pressed slacks and using a Brooks B17 (although he had the cutaway version). Up top he always wore a vest, cotton shirt and tweed jacket with a tie if he was in danger of meeting on of his customers. As his hair fell out he took to wearing a corduroy cap to keep the sun at bay. Shoes were brogues with a glued on rubber sole for grip and wear. No toe straps obviously. He had no conception that you could possibly need padded shorts (never commented on but surely some perfidious continental fashion used by Hitler and Mussolini and therefore not to be trusted).

    Now here’s a thing – he was still rocking this set up the year before he was called to glory and, at the age of 65 and with a post cancer colostomy bag, managed to ride round the whole of Scotland in two weeks carrying his own tent. His wheelset would have been new in 1955.

    I’ve only just started to understand – maybe, here and there, he had a point – good reliable kit that you can fettle yourself will take you a long long way. My Fisik saddle is great – but could I face it for two weeks without two pairs of bib shorts, Savlon, a shower (and attached hotel room), Mrs Engine in the support car and a shaved undercarriage?

  35. @unversio

    @itburns “What next?” Well talking drivetrains of course. “Your next SHIFT is approaching. SHIFT now please.”

    How long before the drive train equivalent of the Happy Vertical People Transporter?

  36. @unversio

    Next Columbus (steel)* frame that I find and secure is going to be built 8 speed. I think the are greater in *many ways*.

    I love the Ultegra 9 speed on my ‘cross bike. It was great even when covered in sand during today’s race. I’m planning ‘cross bike #1 and will try to get NOS 9 speed instead of 10.

  37. @frank

    Museeuw’s full swing Bianchi, topped off with a Regal.

    Is this the bike he chucked in the ditch just before, and then never, making contact with, I think it was Tchmil, at P-R?

  38. @Deakus

    @frank A1 I could not have put it better myself.

    Finally, your Golf GTI may be faster than your Ferrari 208, 308, or 328, but it won’t be around in 10 years, whereas the Ferraris are already 35 or more years old.


    Plus Thomas Magnum…would not have been seen dead in a Golf GTi….not even a mark 1 Rabbit.

    I the same kind of vein I would interested in everyones views on Di. There is a lot of marketing hype in this and huge resources are being put behind launching new bikes with EPS or Di2, but I just cannot see why I would want to. Yes the shifting is smoother, yes it self trims but honestly some of the love I have for the bikes it the pottering about, the adjusting, the cleaning, repairing even something as simply as changing my own bar tape a couple of times a season to make my cheap bike look lovely…

    Why would I want to ride a piece of machinery that is designed for self locomotion under human power, that is then reliant upon a battery and actuators for gear changes that I can do myself with a flick of my thumb or finger….is this really progress? I feel a bit like a Ludite and I am sure in 20 years time ppl will be saying “I’m building a retro bike, with manual gears!” in the way that we talk about down tube shifters and toe clips but somehow I am just not sure you won’t still find me on my manual gears….after all….would you rather have a Ford Fiesta automatic or a Porsche 928…the price is largely the same these days. One will cost you more to run, but you accept when you take it on that it is a labour of love…

    +1

    When I think about advances in bike and component design over the past 30 years it has been incredible.  Especially so because the vast majority of the steps have made made bikes lighter, stiffer, faster, safer, more reliable, better in so many ways.  Carbon to take weight out and stiffen components up.  Clipless pedals for ease of use and better power transfer. STI shifting that moved the gear changer to where the hands already were.  Lightweight groupsets and wheels.  Aerodynamic advances.  Modern fabrics that are better in almost every way to the cotton and wool that I grew up wearing as a child.  Helmets. Even cycling specific prescription eyewear.  Powerful lights that make riding at night safer.  So many great things.

    But the price of all those big steps is that the next steps are necessarily smaller.  11 speed versus 10.  20% stiffer bottom brackets, when our existing bottom brackets are already stiffer than… well, something incredibly, err stiff.

    And now electronic shifting… which I just don’t place into that first set of useful, meaningful advances. It may make the change of gear ever so smoother at the front, but it’s not lighter – the battery makes it heavier.  It doesn’t make you go faster.  It’s not even more aesthetically pleasing what with the battery pack that has to be packaged somewhere.  It’s not more reliable either with wires, motors and batteries to recharge.  And it’s more expensive.

    Yes it has a certain cache and exclusivity, but for me that’s all it’s got.

  39. @G’rilla

    @unversio

    Next Columbus (steel)* frame that I find and secure is going to be built 8 speed. I think the are greater in *many ways*.

    I love the Ultegra 9 speed on my ‘cross bike. It was great even when covered in sand during today’s race. I’m planning ‘cross bike #1 and will try to get NOS 9 speed instead of 10.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thought that I needed to find and build a genuine funny bike*, but I need to trust my feelings on this and build a cross bike*. Yes! And when I do, I have all the cross craziness found here to thank. Psychlo-cross! I am perfectly fine with piling onto timbers, stumps, gravel, sand — but not comfortable with the omen of a double-chain-loop.

  40. @Deakus

    @frank A1 I could not have put it better myself.

    Finally, your Golf GTI may be faster than your Ferrari 208, 308, or 328, but it won’t be around in 10 years, whereas the Ferraris are already 35 or more years old.


    Plus Thomas Magnum…would not have been seen dead in a Golf GTi….not even a mark 1 Rabbit.

    I the same kind of vein I would interested in everyones views on Di. There is a lot of marketing hype in this and huge resources are being put behind launching new bikes with EPS or Di2, but I just cannot see why I would want to. Yes the shifting is smoother, yes it self trims but honestly some of the love I have for the bikes it the pottering about, the adjusting, the cleaning, repairing even something as simply as changing my own bar tape a couple of times a season to make my cheap bike look lovely…

    Why would I want to ride a piece of machinery that is designed for self locomotion under human power, that is then reliant upon a battery and actuators for gear changes that I can do myself with a flick of my thumb or finger….is this really progress? I feel a bit like a Ludite and I am sure in 20 years time ppl will be saying “I’m building a retro bike, with manual gears!” in the way that we talk about down tube shifters and toe clips but somehow I am just not sure you won’t still find me on my manual gears….after all….would you rather have a Ford Fiesta automatic or a Porsche 928…the price is largely the same these days. One will cost you more to run, but you accept when you take it on that it is a labour of love…

    Ah, now you’ve gone and done it.  Magnum P.I. is back on Netflix Instant, and I’ve been watching the shit out of it.

  41. @razmaspaz There is so much crap on TV these days I had been spending some time with one of my virtual friends that feeds my boredom when not riding…..Amazon!

    I have recently watched Airwolf series 1 again and I have to say it has dated badly and is not good….but Magnum…. a horse of a different colour!  Despite the car being a bit older now I had not realised how well written the show was, it is still very funny…..series 1 down, series 2 is on the Amazon wish list for Crimbo and bizarrely in a world of CGI and plastic actors, my kids love it too…..hence Movember is for me Magnum PI month….if only!

  42. Magnum PI – I hate the show & am forever unable to watch and possibly appreciate it due to the fact that no matter what I was watching, once Magnum came on, my older brother snatched the t.v. control from me & would include a beat down, free of charge, whether I put up resistance or not.

    Had a busy weekend, moved into a new house. Lots of hauling, not much riding or posting. VeloVita requested a full shot back on page 1. And will get a shot of the checkerboard Rolls when I head home in a few weeks; it lives on a bike stored with my Olds.

    Casati with one of our cats, Hobo. (He was discovered by the VMH playing in the weeds alongside the highway and was about the size of a grapefruit. Now he’s a big badass.)

    And one that shows off the subtle-yet-slick paint job a bit better:

    Now sporting a perforated Flite matched to some Deda Traforata tape, also perforated. Always playing with the bar height & very reluctant to cut a matching steel fork. The HT is also rather short. But need to make moves on that. Also is a 1″ fork so has a shim that I’d like to replace with a silver one. Ignore the compact, it’s days are numbered. Computer on the TT because I like the stem so much. Really enjoyable ride and feel on this bike, built with Columbus Genius tubing. Got a deal on the wheelset but will eventually go with black or silver OP rims; the hubs are black Records.

  43. Hot!

  44. Thanks, Oli!

    We were discussing this the other week with the new Rules, but you can see how my saddle looks/is pointed up just a bit. Not sure if this has to do with the Campa seat pillar or if I just prefer to have my nose slightly up. I guess I enjoy turning it up at others. Works for me though, so I’ll let my undercarriage dictate the position.

    And we’ve discussed it before, but what dictates whether you can cut a fork flush with the top cap of the headset? It looks the nicest to me but I know some forks are meant to have a 1mm spacer above the stem. My cross bike was cut flush though, full carbon fork as well. Someone fill me in, please.

  45. @Ron Isn’t the steerer supposed to be cut just slightly below (3mm ish) the upper element of the stack whether it be a spacer or stem to allow the whole lot to tension/tighten/whatever proper engineering term when the bolt is torqued.

    The park website shows it done without any http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/fork-steering-column-length-and-sizing. Having a spare spacer on top would allow future upgrading to a fatter stem.

  46. @Ron Nice bike there!  The rules do stipulate a 5mm spacer above the stem so that the stem gets a good grip on the steerer tube, up to you though.

  47. @snoov This. The stem has to clamp over its full length.

  48. Ah right, it’s in the Rules snoov! Thanks for reminding me.

    Thanks for sorting me lads. I’ve asked that question more than once but now I’ve got it.

    Been doing cross rides all week…going to be sunny and warm all weekend, can’t wait for some long road rides. The LOOK on Saturday, the Casati on Sunday for the No Sloping Top Tubes club ride. We’re currently a local club with a membership of two!

  49. And thanks snoov & Oli for the kind words. I really enjoy riding and even looking at that bike. Cool attention to detail, like the looks of the internal cable routing (note to self/all: replace these cables often so they don’t get seized!), the only lug is at the BB junction, and the ride of the Genius tubing is really slick. I’m sure the Record hubs and Open Pro rims don’t hurt. Nor the Vittoria tyres.

    Ha, and it currently has ONE latex tube. Punctured one on the maiden voyage, punctured the other during installation. Still open to the idea of someone mailing me a piece of old latex tube to patch them as I have yet to find one locally, even with my pal at the LBS on the lookout. Donations are accepted!

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