Friday, February 7, 2020

Gathering Parts - Saddle and Seatpost

For this installment on the components for my early '80s Sequoia, let's take a look at the saddle and seatpost I've chosen for the build.

Anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows that these are my favorite saddles: Brooks B17. This is the "Champion Standard" model in antique brown, with the small chromed rivets. The more expensive "Special" has a skivved lower edge and larger hammered copper rivets, and many of those also have copper plated rails. They're nice, but I'm OK with either version. My backside can't tell the difference. Some say the leather on the Special is a little better, but I don't know if that's true - at least I'm pretty sure the folks at Brooks would refute that claim.
Regular retail price on a B17 "Standard" is somewhere around $120. Expect about $30 - $40 more for the "Special." One can often find the "Standard" offered by sellers online for $85 - $90. But the real secret to finding a bargain on a Brooks saddle is to watch eBay for ones that have been removed by their original owners to be sold after a few miles of riding. There might be some marks on the rails from having been mounted to a seat post, or maybe a blemish in the leather, but you can expect to save another $10 - $15 below the online retailer prices, and it's easy to dismiss the blemishes with the knowledge that it's going to get more once it sees some use.

The SR Laprade was probably the most common seatpost one would see in the '80s - they were  ubiquitous standard-issue original equipment on many Japanese-built bikes at the time, including a lot of Specialized Expeditions and Sequoias. Because they were so common, they're still easy to find today and reasonably priced, whether NOS like this one, or clean and lightly used. Truth be told, I actually prefer 2-bolt seatposts (the Nitto Jaguar, aka "Frog," is my favorite) but the Laprade seemed like a natural choice for this project. 
Just a brief post today. The Sequoia is still at the painters, but don't think it will be much longer. Starting to get excited!

1 comment:

  1. I tend to use the Brooks flyer myself, mainly because I wasn't sure how well my seat would handle the leather saddles without any suspension. I currently have two flyers, one ten years old and one I bought over Christmas which is breaking in rather slowly...