Today's Commute: Brought To You by The Red Rockhopper
...complete with Mutant Saddle.
Carl asked, in the Comments section of the last post, why it is that I seem to have recurring problems with broken saddles:
"Is it the fact that you use ancient saddles. or that you have terrible luck? I remember a tale in a far off land of saddle woes and the miracle of the LBS."
Well, I think it may be a bit of both, with an emphasis on the ancient saddles. A lot of the saddles I get with old bikes, or off of eBay, have hung in the garage for 30 or 40 years, with no temperature or humidity control. So, sometimes, the leather is not in the best of shape, and it finally gives up at the rivets. Even Jacquie Phelan has had a similar problem. Her attempted repair was a bit more classy, but less successful.
As it is, my saddle is working just fine.
On the 4 past workday commutes I have ridden (in order) the Raleigh with 700x42c tires, the Raleigh with 26x2.3" studded snow tires, the XO-2 with 26x1.35" tires and the Red Rockhopper with 26x2.0" semi-slick mtb tires. I was curious if the tires, the bike or I was to blame for the slow trips to work which have been plaguing me, lately.
Here's how it broke down: The Raleigh, regardless of what tires, took me 38 minutes from door to door on the way to work. The XO-2 (skinny 26" tires) and the Red Rockhopper (fat 26" tires) got me to work in the 33 minutes I consider normal (well, within 30 or 40 seconds of 33 minutes, anyway).
So, I'm thinking that means that the tires are not the problem, since two bikes with different types of tires gave me the same elapsed time. And, the same bike with two different sets of tires gave me the same (slower) time.
Gearing? Positioning? Bad juju? I don't know. But, I hope to figure it out.
Stay tuned. Just don't get blinded by the science.