They Say – Leather saddles mold to your shape over a few weeks. Once “broken-in” many cyclists find them far more comfortable than synthetic saddles.
Velo Orange saddles are made of the finest Australian cowhide. 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 rivets are chrome plated and the edge of the skirt is skived. The rails are about 10mm longer than on Brooks saddles.
|Material||Australian cowhide, Steel|
|Rail Finish||Chrome Plated|
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. Weight: 665g.
We Say – After studying the Velo Orange website I decided I liked their style, in fact I liked them a lot. They have lots of cool looking and practical bike stuff without using a lot of sales type waffle to describe the product.
Out of the box and the attractive soft bag that it came in I had a closer inspection. Firstly the colour of this test saddle was brown, but it is a very dark brown which I was surprised to find that I liked. If you have a bike colour that you think requires a dark saddle then this is a great alternative to the usual black as it gives a slightly softer overall look to bike than the harsh contrast a black saddle can often give.
The Australian cowhide leather looked and felt like it would last for years, a good thickness with a nice textured top and smooth skived sides which had lacing and an embossed VO logo. Over time the saddle leather slackens slightly to conform to the shape of your sit bones, this can lead to the sides splaying outwards, the lacing prevents this as well as having the tightening screw on the chassis. The chassis, rivets and rails were chrome plated steel with the ubiquitous hoops on the back that the rider can attach a saddlebag to. It was all finished pretty well except I thought that the overall 665g weight was a little on the high side, even for a touring saddle of this kind. I think the weight could have been reduced by having a few drill holes in the very front and back parts of the chassis which I believe would still maintain the integrity and functionality of the saddle.
I have been using this saddle for a good nine months now having broken it in after several thousand miles of use and can say that it is a very comfortable saddle indeed. It was used on the London-Edinburgh sportive and sometimes covering 120 miles plus a day. I did not find quite as comfortable as my Brooks B17 but the difference was minimal and that is just a personal view using my body and riding style. Also my B17 is even more broken in so others I am sure will find this model better for there own sit bones. With both of these saddles the leather is stretched between the front and back parts of the chassis and not moulded on top of a plastic under like a lots of other saddles. This means there is a decent amount of ‘give’ in the leather when riding over bumps and potholes. It is this that makes these saddles so highly regarded amongst long distance riders and tourers alike.
Summary – I really liked this saddle as it looks good and more importantly feels great once perched on top of it.
I would give it top marks for looks and durability, just under top for comfort and middle for weight. I have noticed on the website that they do a limited edition Ti rail version of this saddle at 450g so weight watchers can now get one of these.
A very handsome and comfortable saddle indeed.
More info here