Saddles and Pedals and Bars, Oh My!

You make contact with your bike in three places. The saddle, the handlebar, and the pedals. And I’m stuck on all three of them.

Brooks Saddle: An Appreciation
Image courtesy of Mobil’Homme via Flickr

I mentioned my saddle woes a post or two back. Elton’s saddle has got to go. Soon. I can’t decide what to replace it with to save my life. I like the idea of a Brooks, but I can’t figure out which one. The B-17 Narrow is closest in dimensions to the Fizik saddle I’m used to riding, but my saddle and bars are fairly level. With that setup, everyone recommends the regular B-17. K thinks that putting a heavy saddle on my light bike is the most ridiculous thing ever, and I do worry a bit about the aesthetics of it. The black would look the least conspicuous on my mostly black and silver bike, but the brown would be a nice way to warm the bike up a bit.

Celeste Green
Image courtesy of Competitive Cyclist

The handlebar is actually fine. It just isn’t pretty. Standard black bar tape, when I’d rather have Celeste Green. (Or maybe brown, if I went with the brown saddle.) It could possibly be an ootch narrower, but that depends on who you ask. It’s certainly in the range. No “need” to replace the bar tape for a good long time, though.

Crank Brothers Eggbeater Pedals
Image courtesy of erickkellison, via Flickr

The pedals are the messiest mess of all. I’m riding cheap flats now. I would, in all honesty, be happy riding flats probably forever. I’m funny about having my limbs restrained. The truth of the matter is that my bottom bracket is very low. Twice now I’ve hit either the edge of my pedal or my shoe on the pavement. If I accidentally coast around a corner the wrong way, I’m going down. My pedals are already as narrow as can be ridden with conventional shoes. Which means clipless. I’m thinking of going mountain clipless for two reasons. 1) Mountain compatible shoes have more tread for walking. They can also be fairly normal looking, like my Keen bike sandals. Road shoes always look like crazy bike shoes, and are frequently silly colors, like blindingly pearl white. 2) Easier access. The particular Crank Brothers pedals I’m looking at are identical on all four sides, eliminating the need to flip the pedal over to clip in. I don’t need this to be harder than it already is. I know what to do here; I’m just hesitant to switch.

So I guess it’s really only the saddle that’s a problem. And what a problem!

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