I’d been thinking about putting a better saddle on the Road King since I first restored and rode it. The original unsprung narrow nylon saddle was only just bearable comfort wise, though I did sort of like the colour and look of it.
This bike has always had a harsh ride yet I enjoy its quickness of handling and tight low speed turning ability courtesy of the steeper geometry compared with my Gazelle which is much more stable and smooth. They are both refreshing alternatives to each other. As the new bars are now slightly higher than the saddle on this ex-racing style bike it really needed a broader saddle because the more upright riding posture now puts more stress on my back over bumps.
So what better than a Brooks? The B66 appealed to me as being similar to the Gazelle’s B67 but it comes with its own seatpost clamp, plus the chrome springs would match the new chrome rack better than the B67 black ones would.
It’s available in a honey colour that suits the Road King’s 70s/80s brown colour trim – if a bit darker than the original. I also considered the Brooks “Flyer” saddle which is a sprung B17, but opted for the broader B66 in the end. I haven’t ridden a B17, so wasn’t sure about the narrowness for me.
I am, of course, probably preaching to the converted, but at less than $150 AUD this classic really is a bargain when you consider what else is out there in plastic/gel for roughly half the price and more, and how much better this saddle is. You can feel your weight being spread away from the pressure points as soon as your bum hits it.
It’s beautifully packaged with care instructions and a tensioning tool, and the Road King rides as if on a cushion of air …. the only problem is that it looks so nice it makes me want to upgrade the rest of the bike’s running gear now !
Also added was this swanky (or wanky depending on your outlook!) Gilles Berthoud leather (!) mud flap. Well I couldn’t use a black one on this bike now, could I ? This one is in a natural finish. The saddle and flap were both bought from “Pedal and Thread” in Adelaide. Delivery was free and quite fast.