Author Topic: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?  (Read 417 times)

steve216c

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Hey guys,

Not sure if this was a moment of genius, madness or just answering a question nobody else was asking. But with the changeable weather the last few days I was getting annoyed in either forgetting something to cover my saddle when parked up, or if I had covered saddle, I invariably had a wet cover with nowhere to put it.

I often hang on to chewing gum (or similar) small pots as these are good to keep screws, spoke nipples and other pesky easy to lose bike spares in some kind of order in the shed. And then the light went on... How much fun could I have with an empty spearmint pot, an unused shower cap (borrowed from a hotel) and a couple of cable ties?

It is pretty straightforward. Empty out remaining gum. Advertise for Wrigleys or pull of the stickers. make a couple of holes each side of box to thread the cable ties through. Fix to bike saddle, to your carrier or handlebars or any part of bike you prefer. Put shower cap in the box. Then ride and forget until the next time you need to cover that saddle. Rain expected- pop the lid, pull the cap over and return to a minty fresh dry saddle next time you ride  ::) ;D

Of course, you can use a plastic bag or even a nylons seat cover. String, wire or duct tape could be used instead of the cable ties. Perhaps a reflective sticker for the lid, or attaching a small blinkie would improve? Answers on a postcard to the usual address  ;)

Happy long weekend!
Steve

















If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

Danneaux

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 09:07:35 PM »
This is a really nice idea, Steve, and beautifully illustrated as a tutorial. Well done!  :)

If I may add one suggestion, it would be to drill some more holes in the box so moist air can easily escape when the cover is stored wet or damp. It wont matter so much with a plastic shower cap, but might if the cover were made of another material.
=====
I added a little clip to the cord of my Brooks coated nylon saddle cover. I fold and roll the cover, loosen the cordlock to slip over the roll, then tighten to keep it folded, then snap the clip to one of the bag loops on my saddle, tucking the roll atop the seatpost clamp. All stays snugly in place and is loss-proof, ready to use when I stop in the rain.

Best,

Dan.

martinf

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 07:26:36 AM »
A good solution.

My own is much lazier.

After the ban on throwaway plastic bags came into force in France (and probably the rest of the European Union), the local butcher's shop introduced slightly thicker reusable plastic bags.

These are just the right size to go over a saddle. I add a piece of nylon cord through the handles, so that I can tie the bag around the seat post in order to resist the wind we frequently have here in Brittany. These plastic bags don't last for ever, but are strong enough to do a few weeks service.

steve216c

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 08:03:16 AM »
Hi Martin, Iíd been on the plastic bag solution for a while using the thin supermarket bags from weigh your own fruit when not reused for sandwich bags for the kids. But although these work on saddle too, they are not the strongest.
My new office location doesnít have dry bike rack parking and my first 10 days at new location have seen 2 plastic bags used and binned already. A waterproof  cover will probably be purchased at some point but the shower cap seems more robust than plastic bag, and the elastic seemed to hold well on 2 wet and windy days even when inflating with gusts of wind.

With my non leather saddles I have given up on covering from the elements. Just wipe dry with bike jacket sleeve or Kleenex if handy and ride. But more worried about keeping the Brooks dry if exposed for a long day to the elements unprotected.

With the chewing gum pot, I donít need to worry about getting inside of my Ortlieb waterproof bag wet when putting wet cover away.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

leftpoole

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 09:36:34 AM »
Brooks saddle covers come with attached Velcro strap to retain on saddle rails. Why not buy one yourselves?
Looking much nicer that a chewing gum box. But I guess those who care not about actual appearance....These pack down into a small bundle and velcro to your seatpost, whip them out when the weather turns bad.

Brooks says...
Rain Cover protects your Leather Saddle from moisture. If a wet saddle is ridden not only the colour may stain your clothing, but the leather top may easily deform.

The Rain Cover is available in 2 sizes.

MEDIUM
for all road, mtb, trekking and touring saddles (Team Pro, B17,...)

LARGE/XL
for all city, transport and heavy duty saddles (B66, B33,...)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 09:38:15 AM by leftpoole »

martinf

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 02:04:06 PM »
Brooks saddle covers come with attached Velcro strap to retain on saddle rails. Why not buy one yourselves?

I use several different bikes, so have a set of kit that gets transferred to whatever bike I use:

- toolkit
- pump
- raingear
- saddle cover
- extra lock(s) when needed
- extra battery-powered rear lamp

So I only have one (zero cost) plastic bag to replace periodically, instead of having several nice looking but expensive saddle covers slowly deteriorating over the years.

Some stuff does stay with each bike:

- inner tube(s), because I have 5 different sizes
- fixed frame lock if applicable
- main lighting system, because it is fixed
- odometer

Looking much nicer that a chewing gum box. But I guess those who care not about actual appearance...

Not looking nice is actually a positive feature for me, as it might just make the parked bike a bit less attractive to thieves. The plastic bags I use are generally opaque pink, so they hide the fact that the saddle is a Brooks, which might deter a saddle theft.

Steve's comment that keeping the saddle cover under the saddle (in a chewing gum box or otherwise) means not getting the inside of the main bag wet is a valid point. But I generally reserve a compartment or outside pocket in my luggage bag(s) for wet stuff (saddle cover, rain gear when it stops raining, etc.)

Andre Jute

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 04:19:08 PM »
The plastic bags I use are generally opaque pink, so they hide the fact that the saddle is a Brooks, which might deter a saddle theft.

One of my objections to the Brooks saddle cover is not that it advertises there's a Brooks saddle inside. I just don't believe most bicycle thieves even know what a Brooks saddle is.  My objection to the Brooks saddle cover is that it advertises that inside it there's a saddle worth announcing to those less fortunate. That's what makes it a thief magnet.

Not looking nice is actually a positive feature for me...

I dislike clothes that advertise the designer's name on the outside and avoid them where possible, which is pretty difficult for a cyclist. That Brooks saddle cover is a particularly ugly (in both manners and typography) example of advertising obnoxiously ostentatious personal expenditure. Both as a typographer and as an artist sensitive to such nuances, I cringed every time I came up to mine. You can't even turn it inside out, like wearing the whitewalls on your VW turned to the inside, because the wax coating makes it a one-way defender against rain. (And don't think that modern materials are any better. Goretex for instance depends on the nap of the nylon to the outside to shrug off raindrops because once the nap is saturated Goretex doesn't work any more.  Goretex itself is not the entire thickness of the material but a micro-thin layer of one-way permeable gunge on the inside of what without it is basically a common nylon jacket. The mountaineer's trick of "restoring the Goretex" by washing the jacket and letting it dry in a draft to fluff up the nap, is actually the much less sexy "restoring the common overpriced nylon jacket so Goretex can claim the credit".)

Furthermore, while the Brooks cover may be less inconvenient for a tourer putting 200 miles into his day and sitting on his bike for hours, protecting the saddle from wet with his body, for a utility expedition or even social outings into the countryside with friends who will stop at every view and other excuse, a Brooks rain cover is a nuisance to put on and take off every hundred yards. I found I was walking when I could have ridden (already a crime I blame on Brooks) and leaving my bike exposed for longer than I am comfortable with even in my low-crime area.

Fortunately, by the time I discovered on this very cornucopia of esoteric knowledge that one isn't supposed to ride seated on the Brooks cover even for a short distance, I had conclusively ruined mine, so I wasn't stuck with an artefact I hated for it's snobbishness and counterproductive tendencies.

A further advantage of the shower cap faux Brooks saddle cover is that the thing is self-supporting: no fiddly, flapping, untidy velcro straps, no wondering what damage the wet cap will do to expensive photographic and sketching gear in the bags on your bike, you just shake the shower cap and twist it into a loose rope, and tie it to a convenient tube or for rail or bar -- or give it a quick swipe with your sleeve to knock the drops off and sit on it for the hundred yards between your pharmacy and your bank. It costs pennies to replace, and it doesn't try to prove how superior you are.

Salute the shower cap!

Danneaux

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 06:04:43 PM »
Quote
One of my objections to the Brooks saddle cover is not that it advertises there's a Brooks saddle inside.
The last half-dozen or so I've purchased (yes, I have them attached to my bikes so can't be forgotten...a wet Brooks is a Terrible Thing) have had no lettering of any kind. Instead, they include only Brooks' "'round the world" logo as embossed in their 2012 commemorative saddles. I'm sure canny thieves have caught on but it is generally pretty subtle and doesn't stand out at any real distance. Includes a cordlock and drawstring, no velcro. That's why I added a plastic clip to secure mine to the saddle bag loops.

Best,

Dan.

B cereus

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 06:32:29 PM »
Don't throw your Brookes saddle covers away, with the shower cap protecting your saddle you'll be needing something for the  head when you're taking a shower. And Proofride is excellent if you're having a bad hair day. :) ;)

Andre Jute

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 07:25:41 PM »
The last half-dozen or so [Brooks saddle covers] I've purchased...

Next time someone claims I and the other Believers in Ladies' Shower Caps aren't elegant enough to join the Peloton of Brooks Saddles, we'll say, "Dan is plenty elegant enough for all of us!"

Don't throw your Brookes saddle covers away, with the shower cap protecting your saddle you'll be needing something for the  head when you're taking a shower. And Proofride is excellent if you're having a bad hair day.


As a fledgeling I contributed to a broadcast serial in which the dumber-than-cow-dung hero, who always triumphed by accident, had the wide-eyed punchline, "That too." So, that too, to you. The bearded but otherwise bald producer, one day when a hangover emboldened the lead writer on the team to tell him to go have his bad hair day somewhere else, snapped, "I don't have bad hair days. I give writers bad hair days." If I'd known about Proofide then...

PH

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 09:47:24 PM »
a wet Brooks is a Terrible Thing
Only the dead cow versions, the all weather vulcanised rubber beauties laugh at the rain, as I do at all those still concerned by such things.

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2021, 01:17:30 PM »
I've had a wee bash.
Pix should show stages of project.
Container fitted a treat.
One zip through each saddle loop and through the container.
Out for a spin soon to test.
Sods law we now have a heatwave but good to carry protection.
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

j-ms

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2021, 04:48:59 PM »
I must admit that I'm a shower cap and/or plastic bag kinda guy.  My wife received a horrible rubbery Brookes saddle cover with her B67 Special but thankfully it didn't last long. 

However, my real gripe is to do with Proofhide.

I recently received a Flyer Special from SJS and it included a small sachet of Proofhide.  Since I already have a couple of tins of the stuff (which becomes deliciously liquid in Africa's heat) leaking all over my bag of bicycle tools, I decided to try the sachet for the first layer on the new saddle.  To my dismay, instead of the aroma of rancid pig fat to which I am accustomed, it smelt distinctly of lemongrass.  Have they changed the formula ?

steve216c

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Re: Steve's Spearmint Showercap Saddle Saver - Silly Solution?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2021, 10:07:00 PM »
I've had a wee bash.
Pix should show stages of project.
Container fitted a treat.
One zip through each saddle loop and through the container.
Out for a spin soon to test.
Sods law we now have a heatwave but good to carry protection.

I'd almost used an extra pot myself until my son brought a selection of empties for me to choose from. But the nice thing with the 5-gum pot was the hinged lid being harder to lose. After 2 weeks of riding dry to/from work with rain while parked I have found the pot a really useful add on.
With the hotter weather remember that thunder showers can develop quickly so always good to have a cover handy.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...