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My Brooks Saddle Is Hiding Under an Aardvark

I’ve been using a Carradice saddle cover over my Brooks Champion Flyer saddle for years. It has kept it mostly dry.

I talked about it back in November.

Aardvark waterproof saddle coverI mentioned earlier in the month that I had been caught in a monsoon on the Freakbike Militia’s Summer of Love Ride. I pulled my saddle cover up, but instead of riding off, which would have offered the saddle some protection from the rain, I cowered under an awning with the rest of the group while my bike was getting poured on.

When I got home, I noticed some wet spots on the leather where the cover had leaked. I wasn’t too concerned, but it came to mind when I saw someone post a message about the Aardvark waterproof saddle cover.

I was buying something else from Velo Orange, so I tacked one onto my order just to check it out.

OK, it’s a saddle cover

AArdvark waterproof saddle cover on Brooks Champion Flyer saddleIt’s black. It’s stretchy.

Short of hitting it with a hose, I won’t know exactly how waterproof it is until the next rain storm.

The Carradice always struck me as being a little tight

Carradice cover on Brooks Champion FlyerMy old Carradice cover always fit tightly. Almost too tightly. It had slits cut in the back to enable you to use an old-fashioned saddle bag, but I could never get those to fit over the metal hangers in the back of the saddle.

I could get it to stretch over the saddle, but just barely. Over the years, the elastic around the edges has sags like some of my underwear.

You can see how it barely makes it around the saddle.

The Aardvark cover is a little larger

Aardvark waterproof cover on Brooks Champion FlyerThe Aardvark cover is a little larger than the Carridice and the material has a little more stretch to it.

The nice thing is that it offers more protection to the bottom of the saddle. That’s not a big thing for me because I have fenders to keep water from spraying up from below. It might be of benefit to someone who rides without fenders.

Doesn’t have the little slits

It doesn’t have the little slits to give you a place for the metal hangers for a saddle bag, but I’ll never use one of those anyway.

I kept the old cover jammed up under the saddle when it wasn’t in use and made a safety tether out of an old stainless steel fishing leader looped through the holes in back.

Since the new one doesn’t have the holes, I’ll probably use an old ID badge clip to make sure it doesn’t bounce or blow out.

I’ll file an update the first time I ride in the rain.

7 comments to My Brooks Saddle Is Hiding Under an Aardvark

  • Hi Ken

    I must admit that before reading your post, my thinking was why bother with a cover. You know, you sit on it when it rains and well when it is parked why not use a plastic bag like shopping bag, but reading your post I can see some possible advantage with a proper cover.

    So will be interested to see how this works out of you.

    Good work as always.

    Regards
    Andrew

  • Thanks, Andrew.

    Yep, when you’re riding YOU pretty much serve as the seat cover.

    I’ve used plastic bags and shower caps in the past, but they don’t hold up well. Sliding around on them rips them up pretty quickly and I just don’t like the feel of them.

    I made the mistake of counting on plastic shower caps once when I was hauling my bike several hundred miles on the back of my car. The wind shredded them in no time.

    If I’m racking the bike for any long distance where rain is a possibility, I’ll put on the saddle cover then a heavy Ziploc bag. The second bag takes care of any water that would blow in from underneath.

  • Mark S

    Instead of using an ID clip, have Lila poke a hole in it and sew a button hole around it. Then you can use a cheap fishing line leader to secure it under your seat. The hole won’t enlarge and you are also ready to go fishing with the leader line if need be too.

    Always looking to add more weight to YOUR bike anytime I can.

  • Mark S,

    That’s a good idea except that I think the material may be too stretchy to do the button hole thing properly.

    I’m going to stick with the ID clip solution. Besides, if you get annoying, I’ll clip it on your nose and listen to you squeal.

    Note to non-Marks: stand by to hear squealing long about October when I go back home to Markland. It goes without saying that he WILL be annoying at some point.

  • A reader pointed out another nice thing about the Aardvark.

    It’s so plain Jane that it makes your classic Brooks saddle look like something you’d find on a beater bike.

    Security by obscurity.

  • One of the folks on the Surly Google Groups attested to the Aardvark’s waterproofness:

    It’s waterproof. I used them for years. At overnights they totally keep off the morning dew. They stuff right under my saddle when not in use. I’ve given several away to friends whose old cheap seats are peeling. It’s cheaper than a new seat and it keeps the cracking vinyl from sticking to your shorts. I would have no other seat cover for my leather saddle.

  • M. Fox

    I use a Xerocover. They are one size fits all, and completely waterproof, so it’s great for switching my rode bike and cruiser and not have to worry about the weather. Here’s the link if your interested.

    http://www.xerocovers.com

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