Alright, special bikes need special accessorizes. While preparing the build of a special bike (more on that to come) I felt the necessity to have special saddle on it. In the process of thinking of it, wood sticked to my mind. Initially I wanted to buy a wooden saddle, but some time after worthless searching the void I came to the conclusion to do it by my own. A quick sketch and a rummage around for some spare wood later I was well under way.
Building the thing.
I cut the wood in appropriate sized pieces and started to glue them together in the rough shape of a saddle. That took me all in all not more than an hour. But afterwards the long part of work came. Basically it consisted of cutting, grinding and more grinding. Still the basic shape was visible but it took me a good few minutes in order to detail it.
After some intense grinding I ultimately figured out that my size calculations were certainly a bit optimistic…In order to get a nice shape and some kind of symmetry (perfectionist ambitions 😉 ) I grinded a bit from all sites until I ended up with a rather small saddle. But any way it still looks nice and who cares how it will feel on the road, right?!
To make it rideable I still had to figure out a proper adapter to common seatposts. In the end I just bought a crappy, cheap saddle and ripped of the metal rods at the base. This two stripes of aluminum were than roughly sanded. On the side of the wooden saddle I drilled three holes which made the frame fit perfectly. In order to get the position right I first attached the rods to the seatpost and marked positions. The drilled holes where then filled with epoxy glue mixed with small glass spheres (to give it more strength). In that way the epoxy glue could harden while still in the right position. In the end I wrapped the the aluminum rods with some epoxy soaked hemp textiles to make it look more “natural”….
Riding the thing.
Initially I took the dimensions of a real saddle. But as it happened to be, I forgot to add some overmeasure to make sure that after grinding the dimensions are still okay. So I ended up with a saddle which is only about two thirds of the original one in width while the length is still alright. That results in a slight uncomfortable feeling during riding. Also as the saddle it self is too thick (23 mm) to bend or flex in any dimension. All in all it leads up to a hard ride which is only suitable for a short distance or on flat ground. But the looks at the traffic lights are curious ;-).
I already collected some thoughts for a second evolution of this wooden saddle which should make it more lightweight (approx. 170 g now) and definitely more comfortable to ride…so stay tuned or build your own incarnation of it…I would love to see it.