Interesting safety bicycle saddle


One interesting aspect of making leather saddle covers for early bicycles is being able to see the sheer variety of saddle designs available in the Victorian period. Brooks were the leading maker but Leatheries, Lamplugh and Brown, Lycett, Mansfield, D.Mason and sons, and others had a share of the market.


I recently completed the leatherwork for this saddle which has rather an unusual design, probably dating from the late 1880’s or early 1890’s. It is distinguished by very unique springs and a fully adjustable nose. The springs increase in diameter as they head for the saddle base, and then take an elegant swoop to their anchoring point. Presumably there was some reason for this novelty, but more than likely the manufacturer was searching for something to set his products apart from the other suppliers. The front spring doesn’t have the ‘swoop’ so the three springs are all different and not interchangeable.


The nose of the saddle is adjustable for height as well as for the usual horizontal adjustment.


The frame is made from flat section rather than the usual wire, and is surprisingly free from distortion.


With thanks to the owner for permission to use images of his lovely saddle