Sunday 20 September 2015

The Seat of my Bike

After the ride to Indy I have a much stronger opinion about the Concours' stock seat.  It's soft and comfy on short rides, but on long rides it turns into a kind of torture device.  There are options for Concours seats that I can't justify on an $800 bike, but the cheaper option arrived, so yesterday during the rain I gave it a go.

It's tedious, but loosening the staples with a screwdriver makes
for clean removal with needle nose pliers.
The process took about an hour and a half to swap out the seat cover.  The seat fabric is held down by industrial staples.  I loosened them with a small flat-head screwdriver and then pulled them out with needle nose pliers.  It's time consuming because there are a couple of hundred of them holding the seat to the plastic base.

The cover peeled off relatively easy, only sticking where the Gorilla tape I'd used on the torn seam was touching the foam (that stuff is mega).

With the foam exposed I tried fitting the new seat skin and found that it had much more extra material on it.  I was looking to firm up the seat a bit any way, so I took the gel pad I got on the Indy trip and found it would fit under the new cover.  It would also raise the seat slightly, which would do my knees some favours.

Attaching a new seat cover is a tricky business.  The vast majority of swearing happened while doing this.  Rotating the seat so you can put weight on the staple as you squeeze the handle of the stapler helps seat it properly, but it's a pretty muscley process.  Getting the edges tight requires some practice.  This one came pretty close, but future ones I'll be pickier about and get even snugger.

In the meantime I've got a seat that feels firmer, sits a touch higher and isn't covered in tape.  I think the end result looks pretty good, and for thirty bucks plus shipping, it's a good cheap alternative to those sweet Corbin seats.

I found this seat cover maker on ebay.  The seat arrived quickly and is as advertised.  I can't speak for its toughness yet, but installing it I found that it was made of thick vinyl and the sewing was very strong.  It's a cool sunny day today, I'm going to give it a whirl and see how it does.

The stock seat tore on the stitching, Gorilla tape did the business until I could find a better solution.