Rainy Day Thoughts
When the group ride made a stop for food/beer and we secured our bikes, I watched a male cyclist glance at the evening sky to assess the potential for rain (always a reasonable move during a Florida summer.) Dark clouds were gathering, and rain appeared to be a distinct possibility. I briefly considered my Brooks leather saddle, which was still in the process of trying to “break in” my butt to conform to its contours, and decided that I didn’t care if it got wet. In fact, I would have been delighted if were thoroughly soaked by rain. Or by acid rain. Or by acid. Then I watched the male cyclist quickly pull a pale pink rain cover over his Brooks saddle. PINK! He apparently noticed my expression, and showed me that the rain cover was a shower cap. Not a bad idea, I thought, but pink? He explained that they come three to a package for $1.39 at Publix Supermarket, one pink, one blue, and one yellow. Well, so much for stereotypes! Apparently real men do cover their bike saddles with pink shower caps.
I can usually come up with something in a pinch, but also like to be at least somewhat prepared for small things that could make my ride unpleasant. Packing some sort of saddle cover, especially in Florida summer, is not much trouble, and far better than the improvised methods.
This flimsy plastic grocery bag has holes in it already.
And it doen’t look all that securely tied on. Better than nothing, but not by much.
Here are some assorted bikes with different models of Brooks leather saddles. There’s a B66s, a Countess, a B18 Ladies, and a B17 Select, all differently shaped designs.
I compared three Publix brand shower caps with a trio of Brooks saddle covers. The shower caps cost $.47 each, and the Brooks covers (these came with the saddles), when sold separately, are priced at around $10.00 to $20.00 each. The Brooks covers roll up and are wrapped with a strip of Velcro. One is rolled up here. Due to the length of the velcro strip, you can’t roll it up without a length of the “hook” part of the strip exposed. This means that it will snag on things.
Maybe I’m just lacking in manual dexterity, but it took me several minutes of struggling to get the Brooks covers on.
The Publix shower caps went on quickly and easily for every saddle type.
I am packing shower caps in my bike bags from now on. If you’re an insecure guy, you could give the pink one to a female friend and keep the blue and yellow ones for yourself. But it’s better than a wet seat, for sure.
I use a shower cap over a plastic garbage bag.
I think I will try one of these. I’ve been using the “shower cap” type covers that are used to seal bowls of food in the fridge. I get them at the Dollar Tree store — 15 for a buck.
But the elastic doesn’t last long when they stay outside in the heat.
I’m going to go the shower cap route. I have a plastic bag now but I have to have a clothes pin, as well, to keep it on the seat. The shower cap will be much easier. Thanx Diana.
My Pashley Roadster Sovereign comes with a Brooks saddle as factory standard equipment.
When it rains, I just let my rear end keep the saddle dry. Seems to work. Sometimes “do nothing” is the best option. Certainly the easiest. 🙂
Seriously, Kevin? If we all locked up our bikes and went inside a restaurant for pizza and beer, you’d remain outside seated on your beloved Pashley Roadster Sovereign to protect its factory standard equipment Brooks saddle from a possible thunderstorm?
There are restaurants that don’t have proper parking? So that their customer’s bikes get wet when it rains? Tsk, tsk…
All kidding aside, parking is just one of those things that I’ve come to take for granted. Toronto’s zoning bylaws mandate standards for bicycle parking in commercial buildings such as restaurants.
Places that want to attract customers generally exceed the minimum standards and add asthetic enhancements. After all, parking is the first impression that customers get. If customers have to leave their bikes to get wet, that’s a bad first impression.
Fancy saddle covers not only cost more, they scream to thieves, “I’m covering a nice expensive saddle that you could pawn for close to $100.”
Plastic grocery bags and shower caps are much more stealth.
Not sure my saddle needs a cover, but I’m all for the shower cap route. I’ll take a blue please…I mean, gotta keep my bike color cordinated and all. 🙂
Will pick up a package this weekend to be prepared. Thanks for the tip, Diana!
If you come to the ride tonight, Shannon, I’ll give you a blue one.
Unfortunately, I have to work. Hope you guys can get a ride in with the crazy weather!
I had already started doing that a few weeks ago, but since I take my bike on a bus and don’t want to take a chance on it being blown off moving at 30 mph, I also tie a plastic grocery bag overtop of it. The shower cap is sturdier and that’s why I use both.