Monday, March 10, 2008
Fun With Seats
We received a seat we're considering for the tadpole trike. It's actually a motorcycle seat of the King Cobra style, I believe.
Many bike and trike builders seem to regard the seat as an afterthought, using clunky self-made seats or kitchen chairs both of which look like crap. Some construct tubular and mesh seats which look much better, weigh less, and prevent sweaty backs on long rides. Others buy an existing commercial seat, often fiberglass or carbon fiber with a nice lumbar curve. We're too cheap for that.
So, we looked at many sources, bicycle and otherwise. Lambretta seats for example, and motorcycle seats. With a particular eye for seats that would lend themselves to the Steampunk theme, or at least not impede it. The most traditional bicycle seat would be most historically correct if you look at old boneshaker photographs and the first trikes. But we decided to make both a stylistic concession and a concession to comfort (hopefully). A mesh seat seemed inappropriate for the theme.
The above seat with its buttoned pattern is at least old-fashioned. In our searches for various parts and inspiration I realized just how much motorcycles and scooters of all kinds harken back to at least the golden age of art deco if not the Steam Age.
You can't get an automobile new like the Doble steam car or a Duesenberg, but you can get a motorcycle with an old soul.
The seat is quite comfortable, though neither of us has yet sat on it for three hours in one go. More comfortable than you might think to see it but the foam is quite firm so you don't rub against the buttons. We goofed off a wee bit to take a break from serious building and strapped the seat to another little gearless delta trike we have around. Here's the video evidence:
Yes, the seat will be bent at some point for a nice curve. While we're on the subject, here is the seat to the ol' Triton Pro delta play-thingie: