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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

(see all 3 book)

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Places I have been
(
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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 Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle


*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.


Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here

Buying The Best Men's Bicycle Touring Saddles to Reduce Saddle Sores and Chafing While Increasing Rider Comfort and Comfortable Bicycling

(Women's bicycle saddles)

Tim's Favorite Bicycle Touring Saddle

Brooks England Flyer Saddle - Men's

The bicycle saddle (seat) is extremely important to your cycling health, touring enthusiasm, and overall enjoyment of bicycling. The bike saddle is the interface between the harsh road or trail and a very tender part of the human body.  I have seen many first time bike tourists discouraged from getting into the sport and experienced bikers quit epic trips because of rear end discomfort and/or saddle sores.  When touring bikers get together the conversation eventually turns to butt pain and prevention.  There are many opinions when it comes to riding comfort. Experienced touring cyclists agree that a high quality bicycle touring saddle is absolutely necessary.  The wrong bike touring saddle will cause needless pain and saddle sores.  The best high quality bike seat can not completely prevent these rear end problems.  Only several weeks of riding can prepare certain tender parts of the human anatomy to cope with the rigors of the road.  A good bicycle saddle, designed specifically for touring (or your style of riding) will at least give new and experienced cyclists the best chance to transition the body to life on a bicycle.

I have used many saddles through the years.  I grew up with "old school" racing saddles that were common before titanium rails, carbon fiber shells, and ultra light cutout designs.  These saddles had dense foam padding covered by a real or fake thin leather cover.  Back then I spent several hours a day training on a bike and never had a lot of problems with rear end discomfort.  My thinking was that these racing saddles served me well during my years of competition so they should work just as well touring.  I used my favorite racing bicycle seat during the first few years of our trip and experienced continuous saddle sores and general butt pain.  I thought the difference between the racing miles of my youth and my current touring kilometers was that I was much younger when I raced and a young man can overcome more saddle problems.  I accepted my soreness as a reality for an older cyclist.  The older I become the more everything hurts so why would my butt be any different?  I thought it was something that I had to live with while on the road. 

Before the Asia leg of my world bike tour I bought a new touring bicycle.  My new bike came with a leather Brooks touring saddle.  Brooks bike seats have been around a lot longer than I had been cycling but I had never owned or ridden on one.  When I was a kid in the 1970s these leather saddles, with their trademark large brass rivets, seemed old fashioned to me.  I was confused as to why my new top of the line touring bike would come with an "old - old school saddle"  My Brooks saddle even had big black metal springs in the back as a suspension system that made it look exclusively for old men.  Several experienced bike tourists swore by them and suggested that I give my Brooks saddle a try, at least for a few months.  I reluctantly agreed.  At least the springs would match my graying hair.

My Favorite Bicycle Touring Saddle

Brooks England Flyer Saddle - Men's

At first my Brooks saddle felt hard to the touch but not so bad to ride.  I immediately liked the spring suspension.  My back and shoulder pain I had developed over the previous years of bicycle touring disappeared.  Some of the credit has to be given to the better riding position and frame feel of my new bike but I also know that my seats suspension system was eating up the hours of pot holes and road vibrations.  I could feel it working under me. 

I followed the Brooks leather saddle care directions carefully and applied Proofide leather conditioner regularly during the break in period.  As I rode through Thailand and Cambodia I forgot about my new saddle and concentrated on enjoying Southeast Asia.  Somewhere in the middle of Vietnam I realized that I had not had a saddle sore or butt pain since Bangkok.  It was my new found freedom.  Then I examined my Brooks saddle and was delighted to feel how soft it had become.  It was also visibly broken in and now took the personal shape of my own rear.  Now, it fits like a (leather) glove!

For me, there is no going back to the old days of saddle sores and discomfort.  I am even sticking with the spring suspension even though Brooks makes most of their leather saddles without spring suspension.

Leather saddles have to be taken care of or they will not break in properly.  I have a different page describing Maintaining a Brooks Leather Bike Saddle.

DO NOT BUY GEL BICYCLE SADDLES

Many beginning bicyclists like the feel of a gel saddle.  Bike shops love to push them because they sell easily.  Gel saddles feel noticeable soft to touch and inviting.  The first few weeks of riding, gel padding feels comfortable.  This is why cyclists rave about the comfort of their seat when they first buy it.  Instead of gel bike seats breaking in they just fall apart with time.  The gel material breaks down and the saddle is left looking like a punctured balloon.  If you only ride your bike once a month a gel-filled saddle may be a solution because a high quality saddle will never become broken in on this schedule.  If you ride several times a week or are planning a bike tour a high quality leather saddle should be purchased.


Brooks England Flyer Saddle - Men's
Click above to purchase.
Brooks Flyer Sprung Saddle
(
My Favorite)

Especially designed for extra long rides or off road use; the Flyer has an extremely comfortable shape, plus shock absorbing springs. Approximate weight: 850g depending on thickness of the leather.

Buy Brooks England Flyer Saddle - Men's HERE


 
Brooks England B-17 Saddle
Click above to purchase.
Brooks B17 Saddle - Black

Back by popular demand, the Brooks line of saddles are the most requested item that you our customers are asking for. The Classic? B17 is an all leather cover with brass rivets plus tension adjuster. When broken in? Brooks saddles are considered by many to be the most comfortable on the market. The Standard width (6 3/4?) is ideal for commuting, long distance trekking and general purpose riding. Steel rails. 518g. (weights vary slightly, due to cover thickness). Specify Color: Black or HoneyBK-B17-(color)

Buy Brooks England B-17 Saddle  HERE


 

Click above to purchase.
Brooks B73 Touring Saddle

For the ultimate cycling comfort.  If you have had trouble getting comfortable on bike seats, things like back pain distracts from enjoying the ride, or you have any other aches and comfort issues while bicycling you might try the super shock absorbing leather touring saddle from Brooks.    One spring in the front, two in the rear, comfortable and stylish.

Buy  HERE




Brooks Maintenance Kit

Brooks Proofide Saddle Dressing and Tensioning Spanner (if needed)

Brooks Leather Saddles are very comfortable but need to be conditioned on a regular basis, especially when they're new. Saddles get exposed to rain, sun and heat that causes premature wearing and cracks. For extended touring, I go through one canister per year per saddle.

 

See More Brooks Saddles and Accessories HERE

Brooks Leather Saddles

( women's bicycle saddles)


 

 

 eXTReMe Tracker

Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship Here)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours
Bicycle Touring Saddles
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts
Helmet
Bike Shoes

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle Touring Lighting Systems
Solar Power for Camp

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping

 

 

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice 
(see all Equipment Pages)

Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
Lights

Fenders
Tools and Spares

Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)


Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


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tires

tools

first aide

saddle

kickstands

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