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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Idéale Saddles: Behind the Leather Curtain [EBykr]

Idéale saddles are among the least understood bicycle components given their historical prominence and sometimes exorbitant value. The dizzying array of models produced continues vexing even the most ardent collectors, who seem to enjoy the punishment received when combining obscurity of fact with broad product offerings and potential stratospheric price appreciation.
Idéale Ebykr 001
The celebrated yet largely unknown Idéale saddle deserves its enigmatic reputation every bit proportionate to its modern popularity and then some. Had it not been for a collapsing French cycling industry and distinct inability to move beyond core markets, Idéale might even be around today.
1890 in France was a wonderful time and place for transportation breakthroughs. Armand Peugeot and Emile Levassorgave motorized four wheelers their first automobiles, while motorized two wheelers had Marquis Albert De Dion and Georges Bouton finalizing the motorcycle engine before emerging as the world’s largest car producer by 1900.


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