Lycett Mattress Saddle Replicas

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Someone seems to be making (or more likely importing) replicas of Lycett (often misspelled as Lycette, Lysett or Lysette) mattress saddles as a few online retailers seem to have started selling them from as low as £8.

If you don't know them, they're the ones with coil springs at the backs of the clamped rails rising to a curved rail that links a fan of smaller springs to a narrow straight rail at the back of the nose, which then has some parallel smaller springs to the front of the nose. The spring frame is then covered in foam and leatherette or leather and it deforms to a saddle shape as the centre rail drops when sat upon, resulting in a shape somewhere between a Concor-style plastic saddle and a Brooks-style leather hammock. It's similar to some motorcycle saddles and you can see a typical example at https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/old-ladies-coventry-eagle.159425/#post-3154862
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I have a two saddles of this type around the shed at the minute: one pretty much as pictured which seems comfortable but squeaks like hell, even when just pedalling; and one with a flexi-plastic instead of the springs and an awful vinyl top that makes even me feel sweaty (and I usually don't).

Can you stop the squeaks on old ones? Do the new ones still squeak? Have you tried similar saddles? Are you tempted by the replicas?
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Awful looking things, sorry, I don't like them. This view is nothing to do with being sexist or anything as I don't like the look of the saddles anyway, but I most associate them with girl's bikes when I was a kid.

I have a very very old Humber (still in bits admittedly) that was sold with one, and it looks horrible (mainly because it is a wreck, but still, I just don't like the saddles anyway).

I need to find out if it is original, or whether the bike originally came with something else (I hope so, sorry).
 
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OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Awful looking things, sorry, I don't like them. This view is nothing to do with being sexist or anything as I don't like the look of the saddles anyway, but I most associate them with girl's bikes when I was a kid.
Mostly in light girly colours, or white with maybe some coloured detailing? Yes, I remember them too, but I also remember some men's bikes having them in black or dark tan, so I fear you may find that the Humber came with one.
 
OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Wikipedia says Humber cycles were sold to Raleigh in 1932, Lycett was sold to Brooks in 1920, Raleigh used Brooks for many years before finally buying them in 1958 and almost a third of their production was mattress saddles in the 1950s, so it looks quite possible.
Surely only if you sit too far forwards, with the nose ... I'll stop now, sorry. :laugh:
 
OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Hmmm, from photos, some of the replicas are branded with Chinese characters and the name "Chun Kai". I don't know if that's an actual brand (it seems a fairly common name in web searches, but the biggest company with the name is nothing to do with bikes) or a bad pun for the English-speaking market!
 

Mad Doug Biker

Bikeoholics Anonymous
Location
Craggy Island
Mostly in light girly colours, or white with maybe some coloured detailing? Yes, I remember them too, but I also remember some men's bikes having them in black or dark tan, so I fear you may find that the Humber came with one.
I'll let you into an embarassing secret, I have a mild phobia of things to do with seats, like springs, buttons/studs and bits of foam and or fluff. It is ok if I can't see any of it when it is inside a seat, but not when I can see it. I know it is daft, but the button thing also extends to clothes, etc (I will almost never wear clothes with buttons, I'll always go the zip option).

I know it is daft and I just have to ignore it as much as possible (such as the rare times when I actually have to wear a shirt), but on seeing that lychet saddle on the Humber, with all its horrible rusty springs and disintegrating cloth/leather, I just don't want to go anywhere near the thing and others like it! :blush::blush::wacko::giggle::blush::blush:

Surely only if you sit too far forwards, with the nose ... I'll stop now, sorry. :laugh:
May be the best thing for it! :laugh:
 
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OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'd imagine liberal dollops of grease worked into the spring coils and excess wiped off would stop it squeaking.
I did that and it helped, but the biggest difference was tightening the nose bolt, which was rather difficult to do because it meant getting a spanner in from the back to hold the nut still while the end of the bolt was turned.
 

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
I hate the sprung horsehair monstrosities, if you ever allowed one to get wet they'd take about a month to dry out and every time you rode the bike it was damp ar$e time. :cursing:
 
OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I hate the sprung horsehair monstrosities, if you ever allowed one to get wet they'd take about a month to dry out and every time you rode the bike it was damp ar$e time. :cursing:
So a design that was actually improved by the move from leather and horsehair to coconut, foam and mock leather in later models, then? The one I've got (maybe 1970s) is pretty dry after being wiped with a glove.
 

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
So a design that was actually improved by the move from leather and horsehair to coconut, foam and mock leather in later models, then? The one I've got (maybe 1970s) is pretty dry after being wiped with a glove.
The saddle I used for a bit was vinyl, the 'problem' areas were where it had been stitched and the ventilation holes.
 
OP
mjr

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
The saddle I used for a bit was vinyl, the 'problem' areas were where it had been stitched and the ventilation holes.
I wonder how many variations of the design there are? I think the stitching on mine is under the edge and has some sort of stitched folds for the nose (like the clone on ebay) rather than stitching all the way across (like the genuine on the Coventry Eagle) and no ventilation holes (needed more for horsehair padding?) so not much can soak through or seep out.
 
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