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Making the Seat Cover - 2/25/2001

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And now for something completely different, sewing instead of hacking metal. This was a two night project. I took a seat cover from my back to back tandem and used it for materials to make the seat cover for this bike. I called Vision, makers of the seat frame, and they said they sell the cover for $60 wholesale. I decided that it's probably worth my while to spend the time making one, if for no other reason than to learn what it takes to copy their seat. Their seat is slung, but has a cushion on the bottom.

My old seat cover split in two. It didn't wrap around the seat frame, but instead it was strung between the frame tubes. I had to increase the width to allow it to wrap the around the tubes like Vision's does.

Here's the first piece of linomesh sewn in the center.

I thought I'd take this picture to show the ugly reality of a sewing session. Wish I would've taken a picture at 1:30 AM when I decided to stop for the night. What wreck the kitchen was.

Vision uses a soft, fuzzy, stretchy fabric for their cover. Seemed to me that if it got wet the water would go right through to the foam and take forever to dry out. I chose coated nylon for waterproof-ness. This is it pinned for sewing the sleeve that the elastic will go through.

I'm really a lousy tailor, and this rat's nest of thread is typical of what happens to me during the course of a difficult seam.

The final product. Looks kind of poofy doesn't it?

Here's the lacing on the back. I had some polypropelene rope that was perfect for this. It doesn't absorb water very well either, another plus.

The bottom. Vision uses a single 2" strap on the bottom, I used 2, 1" straps, partly because this is all I had in my sewing supply box, but I thought it might spread the load better. I do have some load to spread too.

Vision uses a piece of webbing to wrap around the "horn", the short tube in the middle shown here. I had an extra webbing cap for a windsurf sail that seemed like a better idea in terms of supporting the middle of the seat.

Mounted on the bike from the back. So I sat on it. It's *very* comfy. This bike will definately be a Cadillac. The suspension flexed when I sat on it, and I wasn't expecting it. It literally made me exlaim "Whoa!". Then I just wanted to bounce up and down on it. It's really cool. My wife sat on it, and I bounced it a little when she was on it. She let out a little whoop too. Really takes you by suprise. I rode my wedgie to work today, 9 miles each way. I hadn't ridden in quite a while and it struck me how painful my trusty old Brooks Professional saddle is (the one with the quarter sized copper rivets). And the neck craning. Admittedly my stem is quite a bit lower than my seat, and I'll raise that, but still, I can't wait to ride to ride this thing.

From the front.

Number 1 son Max reclining.

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