Every Rivet Question – Answered!

Rail Length – the long and short of it

In a nutshell, ours aren’t the longest nor the shortest…

60mm 75mm 80mm 85mm 90mm 100mm
Brooks PRO Gilles Berthoud Rivet Independence & Imogene
Brooks B-17, Swift
Rivet Loveland Rivet
Pearl & Diablo
Selle Anatomica

Does Size Matter?

Yes. Yes it does. Now that we’ve been around the world in terms of miles ridden on saddles, we have come to learn that our cromoly-railed saddles are the workhorses of the line-up. They will go anywhere, any time with anyone.
Our titanium-railed saddles are a bit more discriminating. They are more for weight weenies and that means you might need to be one too.
Check out this chart to help you make a good choice:
how to measure sit bones
Does this mean that if you weigh 185 lbs that you can’t ride a Ti–railed saddle? No, but it does mean that it is more likely to wear out faster, and, yes, if you are over 200lbs, we do not think it’s a good choice and will try and talk you out of buying one.

Does this also mean that if I’m a 100 lbs soaking wet that I can’t ride a chromoly saddle? Of course not! Chromoly saddles will carry everyone anywhere they want to go.

Break-in

We get asked every single day how long will it take to break-in a Rivet? And the answer is, “It depends.”
It depends on how often you ride – for those who ride 100s of miles a week, it will take you less time. For those of you who ride less than that, it will take longer.

Average miles to break in a Rivet = 350 – 500 miles.

Why the difference? Because each saddle is different. Each Rivet has it’s own ride characteristics (just like us), and while we work on consistency across our line of saddles, each hide slung over a frame is unique.

Colors make a difference too.Our white saddles take the least amount of time to break-in, our black the longest (it’s because of the coloring added in during the tanning process). Vegetable tanned saddles require a bit longer than our water-resist leather.

A couple of ways to speed up the process:
Ride it on your trainer, or commuter bike first. Shorter rides allow it to get to know you, and you to know it.
Some owners have put mink oil all over their saddles and then ridden them on a long ride. This typically accelerates the process. We DO NOT think this is a great idea, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Our best policy is to put it on your bike and ride it. Pay attention to where it’s working or not and make adjustments as necessary.
We promise: You will break the Rivet in, it won’t break you.

To Schmear or not to Schmear

We offer two different types of leather saddles: ones with a water-resist leather and a few with vegetable tanned leather. What’s the difference you might ask? It’s in the tanning process. At some point, a water-proofing agent is put into the chromium tanning process, and when completed, that leather is a bit softer, and has the water-resist agent tanned into it. All of our Black, White, and Burgundy water-resist saddles are of this type. These cows wear raincoats.

Water-resist saddles do not need any schmearing, but a little would help. To dress the open edges of the saddle and the slot would help keep moisture from seeping between the 2 layers of leather, which is a good thing. It will not, however change the overall quality of the saddle. It’s not necessary, but it’s a good habit to do – like having regular dental check-ups.

Our Chestnut color, and our limited edition Red are NOT water–resist leather. They are vegetable-tanned, which is a different tanning process than chromium tanning, and no water-proof agent is added into the tanning mix. These are our AuNaturale, organic, if you like, saddles. They need schmearing to waterproof them. Schmear liberally all over the saddle including the edges and slot. Wipe away the excess. The saddle may darken at first, but will lighten up again once everything settles in.

We think Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Preservative is the best waterproof goop out there. It was made for firefighter boots in Idaho, and is used widely in equestrian circles and we think if it works for all of these folks, it will serve us well too.

It’s a good policy to schmear your saddle a couple of times a year – maybe pre and post season, (unless you ride all year round), in which case, keep on eye on your saddle and if its just had a lot of time in tough elements, then it might be time to schmear. Please remember never to schmear the saddle when it’s wet. That’s just plain crazy talk!

Installing your Rivet

Installing your Rivet is like installing other saddles. Before you change out your old saddle, measure the distance from the center of the rear edge of the old saddle to the center of your handlebars, and use this measurement (called reach) when installing your Rivet. Once you have your measurement, install your Rivet so that the rear edge of the saddle is the same as the measurement you took.

Remember to also measure your saddle height. This is done by measuring the middle of the crankset to the top of the saddle following the seat tube (it is the shortest distance). This will provide a close guide to where your new Rivet should be. Again, use the measurement to set the height of your saddle. A quick way to get your saddle close to your correct height adjustment is to stand on one side of your bike. Reach over the toptube reaching for the center of the crankset. Your fingertips should be at the center point of your crankset, and that’s what your saddle height is, or close to, what it should be.

While seat height and fore/aft are standard saddle measurements, one other adjustment is worth noting. As most people have one side that is stronger than the other, it may be worthwhile to slightly nose your Rivet to either the left or right so that it is slightly off center to compensate for hip or leg differentiations.

Once on your bike, your Rivet may need a bit more adjustment. Push yourself to the back of the saddle and relax, and see where your body naturally finds its best position. If you find yourself on the rear rivets or the frame, move your saddle aft (away from the handlebars) a millimeter or two. If you find yourself sitting too far up on the nose of the saddle, move it foreword towards the handlebars. Remember that small incremental changes make big differences, so make small changes.

Put your multi-tool into your back pocket for the first few rides, so you can make adjustments to your saddle’s position while on a ride. Make small incremental adjustments. A turn of the screw or two at most will help you find your desired tension and setting. Only then will you get it dialed-in.

Your Rivet is made out of a pliable and natural material and it will stretch. Finding the best fit is also about your riding style. Your sitz bones are bony points, and as you reach for the hoods or the drops of your handlebars, your body naturally tilts forward, which creates more contact between your pelvic bones and the saddle. A deep sway in the saddle leather may be comfortable if you sit upright and your hands are most often on the straight part of your handlebars. If you ride with your hands on your hoods, then you may want less of a dip in the saddle. If you ride with your hands in the drops a lot, perhaps you will want very little sway at all.

Associated with fore and aft, and how much sway you want in your saddle is the tilt of the nose. Most bicycle seats are level, but because of the natural material of leather, which causes the sway, most riders prefer the nose to be either level or slightly tilted upward. Again, it is personal preference, so experiment and see what works for you.

It’s up to you and your riding style. The beauty of Rivet saddles is that they are adjustable and will form to your body and it’s idiosyncrasies. It will take a ride or three to get your saddle just right, but once it is, you’ll forget that it’s there and then you’ll know it’s perfect.

Our Return Policy

If you buy a saddle from a Local Bike Shop (LBS), then you are bound to their return policy. We support our local bike shops and want to support their policies.

If you buy a saddle directly from us, then… We give you 365 days from date of purchase to ride it, tweak it, break it in, love it, or not. You can return it or exchange it for different models if it’s not the right fit. We want you to get the right saddle. Period.

BUT, on the 366th day, you had better have a crazy good reason why you didn’t contact us within the year.
If you do decide to return your Rivet, we will gladly take it back from you, and refund your money, minus the initial shipping cost for handling and re-stocking. Fair nuff.