After my recent Brooks mishap I decided to try something new. Velo Orange, one of the brands that sells leather saddles made by Taiwanese company Gyes, had a sale on two of their models, their "Model 3" being a copy of the Brooks B17 touring saddle, and "Model 1" a copy of the Brook Team Professional, which is somewhere in between a touring and a road racing saddle. It would be hard not to compare the VO offerings with their Brooks counterparts, and since I have a good deal of experience with Brooks products, that's what I'll do.
|Velo Orange Model 1 (left) and Model 3 (right)|
First, let's talk about cost. Shipping to Canada was 17 Dollars and unfortunately I also got hit with sales tax and processing fees (it's pretty unpredictable when you have to pay sales tax and when you don't). So the overall cost for both saddles was 60 + 65 + 17 + 25 USD, coming out to 83.50 per saddle. On Amazon.com, a real B17 currently sells for 107 USD and a Team Pro starts at 135 USD, both including shipping to the US. With some research it might be possible to get them for slightly less (e.g. buying from a European webshop), but the Velo Orange saddles are definitely still going to be cheaper, even at their regular price of 85 and 90 dollars.
|"Aged" leather of the Model 3. Not the binding in the middle of the saddle|
|Model 1. A little dull.|
|Here you can see the textile underlayer|
|Underside of the Model 1|
|Model 1 next to a Brooks Swallow|
I think this is all I can say for now, but updates will follow once the saddles are in use.
Update July 2012: Extensive review of the Model 1