Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Aardvark Seat Cover

Today I'm writing a review of the Aardvark seat cover (black, standard size) bought from Rivendell Bikes.  The link is here for the seat cover, however since Rivendell is a small company they don't carry a huge stock of these and something else (equivalent or better) may replace it.  Or they could just stop carrying them for business reasons.  The covers costs $11.

Ok, this may not be the most exciting review ever, but I think this piece of gear will actually come in handy for me quite often.  A vast majority of the time I would ride with out the cover, but here are a few instances in which I would use it:

  • When it's raining (duh).
  • If I had to lock up my bike outside, I can kind of hide the Brooks saddle with the cover and not make the Brompton stand out as much so it won't get messed with.  I know I've caught myself noticing Brooks saddles whenever I'm walking by a bunch of bikes.
  • When I'm jamming the Brompton into tight spaces (full trunks/boots, the B&W hard case, etc.).  I know I've done some damage to my Brooks already (see photo below) which could have been prevented with the cover on.   

Aardvark Seat Cover in package

Seat cover on its own

Made in the Richmond, Utah, USA

Damage on the right rear of the Brooks B17 saddle.

Side view of seat cover installed.

Rear view of seat cover installed.
Initial impressions:
The cover material seems like a light weight neoprene fabric (wet suit stuff), which makes sense as a waterproof material.  The fit is perfect for the Brooks B17.

The cover weighed 0.8 oz (22.7 grams) on my kitchen scale (not that weight should be much of a consideration for this item).  It's not really bulky, but the shape of the cover also prevents it from rolling it up super tight.

Riding with the cover:
You will probably notice a difference when riding with the seat cover.  The first thing you notice with the cover is that there's a lot more grip on the seat.  With the Brooks I'm used to sliding around a bit to get comfortable or to raise out of the seat for tight turning or dismounting.  Kinda feels like riding with a wedgie, if that makes any sense.

I also noticed that it's quite a bit warmer in the seat area with the cover than without, which may be a nice feature at cold temperatures.

So far I think this was a decent buy (for $11), but not really something I would use all the time though.  I will primarily be using it to protect my Brooks when I jam it in my car or have to lock up the B outside.  Maybe I'll ride with it if it's super cold.  Or if there is an unexpected rainstorm.  Basically as a nice little insurance item to protect my already beat-up Brooks.


  1. I have been wondering about the aardvark cover. Thanks for the review!

    The first scratch I put on my Brooks nearly broke my heart, so I feel your pain. Now I look on the wear as the signs of a saddle that is well used! To keep a saddle pristine is to stay home: not for me!

    1. I hear ya. I don't mind it being worn in, but I hate when I get stupid scratches on it from being a little careless when I'm not riding it.

  2. i actually like riding with mine sometimes as it adds a bit of cushioning to my leather saddle. fyi, neoprene doesn't necessarily result in waterproofness. for example, a wetsuit worn by surfers, divers, etc. actually keeps the wearer warm by absorbing and trapping a thin layer of water against the body. i've never had to test the waterproofness of the aardvark saddle cover, so can't speak to the manufacturer's claim... yet.

    1. Yeah, I don't expect it to be completely waterproof, just hoping it'll provide moderate water resistance when I'm riding on it in a light shower. Anything stronger than that I'm looking for some shelter!

  3. Wow! I wasn't really expecting anyone to read this review, let alone comment on it!