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Ultimate upgrades: Crown Saddle Herzog Erberhardt

Stu Bowers
23 Aug 2016

Costing approximately £1,560, Crown Saddle's Herzog Erberhardt saddle must have a story behind it. We investigate what that story is.

In the box marked ‘extravagant’, the Herzog Erberhardt saddle by German brand Crown Saddle gets an emphatic tick – and not with a biro but with a great big permanent marker.

At more than £1,500 it’s obscenely costly for a saddle but not just for the sake of being expensive. There’s a better story to tell than that.

The level of exclusivity and elegance such a perch would bring to any bike is unquestionable. You can take great satisfaction from knowing your feather-light 95g saddle (which is another reason for wanting one – it’s one of the lightest in the world) is entirely handcrafted in carbon and luxuriously high-quality Nappa leather. Including the hand-painted detailing in 24K gold, it takes four weeks to create.

It’s a labour of love that requires all the detailing to be first traced out in glue, before inlaying the gold leaf and then finally applying four coats of lacquer to protect what is undoubtedly the most flamboyant feature we’ve ever seen on a saddle, especially since it will spend a great deal of its life covered up by your backside.

We spoke with company founder and designer Daniel Schlegel to find out his thinking behind creating a saddle that costs more than many would consider spending on an entire bike. 

‘While at university I met a guy who was doing interior designs in leather for high-end car brands such as Ferrari and Bentley. I was myself a professional rider until 2005 and was sponsored by Tune, a company that makes carbon saddles [among other things].

‘We decided to collaborate on a project to introduce some really nice leather work into top-end carbon saddles, but I quickly realised that I wanted to do something of my own and make it really special and especially limited edition,’ Schlegel says.

‘I began working on my own designs, and then I was fortunate to meet another guy who is highly regarded in Germany for bringing his art to motorcycles, hand-painting pinstripe designs and also airbrushing. I decided to approach him to hand-paint the Herzog Erberhardt saddle in 24k gold, to make it the most exclusive of my designs yet.’

We simply couldn’t resist asking Schlegel how many orders he gets for such a pricey mount, and although he wouldn’t reveal exact numbers he did say ‘quite a few’, dropping in that some of his best customers are sheikhs from Dubai with extensive collections of uber-posh bicycles. 

Saddles are such personal things, so we’re not sure what the deal is if you buy a Crown only to find it incredibly uncomfortable. Then again, at this price perhaps you’d be too nervous to sit on it anyway.

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