Let’s talk about pinching. Here – pick up this ‘head plate’. Hold it at the top. This is very like the part of the tree that is in your saddle, at the front. It’s the thing that determines the width – whether your saddle is Narrow, Medium. Wide etc

Ok, now come at me with this headplate. With the open fingers toward me, try to pinch me.

Ow! No, don’t poke me. Ow! No, don’t push, prod, slap or beat me – just pinch me.

You can’t. Why not?

The answer of course is that in order to pinch, the fingers would have to move and they don’t. Try pinching something with your fingers – the fingers move, right? By contrast, the fingers of the headplate are pretty static. They don’t move inwards enough to pinch anything.

So what is it that we’re trying to say, when we describe the saddle as ‘pinching’? There is definitely something going on that needs fixing, but what exactly is it?

metal saddle gullet frame

(Photo by Master Fabulous Saddler Kitt Hazelton)

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