Russell Day-Long Seats

Over the years I have heard quite about bit about the Russell Day-Long Touring Seats in Shasta City, CA. Here is what I found out first hand:

At the end of last month (April), I met a friend who had a “ride in” appointment at Russell Cycle Products Inc. (aka Day Long seats) in Redding, CA. Dan opted for the ride in appointment as he didn’t want any “down” time from his new bike. In their current busy season orders are back up with about a 30 day wait. Patient riders send in seats for all over the US and further. A ride in appointment is $80 extra and the bike must be there from 8 am to 5 pm. Rent a car or trailer the bike in and enjoy the amazing area!

Impromptu I requested a tour of the facility and within 10 min we were taken into the facility where they make these unique seats. What I learned is that each seat is custom made; there is no such thing as a mass produced seat. Each seat is created using a base for the style of bike you ride. These are poured at the factory where they quality control the density of the foam. The foam tops are then adjusted using the customer’s height, weight, inseam and waist measurements along with photos of the rider AND the passenger sitting on the bike in the old seat. If the customer can get the bike to stand straight (with a little help from their friends) the photos work even better.

Their patented spring suspension system is inserted into the seat. They use the base part of the foam from the original seat. This guarantees that the foam will fit the pan as it was intended to. Depending on the taste and requirements of the rider “the wings” can be minimized which clarified a misconception that I had. I had the thought that the large “wings” is what each seat comes with, like it or not. Jay explained that for me, their new sport seat style would allow them to minimize the wings yet provide me with the bucket. He also gave me “homework” which was to check out the website under “options” and “Day-Long vs Sport Seat“. The sport seat will still allow me to have the majority of my foot available when I’m pulling the bike out of the garage on to our uneven tilted gravel driveway.

As for colors, textures, vinyl or leather, that is not a problem…..take your pick. They also do decorative stitching and embroidery. One of the vinyl’s which Day-Long uses is the same vinyl I use on the saddle bag lid covers. It is called “Whisper” and is designed for outdoor use; excellent on seats.

As a ride in appointment, they want you to test the fit so Dan and I went for a test ride on the unfinished foam seat. I was skeptical about what I was sitting on, Dan was not. His other bike had the Day long seat so he knew the fit he was after.

When the seat was done and the leather top sewn in place, he put the bike on the center stand and I was able to sit in the passenger seat (also well known to me as the “torture seat’). OH MY GOD what an amazing passenger seat!

The last thing was a serial number sticker that was placed under the seat so that they had a record of the owner and specs in the event that the bike was sold. If the new owner needed adjustments to the seat, they only need to call the company at 1-800432-9566. Seat prices vary. I found them more than reasonable for the custom fit you receive, the quality of customer service and craftsmanship.

With that I went home thinking about my own seat and realized that even though I had improved the fit, I could not create the fit that Russell Cycle Products produces. The next day I made an appointment for my own seat.

A bit of history: The seat was originally designed by Bill Mayer Sr and the company’s was sold to Don Russell in the mid 1980’s. In the late 1990’s ownership passed to Donna Russell. In 2002 master upholsterer Terry Bradford purchased the company and is the current owner. They currently have 10 employees.

***Side note: On June 6th, I went down to discuss my seat. After seeing me and the bike Jay said that their touring seat would be the best way for me to go, not the sport seat. Due to where I sit on the seat with my feet up or down I will be able to remain almost flat footed (my preference) with the new touring seat.

They asked for my height, weight, inseam, bike model etc. They took a photo of me sitting on the bike while one of the guys held it upright. We discussed adding the skirting which I wanted to hide the frame. No problem. Material was a choice of several leathers and lots of different vinyl. I chose a dark tobacco for the white bike.  My height and inseam on a large bike, no problem, they will keep me low.

My seat will be mailed in and Jay said adjustments are easy but to allow a break in period before making changes….looking forward to the new seat coming up in August.


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