You are here

Hold on to your Seat! I'm starting to unravel.......

Well, after a four month hiatus from the Red Rider, it was wonderful to be back in the saddle this weekend. The P-38 is a pleasure to ride and unlike some bikes in the stable, it feels like coming back home as opposed to starting a relationship over.

After Saturday's ride I noticed a thread hanging from the bottom of the front edge of the seat. I cut it off with a knife. During Sunday's ride, I noticed the next thread in line also fraying off from left to right so apparently whatever adhesive holds the mesh intact has aged. This is a pre 1996 bike. I am wondering what others have done? I am planning on using a cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) with a strip of rubber foam across the leading edge of the seat to prevent further fraying of the threads. Any thoughts? How have others addressed this issue? Thanks in advance for your replies!


I would try the super glue alone, without the foam strip. See if that helps cauterize the fraying mesh fabric. If that does not work, maybe fabric adhesive is worth a try. You can buy small bottles at Jo Ann's Fabric and similar places. Perhaps a soldering iron could do the trick.

I admire the frugality of trying to extend the life of an old seat mesh. It is exactly the sort of thing I do too. If nothing you try works, the last resort is buying a new mesh from Lightning. If the mesh you have now is original to a pre-1996 bike, it has certainly lasted a long time.

If you are into do-it-yourself projects, you might be able to sew a replacement mesh using Phifertex material or something similar. There is a lot of helpful information on Andrew Carson's website:

Good luck, and please write back letting us know what you try, what works, what does not etc.

Safe riding,

My 6 year old phantom mesh and seat cushion went Bad!!! Found out a new assembly was finally the answer Got a new updated one for 120.00 dollars!!!!!

I am glad that Lightning seat meshes last as long as they do. Very well made, but at $120 a pop they should be. There are riders who have champagne tastes and can appreciate the superior qualities of Lightning recumbent bikes. But some of us only have beer budgets, and spending $120 for a mesh really hurts.

It is because of prices like this that riders are inclined to experiment with superglue or fabric cement on old fraying meshes. I like the newer-style mesh used on the Phantom, with tensioning on the back and bottom instead of the sides. Though if you crash your bike the newer-style mesh will be more likely to get abraded on the sides and need replacement.

With the older seat mesh, laced along the sides, the tensioning cord or zipties might be destroyed. But the mesh fabric itself mostly escapes harm.

Moral of the story: Do not crash your bike.

Safe riding,


User login

Powered by Drupal