Originally Posted by calicokatt
I can't be sure about the older saddles not being the same width, as both of the saddles I have now are relatively new. But one of them was bought when an old one wore out, we bought the same tree size and it fits. (not sure HOW old, but it wasn't new when I got it 21 years ago). That would be the 31, which is definitely a med/wide. I just checked their website, and as of now my numbers are correct, a 31 is a med/wide and a 32 is a wide.
Interesting about the change in placement of the tree size stamp, uncleararthur. And I had heard that the newer Stubbens tend to be narrower than the old ones, what's your experience with that? A few people have told me that they don't like Stubbens because they're too narrow, but we haven't had that problem at all...
You're right about modern Stubben tree sizes. They match other manufacturers' continental widths. But the older trees are/were narrower. We have the same situation with Cliff Barnsby - one of their saddle makers once told me they often had to shave the inside edge of the older design tree rails, before applying the leatherwork, to achieve a sensible gullet width.
Because widths are measured at the limit of the tree point (so I'm told, though who really knows?), the problem with width is sometimes due to the use of flared-out points, the idea of these being to allow increased freedom of movement behind the shoulder. What they mostly do is cause problems, the saddle either being fitted based on the point width, when it's too narrow higher up, or based on the head width, when the wider points can cause the saddle to rock as if too wide.
I'm not sure why modern Stubbens should fit narrower than their older counterparts - I'd say the opposite was true. Unless they've used an old tree design in a newer model; quite possible if they wanted to cut down on development and production costs.
As far as I know they're still producing Seigfrieds with the old tree. Thank goodness the modern seat foam is a lot more comfortable