Touring - Brooks or padded saddle?
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I'm looking for a saddle for touring purposes (77 miles a day, 7 day tour) and am stuck between the beauty and reviews on Brooks and what some say is a better saddle for your bottom's sake when touring-- padded saddles like Terry or some of the Specialized series for women (Ariel, etc).
What do you think? What do you use and how has it ridden?
P.S. I am riding an '89 Schwinn Voyageur, steel frame.
If you do a "search," you will find some good threads about Brooks as well as some other stuff.
02-04-08, 12:44 PM
I have a B-17 on my touring bike and have for years. Most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden, but I have not tried a Terry. Note that there is a break-in period on the leather but, for me at least, it was not as severe as some people say (about 1-2 weeks and it was perfect). For long days in the saddle I recommend it highly - the only hassle is making sure it stays dry.
I have the Champion Flyer for a few years now, it needed about 500kms to break in, on the other hand my wife has the Champion Flyer "S" which didn't need any breaking in. We have tryed many saddles but have found these to be the most comfortable.
02-04-08, 03:21 PM
I have a sprung Brooks saddle and a Terry Liberator and have toured on both. If you have the time to break in the Brooks (which for me was over 1000 miles) go with it. The cutout in the Terry makes it nice and it isn't too cushy.
02-04-08, 04:48 PM
Just my experience -
I used a Terry Fly for a while... it was fine on short rides (below 100 miles), though I did have some numbness issues. On long rides it was absolute murder. After a 12-hour UMCA event, I actually found blood in my bibs from chafing. I now use a Brooks Professional on my touring bike and my tandem, a B-17 on my rando/distance bike, and a Selle SMP pro on my racing bike.
02-04-08, 06:18 PM
I can't speak for my Brooks yet since I am still breaking it in, but I hated my Terry that I rode for the previous 6000 miles.
A Brooks is better for your butt than a padded saddle.
For long days in the saddle I recommend it highly - the only hassle is making sure it stays dry.
It doesn't have to stay dry ... it'll be OK if it gets a bit wet. Trust me on this ... I'm the one who cycles with a raincloud over her head. :)
02-05-08, 06:50 AM
Just a bit of perspective...
While many folks love the Brooks and find it works well for them and on the forums it sounds like the Brooks is almost universally used... Not everyone is in love with Brooks saddles and on the TA this Summer we did not find all that many riders using them. They were definitely in the minority.
I am not saying that the Brooks is bad, but it is after all just a saddle with advantages and disadvantages. Personally I would put a few hundred miles on whatever came on the bike and see how you like it unless it is some wide heavily padded thing. They if it seems fine stick with it.
Personally I found the one Brooks that I owned to be just OK when new and didn't like it after it was broken in. If you are weight conscious they are pretty heavy.
OTOH: The cost of a Brooks isn't all that unreasonable so if you want to see what all of the hype is about, try one.
02-05-08, 07:44 AM
Brooks have a good resale value os buy and try.
staehpj1 is the voice of Alterative Reason.
Brooks makes a fine product and they are all I ever use anymore, but the advice is sound nonetheless. Brooks saddles are very much in the minority, but have almost universal and well founded praise from the owners. Just about any saddle will suffice for a short ride, say, under 30 miles. It's over 50 that tests many saddles, and that's when alot of very well built synthetics begin to loose their lightweight appeal.
When our riding club advertises a ride under 40 miles, you will see most of the good saddle models show up. As the rides get longer towards the spring and summer, and are around 65 miles, you will see more Brooks riders and fewer synthetics, but not dramatically so.
There's so much here about care and feeding a Brooks that it can drive you nuts. Consider that to be an indicator of how durable they are. I would rather tell you about the ride characteristics of leather over any other material.
02-05-08, 01:58 PM
staehpj1 is the voice of Alterative Reason.
I had to chuckle at that one.
You guys are all so helpful-- thank you! After more consideration, I think I'm going the Brooks route...at least for now. :) Happy riding.
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