Classic & Vintage - Brooks Swallow
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04-22-08, 08:53 AM
anyone use a Brooks Swallow? I currently use a B-17 on my road bike which I love, but the seat on my Single Speed totally sucks, so I'm moving the B-17 over to my SS and my road bike is getting a new swallow. now I know the swallow is based on the b-17 but that's about all I know about them. What should I expect?
my bars are a few inches below the seat on my road bike, this was the main reason I went with the swallow, it was either that, the team Pro or the swift, but from the descriptions they didn't seam like the greatest fit for me.
I have a few swallows and find them to be the most comfortable of the Brooks saddles
(for me). I have about a 2 - 3 inch drop from saddle top to bars on my Zieleman and find
the swallow to be perfect.
The swallow is about 8mm longer than the B17 so I find it gives me a bit more control. It is
less comfortable when I'm sitting upright. As mine is old (1960s to 70s?) it is well broken in,
I'm not sure but perhaps thats the reason I ride the swallow a bit more level (front to back) than
my B17. I find less perineal pressure on the Swallow than the B17 also.
The Swallow is my favorite Brooks saddle, followed closely by the Swift.
I ride a Swallow on both of my "racing" bikes and a Swift on my Kirk "distance" bike. All of them really suit my large, 6'3", 230# butt. I ride them with a couple of inches drop to the bars, also.
I've found that Swallow lengths seem to vary closely around the lengths of the B17's, even when new and not retensioned. It's as though there is no "set" length to them. I have one that is EXACTLY the length of my new B17 Imperial, and two that are just a little bit longer, but not so much as to be noticeable.
I agree with Lotek that the Swallow is the most level of the Brooks line, which is the primary reason I selected it in the first place. If you like to shift position while riding, the Swallow is the perfect saddle. It doesn't have that rise in the tail that tends to lock you into one position and the finish isn't soft and "grippy" like many saddles. This may be part of the reason I have never experienced significant perineal pressure issues with any of my Brooks saddles.
It is, of course, lighter and much more "racer chic" than the rest of the line, so it doesn't look so out of place on a more modern machine. But then, use what works, no?
I like the Swallows too, though mine are from the 60s!
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