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Old 11-17-11, 10:54 AM   #1
Carcinogent
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Brooks Swallow/Swift rail dimensions

To all the Brooks Swift/Swallow owners i have a technical question. How far behind the nose do the 'clampable' rails sit and how much of available rail space do you have?

I need quite some saddle setback and no LBS around here stocks these models so i have no way of measuring whether it would fit my needs (other than ordering of course). *My experience with the Team Pro saddle is that it would sit more forward when compared to saddles of similar dimensions.*

Thank you in advance.*

-Carcinogent
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Old 11-17-11, 11:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Carcinogent View Post
To all the Brooks Swift/Swallow owners i have a technical question. How far behind the nose do the 'clampable' rails sit and how much of available rail space do you have?

I need quite some saddle setback and no LBS around here stocks these models so i have no way of measuring whether it would fit my needs (other than ordering of course). *My experience with the Team Pro saddle is that it would sit more forward when compared to saddles of similar dimensions.*

Thank you in advance.*

-Carcinogent
Hey Carci,

I have a Swallow but I don't have it here. I can measure it for you this evening when I go home.

Speaking in general terms, the swallow has considerable "rail length" and the "clampable" area of the rails are considerably back from the nose. I think, in the saddles I've seen, it probably has the most "clampable" area on the rails and most likely setback the furthest. It is quite a long (looking) saddle.

In my opinion (gets on soapbox) if you need more setback than a seat post with, say 15mm of setback plus the adjustment that is available on ANY saddle rail, then your bike is too small.

Now, if you have a seatpost with zero setback, then I can understand me thinks.

BUT we all have differant needs, desires and demons.

I'll measure and post later.

How about the brooks website, would a photo help a bit?
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Old 11-17-11, 12:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. On my current bike there is about ~1cm of the rails left. It is a little bit on the extreme side but well within the saddle/seatpost combo capabilities (20mm setback seatpost). This saddle is ~270mm long and I think the clampable rails start in about ~70mm from the front. Both the Swift/Swallow seem to be longer at the nose. So as long as I adjust the wide/flat part of the saddle to be at the same position a longer nose is not really an issue imo.

-Carcinogent
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Old 11-17-11, 01:41 PM   #4
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Here's a pic that might help; I'd take a measurement for you but I sold the saddle awhile ago-

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Old 11-17-11, 05:19 PM   #5
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Attached are some pics. The amount of available rail space on the Swallow is about 73mm. The distance from nose to the clampable portion of rails is about 143mm.

Do they help?

Digger
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File Type: jpg Swallow2.jpg (45.6 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Swallow1.jpg (48.1 KB, 37 views)
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Old 11-17-11, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carcinogent View Post
Thanks for the response. On my current bike there is about ~1cm of the rails left. It is a little bit on the extreme side but well within the saddle/seatpost combo capabilities (20mm setback seatpost). This saddle is ~270mm long and I think the clampable rails start in about ~70mm from the front. Both the Swift/Swallow seem to be longer at the nose. So as long as I adjust the wide/flat part of the saddle to be at the same position a longer nose is not really an issue imo.

-Carcinogent
Just my Swallow pics.
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File Type: jpg Brooks PVC 006.jpg (101.9 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg Brooks PVC 007.jpg (99.2 KB, 31 views)
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Old 11-17-11, 06:10 PM   #7
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My Swift measures 123 mm from the nose to the front of the clamp area, 70 mm of clamp area, and 82 mm from the rear of the clamp area to the rear of the saddle for a total of 275. You can push it back quite a bit. I like my saddle pushed back and even so, the seat post clamp is nearly centered and I could push it back 17 mm further. Other saddles I've owned could only be pushed 4-5 mm further back. By comparison, my Brooks Pro measures 139/65/74 for a total of 278.

Last edited by danacf; 11-17-11 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 11-17-11, 07:08 PM   #8
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Just my Swallow pics.
I noticed a cylinder between rail and saddle as well as a T-shaped....thingie running down the length of the saddle. What are they for? Support?
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Old 11-18-11, 02:28 AM   #9
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Attached are some pics. The amount of available rail space on the Swallow is about 73mm. The distance from nose to the clampable portion of rails is about 143mm.

Do they help?

Digger
Thanks a lot! This is exactly the info I needed. By preliminary looks it should fit. It is nice to see people using a Brooks in combination with modern carbon fiber parts.

On a unrelated note, Brooks claim that the Swallow is their most flexible saddle, do you have a solid base to push against when doing high effort or the saddle 'eats up' some of your power? Although knowing how stiff a leather saddle is I wonder what flexible actually is....

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Old 11-18-11, 05:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carcinogent View Post
Thanks a lot! This is exactly the info I needed. By preliminary looks it should fit. It is nice to see people using a Brooks in combination with modern carbon fiber parts.

On a unrelated note, Brooks claim that the Swallow is their most flexible saddle, do you have a solid base to push against when doing high effort or the saddle 'eats up' some of your power? Although knowing how stiff a leather saddle is I wonder what flexible actually is....

-Carcinogent
You're very welcome.

I can't say if it is their MOST flexible saddle, but it certainly is more flexible than their B17 (I have on my touring bike).

On my Swallow, I can push the leather down to touch the seat rails. BUT a bike store near me has the exact saddle, and with both hands, I can barely move the leather, it is THAT ridgid.

However, when I got the saddle I put too much proofhide on it, hoping to accelerate the breaking-in process (the saddle cost me $400, so I thought I was doing good to try and protect the leather). In short, this softened the leather a bit too much.

Check out this thread, where I post an email conversation with a Brooks technician http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hlight=swallow

Since then I have tightened the adjuster nut 2 more revolutions.

Being a suspended saddle it does....bounce. But I do not find this to be an issue with regard to "eating up my power." Rather, I find that if I do not use some sort of anti-friction treatment on my sitbones I will develop 2 welts there.

My conclusion is that this bounce is causing my sitbones to move against the seat, thus creating the welts due to friction. But the anti-friction stuiff I use (BodyGlide) does alleviate this quite a bit, but not 100%.

I can't seem to decide if it is comfortable or not. Some days I'm thinking it is great, other days it feels like I'm sitting on the blade of an axe. It is better than the LAST saddle I had, a Selle Italia, but I'm still waiting for the magic to happen after my third summer on it.

At the risk of putting doubt in your mind;
If I knew then, what I know now, I would not have bought the Swallow. BUT I think I made my own problem here.

I would like to trade this Swallow for a Swift or Team Pro, if I could.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:34 AM   #11
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FWIW, my experience with the Team Pro and the Swift is that, for whatever reason, they are not comfortable for me. I owned both but have sold them because they just didn't work for me.

The B17 is the only Brooks that's comforable to me, that I've tried, and it's not just comfortable but it's my favorite saddle for a bike that has the saddle somewhere close to level with the top of the handlebar. I've owned several of them, having started riding the B17 quite a long time ago. Works GREAT for me.

But I gave up on the racier Brooks saddles I owned on race bikes; the right modern saddle is more comfortable to me, and as a bonus weighs maybe less than half what the Brooks does. I've not ridden a Brooks Swallow, so I can't comment on that one. It's different enough that I might have completely different results with it than I did with the Swift and Team Pro, who knows.

One thing's for sure, saddle choice is a very personal thing; the folks I sold the Team Pro to and the Swift to find them to be extremely comfortable.
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