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Old 09-21-11, 03:36 PM   #1
ubringliten
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which brooks saddles is right for me? need help.

Hi there,

I really need your help. I know if I go to a LBS and they will tell me which one is best based on what they have on their shelf and probably they would not be knowledgeable about the entire lines. I already email Brooks people and I would also like to get your feedback too.

I am 5'8" with a thin build at 135 lbs. This will go on my 12 speeds steel road bike with a Nitto Dove/Oxford/North Road/ bar. I ride about 30-50 miles a week in the city and at most 10-20 miles continuous a day. I noticed that when I sit upright as opposed to sitting aggressive, my lower back pain after riding is drastically reduced. Oh, the streets of SF is not that smooth and there are some major hills to climb.

So with these conditions, which saddle do you recommend? I hear some good words about the Flyer and B67 but are they for me?

Greatly appreciated!

Chris
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Old 09-21-11, 04:05 PM   #2
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Old 09-21-11, 04:07 PM   #3
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Do you have any feelings about a sprung saddle, pro or con?

I would use a b72 if you want springs, and a b17 if you don't. Possibly b17 imperial if you're into that sort of thing.
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Old 09-21-11, 04:15 PM   #4
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I would spring for the Brooks Select model. You can get them at Wall Bike. I would probably not opt for the sprung models. The springs are nice but the added weight is not really worth it. I would go for the B17 select without springs. The extra width of the B17 makes sitting upright more chair/hammock like.

The B17 Narrow is okay but not necessarily worth it. A wider saddle generally works better for upright riding. I would really consider the select model because the extra quality in the leather is likely worth it. My recent brooks flyer is too supple with less than 3,000 miles of use. Good luck.

Another excellent saddle other than brooks would be the Avocet touring saddle. Really...really comfy. I think it's one of the most comfy non leather saddles out there.
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Old 09-21-11, 04:24 PM   #5
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With North roadbars, and an upright position, the 17's and flyers maybe too narrow. When I ride on the tops of my bars the 17's are ok but a wider saddle would be apprecieated. On my upright bike the B67 is a nice firm ride. I'd go with the B67 without hesitation. IMHO
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Old 09-21-11, 04:56 PM   #6
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With North roadbars, and an upright position, the 17's and flyers maybe too narrow. When I ride on the tops of my bars the 17's are ok but a wider saddle would be apprecieated. On my upright bike the B67 is a nice firm ride. I'd go with the B67 without hesitation. IMHO
I agree with this. The B17 is not really designed for an upright ride, but it really depends on just how upright you are when on your bike. I have one paired with mustache bars and the more forward position works. North road bars, I believe I'd go with the B67.
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Old 09-21-11, 05:27 PM   #7
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Do I need a central cut-out such as the Brooks Imperial when I am sitting upright? I do experience groin pain when I am riding in an agressive position which I remedied it with such a seat.

With my lightweight body, do I need springs?

Thanks for all the comments so far. Well received.

Chris
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Old 09-21-11, 08:07 PM   #8
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I find the B17 Narrow to be more uncomfortable than the B17s I have used. The most comfortable of the works was my B17 Special right out of the box.

I recently installed a B17 on my 1978 Motobécane Grand Jubileé and I like it very much. I plan to swap out the drop bars soon as some times frees itself up. I took the saddle off off of my Legnano Nocostalotta Coursa which I plan to sell since the bicycle is too small for me...


The B17 Narrow just finally found its home on a Legnano Gran Premio that I have recently put on the road. Still got some work to do on the Legnano to get it working the way I want it to, but the saddle seems OK for now. The Legnano will be keeping the drop bars, making the B17N the best choice of the 17 line...


Sadly, I let the B17 Special go on a build up Phillips a couple of years ago and I have regretted selling it ever since. If I didn't have so many leather saddles stored away in The Old Shed, I just might try to come up with the $$$ for another special...


With all of that said, it is pretty much impossible for my butt to interpret comfort in the same manner that anyone else s but can. Put another way, you might like any, all or none of the above saddles. If you wish to sit more upright, then a wider saddle would be the way to go. As for springs, the only Brooks I have ridden with springs was the B66 on a Raleigh Tourist I had and it was very nice for the upright rider, but a bit too much for the average road bicycle. I do wish I had one to install on Chuck's Peugeot UO8. That would make the bicycle perfect, in my opinion...
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Old 09-21-11, 08:29 PM   #9
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I really loved my B-17 Narrow, but I think you'll have to do what the rest of us did, which was trial and error. =0(
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Old 09-21-11, 08:38 PM   #10
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If you are riding upright, the B-67 is great. The break-in was tough, then I noticed a flaw in the leather on the underside of my first one. It was replaced under warranty, and I had the pleasure of breaking in a second one right away. That having been said, I love it on a cruiser style bike that I ride all the time, to the store, work, farmer markets, etc.. Not a fan of sprung saddles for more serious riding, but the B-67 rocks for commuting and errands, and cruising around at night with my wife. Adjustments make a huge difference with that saddle, tilt and front-back movements change the ride alot.

My eldest son hated my B-67 last season, told me it was the worst seat he ever tried. I just bought him his own about a month ago, after he rode mine again (now that I broke it in and got it set to my favorite position). He's hating his new one for now, but I'd bet $50 he will love it by next year...

I mostly ride different brands, such as Ideale, Norex (made by Ideale) BIM (also made by Ideale), Wrights (made by Brooks), Middlemore (English), Dolomiti (Italian B-17), and so on. My experience with Brooks racing saddles is very limited. My son in law and another son both swear by their Imperials, another of my sons felt at home immediately on his brand new B-17.

If you plan to do some serious riding, (again, everybody's experiences are unique), I would steer clear of sprung saddles. The springs mess with my pedaling rhythm big time. YMMV.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:01 AM   #11
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FWIW I use a flyer on my Peugeot basket bike (north roads bars), and it's g-r-e-a-t!. Jeff
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Old 09-22-11, 03:59 AM   #12
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I ride flipped north roads on my commuter, bar/saddle drop is maybe 5 cm's at most and my B17 serves me well. I used to run drops, and then the saddle would get a bit in the way of things.
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Old 09-22-11, 04:51 AM   #13
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I used to run drops, and then the saddle would get a bit in the way of things.
Nicely put. I have issues with this from time to time also.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ubringliten View Post
With my lightweight body, do I need springs?
With your 135 lb. body weight, I don't think I would bother with springs.

I have several sprung Brooks saddles and even at 185 lbs. I really can't detect the springs flexing much at all. They are very stiff.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:40 AM   #15
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I'd steer clear of springs. Your mileage may vary, though. Some folks like 'em. I usually don't, on anything I want to ride hard.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:46 AM   #16
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I have B17's on two mountain bikes with mid rise handlebars and like them. I have a B-66 and B-67 on bikes with higher bars and they work fine. They feel a little wide and the squeaks are hard to get rid of, especially on damp/humid days.

Last edited by kingsting; 09-23-11 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:50 AM   #17
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I'd steer clear of springs. Your mileage may vary, though. Some folks like 'em. I usually don't, on anything I want to ride hard.
The OP is riding an upright city bike, "riding hard" doesn't seem likely. Keep in mind unweighting the saddle from an upright position of a city bike kinda defeats the purpose of riding a city bike. With a sprung saddle, you can stay seated and relaxed over most minor road imperfections. The joy of my city bike is that I can stay seated and relaxed.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:56 AM   #18
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Yeah, I forgot about the squeaks on the B-67.. I got rid of them with some white lithium grease on a really hot day (greased all the contact points on the frame of the seat), and haven't noticed them since. That was something that was driving me up a wall. I'm accustomed to silent seating. Has not been a problem since I lubed it up real good.

Another thing that helped was soaking the entire saddle in neatsfoot oil. The downside of that was the oil has continued to bleed into every pair of pants I own ever since. Since then, I have taken to rubbing a little into the underside only, and leaving the tops alone (on other seats- it's too late for this one). I hope it eventually settles down, but am starting to doubt it. Too much of a good thing...
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Old 09-22-11, 07:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
The OP is riding an upright city bike, "riding hard" doesn't seem likely. Keep in mind unweighting the saddle from an upright position of a city bike kinda defeats the purpose of riding a city bike. With a sprung saddle, you can stay seated and relaxed over most minor road imperfections. The joy of my city bike is that I can stay seated and relaxed.
I agree completely, and ride a B-67 on my cruiser style. But if he wants to get down and rock, the sprung saddle is detrimental in my opinion. I own many, many (way too many) bikes, but only one with springs, for that exact reason. If it is his only bike, he may need it to serve both purposes- in which case I would avoid the springs. Especially considering his light weight. I like 'em on one bike...
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Old 09-22-11, 07:36 AM   #20
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I would not choose a B17N for upright riding. It's narrower than the Pro and is like sitting on the narrow side of a 2X4. My favorites are the B17 and the Flyer. I also like my B67 and my wife's B18.

You can find good advice at wallbike.com. It's a good place to buy a Brooks because you have 6 months to return it if it doesn't suit you.

I disagree with the post above. The springs are stiff and only come into play on sharp bumps.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:09 AM   #21
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For upright I would vote B15 or B72/66. Any saddle to bar drop and I go Professional.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:24 AM   #22
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I am the opposite of you in the weight category, so take my choice with a large grain of salt. I have had 2 Brooks Pros and now ride a B-17 on my '95 Cannondale R500T. I have really enjoyed both models and would gladly buy and break in another. I'd say for you city type riding the B-17 would be great after it is broken in. I usd Brooks Proofhide form my saddles but the others here have more experience and knowledge on what to treat a leather saddle with for break in and regular use. I avoid over treating a leather saddle but try and work in a good treatment at least once every 3 months. Strictly a personal choice. Best of luck in your choice and happy riding.

Bill
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Old 09-22-11, 08:51 AM   #23
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The springs may be stiff for some, but I can rock from side to side when I sit on my B-67. I'm 168 lbs, down from 232 lbs last spring (2010). If I try to pour on power while spinning and lean against the seat, it definitely adds bounce, which screws up my pedaling rhythm. Reminds me of sex on a waterbed. A hard mattress is way better. So is a rigid saddle
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Old 09-22-11, 02:34 PM   #24
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Am I the only one who likes the B72 on city bikes? A little spring, but not too much.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:07 PM   #25
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I'm looking at a used B17 for $50 for myself. Is it worth it to spend more than twice that on a new one?
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