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Old 07-31-12, 09:30 PM   #1
jyl
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Brooks "Imperial" Saddles?

My Gyes Swallow copy is comfy enough for shorter rides (50 miles or less) but after 80 miles my nether regions are numb and I worry about my powers of performance, ahem.

I noticed a Brooks B17 Imperial with perforated and laced sides, in good shape, for $75. What do you think about the cut-out saddles? It's enough money that I won't buy it on a whim, but not too much to buy it for a reason.

There is also an old Brooks Professional with the copper rivets and mile-thick leather, but unfortunately the leather on the nose is looking iffy - the upper rivet hole on the nose is elongated and I worry if it will last. Only $30, though.
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Old 07-31-12, 09:57 PM   #2
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I am about 190lbs in riding gear. I did not like the imperial. I do not like the B17 for anything lower than level with saddle handlebars either so that is to be considered. I think the B17 is an upright saddle. I found it stretched rather quickly and did not provide any improvement over the regular B17. I am a slight to medium build at 6'3andabit" and I find that it is the length of the saddle that bothers me. On a B17 I find it is the nose piece itself sticking up into my nether-regions that is the cause of my discomfort. That said I still own a b17 and prefer the regular to the imperial on a bicycle with upright bars.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:37 PM   #3
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Have you tried angling the nose down? I have the nose of my leather saddle (brooks b67) pointed down quite a bit. I am still not slipping down the seat, so I figure it is good. There is nill to no pressure on the netheregions. I say point the nose down as much as you can and see how it feels. I think the stretch of the leather makes it harder to slip off, it works more like a hammock than a seat.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:12 PM   #4
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I've got an imperial and like it, i've ridden roughly 700-900 miles on it at this point. After that many miles, it's not really getting those two dimples that broken in saddles have. I'll honestly say that i'm not sure the cut-out really does much... other than look neat. I've got the nose angled just below level and that improved the comfort for me. My imperial is laced on the sides, otherwise I could see it being a bit floppy.

I've got two 70's Brooks professionals to compare the imperial to. I'm not really crazy about the professionals, to me they feel narrow and tough.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:20 PM   #5
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I absolutely love the Imperial with thousands of miles on it. It made riding pleasurable as I never worry about being comfortable on the saddle because it always is.
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Old 07-31-12, 11:28 PM   #6
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Here is mine. Like I said, probably 700-900 miles on it. I'm concerned that it'll form ridges behind the cutout eventually, but only time will tell.


[IMG] IMG_0013 by mkeller234, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 08-01-12, 04:13 AM   #7
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I just rode 155 miles on a B17 Imperial fresh out of the box, no problems. The cut-out make it softer and more compliant than a regular B17. Really loving my Imperial so far, mostly feel the reduction in "prostate pressure" while riding in the drops. Don't think it will last as long as my other Brooks though, being floppier and all.
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Old 08-01-12, 04:22 AM   #8
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http://www.go1bike.fr/en/2999-brooks...304-black.html
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Old 08-01-12, 11:33 AM   #9
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I've put a few thousand miles on mine.

I did STP (Seattle to Portland - 205 miles) on it and it went great.

That being said..Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.
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Old 08-01-12, 02:28 PM   #10
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I've put a few thousand miles on mine.

I did STP (Seattle to Portland - 205 miles) on it and it went great.

That being said..Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.
How did yours break in? Is your saddle laced? See how mine is getting that squarish runway behind the cutout?
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Old 08-01-12, 02:49 PM   #11
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Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.
Somebody needs to make this their signature!
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Old 08-01-12, 03:41 PM   #12
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Somebody needs to make this their signature!
Done.

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Old 08-01-12, 05:19 PM   #13
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How did yours break in? Is your saddle laced? See how mine is getting that squarish runway behind the cutout?

Mine broke in wonderfully. I keep it on distance ride that doesn't get rained on often. I cover it with a cover whenever it does. Mine is laced. I only touched them once. I seem to remember it being a little lose unless i sat on it and then the laces would pull tight.

Mine still has its original shape. it hasn't warped or changed at all. a year later i bought my girlfriend a B17S imperial that got warped in a fashion similar to yours within a few months. I have heard stories about them having poor quality control recently, so i'm wondering if that might be the reason.

You definitely ought to send Brooks some pictures of yours and see what they think.
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Old 08-01-12, 05:20 PM   #14
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done.

lol
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Old 08-01-12, 06:00 PM   #15
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Mine broke in wonderfully. I keep it on distance ride that doesn't get rained on often. I cover it with a cover whenever it does. Mine is laced. I only touched them once. I seem to remember it being a little lose unless i sat on it and then the laces would pull tight.

Mine still has its original shape. it hasn't warped or changed at all. a year later i bought my girlfriend a B17S imperial that got warped in a fashion similar to yours within a few months. I have heard stories about them having poor quality control recently, so i'm wondering if that might be the reason.

You definitely ought to send Brooks some pictures of yours and see what they think.
Mind posting a picture of yours to compare with?
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Old 08-01-12, 08:10 PM   #16
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My Gyes Swallow copy is comfy enough for shorter rides (50 miles or less) but after 80 miles my nether regions are numb and I worry about my powers of performance, ahem.
I take it that your Gyes doesn't have the cut-out? I haven't experienced any numbness problems with my GS-06H:
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Old 08-01-12, 09:45 PM   #17
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I'll try and snap a pic of my saddle tomorrow for you.

You can barely see it in this pic.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7113/7...fca805f7_b.jpg
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Old 08-01-12, 10:00 PM   #18
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I'll try and snap a pic of my saddle tomorrow for you.

You can barely see it in this pic.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7113/7...fca805f7_b.jpg

Cool, thanks. I suppose you do have more mileage on yours. I'm just approaching 1000 on mine, so maybe that is a big reason. I noticed some stretch marks around the back steel plate and rivets where the top is starting to indent. I figure that is probably what I should be seeing.
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Old 08-02-12, 08:45 AM   #19
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My Gyes does not have the cut-out. I like the saddle for up to 50 miles. Didn't realize they came with the cut-out, maybe I will try one of those.
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Old 08-02-12, 11:10 AM   #20
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Get it from Wallbike or REI so you can easily return it within 6 months if it doesn't work out.
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