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  1. #1
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    To Brooks saddle or not

    I am a Clyde. 5'11" and 298 lbs. I have a Specialized Sequoia with the stock seat.
    I have been reading about the Brooks B17 saddle.
    I have also been reading about padded bike shorts.

    OK then. Are the happy Brooks riders using padded bike shorts that make the hard leather seat softer?

    I do not have bike shorts - not planning on getting them.

    Are some of you Clydes using the Brooks saddle without the extra padding on the shorts? Is the saddle comfortable?

    Thanks
    Julio (me)
    2011 Specialized Roubaix Elite
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite
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    Patricia (wife)
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite; 2008 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  2. #2
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    Brooks Saddles

    I was at 240lbs when I started riding regularly; now I hover around 200. Anyway, I bought a Brooks Team Pro (even harder leather than a B17) a few thousand miles ago. Even though I do own a pair of padded shorts, I've never actually ridden in them. That seat was REAL HARD for the first thousand miles--then it started to get more comfortable. Now I love it. It's breaking in that matters. My only thing is if I was going to buy another Brooks, I'd probably get the pre-aged one. It's supposed to be easier to break in.

    I almost always ride in swimwear. The baggy shorts with just a thin liner most daytimes. When I'm under 200lbs and out early in the morning, I like riding in Speedos. Love the air rushing over my skin, and the total freedom of movement of the legs going up and down on the pedals.

    I'll save the padded shorts for an organized ride someday.

    Go for the Brooks, you'll eventually love it.

  3. #3
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    It's a waste of money to get a new saddle without bike shorts. You have to get bike shorts if you are going to ride regularly or much distance.

  4. #4
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    It's a waste of money to get a new saddle without bike shorts. You have to get bike shorts if you are going to ride regularly or much distance.
    Incorrect. I ride lots of miles and many hours on Brooks saddles w/o padded shorts. BTW, the Brooks may feel hard when you rap on it w/ your knuckles, but when you press down on it w/ your weight, you'll see it's basically a firm hammock. I have a Brooks on 3 different bikes FWIW.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I have a B.17 Champ Std. on my fixed gear, and a B.17 Imperial on my distance bike. Either one is comfortable with regular street clothes up to about 30 miles. Beyond that, bike shorts are for more reasons than to pad my behind against the saddle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    Incorrect. I ride lots of miles and many hours on Brooks saddles w/o padded shorts. BTW, the Brooks may feel hard when you rap on it w/ your knuckles, but when you press down on it w/ your weight, you'll see it's basically a firm hammock. I have a Brooks on 3 different bikes FWIW.
    Agreed, my Brooks is very comfy. You might want shorts for long distance riding, if only to keep the seams from rubbing your thighs raw, but padding is not necessary imho.
    2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I say, get one. If you don't like it, just send it to me.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Everybody is different. You have to try it for yourself. I know several riders that are happy and several that have removed them after thousands of miles.

  9. #9
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    the price for brooks saddles have gone up quite a bit.. You could find B17's last year for around 70.00, now they are $100+.. I would recommend using wallbike that has a return policy on the brooks saddles just to be sure.. I use B17's and Team Pro's on all my bikes with great results..

    www.wallbike.com

  10. #10
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    I weigh somewhere around 320 right now. I have a brooks champion flyer special which has the same seat as the b17 but with springs. You don't really notice the springs and I think it's comfortable as heck. In fact, I ride in regular clothes pretty exclusively. I wore sweat shorts last weekend on a 30+ mile ride. I haven't ridden much longer than that on it, so I don't know what to expect, but I love the saddle.
    2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Olive
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  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    I know that your bike is new. What's the longest you have ridden so far? IMO, a few 20 mile rides will start to tell you whether you need "comfort enhancement" items. I prefer padded mtn bike shorts myself, Sugoi being my preferred brand.

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  12. #12
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    I have B17's on my distance bike and my commuter. I never wear padded shorts commuting or running errands around town. I usually do wear them for any ride over 40 miles or so though.

    I bought my last B17 a couple of months ago from Nashbar on sale for $54 (after a 20% off coupon). Now they're listed at $109. I might watch it for a few weeks and see if the price changes. That's an awfully huge jump in a short amount of time.

    Still worth it though in my book...

  13. #13
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    You have to look online,I just bought a B-17 for my buddy yesterday,for $72 shipped to the door.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  14. #14
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    I have a brooks flyer (B17 with springs) and I never wear bike shorts. Very comfy.

  15. #15
    like we used to say
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    I don't have padded shorts, but I have two Brooks saddles. I did twenty miles on the B17 in jeans today. My feet give me more trouble than my rear.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    I am a Clyde. 5'11" and 298 lbs. I have a Specialized Sequoia with the stock seat.
    I have been reading about the Brooks B17 saddle.
    I have also been reading about padded bike shorts.

    OK then. Are the happy Brooks riders using padded bike shorts that make the hard leather seat softer?

    I do not have bike shorts - not planning on getting them.

    Are some of you Clydes using the Brooks saddle without the extra padding on the shorts? Is the saddle comfortable?

    Thanks
    The pad on bike shorts is not intended to make the seat softer, it's intended to absorb sweat that builds up riding, to prevent things like heat rash and chaffing. These are common with plastic saddles, in theory leather saddles are intended to breathe at least a little, so there shouldn't be as much sweat buildup and chaffing. Bike shorts however are also intended to not have seams in the areas that contact the saddle, which can also make riding more comfortable, which is why they are intended to be worn commando style.

    All saddles are supposed to contact the sit bones, where a hard seat is less of an issue then some of the other areas in that zone of anatomy. If you find a leather saddle too hard for more the a brief break-in period, then it's probably contacting something it shouldn't, so examine saddle tilt and front to back position to see if changes there will help. If you can't get it far enough forward or backward, then you have bike fitting issues, and should seek a professional bike fitter for assistance.

  17. #17
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    If you get Brooks, make sure to get the right size. I got a B17 because "everybody" said that was the standard size that seemed to fit everybody and everybody was happy with it. I went about 7 or 8 months of bad bike fit problems before I finally realized the B17 was the main problem.

    That saddle is now one of the two Brooks that CliftonGK1 has.

    The problem was that it was too wide for what I was accustomed to and my butt was happy with. It would probably have been ok if I had got a B17N or other narrower saddle, but now I'm a bit *** shy to try again (at least for the moment).

    So the rule is to make sure you know what size saddle you like and get the appropriate size if you do.

    As for short - yes, they are a must in my book if you start doing any rides of even moderate length.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I, too, have a Specialized Sequoia Elite. Great bike but I thought the stock Specialized saddle was awful. Replaced it with a Brooks B17 and I love it. It's firm, but I've noticed that each time I ride the saddle is a little more comfortable. I always wear padded cycling shorts when I ride.
    Onan

  19. #19
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    Have you considered the Selle Anatomica

    http://mcmwin.com/

    I am 5'10"/234 lbs and have a specialized roubaix, and have ridden a bunch of road bikes in the past. This is by far the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat on. At the very least, check out the website.....REAL interesting stuff there!
    Enjoy....Bob

  20. #20
    Senior Member digthemlows's Avatar
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    I'm 6'7", 230lbs and I love my B17, I ride 50 - 70 mile rides every weekend plus a short 7 mile commute every day and have never ridden with bike shorts.........
    Who cares..... Let just Ride!

  21. #21
    Senior Member lubers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo_feezy View Post
    I weigh somewhere around 320 right now. I have a brooks champion flyer special which has the same seat as the b17 but with springs. You don't really notice the springs and I think it's comfortable as heck. In fact, I ride in regular clothes pretty exclusively. I wore sweat shorts last weekend on a 30+ mile ride. I haven't ridden much longer than that on it, so I don't know what to expect, but I love the saddle.
    +1 on the Brooks champion flyer, I go 270 and have the flyer on both my bikes and I also ride with no padded shorts. Longest ride I did on it was 75 miles with no discomfort at all. I also had the MCM Sella seat mention by redfishpaddler and found that to be one of the best seats ever, only reason I don't have that seat is I let a friend use it while testing the new brooks saddle this past summer and he wouldn't give it back, he bought me a saddle of my choice, so I went with the Brooks flyer and found that to be almost as good but far cheaper.
    Last edited by lubers; 11-10-08 at 12:09 PM.
    Jeff

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