I'm a long-time advocate of Brooks saddles, but I'm looking at a different saddle based on some changes in my ergonomic needs.
Right now I'm using a B-17 Champ Std on my fixed gear and a B-17 Imperial on my long distance bike. The former being 177mm and the latter being 170mm width. In looking over most of the "full center channel" saddles (which is what I need to switch to), I'm not finding anything with a width more than 155mm, except for the over-padded SMP Plus; a full 15mm under the Imperial's measurement. I've ridden suspended leather saddles for the past 6 years, and haven't looked at road saddles for at least 15 years, so I'm putting the call out to the Clydes for some help.
The Specialized BG line of saddles gets high accolades. As do the Selle SMP (drop nose) saddles. Given the following information, which saddle would you choose?
- 6'6" rider, wide bone structure
- Will be used for long-distance/endurance riding, up to 600km/40hrs
- Currently comfortable on 170mm Brooks saddle
- Needs minimal/light cushioning
- Needs maximum central channel area.
I've been eyeing the Specialized Avatar and the Selle SMP Avant or Pro models. The main question I've got regards the width. My sit-indents on the Brooks are well within the back area of the saddle, so I'm not out at (or near) the 170mm width. Is the design of hardshell split saddle like the Avatar or SMPs going to be too narrow at 148 - 155mm when compared to the Brooks? I know the B-17 is wider to accomodate a more upright position and support a wider area of the backside. I don't plan to change my riding position when switching saddles.