Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Big Ring. Little Cog.
    My Bikes
    2005 Dahon Speed TR, 2006 Dahon Mu SL, 2000 GT XiZang, 1999ish Rock Lobster, 2007 Dean Animas CTI
    Posts
    1,200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Brooks Saddle Fit Question

    I'd like to try a Brooks saddle on one of my commuter bikes but I've never been comfortable on a wide saddle. Even the Brooks B-17 Narrow is about 10 mm wider than anything I've ever felt comfortable on in an upright riding position and a whooping 19 mm wider than what I use on my road bikes.

    Do they fit differently as far as width goes?

    My problem on wider saddles is the transition area from nose to seat. When I get my sit bones back on the seat area, the transition area is too wide to fit properly between my thighs. So I end up sitting more forward on the nose and that's just bad. For reference, the E3 Form is my favorite saddle and it's got almost no transition area
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

    Change you can believe in - Bigfoot Nessie 08

  2. #2
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Corona and S. El Monte, CA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale D600, Dahon Speed T7
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is tough to judge, you just have to get the wider saddle and go for it.

    My folder came with a wider saddle that what I was used to, and I bought a narrower saddle that I though would be more comfortable. WRONG! after two rides, I ditched the new saddle and went back to the wider one!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  3. #3
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They do fit differently, and are designed that way. However, the 17Sandard is built for the widest range of riders, since human skeletal structure usually varies by only 15%. If you are on the outer range of that ergonomic, like me, at the upper end, you will likely have issues of fit and adjustment. For me, the 17Standard is just a smidge too narrow at the widest part. My ischials are 145mm wide, which is the real useable area of a 17 Standard. Not a problem except on rides extending beyond 70 miles or so. Then, the steel frame under the sides begins to make itself known.

    If you are at the lower range, having ischials that are about 125mm and you have a narrow distance between the hip sockets, you can experience some pressure at the saddle shoulders (the part that flairs to form the seat area).

    Other variables come into play when considering riding posture. If you are bent over a B17Standard, having your bars lower than the saddle peak, you can definitely have problems at the shoulders. The piniforis muscle digs into the top of the flair and developes a charlie-horse. An aggressive posture calls for a narrow saddle like the Pro, which has a shoulder that is set far back on the saddle to allow for thigh room in a race posture. They also have a pronounced arc cross section instead of being more flat, like a touring saddle (B17). The arc eases the transition from the shoulders to the skirts removing that "edge" which presses the piniforis.

    The B17 Narrow is not as wide as the Standard, but the flair begins at about the same place as it does on the Standard, thus, the charlie-horse issue may still be there. The 17/Flyer series are all designed for a semi-upright riding posture.

    So, things for you to consider. Hope I didn't give too much in one swoop.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    1,300
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just to throw it out there, Wallingford Bike has a 6 month satisfaction return policy so essentially you can try out any Brooks saddle you want and if you don't like it just send it back. They're slightly more expensinve at wallbike but the peace of mind was worth it for me

  5. #5
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 for Wallbike. They sell the returns on E-bay if they're not too used looking.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Puget Sound
    My Bikes
    CoMotion Tandem (Rohloff), Surley LHT, Rodriguez , Bike Friday, 1972 Schwinn Sports Tourer, others
    Posts
    124
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brooks are great. i love mine, but ride on what feels good. you do not have to ride on a Brooks just because "everyone" else does.

  7. #7
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    PDX
    My Bikes
    Della Santa Corsa Speciale -- Kish custom -- Santa Cruz Stigmata -- Niner Air 9 Carbon
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    thanks for the biomechanics/anatomy lesson jcm. that certainly explains why i'm a brooks pro fan and prefer it over the b17 standard.
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

  8. #8
    commuter
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    They do fit differently, and are designed that way. However, the 17Sandard is built for the widest range of riders, since human skeletal structure usually varies by only 15%.
    I believe this widely spread assumption is wrong. Brooks saddles are not designed for different anatomies. On the contrary, the perfect thing about a Brooks is that it will mold to a wide variety of different anatomies!

    They are however tailored for different handlebar/saddle positions. See, your ischium/pubic arch tapers to the front of your body. This means that when in an upright position, you will sit on a wider part of your sit bones, therefore you'll need a wider saddle (e.g. B17)

    If you prefer a more aerodynamic/racier position your ischium/pubic arch will tilt to the front, causing you to sit on a narrower section, requiring a narrower saddle. (E.g. Swift)

  9. #9
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Big Ring. Little Cog.
    My Bikes
    2005 Dahon Speed TR, 2006 Dahon Mu SL, 2000 GT XiZang, 1999ish Rock Lobster, 2007 Dean Animas CTI
    Posts
    1,200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the feedback. I'd really like to try a Brooks and see what all the rave is about but I can't talk myself into dropping the coin on one of Brooks narrower saddles. After all it's just a curiosity - not a problem I need to solve. And I can't see being comfortable on a wider saddle given my experiences to date.

    I'll probably talk to the Wallbike guys and see what light they can shed ...
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

    Change you can believe in - Bigfoot Nessie 08

  10. #10
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    I believe this widely spread assumption is wrong. Brooks saddles are not designed for different anatomies. On the contrary, the perfect thing about a Brooks is that it will mold to a wide variety of different anatomies!

    They are however tailored for different handlebar/saddle positions. See, your ischium/pubic arch tapers to the front of your body. This means that when in an upright position, you will sit on a wider part of your sit bones, therefore you'll need a wider saddle (e.g. B17)

    If you prefer a more aerodynamic/racier position your ischium/pubic arch will tilt to the front, causing you to sit on a narrower section, requiring a narrower saddle. (E.g. Swift)
    Yes, quite correct, Swifty. Actually, that's what I was saying, but in a different way. The fact that a 17 is built for the widest range of riders, but conforms to the differences within that range is what I meant.

    Different riding styles require different Brooks models for best comfort and efficiency.

  11. #11
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I'd really like to try a Brooks and see what all the rave is about but I can't talk myself into dropping the coin on one of Brooks narrower saddles. After all it's just a curiosity - not a problem I need to solve. And I can't see being comfortable on a wider saddle given my experiences to date.

    I'll probably talk to the Wallbike guys and see what light they can shed ...
    The higher performance models are expensive, and the price just went up due to the weak dollar.

  12. #12
    South Denver Commuter Leiniesred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Aurora, CO
    My Bikes
    2003 Spec. Epic, 200ish Bianchi Milano
    Posts
    319
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    request for fit help

    My ischials are 125mm apart.

    I'm riding fairly upright on a 1986 specialized rockhopper about 2 hours/day. (an hour each way)
    do I want a B17 standard or a B17 narrow?

    Current saddle is a trashed out 1991 Selle Italia Turbo special. It was once leather, now it both appears and feels, to be made of petrified wood. (It even has been chewed on by a small creature.) I find it somewhat uncomfortable on my sitting bones. Sometimes I hear some squeaking from what is probably thigh rub.

    I am LEANING towards the narrow. I appreciate the experiences of other BF commuters.
    200? Bianchi Milano (main commuter)
    2003 Specialized Epic

  13. #13
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Leiniesred View Post
    My ischials are 125mm apart.

    I'm riding fairly upright on a 1986 specialized rockhopper about 2 hours/day. (an hour each way)
    do I want a B17 standard or a B17 narrow?

    Current saddle is a trashed out 1991 Selle Italia Turbo special. It was once leather, now it both appears and feels, to be made of petrified wood. (It even has been chewed on by a small creature.) I find it somewhat uncomfortable on my sitting bones. Sometimes I hear some squeaking from what is probably thigh rub.

    I am LEANING towards the narrow. I appreciate the experiences of other BF commuters.
    The 17-Standard would likely be just fine for you. Most riders are near 130mm-ish. Incidently, I often ride a '92 Trek 930 which is another old school MTB, converted to road use. I have B67 on it, one of those wide sprung jobs. You might consider a Flyer. It's B17 with springs.

  14. #14
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,964
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been using a B17 normal width with a drop from saddle top to top of bars of 4.5" I was fine with it although I always wished it set back a bit more and it was firmer. My sitbones rested on the curved metal bar in back mostly. The sitbone indents which took over 6000mi to develop are right over that metal bar, almost looks like the metal is bent a bit now at the sitbone contacts.

    I am trying a Team Pro which should arrive Oct-11.

    I haven't measured my sitbones.

    Al

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington DC area
    Posts
    243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I always wished it set back a bit more and it was firmer. My sitbones rested on the curved metal bar in back
    My Brooks problem exactly! I'm surprised there are not more posts about Brooks setback problems. I had to return my B67 recently to Wallbike and I really loved the saddle but couldn't handle the tailbone pain from riding on that back edge with the metal plate underneath.

    I'm currently debating buying another B67 with the Titec S-bent seatpost which has to offer the most setback possible? but it looks rather odd. Sheldon Brown needed one on his Thorn bike he recently sold.

  16. #16
    Slowpoach
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    My Bikes
    Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
    Posts
    1,088
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The standard is a pretty wide saddle. I have to tilt mine down a little to get comfortable. It is fine when sitting straight up, but if you crouch down you naturally slide back a little and I find the B17 standard not quite ideal for that.

  17. #17
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,964
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just received the Team Pro yesterday. I put it on for a 7mi RT errand and had a slight tilt up nose like my old B17. I guess a mistake as the taint pressure was quite bad after 3mi. I rode hard the rest of the ride and that helped floating above the saddle. I had forgotten how slippery a new Brooks was too.

    So I leveled the saddle for my 8.5mi commute in this morning. Much better and I started to like it perhaps more than my old broken in B17. However I found myself sitting even more so on the rear bar - the leg cut-aways are even deeper on the Team Pro (relatively longer nose) and allow oneself to push further back on saddle with butt nearly over end of saddle. That I don't like as much.

    Al

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode 140 miles on my champion flyer Wednesday.

    I wore underwear and shorts...no bike shorts, no lycra and no padding.

    My butt feels fantastic and did for the whole ride. No sores, no pain, and at times I actually thought out loud.....man this feels good.

    Thank you BROOKS : ) : )

  19. #19
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I just received the Team Pro yesterday. I put it on for a 7mi RT errand and had a slight tilt up nose like my old B17. I guess a mistake as the taint pressure was quite bad after 3mi. I rode hard the rest of the ride and that helped floating above the saddle. I had forgotten how slippery a new Brooks was too.

    So I leveled the saddle for my 8.5mi commute in this morning. Much better and I started to like it perhaps more than my old broken in B17. However I found myself sitting even more so on the rear bar - the leg cut-aways are even deeper on the Team Pro (relatively longer nose) and allow oneself to push further back on saddle with butt nearly over end of saddle. That I don't like as much.

    Al
    Most of the Pros I've seen are set dead level or even a bit down in front. A whole different animal than the 17 series.

  20. #20
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,964
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    Most of the Pros I've seen are set dead level or even a bit down in front. A whole different animal than the 17 series.
    I just got back from a 43mi ride with the new Pro and had it set level. It was very comfortable. I think its a keeper.

    Al

  21. #21
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    I just got back from a 43mi ride with the new Pro and had it set level. It was very comfortable. I think its a keeper.

    Al
    ...especially with your bars low. I think the Pro also has longer rails for adjusting the for/aft position.

  22. #22
    Enjoy
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle metro
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    6,167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    ...especially with your bars low. I think the Pro also has longer rails for adjusting the for/aft position.
    A question about the for/aft position on the Professional. Where should the sit bones be on the seat, for riding with arms bent most of the time or in the drops? i.e., a more aggressive rider

  23. #23
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,964
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    ...especially with your bars low. I think the Pro also has longer rails for adjusting the for/aft position.
    It doesn't allow for a further back position and the rails are not longer. I did a side by side check with the B17. In fact the feel is of a more forward relative to the rear leather support bar as the leg cutaways are futher back (making for a longer nose for the same total length saddle) so one sits (or can sit) futher back on the pro. I kinda like sitting on that bar though.

    Al

  24. #24
    Enjoy
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle metro
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    6,167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    so one sits (or can sit) futher back on the pro. I kinda like sitting on that bar though.
    Problem with sitting further back on (a leveled) Brooks Pro is it crushes the soft-stuff. When the saddle was new, I moved my seat forward and lowered the seat post slightly. That fixed the pain but forced a more upright position.

    Now that the saddle seems more broke-in, I'm thinking about raising the seat back up and sliding it back on the rails.

  25. #25
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You know, I don't ride a Pro, but I can't imagine that the sitbones would be comfortable anywhere but the same place that you would be on a 17. That seat area, the web, for want of a better term, is meant to provide the support you need. There are two people that I know well, that ride Pros, and they defintely are positioned on the seat area.

    Noisebeam reports that the rails for fro/aft adjustment are the same as the 17, so maybe a seatpost with more setback is in order. Butt, it's a matter of individual comfort level.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •