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Old 02-11-10, 12:16 PM   #1
gholt
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Brooks B17 or B17S for Wife

My wife is wanting to go on a 50 mile ride with me this summer. This is fabulous; however, the current seat on her bike is one of the narrow tyes. I think the best saddle for her may be the brooks. I have two, my questions for those out there who have tried the B17S, is is it better than the B17, or is the B17 sufficient for her.

I have a spare 17 that is not on a bike currently, that I could put on her bike and see how she like it, but it has already been broken in by me.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-11-10, 01:25 PM   #2
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Honestly, they're both the same width - the only difference being that the S has a shorter nose.
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Old 02-11-10, 03:22 PM   #3
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With that, I think I will have her try out my spare saddle and if she likes it, just get another Brooks for her.
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Old 02-11-10, 04:11 PM   #4
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I think the best saddle for her may be the brooks. .
My suggestion is you put your spare on and let her try. Personally I find Brooks saddles to be ass hatchets, and long ago gave up trying to please the wife based on anything that started with "I think". Women's hips are a LOT different than ours.

Saddles are such a personal choice, and at least you have a spare to try her on. From there I'd be finding an LBS that will do swaps, or a place that has a liberal return policy (Performance for one)
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Old 02-11-10, 04:25 PM   #5
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You're right, I guess it follows the whole, Ass-u-me thing.
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Old 02-11-10, 06:42 PM   #6
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Generally, you want a saddle that's a little wider than your sit bones. Women tend to have wider sit bones than men. In addition, women need a shorter nose to minimize soft tissue damage. I suggest you help your wife measure her sit bone width and then let her pick the saddle that's comfortable for her. What you want should be irrelevant, it's her comfort and health that's important. Brooks makes saddles for women that are slightly wider for the sit bones and with slightly shorter noses to minimize soft tissue damage. However, there may be better-engineered saddles for women that your wife would like better.

Here's a link that includes instructions on how to measure sit bones. http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalCycling/Sore.htm
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Old 02-11-10, 07:07 PM   #7
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I honestly don't have much experience with brooks saddles (at least the taught no springs racing kind), but My understanding is they are designed for people who would think nothing of a 50 mile ride, and are willing to log a few hundred miles before the saddle actually gets comfortable for them, not people who are working their way up to doing ONE 50 mile ride. I would think a nice, medium-firm, anatomical ladies touring saddle would be a better bet for someone who has yet to develop an Iron taint.
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Old 02-11-10, 07:55 PM   #8
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I ride with a B17 and love it. I was sold on the cushioned saddle that came with my bike until I decided to go to the Brooks. I am not the biggest of females but I do have some action in the back but not enough to eat an entire saddle. I think your wife should try it out to see if it is for her. Of course, it will take a while to get used to so be patient. If it isn't for her, have her try others out.
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Old 02-11-10, 11:16 PM   #9
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I think the S version is about 7 mm wider as well as being shorter than the b17 regular. I have the sprung version of the b17 S (flyer S), and it was super comfortable (for me) right out of the box. I like to wear skirts when I ride too, so the shorter nose is helpful for that.
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Old 02-12-10, 02:19 AM   #10
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I do not find the S saddles helpful unless I am wearing a skirt. This is what the shorter nose is designed for, and not for dealing with soft tissue discomfort. The relevant "soft tissue" on women tends to be all over the place, so the slightly shorter saddle hardly solves that problem if you are leaning forward anyway. Instead it's the tilt and other factors that make a difference. The reason I prefer non-S saddles on sporty/touring bikes, is that the standard length nose helps with balance on the bike.
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Old 02-12-10, 06:24 AM   #11
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Note that a limitation of the 'S' saddles is that they have very short rails. This means you cannot adjust it forwards or backwards like you can a standard saddle.

My wife has a B67 standard which she likes very much, although it is suited to an upright riding style.
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Old 02-12-10, 09:10 AM   #12
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Like someone else said, remember that women tend to have wider sit bones than men. You'll need to either measure your wife's or just have her try your saddle and see how it feels.

FWIW, the B17 (170mm wide) fits me perfectly, but when my girlfriend tried it out she said it felt like a giant wedgie. Her hips are significantly wider than mine so I got her a B68 (210mm wide) and it's just right.
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Old 02-12-10, 09:39 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I will measure her this weekend and go out shopping to the LBS and see what they have.
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Old 02-12-10, 07:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gholt View Post
With that, I think I will have her try out my spare saddle and if she likes it, just get another Brooks for her.
Have used Brooks saddles for decades, my wife use to scoff at my hard leather seat. She would ride some really large soft seat. I kept suggesting she should try the Brooks. Once I recall her saying she would rather ride on a fence post, than a leather seat. Then about four years ago, she began to express some concern about her bike seat. One day while riding she just sort of stopped and said "I need a new bike seat". Right then and there I swapped the Brooks from my bike with the the beast seat on her bike and we rode home. I insisted she try it for a couple of weeks, after a while I wanted it back. I recall her saying something about I had given her a new bike seat and it was pretty comfortable and I wasn't going to take it back - was I. The seat was a regular B-17, I ordered a new one for myself. She rides fairly upright with handle bar and seat pretty much level. My suggestion - if she likes your spare seat- LET HER KEEP IT !

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Thanks for all the advice. I think I will measure her this weekend and go out shopping to the LBS and see what they have.
Is measuring "her" a Valentines Day thing for you ?
IMHO - keep the VD at home and let her choose the seat herself.

Last edited by martianone; 02-13-10 at 06:10 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-12-10, 08:28 PM   #15
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I am not the biggest of females but I do have some action in the back but not enough to eat an entire saddle. ..
Thanks Travelmama... that one made me giggle...
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