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Old 10-16-04, 02:00 AM   #1
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brooks saddles for health concerns

Alright, I know the general opinion on this forum about bicycle related impotence and what not, but I think there's some credence to this fear. So, after trips to the doctor and antibiotics, I hooked myself up with one of those split saddles with no horn. Now I get looks whenever I park it, track stand, take it in to the LBS. Usually they're like, WHAT IS THAT ABOMONATION? HOW DARE THEE DEFILE THE HOLY BICYCLE? and other times, they think it's pretty sick, and want to know more.
It's taken care of the problem, and I'm good to go. But the feel just isn't right. I want a "regular" saddle. One I can really sit on and feel at one with. This new one with just the two pads is alright, but I just don't feel at home on it.
So I'm wondering, can the Brooks saddles take care of this, and still be soft tissue friendly? They're wider, and look pretty neat, but can they take care of the boys?
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Old 10-16-04, 06:50 AM   #2
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I used to have some problems in "that area".

Then I got one of the saddles with a hole down the center.

No more problems.

I can't see how a Brooks saddle would help at all. The leather will soften up and conform to parts of your anatomy that push hard against the saddle. The soft nether regions that suffer so much just don't push back very hard. The leather isn't going to give in to tissues that are that soft. Of course I may be wrong about this.

Anyway, you have a saddle that works, and what is more important to you, the health and well being of the boys or the opinions of others? And the Brooks saddle will be expensive, require more maintenance, and is probably much heavier than your current saddle.

I say stick with what works and to hell with people who would have you suffer just so you can conform to their expectations.
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Old 10-16-04, 09:02 AM   #3
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I too have had such problems.
My first try was a Terry saddle, although it seemed to work, I found two things with this saddle. First, when I spent alot of time in the drops, ie. long rides into the wind, the numbness would return, second, the saddle's padding broke down. Too soon in my opinion.
Next I moved to a higher quality saddle (my opinion) a Koobi, Enduro Gel model. That helped, and it seems to be holding up quite well.
But what I believe to be my most impotent (pun intended) discovery was raising my stem so that my handlebars are even with my saddle position. This brings a much more comfortable & relaxed position. I'll admit that I don't fell as "racey" by sitting a little more upright, but then again I don't ride in races.
As far as the feel of your bike with the hornless seat, I spoke at length this past summer with a guy that has riden such a seat for over ten years. He told me it feels different because we tend to steer a little by shifting our hips, using the horn agianst the thighs for leverage. Seemed to make sense.
About a Brooks. When and if my Koobi gives out, I' probably go Brooks, a narrow one, maybe with springs.
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Old 10-16-04, 11:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2mtr
Ha ha! I get this all the time. The loudest shouters seem to be the wanna-be or the stale "have-arrived".

I pass by a Unicycle commuter a couple of times a month. He *really* takes the heat! My hat's off to him...he's got a great saddle and with 1 wheel about 1/2 the maintenance. Hey If it works for you, and it's not illegal or endangering go for it. Just keep going!
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Old 10-16-04, 01:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bradw
I used to have some problems in "that area".

Then I got one of the saddles with a hole down the center.

No more problems.

I can't see how a Brooks saddle would help at all. The leather will soften up and conform to parts of your anatomy that push hard against the saddle. The soft nether regions that suffer so much just don't push back very hard. The leather isn't going to give in to tissues that are that soft.
Obbligatory "Me Too" reply...

I just swapped a Brooks B-17 for some panniers to someone who subscribes to the Brooks religion. I rode the thing for about 600 miles (came on the bike I bought) and never was able to make friends with it. A Terry Liberator took its place. Negotiations with the Terry are ongoing, but at least it doesn't leave me insensate the way the Brooks did.

Once you find something that lets you ride comfortably, go with it. Riding something that hurts your body defeats the whole purpose of riding for exercise and enjoyment. Let the racer boys suffer if they wish.
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Old 10-16-04, 01:48 PM   #6
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The rails of a Brooks saddle bend when you hit a bump, creating a
hammock sort of effect. If the saddle isn't in the middle of the seatpost clamp, the effect diminishes, especially if the clamp is towards the front of the saddle. When they fit, and they're set up correctly, they are the most comfy thing I've ridden. But things can go south fast if it's not set up just so...
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Old 10-18-04, 12:07 AM   #7
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There is a saddle on the market made by Trico Sports that looks like someone cut the thing in two length wise down the middle; but they did this so that you could adjust the width of the saddle to your liking. I've never used this saddle so I can't report on its comfort, but maybe some here has.

The Brooks saddle is what I have (a Swift) and it's more then religion, it least for most people-no one specific saddle will work for everyone! But the large majority of people that tour long distances all over world and here in the USA, ride on either Brooks Professional or the Brooks B17, because these saddles work! I tried about a dozen different saddles in the last 15 years and about 2 years ago went with the Brooks Swift to try it out. Those other saddles I could only go 75 miles tops before the pain in the asse got to be extremily uncomfortable; with the Brooks I can go 150 miles before it becomes extremily uncomfortable.

The saddle does act like a hammock as Late described, but it also breaks in like a leather shoe, whereas plastic of carbon fiber shelled seats do not.
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Old 10-18-04, 06:30 AM   #8
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I rode two different Brooks saddles. One B17 that I put on over 1000 miles. This one I bought new. The saddle didn't like me and I didn't like it! I sold it at a great loss and picked up a Brooks Conquest (with springs). I didn't know I was too light to flex the springs! I didn't get that one to work for me either (1800 mi). I actally found an Avocet Touring saddle on e-bay for $2 plus shipping. This one I have put Thousands of miles on with no problems. I believe in function over fashion. For some (most of the cyclists I ride with) the Brooks works. I think it depends on each person's anatomy. Function over fashion, for me. I think most deticated cyclists would find interest in new ideas like the split saddles. It's what makes us who we are.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:35 AM   #9
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I find it interesting that people have difficulty with Brooks saddles. Are you sure your bikes are set up properly with saddles level? Also I find on Team Pros I actually need to tilt the nose up considerable so that the rear seating part is level. Otherwise the shape makes me feel like I am sliding forward. So now you may be wondering "What about that nose tilted up?" Not a problem. I read a recommendation a few years ago by John Cobb, aerodynamics advisor to Lane and other time trialists. He suggested that if you have discomfort gettin' down and aero' offset the nose of your saddle by about 1/2" or about half the width of the nose. Offset to either side depending on which way you, uh, that is, ah...hang. This gets the ridge of the saddle from under the ischial protuberance or whatever it's called. You also need to be "adjusted" properly out of the way. Might take a little trial and error to find proper positioning. Cycling shorts make it easier to keep everything in place.

I had a B17 which was perfect early on in my cycling. As I got a little faster I found that it was actually too wide (and I'm a big guy) so I went to Team Professionals which I love. Even at my hefty 210-215 pounds, my Team Pros have not "softened" at all. They are so hard they sound like wood when knocked on. I don't think they are supposed to get soft; that's why the instructions warn against using anything but Proofide.
If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!
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Old 10-18-04, 10:38 AM   #10
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Have Brooks on all my bikes, if they're adjusted right - nothing as good.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:47 AM   #11
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I would probably give up riding before i would give up either of my Brooks B-17 saddles. I have sat on each of them for 2500 miles each, since last November. I ride mainly on very rough unpaved roads on my hard tail mountain bike.

I can't remember once being uncomfortable, even when they were new. I would have to say that there must be some differences in how people are wired. Apparently there are some people that it doesn't work for, although i can't imagine it. This Brooks thing is not just a fad. They have been around for well over 100 years.

I still can't believe how I never think about my saddle ever. It simply is never a factor in my ride. That is what makes a good saddle.
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Old 10-18-04, 11:00 AM   #12
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the selle italia max series with the hole has been good to me- i have several: max flite, xo, and prolink. my old selle italia turbo matic causes numbness on long rides, but not nearly as bad as stock seats. i am interested in the trico, but brand loyalty is keeping me from trying. i am just grateful that the industry has acknowledged this issue, and is doing something about it.
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