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Thread: Brooks Cambium

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Brooks Cambium

    I just picked up this new saddle for my fixie. I had a Swift on it before, and it was good, but never felt 100% so I figured i'd give something new a try. I put it on at lunch and took it for a test spin around the parking lot and it was so nice. After my 10 mile ride home tonight i'll have a better idea of this saddle, but first impression is good. I was afraid it'd be kind of bouncy or rubbery, since it's made of rubber, but it's not, it feels pretty much like a leather brooks when it's flexed.

    I really just want to ride right now but unfortunately there's work to do (after this post anyway )



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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Let us know how it changes being cooked in the sun for a couple years ..

    rubber does change over time in those conditions ..

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Let us know how it changes being cooked in the sun for a couple years ..

    rubber does change over time in those conditions ..
    Well, it's vulcanized rubber, not just "regular" rubber, so i'd expect it to hold up well.

    Plus, i'm sitting on it most of the time while outdoors and my bikes are stored inside, so there's that too. Time will tell I guess.

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    i've always wanted a stylish vegan saddle. unfortunately the cambium is a brick. my current saddles weigh 180-220 g while the brooks cambium weights a whopping 415 g. the 235 g difference is over half a lb!
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    tires on Cars and Bikes are vulcanized too , they get dry and crack . ..

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    i've always wanted a stylish vegan saddle. unfortunately the cambium is a brick. my current saddles weigh 180-220 g while the brooks cambium weights a whopping 415 g. the 235 g difference is over half a lb!
    I know what you mean. I wouldn't put it on my roadie (it's currently wearing a carbon saddle), but compared to the swift I had on the fixed before, it's actually lighter.


    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    tires on Cars and Bikes are vulcanized too , they get dry and crack . ..
    Well, the saddle is still new (generally speaking), so only time will tell really.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    well up here sun only comes out , much, after Junuary. thru August, .. so you are in a good test area ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    but compared to the swift I had on the fixed before, it's actually lighter.
    it is a nice looking saddle...
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    I am not sure I can get convinced to sit on exposed metal in the middle of winter.

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    I am not sure I can get convinced to sit on exposed metal in the middle of winter.
    Not sure what you mean.. there is no exposed metal on the seating surface.

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    I've had a cambium on my commuter for a couple of months now and quite like it. It has a nice amount of give to smooth out the smaller bumps (though not as much as the sprung Brooks Flyer it replaced), I don't have to worry about covering it in the rain, I like the slight texture as I don't slide around on the seat unless I want to, and it seems to have a flatter profile than the leather Brooks seats I've had/tried (which makes it more comfortable for me).

    As for being a brick, it is a little less than 0.4% of the total weight of me and the bike. Switching to a lighter saddle might save me 0.2% of the total weight, but I probably wouldn't notice the difference to be honest. What I would notice is if the lighter seat was not as comfortable.

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    I heard a rumor that the surface of this saddle holds onto water. Is that true?

    I've never seriously considered a Brooks because I like to leave my bike out in the rain and not do any kind of saddle maintenance. The Cambium could be a fix for that if it doesn't stay wet.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Given cotton canvas is laid into the mold and the rubber laid in on top of it .. then vulcanized .. cooked ..

    so likely to absorb a wee bit .. of course someone in LA would not have the experience of Our Weather ..


    I just leave a plastic bag over my saddle 9+ months a year..

    pretty much what I Did on UK and Irish Bike tours when I did use my Brooks Pro.

    Though I'm Using a Pleather covered saddle anyhow .. Now..

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    Not sure what you mean.. there is no exposed metal on the seating surface.
    So those rivets are out of plastic or something?!

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I just leave a plastic bag over my saddle 9+ months a year..
    My 6-months stint trying to see what others see in a Brooks saddle ended when humidity was so high in Germany that my saddle got completely saturated with water while under a dedicated cover. In that state I could put the saddle into any shape with hands alone. To be honest, I was quite happy since it gave me the reason to take the saddle off and end that day-in day-out suffering trying to adapt to this instrument of torture. In spite of that being a while ago just the name of Brooks on a rubber saddle makes me itchy.

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    So those rivets are out of plastic or something?!
    No, but you don't sit on them.

    -----

    So, the ride home was awesome! This saddle feels great. At first I had it pushed back too far, so wasn't sure, but after I stopped and adjusted it it felt fantastic. Easily the best feeling brooks i've used (b17, swallow, swift). Possibly the best feeling saddle i've used in general. I can't wait to put more miles on it. One thing that's not too great for people that ride in the rain a lot is the top surface does seem to absorb some water. It rained on the way home today.. I may spray it with some water repellent, but living in so-cal, it's not a huge deal for me. Honestly, I think most of the water was from lack of fenders.


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    2 Brooks Pro, 1_ 35 and 1_ 25 years old.. my initial Proofide treatment could be considered overdoing it..

    I turned it upside down in a warm oven 100F melted in a tablespoon , being warm it absorbed it like a sponge.

    it was fine , still is ever since.. underside is still waxy ..

    just coastal Oregon .. My daily rides have a different choice..
    Fizik Vitesse I got thru the Brompton Dealer [Foldabikes.] steel rail bend offers better setback .. on thudbusters..

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    I checked out a Cambium at my LBS the other day and was shocked by the weight. I guess I've been using racing saddles for so long now-- I haven't had a brooks in 30 years-- that I'd forgotten how heavy seats can be, but the C17 is a heavyweight for sure.

    it's handsome and interesting, though that doesn't justify the weight and high cost for me. Maybe if I had an expensive, gorgeous, lightweight, vanity cruiser for noodling around town, the C17 would be it, in that linen color:
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    Well, it's vulcanized rubber, not just "regular" rubber, so i'd expect it to hold up well.

    Plus, i'm sitting on it most of the time while outdoors and my bikes are stored inside, so there's that too. Time will tell I guess.
    When someone says "rubber" they usually mean vulcanized. Latex is usually use to refer to uncured rubber. While uncured rubber is more susceptible to ozone degradation than vulcanized rubber, vulcanized rubber isn't impervious. Latex will degrade over a period of weeks or months, depending on the ozone concentration, while vulcanized rubber can take months to years. it would still be a good idea to use a rubber protectant on a regular basis, especially in an urban environment, if you want the saddle to last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    I heard a rumor that the surface of this saddle holds onto water. Is that true?

    I've never seriously considered a Brooks because I like to leave my bike out in the rain and not do any kind of saddle maintenance. The Cambium could be a fix for that if it doesn't stay wet.
    If the cordage of the canvas is covered in rubber, I'd suspect no more absorption of water than you see on a set of tires. Essentially, the saddle is the same as the sidewall of a skinwall tire and should react the same way.

    That's why you need to use a protectant on a regular basis, bhop. Look at old skinwall tires and how they can degrade, even when stored inside.

    By the way, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the Cambium. I'm looking at them personally, although I'm waiting for the C15. The C17 is too wide for me.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 01-31-14 at 10:05 AM.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    So is the cotton saturated like a Ply V belt, or does it still have some fabric 'hand' to it?

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    So is the cotton saturated like a Ply V belt, or does it still have some fabric 'hand' to it?
    I don't think it was saturated. I didn't really look at it too closely though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    So is the cotton saturated like a Ply V belt, or does it still have some fabric 'hand' to it?
    It has some fabric hand to it.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    to answer Andy's question pour water over it and see if it stays damp ..

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    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    My brother was one of the lucky ones selected to test-ride the Cambium for free. He normally uses a Brooks B17 and found the Cambium just as comfortable. His was sort of an off-white color that I did not find very appealing, but the black/dark color shown by the OP is much nicer. I would definitely try one of the Cambiums if in the market for a new saddle, but I have a surplus of saddles right now.

  24. #24
    Aspiring Fred
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    The exposed canvas will retain sweat or water. It seems to dry fast. I don't see this as a big issue. It is the best saddle I have used, including B17s and Pros. We now have three Cambiums as his and hers models showed up today for our Brommies.

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    Still waiting for my backordered Cambium to ship from Jenson USA. Not sure whether to put it on my folder or my cross bike when it comes in.

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