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Old 07-20-05, 08:13 PM   #1
LastPlace
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Brooks........forever

Sunday I opened the package containing my new Brooks B-17 Champion and wondered if
I had spent my hard earned money wisely. Not having a hammer in the house I immediately
thought if I needed to drive any nails the saddle would be a good instrument. Hard as a
rock. Harder, if thats possible.

After smearing on the requisite Proofide I installed the saddle and did ten miles between the
thunderstorms. What I noticed was that I didn't notice the saddle much. Monday I did a little
tilting and did another ten and noticed I didn't notice the saddle.

Today I did 25 and had my legs and time held out I could have done more. To some people if
may be fugly but it fits my butt and doesn't bother me at all. Admittedly, this if my first
saddle change but if this thing gets better, or doesn't get any worse, it if far better for
me than the stock Bontrager that came with my Trek 1200.

BROOKS B-17.............I understand. I understand. Where does the cult meet?

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Old 07-20-05, 08:25 PM   #2
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The cult meets, for one place, at Rivendell Bicycles (www.rivbike.com) or on the Rivendell bike news forum at http://phred.org/mailman/listinfo/rbw.

Interesting people on the forum, many of whom swear by Brooks, who aren't afraid of fenders, 650B wheels, friction shifting or just riding for fun. From there you can also enroll in the ibob forum and fill your box with juicy bike tidbits...lots of fun, helpful, informative.

As for me, I like Brooks but always return to my San Marco Regal....a holdover from the 80's when saddles were elegant as well as functional. (My racer boy buddy has a saddle smaller than the spoon I eat my cereal with!)
Butts Up!
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Old 07-20-05, 10:13 PM   #3
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I'm the proud father of SEVEN Brooks saddles (they're like my children!): two B17's, B15, B72, B66, Conquest, and a Professional Select. They're to me the most comfortable, best looking classiest bicyle seats ever made!
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Old 07-21-05, 06:48 AM   #4
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I never was able to find a comfortable Brooks saddle but I found the perfect saddle for me was the French made Ideale. I have three of them that are at least 20 years old and still feeling fine. One for the road bike, one for the mountain bike and one on my tandem. I wish I had bought more before they went out of business.
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Old 07-21-05, 07:28 AM   #5
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I have one on my townie. Love it!
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Old 07-21-05, 09:58 AM   #6
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Works for me. I have B-17s on three bikes, and the only time I think of them is twice a year when I smear them with Proofhide.
Be careful with those thunderstorms, though. If you ride a wet Brooks, you can permanently deform that sucker and it'll never be the same. They make covers for them (another reason to check Rivendell's Website), but they leak and don't guard against splashing from the wheels. I carry a heavyish plastic grocery bag in my seat bag in the rainy season. You can drape it over the saddle, with a piece of tube or string holding the open end around the post if you want. It gives 100 percent protection, and you can't feel it at all.
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Old 07-21-05, 10:42 AM   #7
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Velo,
Thanks for the advice. I have a cover on order from Wallbike, and carry a plastic
shopping bag.

One question. Looking at the edge of the saddle it appears that it is made of
three pieces of leather pressed together. This is just the tanning/coloring being
forced in from both sides isn't it?

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Old 07-23-05, 03:58 PM   #8
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Capo: 1972 Brooks Pro, on which I have covered 40K miles / 65K km
Schwinn Project KOM-10 Team Issue: Brooks Team Pro
Peugeot PKN-10 Competition: Brooks Competition (what else?)
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Old 07-24-05, 01:28 AM   #9
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Ok, ok, everybody! Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. You guys all swear by 'em. Is there one that will work for a mountain bike or am I being silly thinking I could be comfortable on a Brooks on a mountain bike. Someone on this forum said to never put a Brooks on a mountain bike. Tell me it isn't so. I want to be in the comfy cult!
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Old 07-24-05, 02:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
Ok, ok, everybody! Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. You guys all swear by 'em. Is there one that will work for a mountain bike or am I being silly thinking I could be comfortable on a Brooks on a mountain bike. Someone on this forum said to never put a Brooks on a mountain bike. Tell me it isn't so. I want to be in the comfy cult!
I like mine for commuting, but it does indeed suck from a MTB perspective. You control the bike through three contact points- handlebars, pedals and saddle. The leather saddle is very slippery, which means that you pretty much lose one of those three control points, which is a bit worring on sketchy descents. Maybe it would be okay if the leather roughened up, but mine is still slick after a year.
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Old 07-24-05, 02:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
Ok, ok, everybody! Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. You guys all swear by 'em. Is there one that will work for a mountain bike or am I being silly thinking I could be comfortable on a Brooks on a mountain bike. Someone on this forum said to never put a Brooks on a mountain bike. Tell me it isn't so. I want to be in the comfy cult!
Sorry but a Brooks would not be "Cool" on a mountain bike. Can't see any reason not to fit one though as when you sit on it, it can't be seen.
It may only be fashion, but I think the design of a Brooks is not correct for a mountain bike. Problaby down to the fact that you sit upright on an Mtb. I have never used one, and so far have been happy with the saddle that I do use on my mountain bike. Yet another "Uncool" one for an Mtb in that although it is a selle Italia, it is the wider Trans- Am version. What makes it even worse is that I use the Female version that has the Pelvic cutout and the even wider rear end and a very short nose. Definitely worth a look at if you want a comfier saddle.
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Old 07-24-05, 10:44 AM   #12
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Hey, Womble! You make a lot of sense on the slippery issue. Since I never have owned a Brooks, I was unaware. Thank you for that wee bit but very important point!
Stapfam, I'll have to check into that Selle Italia. Why is that an uncool saddle? Was it meant for Mtn bikes?
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Old 07-24-05, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
Hey, Womble! You make a lot of sense on the slippery issue. Since I never have owned a Brooks, I was unaware. Thank you for that wee bit but very important point!
Stapfam, I'll have to check into that Selle Italia. Why is that an uncool saddle? Was it meant for Mtn bikes?
The selle italia Trans Am is more classed as a "Comfortable saddle" It is generally not fitted to Mtb's as it is quite wide, and supposedly you need a thinner saddle on this type of bike. When you go then to fitting the wider female version of the saddle, it is definitely "Uncool". Problem is, it is comfortable for me so that is why I use it. However-I do find that is does restrict movement a bit, so on my better mountain Bike- I have a Selle italia Flite saddle. This is one of the narrow saddles, cutaway for the pelvic bone and a little gel padding. A good saddle, but not comfortable for any long distance riding which is the type of riding I orefer to do.
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Old 07-24-05, 11:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
The selle italia Trans Am is more classed as a "Comfortable saddle" It is generally not fitted to Mtb's as it is quite wide, and supposedly you need a thinner saddle on this type of bike. When you go then to fitting the wider female version of the saddle, it is definitely "Uncool". Problem is, it is comfortable for me so that is why I use it. However-I do find that is does restrict movement a bit, so on my better mountain Bike- I have a Selle italia Flite saddle. This is one of the narrow saddles, cutaway for the pelvic bone and a little gel padding. A good saddle, but not comfortable for any long distance riding which is the type of riding I orefer to do.
Oh, okay! I currently have a stock Bontrager saddle on my bike. I need the cutout, I know that. Wasn't sure about the Brooks but that slippery factor was a real turn off. Don't want the bike to turn, and me to go straight! Thanks for the lesson! I will continue the search!
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Old 07-25-05, 12:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by womble
I like mine for commuting, but it does indeed suck from a MTB perspective. You control the bike through three contact points- handlebars, pedals and saddle. The leather saddle is very slippery, which means that you pretty much lose one of those three control points, which is a bit worring on sketchy descents. Maybe it would be okay if the leather roughened up, but mine is still slick after a year.
Leather saddles are slick, but I have a B17 on a Bridgestone MB-1 with no problems. I sometimes throw on knobbies and do offroading and it's fine. Isn't one usually slightly out of the saddle on "sketchy descents" since you need to use your legs as shock absorbers? You use the insides of your thighs to contact the saddle. I guess if you combine lycra with the leather it might be pretty slick. I never wear lycra as an outgarment, so maybe that's why I always feel like the Brooks is still grippy enough for offroading.

As far as Brooks not working for the upright position of MTB's, the B17 is fine if your bars are about saddle height or a bit lower. If your bars are higher than your saddle you'll probably feel more comfortable on a wider model. The Harris Cyclery site has a good guide to the various Brooks models describing which ones are appropriate for various types of riding.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/saddles.html
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Old 07-25-05, 01:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
Leather saddles are slick, but I have a B17 on a Bridgestone MB-1 with no problems. I sometimes throw on knobbies and do offroading and it's fine. Isn't one usually slightly out of the saddle on "sketchy descents" since you need to use your legs as shock absorbers? You use the insides of your thighs to contact the saddle. I guess if you combine lycra with the leather it might be pretty slick. I never wear lycra as an outgarment, so maybe that's why I always feel like the Brooks is still grippy enough for offroading.
It sounds like you're considering the B17 as your baseline. If you're used to it already, then it would probably be okay for offroad. Had I always ridden smooth leather saddles, I probably wouldn't complain about them now. However, I moved from a grippy Selle Italia Flite and noticed a big loss of friction and control.

You're right about rising off the saddle on sketchy descents. With the Selle Italia, I could rise off and then grip the sides of the saddle with my thighs. If I do the same thing with the B17, the tall, smooth leather sidewalls are terrible control surfaces. They're so slick that they're shiney (and I don't ride in lycra either).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
As far as Brooks not working for the upright position of MTB's, the B17 is fine if your bars are about saddle height or a bit lower.
I think stapfam's comment about the B17 being inappropriate for a tall riding position was a complete red herring. He's never ridden one, so I don't think he knows what he's talking about. In fact, the basic shape of the Selle Italia Flite and the B17N are quite similar. The Flite just has more of a convex curve across the wings.

The main consideration is whether the saddle fits your butt. The B17N fits mine, so I'm happy to use it for my MTB commuter and I'll also be getting one for my road bike.

Last edited by womble; 07-25-05 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 07-25-05, 04:22 PM   #17
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I understand. I understand. Where does the cult meet?
We meet in my office at 4:30. Bring your saddle.
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Old 07-25-05, 07:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
Ok, ok, everybody! Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. You guys all swear by 'em. Is there one that will work for a mountain bike or am I being silly thinking I could be comfortable on a Brooks on a mountain bike. Someone on this forum said to never put a Brooks on a mountain bike. Tell me it isn't so. I want to be in the comfy cult!
I put a nicely broken in Brooks Team Pro on my mountain bike several months ago, and I not regretted doing so.
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