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Thread: Brooks saddles

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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Brooks saddles

    Hi everybody, I was wondering what makes Brooks saddles so good. I really don't want to buy all kind of seats,but I heard they were very good. All I'm going to do is tour and I would like to do that in comfort. The seat on the Trek 7300 doesn't feel that bad but when I have to go I have a hard time. The only thing I can think of is that the pressure on the groin area may be causing this. I was thinking that the Brooks saddle being leather would cause a lot of friction.What does the Brooks do to ease the pressure so if I have to go I can.If I do get one which one would be good for a 66 year old tourer. I have dreams of going on one of those MS 150 runs and I'd like to be as ready as I can. Thanks very much, George
    George

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    George: You've probably opened a can of worms here that will keep you amused for some time. Folks on this fourm have strong ideas about what's a good seat and what's a poor seat. Additionally, it seems that those who favor Brooks saddles have a passion that sometimes borders on a mission to convert others. Personally, I ride a Specialized Alias on the bike I put the most miles on. I have a Brooks Pro that I keep on another bike I ride less frequently. I like both saddles, but the one I ride the most is not the Brooks.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    I personally use a Brooks B-17 saddle on all 4 of my bikes. I have tried other saddles(that came with the bikes) and all were okay for very short rides but got very uncomfortable after a few minutes.
    The Brooks B-17 is the only saddle I have used that makes the seat comfort a non issue on longer rides.
    I go 50-100 miles and the seat is not an issue. I guess it is where my seat bones hit the saddle in the right place or the fact that the leather conforms slightly that makes it better for me. I have tried a B-17N (narrow) and it was bad from the start and I knew it so not all Brooks saddles will feel comfortable.
    That is just my personal preference and for now I have no reason to switch.
    Kenal0

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    Brooks.......

    I use a B-17 Champion and for me it is a vast improvement over the stock saddle. Everyone is different and it may not be the saddle for everyone but it has helped me.

    There is very little friction on my Brooks; much less than other saddles.

    As for pressure, it fits a bit ike a hammock and there doesn't seem to be a problem.

    If you consider one you might want to check out www.wallbike.com, down in Louisana. I think the owner is Bill Laine and when I bought mine he had a six month reutrn policy with no questions asked. That at least should mean they have faith in their products.

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    The leather will eventually mold to the shape of your butt. That is when it is considered broken in. How long that takes depends on the person and the individual saddle. Some Brooks take longer than others to break in.

    I have four B-17's on my everyday bikes and I love 'em. However my "go fast" bikes sport lighter saddles which are not as comfortable but (pun) I tolarate for the weight savings.*

    *Not that I think I can actually go fast, or that saving 300g will make me a better rider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    The leather will eventually mold to the shape of your butt. That is when it is considered broken in. How long that takes depends on the person and the individual saddle. Some Brooks take longer than others to break in.

    I have four B-17's on my everyday bikes and I love 'em. However my "go fast" bikes sport lighter saddles which are not as comfortable but (pun) I tolarate for the weight savings.*

    *Not that I think I can actually go fast, or that saving 300g will make me a better rider.
    I was considering this also but instead dropped body weight from 158 to 144 and kept the Brooks saddle.
    I did save 70 grams by changing to the Look Keo Sprint Carbon pedals.
    Kenal0

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    The leather will eventually mold to the shape of your butt. That is when it is considered broken in. How long that takes depends on the person and the individual saddle. Some Brooks take longer than others to break in.

    I have four B-17's on my everyday bikes and I love 'em. However my "go fast" bikes sport lighter saddles which are not as comfortable but (pun) I tolarate for the weight savings.*

    *Not that I think I can actually go fast, or that saving 300g will make me a better rider.

    OFF TOPIC FOR LOUIS:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...l_be_unrolled/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie

    WOW! Thanks Big Paulie, I was not aware of this. I copied the article and will watch for the publication.

  9. #9
    Who you callin' Senior?
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    If you are having urinary tract problems, the saddle may not be the problem.

    I have the champion flyer (basically a B-17 with springs). When I first purchased the bike the lbs advised against the stock saddle and installed a serfas (don't remember the model). After about an hour on the bike, I felt like my nether regions were on fire. I had read that the Brooks tended to be cooler because they are all leather. I find this to be true. The saddle is unbelievably comfortable. My saddle did not need any break-in time. I can ride 4 or 5 hours with no discomfort at all.

    The downside is the weight and that the leather is not weatherproof. I carry a helmet cover to put on the seat if it rains.

    There are some models, I think maybe Terry, that have a cut-out in the center. This maybe better for you.

    What you place your behind on is pretty personal. You just have to try a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenal0
    I was considering this also but instead dropped body weight from 158 to 144 and kept the Brooks saddle.
    I did save 70 grams by changing to the Look Keo Sprint Carbon pedals.
    Kenal0
    I almost bought a set of Look Keo Sprint Carbon pedals, still might.

    I'm not really a weight weenie but I just can't bring myself to put a 500g saddle on a "light" bike. However, if I had to pick one, and only one, saddle for all my bikes ...it would be the B-17, hands down. Uh...er...I mean butt down.

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    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Why Brooks? What looks better than this? (And it sits well too! -1984 Brooks Professional with large copper rivets.)
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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    urinary tract

    I wonder how it would be on the urinary track. I was leaning toward the Serfas RX because of this. I'm not having that much trouble but reports say that the Serfas RX is easier on you. George
    George

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    Well George, the leather on the Brooks is finely finished and slick, slippery as all get out when new, so friction is not a problem. Lack of friction when new is probably more imposing. Initial set up is critical or you'll feel like you're going to slide off of it. The Professional and Champion are a little thicker leather, but any high quality leather saddle is essentially a hammock for your backside. It forms to your butt, and additional tweaking as it does is necessary at times. And they take a little more care than a regular saddle that you put on and forget about.

    Some folks just never get along with one...big heavy people with wide sit bones seem to have more problems with them than skinny butts. But heavier people get there's broke in quicker. I have a green Champion with more than 1000 miles on it, and it is just ever so faintly starting to show sit bone depressions...but it is heaven for even the longest rides. I've got an old B-17N that fits like an Easy Boy recliner by now and is just as comfortable. The 17 series is ever so slightly tilted toward the more upright position riders, and the Swift and Swallow line being more racey.

    Try 'em and see what you think...you can't beat Wallbikes return policy and 6 months is enough to tell if you're going to get along with one. Let us know how it goes, and don't slide off the back!!!

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    I use currently three very different saddle.
    1) Brooks Pro on a bike with a hydraulic trainer. I sweat like a pig and need no bike shorts on the Brooks. I do get off the saddle every 10 minutes for blood circulation.
    Note that the Brooks has no relief for blood circulation. It has low friction and stays cooler. I use it as my daily exercise.
    2) Brooks Champion Flyer on a Road bike. Again, I need to get off the saddle frequently for circulation but I do like the feel of the leather and saddle.
    3) Serfas on a Tandem. I cannot get off the saddle on that bike because of my stoker.
    I find the Serfas better for that condition and it is not so sensitive to rain exposure which cannot be avoided. BTW, I also took that Serfas across America tour with no complaints.

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Will....did you use the Brooks Champion on your cross country ride?
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy

    I've got an old B-17N that fits like an Easy Boy recliner by now and is just as comfortable. The 17 series is ever so slightly tilted toward the more upright position riders, and the Swift and Swallow line being more racey.

    !!
    Baggsy, how much difference is there between the 17(Normal) and the 17Narrow. Shape, much width difference?
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    What are some differences between the 17 and the Brooks Pro. I found the 17 kind of wide, very slippery, and difficult to adjust...either I was sliding forward or the nose was gouging my nards-- despite all kinds of height and fore/aft adjustments.

    Brooks may not be for me....but I'd be willing to try a Pro or a 17Narrow if they were different. I did like the 17 as it began to conform to me and my behind.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

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    The B17 is 280mm long by 170mm wide. The 'Narrow' is 280mm x 165mm, found on both the B17N and the Team Pro I believe. The Conquest is a sprung version and only 160mm wide if I remember right. The Swift is 155mm wide by 275mm long...

    There's a Colt model in there I don't remember the spec's on, and a couple other wide sprung ones...this is all from memory so somebody correct me if I'm wrong...

    But if I'm even close I should win a complimentary Swift Ti in Honey color from Brooks, don't you think? (grin)

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baggsy

    But if I'm even close I should win a complimentary Swift Ti in Honey color from Brooks, don't you think? (grin)
    I've admired them at the LBS.....that kissable butterscotch texture smoother than a baby's butt.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

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    George,

    There is nothing like a leather saddle for long saddle time comfort. I rode with an Ideale saddle, a French saddle much like Brooks, up until 2004. (Ideale has been out of business since the early 80's.) The key to a comfortable saddle is the break in time. Follow the instructions provided by Brooks, give it time and it will be a good friend. This is not a saddle you bolt on and ride a century the next day.

    I switched over to a light weight saddle with the purchase of my carbon fiber Trek 5200 in 2004. That was followed by the purchase of our Trek 2000 tandem in 2006. I am sorry to say I'm a light weight saddle guy now but like Louis ... I don't think they makes me faster or a better rider. But a leather saddle on a carbon fiber bike is like snow tires on a sports car.

    Edge

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    I've admired them at the LBS.....that kissable butterscotch texture smoother than a baby's butt.
    Call my office and make an appointment...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
    Why Brooks? What looks better than this? (And it sits well too! -1984 Brooks Professional with large copper rivets.)
    Pastor Bob, your saddle looks good, but I think my sleek black Arione with its red center stripe looks just as good. I am mystified by all the devotion to Brooks saddles - and I admit they look good - but (not meaning to repeat myself) my Arione is probably much lighter, a good looker, and, for me at least, very comfortable, and it is more in keeping with the style of my bike.

    Each to his/her own, however. A saddle is a very personal thing.

    Caruso

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    After 5 tries with leather saddles (a b-17, 2 Champion Professionals, a Colt, and 2 Lepper Voyagers) several things come to mind.

    One is the break-in is actually kind of fun. It gives you a sense that future will be better.

    Two, "the future is uncertain and the end is always near."

    Leather is in a constant state of flux, and a good saddle one month can be the worst thing imaginable the next. Or vise versa. My best luck with with new or nearly new Professional. They were great for me until they begin to break in. The "center ridge" rose into my tender area as my sit bone dimples grew deeper, and became excrusiating.

    The Voyagers were also good in the beginning, but they both broke at the rear of the frame before 1000 miles.

    The Colt sucked from day one. Pure torture.

    The other problem with Brooks saddles is that they can't be pushed very far back, even with a setback post. For me the weight of leather isn't an issue at all. And, living in SO Cal, rain isn't much of an issue, but it would be if I lived just about anywhere else.

    All that said, I can't emphsize enough that you may hop on a Brooks and be in heaven. I've gone through some periods where a Brooks was really working for me, and it was great. Also, you have to be good at fiddling with tilt angle. It makes a HUGE difference.

    The epilog of the story is that a few years back I read where the Selle San Marcos Regal was essentially the Brooks Professional "in plastic." So I tried one, and it worked fine...and it's still working for me after 10,000 miles.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 07-28-06 at 10:14 PM.

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    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    BP,

    So, are there many Brooks saddles collecting dust at your house? If so, let me know I can unload them for you over at Classic and Vintage, but I get first dibs on the Professional. Did you ever try tightening the tension bolt in the front? I suppose that is a mute point at this time. And you like that Kool Lemmon Varsity I have? I must be honest. It weighs more than any bike I own, by at least 20 lbs (except the Collegiate).
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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I'm going riding right now

    I bought that Serfas RX yesterday and I'm going to try it right now. If it doesn't work I can take it back today.If I order a Brooks what model do you think I need.I would like to try that MS 150 but for the most part I'll be just touring. Thanks again George
    George

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