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Old 06-24-07, 10:25 PM   #1
Red Rider
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Speaking of Saddles -- What's with this Brooks Model?

No maatter which forum I read, there's a post about Brooks. Love it, hate it, giving it __ many rides to get broken in.

What is it about this saddle that so many would put up with so much discomfort for so long? If it's that great, why don't more cyclists use it?

I know nothing about it except that none of our bikes have one, and no one we know has recommended one. Just sayin'.
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Old 06-24-07, 10:35 PM   #2
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It's a cult. Be careful. Be very, very careful.
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Old 06-24-07, 10:44 PM   #3
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you might need an intervention
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Old 06-24-07, 10:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
(1)What is it about this saddle that so many would put up with so much discomfort for so long?
(2)If it's that great, why don't more cyclists use it?
(3)I know nothing about it except that none of our bikes have one, and no one we know has recommended one. Just sayin'.
1- I wouldn't. Mine was comfortable from the first ride and gradually got better.
2- Lance didn't ride one? Too heavy? PETA might get you?
3- Maybe you're hanging with the wrong crowd.

They aren't for everyone. I was skeptical at first, but it is by far the most comfortable of the many saddles I've used. That's all the reason I need.
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Old 06-24-07, 11:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
1- I wouldn't. Mine was comfortable from the first ride and gradually got better.
2- Lance didn't ride one? Too heavy? PETA might get you?
3- Maybe you're hanging with the wrong crowd.

They aren't for everyone. I was skeptical at first, but it is by far the most comfortable of the many saddles I've used. That's all the reason I need.
1.) Really? Did you perform some ritualistic preparation before seating yourself upon it?

2.) It's leather?

3.) Ummm...I'm in the 50+ crowd. I qualify. No one else I know uses a Brooks. You might be on to something.

What makes it such a great saddle? The leather? The chamois in your shorts? Something I'm missing?

Sure, I have a warped sense of humor, but seriously...what's the attraction of this saddle?
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Old 06-24-07, 11:19 PM   #6
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Don't have one myself.

They get great ratings on all of the on-line review boards from their owners. So what can one say but that a very high percentage of those who buy them, like them - a lot!

They do weigh much more than a typical roadie saddle, even the ones with titanium rails.

Most LBSs in my neck of the woods sell them.
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Old 06-24-07, 11:23 PM   #7
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No rituals, just ride it.
Being the most comfortable saddle I've tried isn't enough attraction?
It works for me. It does for many people. For many other people it doesn't work.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
No maatter which forum I read, there's a post about Brooks. Love it, hate it, giving it __ many rides to get broken in.

What is it about this saddle that so many would put up with so much discomfort for so long? If it's that great, why don't more cyclists use it?

I know nothing about it except that none of our bikes have one, and no one we know has recommended one. Just sayin'.
Well ain't that the truth!

- Wil
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Old 06-25-07, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Davis
Well ain't that the truth!

- Wil
Exactly why I posted my questions. You got a problem with that?
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Old 06-25-07, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
Exactly why I posted my questions. You got a problem with that?
What is it that you want to know? You seem to be looking for something beyond the simple facts. They are well designed, well made saddles that have been around for a long time and that many people find to be very comfortable. Much of the mystery about Brooks saddles seems to be perpetuated by people who have never tried one.

If you are really curious, why not buy one and ride it for a few months? You may love it, you may hate it, you may be indifferent. But at least you'll know.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:22 AM   #11
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One positive is that if you hate it, there is no problem in selling one on eBay. People always seem to get a fair price for them.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:33 AM   #12
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I've got around 1400 miles on mine. It took some getting used to.; ~400 miles. The break in period was not torture. It's as comfortable as the best of the other saddles I've owned, but not appreciably more so. It's not a recliner, it's bike saddle. It looks nice.

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Old 06-25-07, 10:34 AM   #13
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A. Even when breaking in , the brooks was as comfortable as any old saddle I tried.
B. I just finished a 60 miler yesterday and absolutely felt like I was riding on air.
C. I am not a Brooks cult member..............I've tried 5 different saddles..........none seemed to fit the bill
D. I resisted Brooks because I simply couldn't believe all these testimonials on how great the saddle was
E. Now look at me!
F. LBS had me soak saddle in h20 for an hour or so, add the oil on the underside and go for a spin.
G. I haven't thought about soreness since.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
Exactly why I posted my questions. You got a problem with that?
RedRider,
BluesDawg has summed it up pretty succinctly, but, because I'm a natural bloviate, I'll add something:

All-Leather saddles are an extension of centuries-proven design using hide blank. The premise is that leather, being a natural material, has qualities that transcend technological 'improvements'. Modern ultra lightweight bike products are great innovations, but alot of the disdain for old school stuff is just that - disdain. Not well thought out, either. If a rider is very weight sensitive - there's a good chance he/she is also very market driven. They gotcha!

Saddle makers have known for a thousand years that hide leather is the best material for long hours spent in the slot. There is virtually no surviving working saddle in extant since Napoleanonic times that is not smooth leather. Many before that where wood, but leather covered.

Leather forms to the body, it absorbs sweat by natural wicking action, thus giving the rider far superior long range comfort. Leather lasts a very long time. It's extremely tough against abrasions.

Those of us who use Brooks saddles do so after a long and studied search, usually by trial and error. Weight be damned - most of us can lose alot more off our butts that the extra few ounces of leather under them.

Late US Cavalry working leather from the Civil War:
http://i7.tinypic.com/63kiw5s.jpg
http://i19.tinypic.com/541qq0g.jpg
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Old 06-25-07, 10:45 AM   #15
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But what of the age old question ... springs or no springs???
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Old 06-25-07, 10:50 AM   #16
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oh yeah, a little more:
Three weeks ago I rode the Wenatchee Rotary Apple Century on my Sequoia Elite with a Brooks B17 saddle. At the half-way food stop, with about 100 other riders there, I had the only Brooks that I observed. There might have been more, but I didn't see them.

Yes, there were people walking past the bike looking at the saddle like it was from Mars. Without exception, they were fully kitted-out riders on very light bikes. I heard some of them saying how they were ready for the stop, in order to get off the saddle

I was totally comfortable all the way until the last 10 miles, when I could feel my ischials beginning to complain. Not about the leather - but because the 17 is just a tad too narrow for my sitbones, that's all. But it's ok because I normally don't go 100 miles in 6 hours. A nice long ride for me is closer to 75.

http://i11.tinypic.com/4vs67f4.jpg

Shoulda brought my B67. Folks would have fainted dead away...
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Old 06-25-07, 10:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
But what of the age old question ... springs or no springs???
Yes... The Age Old Question. Very subjective extension. I like both. Depends on which bike I ride on any given day. Here are two very different mounts:

1998 Trek 520:
http://i13.tinypic.com/4zndxxg.jpg

1992? Trek 930 - roadified. This one also gets full Ford fenders in winter
http://i9.tinypic.com/6fifc4o.jpg
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Old 06-25-07, 11:06 AM   #18
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The Brooks I ride on a regular basis was comfortable from day one. Day one was in 1982.

TCS

PS: Brooks has only been making bicycle saddles since 1870. I expect the whole leather saddle fad to die out before too long.
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Old 06-25-07, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm
Yes... The Age Old Question. Very subjective extension. I like both. Depends on which bike I ride on any given day. Here are two very different mounts:

1998 Trek 520:
http://i13.tinypic.com/4zndxxg.jpg

1992? Trek 930 - roadified. This one also gets full Ford fenders in winter
http://i9.tinypic.com/6fifc4o.jpg
Generally, a more upright sitting position, like on a hybrid, puts more weight on the saddle and a sprung saddle is more appropriate. A more forward road bike position balances your weight between the butt, legs and hands and the springs would not really make much difference.

My Trek 970 will be reborn soon and will feature a Flyer. My RB-1 has a B17.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:00 PM   #20
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF6fkCGpFJg

With lots of leather too.

jcm had it all, Brooks saddles are durable, comfortable, and finally on my tourer again.

george
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Old 06-25-07, 12:01 PM   #21
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I have been toying with the idea of getting a B-17 for the Reno since I bought the bike.
I still am. My old '78 steel-framed Gitane had an Avocet saddle that I bought for it. If memory serves, there is no way that a B-17 could be harder on the butt out of the gate than that Avocet was.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:10 PM   #22
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Wasn't there a place where you could order a Brooks and return it if it didn't work out?
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Old 06-25-07, 12:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Wasn't there a place where you could order a Brooks and return it if it didn't work out?
Oh definitely... it's... it's... ummmm... Well, they have a 6 month, unconditional return policy.
Wallingford? Oh nuts....
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Old 06-25-07, 12:44 PM   #24
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Something about leather and rivets.
Don't be fooled. It's a guy thing.
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Old 06-25-07, 12:48 PM   #25
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I use the all leather Selle AnAtomic, it's like a Brooks. My wife uses a Brooks Finesse and I put a B67 on my sister's bike. We all like our saddles very much.
It took a LONG time to get everybody happy, but it was worth it.
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