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Old 11-27-07, 09:04 AM   #1
Spinz
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Saddle for a fifty year old butt

I like the looks of the Brooks saddles although I have never tried one. When I look at them I have to admit my initial impression is major pain in the posterior. Are they really as good as I hear they are? I'm 215 lbs and would like a decent saddle. Can any of you brooks fans recommend one? Many thanks ----- Lp
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Old 11-27-07, 09:26 AM   #2
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I'm a bit lighter than you at 150', but I find a Brooks saddle very comfortable. I think this is due to the natural suspension qualities of the leather and the smooth surface which does not chafe. Most padded saddles don't flex like a Brooks. This flexing of the leather provides a built-in springy suspension that absorbs a lot of road shock. The padded saddles also rub more and give me more of a problem with chafing.

I use a Brooks Swift saddle, but many say that the B-17 is the most comfortable.

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Old 11-27-07, 09:26 AM   #3
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There is no universally comfortable saddle. Different butts, different riding positions, different tastes lead us towards different saddles. Some people get almost evangelical about Brooks. Personally, I tried to like one for a year but couldn't. I ride Max Flite Gels and a Regal. Check out www.Wallbike.com as they have a good return policy if you don't like your Brooks. Also check out www.selleanatomica.com for a what may be a more comfortable (if a bit more expensive) version of the Brooks. Good Luck and let us know what you end up with.
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Old 11-27-07, 09:30 AM   #4
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I could say yes, they are that good and someone else could say no, they are torture devices. You'll never know for sure until you try one yourself.

As for which Brooks saddle, what type of bike are you riding and how high are your handlebars relative to the top of your saddle? The B17 is the standard choice for road bikes with the saddle about level with the bars or a little lower. Wider models and spring loaded models may be more appropriate for more upright riding positions.
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Old 11-27-07, 09:41 AM   #5
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My riding setup is handlebars a little lower than the saddle. I have the saddle front tilted downward just a bit. Lp
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Old 11-27-07, 09:44 AM   #6
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Problem with Brooks, especially the Team Pro, is that its initially so hard you think it'll never get comfortable. In my experience they do. I have a B-17 that was pretty comfortable (that is to say better than the Terry Fly it replaced), and just keeps getting better. I also on a much less ridden bike have a Team Pro, and while its comfortable, its not yet there in terms of its ultimate comfort. But in my experience, as heavy and old dodgy as the Brooks are, they sure are comfortable saddles.
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Old 11-27-07, 09:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Spinz@50 View Post
My riding setup is handlebars a little lower than the saddle. I have the saddle front tilted downward just a bit. Lp
My suggestion is to try a standard B-17. I don't think you'll want the nose tilted down on a Brooks. I usually start them pointed up slightly and gradually adjust them down to near level as the initial slickness wears off.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:25 AM   #8
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If you are anxious to try a Brooks you can't beat the deal offered by Wallingford Bicycle Parts (Wallbike.com), as suggested by CrossChain in post 3 above. You can buy a saddle, ride it for awhile and if it doesn't seem to be working for you, return it for a full refund, and you only pay for the shipping costs.

Last edited by Louis; 11-27-07 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:27 AM   #9
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http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...and_seat_posts

Selle An Atomica. Bottom right. Best saddle ever, and I weigh the same as you. I've had three Brooks, and the SAA is vastly surperior. No break in period whatseoever, and you can fine tune the shape of the saddle because of the combination of the tightening screw and the cutout. Brooks has the screw, but it's more of a stop gap measure when the saddle gets old and saggy.

Also, the SAA is much less suseptible to rain damage, as it's laminated, rather than a single sheet of leather.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
My suggestion is to try a standard B-17. I don't think you'll want the nose tilted down on a Brooks. I usually start them pointed up slightly and gradually adjust them down to near level as the initial slickness wears off.
+1

Been riding a B-17 for four years, I weigh around 190. I have also "butchered" mine to more resemble a Swift or Swallow, for $250-300 less. No apparent adverse effects.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:39 AM   #11
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http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...and_seat_posts

Selle An Atomica. Bottom right. Best saddle ever, and I weigh the same as you. I've had three Brooks, and the SAA is vastly surperior. No break in period whatseoever, and you can fine tune the shape of the saddle because of the combination of the tightening screw and the cutout. Brooks has the screw, but it's more of a stop gap measure when the saddle gets old and saggy.

Also, the SAA is much less suseptible to rain damage, as it's laminated, rather than a single sheet of leather.
How long have these things been around and how do they hold up over years and decades of use? I keep hearing glowing testimonials by recent converts, but I have yet to read anything about long term durability to allay my natural skepticism about how long a saddle will last with its middle cut out.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:51 AM   #12
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Another enthusiastic vote for selle anatomica. Most comfortable saddle I've ridden. My history with it is relatively short but I've read reports by others with long term histories and all were as enthusiastic after years of use as they were at the beginning.
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Old 11-27-07, 11:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
My suggestion is to try a standard B-17. I don't think you'll want the nose tilted down on a Brooks. I usually start them pointed up slightly and gradually adjust them down to near level as the initial slickness wears off.
My thoughts exactly.

I'm currently down to 205 lbs from 220 lbs. Of the B17, B17N (narrow), and Team Pro the B17 was comfortable immediately. I also have a B17N on the mid 1970's Raleigh that is very comfortable.
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Old 11-27-07, 11:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
How long have these things been around and how do they hold up over years and decades of use? I keep hearing glowing testimonials by recent converts, but I have yet to read anything about long term durability to allay my natural skepticism about how long a saddle will last with its middle cut out.

My SAA "seems" tougher and more durable than my 3 Brooks. The laminated leather, as opposed to a single thick sheet, is the reason.

And the bottom frame allows the saddle to come back a bit more as well.

Last edited by Big Paulie; 11-27-07 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 11-27-07, 11:17 AM   #15
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I was just over at Riv's site checking out the SAA. Very interesting, but the price??? Ouch!
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Old 11-27-07, 11:36 AM   #16
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Bought my Brooks B17, 40+ lbs and 19 months ago and 5,887 miles on it since then........took about 300 miles to break in.

It is perfect for me.....61, 6' & now 198 lbs.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:01 PM   #17
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I just ordered the B17 from Wallingford ------ we'll see how it goes. Crosschain thanks for the link. Lp
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Old 11-27-07, 12:06 PM   #18
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I'm about 260 lbs, and ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker on the road. I put a Brooks B17 on it about 200 miles ago, and I find it quite comfortable now. The first 100 miles were a little tough, as it took a few rides to get the saddle positioned correctly, and to get the breaking in process going. But finally, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Butt are seeing eye-to-eye. It seems counter-intuitive, but you definitely want the front of the B17 tilted up just a little.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:09 PM   #19
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I just ordered the B17 from Wallingford ------ we'll see how it goes. Crosschain thanks for the link. Lp
Keep us posted.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:21 PM   #20
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Brooks Pros are very comfortable once broken in but they are a torture device until you do.
Over 20 yrs ago I decided to take the plunge. I used mink oil on both sides of the leather for several days and just before a ride I placed a wet, hot cloth over it for a few minutes then promptly went on a 20-30 mile ride.
After a few rides my sit-bones (ishcio-tuberosities) left their indentations on the saddle and it has been comfy ever since. However I was all of 155# at the time. You may want to skip the wet, hot towel at over 200 lbs.

Do not over-tighten the nut under the nose of the saddle as that will rip you leather.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:29 PM   #21
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OK, I've only known three saddles in my life: Avocet, Bontrager and Brooks.
I've been real happy with the B-17N I threw on my LeMond 300 or so miles ago.
I understand that they are not for everyone and the first 100 miles on mine were just "OK"
But now, I can feel it cradle my sit bones when I get on it and I am 100% sold.
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Old 11-27-07, 01:02 PM   #22
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No-ones told you to get a bent yet. Cross chains links are where to start.

Thanks to a Prostectomy- I had saddle problems for about 6 years. 18 months ago I went Road bike and I think it was co-incidence but I suddenly found saddles that worked for me. Ok-I am only 150 lbs but the Butt Pain was tremendous. Surprising thing was that the Narrow racing saddles suddenly became comfortable again- I already had these on the MTB's but going road and I changed the pressure points in the butt. Try different nose up or down attitudes- Fore and aft position to get the sit bones in the right place and most of all-Try standing up a bit more than you do now.

Attempt this before you start buying saddles as that is a long and never ending route to take.
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Old 11-27-07, 01:22 PM   #23
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Sheldon has just the thing for you.
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Old 11-27-07, 01:54 PM   #24
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The thing I don't like about Brroks and Ideale saddles is pressure between my sit bones. Makes my dangly part go numb. Not a sensation I like. I have a NOS Ideale 90 saddle that's fairly comfy but doesn't compare to my Serfas Men's Reative Gel saddle. Now that's comfy! The older I get the more I value comfort. Just not into riding a Brooks or Ideale for a hundred miles to get it broken in.
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Old 11-27-07, 02:18 PM   #25
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Sheldon has just the thing for you.
Treat it with a bit of Preparation H or Anusol and it might just work. Lp
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