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Old 01-07-09, 07:54 PM   #1
ecrider
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Back in the Saddle Again

I was thinking about getting a Brooks B17 Imperial saddle with a cutout in the middle to alleviate crotch pains after longer rides.The older I get, the harder those stock saddles seem to be. But before I start looking for a specialized saddle, I wanted to get your opinions. Is this Brooks a good saddle? Are there other good ones out there that you would recommend. Please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:25 AM   #2
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I would look into the Selle Anatomica. It looks pretty much like the Brooks, but with a smallet profile. Additionally it is easily adjustable in terms of seat tension and takes zero break-in. To me it's like riding in your easy chair. Rivendell sells them and you can get them direct online too. Read the write up on the Rivendell site to get the scoop. Good luck.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:39 AM   #3
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+1 on the Selle Anatomica.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:40 AM   #4
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How much have you actually ridden so far? A saddle that feels comfortable when sitting on it at the store, in your living room, or on short rides can get very uncomfortable very quickly on longer rides. I have a theory that most saddle pain problems are caused more by saddle positioning than they are by the actual saddle: too high is the common culprit, but this can also work in conjunction with the saddle being too far forward or too far back. You should try experimenting with it on actual rides. There's definitely more power higher and forward, but it comes at the price of discomfort if you're not riding very intensely at all times. The higher and forward way makes you straddle the saddle in between your legs, whereas it may be better to be able to sit back on the saddle with your weight carried by the actual sit bones. The saddle need not necessarily be a Brooks, but the advantage of those comes from the fact that the leather is hard. Anything soft will compress and that gets very uncomfortable once you get past neighbourhood riding. But you have to give it a few rides for your crotch to get used to it.

The cutout saddles make no sense, because you shouldn't be riding on a saddle with your weight supported as far forward as where the cutout is anyway. If you do, it's because you're actually putting your weight well forward of your sit bones. That's painful just thinking about it!
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Old 01-09-09, 07:56 PM   #5
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I really think the stock saddle on the bike is just uncomfortable. My lbs gave another saddle to try out for a couple of days and I can bring it back if it doesn't work out. I've had the bike fitted in a bike store and have tried experimenting as well. I just think that some of us in the 50+ crowd get a little tender down there and many folks have sung the praises of a cutout saddles. I'm enjoying my hobby too much to let this saddle situation get me down. That's why I wanted to hear from other members.
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Old 01-09-09, 08:56 PM   #6
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Give the Brooks a try. You can get it at Wallbike and they'll refund your money if you don't like it. I had the same problem that you have. Then I ordered a B-17 (standard version) and when it came, I pulled it out of the box and was very skeptical. It was as hard as a rock. But then I put it on my bike, took off for a ride and it vanished out from under me. So I can't say enough about them. But every body is different. Give it a shot.
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Old 01-10-09, 01:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by professorbob View Post
Give the Brooks a try. You can get it at Wallbike and they'll refund your money if you don't like it. I had the same problem that you have. Then I ordered a B-17 (standard version) and when it came, I pulled it out of the box and was very skeptical. It was as hard as a rock. But then I put it on my bike, took off for a ride and it vanished out from under me. So I can't say enough about them. But every body is different. Give it a shot.
Important point this. There are just as many on this forum that cannot get on with a Brooks saddle.

And Most stock saddles are not that good- but that will not matter for a few hundred miles. The butt has to get used to pain. Unless you get that hardened up and used to cycling, you could have the same with any saddle you buy.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:03 PM   #8
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Important point this. There are just as many on this forum that cannot get on with a Brooks saddle.

...
Sadly, I seem to be one of them. I put a B17 on my LHT. It is a beautiful saddle. It looked sweet on the bike. It felt comfortable enough while riding, not at all hard-as-a-brick like I expected. However, it hurt (I will not go into detail).

Perhaps it is due to my particular bar set-up (moustache bars with stock stem) combined with my bad wrists. I do NOT want to change the good-looking stock stem and mess with replacements until I get it right, just to make this saddle work for me, so I've decided it's time for us to part.

Today I picked up a Terry Butterfly Ti I bought on sale at Performance.com, and put it on the LHT tonight. I can actually sit on this saddle without wearing any padding and not instantly want to get off.

I wanted the Brooks to work but, sadly, it is just not for me.
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