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  1. #1
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    More Brooks talk

    Seems Brooks saddles are discussed the most on BikeForums and are well loved by the majority. I've been thinking about getting one but I've hesitated for two reasons. The first is the weight of the B17. 500+ grams is quite a bit, but if the comfort is as great as most say, it would be worth it.

    The second question is a bit more serious and concerns numbness. The saddles on my current bikes all have cutouts, but I still have problems getting numb (I've tried numerous position changes to no avail).

    Has anyone riding Brooks saddles experienced numbness?

    Thanks!
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

  2. #2
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    It has been years since I rode a Brooks but I certainly recall the numbness. As a Brooks saddle breaks in a ridge is created where your saddle has a cutout. I would think that would exacerbate the numbness problem.

    Most folks I know who use Brooks saddles ride in a more upright position, though, putting less pressure on the squishy bits that cause numbness.
    Wag more, bark less

  3. #3
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    I've got three brooks b-17's. I've often said i would give up riding if i had to give them up. In fact i regard them as my best cycling purchases every and my wife will vouch for the fact that i have made a lot.

    I have never had any numbness, and am always puzzled by all of the numbness threads. I ride quite a bit and have ridden around 15,000 miles in the last couple years. Most of those were on unpaved roads, so i get the most out of my saddles.

    I think that some people are just put together differently is some way. That is the only explanation i can come up with. Some can't stand brooks saddles, to me that illustrates this point. I can't imagine anything more comfortable. I can't even stand to test ride a bike in a shop becuase the stock saddle hurt so much.

    Go ahead and get a brooks. Wallingford bicycle (google them) has a 6 month money back guarantee. If you don't like it, send it back. Or heck, you can often ebay them and get basically all of your money back. They hold their value.

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    Thanks, Ranger, I believe I'll take your advice. A nice Honey Brooks will look great on my Surly Cross-Check...
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

  5. #5
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    JT52, The B-17 also has a titanium rail option, which would make it lighter weight (more expensive, though).

    I've been riding a B-15 Brooks saddle for 35 years (the same one). It is definitely by far the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden. A Brooks will last you a long time, so a little extra money may be worth it.

  6. #6
    jur
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    Get a Brooks. I strongly suspect that the number of people satisfied with them outweigh the dissatisfied ones by a very large number (they're still in business after what, 85 years, aren't they?). I went through a number of saddles before getting a B17. My 1st saddle was a torture device that put me off biking for several years after riding a paltry 8km, I wish it had been a Brooks instead.

    Once you break it in, the comfort factor outweighs the extra weight by a huge amount. If you were doing a century, that extra weight becomes irrelevant, with a uncomfortable saddle you would wish for an extra kg just to get more comfy.
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  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Brooks got bought by Selle Italia or San Marco in the last year or two, I thought.....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dang's Avatar
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    Love my Brooks! And thanks for reminding me it time to treat her again to another proofhide session.
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  9. #9
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    Brooks got bought by Selle Italia or San Marco in the last year or two, I thought.....
    And your point is...?
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  10. #10
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT52
    Seems Brooks saddles are discussed the most on BikeForums and are well loved by the majority. I've been thinking about getting one but I've hesitated for two reasons. The first is the weight of the B17. 500+ grams is quite a bit, but if the comfort is as great as most say, it would be worth it.
    What, are you racing? Consider the weight of the bike...say 20-35lbs? Now add your own weight and tell me how a couple of hundred grams stacks up in the grand scheme of things. If the weight is a big deal, I'm sure skipping a meal or two would compensate...or, to be serious for a moment, being more comfortable means you might ride longer, thus dropping a pound or two off of you.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've got four of them, don't get me wrong....

    I was just saying, maybe 85 years, but quality control and sales were lagging, but then an italian saddle manufacturer stepped in and rejuvenated the brand...
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    jur
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    You probably know more about this than me. What quality problems were they having? Was this posted in BF? AFAIK, the saddles have not changed at all in all that time except for more models being introduced.

    Buying a company that turns a profit is a good move. Buying a company that seems headed for a sandbar perhaps less so.

    But I don't want to argue, just learn.
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  13. #13
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I have many thousands of miles, about 20 centuries, and countless metric centuries on my Brooks B-17s and have never experienced any numbness, saddle sores, or significant pain in the rear from the saddle. I wear padded shorts but have never used any sort of "butt cream".

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    I got my first Brooks about 2 weeks ago and have put about 140 miles on it. I have not experienced any numbness. This morning I noticed how it's starting to fit to my butt. Most comfortable.

  15. #15
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    All this is hearsay, heretical, and possibly false (kind of like Helmet Head's traffic theories!)

    but Brooks Saddlery was on the fade in the last two decades of the 20th century, with worker morale etc flagging and quality in the crapper.

    Selle Royal aquired Brooks in summer 2002 with plans to 'round out' selle royal's product mix, with a 'return to the roots' of bicycle saddles and talk of rejuvenating the Brooks brand.

    I think Selle Royal Italia has done just that admirably well.
    As far as I know however, all saddles are still made at the Brooks factory in 'brighamshire-on-avon-devoldswood-hampdensdown' or thereabouts, England.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  16. #16
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    The issue of weight is easily resolved when you consider the weight of the saddle + luggage system for commuting, long day rides and light weekend tours.
    With a B17 you can strap on a Carradice saddlebag for 7-25l of easy to carry, aerodynamic and durable luggage.
    With a lightweight racing saddle, most people would opt for a seatpost clamp rack with a rack-top bag. This is heavier, weaker and less aerodynamic.

  17. #17
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    You probably know more about this than me. What quality problems were they having? Was this posted in BF? AFAIK, the saddles have not changed at all in all that time except for more models being introduced.

    Buying a company that turns a profit is a good move. Buying a company that seems headed for a sandbar perhaps less so.

    But I don't want to argue, just learn.
    It's true that Brooks, once the preferred choice for cycle-tourists (and in the old days racers too) had been having difficulties, being content to rest on their laurels and do little to encourage buyers. I have to say also having bought a good number of them for over 35 years that the quality control was erratic in that the same type of saddle would vary in the thickness of the butts of leather used. This meant that having bought two identical Team Pro's I found that while one broke-in easily the other refused to do so. After 3 years and much cursing I found that the uncomfortable one was three times thicker than the other. That's changed with the new company who have tightened QC and mounted a brilliant publicity campaign mounted at the USA market. The new B17 Special seems to me to be a cracking saddle combining comfort and appearance and is well worth the money.

  18. #18
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    Thanks to everyone for their input. I've decided to go ahead and give it a try. If it doesn't work out for me, then, like Ranger said, I can always sell it on ebay!

    I guess the weight thing only bugged me from my, admittedly short, racing days in the 80s, and ever since I've always considered the three things when making a purchase: price, durability, and weight. While a couple hundred grams may not be much (just shy of 8 oz.), you can certainly add a lot of unnecessary weight by not paying attention to the componentry and accessories you're buying and their weights, so it's always been something I've considered. If I like the B17, I can always bite the bullet and get one with the ti rails like IronWoman suggested.

    As far as the bike rider goes...I'm well aware of my contribution to the overall package!
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

  19. #19
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT52
    Thanks to everyone for their input.
    Heh, you can enter a new thread any day with the word Brooks in the title, everybody loves discussing these, so you'll get lots of replies.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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