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  1. #26
    Senior Member here and there's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    May I suggest that you order a Brooks saddle from walbike.com. Bill Laine, the owner, is a great guy and offers a six month unconditional warranty on Brooks saddles. Try it for six months. Keep the box and if you don't like within the six months, send it back.

    A B-17 isn't all that expensive anyway.

    Try one yourself and find out what's so good, or not so good, about them.
    Wallbike has GREAT customer service. When I ordered my Brooks I forgot to order some proofide with it. I sent them an email asking if they could add it on to my order, if that wasn't possible then I would go ahead and purchase it separately. By the time they read my email my order had already shipped so they offered to send me the proofide via regular mail with no additional shipping costs. Of course I accepted that offer and 2 days later the proofide arrived.
    Last edited by here and there; 05-26-06 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #27
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    I like things with a history and tradition. A Brooks is like a pair of good leather shoes. It takes some time to break them in to the point that they fit properly and are comfortable. Once you are past the break-in period they are a custom-fitting bit of heaven.

    Personally I would have one on a touring bike but I think that they are to heavy and not narrow enough for road racing or technical off road riding.

  3. #28
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Between me, my GF and her son, we have 6 bikes that we actively ride - all sport Brooks saddles - B17s, Champion Specials and Team Pros. I prefer leather for my 'horses'.
    "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

  4. #29
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    There fine.
    The biggest con to me is that you can't set them back on rails as far as most other seats, so if your currrent seat is pushed back near safe limits, then the B17 may not go as far back as you like and you may need a new post with more setback (if you can find one)
    My B17 has nearly 4k miles on it and I've yet to see any sit bone indents that others talk about. But my sitbones spend most of their time over the rear metal rail that supports the leather.
    It was just as comfortable on day one as it is today, actually a bit more comfortable day one as it was firmer and less of a front to back sag. (yes I've tensioned it to make up for stretch)

    Al
    Last edited by noisebeam; 05-26-06 at 02:51 PM.

  5. #30
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    ...by having you sit on your "sit bones" instead of squishing your genital area...
    Hi mac!

    I must politely call "BS" on this statement. The most touted aspect of the Brooks is how it allows your sit bones to create indentations in the supple leather. As the sit bones "sink in," the perineum is now in contact with the center of the saddle. Some folks like this "support all over" design; others (myself included) find it agony.

    Brooks saddles (all of them) have the leather stress ridge right down the middle between the saddle horn and the rear center rivets. This means that once the leather "breaks in," your perineum is in direct contact with the most tightly stressed part of the saddle. Although the "raised fore and aft" sections of the saddle may allow lighter riders to avoid this perineal contact by "perching" on the rear of the saddle, the Brooks design makes such perineal contact unavoidable for heavier riders. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.

    For heavier riders, Brooks saddles "squish the perineal area" worse than saddles with perineal cutouts. Some can tolerate this pressure - heck, some even seem to enjoy it, but don't say that Brooks saddles alleviate this pressure - it just isn't true.

  6. #31
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Although the "raised fore and aft" sections of the saddle may allow lighter riders to avoid this perineal contact by "perching" on the rear of the saddle, the Brooks design makes such perineal contact unavoidable for heavier riders. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.
    That is why I perch on the rivets of my B17, otherwise it digs in and develops too much pressure/hotspot where I don't like it.
    I weigh about 185.

    Al

  7. #32
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    For heavier riders, Brooks saddles "squish the perineal area" worse than saddles with perineal cutouts. Some can tolerate this pressure - heck, some even seem to enjoy it, but don't say that Brooks saddles alleviate this pressure - it just isn't true.
    What do you consider a heavier rider? I ain't no lightweight at 235. The B17's give me no perineal problems at all....though the team pros have been know to cause me some saddle soreness in that area until broken in. It might have something to do with the holes in the B17, which when combined with some proofide treatments and butt sweat from miles of riding, may create more 'give' in that area. I don't ride on the rails either, as Al mentioned.

    I never considered Brooks to be over-hyped...I think this whole thing about good saddles vs bad saddles is over-hyped. The issue is unique bodies and saddle positioning. A lot of 'bad' saddles are just not positioned properly for the rider - or just plain can't be positioned properly for that particular person. One person's hammock is another's arse hatchet.
    "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

  8. #33
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Of course sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too:

    http://mcmwin.com/saddle%20shop.htm
    "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

  9. #34
    mac
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    I have ridden nearly 2,000 miles on my Brooks Professional Saddle and use the Brooks oil on it. I have never had any problems with my perineum getting squished. However, I used to have an old seat with the V-cutout and it would squish it. Even before that, I had a full, soft seat and one time my penis fell asleep / went numb after a 30 mile ride! I have never had that problem with my Brooks and I can feel the soreness on my glutes right underneath my sit bones after long rides, but have no pressure on my perineum. And I'm a "heavier rider" @ 200#, but not a tub like chipcom.

  10. #35
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    One may look at this either as a con or a pro, but one oddity of a Brooks is how many other people touch it, run their fingers over it. Ewww, as I think of the many hours of sweaty fluids that have accumulated.

    Al

  11. #36
    mac
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    or gaseous discharges that have expelled

  12. #37
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    Well I have caught the fever with all this Brooks saddle fervor. I just ordered a Brooks Swift. It will replace the Specialized Toupe on my Everest. The Toupe will then be moved to my road bike.
    The Everest is a root beer brown fade to Las Vegas gold at the dropouts. So this saddle should look good even though at 371g it is 221g heaver than the Toupe. But I think it will be a fitting component for this piece of rigid history.

  13. #38
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    What do you consider a heavier rider? I ain't no lightweight at 235. The B17's give me no perineal problems at all...One person's hammock is another's arse hatchet.
    Quote Originally Posted by mac
    I have ridden nearly 2,000 miles on my Brooks Professional Saddle and...have never had any problems with my perineum getting squished
    I never said that heavier riders would have problems with Brooks saddles - only that the saddle would contact the perineum while riding. Some folks love that rub - I don't. The guy (mac) whose statement I originally objected to said that a Brooks saddle "prevents bicycle-seat induced erectile dysfunction by having you sit on your "sit bones" instead of squishing your genital area." This just isn't so unless you're able to sit on the rear support bar. Most folks don't do that because it isn't comfortable (even with a Brooks). That means that most folks sit on the "hammock" of the saddle WITH their perineum in contact with the centerline "ridge" of leather. Obviously, this contact doesn't bother youse guys; it DOES bother me. Chipcom's final statement sums it up well - one person's hammock IS another's arse hatchet.
    Last edited by FarHorizon; 05-26-06 at 06:42 PM.

  14. #39
    mac
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    Well I just got home and sat on my Brooks saddle again to get a feel where I place my sit bones. I notice that I sit almost on top of the rear rivets. If I sit closer (the "hammock" area?), my sit bones fall off the sides of the saddle and I end up on my perineum. Right after I got my touring bike, I adjusted the saddle so I would be sitting in that position w/o any pressure (that I'm aware of) on my perineum. Whatever I'm doing, I notice a big difference than my previous seats, whether they were V-cut or squishy.

  15. #40
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    I never said that heavier riders would have problems with Brooks saddles - only that the saddle would contact the perineum while riding. Some folks love that rub - I don't. The guy (mac) whose statement I originally objected to said that a Brooks saddle "prevents bicycle-seat induced erectile dysfunction by having you sit on your "sit bones" instead of squishing your genital area." This just isn't so unless you're able to sit on the rear support bar. Most folks don't do that because it isn't comfortable (even with a Brooks). That means that most folks sit on the "hammock" of the saddle WITH their perineum in contact with the centerline "ridge" of leather. Obviously, this contact doesn't bother youse guys; it DOES bother me. Chipcom's final statement sums it up well - one person's hammock IS another's arse hatchet.
    I think you generalise - people are built differently so some may have contact, others not. I submit that you might have a more than usual sagging perineum, because the problem cases seem to be a tiny minority going by reports here.I can't say I have seen anybody write they _like_ perineal contact.

  16. #41
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Arghhhhhhhhh!
    EVERY SADDLE comes in contact with your "sweet meats". The difference is, that a HARD saddle will minimize the pressure, while squishy/gelled (even with cutouts) will just plant your butt bones 1/2 inch down and press up everywhere else

  17. #42
    jcm
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    FarHorizon is essentially correct in his observatin of how leather saddles take the weight of the rider. It is dispersed. The ischials are allowed to sink in, but just so far as to bring everything else into well supported contact. If perineal pressure is too great, that is, you notice it as you ride, try tilting the peak up a notch. Or, additionally, move the saddle forward 1/8th" at a time. I allowed 650 miles with a B-17 before deciding that I couldn't get it to work for me. Just too narrow at the rear and noticeable perineal discomfort that I couldn't adjust away. I went with a B-67 and found the Holy Grail. Lots of all over support and supreme comfort for un-limited rides.

    To those who are riding the rear frame support, I would suggest a different model alltogether, if you are sure you have the best adjustment you can get with the one you have. You should not have to do that to be comfortable on a Brooks or Leper. No way. Something's not right.

    Sometimes perineal pressure is the result of having too much forward tilt. With a Brooks, this can appear to be a level adjustment. But, level is only a recommended starting point. Most people find that raising the peak relieves perinaeal pressure by keeping the rider back on the flared portion of the saddle. This is the only part of the saddle that needs to be level - the peak can be raised. It is the designed purpose of the peak to position the rider and to help provide some control.

    Here's a couple pics on bikes with B-67's that I ride centuries on: No discomfort
    Trek 520
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10ruuqe.jpg
    Trek 830 mtb Not so much tilt required on this one, but the flared part is level.
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10ruzc4.jpg

  18. #43
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    I think you generalise - people are built differently so some may have contact, others not. I submit that you might have a more than usual sagging perineum, because the problem cases seem to be a tiny minority going by reports here.I can't say I have seen anybody write they _like_ perineal contact.
    I don't think I generalise. The purpose of any saddle that either conforms to the rider's bones (Brooks) or provides padding so the bones can "sink in" is to let the sit bones sink into the saddle. Once this occurs, the remainder of the bottom (the perineum in particular) is now (at least) closer to the saddle or (at worst) in contact with the saddle.

    Your statement that some riders have contact, some not, I can agree with. A light-weight rider whose sit bones don't make deep impressions on the saddle may not have any perineal contact. A clydesdale, such as myself, will almost always make deep impressions on the saddle, bringing the perineum into direct saddle contact. This isn't a case of "sagging perineum;" it's a case of high pressure on the saddle sit-bone-support area.

    Whether this happens depends on three things - how hard is the saddle? - how heavy is the rider? - How high is the perineal area of the saddle in relation to the sit bone platform? One might add to this list "How tolerant is the rider to perineal contact with the saddle?" but this final question is a personal question - not a mechanical one.

    My statement arguing that Brooks saddles are NOT a general panacea for perineal pressure is one that I stand by.
    Last edited by FarHorizon; 05-27-06 at 01:55 PM.

  19. #44
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, this past weekend I rode a very hilly 400K brevet ... and I'm a sit-and-spin sort of cyclist.

    My quads are sore. My knees are giving me a few twinges. Even my arms feel a little weak. But my butt, which was planted on my Brooks saddle the whole time, feels just fine.

  20. #45
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    ...my butt, which was planted on my Brooks saddle the whole time, feels just fine.
    And you weigh what?

  21. #46
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    And you weigh what?
    About 10 lbs heavier than I want to weigh!




    I'm about a medium-sized female.

  22. #47
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    I am a recent brooks convert -- I bought a road bike a month ago - hated the saddle that came with bike, tried a terry and another brand - then brooks. I started with the b17 - too long for me on road bike - moved it to hybrid. The saddle felt good enough to me to try another model - team pro s - it was perfect for me on road bike. I just got a champion flyer s for downtube folder (it needs a sprung saddle for me to ride comfortably). For me - they are the best saddles I have ever ridden on - not broken in yet - the most miles on the team pro s - around 150 so far. It was a little tricky to get the tilt just right for soft tissue comfort - but sit bones were great from the start and now, with correct angle for me - saddle just disappears-

  23. #48
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    ...I'm about a medium-sized female.
    ...and WELL within the design parameters for the Brooks. You can use that Brooks without breaking down the leather (and sinking in so that the perineum contacts the saddle horn).

    For the "UberClyde" set, though, Brooks products are probably a mistake - they certainly were for me. Within a month of mounting my Brooks B17, the leather had pancaked and the flaps were sprung out. I'm currently 275# (down from 300), and have tried three Brooks saddles - the B17, B69, & B72. None were appropriate, and all showed irreversable deformation in less than a month.

  24. #49
    jur
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    FarHorizon: Your whole argument brings up a smile . I see you criticizing Brooks saddles (rightly or wrongly), then I picture FH the "uber-clyde" perching his uber-derriere on a tiny (in comparison) Brooks, only to squash it into oblivion, crying "Foul!"

  25. #50
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    ...and WELL within the design parameters for the Brooks. You can use that Brooks without breaking down the leather (and sinking in so that the perineum contacts the saddle horn).

    For the "UberClyde" set, though, Brooks products are probably a mistake - they certainly were for me. Within a month of mounting my Brooks B17, the leather had pancaked and the flaps were sprung out. I'm currently 275# (down from 300), and have tried three Brooks saddles - the B17, B69, & B72. None were appropriate, and all showed irreversable deformation in less than a month.

    But I have broken down the leather and sunk into the saddle. My saddle has very distinct (and somewhat lopsided - apparently I'm not symmetrical) butt grooves. That's what makes it so comfortable!!

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