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  1. #1
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Convince me...what's so great about a Brooks?

    As "pushy" as that title sounds, I've been contemplating a switch to a Brooks B.17...however, I have some doubts.

    So, I'd like to hear a few more opinions. I'm not unhappy with my saddle, so the Brooks would really have to be the best thing since sliced bread if I'm to shell out that cash.

    What do I see as the cons?

    I can't ride it in the rain without a "sleeve" that goes over it, which is a pain, I think, for commuting.

    There's a line of rivets going through a ridge right down the center...umm...that looks like it could prove most uncomfortable in some very bad ways.

    There doesn't appear to be any "anatomical" recession in the design.

    In spite of this, so many people here seem to drool over them, I thought I would make an inquiry.
    Good night...and good luck

  2. #2
    Senior Member here and there's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    As "pushy" as that title sounds, I've been contemplating a switch to a Brooks B.17...however, I have some doubts.

    So, I'd like to hear a few more opinions. I'm not unhappy with my saddle, so the Brooks would really have to be the best thing since sliced bread if I'm to shell out that cash.

    What do I see as the cons?

    I can't ride it in the rain without a "sleeve" that goes over it, which is a pain, I think, for commuting.

    There's a line of rivets going through a ridge right down the center...umm...that looks like it could prove most uncomfortable in some very bad ways.

    There doesn't appear to be any "anatomical" recession in the design.

    In spite of this, so many people here seem to drool over them, I thought I would make an inquiry.
    You can ride the saddle in the rain, just put some proofide or something similar on the saddle to help protect it from the rain. If the bike has to stay parked out in the rain, definantely cover it.

    The rivets down the center of the saddle are not noticeable at all when I'm riding.

    No anatomical design is needed. At first the saddle is hard as a brick, but after a while it molds to your sit bones. I was lucky as the brooks b17 I got felt comfortable immediately, much more comfortable than any other seat I have tried with an anatomical design.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    As "pushy" as that title sounds, I've been contemplating a switch to a Brooks B.17...however, I have some doubts.

    So, I'd like to hear a few more opinions. I'm not unhappy with my saddle, so the Brooks would really have to be the best thing since sliced bread if I'm to shell out that cash.
    http://www.wallbike.com/index.php - 6 month warrenty. If you still don't like it after 6 months, you can return it. Where else in the world are you going to get a deal like that ... especially on a bicycle saddle?


    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    What do I see as the cons?

    I can't ride it in the rain without a "sleeve" that goes over it, which is a pain, I think, for commuting.
    Wrong. No "sleeve" is needed. I've ridden in rains so heavy and long that I've seen the animals lining up in pairs ... without anything but my butt covering the saddle. Seriously ... there was that 600K brevet I attempted last year, as one example. I made it to 325 kms (about 24 hours), it rained the entire time I was out there, they evacuated half the people in the towns I was riding through because the rivers were overflowing, and roads were being closed. I was soaked through and mildly hypothermic ..... but my Brooks saddle was fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    There's a line of rivets going through a ridge right down the center...umm...that looks like it could prove most uncomfortable in some very bad ways.
    I don't know what you're looking at, but there are no rivets going through a ridge right down the center of MY saddle, or any of the other Brooks I've seen!!! There are holes there, but no rivets.


    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    There doesn't appear to be any "anatomical" recession in the design.
    That's because YOU create the necessary "anatomical" recessions when you ride it. YOU customize the saddle to YOUR shape.


    See photos ... the first is a new Brooks. The next few are a broken-in Brooks (mine) with 20,000+ kms on it.
    .
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member turtleguy54's Avatar
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    There are no rivets down the center of the saddle. The B17 has three air holes down the center.

  5. #5
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    What's so great about a Brooks?

    1. They're made of leather (some folks like this)
    2. They have a cult-like following (some folks like this too)
    3. They support the sit bones well
    4. They last a LONG time if cared for

    What isn't so great about a Brooks?

    1. They're made of leather (and can be heavier)
    2. They have a cult-like following
    3. They lack a perenial cutout (unless you do it yourself)
    4. They don't last if you don't take care of them

    I, personally, have tried three different Brooks saddles, the B-17, B-72, and B-69, and found all wanting. I don't say they're bad saddles, I just say they were bad saddles for me. I find greater comfort on saddles with a perenial cutout and more padding. Different strokes...

  6. #6
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Good info guys.

    Air holes! Well, must have been a bad picture I was looking at. Those three airholes looked like rivets, and I thought to myself "how uncomfortable would that be?".

    Well, I hardly dislike my saddle...so I'm in no hurry. It's primarily the "cult-like following" that I've read on this message board that has got me curious, wondering if it could really be THAT great, or if it is just some die-hard fans.

    Still, I may look into acquiring one.
    Good night...and good luck

  7. #7
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    Two years ago I shelled out the cash for a Brooks saddle and never looked back. I don't remember the model, but it has springs under the seat. My butt has never been happier while riding. I didn't think it took all that long for the saddle to be comfortable; maybe 250 miles of riding. A Brooks saddle and fenders are the two best things I've ever put on my bike.

  8. #8
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    I do a lot of rides without padded shorts on my B17. Thats all the comfort proof I need.
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Grand Bois'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.
    He also has good deals on the saddles that have been returned. I got my green Team Pro for $100 with free shipping. The 6 month return policy does not apply to the used saddles. The shop is in New Orleans and I ordered during Mardi Gras. He sent me a bunch of Mardi Gras beads with the saddle. When I told him how much my wife and daughter liked them, he sent more. I have a Team Pro, a Champion Special, a Champion Flyer and a Colt. The Champion Flyer is the most comfortable. Those springs really do make a difference.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka'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.
    Bill is a great guy .... I had a million questions about the Brooks saddles before I got mine ......... and I was VERY skeptical about them!!! We must have exchanged nearly a dozen emails - he answered all my questions and helped me decide which one to get.

  12. #12
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillyman
    I do a lot of rides without padded shorts on my B17. Thats all the comfort proof I need.

    That's the great thing...

    I can do a 20 miler in "street" shorts and feel like I'd worn gelled spandex.

  13. #13
    Southern Gentleman sabaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillyman
    I do a lot of rides without padded shorts on my B17. Thats all the comfort proof I need.
    I do ALL the rides on both my B17s without padded shorts. Never have worn padded shorts while riding them. I have never been on a more comfortable saddle.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillyman
    I do a lot of rides without padded shorts on my B17. Thats all the comfort proof I need.
    I did a couple 80 km rides wearing a bathing suit, with regular shorts over the suit, on my B17 when I was in Australia. We were touring along the ocean, it was really hot, and so we'd ride a bit ... then stop and swim in the ocean ... then ride a bit more, etc. Very comfortable!

  15. #15
    mac
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    They see me rollin' mac's Avatar
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    You only need one reason: it prevents bicycle-seat induced erectile dysfunction by having you sit on your "sit bones" instead of squishing your genital area. Those soft seats which conform to the shape of your bottom puts pressure on the underside of your scrotum. That cuts off circulation to your penis.

  16. #16
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    We were touring along the ocean, it was really hot... Very comfortable
    Ya.. no one mentioned this yet....
    Leather is the best on those 40C days in the saddle.

  17. #17
    is slower than you Peek the Geek's Avatar
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    I just took my Brooks Swift off of my bike. It just didn't work out for me. It wasn't bad, but my Fizik fits me better.

    That's not to say I'm now anti-Brooks, though. On the contrary. I'll probably try a Team Pro next.
    Proud supporter of the Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA)
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  18. #18
    jcm
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    Convince you? I can't. I can only give my experience and observations. Those include the fact that I am among very few people I actually ride with that use Brooks saddles. I understand that many folks have tried them and didn't like them, for various reasons. That's ok.

    1) Leather forms to the individual. It produces the ultimate custom saddle fit. This means that as the ischials form a dimple, the rest of the anatomy comes into contact with the weight distributed more evenly than on synthetic saddles. Synthetic saddles have a molecular memory which cause them to return to their manufactured shape when you get off. Brooks saddles require no 'anatomical design enhancements' or cut-outs. The Brooks saddles keep your personal shape forever.
    2) While the leather itself does not actually breathe, it allows air to get in between the rider and the surface with each movement, thus eliminating hotspots which cause sores. The natural slickness of Brooks saddles is, I think, a misunderstood quality. Maintaining the slickness will also keep the saddle cool to ride in hot weather. Some find that they slip out of position. This is caused by an improper adjustment.
    3) Leather continues to flex, adding to the comfort over very long rides by absorbing shock. The sprung models are remarkable in this.
    4) Brooks saddles have class, without pretension. They make sense. They look great.
    5) That's enough. Hope you like the pics, and that you'll try a Brooks for 500 miles.
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10py746.jpg
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10pyafq.jpg
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10py9z6.jpg
    http://i4.tinypic.com/10pyaog.jpg

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Brooks actually came out with a women's saddle with a keyhole cutout back in the late 1800's, for all you Brookophiles out there. it's back in the lineup, probabably for a limited time. check it out at the brooks website. it has floral embossing on the top and it's very pretty.

    here's a brooks parked out in the rain. properly treated, a brooks needs no cover. i live in seattle, ride brooks on all my bikes for the last decade, and i've pretty much given up bothering to cover my saddles even when parked. no problems.
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    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    That's some good information there. I think perhaps it may be time to drop Wallbike a line.

    Interestingly enough, on the century I just did, I only saw one Brooks saddle out there. I commented on it to the owner, as it caught my eye (they do look classy). The very brief ensuing conversation, plus all the Brooks drool I've seen on this message board in the past is what prompted me to start researching.
    Good night...and good luck

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    As "pushy" as that title sounds, I've been contemplating a switch to a Brooks B.17...however, I have some doubts.

    So, I'd like to hear a few more opinions. I'm not unhappy with my saddle, so the Brooks would really have to be the best thing since sliced bread if I'm to shell out that cash.

    What do I see as the cons?
    "I can't ride it in the rain without a "sleeve" that goes over it, which is a pain, I think, for commuting." Sez who? I have never used any covering or Proofhide or anything else in 35 years of Brooks use in the rain. No problem.

    "There's a line of rivets going through a ridge right down the center" Not on the B66, B72 or B73 that I have ever used.

    "There doesn't appear to be any "anatomical" recession in the design." So? Don't need no stinkin' anatomical recession neither.

    Pictures below are of the B-66 I have been using on my daily commuter for years both in the U.S. and Germany. It came as OEM on the Raleigh Superbe I bought in 1975 or 1976 in Philadelphia. Never has had any wax or treatment of any kind applied. It is covered by a plastic bag when left outside in the rain but never covered when riding in rain, sleet or snow. It may not look new and it doesn't look like it did 30 years ago, but that's OK, neither do I. But we both fit each other well.
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    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 05-26-06 at 07:45 AM.

  22. #22
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
    I just took my Brooks Swift off of my bike. It just didn't work out for me. It wasn't bad, but my Fizik fits me better.

    That's not to say I'm now anti-Brooks, though. On the contrary. I'll probably try a Team Pro next.
    Does it just need to break in a bit more?

    btw if you want to get rid of it please let me know. I have some saddles to trade too.


    ---


    I was probably the most skeptical of all people about Brooks saddles. I used to get annoyed on BF when some one would make a "Best Saddle" post and all the Brooks worshipers would come out of hiding touting there beloved brooks saddle. At one time I said I would never put a "Bricks" saddle on my bike. Then something happened, well actually I went through 10 different saddles at me LBS before finally finding one that I could tolerate. But even this one, the Terry Zero, would hurt after about 80 miles. I just thought that that was the way it is. You see my right sit bone protrudes a little more then my left so there really is no way I can ever get comfy on a plastic saddle.

    So finally I caved in, I went to my LBS and got a B17. I thought at first I will at least try it so I put it on my touring bike as these saddles are not conducive to the aero position like on a racing bike or so I was told. At first it was not that great but it really was not a whole lot different then what I had on. Now it's like the melted butter on your bagel. It is the single most comfortable thing I have ever sat on. I have seen the light praise Brooks. I was just looking at it last night and I could see that the right side of the saddle was a little more dented in then the left which proves that indeed it breaks into your personal anatomy. I don't feel any pressure on the perineum too.

    So I went and got me a Brooks Swift TI saddle for my racing bike and so far that thing is just about to crack. It's just about to conform to my anatomy and it's only been about 300 miles with several Proofhide applications.

    All I can say is just give it a try you have nothing to loose.

  23. #23
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    A brooks saddle is used by you, and you only. It needs to form to your rear end, not somebody elses. Thats the only way it will be comfortable to you.

    They also great.

  24. #24
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    I meant to say they also LOOK great.

  25. #25
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    I put a B17 on my bike just last night. It replaced a Performance Forte Pro SLX, which replaced a Trek CRZ+. I rode the CRZ all last summer, and it was pretty good for shorter rides, but once the riding time hit 1.5+ hours, I started to get some numbness in my perineal area that would spread to the boys and then forward from there . The CRZ has thick though fairly firm padding. I decided I needed a saddle with less padding so I picked up the SLX from eBay, but at 130mm I think it's just too narrow for my sitbones. I read through that "How's your Brooks treating you" monster of a thread, and then ordered a B17. It's definitely more comfortable than the SLX is (though much heaver, that SLX weighs about as much as a feather), but not yet as comfy as the CRZ. However, I need to do a bit more tweaking on the position, as I found I tend to slowly slide forward on my way to work this morning. I was a little concerned that I might need a more "aggressive" (and expensive) saddle such as a Swift or a B17N because I split my time about 50% between riding the drops and the brake levers, but the width seems like it will be a good fit after all. This weekend I'll take it for a 40-mile ride and then I'll see how comfortable it is after I've been on it for a while.

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