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  1. #1
    Senior Member enthuesd's Avatar
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    Brief Brooks B72 Review

    The Brooks B72 began very hard and the sit bones could be supported by any part of the saddle's flat surface with equal support. As the saddle broke in it became increasingly painful to sit on the large face of the saddle that creates the hammock effect of each sit bone, protruding the center of the saddle against the middle penile area that should obviously be avoided. Riding like this for only 8 miles has given me excruciating pain in the groin area for 3 days. The only comfortable way of sitting on the saddle was to sit on the rear frame on top of the rivets, which is the method I used for three 20 mile commutes. This position proved mildly comfortable but knowingly it was the improper way of using the saddle.

    Knowing that resting the sit bones on the top of the saddle is not quite comfortable, and sitting on the flat area that is supposed to support the weight causes much discomfort, I cannot help but think I am doing something wrong since so many people have found this saddle model (including the B66, B67) a life saving comfort item. I sit in an almost bolt upright position with most of my 155 pounds on the saddle. I am about to sell the saddle and try a flyer; I've heard they do not sag as much.

  2. #2
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by enthuesd View Post
    The Brooks B72 began very hard and the sit bones could be supported by any part of the saddle's flat surface with equal support. As the saddle broke in it became increasingly painful to sit on the large face of the saddle that creates the hammock effect of each sit bone, protruding the center of the saddle against the middle penile area that should obviously be avoided. Riding like this for only 8 miles has given me excruciating pain in the groin area for 3 days. The only comfortable way of sitting on the saddle was to sit on the rear frame on top of the rivets, which is the method I used for three 20 mile commutes. This position proved mildly comfortable but knowingly it was the improper way of using the saddle.

    Knowing that resting the sit bones on the top of the saddle is not quite comfortable, and sitting on the flat area that is supposed to support the weight causes much discomfort, I cannot help but think I am doing something wrong since so many people have found this saddle model (including the B66, B67) a life saving comfort item. I sit in an almost bolt upright position with most of my 155 pounds on the saddle. I am about to sell the saddle and try a flyer; I've heard they do not sag as much.
    Please post the most recent profile pic(s) of your bike. Make sure you show enough of the bike so I can see what type of machine you have, and how high the handlebars are in relation to the saddle. How many miles are on the saddle? Very odd that you should experience that much discomfort on a B72.

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    It is most likely a saddle adjustment. Nose to high will put pressure on your perinium (prostate?).

    I have a b72 that I had to Play with the adjustments to get it right for me. Nose up/down, seat height up/down and rails forward or back. It is just starting to get to the point that I don't even realize I am sitting on it.

    I think it is a matter of your butt and the seat getting aquainted and broken in to each other and proper adjustment. This may take a little time.

  4. #4
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    It is most likely a saddle adjustment. Nose to high will put pressure on your perinium (prostate?).

    I have a b72 that I had to Play with the adjustments to get it right for me. Nose up/down, seat height up/down and rails forward or back. It is just starting to get to the point that I don't even realize I am sitting on it.

    I think it is a matter of your butt and the seat getting aquainted and broken in to each other and proper adjustment. This may take a little time.
    I agree. The 66/67/68/72/73 are saddles that have a reputation of being comfortable right out of the box, with little or no break-in. We need a pic here. Nose too high, or too low can both cause pressure at the perineum, but most people will find that raising the nose (peak) a little is best.

  5. #5
    Senior Member enthuesd's Avatar
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    Here is the profile shot.


    What surprises me is that people much heavier than I can find this saddle comfortable when even my weight will make the saddle sink down so much. I tilted the nose almost level as in the picture and will try a commute (21 miles) today. If it begins to be painful I sit on the saddle's rear frame.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    jcm
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    Ok, now we're getting somewhere.

    Let's get some fit info.
    Q: How much stand-over clearance between your top tube and your pubic bone. You should have about an inch or two as a basis for bike fit. It's alright if your fruitbasket touches the bar. I'm trying to establish the absolute clearance.

    Q: When you sit on the saddle, and you rotate the crank to the bottom of stroke, does your leg almost fully extend? It should. If you have a signifigant bend at the knee with the pedal at the bottom, you need to raise the saddle. By the looks of the pic, that may well be the case. The saddle looks low to me. If you are lifting your knees too high every time they come up, you'll definitely drive your tender parts into the saddle. Don't do that.

    So, answer these first as these are baseline issues for fit.

  7. #7
    jcm
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    I realize that you haven't had time to respond to my questions yet, but here is a pic of my preferred commuter. Not as tricked as your ride, but the relationship of the saddle to the bars is perhaps illustrative. The top tube just brushes the crotch of a pair of lycra shorts, to give you the idea of bar height/fit. The saddle peak touches me above the tailbone but below the belt when standing over the top tube. Putting my foot down while on the saddle is a long reach, as it should be.

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=4zdbq1i&s=1
    Last edited by jcm; 10-30-07 at 12:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member enthuesd's Avatar
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    Fit on my bike follows all the general rules that I've learned over hours of reading including knee almost fully extended, the peterwhite fit page, and a few others. The excruciating pain was probably due to having the saddle tilted too far nose up, a position chosen to experiment sitting on the flat face of the saddle instead of rear edge. I'll update after today's commute.

    The saddle has about 100 miles on it now.

  9. #9
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by enthuesd View Post
    Fit on my bike follows all the general rules that I've learned over hours of reading including knee almost fully extended, the peterwhite fit page, and a few others. The excruciating pain was probably due to having the saddle tilted too far nose up, a position chosen to experiment sitting on the flat face of the saddle instead of rear edge. I'll update after today's commute.

    The saddle has about 100 miles on it now.
    Well then, we'll wait and see. The peak should be up somewhat as a baseline setup for that model, or you might be thrust forward onto the peak and handlebars. What I recommend to others is to raise it so that just the web (seat portion) is level with the ground. Let the peak end up where it will. For what it's worth, the saddle is not even close to being broken-in yet. I'm still a bit non-plussed about the phrase "excruciating pain" when the distance is so short. Interesting...

  10. #10
    Senior Member enthuesd's Avatar
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    What I think happened was I had the saddle tilted up too much and was therefore riding it on the rear edge. Wanting to try to actually utilize the flat surface of the saddle I spent an 8 mile ride doing so resulting in spikes of pain in the groin for the next few days (but not immediately after).

    For today's ride the saddle was tilted more horizontal but still up a bit in front, exactly how you have recommended jcm, and I sat halfway on the flat face and halfway on the rear frame. This actually felt pretty good making me wonder if this is the right way to sit on this saddle. What part of the saddle do you place your weight on for the B72 style cut models?

  11. #11
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    enthuesd- nearly the exact same thing with me and a B-17.It's in my junk saddle box right now.
    Not too much to say here

  12. #12
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/news/ar...N/2740/v/1/sp/

    Found this article today:

    "Brooks Team Professional £65.00

    Morgan cars, Worthies original toffees, coal tar soap; all very traditional and iconic brands that to do this very day still compete with more modern and as such supposedly superior alternatives. Brooks leather saddles from Smethwick in Birmingham also fit perfectly into this category.

    Saddles are one of the many items of bicycle equipment that can divide opinion. Where one rider swears by a particular saddle, another can quite justifiably swear because of it; let's face it, the interface between the rider's 'seat' and the bicycle is something that we simply need to get right! So, do Brooks saddles deserve to be considered as little more than just a piece of well made, feel-good retro nostalgia, or do they deserve to be considered on merit?

    Well, many riders, myself included, do indeed fall into the category of swearing by them. The fundamental reason is comfort. Some also comment that they find leather is cooler and less 'sweaty' to ride than plastic-based saddles, although personally I can never tell the difference in that respect. Once broken-in the leather moulds and its tension slackens, leaving it with the sag of a hammock and meaning that if the saddle is not retentioned by tightening the nose bolt you can effectively sit in the saddle, as opposed to on it as you do on a plastic-based saddle.

    You will often see that a leather saddle is set up slightly differently; for a male rider the saddle will often be almost horizontal but slightly higher at the front or nose of the saddle, whereas many riders set their plastic-based saddle up near-horizontal but slightly lower at the front. Note the latter generally applies to all ladies' saddles, which are also often shorter overall as well as slightly wider at the rear.

    For sure, leather saddles do take a while to break in, but this does not actually take that long; a few hundred miles should be sufficient. They do need maintenance in the form of 'Proofide' which is Brooks' own leather dressing. As for how often, it depends on the elements and protection. A mudguard-weraing bike used mainly for fair weather cycling will require fewer 'Proofide' applications than, say, a bike with no 'guards and used all year round in all weather; essentially, if it looks like it needs some 'Proofide', then it probably does.

    If well maintained, these saddles can and very often do last for decades. It was once a common to talk of “changing your bike but never changing your saddle”. That was an expression that applies perfectly to Brooks saddles now, just as it did then. There is an extensive range to suit intended use, riders' sizes and budget, with prices from £25.00 up to £165.00. The steel-railed Team Pro shown here has an RRP of £65.00 and is my personal saddle of choice; this particular model being one their most popular saddles over the years.

    Be under no illusion; Brooks saddles will not suit every rider, although no saddle ever will. But, deserve a place in today's market on merit they definitely do. Having ridden a Brooks saddle for thirty years and for literally tens of thousands of miles, my backside agrees; after all a comfy bottom is a happy bottom. [Thanks for that, Ed.]"

  13. #13
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
    enthuesd- nearly the exact same thing with me and a B-17.It's in my junk saddle box right now.
    There is no need to keep it. A used Brooks will sell easily, and will re-form to the new owner.

    enthuesd
    Like I said, the 66/67/68/72/73/Flyer and to a lesser extent, the Conquest, are best set up with the web area level with the ground - letting the peak lay where it will. Fine tune from there.

    You should not have to ride the rivets in order to get comfortable - ever. Slide the saddle back to get your sit bones into the web. With the handlebars as high as you have them, you should not have much pressure up front. If you do, reduce the up-tilt a little.

    Don't expect to feel nothing. Just because many people have an epiphany upon a Brooks, doesn't mean that it is going to happen with you. Most likely, your experience will improve as you ride the saddle some more. My own experience is mixed - even when using the same model. I have three 17's. Two black ones that broke-in very quickly, and became comfortable for centuries within 200 to 300 miles. Another honey 17 is being quite stubborn at 500. So, go figure...

    Both my 67's were luxurious right from the start.

  14. #14
    jcm
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    In taking another closer look at your setup, I see a very short distance between the bar grips and the saddle. Those Albatross type bars are very classy, but they are probably forcing you back onto the rivets because the cockpit is being shortened.

    Also, the 72 is a two rail saddle. Do you have a seat-sandwich in there, or, do you have a seat post that is tapered at the top to accomodate the early design of the 72? This matters when sliding the saddle.

  15. #15
    Senior Member enthuesd's Avatar
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    Another commute today yielded some good results. No major discomfort and more signs of serious breaking in.

    As for the bike fit jcm, it is a comfortable setup for my arms, legs and back. the bike is a tiny bit big for me hence the short stem and somewhat lower saddle height. The saddle is mounted without a seat sandwich, in the conventional manner.

    Pictured is the saddle after the ride, with sit bone marks. Still partly riding the rivets but I may be creeping down to the web.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    jcm
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    I kinda figured the bike was a tad big, judging from the 'compactness' of the setup. I'm curious as to why you are on the rivets, as you say. With the old school tapered seat post, you might get a little more set back out of the seat clamp. Try and see if you can scoot it back a cm, and ride some. From the pic, it already looks like it's all the way back, though. You should be in the sling with that saddle - not on the frame.

    If you can't get off the rivets, you should consider a longer stem to move the bars a bit forward. I know about bad back, believe me. If you take another look at the link to my bike, you'll see a pretty big difference between our respective distances form the bars to the saddle. Still, my back is ok.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rawly old's Avatar
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    I'm riding an old B72 from the mid '60s. After a dozen bikes with a dozen different saddles, It's the most
    comfortable one I've ever owned. Maybe they just take 40 years to break-in?

  18. #18
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enthuesd View Post
    As for the bike fit jcm, it is a comfortable setup for my arms, legs and back. the bike is a tiny bit big for me hence the short stem and somewhat lower saddle height.
    enthused,

    Try lowering the stem until bars are level w/ the saddle height, that will allow more weight to be carried by your hands/arms and relieve pressure on the saddle. Also it will allow your hips to rotate forward improving pedaling efficiency and put more weight on your front wheel improving handling.

    Pic is of the B-72 I've used for decades on my town bikes, the position allows for moving fore/aft as conditions demand.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  19. #19
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Note to all: this thread is over 5 years old, and the OP hasn't been around for more than a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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