I received my B17 Imperial yesterday and know that many people have been pretty stoked about receiving theirs and some initial ride reports have already been posted in the C&V forum but I don't think anyone could be happier than me at receiving this new saddle.
The workmanship and finish on this prototype is first rate and the saddle came with a tin of Proofhide and a Brooks saddle spanner... many thanks to Andrea and the folks at Brooks for that.
Why am I the happiest new Brooks B17 owner ?
I suffered an injury at the end of January that has caused a nerve impingement in my left hip that has caused some extreme sciatic pain that prevents me from from doing anything for any period of time; standing, walking, and sitting in a chair are painful and I often lose feeling in my left leg. I can't bend, squat down, or lift things without risking attacks of pain that are often right off the scale. Sleep has been a rare commodity as well and I have awoken on many days with no feeling in my legs at all.
When it gets really bad the pain becomes bilateral and I have spasms and pain in my lower to mid back which severely affects my balance.
It has been nearly three months of hell.
But I can ride my bike as it's takes pressure off the muscles/nerve and have been using some pretty decent saddles with deep v shapes and one Velo with an anatomic cutout and firm padding which have been working pretty well... I still haven't been able to lean into the drops on any saddle.
So I mounted the saddle on my Phillip's Twenty folder that I have converted to a fixed gear as the low step over makes getting ion and off the bike easier and the direct drive makes spinning the cranks much easier when the left leg isn't cooperative.
I've spent about 45 minutes riding on the new saddle and I can say I have had 45 minutes of pure relief from pain and can even lean into the fairly low drops without the saddle causing any painful pressure.
Seriously... it brought tears of joy to my eyes and I know that it will only get better as I put some serious test miles into this saddle which will get moved onto other bikes.
That is until I see what I can do to order a few more.