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  1. #76
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Your thoughts are incorrect. A lot of touring cyclists embrace their Brooks saddles after trying other cheaper saddles and finding nothing but pain. I have two Brooks, a B17 and an Swift and neither need lacing, but if a person is a clydesdale it is possible that a little lacing may be needed eventually, which isn't a bad thing it actually kind of looks nice if laced well. If lacing doesn't do it for you then some people cut off about the bottom of the saddle leather so it looks more like the Swallow saddle, but you better be good at doing exacting work or it will look like crap when your done, a leather repair place should be able to do that expertly.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
    ...Bike seats are made for pedaling, not "sitting". Think about it...
    I know you did not originate that argument, but anyway. Whoever did seems to have a rather fanciful perception of reality.

    Do any bicycle saddle companies expressly state NOT to sit on their products? Seems like they would be the ones to know.... And why the (very common) padding in cycling shorts then? Recumbent shorts look the same but have no padding, as I said.

    Apparently a whole bunch of bicycling accessory companies think somebody is sitting on their saddles...

  3. #78
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    Not sure I've ever seen a young cyclist with a Brooks saddle, but I've never been to Amsterdam.
    My '75 Fuji S-10S came with a Fujita Belt saddle, which is essentially a Brooks B-17 clone. It has been on there ever since. I was 18 at the time I bought that bike. My college dormmates all had Brooks saddles of one kind or another - on their Raleigh, or Viscount, or Paramount... so we were hardly old guys or 'age-wave, older men'. The whole advantage to a leather saddle is that it 'breaks in' to the specific rider's bottom after a few hundred miles. Yes, it is painful at first, but after the mutual agreement between saddle and bottom are met, they are wonderful - just like a pair of broken-in hiking boots.
    '75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 45k+ miles and still going!
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  4. #79
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
    My '75 Fuji S-10S came with a Fujita Belt saddle, which is essentially a Brooks B-17 clone. It has been on there ever since. I was 18 at the time I bought that bike. My college dormmates all had Brooks saddles of one kind or another - on their Raleigh, or Viscount, or Paramount... so we were hardly old guys or 'age-wave, older men'. The whole advantage to a leather saddle is that it 'breaks in' to the specific rider's bottom after a few hundred miles. Yes, it is painful at first, but after the mutual agreement between saddle and bottom are met, they are wonderful - just like a pair of broken-in hiking boots.
    You need to add "If it breaks in" after a few 100 miles. And it may be wonderful. I had a Brooks on my old Viscount it hurt in the perineum area after the break in period and was not wonderful, never would get wonderful and was trashed in favor of a Selle Anatomica. That was traded when I discovered it weighed as much as my front wheel after getting a set of hand built wheels. But looking at all of the saddles used by my bike club on group rides not one Brooks has made the cut that is with 89 members. On Centuries I see a few but they are still under represented compared to other saddles. I only say that to point out they must not be wonderful or more people would be riding them. And as some have said I do see more people of age using them than young riders. I now use Selle SMP on my Areo Bar Klein and a Cobb Flow Plus on my Tarmac and a Selle Max Flow Gel on my MTB. All were comfortable right out of the box and all are water resistant and it would take two of them to weigh as much as one Brooks Imperial, the only Brooks I would ever consider.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  5. #80
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    A few things to keep in mind:
    1--A hundred years ago there was a lot of companies making leather saddles 'just like Brooks', and eventually all of the others went out of business.
    Not quite all of them. While I have several Brooks on various bikes, my daily rider is a Persons 77.

    http://www.permaco.com/en-us/dept_7.html
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jputnam/collections/72157604835074312/

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post

    I think what's tough to argue on leather vs plastic/gel: a leather saddle will (over time and to some degree) change to fit your bum, a plastic/gel one won't. There is a benefit to this.
    Two points in that regard (since this thread went off the rails long ago anyway):
    1. The whole point of gel (and foam) padded seats is precisely to conform to bum every time they're sat upon, in any position, by any rider, in any garb. They're not supposed to permanently deform.
    2. Cobb, for one, produces padded, plastic saddles that they claim have a resin base that does deform and mold to the rider over time.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    ...1. The whole point of gel (and foam) padded seats is precisely to conform to bum every time they're sat upon, in any position, by any rider, in any garb. They're not supposed to permanently deform. ...
    This is another oddball claim that doesn't hold up (leather conforming to your butt is good, but gel conforming to your butt is bad).

    --------

    If you like the way leather saddles look then that's fine, but they're not an automatic cure for anything. And if you look at many bicycle accessory catalogs from ~100 years ago, you see a-l-l-l-l-l this stuff like upturned edges, lacing, saddle cutouts, extra-wide spots, extra-narrow spots, springs going all over,,,, all these modern miracles that's supposed to "cure" the butt-pain problem. None of them did then, and they still don't now.

    If you can sit on a bike for 30-45 minutes properly equipped (that is, with decent riding shorts) then you're doing about average. Most casual group rides I've seen stopped about once an hour for ~10 minutes to rest their "legs".

    A lot of people can go much longer non-stop than that, I used to myself--but it was never comfortable.

  8. #83
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    So, no matter many years (or decades) one rides, the portion of my anatomy that rests on the saddle stays in the same shape?

    Just wondering.

  9. #84
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    And why the (very common) padding in cycling shorts then?
    the padding is not actually padding
    but a synthetic
    or sometimes natural
    chamois
    it is intended be close to the skin of the pressure bearing part of the body
    to absorb sweat and prevent chafing

    i agree that people do sit on saddles
    although you could also make an argument that people straddle saddles
    but this difference is insignificant

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    the padding is not actually padding
    but a synthetic
    or sometimes natural
    chamois
    it is intended be close to the skin of the pressure bearing part of the body
    to absorb sweat and prevent chafing

    i agree that people do sit on saddles
    although you could also make an argument that people straddle saddles
    but this difference is insignificant
    Padding that's not actually padding...insignificant distinctions...hmmm...
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  11. #86
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Padding that's not actually padding...insignificant distinctions...hmmm...

    the difference between a chamois and padding is significant

    the difference between straddling and sitting
    and hence between a saddle and a seat
    less so

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    the difference between a chamois and padding is significant

    the difference between straddling and sitting
    and hence between a saddle and a seat
    less so
    You have a unique perspective, it seems, but I don't understand what is the nature of this "significant" distinctlon.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  13. #88
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster
    don't understand what is the nature of this "significant" distinctlon.
    i am sure there are many other things in that category

    but if you are really wondering
    the type of padding i took doug5150s comments to mean
    was a cushion to augment saddle padding

    please forgive me if i misunderstood doug5150

    but the chamios in bike shorts offers no such cushion
    that i know of anyway

    chamios is there to protect your skin from moisture and chafing
    Last edited by Wilfred Laurier; 01-22-14 at 01:39 PM.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    i am sure there are many other things in that category

    but if you are really wondering
    the type of padding i took doug5150s comments to mean
    was a cushion to augment saddle padding

    please forgive me if i misunderstood doug5150

    but the chamios in bike shorts offers no such cushion
    that i know of anyway

    chamios is there to protect your skin from moisture and chafing
    You should grab a pair of cycling shorts, check 'em out; they're padded. And why guess as to what the purpose of the pad is, when you can visit an apparel producers site, e.g. Pearl Izumi, and see they make no bones about the fact the padding is there for comfort: http://shop.pearlizumi.com/cms/uploads/chamoisgrid.pdf

    Even if the primary purpose of the is generally, as you say, "to protect your skin from moisture and chafing," (which I doubt, of course), to the extent it also provides comfort, or "augments saddle padding" (??) is not diminished were that it's primary design purpose, so really, any distinction you may be trying to make certainly seems insignificant.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  15. #90
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    What it all boils down to is Leather saddles work for people who ride leather saddles. The do not work for everyone. Nor does most other saddles. Some people find the SMP uncomfortable or any of the racing saddles uncomfortable and yet more people ride them than Brooks or the other leather saddles. I have tried Brooks and Selle Anatomica. I do favor the Anatomica slightly over the Imperial but then I ride road and MTB bikes not Hybrids or touring bikes.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  16. #91
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    You should grab a pair of cycling shorts, check 'em out; they're padded. And why guess as to what the purpose of the pad is, when you can visit an apparel producers site, e.g. Pearl Izumi, and see they make no bones about the fact the padding is there for comfort: http://shop.pearlizumi.com/cms/uploads/chamoisgrid.pdf

    Even if the primary purpose of the is generally, as you say, "to protect your skin from moisture and chafing," (which I doubt, of course), to the extent it also provides comfort, or "augments saddle padding" (??) is not diminished were that it's primary design purpose, so really, any distinction you may be trying to make certainly seems insignificant.
    Traditional bike shorts used real chamois in the crotch, and that's all it was -- just a very thin piece of soft leather to protect your butt from chafing. No padding; that was the job of the slung leather saddle. The plastic shell saddles that started to appear in the 70s often put some foam padding between the shell and the leather top to provide some cushion, but still it was the job of the saddle, not the shorts. Only fairly recently as marketing departments saw saddle weight as a readily quantifiable characteristic to attract customers did padding start to shift into the shorts, where it wouldn't count against the saddle weight in the marketing brochures. While the end result is fairly similar vis-a-vis comfort, you didn't feel like you were wearing a loaded diaper when you wore a traditional bike short with a thin leather chamois.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Traditional bike shorts used real chamois in the crotch, and that's all it was -- just a very thin piece of soft leather to protect your butt from chafing. No padding; that was the job of the slung leather saddle. The plastic shell saddles that started to appear in the 70s often put some foam padding between the shell and the leather top to provide some cushion, but still it was the job of the saddle, not the shorts. Only fairly recently as marketing departments saw saddle weight as a readily quantifiable characteristic to attract customers did padding start to shift into the shorts, where it wouldn't count against the saddle weight in the marketing brochures. While the end result is fairly similar vis-a-vis comfort, you didn't feel like you were wearing a loaded diaper when you wore a traditional bike short with a thin leather chamois.
    Sure, but nobody was talking about old/historic/vintage cycling shorts.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  18. #93
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    I've ridden on many saddles, always found Brooks very comfortable. Yes, it is an ancient design when compared to the materials and tech of today's modern saddles. But like many other products, sometimes simple design and materials fit the bill and become timeless. What I've found is that it takes several weeks and hundreds of miles before my Brooks seats were broken in properly and fit my rump. Just like a baseball glove they're stiff and uncomfortable to start with but once broken in they're a perfect fit.

  19. #94
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Sure, but nobody was talking about old/historic/vintage cycling shorts.
    The point is that slung leather saddles like Brooks, Ideale, etc. are quite comfortable even without padding in the shorts. And once you take into account the mass of the padding in your shorts, the weight savings you perceive in using a modern carbon-fiber shingle saddle are marginal.
    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 01-23-14 at 09:52 AM.

  20. #95
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    The point is that slung leather saddles like Brooks, Ideale, etc. are quite comfortable even without padding in the shorts. And unless you take into account the mass of the padding in your shorts, the weight savings you perceive in using a modern carbon-fiber shingle saddle are marginal.
    You do know that there is at least 250 grams difference between a brooks and the average Selle road saddle? Now how thick does cycling padding have to be to make up for 250 grams? And a racing saddle will weigh even less? And what is quite comfortable to you may be a bottom hatchet to someone else? No I say again there is no one saddle that will work for most people as long as everyone is not a clone.

    I have listened to the Brooks devotees for many years now and heard all of the Cures for a Brooks that didn't break in after the first 500 miles, from hot oil to microwaves and any number of other magic spells that can be administered to keep you from sliding or getting perineum pressure. Even Brooks gave up and invented the Imperial once they realized that problem existed for riders with different pelvic tilts. In other words sit bones are only one part of a comfortable saddle. In some cases not the most important one.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  21. #96
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    My comfort improved after a professional bike fit & the suggestion to ditch the B17 for a Selle saddle.

  22. #97
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solid_Spoke View Post
    My comfort improved after a professional bike fit & the suggestion to ditch the B17 for a Selle saddle.
    And this is important to know, now everyones butt is created the same thus not one saddle will be perfect for everyone.

    But one does need to keep in mind that the B17 is NOT designed to be used on a racing bike, it is a saddle that is designed for a more upright riding position, the Brooks saddles that are designed for racing, or more aggressive riding position is the Swallow foremost followed by the Swift. I think maybe...note I said maybe, if you had bought a Swallow, and or maybe the Swift, instead of the B17 for your bike I think perhaps the fitter could have gotten you comfortable on that saddle because the Selle is more of a narrow racing saddle like the Swallow.

    According to Brooks the Swallow saddle is their most elastic saddle, and the Swift is a slightly more stiffer saddle, but the Brooks Team Professional is their stiffest saddle.

    Professional rider Basso rides on a Brooks saddle when he's just out riding but not while training or racing, see: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3243/...6cc856a5ec.jpg. notice the retro bike too? Some other pro riders like Boonen ride on retro seats, he rides on a Selle San Marco Regal during the Paris Roubaix. Lance use to use a rebadged Concor Light. But the reason all leather saddles haven't been used in pro racing since about 1980 I think was the last year a Brooks saddle was in a pro race is do the fact that a leather saddle takes too much time to break in and pro riders are constantly switching bikes thus a pro doesn't want to be bothered breaking in a saddle on all those bikes, plus they ride in all sorts of weather which will ruin a Brooks in short order, and there is too much care involved to hassle with. What a weird situation it would be for a rider to crash or have a major malfunction and instead of just being given a new bike the mechanic would have to remove the saddle from the old bike and put it on the new bike because the old saddle is broken in, a huge waste of time.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solid_Spoke View Post
    My comfort improved after a professional bike fit & the suggestion to ditch the B17 for a Selle saddle.
    Did you take the bait? Fattened the bike shop's profit for the month?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  24. #99
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    So, you have people who know what the requirements are for a rocket or car. Who's your requirements authority for a bike seat?
    I tried to say that cars, like space vehicles (not all of which are rockets), are designed using a process designed to convey to each engineer the information he/she needs to design the part of the product he/she is asked to design. Since I have not been in the saddle industry, I can't say more than I believe that a similar process can be used for bike saddles and that I think it is probably used. I make this hypothesis because modern design processes are taught in engineering schools and have been for over 20 years. Most engineers today have been exposed to the necessary concepts.

    I did not mean to say I am familiar with the requirements of bicycle saddles. But my view is more about design process than about design requirements. As far as cars and spacecraft to, I have read them and in some cases created the requirements, and I have worked under the design processes in both industries.

    And yes, I do know some people.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 02-05-14 at 12:12 PM.

  25. #100
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Functionally Selle = saddle, in Italian , so is a meaningless redundancy .

    3 'selle' manufacturers come to mind , one of them, also owns Brooks.


    The 'Chamois' is there as a crotch/butt sweat absorbant pad, not a frickin pillow.


    I'm with JDT, the sling of leather , between 2 rivet rails has been fine for 100+ years..

    I have one i got 30 years worth of use , myself.. still fine (the Professional version)



    Looks like their C 17 does that using Rubber stretched to similar effect .

    just wont stretch if you bone-headedly dont cover it in the rain ..

    when your arse is not on it..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-05-14 at 01:38 PM.

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