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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-04-08, 03:07 PM   #1
Cadillac
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New Brooks saddle

In the last few years I have had a variety of saddles including a gel cover.
Many of them promised a comfortable ride, but after a long ride (metric Century, Century, and Brevets),
I found that my butt hurt. Even the next day I was still sore.
So this winter I bought a Brooks saddle.
I had heard that they were supposed to be good; but I thought that since all the other saddles I tried were more or less of equal quality, the Brooks could be only marginally better.
I rode with it on a number of short rides and did not find any discomfort with it.
However, I did have to reposition it a few times to get it where I thought it needed to be.
Then came the 200 Brevet of May 3/08.
Toward the end of the ride everything hurt -- my palms, my legs, my gut, my butt.
After riding just over 11 hours, everything should hurt.
A few hours after arriving at home, my butt didn't hurt nearly as bad as on other long distance rides.
Today, I can report that my butt is still OK.
And I attribute the lack of pain to the Brooks saddle.

If you are having a sore butt from a long ride, I'd suggest trying a Brooks saddle.
I wish I had switched a long time ago.

By the way, I don't work for Brooks or collect any commission for them -- maybe I should
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Old 05-04-08, 05:17 PM   #2
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Mine is in the mail.I'll let you know next week how it went. cant wait!
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Old 05-04-08, 07:28 PM   #3
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Which Brooks saddle did you get?
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Old 05-04-08, 07:38 PM   #4
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I got the unsprung B.17 Standard from Wallingford Bicycle Parts. To quote them:
"This is the basic Brooks saddle, and it has the lowest return rate of any of the Brooks models that we carry. It is slightly wider than is common these days. The top of saddle is smooth with three small holes for ventilation. The skirts are smooth with a stylish imprint of the brand and model. There are three variations on the B.17: The Standard, with small, hollow steel rivets ... a saddle clamp might be needed with a single rail saddle."

It is wider than the saddle that came on my Trek. I thought it might be too wide the day I opened the package, but I was willing to give it a try. I am not disappointed.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:38 PM   #5
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My butt doesn't hurt this year at all, neither during or after, though I haven't done my 400 yet - in a couple weeks. Specialized Avatar.
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Old 05-05-08, 04:31 PM   #6
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I'm happy with mine. I wasn't sure how great an idea it was to do my first metric century on a Brooks with maybe an hour of ride time on it, but all went well.

And, the honey colored Brooks with copper rivets and rails just looks SO cool!
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Old 05-07-08, 10:11 PM   #7
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I put a Brooks B-17 on my mountain bike and LOVED it. So I got a Selle-Anatomica for my road bike and loved it even more. I know it was a stupid thing to do but I did two short rides with the new saddle and then did a double with the new saddle. After only have maybe 40 miles on it I go and do 200. But you know it was totally comfortable. I felt great. Absolutely no pain or discomfort after 13.5 hours and 200 miles. The Selle-Anatomica is a keeper in my book. Plus it's handmade in the USA.

FYI you can have a Brooks "converted" to a Selle-Anatomica design for $50. Basically they just cut a hole in the saddle.
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Old 05-08-08, 12:45 PM   #8
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Got my B-17 last night. it took a while to get it just right on bike. Anyway i went on my 100k this morning and all went well. the rear portion of the saddle is really comfortable but the front portion or nose area is a different story. I guess i have to break it in right? anybody else expirienced that ? is it normal? if that area of the saddle "molds In" I'll be a very happy Brooks owner. No butt pain at all on day 1.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanitoLaboy View Post
Got my B-17 last night. it took a while to get it just right on bike. Anyway i went on my 100k this morning and all went well. the rear portion of the saddle is really comfortable but the front portion or nose area is a different story. I guess i have to break it in right? anybody else expirienced that ? is it normal? if that area of the saddle "molds In" I'll be a very happy Brooks owner. No butt pain at all on day 1.
1. Make sure the nose of the saddle is visibly tilted up.

2. Yes a break-in process is very normal with a Brooks. Mine took me 800 kms (3 weeks) to break in.

3. You will develop divots where your sitbones are located on your saddle. That's where it "breaks in".

4. It will always be hard. The saddle never softens up. It will "give" because it is leather and there isn't a hard plastic thing underneath it preventing it from "giving", but it will never be soft.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1. Make sure the nose of the saddle is visibly tilted up.
What is the concept with this one? Is this a Brooks/leather saddle specific thing? I have traditionally had my saddles horizontal with the ground. Both my Brooks and Selle-Anatomic are positioned this way.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:37 PM   #11
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This joint really needs a "saddles" sticky.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:42 PM   #12
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What is the concept with this one? Is this a Brooks/leather saddle specific thing? I have traditionally had my saddles horizontal with the ground. Both my Brooks and Selle-Anatomic are positioned this way.
It forces you back on your sitbones ... and yes, it is a Brooks-specific thing.

I ignored it during the first week I had my Brooks ... I kept it level and just wasn't comfortable. I was actually debating about returning the saddle, but then I was advised to raise the nose of the saddle ... and comfort ensued forthwith.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1. Make sure the nose of the saddle is visibly tilted up.

2. Yes a break-in process is very normal with a Brooks. Mine took me 800 kms (3 weeks) to break in.

3. You will develop divots where your sitbones are located on your saddle. That's where it "breaks in".

4. It will always be hard. The saddle never softens up. It will "give" because it is leather and there isn't a hard plastic thing underneath it preventing it from "giving", but it will never be soft.
Thanks for the reply. i had the saddle tilted up a little bit last night and took it out for a test and it felt kind of funny but it wasnt for more than a mile or so. I'll try it again.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:59 PM   #14
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Some of us (for the thousandth time ) have trouble with Brooks because there is no tilt that works. Set up with the rear portion flat, the nose sticks up into sensitive bits. Set up with the nose flat, the rear of the saddle simply slides your sensitive bits onto the nose anyway. Even with two-bolt micro-adjust post, the saddles cannot be made comfortable for some of us.

The new one with the cutouts looks as though it may be made essentially level, without the "hammock" business that causes trouble. Until then, the Selle-Anatomica seems to be the only solution, at least for those of us that haven't found Brooks Nirvana.
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Old 05-12-08, 04:59 PM   #15
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That is my experience as well. Any saddle will hurt after hours on the road. But I've found that my butt recovers much faster after riding my brooks. I even notice at the later rest stops on a century. I think part of it is that the fatigue is just the sitbones which don't move much, not chafing everywhere like on a more modern saddle.
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Old 01-27-09, 04:49 PM   #16
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I'm just dragging this thread up because the B17 didn't do it on LD rides for me. After about 1000 miles, I put it back on my club-ride bike, and got a Selle Anatomica Titanico. The Titanico was comfortable from the first ride, and makes a huge difference on 100 mile+ rides, for me, at least.
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Old 01-27-09, 06:47 PM   #17
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I'm just dragging this thread up because the B17 didn't do it on LD rides for me. After about 1000 miles, I put it back on my club-ride bike, and got a Selle Anatomica Titanico. The Titanico was comfortable from the first ride, and makes a huge difference on 100 mile+ rides, for me, at least.
Saddle advice is the most sketchy of all things to give.

I have a friend who, like you, loves the Anatomicas; another who lasted a day on one and pronounced it the worst saddle he's ever had the misfortune to sit on. I have another friend who keeps going back to them, even though they disintegrate -- as (a brand new) one did for him during PBP '07, leaving him sitting on the seatpost for the last few hundred km!

In the end, it's whatever keeps you ... in the saddle.

BTW, what's with this tip the nose up advice? Never done that in more than 30 years of riding a Brooks. Sounds like a good way to crush something. Maybe I'm built "differently."
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Old 01-27-09, 07:03 PM   #18
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i use a Brooks Professional, which is slightly narrower than the B17. i had to ride about 600mi before it felt broken in to me, and even then, it doesn't look like a broken-in B17. But, for this saddle, most recommend that it does not point upward; rather, it should be flat or slightly down (with the handlebars even or slightly lower). each Brooks saddle has its idiosyncrasies, apparently, to match each rider.
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Old 01-27-09, 07:54 PM   #19
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...even though they disintegrate...
That the 18 inch brush you're painting with, or the 24 inch? My Selle-Anatomica is approaching 10,000 miles with no change that I can see...
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Old 01-27-09, 08:13 PM   #20
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That the 18 inch brush you're painting with, or the 24 inch? My Selle-Anatomica is approaching 10,000 miles with no change that I can see...
I'm not sure what size it is. It is gathered from fairly wide experience, from a large section of cyclists and working in the trade.

I've conceded that they are highly regarded by some friends. Glad yours works well.

It is well-known that the leather is not of the same quality as Brooks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that Selle Anatomica started their trade cutting holes in Brooks saddles?
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Old 01-27-09, 08:51 PM   #21
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It forces you back on your sitbones ... and yes, it is a Brooks-specific thing.

I ignored it during the first week I had my Brooks ... I kept it level and just wasn't comfortable. I was actually debating about returning the saddle, but then I was advised to raise the nose of the saddle ... and comfort ensued forthwith.

I could see how it forced you to the back of the saddle where the width is appropriate for sitbones, but I always find a raised nose causes undesireable pressure, unless I rotate my pelvis back (i.e. tuck it in). But if I do that, I get lower back discomfort. My back seems to like to be straight.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:38 PM   #22
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I could see how it forced you to the back of the saddle where the width is appropriate for sitbones, but I always find a raised nose causes undesireable pressure, unless I rotate my pelvis back (i.e. tuck it in). But if I do that, I get lower back discomfort. My back seems to like to be straight.
B-17's are designed with the broadest spectrum of riders in mind. Touring, commuting, even some roadbike applications are suitable for that model. Brooks recommends a slight up-tilt to the peak. Couple that with handlebars that are level with, or slightly above the peak, and you have the best starting point to proper adjustment with a 17 or Flyer.

The reason is that 17's are more flexible than higher priced competition models like the Team Pro , Swift or Swallow. Thus, when a rider mounts up, the uptilt will help roll the pelvis back onto the ischials, where it should be. The lower spine should be arched, with the upper spine at about 50degrees.

If this sounds pretty upright, then I would recommend a Team Pro. Level it. Lower the bars as much as you want, because that is a completely suitable performance saddle in that posture. They are designed for the Flat Back racing posture. Do that on a B-17 and there will likely be pressure at the perineal area.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:45 PM   #23
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I have no problems with my B-17, whatsoever. I have it almost perfectly level.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:48 PM   #24
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Again, we have a "different strokes" situation here. I own both a Pro (had it for 30+ years) and a B-17, just past it's first year. Both are level and are perfect for me. Putting up the noses would result in back problems and perinial compression.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:52 PM   #25
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It is well-known that the leather is not of the same quality as Brooks.
It's also well-known that Brooks has been using fairly low grade leather in recent times, and that many long-time users have expressed disappointment. At this point I do not know where to get saddles made with top-quality leather, unless it is in NOS Brooks.
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