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  1. #1
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    Brooks "aged" saddles

    Anyone have any experience with these? After decades of trying, I still hope to find happiness with Brooks, and this one looks promising...

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The one that came on my Raleigh Sojourn is a Brooks saddle that's supposed to be pre-aged or something. I like it fine, but I haven't used the un-pre-aged Brooks, so I can't really tell you how it compares to anything else.

    Edit: By the way, for what it's worth, I've got 3,500 miles or so on that bike, including 6- 200k rides, all done wearing either nylon or cotton shorts or blue jeans. I don't know if I have a naturally tough backside or good luck in saddles, but it works for me. I've been tired when I got back from the 200k's, but wasn't saddle-sore, either.
    Last edited by StephenH; 05-11-10 at 07:47 PM.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
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    Hey Six jours. I recently used an aged brooks b-17 on my cross country ride. I had the saddle put on the day before I left and never had any issues. 3,300 miles and 2 and half months. I've never used a regular brooks saddle before though, so I can't give a comparison. The LBS I got my bike from told me about the aged ones so I gave it a try. Got it off amazon for like $110.

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    I've tried a pre-Aged B17 and a regular Brooks Pro. I bought both about five years ago. I just sold the Pro to someone, since it is just too narrow for me. After 1000 miles of riding, it showed no sign of wearing in and then sat on the shelf until someone asked me about it. The B17 was comfortable right from the start. However, I can't get it set back far enough, so instead I bought a Selle-Anatomica saddle four years ago and ride that all the time. My wife likes the B17 better than the Selle-Anatomica so we're both happy.

    Nick

  5. #5
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    I've tried a pre-Aged B17 and a regular Brooks Pro. I bought both about five years ago. I just sold the Pro to someone, since it is just too narrow for me. After 1000 miles of riding, it showed no sign of wearing in and then sat on the shelf until someone asked me about it. The B17 was comfortable right from the start. However, I can't get it set back far enough, so instead I bought a Selle-Anatomica saddle four years ago and ride that all the time. My wife likes the B17 better than the Selle-Anatomica so we're both happy.

    Nick

  6. #6
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Anyone have any experience with these? After decades of trying, I still hope to find happiness with Brooks, and this one looks promising...
    Decades?! Seriously??

    It just might be time to try something else.... =]

    Best of luck.
    cat 1.

    blog

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    Heh. I really want to be Brooks fan. I like everything about the company but the saddles -- and I'm not trying to be funny. I have just never managed to find one without the pronounced "hammock" shape, which defies a comfortable fit for me regardless of angle. The "aged" saddles appear to me to be flatter than the typical Brooks, especially with the lacing. I've had good comfort with the An-Atomica, but the quality does not match the price, and mine is starting to wear out after 2-3 years of use. I have a VO saddle which is also comfortable, but the build quality is not up to Brooks level. So the search continues...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    So you cannot be comfortable WITH a hammock-shaped saddle?

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    Brooks gives me a choice: I can ride with the nose pointed up and jamming into me, or I can ride with the rear section pointed down and sliding me onto the nose, which then jams into me. There is no middle ground, even with a two-bolt post.

    The hammock-shape in an An-Atomica is different, apparently because the leather is under no real tension. I set it up so the rear portion is flat and the nose is slightly up, but the nose section doesn't press upward with nearly the force of the Brooks. It's just too expensive for what it is, and doesn't last as long as a Brooks can.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I've been lucky in being able to find a sweet spot between the nose up/down problem. I haven't liked a Pro, but both a B17N Imperial has worked well, as has a new B17 just this week. I also have an S/A with about 300 miles on it. I like the "twin hammock" concept of it, but it sticks into my inner thigh and chafes.

  11. #11
    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    I'm riding the Brooks B17 with "Aged" leather. It's not really aged, they just put a texture on the top surface that looks pretty nice. One thing though, you can't apply any leather treatment to the top side of this saddle; I'm not sure why, I just assumed that it would somehow degrade the textured finish. You can apply to the bottom of the saddle, just not the top. Some people claim that this fact makes it take longer to break the saddle in. Having the laces on the sides is nice because you can effectively adjust the tension/width of the saddle a bit without using the adjustment not on the saddle. I am a clyde (260lbs @5'11) and have found the saddle to be pretty comfy from the get go and it is getting better with about 700 miles on it.
    Last edited by ChrisO; 05-13-10 at 04:01 PM. Reason: typo

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    I have a Brooks "pre-softened" pro saddle from about 1990. It is comfy except for one thing. It has been a miserably cold spring. The rivets on the side conduct the cold and "brand" my buttocks on longer rides with the temps below about 50. Any one else have this problem. I think a saddle cover would help. Using lots of lotion, butt butter helps a bit. I think i need to get some leather and cover the whole saddle. Any other ideas?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisO View Post
    I'm riding the Brooks B17 with "Aged" leather. It's not really aged, they just put a texture on the top surface that looks pretty nice.
    Not so, it has been chemically treated to soften it and it will not last as long as a 'normal' Brooks. The 'Pre-softened' Brooks didn't have any treatment other than the stamp, so no change in durability.

    The French Rebour-treated saddles were actually presoftened.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    Not so, it has been chemically treated to soften it and it will not last as long as a 'normal' Brooks.
    Interesting. How did you learn this?

  15. #15
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    I went to the Brooks factory in Smethwick, not long after the 'aged' saddles were introduced. The machines are a real treat to see, particularly the spring-making machines.

  16. #16
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    That must have been a great trip! I'm curious about longevity of the saddles, though. It seems like there hasn't been enough time for them to begin wearing out. Are the folks at Brooks making an assumption, or have they had experience with the process before?

  17. #17
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Heh. I really want to be Brooks fan. I like everything about the company but the saddles -- and I'm not trying to be funny. I have just never managed to find one without the pronounced "hammock" shape, which defies a comfortable fit for me regardless of angle. The "aged" saddles appear to me to be flatter than the typical Brooks, especially with the lacing. I've had good comfort with the An-Atomica, but the quality does not match the price, and mine is starting to wear out after 2-3 years of use. I have a VO saddle which is also comfortable, but the build quality is not up to Brooks level. So the search continues...
    If you like the feel of the An-Atomica but have issues with the pressure from a standard B-17 in a nose-up position, you might have better luck with the B-17 Imperial. I've got over 10,000 miles on mine and it just keeps getting more comfortable. I had an issue with the standard B-17 causing some pressure problems, especially when I got into longer distances with extended climbs, but the cutout in the Imperial saddle solved those issues.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  18. #18
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    I've given strong consideration to it. Your post pushes me further in that direction.

  19. #19
    Still riding a steel bike Olde Steele's Avatar
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    I have 2 Brooks Saddles - a B-17 that I bought new a couple of years ago. It's my Randonneuring saddle. I have about 10,000 miles on it and consider it my best friend. It's as comfortable as the recliner in my den at home.

    My other Brooks Saddle I bought used in 1978 and have it on my commuting bike. Usually ride with shorts, slacks or jeans without padding and it's comfortable, but not as comfortable as my "new" Brooks Saddle. Perhaps if I wore bike shorts. . . . None-the-less, I doubt that there are many 32+ year old saddles out there that are being ridden every day.
    Vintage steel will always be the best ride!

  20. #20
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    That must have been a great trip!


    The music is cheerfully annoying enough to make you want to go out and ride
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    That must have been a great trip! I'm curious about longevity of the saddles, though. It seems like there hasn't been enough time for them to begin wearing out. Are the folks at Brooks making an assumption, or have they had experience with the process before?
    The chemical treatment has been used for other leather products for years, it was only new to the world of bicycle saddles.

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