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  1. #1
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    saddle suggestions for endurance road bike

    Hey all, Im looking for suggestions. I just ordered a second bike that I'll be using as a dedicated road / sportive bike. I have a Specialised tri cross that I've been using and its been great, but it has slowly become more of a touring / commuter having installed a rear rack w/ pack, mirror, fenders etc. I bought a Cannondale synapse 105 to use more as a sporty / distance bike. The brooks b17 on my tricross works great - I can do 150k on it with zero problems, and is comfortable as all heck. I'd get one for the synapse too but the brooks is 550 grams or so, and I don't know if it would look right on the Synapse. Any one have a suggestion as to another saddle that can still take the miles while weighing less or should I stick with the brooks ( another b17 or perhaps a swift or cambium). Thanks!

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    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Cambium weighs less and is more or less a copy of the B17, right? My understanding is that you can try it out for free at a Brooks dealer. I know my local bikestore has this option. I think that this is some sort of a national program but I could be wrong. I'm tempted to pick one up for my enduro bike.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    To me, the Cambium looks quite different from the B17 ... you'd definitely want to try it before committing to it.

    Look at wallbike.com | Wallingford Bike Parts ... they've got a 6 month guarantee on their Brooks saddles. You can look at the dimensions, etc. and select one you think will work for you, and give it a try. You can also contact them and have a chat about what might work or not work.

    Personally, the B17 works for me ... and I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Personally, the B17 works for me ... and I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    For no particular reason I'm doing a comparison of the B-17 "Aged" and the Sella Anatomica Titanico X on two of my bikes.
    If I had to go 200K next weekend I'd fit the Brooks and have at it, a known quantity wins.

    It will take a full season of use to decide if the SA stays or goes. So far so good, but not far enough for a real trial.

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

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I've done fairly well with the Specialized Romin and Toupe saddles. I have a slight preference for the Romin.

    That said, I would not let aesthetics prevent me from using a saddle that works for me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    To me, the Cambium looks quite different from the B17 ... you'd definitely want to try it before committing to it.
    If you can test it first that would be a great idea. I hear mixed opinions on the Cambium, I know a lot of people that love it and say it fits like their B17 and I also have a friend who HATED it but loves his B17, he actually replaced the Cambium with a leather B17.

    Saddles are a tough one to make recommendations for though, I personally really like the B17 and WTB Pure V saddles but the only way to know is to demo a few. Better shops will usually have a saddle demo program so it is not so expensive finding the right one.

  7. #7
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    To me, the Cambium looks quite different from the B17 ... you'd definitely want to try it before committing to it.

    Look at wallbike.com | Wallingford Bike Parts ... they've got a 6 month guarantee on their Brooks saddles. You can look at the dimensions, etc. and select one you think will work for you, and give it a try. You can also contact them and have a chat about what might work or not work.

    Personally, the B17 works for me ... and I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Thanks for the link. I see they're in New Orleans, while I live in Toronto, Canada. I'll send them an email but I think the shipping / duties might not be worth it in this case. It did remind me that MEC in Canada has a pretty generous return policy on their things, as in if you don't like it they don't argue with you, so I'll give them a call first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    For no particular reason I'm doing a comparison of the B-17 "Aged" and the Sella Anatomica Titanico X on two of my bikes.
    If I had to go 200K next weekend I'd fit the Brooks and have at it, a known quantity wins.

    It will take a full season of use to decide if the SA stays or goes. So far so good, but not far enough for a real trial.-Bandera
    Thanks for the input, I'll be looking forward (as will future readers of this thread I'm sure) to hear your thoughts on the two saddles!



    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I've done fairly well with the Specialized Romin and Toupe saddles. I have a slight preference for the Romin.

    That said, I would not let aesthetics prevent me from using a saddle that works for me.
    I'll look into those, they both look pretty slick. Following the link trail of those two suggestions I also came upon a suggestion for the Fizik Aliante that also looks super slick (and would fit in perfectly with the black and white synapse) Robot Check .. but as you said, it looking great isn't going to be doing me any favors if I'm brutal pain while using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    If you can test it first that would be a great idea. I hear mixed opinions on the Cambium, I know a lot of people that love it and say it fits like their B17 and I also have a friend who HATED it but loves his B17, he actually replaced the Cambium with a leather B17.

    Saddles are a tough one to make recommendations for though, I personally really like the B17 and WTB Pure V saddles but the only way to know is to demo a few. Better shops will usually have a saddle demo program so it is not so expensive finding the right one.
    The only thing I can see myself not liking about the cambium is it's a very grippy saddle; where as you can slide around a bit on the leather saddles (some might not like that feature but I find it works quite well for me). At 300 (Edit: https://www.benscycle.com/p-4616-bro...FW4Q7Aod7VwApg reports as 300 grams, brooks themselves say 415 grams: http://www.brooksengland.com/catalog...7+Ltd+Edition/) grams is almost half as light as the B17, but on the other hand near twice as much as the specialized saddles mentioned above. 150 grams isn't going to make one bit of difference to me one way or the other having said that on a 150k ride (that won't be a race) .. but the difference between 570 grams and 150 is a little more significant. Saddles of course are very hard to recommend given everyone's different shapes, but I'm interested in hearing what works for you /them

    Edit: This also looks promising: http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Bike-S...-Phenom-Expert
    Last edited by seanpatrick76; 07-11-14 at 12:51 AM.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanpatrick76 View Post
    Thanks for the link. I see they're in New Orleans, while I live in Toronto, Canada. I'll send them an email but I think the shipping / duties might not be worth it in this case. It did remind me that MEC in Canada has a pretty generous return policy on their things, as in if you don't like it they don't argue with you, so I'll give them a call first.
    I was in Winnipeg when I ordered my first saddle from Wallingford Bicycles, and was very happy with the process.

    But I do see that MEC has started to sell Brooks saddles.

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    The Brooks Swallow is lighter and looks more like a modern saddle. I have one Swallow and two B17s. I prefer the B17 but can ride for 5 hours on the Swallow without much complaint.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Which Synapse 105 did you get? The 6 with the house brand saddle, or the 5 with the Prologo?

    I have the 6 with the cheap C-dale saddle, and it has been the most pleasant surprise about the bike. I prefer it to my Romin saddle.

  11. #11
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    I got the alloy 5: Synapse Disc 5 105 - Synapse - Endurance Road - ROAD - BIKES - 2014

    It's got the "Cannondale stage ergo" saddle. When I tested it I remember thinking great bike - not a very comfortable saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    For no particular reason I'm doing a comparison of the B-17 "Aged" and the Sella Anatomica Titanico X on two of my bikes.
    If I had to go 200K next weekend I'd fit the Brooks and have at it, a known quantity wins.

    It will take a full season of use to decide if the SA stays or goes. So far so good, but not far enough for a real trial.

    -Bandera
    When my B-17 wore out, I replaced it with a Sella Anatomica Titanico. At that time, I was under the 180 lb rating for the Titanico X but the saddle stretched too much for my liking. Nowadays, SA recommends the X for riders over 160 lbs and I have replaced the saddles on all of my bikes with Titanico X. I installed my old Titanico on the back of our tandem and my wife thinks it is the best saddle she has ever ridden.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanpatrick76 View Post
    The brooks b17 on my tricross works great - I can do 150k on it with zero problems, and is comfortable as all heck. I'd get one for the synapse too but the brooks is 550 grams or so
    This is my only gripe about the Brooks B17 -- the weight! I'm in the process of putting my touring bike on a diet for long-distance (brevet) riding. This bike fits me really well. I read somewhere that the Fizik Aliante is basically a modern version of the B17. So, the chances are that if you like the B17, the Aliante might actually work well, too. Fizik has several versions of this saddle to choose from, some as light as 200 grams. I am in the same boat -- I find it really hard to pull the trigger on the Aliante, esp. after coming back from a long ride and realizing how well the Brooks B17 has worked for me. I personally would not consider another Brooks (or any other leather saddle brand) if saving weight is the main goal. They are simply not made for the weight conscious, IMO.

    Hopefully someone with more experience with the B17 Vs. the Aliante (or another much lighter saddle) will chime in.

  14. #14
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
    This is my only gripe about the Brooks B17 -- the weight! I'm in the process of putting my touring bike on a diet for long-distance (brevet) riding. This bike fits me really well. I read somewhere that the Fizik Aliante is basically a modern version of the B17. So, the chances are that if you like the B17, the Aliante might actually work well, too. Fizik has several versions of this saddle to choose from, some as light as 200 grams. I am in the same boat -- I find it really hard to pull the trigger on the Aliante, esp. after coming back from a long ride and realizing how well the Brooks B17 has worked for me. I personally would not consider another Brooks (or any other leather saddle brand) if saving weight is the main goal. They are simply not made for the weight conscious, IMO.

    Hopefully someone with more experience with the B17 Vs. the Aliante (or another much lighter saddle) will chime in.
    Yes, I've been leaning in that direction as well. It's got some pretty great reviews on Wiggle: wiggle.com | Fizik Aliante Versus Saddle with K:IUM Rails | Performance Saddles ...

    The problem with reviews is I've a feeling many don't do major miles there. Lots of reviews like " I did 30 to 50 miles / km today with no problem! " ... I'm more interested in " I did 100 miles today with no problems" .. that being said there is the odd review that alludes to a longer ride, and you're the second person who's mentioned the Aliante fits a bit like the B17. I think the last step is to measure my sit bones and pull the trigger. I just wish it was leather . I find the leather is great if you like sliding around and changing positions on long bike rides, and your shorts - be it lycra or otherwise - won't bunch up.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    This thread from 2011 might help. I know there are a few regular posters here who've had a positive experience with the Fizik Aliante for long distance riding. I just don't know if they've used the B17 for a comparison. I believe someone here mentioned that the Fiziks seem to be popular in randonneur events in the USA, but I can't find the thread.

  16. #16
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I'm another dedicated Fizik Aliante user. I can easily do 12+ hour rides without any saddle-related issues. However, I've never tried any leather saddles - why would I when I feel that the Aliante can't be beaten? There are even several pro racers using it (e.g., Peter Sagan).

    Regarding the stock saddles on Cannondale road bikes, I work for a Cannondale dealer and a lot of clients who have bought Cannondales tend to come back after a few weeks looking for something more comfortable (especially those who've bought a bike with a Prologo saddle). We also sell Specialized bikes, but we rarely have clients who've bought one of their bikes coming back to change the stock saddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    Cambium weighs less and is more or less a copy of the B17, right? My understanding is that you can try it out for free at a Brooks dealer. I know my local bikestore has this option. I think that this is some sort of a national program but I could be wrong. I'm tempted to pick one up for my enduro bike.
    The Cambium is quite a bit narrower than the B17. I don't know why people say it's a copy when it's not.

    As to the B17 weight, go for a titanium model. I've just bought another one to go on my new Bike Friday. I have three titanium Brooks saddles -- a Swallow which I am not entirely enamoured with and it's on my CF bike, and a B17 on my Ti bike which has takenn some time to break in.

    I know that cost is a factor. But the latest B17 Ti was on special for around $200 at an on-line store, and I figure that they should last the rest of my lifetime, so they are an investment in my comfort.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The Cambium is quite a bit narrower than the B17. I don't know why people say it's a copy when it's not.

    As to the B17 weight, go for a titanium model. I've just bought another one to go on my new Bike Friday. I have three titanium Brooks saddles -- a Swallow which I am not entirely enamoured with and it's on my CF bike, and a B17 on my Ti bike which has takenn some time to break in.

    I know that cost is a factor. But the latest B17 Ti was on special for around $200 at an on-line store, and I figure that they should last the rest of my lifetime, so they are an investment in my comfort.
    Maybe they read the Brooks website on the cambium where the manufacturer says that the cambium is based closely on the B17:

    BROOKS ENGLAND LTD. | CAMBIUM

  19. #19
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The Cambium is quite a bit narrower than the B17. I don't know why people say it's a copy when it's not.

    As to the B17 weight, go for a titanium model. I've just bought another one to go on my new Bike Friday. I have three titanium Brooks saddles -- a Swallow which I am not entirely enamoured with and it's on my CF bike, and a B17 on my Ti bike which has takenn some time to break in.

    I know that cost is a factor. But the latest B17 Ti was on special for around $200 at an on-line store, and I figure that they should last the rest of my lifetime, so they are an investment in my comfort.
    If I could find one for 200 I'd give it more serious consideration, though the aliente can be had for much less and is still lighter I believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    I'm another dedicated Fizik Aliante user. I can easily do 12+ hour rides without any saddle-related issues. However, I've never tried any leather saddles - why would I when I feel that the Aliante can't be beaten? There are even several pro racers using it (e.g., Peter Sagan).

    Regarding the stock saddles on Cannondale road bikes, I work for a Cannondale dealer and a lot of clients who have bought Cannondales tend to come back after a few weeks looking for something more comfortable (especially those who've bought a bike with a Prologo saddle). We also sell Specialized bikes, but we rarely have clients who've bought one of their bikes coming back to change the stock saddle.
    Thank you for the valuable insight. What version of the Aliente do you ride?

  20. #20
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    I would find a fizik dealer with a test program that would let you ride a 200k on one. It's not going to change any your butt isn't going to change, so the only way to really try it out is to do some distance on one. My LBS will let me take a saddle for at least a week, no problem. No two riders are alike, I don't expect my experience to be directly applicable to anyone else. I have to say that I don't think any saddle is going to stop saddle sores entirely, but once my butt is broken in for the year the Aliante is comfortable at any distance.
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

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    There is the Brooks Flyer, which is the B17 top with springs. Some form of suspension is desirable on a bike. A sprung saddle is the simplest form of it and is virtually maintainance-free.

  22. #22
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I would find a fizik dealer with a test program that would let you ride a 200k on one. It's not going to change any your butt isn't going to change, so the only way to really try it out is to do some distance on one. My LBS will let me take a saddle for at least a week, no problem. No two riders are alike, I don't expect my experience to be directly applicable to anyone else. I have to say that I don't think any saddle is going to stop saddle sores entirely, but once my butt is broken in for the year the Aliante is comfortable at any distance.
    Fair enough, I'll ask my LBS about it when the new Cannondale gets delivered. I'll also keep my eye out for a titanium b17 at a fair price. For the record I don't get saddle soars with the B17, though I rarely go above 150k at a sitting.

  23. #23
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanpatrick76 View Post
    Thank you for the valuable insight. What version of the Aliente do you ride?
    I have an Aliante on each of my 4 bikes (road, tour/commute, tandem, MTB), and each is a slightly different version from the least expensive to the most and with a different age (from 1 to 8 years). In terms of comfort and feel, I've never noticed a difference between any of them. The color and the weight are the only things that seem to differ, which are characteristics that may or may not be important for you.

  24. #24
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I have a Performance Forte Classic (~$40) on all my bikes. Did 200 miles on Saturday with no problems. They only come in one width, 140mm I think, so it either fits or it doesn't. It's a little like the Terry Fly, but with a better shape and more durable.
    Forté Classic Saddle - Performance Sales Exclusions

  25. #25
    Member seanpatrick76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    I have an Aliante on each of my 4 bikes (road, tour/commute, tandem, MTB), and each is a slightly different version from the least expensive to the most and with a different age (from 1 to 8 years). In terms of comfort and feel, I've never noticed a difference between any of them. The color and the weight are the only things that seem to differ, which are characteristics that may or may not be important for you.
    Fair enough. 50 grams or so won't make much of a difference to me, it's mostly about comfort. I suppose a white one would match the new Cannondale well, but mostly it's about comfort. That being said the weight difference between the B17 and an Aliante is much more substantial, so if it works as well as the B17 on the road bike that would be great. I'm toying with the idea of a guru bike fit (which is what the shop where I bought my Synapse offers) and they deal exclusively with Fizik, so I would have a chance to at least sit on one (as well as a few others I assume) for a while. I'll see what there return policy is like as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I have a Performance Forte Classic (~$40) on all my bikes. Did 200 miles on Saturday with no problems. They only come in one width, 140mm I think, so it either fits or it doesn't. It's a little like the Terry Fly, but with a better shape and more durable.
    Forté Classic Saddle - Performance Sales Exclusions
    Thanks for the link - I'll keep my eyes open.

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