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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-16-08, 10:38 PM   #1
powerband
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Brooks Swallow Picture

Brooks saddles are not for everyone. I personally have had one for nearly 20 years on an old bike, and it was the most comfortable seat I have owned -- more so than most of the modern high-tech seats with which I have experimented. So recently I decided to buy a new Brooks.

It is the chrome rail Brooks Swallow, for $180 at www.lickbike.com . I received it two weeks after the order.

Here are some pictures. (Please forgive the low-quality photos; they were taken at work with an iPhone camera.) Although it looks darker, it is honey in color. Let me tell you: It is far nicer in the flesh than in any picture on the internet. Perhaps Brooks has achieved a cult following far beyond its deserved value, and perhaps its price has reached a level of absurdity, but I am OK with that it is the most expensive component on my bike.

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The packaging is solid. The Brooks box is a nice British Racing Green.



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Wrapped up in its box.



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The leather is smooth, shiny and sleek. Hard, but ready to be broken in - conformed especially to my own seat bones, like the last saddle I owned.



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Classic proportion, wide at the back and long in length.



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This Brooks badge has not changed much throughout its history.



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Beautiful and solid craftsmanship. Give it a little care, the saddle will last a couple decades or more.



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Practical or occult, the Brooks saddle takes on its own character and identity.



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Enjoy.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:21 PM   #2
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That is an incredible saddle, I will admit.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:27 PM   #3
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That's pretty. I love brooks but that's the price of 2 b17s and some money left over for beer.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:52 PM   #4
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I still haven't found the right saddle. My Regal has been giving me crazy saddle sore lately. I had a b17 a while ago but never gave it a proper try. I gave up right when it felt like it would make me sterile. I was considering getting a Team Pro. Do you think I should just save up some more and just go for the Swallow?
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Old 05-17-08, 12:06 AM   #5
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Just chop a B-17. Niah!

But yeah, it is pretty. Just not 180 dollars pretty IMO.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:00 AM   #6
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I had a b17 a while ago but never gave it a proper try... I was considering getting a Team Pro. Do you think I should just save up some more and just go for the Swallow?
I had a handsome bonus check for a project I completed, so I took some money out of it and treated myself to the Brooks Swallow.

rduenas, had you given your B17 a fair try, then you would have found out whether the Brooks was for you or not. It is hard to say that the Swallow would be any better for you than a B17 or a Team Pro. If cost is an issue, then you can chop a B17, like many people do, and give it a try again - this time with more time. (But I'm afraid that the Brooks simply may not be for you.)

Last edited by powerband; 05-17-08 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:21 AM   #7
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Do you know what that weighs? it's a handsome saddle.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:36 AM   #8
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Slightly above a pound. I won't be saving weight with this saddle, but I'm OK with that.
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Old 05-17-08, 06:14 AM   #9
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Do you have any pics of it mounted on your bike?

I've been thinking about trying a Swallow since I have a little too much bar drop for the B17 I currently have mounted.

BTW< what does it take to graduate from that _newbie_ tag under my name. Dammit man!
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Old 05-17-08, 09:18 AM   #10
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Do you have any pics of it mounted on your bike?

I've been thinking about trying a Swallow since I have a little too much bar drop for the B17 I currently have mounted.

BTW< what does it take to graduate from that _newbie_ tag under my name. Dammit man!
I didn't get home until late last night and didn't get a chance to install the saddle. I will install it later today and will take some pictures. It will be on a cheap, converted mountain bike fixie. Here's a picture of it, without the Brooks.



ericspin, I am unsure if the Swallow is actually *lower* than the B17; my thought is that the leather sides of the B17 go all the way down, giving the appearance of a taller seat? I don't know. (I wish I still had my 20+ year old Brooks saddle, because it was similar to the B17.)
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Old 05-17-08, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericspin View Post
Do you have any pics of it mounted on your bike?

I've been thinking about trying a Swallow since I have a little too much bar drop for the B17 I currently have mounted.

BTW< what does it take to graduate from that _newbie_ tag under my name. Dammit man!
just so you know the Swallow is noticeable more narrow than a B17 (width=152 vs. 170) where you sit. if you get a Swift you save a bit because it has the same width as the swallow (while, in my opinion, looks better than a swallow as well). The swift is basically a "lean" version of the B17 because it has the same length but is less wide in the seat portion

i think you get it removed by the amount of posts you do or the time you've been here
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Old 05-17-08, 11:00 AM   #12
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I didn't get home until late last night and didn't get a chance to install the saddle. I will install it later today and will take some pictures. It will be on a cheap, converted mountain bike fixie. Here's a picture of it, without the Brooks.



ericspin, I am unsure if the Swallow is actually *lower* than the B17; my thought is that the leather sides of the B17 go all the way down, giving the appearance of a taller seat? I don't know. (I wish I still had my 20+ year old Brooks saddle, because it was similar to the B17.)
lol
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Old 05-17-08, 11:34 AM   #13
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I have a wrights swallow and a brooks swift. I much prefer the shape of the less expensive swift design to that of the swallow, i find it more comfortable, i think the fact its not attached underneat the saddle allows it to have a little more flex, and the flaps at the bottom are still small enough that they are unobtrusive (my complaint with the team pro). Im still trying to figure out if I can notice the TI rails or if its placebo This saddle is on its 4th bike now, and whenever I ride n it I freak out for a second and think my tire pressure is low. Then I just remember my saddle is really really comfortable and continue on my way.



ive heard other people much prefer the swallow design, but everyones shaped different so what works for one doesnt work for another. that been said, i <3 brooks saddles.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:49 PM   #14
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I much prefer the shape of the less expensive swift design to that of the swallow... I think the fact its not attached underneat the saddle allows it to have a little more flex...
This makes sense to me. My old Brooks does not have the flap attachment and it was extremely comfortable. So far I have not installed and tried the Swallow yet. I'm betting that it isn't the flex that gives me comfort but that it's the leather will conform to the shape of my seatbones. On the old Brooks, it was matter of feeling like I'm sitting "in" the saddle rather than "on" it. I'm hoping for the same effect from the new Swallow.

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I've heard other people much prefer the swallow design, but everyone's shape is different, so what works for one doesnt work for another. That being said, I love brooks saddles.
I'll be honest, I chose the Swallow not only because of my experience with a Brooks saddle but because the Swallow looks the best out of the line-up. I don't consider this a decision based on "form over function." I'm betting that the function is already there simply because it's a Brooks. (At least for me. Fingers crossed.)

Cheers.
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Old 05-17-08, 02:49 PM   #15
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Ok, I took more photos (on my cell phone camera - thus, sorry for the quality).
The first few I compared it to the WTB saddle that was on my bike, then with the Brooks on the bike.

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As you can see, the Brooks is flatter. And, although hard to see here, it's a centimeter or so longer.



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The sides of the Brooks saddle curves down, allowing the inner thigh clearance while pedaling. This is comfortable for me, but I'd imagine to others it takes away butt support.



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The badge is classy.



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On the bike. The honey color works with almost any color bike, really.



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Pretty flat and streamline.



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Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-08, 03:26 PM   #16
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wow that looks really great! once you apply proofhide it will darken and match your decals even closer. Black frames and honey saddles look good together
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Old 05-17-08, 03:31 PM   #17
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I don't think that saddle is fitting on that bike at all, but as long as it's comfortable, I guess that's what matters.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:03 PM   #18
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I don't think that saddle is fitting on that bike at all, but as long as it's comfortable, I guess that's what matters.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It actually looks great on the bike in real life; the leather looks like it belongs on the utility bike. In any case, it will be transferred onto a fixed road bike when I get one.

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Old 05-18-08, 07:04 AM   #19
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Just my opinion but I think you'll be disappointed with the ride. The Swallow really isn't meant for that type of setup.

Hope I'm wrong though.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:20 AM   #20
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I have a chopped B17 special, and a steel railed team pro. I much prefer the team pro to the , but I would like to try a Swift or a swallow
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Old 05-18-08, 10:13 AM   #21
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Just my opinion but I think you'll be disappointed with the ride. The Swallow really isn't meant for that type of setup.

Hope I'm wrong though.
The old Brooks that I had was on an old Gary Fisher mountain bike with semi-slicks. It worked pretty well with that set-up, which is similar to the current set-up on my fixed mountain bike with slicks.

I just took the bike (with the new Swallow) on a 10-mile ride. It is slightly rigid, no doubt, just as I remembered it to be when I first rode on a Brooks over 20 years ago. And, just as the original Brooks I had, this new one should conform to my seat bones pretty soon.

I don't think that a Brooks Swallow is made for any specific set-up; on the label that came with the Swallow, it indicates a use on both road AND mountain bikes.
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Old 05-18-08, 10:59 AM   #22
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I had a Schwinn Continental with a Brooks. Sweet saddle. Are they just as comfortable for MTB?
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Old 05-18-08, 02:56 PM   #23
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Here's my black Swallow.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Black Swallow.jpg (79.1 KB, 109 views)
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Old 05-18-08, 03:06 PM   #24
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I don't think that a Brooks Swallow is made for any specific set-up; on the label that came with the Swallow, it indicates a use on both road AND mountain bikes.
Like helmets and lubrication, saddles will be personal. After spending that much I hope it works to your satisfaction.
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Old 05-18-08, 03:50 PM   #25
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There's a miscommunication and I'm at fault. I should have indicated that the bike on which this Brooks Swallow was installed is strictly a commuter. I don't take it off road; I have an On-One single speed for that, with the WTB saddle.
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