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Thread: Brooks Question

  1. #1
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    Brooks Question

    So I am trying to decide between the B17 Narrow, Swift or Team Pro. All would be approx me the same price for me. Yes i have searched and done some research, but i am a small guy (5'7") with a small heine and narrow hips. I know everyone sits differently, but are there any smaller guys out there who can give me some advice. The bike is my main form of transportation, altho i also plan on some longer rides in the near future.

    Yes i have searched and am leaning towards the B17, especially since the one is the imperial model with the vent hole in it, whereas the others dont. Would help prevent major cases of swampass. I have a charge spoon saddle, and the size of it seems to fit me decently. Is one of the brooks similar in size to it?

    Bike in question:

  2. #2
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    It's not a vent hole.

    You can't go wrong with a B17.
    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.

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    Senior Member the_don's Avatar
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    A Stussy special edition Brooks Swift would look nice!

    If you can afford it.

  4. #4
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    Not really going for looks, more for functionality.

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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    If it is about functionality, I would stick with a modern-styled saddle. Brooks are hell to break-in, and I do not consider them to be the best in weather-resistance.

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    Senior Member the_don's Avatar
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    in that case get some lycra padded cycling shorts.

    cheaper and will be WAY more comfortable

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    If it is about functionality, I would stick with a modern-styled saddle. Brooks are hell to break-in, and I do not consider them to be the best in weather-resistance.
    I've always thought the break-in period was greatly exaggerated, by Brooks was comfy immediately. However, they do have NO weather resistance, and are theft magnets. Both pretty major disadvantages for a daily rider.

  8. #8
    Comanche Racing PedallingATX's Avatar
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    I would not go w/ a Brooks if I were you. You have a decent amount of saddle to bar drop and need to stick w/ a more modern saddle to prevent perineal pressure. Brooks (especially B17) is really bad about perineal pressure w/ setups like yours. I have a VERY similar setup and I rode a Brooks for a few months, getting sore balls after every long ride.

    Maybe a swift or professional would be better about it, but I don't know. The one w/ the hole in it might help...

    I bought a Terry Fly...best saddle I've ever used.
    skinnytire

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    I donno, I have way more saddle/bar drop and am comfy with a B-15...
    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    because physics has more street cred than tarckstars.

  10. #10
    curmudgeon psirue's Avatar
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    I ride a team pro and it is very comfortable with a decent saddle-to-bar drop. it did take about a year of daily riding to reach this point comfort, however, because the leather is much more thicker than the b17. maintenance is not that bad -- proofide every 3-6 months and covering it with a plastic bag when it's wet out. I do keep it secured with a cable when locking up.

    the b17 is definitely wider than the charge spoon. I'd go with the b17 narrow or team pro or swift if you have narrow sitbones -- just dont expect the team pro or swift to be comfortable right away.

  11. #11
    a.k.a. QUADZILLA LoRoK's Avatar
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    You'll probably be fine regarding saddle to bar drop if you get a swift. B-17 will probably give you some numbness with that setup though. I've got a lot more s-t-b drop than you, and I'm pretty fine with my Swift. I did experience some numbness with the Team Pro I had before. The break-in period is way over-rated. Most comfortable saddle I've ever had.

  12. #12
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    As far as theft here in berlin there are a ton of brooks on bikes here, so im not worried about. I sat on my friends and really enjoyed the feel of the leather. As far as breaking it in, not a problem for me, no different then getting super sore from breaking in new snowboarding equipment. From what i read im leaning away from the b17, more along the lines of a swift or swallow. Are there any modern saddles that are leather like the brooks?

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    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    I have a swift and love it. My saddle to bar drop is also more than what you have pictured.
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?

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    I could not seem to get my B-17 Brooks right after a bunch of couple mile rides on my vintage Univega geared bike. Do you guys find that you have to fiddle with saddles regardless to get the right fit?

  15. #15
    steel lover
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    I had to fiddle in order to keep from sliding around. ESPECIALLY with lycra riding shorts. Essentially, it seemed good for riding in the drops, but when I sat up, I slid forward. I would adjust it, and then it would be uncomfortable when in the drops. After some time doing fine adjustments, and wearing some dimples into the seat... it felt perfect.

    B17N, laced slightly after getting really wet once

    Here's a rough idea of saddle to bar drop (though, it's a little different on the bike with drop bars that I originally had it on)
    No lugs, no care.

  16. #16
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfer007 View Post
    I could not seem to get my B-17 Brooks right after a bunch of couple mile rides on my vintage Univega geared bike. Do you guys find that you have to fiddle with saddles regardless to get the right fit?
    A little more forward, a little bit lower and tilt the nose up.
    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.

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    Yeah I am going to start taking an allen wrench with me on rides and adjust it then.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    If it is about functionality, I would stick with a modern-styled saddle. Brooks are hell to break-in, and I do not consider them to be the best in weather-resistance.
    They're not bad at all in severe (read wet and snowy) weather if you treat them once a year ( I use Sno*Seal) and cover them with a plastic bag when locked up outside. I've been using them for over 15 years on my commuter, including all winter in wet, snowy, Riga. I have yet to have any problem with Brooks saddles due to the weather.

  19. #19
    steel lover
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    I got stuck in ONE storm with my Brooks. It was a down pour, soaking wet. The saddle folded like wet cardboard. After the ride, I tried to hand shape it back out of hammock shape before it dried. I ended up lacing it bring back some of the firmness. It was treated with a very heavy coat of wax sealer (don't remember the exact product used, i did a review of it on here at the time).
    No lugs, no care.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevy42083 View Post
    I got stuck in ONE storm with my Brooks. It was a down pour, soaking wet. The saddle folded like wet cardboard. After the ride, I tried to hand shape it back out of hammock shape before it dried. I ended up lacing it bring back some of the firmness. It was treated with a very heavy coat of wax sealer (don't remember the exact product used, i did a review of it on here at the time).
    Did you leave the saddle uncovered? Or does your bike not have fenders and you didn't treat the underside?

  21. #21
    Nü-Fred ichitz's Avatar
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    Get some neatsfoot oil and break in the leather saddle. And maintain it once a while, it's awesome.
    Few rains never really damaged my saddle. Haven't been in a storm yet tho..

  22. #22
    steel lover
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    It was treated inside and out.
    The saddle got soaked before I could cover it (it was a group ride, and we thought it would clear quickly)... stopped at the first covered area, and I bagged it. It was ~1/4mi of wet riding.
    No fenders.

    I'm just saying they CAN work for all weather... but they must be covered and not get wet. Many people make it sound like they do just fine getting wet.

    EDIT: BTW, I still LOVE the saddle... wouldn't trade it for anything, and am very happy. But be prepared to keep it dry.
    No lugs, no care.

  23. #23
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ichitz View Post
    Get some neatsfoot oil and break in the leather saddle. And maintain it once a while, it's awesome.
    Few rains never really damaged my saddle. Haven't been in a storm yet tho..
    Not Neatsfoot oil. Pet peeve of mine, but I hate seeing this one being recommended. Neatsfoot oil oxidizes over time and leaves the leather brittle and prone to cracking. Additionally, using an oil to speed the break-in process can lead to premature hammocking of the leather by over softening it.

    Sno-Seal, Obenauf's LP, or Proofide. Before you even put the saddle on the bike, give it a good rubbing of any of those compounds, especially the underside where it will soak in and help weatherproof the saddle. Buff the top with an old t-shirt when the coat goes dull, then install it.
    The saddle shouldn't require break-in time to be comfortable, that's just ridiculous to think that you need to suffer for 300 - 400 miles before the saddle is comfy. It will get more comfortable as you break it in and it molds to your sit bones, but it should be comfortable right out of the box.
    The biggest fit issue I had was a cheap seatpost. I couldn't get the right tilt on the saddle because one notch of the microadjust was too far forward, the next one was too far back. I bought a 2 bolt post and solved that problem.
    As for weatherproofing, if you're already commited to dropping $90 or more on a saddle, spend the extra $8 and get a Velox saddle cover. It's form fitted and fully waterproof.
    I've got either a B-17 or a B-17 Imperial on all three of my bikes. Wouldn't change them out for anything.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  24. #24
    Nü-Fred ichitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Not Neatsfoot oil. Pet peeve of mine, but I hate seeing this one being recommended. Neatsfoot oil oxidizes over time and leaves the leather brittle and prone to cracking. Additionally, using an oil to speed the break-in process can lead to premature hammocking of the leather by over softening it.

    Sno-Seal, Obenauf's LP, or Proofide. Before you even put the saddle on the bike, give it a good rubbing of any of those compounds, especially the underside where it will soak in and help weatherproof the saddle.
    Ha. Always thought neatsfoot worked. Read it on Sheldon Brown i think. Ah well. Learn something new everyday

  25. #25
    Generic Member pawpaw's Avatar
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    @OP: I was in a similar situation as you; however, i was torn between a rolls and a b.17, both can be found anywhere in the $60-$80 range. I ended up going with the brooks and when it arrived I was astonished at how firm it was. It didn't make sense to how this very solid piece of leather could be comfortable at all.
    Anyways, it's been a week or so and I've put about 50 miles on it and I could not be happier. My setup is just like yours with pursuit bars and almost identical saddle to bar ratio. I would highly recommend the b.17, simply based on one week of riding on it. When people say that the best part about a Brooks is that you can't feel it, they aren't exaggerating. The main (and only) bad part I can think of is my thighs are still getting used to a slightly wider saddle, but like most things, only time will fix that.
    ride it like you stole it.


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