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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-05-10, 10:41 AM   #1
storckm
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Brooks saddle with springs?

Right now I have a brooks b17 on my touring bike, and no complaints. I happened to notice claims that in former days, most saddles were sprung, and got to wondering whether I should try the similar brooks model with springs, since the specialized seat on my tandem isn't comfortable for longer distances. Should I try a model with springs, or is there no need with adequately wide tires (700Cx35 touring and 26"x1.5" tandem)? Has anyone tried a sprung brooks, and does it make much difference?
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Old 08-05-10, 11:43 AM   #2
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So, like this?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooks
Flyer Special

Length: 275mm
Width: 175mm
Height:87mm
Weight: 890g

The Flyer and its ladies model Flyer S are classically sprung saddles for long distance trekking and touring. It is directly descending from the B66 Champion, first featured in the 1927 catalogue. Sharing the same leather tops of the B17 models, they combine the comfort of these popular models with the extra suspension granted by two rear springs. Both are available with tubular steel rivets or with hand


I wonder how this would compare in terms of comfort with the conventional stoker solution of a Thudbuster seatpost, which weighs about 600 grams?

Last edited by Ritterview; 08-05-10 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 08-05-10, 01:28 PM   #3
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That's exactly what I have in mind. I don't know what the weight is, but don't really care either. Harris Cyclery claims that an advantage to springs vis-a-vis a suspension seatpost is the lack of moving parts to wear out or require maintenance.
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Old 08-05-10, 02:24 PM   #4
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Here's a fine example, more Brooks-laden tandem pics can be found here.

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Old 08-05-10, 02:42 PM   #5
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The weight comparison should be based on the sprung Brooks vs the unsprung Brooks equivalent + Thudbuster. Not the sprung Brooks vs the Thudbuster.

That said, this, like all saddle discussions is (sadly) very much a personal preference sort of thing. The vast majority of folks who have Brooks saddles love them. The remainder are on their way to getting rid of them, as they really don't work for them. It will be a similar story with the springs vs the Thudbuster. The springs will not have the same amount of travel as the Thudbuster. I think I saw a comparison on Tandem@Hobbes just the other day, in which the sprung saddle was described as relatively "bouncy". Whether this is your experience will depend on a number of things, probably the most significant being rider weight.

One thing about the Thudbuster is that it does come with multiple elastomers allowing for some adjustment for rider weight. And a pre-tensioning screw. Whereas a sprung saddle just is what it is.

But it might work for you...
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Old 08-07-10, 04:36 PM   #6
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I put a Brooks whit springs on my new tandem. 1000 km until now, and I am happy. Not perfect but its good.
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Old 08-08-10, 12:12 AM   #7
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WillJL's fine 1984 Follis has two Brooks, and the stoker enjoys a sprung Flyer S Special.

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Old 08-08-10, 10:47 AM   #8
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Both saddles on our Burley Duet are Brooks; Captain's is a Team Pro and the Stoker's is a Flyer Special. The Stoker reports that her switch from a B17 (unsprung) to the Flyer (sprung) is way more comfortable. We would have tried a Thudbuster, but the seat post of this generation Duet is 26.6....
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Old 09-12-10, 07:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storckm View Post
Right now I have a brooks b17 on my touring bike, and no complaints. I happened to notice claims that in former days, most saddles were sprung, and got to wondering whether I should try the similar brooks model with springs, since the specialized seat on my tandem isn't comfortable for longer distances. Should I try a model with springs, or is there no need with adequately wide tires (700Cx35 touring and 26"x1.5" tandem)? Has anyone tried a sprung brooks, and does it make much difference?
Why not try an ordinary B17, without springs? You say you've got no complaints with it on your touring bicycle, so it may work for you on the tandem.

The tandem we're borrowing came with some sort of saddle (not sure what brand) which was killing me, so we put my Brooks B17 (which is pretty much broken in) on and I've been comfortable since. I don't think I'd need a saddle with springs.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:32 AM   #10
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I have the b17 for the front seat, but I know the springs would be a lot more comfortable for my wife in the rear. She just gets pounded over the bumps without some kind of suspension (currently just using a $50 seat post with elastomer shock absorption).

So, the next step for me would either be the sprung brooks, or the thudbuster. Given her weight (~125) I don't think the brooks would be too bouncy - I can't get her to spin faster anyway.
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Old 09-14-10, 09:08 AM   #11
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If you elect to go with a Brooks saddle may I suggest that you get it from Wallingford Bicycle Parts (www.wallbike.com). They have a 6-month unconditional satisfaction guarantee on new Brooks saddles. Return your new saddle at any time within six-months of the ship date for a full refund of the price of the saddle. Shipping will not be refunded unless there is a manufacturing defect that would make the return a factory warranty issue.
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Old 09-15-10, 10:08 AM   #12
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Just reading this gives me the sweats! I know that saddles are a very personel choice. I suffered for many years with a Brooks B-17, it really spoiled my earliest riding. Back in the 60's there weren't many choices. I can't even guess how much neetsfoot oil I soaked into this saddle through the years, but it never worked for me. It wasn't until the '80's, when gel saddles came out did I find any comfort. After this, I rode for many years, in great comfort on a Flite (go figure!). I eventually was bothered by numbness in the perineum and a prostate infection and went to a Selle Aristeed (I think that is the spelling), with a space down the middle. I still have buddies that ride the most modern bikes, but cling to their old Brooks torture instruments! I ride the Selle on my single and my tandem (captain) and have never found any need for any kind of suspension. Maybe, you need to try something else. Sometimes, especially in the earlier days of cycling, we had expectations of a certain degree of suffering.
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Old 09-15-10, 10:14 AM   #13
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Hey I just assumed that you were talking about the seat on the front of the tandem. If you are the stoker, my apologies, I would personally need suspension with any seat on the back! It doesn't take a whole lot of travel to make a difference back there. The sprung saddle might be just the ticket.
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