Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-03-17, 09:49 AM   #1
apc65
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Bikes:
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Saddle selection (Brooks?) for a newbie

I'm new to touring (and haven't cycled in years) and I just picked up my first tour bike (2018 Fuji touring)...I figured that if I have to break in a new saddle (and my butt) I want to the start the most common (from what I have read) saddle used: a brooks'....I'm leaning towards a B17 or B17 imperial.....any advice/recommendations (to include other saddles) would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance
apc65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 11:45 AM   #2
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Bikes: Masi Rando, all city space horse and Bob Jackson World Tour.
Posts: 712
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 235 Post(s)
i prefer the b17. the imperial was not the relief i thought it would be. i do better without the cut out and being a fairly big guy. 5' 11" and 200lbs, the regular b17 lasts longer for me. you will want to be patient with finding the proper height and angle. i prefer the nose just slightly elevated. as for break in i dont really feel they need much. mine get comfortable in the first hundred miles. the key for me is getting the angle correct for my body.

the saddle in the pic is actually a flyer. kind of a b17 with springs. if i was buying new today i'd buy the b17.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG0115A.jpg (95.8 KB, 221 views)
52telecaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 11:48 AM   #3
gauvins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: QC Canada
Bikes: Custom built LHT & Troll
Posts: 792
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
You may want to consider Selle Anatomica. It is a leather saddle, like the Brooks. It doesn't, however, require a lengthy breaking in period.

My (recent - purchased one 2 weeks ago) experience has been very positive.

They have a 30-day return policy that would allow you to road-test it.
gauvins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 12:40 PM   #4
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 27,203
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2609 Post(s)
More upright, wider the saddle under your butt..


Drop bars I like the team professional . but I'm not the one sitting on your saddle with your hips and riding posture.

when I got mine, in 1975, they only made one color. brownish-black.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 01:05 PM   #5
seeker333
__________
 
seeker333's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Bikes: yes!
Posts: 3,306
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by apc65 View Post
I'm new to touring (and haven't cycled in years) and I just picked up my first tour bike (2018 Fuji touring)...I figured that if I have to break in a new saddle (and my butt) I want to the start the most common (from what I have read) saddle used: a brooks'....I'm leaning towards a B17 or B17 imperial.....any advice/recommendations (to include other saddles) would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance
Brooks saddles are not a universal saddle fit solution. Might work, might not - which is true of all saddles.

Take a look at Selle SMP saddles. They maintain an inventory of loaner saddles in their dealer network which permit one to evaluate the product before making purchase. Nothing to lose but some time riding a bicycle on a possibly less-than-ideal-fitting saddle.

Here's a pertinent thread:

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...ks-saddle.html
seeker333 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 05:47 PM   #6
Bulette
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I've had good luck with a variety of saddles. On the cheap end, I've had success with stock saddles and, one of my favorite, the WTB Pure V. However, when I decided to get a 'fancier' saddle, I too went with a Brooks.

The B17 saddle was comfortable from day one, but only got better with time. After a year or two, it wasn't quite as comfortable anymore, but was back to my favorite saddle with a quick turn of the tension bolt. My saddle has gotten wet, muddy, dusty, dirty, scratched, and scuffed and it still supports me nicely.

To add, I actually started with the Brooks Flyer, (the B17 with springs). The springs don't exactly work like suspension, but they do take the sting out of unexpected bumps, and are very appreciated towards the end of longer days and rides.

I can't add any comments on Selle, Gilles-Berthoud, or other luxury saddles; however I imagine they are significant improvements over the 'basic' plastic and gel saddles. For me, the Brooks saddles were the most readily available and at the most competitive prices. Having found a saddle I absolutely love, I don't see a reason to take another chance.
Bulette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-17, 10:00 PM   #7
tcarl
tcarl
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO
Bikes: Roark, Waterford 1100, 1987 Schwinn Paramount, Nishiki Professional, Bottecchia, 2 Scattantes, 3 Cannondale touring bikes, mtn. bike, cyclocross, hybrid, 1940's era Schwinn
Posts: 495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
For me, I've found the various B17 models haven't taken much breaking in - noticeably less than other models of Brooks that I have. Last spring I got a Flyer for my tour this summer and absolutely loved the extra "spring" it has.
tcarl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 05:25 AM   #8
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 9,059
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
I may be in the minority, but I am not a Brooks fan. Despite the fact that I am able to tolerate all of the saddles that came with my bikes, the B17 just didn't cut it for me. Most of the saddles I tried were okay at best when I started using them, but as I adjusted to them they got better and better. The Brooks was just okay when new but once fully broken in I didn't like it. I know that is the opposite of what others have found.

I didn't like the saddle that comes with the Fuji at first, but I used it for several weeks of riding around home and decided it was okay. I then rode the TransAmerica on it as well as some other tours and it was fine. I think it makes sense to give a saddle several hundred miles over a few weeks before abandoning it unless it is really terrible.

I'd still be fine riding across the US on that saddle, but if I were to pick a favorite saddle it would be one from the WTB Volt line.

Obviously YMMV, but I figured I'd share my experiences as just another data point.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 08:05 AM   #9
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 27,203
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2609 Post(s)
One thing , old leather saddles are not vapor/moisture barriers *, like plastic.'pleather' covered saddles,
but synthetics wont be damaged if gotten wet, then promptly ridden on..

* sweat has a place to be taken up and evaporated. albeit slowly .. but at least not blocked.

In the local use, I leave my 40 + year old Brooks on a shelf inside.. warm & dry ..

I used that on my multi month bike tours..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-04-17 at 08:10 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 09:00 AM   #10
cyber.snow
Senior Member
 
cyber.snow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: McCall Idaho
Bikes: Felt V85, Trek DS8.4
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
I have tried a large number of saddles, in fact I have a large box full of them. Tried all the ones recommended, even the ones with large cut outs in the middle. The one I ride with for the past three months is a Brooks B67 (B17 with springs). When it is rainy out, I covert with a plastic bag. I initially rubbed chamois oil into the leather and experienced a comfortable ride from the beginning. I haven't done a multi week ride but have done several rough road centuries and don't plan on changing saddles again.
cyber.snow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 01:39 PM   #11
seeker333
__________
 
seeker333's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Bikes: yes!
Posts: 3,306
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
... if I were to pick a favorite saddle it would be one from the WTB Volt line..
Most of the Surly and Salsa bikes are equipped with WTB Volt saddles. I suspect QBP does a lot business with WTB (rims, saddles and tires). Salsa puts a B17 on the Marrakesh only.
seeker333 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 01:41 PM   #12
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,812
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by apc65 View Post
I'm new to touring (and haven't cycled in years) and I just picked up my first tour bike (2018 Fuji touring)...I figured that if I have to break in a new saddle (and my butt) I want to the start the most common (from what I have read) saddle used: a brooks'....I'm leaning towards a B17 or B17 imperial.....any advice/recommendations (to include other saddles) would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance
Yr butt will be doing the breaking in. I tried various saddles over the decades and tried leather saddles a couple times when my butt was well accustomed to riding many hours daily throughout the year. Never found them worth the effort compared to picking the right saddle to begin with. I have an older version of a Specialized Avatar. Found it to be better than my old style road saddles from the 80's.
LeeG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 01:50 PM   #13
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder
Posts: 4,382
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 634 Post(s)
How soon are you planning on touring? If in the next few weeks, be aware that a traditional leather saddle that isn't an instant "fit" might mean a tour from hell, even if that same seat is next year's sweet ride.

The same cautions are true for non-leather based saddles fitting you but they do come out of the box with the designed softness so they either work of don't. You will change a little to fit it but those seats won't change.

Ben
79pmooney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 02:08 PM   #14
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 6,675
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
mr apc, there are lots of good seats out there, Brooks aren't necessarily the answer. One issue to keep in mind is that for a leather seats best long and even short term life, you dont want to leave it out in the rain uncovered and not to ride it if it does get soaked, so if this is a factor, look to non leather seats.

being new to cycling, it will probably be tough for you to know what seat works for you, but there are lots of good ones out there even if for you it may be a bit of a crapshoot to know which ones to try.
Seeing them and touching them in a store really doesnt give you a proper idea.
djb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 03:10 PM   #15
dim
Senior Member
 
dim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Cambridge UK
Bikes: Giant TCR .... Koga Miyata GranWinner
Posts: 1,378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Brooks Cambium C17 Carved .... my favourite saddle .... I've had a few other good ones, but this one is the best IMHO

the most comfortable saddle that I have used for long distance (more comfy than a well worn Brooks B17 or a Gilles Berthoud Aravis)
dim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 03:55 PM   #16
NoControl
Look Ma! No Hands!
 
NoControl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Bikes: Surly ECR, 1953 Dunelt
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
I've recently run the saddle gauntlet myself, and I keep coming back to the Brooks B17 Professional. Expensive. Worth it. Those big ol' hand-hammered rivets just keep getting purtier and purtier being rubbed down daily by my butt cheeks!

I've got the WTB Deva saddle saved to my wishlist on Amazon. I've heard that more guys than gals use that saddle.

By the way, @52telecaster , dude, that Bob Jackson is sure looking good!
NoControl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 08:52 PM   #17
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Bikes: Masi Rando, all city space horse and Bob Jackson World Tour.
Posts: 712
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 235 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I've recently run the saddle gauntlet myself, and I keep coming back to the Brooks B17 Professional. Expensive. Worth it. Those big ol' hand-hammered rivets just keep getting purtier and purtier being rubbed down daily by my butt cheeks!

I've got the WTB Deva saddle saved to my wishlist on Amazon. I've heard that more guys than gals use that saddle.

By the way, @52telecaster , dude, that Bob Jackson is sure looking good!
ty and i am happier than a pig in you know what. i dont even have a bike computer on it right now cause i just want to ride.
52telecaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 09:13 PM   #18
twodownzero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 609
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
I have run the B17 Imperial for years on my Surly Disc Trucker. I was at my LBS on Saturday and the salesman asked me "How do you like your Brooks"?

My answer was that we ride a lot and I don't think about my saddle. I understand Brooks have a cult following and of course that's why I bought it, but I also have absolutely no complaints at all about how it performs.

Find what works for you and run it.

I know I MUST have a cutout.

I rode 145 miles on that Brooks this weekend. Obviously it's doing the job.
twodownzero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-17, 10:47 PM   #19
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc
Posts: 2,308
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Synthetic touring saddles often have choice of 3 different widths, Brooks B17 only has the "narrow" option which nonetheless has same wide nose & stupid flaring skirt. Sure, lots of folks love their Brooks but reviews are distorted by Brooks selling the vast majority of leather touring saddles vs umpteen plastic touring saddles splitting the vote. I've wasted over $500 on Brooks saddles that never fit correctly.
DropBarFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 04:29 AM   #20
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM7, 1987 Dahon Classic III, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3
Posts: 5,006
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Tensioned leather saddle manufacturers/suppliers: Berthoud, Brooks, Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Gyes, Lepper, Papillionaire, Persons, Rivet, Sella Italia, Selle Anatomica, Selle Monte Grappa, Spa, Tops, Torelli and Velo Orange.
tcs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 04:45 AM   #21
Chuck Naill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: US
Bikes:
Posts: 469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
A B-17 came on my bike. If I didn't have fenders I would be concerned all the time. As it is, I carry a plastic grocery bag at all times in the panniers. The picture above shows the nose elevated. That's also what I did and it made so much difference in comfort.
Chuck Naill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 05:36 AM   #22
Sangetsu
Senior Member
 
Sangetsu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: 東京都
Bikes:
Posts: 812
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 419 Post(s)
I've used any number of saddles over nearly 4 decades of riding, and more than 150k miles under my belt. In my racing days I would ride only a Selle San Marco. I was always a little leery of Brooks saddles, thinking that they were for tourers or old guys (Freds). But some years ago I bought my first one, and became a convert. All of my bikes now have Brooks saddles.

Everyone's body and riding position are a bit different, and what works for me or someone else may not work for you. Brooks saddles are, and have been popular because they are comfortable for a great many people.
Sangetsu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 08:23 AM   #23
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 27,203
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2609 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Tensioned leather saddle manufacturers/suppliers: Berthoud, Brooks, Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Gyes, Lepper, Papillionaire, Persons, Rivet, Sella Italia, Selle Anatomica, Selle Monte Grappa, Spa, Tops, Torelli and Velo Orange.

Some are makers some are just marketing the others.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 09:43 AM   #24
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee
Posts: 3,586
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
I'm a Brooks fan. Most Brooks I've installed took 500-1,000 miles before they "disappeared" under me. A couple were comfortable the day I installed them.


I've gradually transitioned all my bikes to two-bolt seatposts. These make it easy to perform slight adjustments of saddle tilt, which really helps get a leather saddle comfortable.


While not every butt is comfortable on a Brooks saddle, I've seen more Brooks saddles than any other brand on long-distance tourers and randonneuring bikes. Given the propensity of experienced cyclists to tweak things, I think that fact says volumes about what's comfortable for most people.
pdlamb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-17, 04:36 PM   #25
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit
Bikes: Novara Mazama
Posts: 5,141
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1946 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by apc65 View Post
any advice/recommendations (to include other saddles) would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance
Yep. What works for your butt doesn't work for others, and what works for other butts may not work for you. They are in the minority, but there are folks who don't like Brooks, don't think they are some magical solution for everyone.

Is the stock saddle uncomfortable for you? IMO one of the worst things you can do is to start changing out bits of your bike to someone else's preference. You aren't building the bike for them, you are building it for you, unless you know something isn't working it is free to give it a go for a week or two. You may well find out you like what is already there (or, it may suck and you know you want it gone). It is actually how I found my preferred saddle, riding around for a bit on a worn out example on a used bike that I was originally going to take off and toss in the saddle box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Tensioned leather saddle manufacturers/suppliers: Berthoud, Brooks, Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Gyes, Lepper, Papillionaire, Persons, Rivet, Sella Italia, Selle Anatomica, Selle Monte Grappa, Spa, Tops, Torelli and Velo Orange.
Always wondered about the others. Any worth a try, any worth staying away from? I see the Gyes and Cardiffs regularly at much more attractive prices than the Brooks, it is more of a name-premium or more of a you get what you pay for situation?

Last edited by jefnvk; 09-05-17 at 04:41 PM.
jefnvk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 AM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION