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  1. #1
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    Another Brooks Saddle Question

    Just got my first touring bike this weekend (Trek 520) and want to put a Brooks saddle on it. I intended to purchase from Wallingford Bike Parts because of the generous return policy. However, because of the hurricane, they are temporarily shut down. Now, I need to make extra sure that I get the right saddle for me.

    In looking at the dimensions of the B17 standard, it is actually wider than the women's Terry Butterfly I am currently riding on my road bike by about 7/10". The B17 S (women's model) is significantly wider than my current saddle but also much shorter than I anticipated.

    I'm looking for opinions on which model the forum members think I should buy. I am not a small woman (6'0" and big build) but also don't want to go with the women's model just because it is a women's model. Will the slightly more upright riding position on my touring bike affect my saddle comfort significantly?

    Thanks for the help!
    Cherry Bomb

  2. #2
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    My understanding is the "S" (for "short") models are tailored to different hip & icheal "geometry" of women. I'm a 6'0" guy - my hip bones aren't as wide as yours.

    If you ride strictly upright, you might consider something like the B67. It's sprung, but that's not why I suggest it. It's 210mm wide which is good if you're riding upright. The narrower saddles are more suited to putting weight on the bars and being hunched over.

    My experience: Brooks widths don't directly correlate to plastic saddle widths. A plastic saddle can be narrower and still be comfy - with the Brooks, you need to be on the "hammock" not the edge, to be comfy.

  3. #3
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    af895,

    Thanks for the information . . . I didn't realize that it was not an apples to apples comparison on the width measurements between a Brooks and a "traditional" saddle. That will definitely help shape my decision!

    Cherry Bomb

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    Hey Cherry Bomb! Welcome to the world of touring!!! I ride a Trek 520 and recently put a Brooks men's B17 w/Titanium rails on it .... I prefer the long, narrow design. Last month i did a tour of the UK and i was pleased with the comfort of the Brooks. I won't kid you by saying it was a match made in heaven but Mr Brooks has come a long way in pursuading me to like him!!! In the long run, it's definitely an investment worth making. Hopefully, Wallingford will be able to get back in business - they are great to work with! Let me know if you ever find yourself on the Seacoast of NH and we could compare Brooks! Good luck!

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    cyclingjo,

    I am assuming you are female (based on your response) but could be wrong. What type of saddle did you ride before you got your Brooks? The B17 S seems so short compared to my current saddles that I am concerned that would be akward.

    I really want to make the right choice the first time because it doesn't look like Wallingford will be back in business anytime soon. The news out of New Orleans is pretty grim. Looking at two months before power is restored to the area!

    Cherry Bomb

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    Sorry - should have established that i am female!! I rode the Bontager saddle that came with the Trek 520. It has a similar design to the B17 - long and narrow but on long rides it caused a lot of tenderness in areas that should not be!! So i made the choice to go with a Brooks and i have not been disappointed. I also ride a Trek 2200 road bike and transfer the Brooks between the two. I could not see myself breaking in two saddles!!!!!

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    Also, i posted a thread not too long ago on this forum when i was researching the Brooks and received some great advice. If you do a search for "Brooks saddles for women" then you can read what everyone had said to me. Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    I am male and four of my bikes have B17's on them. Obviously they work for me. My (female) riding partner is a slender 5'2 and she tried a B17S and it was too small for her!! It is really a small saddle. The B17 fits her better. She opted for a Terry anyway.

    If you happen to live in or near Ventura County CA, I can lend you a B17 for a bit to see if it works for you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    I am male and four of my bikes have B17's on them. Obviously they work for me. My (female) riding partner is a slender 5'2 and she tried a B17S and it was too small for her!! It is really a small saddle. The B17 fits her better. She opted for a Terry anyway.

    If you happen to live in or near Ventura County CA, I can lend you a B17 for a bit to see if it works for you.

    thomson,

    Thanks for the offer of a loan on the B17 . . . I am far away in Houston, TX and so don't think that will be possible. I thought the B17S looked very short and was not sure I would be comfortable on that, either. I am mostly concerned about the width of the B17 for my sit bones. Hopefully some more women that are riding Brooks will chime in . . .

    Cherry Bomb

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Bomb
    thomson,

    Thanks for the offer of a loan on the B17 . . . I am far away in Houston, TX and so don't think that will be possible. I thought the B17S looked very short and was not sure I would be comfortable on that, either. I am mostly concerned about the width of the B17 for my sit bones. Hopefully some more women that are riding Brooks will chime in . . .

    Cherry Bomb
    My daughter and I did a 700 mile tour this summer and she rode a Brooks Professional. She said that she didn't have any problems with it and found it as comfortable as you can be riding 6 hours a day. She is about 5'5" but she has wide hips. I, personally, prefer the B17N which is why she ended up with the Pro.
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
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    Cherry Bomb - I have a Brooks Pro S sitting on a shelf unused in my workshop (bought it in error off Ebay - didn't see the "S" designation). I would be glad to send it to you try out. Send me your address and I'll UPS it to you.

    mrveloman at aol dot com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrveloman
    Cherry Bomb - I have a Brooks Pro S sitting on a shelf unused in my workshop (bought it in error off Ebay - didn't see the "S" designation). I would be glad to send it to you try out. Send me your address and I'll UPS it to you.

    mrveloman at aol dot com
    You've got mail . . .

    Cherry Bomb

  13. #13
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    Cherry
    there are good general user desriptions of various Brooks models on the forum
    just do many searches for Brooks and they will come up

    the Brooks Pro, in general, is a bit harder than the base-line B-17
    I owned a vintage Pro (from the 70's) and it was hard as nails...
    now don't get me wrong, firm is where it is at w/Brooks, but I like some give in my hammock.

    An Old B5N was perf, and the new b-17 on my Jamis Aurora Touring bike is better.. still breaking in
    It is definitely wider than the 5N

    Scope ebay for Brooks for sale as Wallingford is likely offline for some time
    I've seen B-17's on ebay, Buy-it-Now for under 70 bucks
    Ebay Brooks saddle search
    Actually I see a black b.17 for under 60 bucks...decent
    on page two there is a NOS B5N for a sweet price... of If I had money to burn!
    Last edited by Sigurdd50; 09-07-05 at 12:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    My daughter and I did a 700 mile tour this summer and she rode a Brooks Professional. She said that she didn't have any problems with it and found it as comfortable as you can be riding 6 hours a day. She is about 5'5" but she has wide hips. I, personally, prefer the B17N which is why she ended up with the Pro.
    Just read your journal - thanks for the afternoon laughs!

    Thanks for the information on your daughter . . . I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and go with my gut instinct. Then, if I am wrong, at least the B17 saddles aren't as expensive as the other saddles I have always purchased. I may even be able to sell it on e-bay and recover some of my costs!

    Cherry Bomb

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry Bomb
    Just read your journal - thanks for the afternoon laughs!

    Thanks for the information on your daughter . . . I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and go with my gut instinct. Then, if I am wrong, at least the B17 saddles aren't as expensive as the other saddles I have always purchased. I may even be able to sell it on e-bay and recover some of my costs!

    Cherry Bomb
    Thanks for reading it. I'm glad I could lighten (or enlighten ) your day.
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    With wallbike out of the picture temporarily, check with Peter White Cycles (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com) for your Brooks needs. Peter doesn't have the six month guarantee, but he does give the best customer service in the biz and will work with you.

    If the CS stuff isn't important to you, Nashbar sells many Brooks models too.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  17. #17
    Bob Rae for PM! Sadaharu's Avatar
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    I ride two Brooks -- one B17 on my road bike and a B17 Champion Flyer on my touring bike. Those springs come in handy on 120 km days when the pavement isn't 100% smooth.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    Lick Bikes has the B17's for $55. Great people. (Almost as good as Wall!)
    http://www.lickbike.com/productpage.aspx?PART_NUM_SUB='0906-07'

    [/QUOTE][/QUOTE]Scope ebay for Brooks for sale as Wallingford is likely offline for some time
    I've seen B-17's on ebay, Buy-it-Now for under 70 bucks
    Ebay Brooks saddle search
    Actually I see a black b.17 for under 60 bucks...decent
    on page two there is a NOS B5N for a sweet price... of If I had money to burn![/QUOTE]
    http://www.lickbike.com/productpage....9;0906-07'

  19. #19
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    The obvious point about the six month guarantee is that "nobody" took them up on it. At that price, it would have to be like one in fifty, meaning it is likely you will be happy with it.

    I'm off on my tour with a completely un-broken-in B17, feels pretty comfy. I gave the sit-bone a rap with a rounded wooden mallet, and it feels great. Now if last minute things would just stop coming up...

  20. #20
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I know you are hoping to hear from more females but sorry I am not one. However, we have a female in the bike club who rides both the b17 and the champion flyer (sprung version) and likes them both. I also have both versions and prefer the springs for touring especially since I like getting off of the pavement. I personally would be skeptical of the shorter model since a brooks is almost like a hamock when broken. Less length means less leather which means stretch. Then again, that's just pure speculation and someone might tell me different. Whatever it's worth, my fourth day out on my new b17 I did 125 miles and felt no pain. Don't worry about rushing to break it in or try any tricks to speed it up, it will come soon enough.

  21. #21
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    I'm not sure I agree about the shorter one stretching, in any case a female sitting on it, even if 6 feet, is not likely to weigh 200+.

  22. #22
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    FYI - I just sent my Brooks Pro S off the Cherry Bomb to try out. While it is indeed shorter, it is only about 1 inch shorter.

  23. #23
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    I just got the Champion Flyer "S" from Wallingford. I'm a female, 5'8" with a very large frame (size 11 shoes, wide hips, wide shoulders, big hands, etc.) I like the shortness of it but I'm beginning to wonder if I need a wider saddle. It's too soon to tell since I only have about 60 miles on it. I'm going to try to move it further back as my next adjustment. I also tilted it down slightly. So while my sit-bone area is still sore, the pressure is off the front. I just find myself scooting back now and then.

    Harris Cyclery has Brooks saddles but I don't know what their return policy is: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/saddles.html

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    I'm not sure I agree about the shorter one stretching, in any case a female sitting on it, even if 6 feet, is not likely to weigh 200+.
    Peterpan1,
    Thanks for that vote of confidence on my weight, but unfortunately for a big-boned, muscular woman it is easily possible to be 200+ (I won't go into any specifics, but have resigned myself to the fact that I won't see my slim days of 180 again, and 200+ is what middle-age has given me).

    Cherry Bomb

  25. #25
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    Me, too, Cherry Bomb!

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