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Old 10-01-05, 11:20 AM   #1
michaelnel
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Brooks B17 vs B17 Champion Special

I am aware of the following differences between the standard B17 and the B17 Champion Special:

B17:
===
small steel rivets
black painted frame
non-skivved edges

Champion Special:
=============
large hammered copper rivets
copper plated frame
skivved edges

I seem to recall reading that the standard B17's leather was thinner than the CS, allowing faster break-in. I know both B17s are more supple than the Team Pro, which I think is the hardest and thickest of them all.

Are there any other differences between the standard and the CS other than price?
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Old 10-01-05, 05:30 PM   #2
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Hi, don't know personally as i'm a 'Champion flyer (with springs) kind of guy' but according to sheldon brown the only other difference is the honey coloured leather

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...rooks-b17.html

Have you looked on Brooks website http://www.brookssaddles.com/ ? ... (but it takes forever to load & find anything)
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Old 10-01-05, 05:37 PM   #3
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I looked on the Brooks site and it appears to me the only differences are the ones in my original post. BTW, the standard B17 is available in honey too, I just bought one on EBay.

I already have a B17 Champion Special in the green color on my bike, but want to change to the honey saddle. I'll put the green one up for sale after I get the honey on there.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:57 PM   #4
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Umm, the CS has bag loops, but I can't remember if the regular model does (and I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment
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Old 10-05-05, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Umm, the CS has bag loops, but I can't remember if the regular model does (and I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment
The standard has bag loops:

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Old 10-05-05, 07:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
I am aware of the following differences between the standard B17 and the B17 Champion Special:

B17:
===
small steel rivets
black painted frame
non-skivved edges

Champion Special:
=============
large hammered copper rivets
copper plated frame
skivved edges

I seem to recall reading that the standard B17's leather was thinner than the CS, allowing faster break-in. I know both B17s are more supple than the Team Pro, which I think is the hardest and thickest of them all.

Are there any other differences between the standard and the CS other than price?

Other than the cosmetics, I don't see a difference between my current CS and other plain old B17s I've had.
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Old 12-21-10, 01:54 PM   #7
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wish I saw this thread earlier, would have known why I hated my B17 (standard). Had to start tentioning it after two weeks (80 miles). Then, after proofride, I tried punching holes and lacing it. That helped for about two more months. Sold it with my restored '86 Trek 520, because it looked good. I hesitated on replacing my Selle Italia on my new build San Jos8 until I found a B17 CS with Ti rails for under $200. So much happier with the CS, proofride and all! At 220 lbs, I may just have been too much for the standard B17. I'll be looking at Team Pro's next time I consider a new brooks.
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Old 12-21-10, 02:41 PM   #8
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I have been using Brooks B-17s for nearly 40 yrs. In that time my weight has gone from 210 to 350 and then back to 240 now. The B-17 always worked well for me. I came up with my own break-in procedure that works for me: soak the seat in a bucket of warm water over night, then go out and ride it for a couple of hours. After that it was molded to me and worked pretty well. I have a B-17 with the big rivets. It looks nice, but it isnít any better functionally than the regular small rivet model.
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Old 12-21-10, 11:52 PM   #9
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got my first Brooks this summer, B17 standard. Despite some positioning issues, I really like it. So much that I dont like riding on my older bike I use still.
Luckily met someone selling his Special and bought it, he is similiar size to me and I have compared the two quite closely.

leather appears to be same thickness, flexibility is pretty close, his is a bit more flexible, partly probably to having more miles on it. But honestly, they seem pretty much the same, as much as something made out of leather which is inherently slightly different from one batch to another.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
I have been using Brooks B-17s for nearly 40 yrs. In that time my weight has gone from 210 to 350 and then back to 240 now. The B-17 always worked well for me. I came up with my own break-in procedure that works for me: soak the seat in a bucket of warm water over night, then go out and ride it for a couple of hours. After that it was molded to me and worked pretty well. I have a B-17 with the big rivets. It looks nice, but it isn’t any better functionally than the regular small rivet model.
This is helpful and useful information for me. I am looking at getting a Brooks saddle soon, but since there are a few different ones I wasn't sure the best way to go about sizing them to my rear-end. You think your soak & ride method pretty much addresses that then? Thanks!
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Old 03-01-11, 11:46 AM   #11
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I saturated my Brooks pro with Proofide, by warming [100F] the saddle
in the oven upside down
with a good sized dollop of the stuff, and It was absorbed well ,
It's been fine for 30years..
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Old 03-01-11, 12:07 PM   #12
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I just bought a blue standard B-17.
I think the only real difference is the cosmetics of the copper rivets, and the Brooks site says the wider rivets add longevity to the leather, my team pro has large copper rivets and 30 years on it, we'll see how well they compare. I'll report back in 10 year increments...
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Old 03-01-11, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelmonkey View Post
This is helpful and useful information for me. I am looking at getting a Brooks saddle soon, but since there are a few different ones I wasn't sure the best way to go about sizing them to my rear-end. You think your soak & ride method pretty much addresses that then? Thanks!
I would advise caution. I have owned precisely one Brooks saddle and that was a long time ago (40 years?), but that one saddle was most comfortable when new and as it was more and more broken in it got less and less comfortable. Riding in the rain for only a year got it to the point I no longer found it acceptable. My advice is to let it break in slowly and naturally.

Bear in mind that this comes from someone who is not terribly fond of Brooks saddles, but still... Soaking it over night in warm water to help break it in seems very extreme and like a very bad idea to me.

Personally I am pretty happy with the saddles that have come on my bikes and would happily use any of them on another coast to coast tour. This includes the one that came with my $599 Windsor Touring. I have used it on the Trans America and a couple other longish tours with zero saddle related complaints. Initially I thought it was pretty bad, but I always give any new saddle at least several hundred miles to either break in or to break me in and that has always resulted in my keeping the ones that came on the bike as i did with this one.

There was one gel saddle that I tried and hated and a few wide saddles on other folks bikes that I tried briefly and am pretty sure I couldn't adjust to.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:35 PM   #14
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The regular B17 has rails that are powdercoated, or covered in some kind of plastic-like material. This stuff will flake off from saddle clamp pressure and repositioning, leaving a section of the bare metal rails unprotected and subject to corrosion.

The B17 Special's copper coated rails are far more durable, and look better too.
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Old 03-01-11, 05:36 PM   #15
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i have the b17 champion special excellent saddle cant fault it .
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Old 03-01-11, 07:29 PM   #16
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I have been riding the B-17 (without springs) for about five seasons, and without doubt, it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever used. I did nothing special to prepare it. In fact, I have yet to seal it with anything, although I may this summer, as it is starting to look a little dry around the edges.

As for break-in period, mine was comfortable after an hour or two of riding.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:21 PM   #17
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The leather is supposed to be 4-5mm thick, but I've seen newer B17s with thickness ranging from 3.6-4.4mm (same piece of leather). Others have stated that their Pro or Imperial saddle is 4.0-4.5mm thick. I had a Flyer (B17 with spring) that's 4.3-4.8mm. My current Imperial narrow bought slightly used is 4.8-5.0mm (OM9 stamp on the back). This one appears to hold up better than the "thinner" B17 after 500 miles.

The Pro leather probably comes from the top of the cow where the leather is tougher than the sides.
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