I've been reading a lot about Brooks saddles. I'm considering getting one. A question I haven't seen addressed is what is the difference between the sprung and unsprung models. I'm especially looking at the B17 (which seems to be a big favorite) and the Champion Flyer, which has springs. The Champion Flyer is advertised as having the same shape as the B17, but with two springs in back.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of both?
I'm about 200 lbs. My average ride is about 30 miles, but when I've been riding a lot I up that to 50 or 60. When I tour I average 50-70 miles a day, depending on terrain (mostly). I always wear padded bike shorts.
A Vetta Gel came on my old Nashbar Touring bike in 1993. I've never had a bit of butt soreness on that thing, ever. I've ridden centuries, 4-week tours, 2-week tours with a century in the middle. My butt has never hurt me. Unfortunately, it's almost worn out. The cover is torn and coming off in three places. I need something new.
I had a Brooks on my Raleigh Gran Prix, which I bought in 1972. Sheldon Brown says the cheap 10-speeds of the sixties often had cheap leather seats. This must have been one, because after 30 miles on that thing my butt was killing me. By 40 miles it was numb. I rode a century on that once and couldn't feel my butt for the last 60 miles. It took 3 or 4 days to recover (and I was in my 20's!) That scared me away from Brooks. Now, however, after reading everyone's (well, almost everyone's) glowing accounts, I'm considering one. If a Brooks is as good as its adherents say, that's the saddle for me. But I've also read accounts from people who are still "trying to break theirs in". It sounds like they were convinced by all the hoopla, and they're trying to make believe that the uncomfortableness will go away eventually. I'm willing to do the break-in thing, but I'm also worried that it will never be comfortable enough for me to ride as far as I want, day after day, with never a sore butt bone.
Will the springs help with this?