Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
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Welcome, rikgrimsby, to the universe of Brooks saddle devotees!
Let me add my voice to the heavenly choir...
First, note that there is no universally perfect saddle. What works for Person A may not work for Person B. You need to experiment with different saddles and figure out, through trial and error, what feels best to you.
That said, I toured for decades with non-Brooks saddles and had few problems, but switched to a Brooks B17 last year after my old (synthetic) saddle broke. It was comfy from the get-go, and felt broken in after less than a week. I have never had the experience of a saddle "disappearing" from my consciousness, but that is what happened to me after five or six days or riding on the Brooks. So I guess I have been converted.
But there is no guarantee a Brooks saddle will work for you. If this thread continues long enough, you will hear from anti-Brooks "heretics" as well as from folks who have found something else that they much prefer. There is no right answer here. The best saddle is the one you are most comfortable riding.
Also, note that the brand of saddle is not the only thing that determines tushy comfort. The saddle must be positioned correctly, your bike needs to fit you and be adjusted to fit your body. Also, wearing padded pants contributes to comfort, at least for me.