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  1. #1
    Junior Member leftovers's Avatar
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    Got a long torso problem, desperately want to use Brooks saddle

    Since the winter I"ve been working on moving a parts group over to a Raleigh Super Course that I decided would be my touring bike this summer. All went well and I finally got it where all i needed was the fancy bits---the fun jazzing up. So I thought to myself, "What I fine time for a Brooks Saddle!". Classy, possess qualities as my ideal candidate for comfort...and again...classy. Joy! Bought it, tried it out. No go.

    My problem is this Brooks Saddle. I have two now. One I can return in the next few weeks (mens b.17), the other I have to sell because I scratched the rails so they won't take it (ladies b.17). They are BEAUTIFUL, and I assume if I could sit on them properly, they'd be ideal. But that's the problem...I have a long torse and short legs. It didn't cross my mine to be concerned with rail length since they appear so long. But I have to have my seat shoved as far back as possible. It's always been like this. My track bike is set up the same way but the Selle Italia gives me ample hangover, and is okay in terms of comfort. My bikes fit in terms of standover height (i'm a 52/53). Conveniently the track saddle has long rails so I can push everything back far enough. So I wouldn't say my bike is too small. Further, after all I've been putting into these bikes over the year, it'd kill me to hear they are. I always figured if I couldn't standover it then it was a no go.

    But I really just desire a Brooks for my touring bike. Other saddles are rather unappealing on the Raleigh and I'm not a big fan of the cushier saddles. But how do I get that extra 1/2" - 1" about?

    My LBS said I could try a longer stem.
    But I feel it's more where I sit about the pedals. I feel like I have to keep pushing back but I can't get there. And my legs have been sore in where they usually aren't. So it's really just the saddle.

    I've thought about getting a seatpost with more setback (which someone just mentioned) but I need ample set back and I'm not sure where to get it, what one is most cost effective (i'm in no need of carbon fiber)...etc etc.

    What do I do? Any suggestions?! I'm plum out. Do I just have to sacrifice the elegance of a Brooks Saddle for something...*gasp*...plastic??? The Raleigh is all decked out for the honey saddle, handle bar tape and clip leather. ANY help/suggestions/would be appreciated!!! I can post pictures of the bike, laying out the problem, showing where I stand, etc...anything to get the ball rolling.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Can you post a seated pic?
    Have you tried a set back seat post?
    What length is the top tube on the Raleigh?

  3. #3
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Leftovers

    I had the same issue with a Brooks Flyer (B17 with springs) and discovered that their is about 1 inch lacking or 25mm. I think that you will find that the Brooks is also a bit different than the "typical" saddle. I honestly think that it is designed for a more upright position, but that is just opinion as you will not find anything in writing from Brooks or some other "expert". You can look at seat posts with greater setback, which may solve the setback problem with an angled post, but present a problem for you by limiting the amount of height adjustment (some like the Thompson are angled to provide the additional setback).

    I would suggest giving the saddle a try with it set as far back as possible and the nose slightly elevated or level. It is easy to slide forward on a Brooks. You might also find that you can actually slide it a bit forward and be comfortable.

    Lastly, I did quite a bit of research on the "Knee Over Pedal" theory and concluded that it is nothing more than a rough guideline on fit. Kent Bontrager wrote quite a lengthy treatise, which can be found on Sheldon Brown's web site, that states that the Knee Over Pedal method if a flawed practice.

    The Myth of KOP - An Alternative Method of Bike Fit



    Good luck!
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  4. #4
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    A layback seatpost is your best bet. That's what I use on my Longstaff with my B17 Special. It should give you up to an inch.

  5. #5
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    I am in a similar process of setting my MTB up for a jaunt on the GAP-C&O Trail. I also opted for the B-17 which isn't compatible with the SDG I beam clamped seatpost that came on my Cdale. The Brooks is a classic looking piece of retro style. I'm trully more interested in how much relief it can provide to my classic backside over a 4 day 335 mile +- ride.

    The man in the little brown truck dropped off a Thomson Elite Layback yesterday that is supposed to give up to 1" more rearward adjustment. After a rough look at the two together everything seems to be compatible.

    I'll be mounting the saddle this evening and plan on starting the break-in tomorrow. I should be able to give you an assessment after that if you would like.

  6. #6
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideaissance View Post
    The man in the little brown truck dropped off a Thomson Elite Layback yesterday that is supposed to give up to 1" more rearward adjustment. After a rough look at the two together everything seems to be compatible.
    While it is an othewise fine seatpost, the thomson gives very little setback compared to the average (20-25mm) setback seatpost.

    thomson setback = 16mm

    http://www.lhthomson.com/elite_faq.htm

  7. #7
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Here's some options found on Nashbar, first one has 25mm setback:

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    Another 25mm of setback or offset, and a little less price
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    And down to about $50
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    20mm setback at about $35
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    And finally down to about $20
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    Your LBS should be able to find something for you, or if you want to drive up to Milwaukee on Saturday I can look around the back of the shop I help at part time and see what they have available. But I'm pretty sure some of the LBS shops I've visited around Chicago should have something for a fair price.

    And since you mentioned having a track bike then maybe http://www.businesscycles.com/trcomp.htm#misc would have something as well.

    This doesn't sound like a deal killer for you using your Brooks. And as mentioned above by someone try a little nose-up on the Brooks as well, just a little to start with to help seat you back a little better.

    Hope this helps some.

    Post a pic of your bike if you can, it sounds nice looking.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the correction seeker333. I guess during all the comparison shopping the #'s ran together. Don't want to be misleading.

    I hope I didn't mess up. Thought it was 25mm. I just finished mounting the saddle and a couple minute spin around the neighborhood. It felt pretty close but some adjustment is still in order tomorrow. I am going to tilt the nose up a little as mentioned here. It felt a little like I wanted to slide forward. Looking forward to a little saddle time tomorrow morning.

  9. #9
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    At the risk of making a rather expensive suggestion... If your dimensions are that much at odds with multiple frames, perhaps you should look into a custom frame. Not to save your Brooks per se but more to get a frame that really suits your body and riding style.

    After all, using a seatpost with a big setback is going to alter your riding position significantly, and not necessarily in a way that is beneficial for touring.

  11. #11
    Junior Member leftovers's Avatar
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    oye...
    it's good to hear someone else has had this problem. i felt absolutely crazy measuring seatpost rails on all the saddles in the entire apt.
    i can't get a seated picture right at this moment, my camera is on the fritz.

    but the top tube is 21" btw.

    could someone explain the difference between a set back seatpost and a layback seatpost? i've looked them both up and they look as though they'd be useful (although that one bwgride just posted, looks INSANE..but 50mm? that's enough). And this is more setback than the regular Laprade seatpost you get on all the bikes...???

    if all this is so then i'll get a seat post with an extra 25mm setback than a standard seat post, i think i'll give that a go.

    as for Bacciagalupe, belive me that has crossed my mind. i've fantasized about just getting a Rivendelle since they seem to be set up a little better for my touring posture, and they're a sight for sore eyes. but i've been working on building up this bike for awhile now and i JUST got to start riding it!!! so i'm not ready to give up. even though i have encountered a need to build up a smaller wheelset because the 27 inchers won't clear fenders. whew! but i'm up for a build. someday though, i swear i'm getting a custom frame and building it up. it's only now (3rd real bike into it) that i realize i have very particular fitting demands. in addition, if i can get that extra inch, i know i'm gravy. thanks. :-)

    treebound: that list is thoroughly helpful (the two top nashbar links were giving me grief though) the closest bike shop to me only suggested a longer stem, they didn't mention anything about set backs. however i bet if i hit Rapid Transit near my work they'll be able offer some up. i have to get them back the fenders anyways. otherwise i'm from wisconsin and should be heading up there sometime soon. it'd be good to know a shop in milwaukee since i pass through there. otherwise if its Yellow Jersey in Madison for me.

    Rest assured when this whole saddle ordeal is over, i will have to post the bike in it's final stage, as i does clean up real nice.
    I'll try to get a seated posture picture tomorrow and the bike as is. if it'll help still.

    you all have been mounds of help!!!
    Last edited by leftovers; 04-16-08 at 09:41 PM. Reason: didn't finish!

  12. #12
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftovers View Post
    I've thought about getting a seatpost with more setback (which someone just mentioned) but I need ample set back and I'm not sure where to get it, what one is most cost effective (i'm in no need of carbon fiber)...etc etc.
    Here's a list of every seatpost I know of with setback of 30mm or more, with important details noted. Everything else is (0)15-25mm setback. Mfgs figure your frame is too small if you need more than this. I understand your situation, I have similar physique.

    Going 10-20mm long on the stem probably won't cause discomfort, but it does change your position relative to pedals, which affects at what point your power goes into the crank revolution, which affects power/efficiency. Conventional logic is mashers move back, spinners move forward. Spinning is more efficient, but requires more discipline in shifting and maintaining cadence. Mashing is far more prevalent since its natural to be lazy and just mash pedals harder. But, you probably realize all this already if you ride a track bike (just stating it for others benefit).

    Bacciagalupe's solution (custom frame) is the best if you can afford it.


    1. Kalloy - 30mm setback, inexpensive and widely used

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=ST6235


    2. Titec - minimum height = 165mm - DH rated - alternately claims 50mm and 1.5" (37mm) setback

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=ST2361


    3. FSA - expensive, cf, 35mm setback (others state 37mm including fsa) - probably not HD or for clydes

    http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=19

    http://road.fullspeedahead.com/fly.a...id=116&pid=178


    4. Cane Creek - minimum height = 145 mm - susp post, says 25mm but it sags when you sit on it, changes offset to >30mm - 3" travel, throws you backwards as it compresses

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=ST2526


    5. Selcof - several models apparently with setback ~30mm, maybe more - USA availability unknown - biposition model has 32mm setback, mtb rated but looks a little scary to me.

    http://www.selcof.com/07/eng/_biposition.php

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a

  13. #13
    Junior Member leftovers's Avatar
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    one more thing

    in addition to layback/setbacks having more setback than the regular laprade....

    will they come in 26.8mm?
    i hope.

  14. #14
    Junior Member leftovers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Here's a list of every seatpost I know of with setback of 30mm or more, with important details noted. Everything else is (0)15-25mm setback. Mfgs figure your frame is too small if you need more than this. I understand your situation, I have similar physique.

    Going 10-20mm long on the stem probably won't cause discomfort, but it does change your position relative to pedals, which affects at what point your power goes into the crank revolution, which affects power/efficiency. Conventional logic is mashers move back, spinners move forward. Spinning is more efficient, but requires more discipline in shifting and maintaining cadence. Mashing is far more prevalent since its natural to be lazy and just mash pedals harder. But, you probably realize all this already if you ride a track bike (just stating it for others benefit).

    Bacciagalupe's solution (custom frame) is the best if you can afford it.
    Yeah, I've many a time been worried I was a 'masher'. Especially when I started riding a track bike. I'm not sure how to tell, I have even cadence, and only really feel like that's possible if I were to come across a HUGE hill in my ride. which here, on the track bike, rare. Can you fix that riding style though or are you just stuck with it once you develop it?

    I'm not on top of my pedals. I sit behind them a ways I guess. when I find myself closer to being on top of them (like now) my legs feel odd, i feel like i'm falling into my pedals more and my hands hurt on my bars, because then i need extra room in front. but sometimes you know, I feel TOO far back, but then I move up. :-) Eek. I think I just started doubting my riding style!!! can you tell i've been stressed over my bike lately?

    Thanks again for the links. I've tracked down some 26.8's but it looks like the Thompson might be all I can afford. If I'm going to throw 150 at a seatpost, then I would really consider a new frame.

  15. #15
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftovers View Post
    treebound: that list is thoroughly helpful (the two top nashbar links were giving me grief though) the closest bike shop to me only suggested a longer stem, they didn't mention anything about set backs. however i bet if i hit Rapid Transit near my work they'll be able offer some up. i have to get them back the fenders anyways. otherwise i'm from wisconsin and should be heading up there sometime soon. it'd be good to know a shop in milwaukee since i pass through there. otherwise if its Yellow Jersey in Madison for me.
    I'm at the W&S store in Fox Point. Their Hales Corner store probably has a bit more in inventory. You might also stop in at Ben's in Milwaukee on Lincoln near I-43 if you're driving past on your way to Madison.

  16. #16
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    leftovers,

    I'm guessing you have a lot of miles in your riding style? If you do, try to hunt down a set back seat post and don't change it! I've lots of riders who were *behind* the petals a bit. If that works for you-- don't listen to any *exspert* who wants to show you the *right* way.

    It's your bike afterall.

    Good Luck!

  17. #17
    Junior Member leftovers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee View Post
    leftovers,

    I'm guessing you have a lot of miles in your riding style? If you do, try to hunt down a set back seat post and don't change it! I've lots of riders who were *behind* the petals a bit. If that works for you-- don't listen to any *exspert* who wants to show you the *right* way.

    It's your bike afterall.

    Good Luck!
    Many miles indeed. I'd say it's a well adjusted riding style. Thanks for standin' by it!
    I'll be orderin' that seatpost post haste!

    until then...

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