I use a Brooks B17 on my commuting bike every day - very comfortable, no numbness etc etc. On the bike I'm preparing for a 35-day rough track tour, I thought I'd install a Brooks Flyer (with some springs at the back) to alleviate some of the back-end jolts, and I went out for the first long ride on it yesterday (about 60 miles). Jeez - after half way, I just couldn't get comfortable in that saddle at all, but I think it's more to do with the padded shorts than the saddle. On my commuting rides and short days out on the B17, if anything doesn't feel right I can jiggle around on the saddle, or stretch a leg, and everything falls into its comfortable place. Yesterday, in fairly extreme discomfort, I was kung-fu kicking all over the place trying to rearrange my sweaty underpants, but it felt like I was totally locked into the uncomfortable configuration.
So, obviously I'll switch the B17 onto my new bike, but I'm also wondering about the possibility of touring bareback, so to speak. Without padding. Anyone done that?