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Old 01-10-09, 10:49 PM   #1
td.tony
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San marco Rolls, or Brooks B17???

i've heard lots of good things about the San Marco rolls seats, and also a lot of good things about the brooks line of saddles, but not too much about the B17. I found a few threads comparing the other brooks seat to the Rolls but i wanted to know how the B17 compares. I know that a saddle is very personal and what may work for one person wont necesarily work for another, but what are the main differences between the two? they both seem to be around $75 and up to $85 with shipping.
My main concern is that the B17 is the cheapest seat made by brooks so im not sure if the B17 will be as good as all the hype of Brooks saddles.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:22 PM   #2
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Having tried both seats, I'd go for the Brooks. When i worked at Thorn, we used to specify a Rolls as the standard seat on all bikes, but not because it was comfortable, because it was the cheapest. They (San Marco Rolls) are very hard, as they have a plastic base.
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Old 01-11-09, 12:13 AM   #3
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i've heard lots of good things about the San Marco rolls seats, and also a lot of good things about the brooks line of saddles, but not too much about the B17.
Huh? The Brooks B17 might be the most talked about saddle on earth, and certainly the most talked about among Brooks saddles. I would guess Brooks sells more B17's than all the other models combined. And as a result, there are about a jillion BF threads on B17's.

The Rolls is a race saddle, I think it's Lance Armstrong's saddle of choice since he came back from cancer, but I'm not positive. It is more forgiving than most of the ultra modern saddle wafers out there; but it's not in the same ballpark as the B17 in terms of surface area and reputation for all day comfort.

The B17 Standard has small rivets installed by a machine. If you don't like the idea of using the most economical Brooks, you can upgrade to the B17 Special, which has large, hand-hammered copper rivets. It's a beautiful saddle in my opinion.

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Old 01-11-09, 12:32 PM   #4
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As someone who has used both for an extensive period, I would say they both have their pros and cons. The rolls is stiff since its plastic shell and will never change shape for you, so if its not comfy for you initially don't expect it to mold. It can take a serious beating, scuffing, rain and it won't be hurt as bad as the brooks. My biggest complaint with the brooks was that it wasn't stiff enough and eventually the saddle developed a ridge. Touring on the b-17, I noticed it was getting soaked, not by rain, but by my shorts! Unlike the rolls, the b-17 needs somewhat level bars to saddle height. Try them both, they're both great in their own respects.
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Old 01-11-09, 02:21 PM   #5
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thanks for the responses. I guess i just saw a bunch of threads about people talking about the brooks saddle with the spring in the back and thought most people bought those when buying a brooks. I think im going to go with the B17. The stock saddle on my jamis aurora elite is one of those huge thick cushioned saddles and although it is comfortable, it cuts off circulation in certain spots and makes me numb after only 20 minutes.
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Old 01-11-09, 06:13 PM   #6
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I commute on a San Marco Rolls and it's a great saddle-- much more weather proof than a Brooks, that's for sure.

The B17 is great saddle as well-- it will mold to you over time. I love mine.
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Old 01-13-09, 12:18 AM   #7
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I have two of each on bikes and have done extensive touring on both. I am not wedded to either - the Brooks takes more break in time and upkeep, but better looking - the San Marco Rolls just goes and goes. You have picked two of the more comfy seats around for the standard large American butt.
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Old 01-13-09, 03:56 PM   #8
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I think it's Lance Armstrong's saddle of choice since he came back from cancer, but I'm not positive.
Small point of clarification, the San Marco that Lance rides is a called a Concor Lite. Ryan Trebon of US Cyclocross fame also rides that same saddle.

I only know this because after reading reviews of their respective bikes I thought it interesting that they both ride the same saddle, though in quite different riding events.
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Old 01-13-09, 05:01 PM   #9
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Small point of clarification, the San Marco that Lance rides is a called a Concor Lite. Ryan Trebon of US Cyclocross fame also rides that same saddle.

I only know this because after reading reviews of their respective bikes I thought it interesting that they both ride the same saddle, though in quite different riding events.
You are correct, I realized it after I posted that. I should have known it, too; I've got a Concor Lite on my Pinarello road bike.
But actually, I think Lance has been riding a Bontrager saddle more recently, at least from the pics of his bike I've seen. Here's my Concor Lite (a great saddle for a road bike, in my opinion):



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