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Old 01-17-09, 02:39 AM   #1
td.tony
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B17 vs. Flyer, noticeable difference??

the brooks flyer is just the B17 with springs and im wondering if there is a noticeable different in feel between the two. jensonusa has a honey B17 SPECIAL for $90, while universalcycles has a REGULAR honey brooks flyer for $100. A $10 difference isnt much to consider, so what it comes down to is should i get the better looking special honey b17, or the added comfort of the springs from the flyer? if the springs really add any noticeable comfort over the regular b17 then im going with the flyer for sure. The type of riding i do is mostly paved roads, but also the occasional single track, dirt or gravel trail.

Flyer

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Old 01-17-09, 05:47 AM   #2
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For what it's worth, I have had a Flyer now for about 3 years and it is very comfortable. I weigh well over 200lbs. and yet the springs seem quite stiff although I'm sure they take some of the edge off the sharp jolts. For the flyers, I think it makes a difference where on the rails the post is clamped, mine is clamped all the way to the front (for fit reasons). If it were clamped more to the rear you may get more effect from the springs. As to how it compares to the the special, I can't help you there as I've never riden on one. But I would think they would be quite comfy as well.

BTW $90 for a B17 Special seems like a pretty good deal to me.
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Old 01-17-09, 06:01 AM   #3
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I like the springs myself. They take the edge off bumps that would otherwise give a jolt. On smooth roads, you won't notice a difference between sprung and unsprung - the springs are stiff. If you tend to ride more upright, you might appreciate the springs as well.
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Old 01-17-09, 06:47 AM   #4
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My wife and I use the Flyer for the same reasons and posted above. I have not ridden the B17 but I can't imagine it being more comfortable.
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Old 01-17-09, 07:08 AM   #5
Luis Vivanco
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I have a Flyer Special on my touring bike, a B17 on my mountain bike/icebike. I absolutely love the springs for touring, and wouldn't trade the Flyer for the B17 on my touring bike. And I wouldn't like the Flyer for the other bike at all since I wouldn't want the flex. My touring is similar to yours, mostly pavement with periodic off-road. With so much weight on the bike the bumps off road are harder, so it's nice to have the springs. Without the bags, dirt roads are remarkably smooth with the sprung saddle. Single track, though, I'd prefer the B17.

Besides the obvious--sprung, not-sprung--the other key difference is that the Flyer is wider than the B17. In both cases, your weight on a well-fitting saddle should be on the "butt bones," and in both cases mine is, but the sensation is distinct. With the Flyer, it feels like my whole butt, cheeks and all, fits flatter across the whole saddle. With the B17, the saddle feels like it goes higher up between the cheeks. The sprung saddle gives a greater sensation of supporting the whole butt, a more leisurely feel (good for touring, at least for me), while the other feels tighter, more aggressive (hence the B17 feels better on single track).

Both are undoubtedly comfortable once they break in, but I feel the springs and width favor the Flyer for touring.
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Old 01-17-09, 07:42 AM   #6
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I've got several Champion Flyers on various bikes and find the springs work for me at a weight of 160lbs. I just picked up a B17 to try out - it's for a folding bike so I wanted a more compact saddle.. I expect it to be very comfortable, but I suspect I'll miss the springs a bit. Unless you are worried about a small amount of extra weight I'd get the flyer myself.

BTW - my flyers and the B17 are the same width & shape - although you can get variations on the B17 that are shorter or narrower than the flyer.
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Old 01-17-09, 08:22 AM   #7
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I to have the champion flyer and wouldn't trade it for any other saddle I can think of.I also don't have any experiance with the b-17 but I imagine it would be comfortable as well.However I do like the springs when I get off paved roads and on to dirt roads and trails.
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Old 01-17-09, 09:03 AM   #8
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I have the Team Pro and the Champion Flyer... I agree with everyone else, the comfort is great.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:10 AM   #9
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I went to wallbike.com and bought both the Flyer and B-17 to try out at the same time. I really didn't think there would be a difference but there really was. The Flyer just soaks up a lot more bumps than you think, and you do not feel like your are bobbing up and down.

When I put the B-17 on the bike I could feel every bump and it made my back hurt. So I sent the B-17 back and kept the flyer.
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Old 01-17-09, 10:52 AM   #10
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I have a sprung and unsprung Brooks and can't tell a difference in comfort between them. The sprung Brooks creaks with every pedal stroke. The constant motion of the springs also gets translated to the bolt that holds the saddle to seatpost. I've broke 2 bolts. It's quite a thrill to be pedalling along and suddenly be sitting on nothing.
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Old 01-17-09, 01:02 PM   #11
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thanks for the responses, i just ordered the flyer last night . cant wait till it gets here!
also, for those of you who have a brooks saddle, did it come with the proofide to rub on the saddle, or did you buy it separately??
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Old 01-17-09, 01:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
thanks for the responses, i just ordered the flyer last night . cant wait till it gets here!
also, for those of you who have a brooks saddle, did it come with the proofide to rub on the saddle, or did you buy it separately??
Depends on where and when you buy the saddle. Some of mine have come with Proofide and a spanner (wrench) others have not.

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Old 01-17-09, 01:32 PM   #13
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I've never used a Flyer, nor ever want to. I've had my B17 for awhile now and love it! I'd go with the B17 for simplicity and comfort. My old saddle had springs and I thought they were ugly and uncomfortable.

Less is more.
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Old 01-17-09, 03:47 PM   #14
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My next Brooks will be a Flyer to go on my most recent MTB Commuter/Tourer conversion. I have two 17's and two 67's. The springs on the Flyer and 67 are the same gauge wire. Pretty stiff at .194" thick. I have an old B73 that I pulled the springs off of. They measure .182" and are quite supple on the 67compared to the thicker ones.

Laugh if you will, but I've used the springs off a Huffy saddle, too. They bolt right on easily. Very nice ride.
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Old 01-18-09, 09:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
thanks for the responses, i just ordered the flyer last night . cant wait till it gets here!
also, for those of you who have a brooks saddle, did it come with the proofide to rub on the saddle, or did you buy it separately??
The proofide does not come with the saddle. I purchased my saddle in a "kit" that included proofide, a spanner, and a saddle cover.
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Old 01-18-09, 11:30 AM   #16
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A sprung saddle is all the suspension one needs in the rear. Heavy? Sure but there's no argument with the comfort.
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Old 01-18-09, 12:18 PM   #17
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Lots of + opinions, so perhaps its time for an opposing view.
After back surgery, I need some cush. I tried the Flyer and didn't care for it because I could barely feel any difference compared to the B17. So I sold the Flyer and I went back to my suspension seatpost and B17, which is much softer, yet still stiff enough that I'm not bobbing around when I'm mashing uphill.
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