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  1. #1
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Your experience with the Brooks B135 saddle

    I am building a new expedition bike. My main goal is to build it to be very resilient and awfully comfortable. To that end I've chosen the Surly LHT 2010 frameset, in a 56cm size, as a base, 26X2.00 wheels/tires and I am tempted to associate a Brooks B135 saddle to it.

    I read pretty much everything there is on that model here on the BikeForums. I understand that it is quite comfortable, not the largest of all the Brooks but still large, less bouncy than most, thanks to its push-pull spring design, more stable laterally for that too.

    I am still wondering about two things though. The first one is relative to pedaling at a high cadence. To be happy I must reach 90, preferably 95 rpms: will I be able to do it and not start bouncing like a basket ball? The second question I have left is about my thighs rubbing on parts of the saddle if I lean forward at times. I intend to sit quite upright as often as I can but sometimes there's a need to cut into the wind somewhat (ever been in Patagonia?).

    Does anyone have elements for an answer to either these questions? I am 5'10" and about 185 lb.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jean

  2. #2
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    OK then, I'll let you know.

  3. #3
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    A standard Ladies B17 saddle would fit the bill in my opinion. No chance of bobbing with pedal cadence and lighter and just as comfortable as the B135. No reason to have your thighs rubbing, unless the saddle wings splay out as a result of the saddle being too soft and that won't happen if new.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Thank you for your advice.

    Just as you never thought that 'Jean' could be a man's name, in French, I never think that it is a woman's name in English. Should have maybe when I chose my nick, not that I find being a woman wrong in anyway but just to avoid the confusion.

    For the rest, unfortunately, being pressed for time and seeing my thread sinking to bottomless oblivion I ordered the B135. The idea behind my choice is that, while I still ride on my legs a lot when the road gets bumpy, at age 56 the end of my days find me more tired than I used to be. My assumption is that it isn't going to get better and that, if I still want to ride the roads of India or Patagonia, I'm better start relying a bit more on my butt for relief of my legs. Hence the sprung saddle. My memory of them though is that they tend to swing you around quite a bit. It is said that the push-pull design of the B135 offers better dampening of the rebounds and returns control to the cyclist.

    Am I someone who likes (can't resist) experimenting? I don't think so. I haven't tried the B17 either. Until now a simple Ora did fit the bill, although it needed a replacement every 2-3 years or so which, ultimately, made it expensive at 30$ a piece. But I got a superstitious rear end... If the B135 is not what I need exactly I'll keep it for commuting in the city and try the B17, following your advice.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
    A standard Ladies B17 saddle would fit the bill in my opinion. No chance of bobbing with pedal cadence and lighter and just as comfortable as the B135. No reason to have your thighs rubbing, unless the saddle wings splay out as a result of the saddle being too soft and that won't happen if new.
    If you measure, the only difference between a B-17S and a regular B-17 is the length of the nose. I do ride a B-17S, but it's on a pretty upright u-frame hybrid with a somewhat small cockpit. The extra length of a regular B-17 would make things a bit awkward on my bike. For a rider on a regular diamond frame, I think they'd need an exceptionally short torso (and top tube!) to make the S version a good choice.

    (as far as the sprung versions... I like my B-17S so well I haven't tried anything else)

  6. #6
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    I suggest the Brooks Flyer if you are not happy with the B135. It is basically the B17 with springs (and lighter than your choice) and doesnt move around under me,but does soak up road shock well with out bouncing around while pedalling at high cadence.
    Let us know your B135 experience when you get it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddez View Post
    Let us know your B135 experience when you get it.
    I will. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    My 2 cents...

    The B135 is overkill.

    I tried a B67 (it's on my sister's bike now).

    My sister likes it, but she rides bolt upright.

    I lean forward a little, and it tried to lever my thigh bone out of the hip socket.

    I am 59, and use a B17 Special.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  9. #9
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    I don't see how you can have a seat comfortable for 90rpm pedaling and upright riding.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Late: that's that digging that I was wary about. I guess that we will see. At any event, I have the saddle for a good price, 114$, so I could resell it if it's not what I need without loosing too much.

    LeeG: I remember doing it on a banana seat in the '70s.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    After a (long) while, having tried the B135 I come to report as promised.
    It is a really nice saddle, no doubt whatsoever, comfortable to a sin. Yet is really is still bouncy, at least at the cadences I prefer, around 90-95 rpms. So, it is more likely to find a place on my friend Kona Ute than on my LHT built.

    I finally settled upon the B17 pre-aged. Nice one.

    Thanks to all of you.

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