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Old 06-23-10, 03:49 PM   #1
ManifestDestiny
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Purchasing my first Brooks Saddle

I've decided to get a Brooks B17 Imperial standard. The price is a bit prohibitive, but from what I've heard it is well worth it. But with such a cost, I am worried that I won't like it and be able to return it. I've heard great things about Wallingford, but they are currently out of stock, so is REI which has an excellent return policy. Rivendell has them in stock, but I don't know if I want to jump the gun incase I don't like the saddle. Should I wait it out for Wallingford?
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Old 06-23-10, 03:54 PM   #2
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Brooks don't work for everyone.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:12 PM   #3
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Brooks don't work for everyone.
Actually that's funny. I absolutely agree! However, I tried a Brooks B17 and for whatever reason, it didn't work/fit. I also tried a Conquest (Brooks B17 w/springs) and it didn't work (or fit my anatomy...which is really the case).

Being a little persistent AND getting a great deal (trade) on a B72, I won't ever ride with anything else. THIS Brooks is awesome!

The B72 is a lot wider and has a shorter nose than the B17. NOS can still be found. You can also have your B17 custom cut to help with pressure points.

They are durable. They can be comfortable. But I agree, for some reason (anatomy) they just don't fit everyone.

My .02.......find a reputable company with a good return policy. I think I heard someone on BF say you need to give it 500 miles before you know if it fits you or not.

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Old 06-23-10, 05:45 PM   #4
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I am with jharte. I tried B17, and did not like it. Then got a used B72, and it worked. Now I use B68's and B67's with cutouts (think Selle Anatomica), and would NOT ride anything else. As always, YMMV, and like 10 Wheels says, they do not work for everybody.
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Old 06-23-10, 07:41 PM   #5
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I emailed Wallingford and they got right back to me in about 15 min. They said that they will have more stock sometime this summer. SO it will look like I will have to be patient.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:06 PM   #6
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I've had a B17 and a Swift and they both got broken tension bolts. The B17 last year and the Swift this year. They had about 2500 miles on them. I wrote to Brooks and I never received an answer. Hope you have better luck, but I'll never own another one.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:10 PM   #7
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I've had a B17 and a Swift and they both got broken tension bolts. The B17 last year and the Swift this year. They had about 2500 miles on them. I wrote to Brooks and I never received an answer. Hope you have better luck, but I'll never own another one.
Were you able to replace the bolts?
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Old 06-23-10, 08:18 PM   #8
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Were you able to replace the bolts?
I did on that one I sold Bob and I just sent the other one in to Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction said they sent it to there supplier and the turn around is 3 weeks. That bolt is a bear to change out. I really like the Fizik Aliante. The reason Wallingford can do that return policy is because he's sells his saddles at an inflated price.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:20 PM   #9
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That is good to hear.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:25 PM   #10
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How do you like the Arione?
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Old 06-23-10, 08:36 PM   #11
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Wallabike may be what you need.

OTOH, the Brooks saddles are at a good price at places like ChainReactionCycles.

I have a B17 pre-aged. Those have laces like the Imperial. The come with a matted finish which polishes quite readily under your butt.
The B17 is for people who like to ride in a fairly upright position. Since I like to ride low into the wind it became quite uncomfortable. Which I did the was to cut out the shape of the relief the Imperial has at the center and that was a good move.

Moreover, I started to use three laces for the front, middle ans back of the rows of holes. This allows me to tune up the shape and firmness of the saddle just right. Since then I rode consecutive centuries, 200 km and 300 km brevets practices and everyday 50 km rides, all wearing a simple chamois underwear with shorts over them. No pain, not a thought for the saddle, no soreness or numbness afterward.

I am confident that an Imperial saddle can suit 90% of the persons who want to take the time to adjust them to their... needs.

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:22 PM   #12
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I've had a B17 and a Swift and they both got broken tension bolts. The B17 last year and the Swift this year. They had about 2500 miles on them. I wrote to Brooks and I never received an answer. Hope you have better luck, but I'll never own another one.
Do you have pictures of this damaged bolt? Could be a design problem or bad alloy.
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Old 06-24-10, 01:03 AM   #13
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I've had a B17 and a Swift and they both got broken tension bolts. The B17 last year and the Swift this year. They had about 2500 miles on them. I wrote to Brooks and I never received an answer. Hope you have better luck, but I'll never own another one.
Very very surprised to hear that, both because of the broken bolts and because Brooks have a good reputation for responding to complaints. Bad luck.

OP, I have both a Swift with Ti rails on a road bike and a B17 on my tourer. I'm lucky with Brooks, both saddles were pretty much OK from the outset and now, broken in, are superbly comfortable. it's true, they don't work for everyone, but give yours time. I reckon 500 miles is a bare minimum to break one in*, and the lighter you are the longer it'll take.

*(Unless you soak them, impregnate them with neatsfoot oil etc. Some do that and say it works, but I doubt you'd be able to return it to the shop afterwards...)
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Old 06-24-10, 06:54 AM   #14
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Do you have pictures of this damaged bolt? Could be a design problem or bad alloy.
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Old 06-24-10, 06:57 AM   #15
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How do you like the Arione?
Love It.

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Old 06-24-10, 07:05 AM   #16
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Love It.

I thought you only had the Felt. Looks good

I talked to Wallingford, when the first bolt broke and he says that Brooks doesn't answer his calls or e-mails either. So I really didn't expect to hear from them, but wanted to try anyhow to see if things changed. They didn't.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:11 AM   #17
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600 miles on a 10 day camping tour in May this year.

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Old 06-24-10, 07:34 AM   #18
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I got my Brooks here: http://www.totalcycling.com/index.ph...urrency&id=USD

Not sure what the return policy is but for under $70 thats a nice saddle and seems like a similar price to other quality non-leather saddles. They are popular as well. IF you don't like it you can sell it easily for close to what you bought it for on CR or the BF touring marketplace.

Here is another site for $65: http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.a...S&currency=USD

These prices just do not seem all that high to me so I am not sure what the problem is. If you do not like your current saddle you are going to have to spend at least that amount to get something decent.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:45 AM   #19
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Just checking www.wiggle.co.uk

They have an excellent return policy and very good customer service, from personal experience and from other posters. The price is $72.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:39 AM   #20
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Thanks for the picture! The run-of-the-mill 5/16" bolt on my Flyer shows no obvious external defect. It appears from your picture that the bolt snapped at the threaded section, about 1" from the head.

The torque preload on my Flyer is less than 2 ft-lb. That's way below the rated capability of any 5/16" steel bolt. Suspect there's a material issue.
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Old 06-24-10, 09:51 AM   #21
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Thanks for the picture! The run-of-the-mill 5/16" bolt on my Flyer shows no obvious external defect. It appears from your picture that the bolt snapped at the threaded section, about 1" from the head.

The torque preload on my Flyer is less than 2 ft-lb. That's way below the rated capability of any 5/16" steel bolt. Suspect there's a material issue.
I thought that myself,but then it happened on my next Brooks as well. That's when I wrote to Brooks, but Like I said they don't reply to anything. When I talked to Bill at Wallingford, he told me that's the way it is. Good PR huh.

ps, what I think they have to do is put a #8 case harden bolt in there.
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Old 06-24-10, 10:48 AM   #22
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That bolt should be stronger that the three rivets at the horn. The leather will rip before the bolt snap. There has to be a material issue with those bolts...cheap Chinese sweat shop alloy? On the plus side, I could always purchase a better bolt, and turn it on the lathe to fit the Brooks.
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Old 06-24-10, 11:27 AM   #23
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That bolt should be stronger that the three rivets at the horn. The leather will rip before the bolt snap. There has to be a material issue with those bolts...cheap Chinese sweat shop alloy? On the plus side, I could always purchase a better bolt, and turn it on the lathe to fit the Brooks.
That's what I was going to do. Screw the bolt and leave the head facing the rear with 3 locking nuts. I was thinking about putting one nut at the cup up front and one in front and back of the little saddle that's suppose to be a guide and lock it in.
I'm waiting to see what Chain Reaction comes up with. It really a shame that Brooks doesn't stand behind there products. For the money that they make on a saddle, you would think I would hear something.
I can ride on the Aliante for up to 4 hours with no issues. Oh well live and learn. I know a lot of people like there Brooks, but having this happen every year is a pain in the butt, literally.
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Old 06-24-10, 12:43 PM   #24
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Yeah...reversing a high-grade bolt will also work if you don't have access to a lathe...one nut at the horn (use Loctite or equivalent to secure nut to bolt), and the other nut at the tensioning bracket to stretch the leather.
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Old 06-24-10, 01:40 PM   #25
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George, sorry to hear about your saddles, but everyone reading should know that this is the exception, rather than the rule. Been riding brooks for 10 years plus now (2x team pro,3xb171xchampion flyer, 1xb66, and the cool sprung mtb saddles witht eh Judy-yellow springs) and never had a problem. I imagine if we did a BF poll, you would be the only poster amongst hundreds here to have that problem... So, again, I understand your frustration, but readers should take it with a grain of salt...

PS: OP, look for a used b17, I see them on CL pretty regularly for ~50 bucks. I bought a Used B17 special in green for 25... something might pop up before wallingford gets their stock in.
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