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Saddle question

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Saddle question

Old 11-12-13, 05:51 PM
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Saddle question

So i wasnt sure where to post this, so ill try here. Im replacing a bunch of junk on an old bike and got just about everything covered. Whilst browsing bikeforums i see "brooks saddles" in just about every forum i go into. Now im okay with the seat/saddle my bike currently has, this is more of an informational question. Whats so great about brooks saddles? thanks
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Old 11-12-13, 06:33 PM
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You're asking your question in the "Bicycle Mechanics" sub-forum, but Classic & Vintage will get you more answers to this question.

But as as long as I'm here - Brooks saddles, sold by Harris Cycles, Universal Cycles, Peter White, Wallbike, and Rene Herse Bicycles, among many others potentially including an LBS near you, are thick leather stretched between a rear "cantle" (C-shaped frame) and front adjustable nose piece. The great benefit to saddles of this design is that they will break in to conform to your anatomy, at which time they are (usually) extremely comfortable. There are a wide variety of Brooks models, as well as competitors like Gilles Berthoud, Velo Orange, Selle An-Atomica and more using this basic saddle design with subtle but very important differences.

The several downsides: they are heavier than more modern saddles, they demand extra care in the rain, break in typically takes several hundred miles of use, and the short rails on Brooks and most others of this type demands a shallower seat tube and/or long setback seatpost if you need your saddle to be a ways behind the bottom bracket, like me with my long legs. They also often need to be adjusted more nose up, which can create soft tissue pressure.

A testament to their great comfort is that this type of saddle is by far the predominant choice for randonneurs (long distance riders), who spend LOTS of time sitting on their bikes - like 80 hours in four days on something like the Paris-Brest-Paris ride. No, you wouldn't pick a Brooks if you race or are otherwise a "weight weenie".

For myself (not a randonneur), my Rivendell was designed to work well with Brooks and it has a superbly comfortable Brooks B-17, the Miyata had a nice Selle An-Atomica until a few days ago, and my latest Marinoni is wearing a beautiful new Gilles Berthoud that I'm looking forward to riding for many years. The GB seems to have many of the advantages of the other two but fewer downsides, except that it is more expensive.

BTW, both Wallbike and Rene Herse offer a 6-month guarantee on their saddles, so if you tried a Brooks or Gilles Berthoud from either of those sources you could potentially get your money back, or exchange for a different model. I would highly recommend looking for saddle reviews around this forum and elsewhere around the net, as well as talking with vendors to make sure your getting a model that will be best suited to you and your bike.
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Old 11-12-13, 06:35 PM
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The main virtue of leather saddles is that they break in to match the mating part of your body. If you prefer leather saddles, Brooks is just about the best there is.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:42 PM
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Just remember that owning/riding a Brooks saddle or most other high waulity leather suspension saddle comes with the requirement to take care of it (avoid getting it wet, treat it with Brooks saddle wax (Berthoud sells their own too) when needed, keep it adjusted correctly but not overtension it.) prperly. Otherwise, the saddle can fail on you real quick and not provide the legendary ride that they are known for.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
The main virtue of leather saddles is that they break in to match the mating part of your body. If you prefer leather saddles, Brooks is just about the best there is.
I just ordered a Selle Titanico X. Was going to go Brooks, then saw the $99 Selle holiday pricing in another post.
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