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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

Old 04-18-09, 09:24 PM
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Check out sjscycles.com. With the favorable exchange rate, you can get a Brooks b67 or B73 from England for less than a V-O or Cardif. Remember, they will deduct the tax, so with shipping, it should be about $75.
It is interesting that Brooks prices skyrocketed here when the exchange rate went to hell from an American standpoint. Now that it has gone back to normal, nobody is dropping their prices. I would prefer to buy from Wallingford, but their prices do not reflect the current exchange rate.
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Old 04-18-09, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl
Actually, I was just trying to be helpful. Sure, I'd prefer an unpadded saddle, but someone riding a Schwinn Suburban on an occasional basis might find the one above comfy.
I was teasing..
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Old 04-18-09, 10:33 PM
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Buy an old Raleigh, swap out the seat, sell it. That's the cheapest way to buy a Brooks.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:44 PM
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To me Brooks hasn't steered me wrong and for the price/life of the product I think it's worth it. The price difference isn't enough to make me waver and that 2 year warranty that comes with the saddles, which I hear they honor and uphold without much trouble, makes me a Brooks fan.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
I actually have a Wright's (I think a W3N) on my "Mountain bike". I was skeptical about how it would feel, but it is almost as comfortable as my Imperial. I may have lucked out, because the one I have is nice and thick also. Beats the heck out of a gel padded seat.
I have a Wright's W3N on my fixed folder and a W35 on my old Raleigh Lenton and find these both to be very nice saddles and they have stood up to a lot of riding...the W35 is a little springier and is a fave for long distance rides as my B17 Imperial.

I have a number of Brooks saddles, several Ideales, several Lycette saddles (also made by Brooks), and a few mystery saddles... I have not bothered to try any of the new non Brooks saddles as I don't think it would be worth it.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for all the input, everybody!

Yeah, I'm definitely thinking a springer saddle would look best on the bike. I get the feeling he'll be a very casual and occasional rider, but I still want him to have a good looking bike.

When I thought money was going to be an issue, I was going to go for a mattress saddle, though I didn't know that was the name of it. I just kept finding pictures of them on ebay and elsewhere online with different naming conventions. I was about ready to walk into an LBS and say, "You know that old style of touring saddle? Vinyl with the four chrome rivets on each side, 9 springs under the seat and two big coils at the back? What's that called?..."

When my friend said he preferred things old-fashioned, as in "Smith-Barney" I knew what I was honor-bound to do. (Even if I'm the only person who will ever apply a layer of proofide to it! )

I've been debating pulling the trigger on this B67, https://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Genuine-BROO...3%3A1|294%3A50, but even with economy shipping, it's still about $93.

I just registered on sjscycles.com to find out about shipping, because, while their pricing was by far the most competitive, I couldn't bring myself to believe that I could get a saddle from the UK without paying a mint in international shipping. Their international shipping on a B67 is 25 GBP (@ $36.93 USD), making the total transaction $92.16. Not exactly under $75, but still a buck less expensive than the ebay deal above! Heck, at prices like that, I may have to pick up another one for my commuter to replace that impossibly uncomfortable floss stick, and, oh I don't know, MAYBE START COMMUTING. But I digress....
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Old 04-19-09, 08:31 PM
  #32  
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I have a suburban with the original saddle, and it's a comfy saddle. Buy the one on eBay, it will be nice.
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Old 04-19-09, 09:09 PM
  #33  
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Persons-Majestic has good prices on Brooks and you don't have to pay international shipping. The selection is limited, though.
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Old 04-19-09, 10:35 PM
  #34  
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I got a B17 from Modern Bike. They have good Brooks prices and $5 shipping.
Last week I got a B67 from Chain Reaction in England. Great price and $15 shipping, but their proofhide was half the US prices, so I saved some money there.

Other sources: got a B17 on craigslist for $35, got another B17 on trade right here.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:39 AM
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For any ride off less than 15 miles, I find a mattress saddle to be incredibly comfortable.

Originally Posted by roseskunk
you'll get tired of apologizing, "uh, no, it's not a brooks... it was cheaper..."

the difference between a brooks and everything else is a decent meal. do yourself a favor, eat leftovers for one night and buy the real mccoy.
For me, that'd be about two weeks of lost dinners, because I'd need the $11 difference between two models, and then

the original cost.
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Old 04-21-09, 06:53 AM
  #36  
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doesn't the b67 come in a "pre-aged" flavor? if your friend isn't going to be riding all that much (or has a tender rear) that may be something to consider. they're not that much more than the standard variety.

as for what to get, it looks like the concensus is on a brooks being the best choice albeit a pricey one. why don't you just ask your friend about it? say "hey mang, these saddles are more expensive than others but will get you the best feel once properly broken in." see what he says. if he says that he wants you to put on what you'd use, he obviously trusts your judgement. price factors in here of course but your opinion on the brooks might be worth more to him.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:28 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by stringbreaker
The Persons advert is not very clear. Are all the saddles vinyl covered?
Apart from the cheap cruiser saddle, they're all leather. I have the Apollo in brown and it's great for my needs. FWIW, I bought it when the exchange rate was not as favorable and it was a good deal at the time. I agree with the general sentiment that Brooks is the better value, but I'm keeping the Persons.
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Old 04-21-09, 01:34 PM
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I recently came across Brooks Saddles on Amazon (many from cycle supply shops mentioned already). There was a sprung black Brooks (Mens Flyer I think) for just $85. I've never seen them that cheap anywhere else brand new.
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Old 04-21-09, 02:42 PM
  #39  
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Persons not so Majestic

Hi,

I have owned many Brooks saddles and one Persons saddle. My recent Persons was similar to a Brooks Swift--in appearance only. I bought it to try it and because I got a good deal on it. Long story short--the leather was thin and not great quality. The rivets look like they were hammered by a 10-year old--which they probably were. The leather became misshaped due to its poor quality or tanning. To add to the above--it was not comfortable. Before it became too misshapen, I re-sold this Brooks wannabe. Meanwhile, I own two Brooks Professionals and they are both wearing beautifully and are quite comfortable. Without a doubt, Brooks are worth whatever the extra $$ are. Don't skimp on your leather products.

Brooks fanatic Stevie B
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Old 04-21-09, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelwc
why don't you just ask your friend about it? say "hey mang, these saddles are more expensive than others but will get you the best feel once properly broken in." see what he says. if he says that he wants you to put on what you'd use, he obviously trusts your judgement. price factors in here of course but your opinion on the brooks might be worth more to him.
That's exactly what I did. I told him I had my eye on a saddle that was outside of the price range he and I had talked about, but that dollar for dollar I thought it would be a better saddle than anything else I'd put on the bike. He told me to pull the trigger on it, so the new B67 is on its way! Woot!
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Old 04-21-09, 10:25 PM
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10 years ago, Brooks was on the ropes, nobody wanted anachronistic leather saddles other than the occasional loony. Now they are riding high, quite in vogue. Some imitators/competitors are popping up, but they are all lacking, since they are more shooting to compete on price rather than performance.

If the popularity of Brooks continues, I expect some worthy competitors will arise, perhaps from those now competing mostly on price, but it doesn't look like anyone is there yet.

Ask again in 2 years.
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Old 04-21-09, 10:47 PM
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Never sat on one, but I saw a Person's recently and it had such a bad rivet job that a stray pieceof copper was snagging out and could easily ruin your nice shorts with your favorite chamois. Those shorts are just as important as a saddle to me.
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Old 04-22-09, 08:48 AM
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I have a saddle nearly identical to that, says "Bikesport" on the back, and Taiwan underneath.
I was going to throw it away, and get a Soma a lot like it.
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Old 01-30-10, 10:50 AM
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The fit and finish of the Brooks saddles is better than any of the knocks and the biggest difference is in the quality of the leather. Specifically, the tops on Brooks' saddles is hard (firm) enough that it allows the leather to ultimately mold to your sit bones. In terms of personal preference, I love my current B68, I loved the Brooks Flyers I owned but never felt the same love for the B17s I've tried. Even after broken in, I experienced much more numbness riding the B17 on long rides than I ever experienced with the Flyer.

As for the knock offs I've tried, Persons are pretty bad. I had a Persons Appollo and the blue dye looked cheap and was only surface deep. The color scratched off every time I flipped the bike to change a wheel. The riveting looked OK but the rivets sat a little higher off the leather than on a Brooks so they hurt a bit when you sat on one. The biggest flaw by far was the overly flexible Buffalo leather top. Even after the adjustment bolt was fully extended, it sagged too much and wouldn't mold to my a$$. I gave that to a friend, for whom the Persons was still an improvement over the cheap vinyl saddle on his Panasonic. The Gyes on the other hand has a much nicer feel and finish than the Persons. Appearance-wise it comes close to a Brooks. I think the dye is also surface only like the Persons but it doesn't scratch nearly as easily. The rivets look nice and are well done and the springs look great. It's comfortable right out of the box. It's a little too flexy but not nearly as bad as the Persons.

All told, I'd recommend the Brooks Flyer and the Brooks B68 over any of the knock offs and I'd strongly recommend the Gyes Parkside II (which appears to be a clone of the Velo Orange #8 model) over the Persons saddles.
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Old 01-30-10, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox
it bears mentioning that Persons isn't the same Persons it was 40 years ago. The name is the same but it is based in India now, I've read complaints about the Dye on the leather having a tendancy to stain stuff and wear off.
The company is still based in the USA, but the saddles are made in India.
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Old 01-30-10, 12:01 PM
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The only Brooks knock off that might be worth the money is Giles Berthoud. Brooks knock offs are crap. It irks me that Velo Orange would market an inferior saddle...

I hope it will be a hard lesson to those who choose non Brooks saddles. A Brooks Swallow can not be compared to the Velo Orange knock off. The VO is a cheap inferior product made from a cheaper tanning process.
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Old 01-30-10, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet
The only Brooks knock off that might be worth the money is Giles Berthoud. Brooks knock offs are crap. It irks me that Velo Orange would market an inferior saddle...

I hope it will be a hard lesson to those who choose non Brooks saddles. A Brooks Swallow can not be compared to the Velo Orange knock off. The VO is a cheap inferior product made from a cheaper tanning process.
Prove it?
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Old 01-30-10, 12:22 PM
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Mos6502...I'll prove it with one simple fact...They use a laminate layer underneath...They lace the saddles out of the factory and for the love of god they are chrome tanned, not vegetable tanned like Brooks.
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Old 01-30-10, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet
Mos6502...I'll prove it with one simple fact...They use a laminate layer underneath...They lace the saddles out of the factory and for the love of god they are chrome tanned, not vegetable tanned like Brooks.
Sources?
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Old 01-30-10, 01:25 PM
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While I adore Brooks, I have found a cheaper, equally good if not better, alternative. The catch is that they're not commonly available.

Every so often you'll catch someone on eBay selling a NOS Favorit (40 year old Czechoslovakian) saddle. If you can, grab it. It's good old Eastern Bloc "built strong like tractor" quality, and amazingly looks good, too. I have three, and never paid more than $35.00 (including postage) for one. Second choice (equal quality but way more expensive) is the classic B-17.
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