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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

Old 01-30-10, 04:00 PM
  #51  
lecky
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I recently bought a second hand B17 in good condition for 25 BIN - about $40 - on ebay. It's very comfortable. Over a couple of weeks I saw a few Brooks' used but in good condition go for similar prices. Keep an eye on ebay UK listings. You may get a reasonable deal on shipping too from a private seller.
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Old 09-21-10, 11:21 AM
  #52  
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Revised opinion

Initially I said I liked my Brooks B68 better than any of the knock offs. I changed my mind. Once fully broken in, the Gyes Parkside II is even better. The leather was initially a little softer than the Brooks but it did mold to my rear end. Now I love the thing...so much so that I bought another in Natural Leather. I'll put the old black one on my grocery getter and break the new one in on my road bike . The new one actually seems a little more Brooks-like; the natural colored leather is firmer/harder than on the first black Gyes I bought. I'm sure it'll break in just like the black one and it looks BEAUTIFUL. Just as there are those who will say that all Brooks clones are inferior, there are also those that will tell you Campy is better than all that "Japanese crap". Campy is fine but Shimano's become functionally superior. Brooks saddles undoubtedly work well but it could be that some of the clones are surpassing the original.
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Old 09-21-10, 11:42 AM
  #53  
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I imagine the OP has already purchased a saddle based on your faulty opinion. I think you owe him.
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Old 09-21-10, 12:48 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by soma2x View Post
there are those who will say that all Brooks clones are inferior, there are also those that will tell you Campy is better than all that "Japanese crap". Campy is fine but Shimano's become functionally superior. Brooks saddles undoubtedly work well but it could be that some of the clones are surpassing the original.
All Brooks clones are inferior.
Suntour is better than both Campy and Shimano.
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Old 09-21-10, 01:38 PM
  #55  
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Brooks hands down. You will never go wrong spending the extra money for a Brooks. Nothing even comes close.
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Old 09-21-10, 02:22 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by bikerosity57 View Post
Brooks hands down. You will never go wrong spending the extra money for a Brooks. Nothing even comes close.
Have you ever tried anything else?

I spent a long time looking at reviews of all different kinds of Brooks knock-offs before I pulled the trigger on my VO saddle (Flyer knock-off). I'd say a good 95% of negative reviews were from people who had never ridden the knock-offs and are just retro-grouches about their saddles. The other 5% felt that the leather was too soft (I've heard the opposite complaint lodged against Brooks, so....) or maybe the rivets weren't as nice. Most people that actually had them on their bikes seemed to like them.

Personally, I have two convictions.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that there are zero advancements to be made in the realm of leather saddles. I mean, Brooks hasn't even changed the length of their rails to compensate for steeper modern frame angles—they'd rather you get a fancy set-back seatpost. They are the ultimate retro-grouches. Whether VO or Persons or Gyes represent these advancements remains to be seen.
I find it incredibly easy to believe that Brooks includes a significant mark-up on their saddles solely because they're the 800 lb gorilla of leather saddles. If other manufacturers want to try to make a quality saddle at a more affordable price-point, I find it not only a good but also completely plausible idea.
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Old 09-21-10, 02:48 PM
  #57  
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+1 on the Gyes-got one last year for 60 something-they are lower now (natch). I just love it
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Old 09-21-10, 05:07 PM
  #58  
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I know it's not a racing saddle or anything, but I'm in love with my VO Model 8. Functionally superior to the B72 it's replacing.

And, Suntour FTW, but Campy #2, IMO.
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Old 09-21-10, 07:28 PM
  #59  
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I tried a cheaper alternative to Brooks once.

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Old 09-21-10, 08:09 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by soma2x View Post
Initially I said I liked my Brooks B68 better than any of the knock offs. I changed my mind. Once fully broken in, the Gyes Parkside II is even better.
b68=no springs
parkside II=springs

how would it compare to a b67?
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Old 09-21-10, 08:23 PM
  #61  
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I'll be interested to see how my Model 8 does for an extended period. Right now, I have about 500 miles on it. It broke in very quickly, and seems to require the straps to keep it's shape, but other than that, it looks really good. No tensioning needed. We'll see how it looks in 5 years...
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Old 09-21-10, 08:39 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
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.
IMO there is already a worthy competitor to Brooks saddles, Giles Berthoud. Still a suspension leather saddle but with different design of rails and frame parts and it completely disassembles with one hex wrench. IMO better looking than Brooks with very heavy gauge leather and less expensive than the high end Brooks models. No sprung or wide versions are offered though.
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Old 09-21-10, 09:54 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I tried a cheaper alternative to Brooks once.

To be fair, I've seen plenty of Brooks that look like that.

But yeah, the vintage Brooks knockoffs seem to be really hit-or-miss. Would never ride an AGDA.
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Old 09-22-10, 03:53 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
IMO there is already a worthy competitor to Brooks saddles, Giles Berthoud. Still a suspension leather saddle but with different design of rails and frame parts and i completely disassembles with one hex wrench. IMO better looking than Brooks with very heavy gauge leather and less expensive than the high end Brooks models. No sprung or wide versions are offered though.
All the Berthouds I've seen are $300+. I wouldn't call that a competitor, unless you're talking the super-low-run models that are built nearly completely out of titanium...which I seriously doubt is Brooks's bread and butter anyway.

It's kinda like their $200 carbon fiber fenders...I guess I just don't get it.
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Old 09-22-10, 08:39 AM
  #65  
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Yeah the Gilles appear to be very nice. However they're expensive across the board.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:11 AM
  #66  
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I must have buns-o-steel. I have Brooks, VO, Belt, Ideale, and Wright leather saddles and once broken in they all seem the same to me. The VO's take longer than brooks to break in (took one of mine almost 600 miles, but I did not use any proofride or anything) and now it is just like the others.

I really do not understand the bombastic brand flag waving around here sometimes.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:09 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
All the Berthouds I've seen are $300+. I wouldn't call that a competitor, unless you're talking the super-low-run models that are built nearly completely out of titanium...which I seriously doubt is Brooks's bread and butter anyway.

It's kinda like their $200 carbon fiber fenders...I guess I just don't get it.

At Wallbike the Berthouds start at $210, considerably under the $300 you mention and just a bit above the price of a copper rivet Brooks Team Professional. At the $300 level you are talking Ti rails and that is still cheap compared to a TI Brooks. The Berthoud design makes it a lot easier to replace saddle parts if required too.
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Old 09-22-10, 08:56 PM
  #68  
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$80 B17, $100 (ebayed) NOS Professional...$210 Gilles...

Not even a fair fight, IMO. And being that I know Brooks, I think I'll stick with that.
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Old 09-24-10, 06:43 AM
  #69  
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I own a B17 Imperial that I love. I have put several hundred miles and it is incredibly comfortable on my Paramount P15-9. The paramount has a very relaxed geometry and the saddle fits it very well. However, I recently got a 1980 Pinarello with a more aggressive geometry and I'm looking for a leather saddle to fit it. The brooks racing saddles are just way out of my budget right now so I might give this Gyes a try



I think it looks gorgeous and the price is a no brainer. Does anyone here own one like it?
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Old 09-27-10, 12:16 PM
  #70  
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My Velo Orange 8 saddle BROKE!

I had a model 8, and the frame rails under the saddle broke. I'm not some huge guy; I weigh 170 and I'm 5'9" tall. Velo Orange refused to replace the frame, because I've had the saddle longer than a year. It irked me because this is a part that I don't expect should break, ever, and I'd expect the manufacturer to replace the part. I have several Brooks saddles that I've had for over ten years with no problems. Brooks for me from now on.
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Old 09-27-10, 12:21 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by vodid View Post
I had a model 8, and the frame rails under the saddle broke. I'm not some huge guy; I weigh 170 and I'm 5'9" tall. Velo Orange refused to replace the frame, because I've had the saddle longer than a year. It irked me because this is a part that I don't expect should break, ever, and I'd expect the manufacturer to replace the part. I have several Brooks saddles that I've had for over ten years with no problems. Brooks for me from now on.
For both rails to brake parallel like that, I would guess the seatpost was overtightened. What post were you using?
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Old 09-27-10, 01:12 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by vodid View Post
I had a model 8, and the frame rails under the saddle broke. I'm not some huge guy; I weigh 170 and I'm 5'9" tall. Velo Orange refused to replace the frame, because I've had the saddle longer than a year. It irked me because this is a part that I don't expect should break, ever, and I'd expect the manufacturer to replace the part. I have several Brooks saddles that I've had for over ten years with no problems. Brooks for me from now on.
I agree, I've never broken the rails of a saddle and most of mine are antiques! It's a shame they won't stand behind their product.
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Old 09-27-10, 02:09 PM
  #73  
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I'd go with a Brooks. Growing up I always wanted a pair of Chucks ( Converse Chuck Taylors) but mom would only buy me knock off Bata Bullets, no pride in ownership. If you want a Brooks, buy it and be happy. The pain in the wallet only lasts a week or two.
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Old 09-27-10, 04:24 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by vodid View Post
I had a model 8, and the frame rails under the saddle broke. I'm not some huge guy; I weigh 170 and I'm 5'9" tall. Velo Orange refused to replace the frame, because I've had the saddle longer than a year. It irked me because this is a part that I don't expect should break, ever, and I'd expect the manufacturer to replace the part. I have several Brooks saddles that I've had for over ten years with no problems. Brooks for me from now on.
dang.

i have a model 8 as well. did you have it set back all the way?

i agree that this part should never break.
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Old 09-27-10, 04:27 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Andrew F View Post
I'd go with a Brooks. Growing up I always wanted a pair of Chucks ( Converse Chuck Taylors) but mom would only buy me knock off Bata Bullets, no pride in ownership.
When was this? I always got Chucks, because they were frequently on sale for $9.99 or 2 pair for $30. My brother wore them too.

Of course, I now splurge on Merrells, but my one pair has lasted about two years, which is far more than anything else that I've tried. I suppose the same can be said of a Brooks..plus a Brooks will look better once aged.
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