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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

Old 04-17-09, 10:56 PM
  #1  
PadawanWrench
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Genuine Brooks saddle vs. off-brand?

Not that I want to start a flame war or anything but I have a question about preference in tensioned leather saddles.

I'm refurbishing a 1970 Schwinn Suburban (pics to follow when I get her put back together) for a friend. I've been doing this mostly for the experience - and enjoying every minute of it, btw - so I'd originally been going for a straight-up "just like it rolled off the line" rebuild for the most part, but when it came to the saddle, I figured I'd better get his input, seeing as how his behind would be spending more time on it than mine.

I asked him what kind he wanted, explaining the differences between the old vinyl-covered touring saddle that was standard on most Schwinns of the day and newer gel-padded comfort saddles, and he said, "David, what kind of seat would you put on your bike? That's what I want you to put on mine." Now, I have a Brooks B17 on my Falcon, and that's the most comfortable saddle I've been on to date, so I thought, OK, Sal, you're getting yourself a Brooks. (Probably a sprung saddle, either a B67 or a B72, since I've put North Road bars on the bike.) But, through all my searching on the Interwebtubes, I was kinda reminded that Brooks saddles can be pricey, and I don't want to break his bank.

So, I put it to you C&Vers who have managed to ford through my long-winded tale (kudos!): what are your thoughts on tensioned leather saddles? Do you stick with Brooks because it's a proven name with quality unparalleled through, lo, these hundred years? Or do you go with a no-name brand saddle because it's 40 bucks cheaper? Velo-Orange sells non-Brooks leather saddles stamped with their V-O logo, and Crow Cycle Co. sells a saddle that looks very similar to the V-O model, but for something like $20 less.

Forgive me if this has been covered in a previous thread, but I guess I couldn't figure out the right keyword combination.

Thanks in advance!
David
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Old 04-17-09, 11:26 PM
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I have a VO sprung saddle...It looks nice but weighs a ton. I have 2 B-72's and I have to say that I like them better. They fit my bum better and they last forever if taken care of properly. The VO saddle got really soft and had noticeable indentations within 150 miles and I only weigh 140. I don't think it will last very long...My 2 cents is go for a Brooks.
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Old 04-18-09, 04:22 AM
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Depends on the vintage/year, but a springer saddle would be appropriate for your project. Persons Apollo saddles are pretty nice and you have a few more color choices.
http://www.permaco.com/en-us/dept_7.html
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Old 04-18-09, 07:27 AM
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I'd stick with a Brooks -- I'm sure you can find a sprung one that won't break the bank if you search patiently. I haven't heard people clamoring here about how fantastic their Persons or V-O saddles are, but maybe we're just snobs.
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Old 04-18-09, 07:45 AM
  #5  
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I have Brooks, Wrights and Ideale, personal favorite and the most durable seem to be the Brooks. Watch for a scratch and dent sale from Wallbike.

Aaron
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Old 04-18-09, 09:52 AM
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If the mattress saddle that came on it is in decent shape I would use it. It's a completely serviceable and comfortable seat for a 'sit up and beg' schwinn.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sci-fi View Post
depends on the vintage/year, but a springer saddle would be appropriate for your project. Persons apollo saddles are pretty nice and you have a few more color choices.
http://www.permaco.com/en-us/dept_7.html
+1
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Old 04-18-09, 10:12 AM
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I'm using a Brooks B67 now, and have no complaint about it other than it is too wide (my mistake).
If I were buying a saddle now I'd be willing to try one of these:

http://www.gyes.com.tw/saddles.htm

The company is in Taiwan, their primary business is furniture, and reportedly is making saddles & bags because the owner is an avid cyclist.

Unfortunately I've been unable to find a posted review by anyone who has actually owned one.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:29 AM
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The Persons advert is not very clear. Are all the saddles vinyl covered?
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Old 04-18-09, 10:44 AM
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I put a V-O spring saddle on my mom's Varsity and I think its awesomely comfortable. Being that its on a Varsity, the weight is not a factor. I don't particularly like the look of the V-O racing saddle.
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Old 04-18-09, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
The Persons advert is not very clear. Are all the saddles vinyl covered?
Agreed, wondering if they're similar to Selle An Atomicas in the second layer regard.

Thanks to the OP for initiating this discussion...didn't know about Gyes, Persons, and other Brooks wannabe's.
Huge price difference!...as another Brooks(2) owner, you get what you pay for?!
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Old 04-18-09, 10:57 AM
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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.
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Old 04-18-09, 11:01 AM
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Don't forget Cardiff. Looks identical to the VO.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=3858
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Old 04-18-09, 11:14 AM
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Rivendell has "B17" and "flyer" style Cardiff saddles, if you don't want to feel like you're riding a thong...
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Old 04-18-09, 11:17 AM
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Persons-Majestic is still in Ohio, they're just selling saddles that are made in India. I tried one and didn't like it, but some people do. They sell Brooks also and the difference is only $11 for some models. Why buy an Indian knock off? If you want a blue leather saddle I don't think you'll find one anywhere else
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Old 04-18-09, 11:32 AM
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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.
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Old 04-18-09, 12:12 PM
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Well...if I was buying (another) sprung Brooks saddle, I would get the B.66 'S' Champion (Ladies) model. The 177mm width adds a few more mm that makes a big difference in comfort for most bodies (male or female), esp on longer rides, not too wide or narrow for upright riding and you might find the 245mm length has it's advantages.
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Old 04-18-09, 02:29 PM
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I had a Wrights B17 type, back in around '77. It was comfy as anything but not as durable as any of the Brooks's I've subsequently used.
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Old 04-18-09, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PadawanWrench View Post
Not that I want to start a flame war or anything but I have a question about preference in tensioned leather saddles.

I'm refurbishing a 1970 Schwinn Suburban (pics to follow when I get her put back together) for a friend. I've been doing this mostly for the experience - and enjoying every minute of it, btw - so I'd originally been going for a straight-up "just like it rolled off the line" rebuild for the most part, but when it came to the saddle, I figured I'd better get his input, seeing as how his behind would be spending more time on it than mine.

I asked him what kind he wanted, explaining the differences between the old vinyl-covered touring saddle that was standard on most Schwinns of the day and newer gel-padded comfort saddles, and he said, "David, what kind of seat would you put on your bike? That's what I want you to put on mine." Now, I have a Brooks B17 on my Falcon, and that's the most comfortable saddle I've been on to date, so I thought, OK, Sal, you're getting yourself a Brooks. (Probably a sprung saddle, either a B67 or a B72, since I've put North Road bars on the bike.) But, through all my searching on the Interwebtubes, I was kinda reminded that Brooks saddles can be pricey, and I don't want to break his bank.

So, I put it to you C&Vers who have managed to ford through my long-winded tale (kudos!): what are your thoughts on tensioned leather saddles? Do you stick with Brooks because it's a proven name with quality unparalleled through, lo, these hundred years? Or do you go with a no-name brand saddle because it's 40 bucks cheaper? Velo-Orange sells non-Brooks leather saddles stamped with their V-O logo, and Crow Cycle Co. sells a saddle that looks very similar to the V-O model, but for something like $20 less.

Forgive me if this has been covered in a previous thread, but I guess I couldn't figure out the right keyword combination.

Thanks in advance!
David
A stock Suburban is shaped very much like a Raleigh 3-speed, but different of course. The best of these old Raleighs used the Brooks B-72 saddle, which is a very wide stiffly sprung (no coil springs) leather hide saddle. That's what I would suggest for this bike, rather than a B-17 or a sprung version of same, such as a Flyer.

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Old 04-18-09, 03:10 PM
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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.
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Old 04-18-09, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CravenMoarhead View Post
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.
They're still based in Ohio as always, run by the Persons family. They are sourcing the saddles from India. The basic business is as an importer/distributor of bike parts. Saddles are just a part of what they offer.

The dye complaints are several years old. A few recent BF threads reported recent users finding no issues, essentially.

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Old 04-18-09, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by roseskunk View Post
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.
Hell of a meal.

A Velo Orange 6 is $85.

A brooks Swallow is $275 and up ......
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Old 04-18-09, 07:51 PM
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Did you see this, Padawan Wrench?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Superbe-Brooks-Seat-Vintage-1972-78_W0QQitemZ290310763466QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_2?hash=item290310763466&_trksid=p3286.c0 .m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A1|39%3A1|240%3A1318

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Old 04-18-09, 08:09 PM
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Do you hate the dude? That might be what came on that sort of bike, but it's the most uncomfortable piece of vinyl I've ever had the displeasure of sitting on. There has to be a better option.
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Old 04-18-09, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Do you hate the dude?
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.
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