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Brooks vintage saddle vs new

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Brooks vintage saddle vs new

Old 04-12-19, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Looks like a "B17 aged", and you can still buy that saddle brand new. https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/...17-aged-1.html

Some features seem to come and go. I used to have a b17 that was like the B17 Imperial, but without the cutout.
spot on! thanks!
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Old 04-13-19, 01:23 AM
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Good thread; surprised I haven't seen it before.

As the owner of 6 vintage Brooks saddles and four modern Brooks saddles, I can say it's my experience that the older saddles are very much thicker, stiffer and more durable. So if you like a softer, flexier ride (unlike me), buy a new one. I have a vintage Wright's W4N that's medium-soft and a Middlemore that's absurdly smooshy, but my vintage Belts and Adga's are all real hard, just like the vintage Brooks'.

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Old 04-13-19, 05:04 AM
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I can't speak as to the suitability of the older Brooks saddles, but I have purchased three new B17 saddles over the past five years. All were treated with an application of Proofhide per the instructions prior to their first use. The first one took me some time to get used to, but that may be because that shape was new to me. The other two felt good right away. Now, I can't tell which is which, even though one has a lot more miles on it and one is practically new. They all feel the same, which is stiff enough to support, yet flexible to absorb bumps. None have the characteristic dimples where the sit bones make contact.
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Old 04-13-19, 05:34 AM
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@jockstick the now discontinued Brooks B5N came in black and utilized that design without any stitching. It is however narrower that the B17.

A NOS B5N is on the left and a vintage B15N is on the right.

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Old 04-13-19, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by David Newton View Post
It's because of the cows. The parents are coddling the youth, making the calfs 'thin skinned' now-days.
Agreed! I can't believe the entitlement of some of the cows these days.

"PC" is spreading to bikes- they don't even bother getting painted anymore.
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Old 04-13-19, 11:02 AM
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I have several modern Brookses, and they are all 5.0 mm. I don't have any vintage Brooks saddles currently, but I don't recall them being substantially different. There was likely more variation.
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Old 04-14-19, 10:06 AM
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That saddle finish looks, um, stimulating.
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Old 04-14-19, 11:54 AM
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I have owned and ridden older Brooks (seventies or earlier) and newer Brooks (84 and newer). I will take the older stuff every time. The older saddles look the vintage part and stand up really well, in my opinion. The newer ones do not seem to be as durable nor as attractive (again, an opinion).

Mid seventies Brooks Pro and had it since you know who was a boy...

1984 Brooks Pro bought NOS a few years ago...
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Old 04-14-19, 03:20 PM
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My late 60s B5N has holes for laces but a smooth top. Also very narrow at just around 6". Feels great on the nether regions.
My 70s B15 has no holes and also a smooth top. Also around 6" wide but perhaps a little wider. Also feels good in an upright riding position.
My new (to me) B17 Champion Special (90s?) has no lace holes and a smooth top, around 6 3/4" wide. Haven't ridden any distance, and I am looking forward to see/feel how it goes as I had thought I liked the narrower version better. This one definitely has potential (just got it last week).
The only "new" brooks I have had is my B67 and its great. Had it around 10 years now and its soooo comfortable on an upright bike. But it had a distinct break-in to the extent I remember one day going "holy crap - this thing feels great" after several months of "hmm - what was all the fuss about?".
I also have what must have been a Wrights equivalent of a B15 that @rhm recovered as a "Kaydex No 5"....it doesn't get a lot of miles as its on a cool but uncomfortable bike (38 CCM) so jury is still out as it remains pretty hard.....
Finally, I have a Flyer S special that I thought my wife would like but I was mistaken. Its a gorgeous saddle but not very forgiving. Looks like @randyjawa's 84 above but shorter and sprung.....

As to overall quality they all seem equally well made.. I like the look of the older saddles but that is due to PO wear rather than anything specific to the generation of saddle.
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