Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

I like Brooks saddles, but...

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

I like Brooks saddles, but...

Old 10-14-12, 10:23 AM
  #1  
mconlonx 
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
Thread Starter
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,563
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6950 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 25 Posts
I like Brooks saddles, but...

...what else is out there that I might like?

Anyone switched from a Brooks saddle you liked to not a Brooks style saddle, maybe something more typical like plastic molded frame + padding, that was as good or better?
__________________
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 10:52 AM
  #2  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,928

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6833 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 211 Times in 176 Posts
I've got a few on different bikes, Selle Italia Turbo, S SanMarco 'Rolls'..& Concor Max

Fizik Vitesse, WTB SST, , an Avocet Touring 2 (made by S Italia), A Felt Take-off,

and an older Cinelli one some what like SM Concor,
but less so having added padding foam, and replacing old leather cover,
that time unglued..

And 2 Brooks Professionals.. the company now is owned by the SI folks,
Italian Marketing seems to work.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 10:56 AM
  #3  
MNBikeguy
Senior Member
 
MNBikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,834

Bikes: 05 Trek 5200, 07 Trek 520, 99 GT Karakoram, 08 Surly 1X1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Favorites are the Brooks and Terry Fly.
MNBikeguy is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 11:25 AM
  #4  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I love my Brooks on my distance bikes, but on my CX race bike I have a Selle Italia Diva gel flow. Similar wide flat profile as my Brooks, nice cutout, good padding for soaking up the bumps and such on a chattery CX course. I have a Specialized BG Henge Comp on my MTB. It's narrower, but since I spend less time actually sitting on it than I do standing and pedaling, it's no matter. When I do put my butt on it for a while, it's comfortable. I've also used a WTB Pure V, which worked well for me up to about 50 - 60 miles at a time.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 10-16-12, 11:43 PM
  #5  
DIMcyclist
No longer active
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,002
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ariones are great as far as sport saddles go; more-or-less comfortable right off the bat, but really great when they break in a little. I have them on two bikes; I prefer them to my old Selle Italias.

That said, my Brooks & Cardiff aside, the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden was the Trek basic foam saddle that came with my first MTB. After 20-odd years it's finally wearing out, but it's still just kinda perfect.

My best friend also has one of these, similar but a little nicer than mine, topped with some kind of suede material. We assume it's leather (it certainly feels like it) but it may be some kind of durable synthetic; the foam has never hardened up or flattened out. It's also lasted really well- so far it's outlived three commuters. It wouldn't surprise me if he mounted it on a fourth.

Last edited by DIMcyclist; 10-16-12 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Grammar; punctuation.
DIMcyclist is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 06:30 AM
  #6  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,803

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
I've never found anything that's matched a Brooks...I'm riding a Berthoud for the first time and we'll see how that goes.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 08:56 AM
  #7  
sauerwald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,838

Bikes: Bianchi San Remo - set up as a utility bike, Peter Mooney Road bike, Peter Mooney commute bike,Dahon Folder,Schwinn Paramount Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I've never found anything that's matched a Brooks...I'm riding a Berthoud for the first time and we'll see how that goes.
KAS - I too am a big Brooks fan, with B-17s on my 3 bikes, but have been tempted by the Berthoud - it is soooo pretty - what are your initial impressions?
sauerwald is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 09:02 AM
  #8  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,138

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 419 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5361 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 60 Posts
No one can tell you what fits your butt well. They haven't come up with standardized shapes or sizes of butts, and they may never do so. One person's pleasant saddle is another person's torture device.

If you like Brooks and want another leather saddle, don't bother. All the other leather saddles get much worse reviews on the whole. Brooks saddles are a good value if you consider how long they last. If that doesn't matter, then they're too expensive. If you care for one, it can last 50 years or more. Plastic shell saddles with padding and a stretched cover don't last as long. However, that has nothing to do with comfort. You will find some you like, but getting recommendations from others is not likely to help, since you don't know much about their anatomy "down there" compared with yours. You might also sit differently. These are things we don't relish measuring.

I will say that I don't think there's much of a correlation between price and comfort. I've been entirely happy with $30 saddles. I think the $100 saddles which claim to be the result of advanced research or made of special materials are mostly bunk.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 09:46 AM
  #9  
DTSCDS
"Fred"--is that bad?
 
DTSCDS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: 214 Represent!
Posts: 513

Bikes: Felt f85 (11); Trek 7.3 FX (07); Schwinn Super Sport (86); Specialized Rockhopper (87)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The fine folks over at The Path Less Pedaled did a recent blog post where they noted that they switched from Brooks to Charge saddles.
They said they were about the same width and since they were so inexpensive it was worth a shot.

Trying to ask about which saddle to buy is a bit like asking "How long is a piece of string?" It's such a personal thing that there is absolutely no way of giving useful advice. About the only thing someone could do is say that one saddle is close to the same dimensions as another--is the saddle you have too wide/narrow?

It would seem a wise choice for an LBS to offer a variety of "loaner" saddles that you could rent for a week or two and try before you buy. How much money could they make charging $5-$10 for a 2 week trial period? It would seem like that would encourage people to experiment and find something more to their liking without the fear of shelling out big bucks for a new saddle that may not make things any better.
DTSCDS is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 10:14 AM
  #10  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,803

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
KAS - I too am a big Brooks fan, with B-17s on my 3 bikes, but have been tempted by the Berthoud - it is soooo pretty - what are your initial impressions?
I don't really have enough time on it to comment intelligently...it's much stiffer than a B-17...even more than a pro or Swift...and I suspect will require a LOT of break in. The shape feels good, which is a very positive sign, and I like how the rear of it tapers. I think I'm going to try a setback post with it as I felt a bit forward.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
No one can tell you what fits your butt well. They haven't come up with standardized shapes or sizes of butts, and they may never do so. One person's pleasant saddle is another person's torture device.

If you like Brooks and want another leather saddle, don't bother. All the other leather saddles get much worse reviews on the whole. Brooks saddles are a good value if you consider how long they last. If that doesn't matter, then they're too expensive. If you care for one, it can last 50 years or more. Plastic shell saddles with padding and a stretched cover don't last as long. However, that has nothing to do with comfort. You will find some you like, but getting recommendations from others is not likely to help, since you don't know much about their anatomy "down there" compared with yours. You might also sit differently. These are things we don't relish measuring.

I will say that I don't think there's much of a correlation between price and comfort. I've been entirely happy with $30 saddles. I think the $100 saddles which claim to be the result of advanced research or made of special materials are mostly bunk.
+1...asking saddle questions is sometimes a "what kind of bear is best" question. For what position? For what surface? It's all so subjective, and I agree that space age research isn't required, it;s just finding a shape that works for you. That being said, there may be some useful information - like saddle x didn't last long, or the vinyl cover isn't stitched properly.

As far as non-leather saddles, I liked the old Avocet touring saddles.

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 10-17-12 at 10:17 AM.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 12:51 PM
  #11  
tarwheel 
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,906

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I picked up a Fizik Vitesse in a trade and liked it so much that I swapped my Brooks B17s for them on several bikes. The Vitesse is similar in shape to the Fizik Aliante but wider (150 mm). The ti rail version weighs less than half as much as a B17, and it's more comfortable for me.
tarwheel is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 02:29 PM
  #12  
mconlonx 
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
Thread Starter
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,563
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6950 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 25 Posts
I know asking for a saddle preference is totally ridiculous because everyone is shaped different, but I figured if I started with "Brooks works for me" might narrow it down a bit.

Guess not...

Thanks for the suggestions!
__________________
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 02:41 PM
  #13  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,928

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6833 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 211 Times in 176 Posts
Even My steel rail Vitesse is a pretty light saddle , I Use one that I got thru Brompton ,

they got a batch order with a Rail Bend offering higher clearance, under the nose,
and so I could get a better setback than the B17 allowed , and still keep
the particular seatpost my Koga Came with, in it's OEM build.

The Brooks saddles I own stay inside, after moving to a Temperate coastal Rain Forest.

When Riding on wet tours I would often just leave the plastic bags over them ..
wearing rain-pants , the breathe-ability feature was moot.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-17-12, 11:27 PM
  #14  
DTSCDS
"Fred"--is that bad?
 
DTSCDS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: 214 Represent!
Posts: 513

Bikes: Felt f85 (11); Trek 7.3 FX (07); Schwinn Super Sport (86); Specialized Rockhopper (87)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
I know asking for a saddle preference is totally ridiculous because everyone is shaped different, but I figured if I started with "Brooks works for me" might narrow it down a bit.

Guess not...

Thanks for the suggestions!
In my earlier post I think I cam across a little snarky--I apologize.

I did the Bontrager sit-bones testing thing and then bought a saddle that was supposed to be PERFECT for my sit bone width. One 15 mile ride later and the Taint Torturer went into the parts bin. So much for being able to predict comfort/fit.

The suggestion I made earlier about the "Charge" saddles was from what I had read about them being similar in width. (Assuming the width is something you like about the Brooks.)
DTSCDS is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 12:22 AM
  #15  
erig007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: 6367 km away from the center of the Earth
Posts: 1,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm currently on a charge spoon saddle that I have imperialized. It's ok but quite hard on the butt so the pad is necessary with that saddle.
I was on a pro hub x2 before. And i must say it's night and day with this one. The charge being the worst of the two.
I am amazed with the pro hub x2 which is so comfy and adapt to any butt because the width can be changed. The only drawback and the reason why i had to change is that the pro hub x2 is better for cruise/trekking style of ride. As I wanted something faster i had no choice but to change
erig007 is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 11:28 AM
  #16  
jrickards
Senior Member
 
jrickards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sudbury, ON, CA
Posts: 2,639

Bikes: 2002 Norco Bigfoot, 2012 KHS Tempe, 1988 Bianchi Strada, 2012 Kona Sutra, 2002 Look AL 384

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The Brooks saddles I own stay inside, after moving to a Temperate coastal Rain Forest.

When Riding on wet tours I would often just leave the plastic bags over them ..
wearing rain-pants , the breathe-ability feature was moot.
Do I infer that Brooks saddles should be kept out of the wet as a general rule?
jrickards is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 12:16 PM
  #17  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've ridden Brooks saddles for years, but now I only ride Selle An-Atomica saddles (in fact, I own three of them). Not cheap, but cheaper than the hundreds of dollars I spent experimenting with other saddles (and the comfort is priceless).
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 12:24 PM
  #18  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,138

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 419 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5361 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Do I infer that Brooks saddles should be kept out of the wet as a general rule?
Yes, that's correct.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 01:23 PM
  #19  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,803

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
I've ridden Brooks saddles for years, but now I only ride Selle An-Atomica saddles (in fact, I own three of them). Not cheap, but cheaper than the hundreds of dollars I spent experimenting with other saddles (and the comfort is priceless).
The Selle An-Anatomica was, for me, the single least comfortable saddle I've ever tried. I also thought it seemed like a total hammock compared to Brooks and the leather was much thinner. I'd be surprised if they last as long from what I saw.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 04:20 PM
  #20  
mconlonx 
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
Thread Starter
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,563
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6950 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by DTSCDS View Post
In my earlier post I think I cam across a little snarky--I apologize.

I did the Bontrager sit-bones testing thing and then bought a saddle that was supposed to be PERFECT for my sit bone width. One 15 mile ride later and the Taint Torturer went into the parts bin. So much for being able to predict comfort/fit.

The suggestion I made earlier about the "Charge" saddles was from what I had read about them being similar in width. (Assuming the width is something you like about the Brooks.)
Snarkiness is always welcome!

We have the Bontrager Ass-Meter in our shop... None of the Bontrager performance saddles (Affinity, Evoke) seem to work for me, but the ass-sizer helped me nail down a Brooks Team Pro as the correct width I was looking for.
__________________
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 08:10 PM
  #21  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
The Selle An-Anatomica was, for me, the single least comfortable saddle I've ever tried. I also thought it seemed like a total hammock compared to Brooks and the leather was much thinner. I'd be surprised if they last as long from what I saw.
The hammock-like feel is actually intentional. I like the width and flat top of Brooks' B17, but the stiff mid-section and nose just don't work for me.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 10-18-12, 08:13 PM
  #22  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,995

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
The hammock-like feel is actually intentional. I like the width and flat top of Brooks' B17, but the stiff mid-section and nose just don't work for me.
Same for me....
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 10-19-12, 05:00 AM
  #23  
Banzai
Jet Jockey
 
Banzai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 4,851

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame bike, Bike Friday Haul-a-Day, Surly Pugsley.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 327 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
The only synthetic saddle I've found that I like as much as a Brooks is the Concor Light. I now run a Concor Light on my race/roadie, (though sometimes a B17N...very similar shapes under the posterior), and a B17 on my cross/commuter.

Opinions on the web about the Concor Light saddle seem to be about as polarized as they are for Brooks.
__________________
Good night...and good luck
Banzai is offline  
Old 10-19-12, 05:12 AM
  #24  
Phil_gretz
Journeyman Bike Commuter
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 5,028

Bikes: '71 Jeunet 630, '79 Peugeot PXN10LE, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 566 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 47 Posts
I'm pretty comfortable on a range of saddles, but find that the hard leather hammock style is best for me. I've ridden Ideale for many years in the 70s and 80s, and now use 70's vintage Fujita Belt saddles on my steel utility and racing bikes. I have a Cardiff Cornwall on my tourer, and it's a reasonable facsimile of a B17 - okay for comfort, but is cheaply made. The carbon racer sports an E3 Form, which works well for me (being light and narrow). Never owned a Brooks, but I'd like to try one someday...

That said, this discussion thread seems something like this...

"I know my supermodel girlfriend is both devoted and beautiful, but I'm wondering if I might want to meet some of the women at the bingo hall for a change."

or

"I really like my Lamborghini for long drives up the California coast, but was wondering whether I should try something down at the Kia dealership instead... "

Ride the Brooks, unless there is some practical reason why you can't. My two cents.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 10-19-12 at 05:15 AM. Reason: trying to make sense of it
Phil_gretz is offline  
Old 10-22-12, 02:33 PM
  #25  
DIMcyclist
No longer active
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,002
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
No one can tell you what fits your butt well. They haven't come up with standardized shapes or sizes of butts, and they may never do so.
VERRRRY good point.

I hope the day never comes when day butts are decanted from a vat onto a conveyor belt, then stamped "Produit de Fr./ Examiner #5."
DIMcyclist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.