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Are Brooks Saddles Really All That Great?

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Are Brooks Saddles Really All That Great?

Old 10-06-17, 10:08 AM
  #1  
one4smoke
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Are Brooks Saddles Really All That Great?

...or are they just a status quo kinda thing?

If they are as good as most say, what makes them so preferable?

Quality? If so, why are they better? Workmanship? Materials?
Leather? Why don't all the major bike companies make leather saddles then?

Seems to me the rivets would be uncomfortable, but I don't know.

Whenever I go to their site to check them out, seems like I'm in an equestrian site. LOL
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Old 10-06-17, 10:20 AM
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I have a few; they're ok for me. If you have a local shop that stocks Cambium demo models;
you can give them a try. One other note; their traditional leather line up requires a break-in
period.
BROOKS C17 LOANER FROM BFOLD by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 10-06-17, 10:41 AM
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Can't speak for Brooks specifically but another similar camp is the Selle Anatomica. I just got one and after 170 miles so far, I'm happy as a pig in mud. More correctly, my butt is happy. For me, not in any way a "status" thing. In fact, I think it looks like something from the 1800's and don't particularly like the looks on my bike. I liked my sleek slender Selle Italia I've ridden the past two years. But looks be dang when comfort is a necessity. Don't know what changed with my anatomy these past two years, but the Anatomica is DaBomb! I have no doubt the Brooks is the same, I just have no experience with the Brooks.

And no, the rivets are a non-issue
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Old 10-06-17, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
...

If they are as good as most say, what makes them so preferable?

..L
This is a matter of your butt and your riding style. For many people they are the cat's meow. For some of us, they are torture. I had a Japanese Brookes Pro copy (and a high quality seat) on one bike. When that bike got stolen and I had to settle for a used, beat up Selle Italia made, Peugeot labled seat, I got reminded that the thief did me a favor every time I sat on it. I have always slid forward the the nose of my seats going hard and pushed all the way back for seated power climbing. Both positions put me on rivets and un-padded steel. I can and do ride the entire length of the seats I like.

Ben
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Old 10-06-17, 10:57 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
...or are they just a status quo kinda thing?

Status quo? I think you mean status symbol.


BTW...This has been discussed ad nauseam. Here is the latest espisode:


Brooks not as good as everyone said
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Old 10-06-17, 10:57 AM
  #6  
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Leather saddles aren't for everybody, but if they are for you, nothing else feels quite as nice. I am now 5 1/2 seasons on a Brooks B17 and very satisfied.
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Old 10-06-17, 10:58 AM
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When the Italian Corporation bought the British company they added more leather colors, a Fashion Choice , that apparently worked

to increase the sales numbers , and then ramped up the production volume, to sell in a lot more places, to have them in stock, in shops .


if you're counting , my Brooks Team Pro is now over 40 years old. It has been used on several multi month bike tours..





....
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Old 10-06-17, 10:58 AM
  #8  
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Like every other saddle, only you can determine that, they may or may not work for your body and riding style. People that love them love them, people that hate them hate them. I have another style I love, so I've never personally used one, but they aren't magic that works for everyone. There is a thread in the Touring forum right now about someone who found that out on their own.
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Old 10-06-17, 11:13 AM
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I've got a B17. It's okay, but nothing any more special than any of the other saddles I have on my bikes.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:03 PM
  #10  
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I tried a B17 for about 1,000 miles but went back to the Selle Italia SLR Superflow. Brooks just wasn't for me, that doesn't mean it's not for you or anyone else. Some Brooks people are fanatical about the saddle. Some Fizik people are fanatical about their saddles too.


Saddles are way to personal for their to be "the one" for everyone.


Try out as many as you like, or stay with the one you like now.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:08 PM
  #11  
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You don't sit on the rivets.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:10 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
You don't sit on the rivets.
If you find your self doing so you need a seatpost with more set back..





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Old 10-06-17, 12:13 PM
  #13  
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This should be a sticky thread, along with waving and Lycra.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:14 PM
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I found myself sitting on the rivets at both ends. That to be "comfortable" I had to let the saddle dictate to me where I should be sitting, not my legs. (Maybe I just needed a seatpost with variable setback that adjusted while riding. But a rivet free seat I could use all of is just a much simpler solution.)

Ben
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Old 10-06-17, 12:18 PM
  #15  
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Note how Berthoud relocated the fasteners that attach the leather to the saddle frame..
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Old 10-06-17, 12:21 PM
  #16  
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Brooks saddles are good, but they're not for everybody. I like them, and have several. My wife doesn't like them. Whatever. The only way to find out is to try one.

Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
If they are as good as most say, what makes them so preferable?
For me, they have been comfortable from the start. Some people find they need a break-in period before they're comfortable, but that hasn't been the case for me. I have four Brooks "Professional" saddles, two B-66 saddles and a B-17 saddle. And they can last for decades. My oldest one dates to 1967; the newest to the early 2000s.

Quality? If so, why are they better? Workmanship? Materials?
Like most companies, Brooks offers a range of products. In general, the higher price models use thicker leather and may have frills like big copper rivets, titanium rails, etc.

Leather? Why don't all the major bike companies make leather saddles then?
Leather saddles like Brooks' are heavier than plastic or leather covered plastic saddles, and much heavier than the carbon fiber shingles that are popular on modern high end bikes. They need routine care and protection from inclement weather. And they're no longer found on professional racers' bikes, so they're only fashionable for a niche crowd.

Seems to me the rivets would be uncomfortable, but I don't know.
No, the rivets are flush or below the surface of the leather and not in the area where the majority of your weight rests, so you don't even notice them.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:25 PM
  #17  
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it's only $100. try one & see for yourself. if you don't like it, sell it

I messed around w bunches of saddles for years & heard / read about ppl & their Brooks. eventually got one & love it. could have actually saved money by not trying the others & going straight to the Brooks!



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Old 10-06-17, 12:33 PM
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As noted in the above posts, any saddle is a personal choice based on you riding style, sit bones, tolerance, etc. I've been riding on a Japanese Brooks-clone (Fujita Belt saddle on my '75 Fuji S-10S) for over 40+ years and 50,000+ miles... Once the saddle and my bottom come to an agreement every spring, we are good to ride a few thousand miles.
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Old 10-06-17, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
...or are they just a status quo kinda thing?

If they are as good as most say, what makes them so preferable?

Quality? If so, why are they better? Workmanship? Materials?
Leather? Why don't all the major bike companies make leather saddles then?

Seems to me the rivets would be uncomfortable, but I don't know.

Whenever I go to their site to check them out, seems like I'm in an equestrian site. LOL
Yes! They are that great!

I'm an endurance rider that loves gravel centuries (& longer), my B-17 is my favorite saddle for all day comfort! The B-17 gives support where I need it and no pressure where I don't want it. For rainy days, the C-17 is the next best thing. When I need a new saddle, it will always be a Brooks.

IMG_20160514_084233522_HDR.jpg
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Old 10-06-17, 12:50 PM
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A well made leather saddle lasts a lot longer than the other kinds, so it can work out to be a good value. If you buy one and don't like it, you can sell it at a small loss, and if you get lucky, there won't be a loss at all.
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Old 10-06-17, 01:44 PM
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I got a B17 about a month ago. Jury is still out, but trending negative. Starting to regret it...
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Old 10-06-17, 01:49 PM
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I recently found Amazon selling a black B17 for $76 and free shipping, couldn't pass up that deal!
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Old 10-06-17, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
If they are as good as most say, what makes them so preferable?
Tensioned leather saddles have a surface that's very firm, but can flex by a significant amount overall. So they don't need padding to avoid being harsh. This can avoid putting pressure on stuff other than your bones, and many people find that they chafe less on the smooth slippery surface; they also breathe well on hot days.

The main drawback is that, because they're a piece of leather attached to a wide rail in back and tensioned onto a bolt in front, they're hard to make arbitrary shapes out of. And because they're so firm, you need the shape to match your sitbones and postures. I have a Brooks Swift on one bike, and while it rides very well, I basically can't roll forward into super-aggressive postures while riding it because the nose is far too narrow.
There's also a period of acclimation that your sit bones might need to go through if they're used to squishier surfaces.

Leather? Why don't all the major bike companies make leather saddles then?
In addition to the drawbacks above:
-Tensioned leather saddles tend to be fairly expensive to make.
-The leather surface can deform easily if they're stressed when wet, so care has to be taken with use in the rain.
-Tensioned leather saddles (or tensioned anything saddles made in a similar way, like the Cambium line) tend to be fairly heavy.

Seems to me the rivets would be uncomfortable, but I don't know.
The rivets themselves aren't an issue. They're on the back rim of the saddle, which isn't where your weight should tend to be.
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Old 10-06-17, 06:34 PM
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I've been riding Brooks B17s exclusively for over a decade. I have no reason or desire to try anything else. Your bum may disagree but you won't know until you give one a good, honest try.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
I got a B17 about a month ago. Jury is still out, but trending negative. Starting to regret it...

What about it isn't working for you?
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