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New cyclist. 120mm sit bones. Which Brooks saddle should I buy?

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New cyclist. 120mm sit bones. Which Brooks saddle should I buy?

Old 02-22-19, 09:17 PM
  #1  
kyle01
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New cyclist. 120mm sit bones. Which Brooks saddle should I buy?

Hi, everyone,

I am new to the forum here and want to get into cycling. I will mainly be riding on paved rails-to-trails routes. I talked to an experienced cyclist about what type of seat to buy, and he told me that I needed to measure my sit bones. I measured them and they are 120mm (5 inches) apart. I would like to buy a Brooks saddle because of the great things I have heard about them. Which saddle should I buy? The B17 is the most popular. Does that make it the best? Should I get the narrow one based on my sit bones? Is the Brooks Flyer better because of its shock absorption? I will be riding an old Raleigh Grand Prix from the early 1970s if that helps.

Thanks,
Kyle
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Old 02-23-19, 01:08 AM
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Hi Kyle,

Welcome to the Bike Forums! Can't go wrong with Brooks. Recognizing this is not the "For Sale" forum and, since you're a Newbie and may not know about Personal Messages...
As it turns out I have a brand new Books Flyer in black I'm not using, in its original box.
Let me know if you have an interest.

Last edited by DrDyno; 02-23-19 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 02-23-19, 06:55 AM
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Thank you for the offer! Let me think about that. Do you think that a Flyer would fit my 120mm sit bones? It has a 175mm width. Is that too wide? I heard someone say that you should only add 25-30mm to your sit bone width to buy a seat. Is that true?
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Old 02-23-19, 08:08 AM
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Unfortunately, finding the right saddle isn't a digital process - more of a hunt and peck thing."The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

$80.00 shipped for that saddle BTW is a killer deal.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:12 AM
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Buying a saddle is always risky if you cannot try it out. One general rule is the more upright the riding position the wider the saddle, the more bent over the narrower. If there is any way to try some different saddles try them out. I would think $80 for that saddle is a steal if it is fairly unworn, but if it doesn't fit it isn't worth it. Kinda like buying shoes without trying them on. Great if you have worn out a good fitting shoe and can just buy new, but otherwise not so much.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
Buying a saddle is always risky if you cannot try it out. One general rule is the more upright the riding position the wider the saddle, the more bent over the narrower. If there is any way to try some different saddles try them out. I would think $80 for that saddle is a steal if it is fairly unworn, but if it doesn't fit it isn't worth it.
Good advice from 12boy! I originally bought the Brooks Flyer for my commuter. What I didn't realize was at my weight of 158# it would take many, many miles to break it in and I ride that bike too infrequently to ever get comfortable.

Regardless what your sit bone distance is and what saddle you choose, your bum is going to have to "get used to it." It took me five saddles to finally choose a Kontact Saddle for my primary road bike. Even so, getting fully used to it took several hundred miles. Today, months later, my saddle no longer determines the length of my ride. I would guess most riders have similar experiences. Point is... your first saddle will, most likely, not be your last saddle.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:01 PM
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Although I do like Brooks, I live my Rivet saddles better.

Leather saddles are a bit different size wise than regular saddles. They look bigger because the outer frame acts like the ends of a hammock. One of the key features is that they have a tension adjustment which allows you to get right to the sweet spot.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:12 PM
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I'm happy with my (non-Brooks) noseless saddle.
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Old 02-23-19, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Unfortunately, finding the right saddle isn't a digital process - more of a hunt and peck thing."The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

$80.00 shipped for that saddle BTW is a killer deal.
Thanks for the offer, but I think that I will get the tried and true B17 instead.
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Old 02-23-19, 04:21 PM
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You can't go wrong the tried and true Brooks 17. Very popular saddle for touring. I have the 17 on my bikes. After a break in period where the leather mates to your bum it is very comfortable. Get some Proofhide dressing and rub it in to the leather when it is new. It is a preservative plus it accelerates the period of time where the leather conforms to your bum.
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Old 02-23-19, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
You can't go wrong the tried and true Brooks 17. Very popular saddle for touring. I have the 17 on my bikes. After a break in period where the leather mates to your bum it is very comfortable. Get some Proofhide dressing and rub it in to the leather when it is new. It is a preservative plus it accelerates the period of time where the leather conforms to your bum.
Well, you can. If your sit bones are narrow and you have big thighs, the wide saddle can interfere with the circulation to your legs. The regular-width B17 on my fixed-gear is only tolerable because I frequently get out of the saddle to start, accelerate, and climb. Brooks 17 Narrows are fantastic though!

The good news is that you can usually find a taker if a particular Brooks model doesn't work out for you.
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Old 02-23-19, 07:12 PM
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B-17 = not my saddle. I have tried. I go narrower and with a cutout.

New poster provided only sitbone width, so without knowing other things, any recommendation isn't worth much.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Well, you can. If your sit bones are narrow and you have big thighs, the wide saddle can interfere with the circulation to your legs. The regular-width B17 on my fixed-gear is only tolerable because I frequently get out of the saddle to start, accelerate, and climb. Brooks 17 Narrows are fantastic though!

The good news is that you can usually find a taker if a particular Brooks model doesn't work out for you.


Good point ! kyle01 might want to check both the regular and the narrower Brooks against his sit bones measurement before buying one.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:50 PM
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Note that the B17S (a lady's version) is very slightly wider (1mm I think) with a shorter nose. I'm a guy but got the S version.

For about 300 to 400 miles the thing was like sitting on a flat rock. Once it was broken in I found I didn't need to wear padded shorts/underwear anymore. But like everyone always says, saddles are personal preference so YMMV.
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Old 02-24-19, 12:51 AM
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As others have mentioned, you may want to consider the B17 Narrow
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Old 02-24-19, 02:56 AM
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In my experience saddles are so personal that you have to try and see what fits
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Old 02-24-19, 10:46 AM
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You lean at 60 degrees, bars & saddle @ same height ?, Brooks chart suggest the 17 in B or C.. Or your unisex width generically..

And Sit, bolt upright ? go wider (19)., .45 degrees or less, down on the drops , go fast, get one narrower .. (15, 13)

B17 narrow , back rivet plate flatter , team pro its curved,..








....

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Old 02-24-19, 12:49 PM
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Kyle01, if the B17 does not work out due to sit bone pressure issues, take a serious look at Terry saddles. They were never on my radar until two years ago when my daughter was complaining about sit bone pressure issues. A customer that rides a stupid huge amount of miles told me about her sit bone pressure issue being solved by the Century saddle so I got my daughter one. From day one it was perfect.
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Old 02-24-19, 02:27 PM
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If you buy a saddle, no matter who makes it, just because you heard it was popular, you may be tossing your money out the window and putting up with a lot of pain while doing so. I bought a B17, about eight years ago, for the same reason you are wanting to buy one. After 6 months, it nearly ended my cycling because no matter what I did, any ride over 25 miles turned into a very painful event. It took trying out several different saddles before I finally found the right one for me. After I found the right saddle, I boasted to all my cycling friends about great and wonderful it is and and a couple of them went and bought one. I ended up buying the saddle (as a backup) from one of them because, just like the experience I had with the B17, they could not get comfortable on that saddle. My advice to you would be to "Try before you buy!"
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Old 02-24-19, 07:32 PM
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I have never bought a new leather Brooks saddle. I have bought a few used so I could try them out, and I found that the B17 works nicely (for *me*) when I have a semi-uprupight riding position. It does not work on a bike with a racier position, for which I fit best on a narrower seat. And on a fully upright bike, a big fat B68 works best. My suggestion is that you look for used saddles in decent shape, and try them out. If they do not work well for you, you can resell them.
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Old 02-24-19, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
B-17 = not my saddle. I have tried. I go narrower and with a cutout.

New poster provided only sitbone width, so without knowing other things, any recommendation isn't worth much.
What kind of information is helpful? I am 6' 1", 155 lbs. if that helps.

Last edited by kyle01; 02-24-19 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 02-24-19, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kyle01 View Post
What kind of information is helpful? I am 6' 1", 155 lbs. if that helps.
What is your riding position? Upright, 45 degree angle on back, ride In aero position?

Weight definitely helps - at 155 it may take some time to break-in a B17. Maybe a pre-softened model?
Selle Anatomica offers models with recommended rider weight ranges?

Should this saddle be waterproof for wet rides?

Have you tried any more 'modern' saddles?
Cut-outs, center relief groove, split saddle, etc.

Do you anticipate a different riding style as you ride more?

B17 generally considered a touring type saddle.

Saddles are so personal, expect to try more than one in your early cycling years.

Good luck.
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Old 02-25-19, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
What is your riding position? Upright, 45 degree angle on back, ride In aero position?

Weight definitely helps - at 155 it may take some time to break-in a B17. Maybe a pre-softened model?
Selle Anatomica offers models with recommended rider weight ranges?

Should this saddle be waterproof for wet rides?

Have you tried any more 'modern' saddles?
Cut-outs, center relief groove, split saddle, etc.

Do you anticipate a different riding style as you ride more?

B17 generally considered a touring type saddle.

Saddles are so personal, expect to try more than one in your early cycling years.

Good luck.
Thanks for the advice, everyone! It is quite helpful. I am looking into the Selle Anatomica now because it is supposedly comfortable out of the box.
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Old 02-25-19, 08:18 PM
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Here is a Gyes, recently bought on eeekk-bay. An ‘upgraded’ model, ~$75.
Only a hundred or so miles, stiff - but with some compliance at the cutout already. For a lightweight rider maybe the lesser expensive Gyes would be best. I weight 190 lbs. I’m a believer in cutouts for new saddles but ride many vintage leather saddles comfortably - up to 50-ish mile rides mostly.


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Old 02-26-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kyle01 View Post
Thanks for the advice, everyone! It is quite helpful. I am looking into the Selle Anatomica now because it is supposedly comfortable out of the box.
I bought one and loved it. A friend also bought one. He is smaller than I am and had rails bend on him. Might want to look into whether or not they fixed the problem.
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