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Brooks saddle B-17 vs Proffesional

Old 02-11-06, 08:22 PM
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rsw
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Brooks saddle B-17 vs Proffesional

Looking for someone who maybe has had experienxce on both of theses saddle. I have a professional that I have had for a year, on my touring bike, it is "broken in" and feels great.

I am now getting a third bike and am thinking of getting the B-17, only becouae it is half the price. The ony difference I can see between the two is the length of the nose.

so . . . has anyone ridden on both and have any recommendations?
 
Old 02-11-06, 08:48 PM
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I have both - and I love them both, but would say even after they're broken in that I think I'd prefer to tour on the B17 rather than the Pro. The Pro seems to be made of a harder leather. The B17 Narrow is more like the Pro, but the B17 (Regular) is slightly wider, and so would be more appropriate for touring. The B17 has saddle-bag loops, something missing on the Pro - so that might be an issue if you're thinking of using a traditional bag.

Brooks saddles are very comfortable - I love all of mine - I have a B17 Champion Narrow (bought in 1970), two Pros, a B17 (Honey with Copper Rails) and a Conquest which is on my MTB. When I ride on the 35 year old B17CN, it's like being in an armchair.

I hope this helps -

- Wil
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Old 02-12-06, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wil Davis
I have both - and I love them both, but would say even after they're broken in that I think I'd prefer to tour on the B17 rather than the Pro. The Pro seems to be made of a harder leather. The B17 Narrow is more like the Pro, but the B17 (Regular) is slightly wider, and so would be more appropriate for touring. The B17 has saddle-bag loops, something missing on the Pro - so that might be an issue if you're thinking of using a traditional bag.

Brooks saddles are very comfortable - I love all of mine - I have a B17 Champion Narrow (bought in 1970), two Pros, a B17 (Honey with Copper Rails) and a Conquest which is on my MTB. When I ride on the 35 year old B17CN, it's like being in an armchair.

I hope this helps -

- Wil
I'd have to disagree about the Pro being like the B17 narrow. It is slightly narrower than the standard B17 but it's also wider than the B17N. I have a couple of Pros and several B17N and I can really tell the difference. The Pro also flare more at the back of the saddle than the B17N. I don't like the flare so the Pro gets little use.

I will agree about the leather being thinner on the B17's however. The B17N's I have are comfortable right out of the box while the Pro has a taken some time to get broken in.
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Old 02-12-06, 10:02 AM
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I have both a pro and a b17 champion special. I intially had the b17 on a bike where I have the bars about an inch and a half below the saddle. With that setup I had some problems. I put a Pro on that bike and it worked much better. I then moved the B17 to a bike where the bars are level with the saddle and it works great there.

The rear of the B17 is wider then the pro and the nose on the pro is also a little thinner and not quite as flat. I did find the leather on the Pro harder. It was not as comfortable out of the box but once broken in, it was fine.
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Old 02-12-06, 10:41 AM
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Although according to Bill Laine at Wallingford bikes and Brooks, I swear
I've seen something about Pro's having a different cut of leather than the B17,
Not necessarily thicker but stiffer.
The B17 is wider at the back, the length is the same on all of them 280mm
the B17 is 170mm wide, the Pro is 160mm and the B17n is 152mm.

I have both, the B17 is my preferred saddle for being more upright.
The Pro is much better suited to riding in the drops.
I could never quite find the sweet spot on the pro, after at least a year, probably
longer I removed it in favor of a Fizik Aliante.

Marty
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Old 02-12-06, 08:14 PM
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Thanks to all for all your input.
I think I'll try the B-17 and see how it feels. WallBIke has a moneyback guarantee.

Interestingly, its the Fizik Aliante that I have on my TREK road bike and I have loved it since day one. Very comfortable. This B-17 will go on a new bike Friday I have ordered, so I guess I'll see how it feels. (I like the idea of the B-17 fitting somewhat right out of the box. It took me about 750 miles before the Pro felt "like a favorite old armchair.)!
 
Old 02-12-06, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lotek
I swear
I've seen something about Pro's having a different cut of leather than the B17,
Not necessarily thicker but stiffer.

Marty

I recall reading somewhere that the pro saddle is made from the center back of the cow. Only one or two saddles can be had from that area of hide so that's reserved for the pro model. Its supposed to naturally thicker, stiffer and since its the center of the hide its more symmetrical.
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Old 02-13-06, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cabaray
I recall reading somewhere that the pro saddle is made from the center back of the cow. Only one or two saddles can be had from that area of hide so that's reserved for the pro model. Its supposed to naturally thicker, stiffer and since its the center of the hide its more symmetrical.
Yep...you're right... and if you live in the UK you get to choose your own cow.
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Old 02-13-06, 09:02 AM
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I asked Bill Laine about it and got the following
response:
People at Brooks have sworn to me that they do not use different
leather for different saddle models. This is from two different
administrations at Brooks.

They specify leather that is 4-5mm thick from their supplier. So one
saddle could be a little thicker than another but it is not model
specific, it's random.

The Team Pro has a shape that has more compound curves and the skirts
are vertical. This makes for a rigid saddle. The B.17 has a wide flat
seat that gives more. I think this is why people think the Pro has
thicker leather. Kind of like sitting on the hood of a car and
sitting on the fender.
If anyone would know it should be him.
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Old 02-13-06, 03:24 PM
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I have both, B17's on the Cannondale and the Bianchi, and the Team Pro on the Motobecane. (we won't go into putting a heavyish saddle on that light of a bike) I find that the B17 broke in a bit quicker and seemed a bit more 'flexy' out of the box. The Team Pro was thicker and more rigid, but after putting it on and riding on the trainer for a couple of weeks it started to fit nicely. The 17's are more suited for an upright touring / brevet / recreational riding posture, while the team pro is better on the drops as has been posted.

The Team Pro is most comfortable for me with a very slight nose up, and the B17's seem to like being level. Your personal preference may vary. As for weight, I'm small-average I guess, 5'8", 150 pounds or so right now. (usually drop a few during the summer). An extra 200 grams in the saddle really doesn't matter to me compared to the comfort, and the occasional complement from those who know quality.

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Old 02-13-06, 03:54 PM
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What does the term "more upright riding" mean? Does that mean you handlebars are higher than your seat?

Does anyone have their B-17 on a bike where your handle bar are 1 - 2" lower than saddle height?
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Old 02-13-06, 06:24 PM
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Have 'em both, like 'em both, both comfy enough I don't notice the difference.

For the Record:

Brooks Pro: 1967, 1972, and 1973 PX10s

Brooks B17: Peugeot PFN10e and Austro Daimler Vent Noir II

Also have a b15, a Wrights, an Ideale, and a couple b72s. Oh, and a butchered Adga, prolly my fave.

They're all pretty worn in.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by lotek
People at Brooks have sworn to me that they do not use different
leather for different saddle models. This is from two different
administrations at Brooks.
Gosh I'm disappointed. I had envisioned a wise old leather grader who selected the premium bits and pieces and put them aside for different saddles. Kind of like a woodworker selecting boards for their characteristics. So this makes me wonder why I paid so much more for my Pro? It must be those fancy copper rivets.
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Old 02-14-06, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lotek
I asked Bill Laine about it and got the following
response:


If anyone would know it should be him.
Sevaral years ago, before Brooks was bought by Selle, I bought two Team Pro saddles and wondered why one broke-in reasonably quickly while the other never made it after 3 years. On measuring the thickness of the leather I found that the reluctant one was twice as thick as the other. I think quality control has improved since then.
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Old 02-14-06, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Cadd
What does the term "more upright riding" mean? Does that mean you handlebars are higher than your seat?

Does anyone have their B-17 on a bike where your handle bar are 1 - 2" lower than saddle height?
I have raised my bars to where they are about 1" below the saddle and that seems to have made all the difference in the world. When the bars were lower, I couldn't get comfortable on the B-17.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:36 AM
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Another thing to consider if you're going with the standard B-17 is the pre-aged model. Wish I could tell you more about it but I've only had it long enough to darken the brown-colored leather with a single treatment of mink oil yesterday.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I will agree about the leather being thinner on the B17's however. The B17N's I have are comfortable right out of the box while the Pro has a taken some time to get broken in.
I just rec'd my B-17 in the mail today. First impression: "Hey, it's not that heavy".

2nd impression: "Holy $hit! This thing is hard like a rock! I swear, if I were to hit someone over the head with this thing, it's like getting hit with dumbells!" This thing is rock hard!

Now, I can't imagine how hard the Pro is right out of the box.

Time for me to pop that sucker on and go riding!
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