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Brooks Leather Question

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Brooks Leather Question

Old 11-02-18, 11:39 AM
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Brooks Leather Question

i'm putting together my dream bike and think that brooks is the way to go. it'll be a racing geometry waterford, with record and 45MM deep rims (don't need to give ALL the details, but you can kind of envision the set up).

anyway - its hard for me to tell which brooks saddle goes with this bike? i don't want one of those giant spring commuter versions, but something close to what a fast racing saddle would be. do the BF crowd know which model i should shoot for?

thanks!
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Old 11-02-18, 11:44 AM
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Not doubting you by asking this, but why do you think Brooks is the way to go? If you think that, then you have a model in mind- go with that one.
In general, start with a B17 and go from there. Brooks sells wider and narrower saddles, depending on fit and riding style(bars above or below saddle).

If you are going for a modern steel road bike, perhaps a Brooks Cambium is best. C17 is the same effective width as the B17 and again, go wider or narrower as needed. They have cut out or regular too. Even have carbon rail models to save weight.
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Old 11-02-18, 11:51 AM
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Swift
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Old 11-02-18, 12:02 PM
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Take a look at the Swallow and Swift models. The Swallow is very sleek and low profile sports cycling saddle. The Swift is also pitched as a racing saddle, I have a Swift on a vintage steel framed bike and it was comfy straight out of the box, and definitely looks the part.
You should also consider how you like to ride. Swallows and Swifts are more for low racing styles, the B17 a more commuting/touring upright position, and the Team Pro somewhere in the middle. I like to ride more Eddie/French fit over longer distances so use a Team Pro on my main bike.
Take a look at the Brooks England website for more info, and do some google image searches... there’s some beautiful looking Racing bikes with Brooks saddles out there.
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Old 11-02-18, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Not doubting you by asking this, but why do you think Brooks is the way to go? If you think that, then you have a model in mind- go with that one.
In general, start with a B17 and go from there. Brooks sells wider and narrower saddles, depending on fit and riding style(bars above or below saddle).

If you are going for a modern steel road bike, perhaps a Brooks Cambium is best. C17 is the same effective width as the B17 and again, go wider or narrower as needed. They have cut out or regular too. Even have carbon rail models to save weight.

looked at the cambiums, but just like the classic leather look/feel. never had one, but always wanted one (really the main reason i'm thinking of a brooks). are there others in that arena that i should consider? possibly an american made company?
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Old 11-02-18, 02:26 PM
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The boat anchor saddle. I've always wondered why they became popular again. I know by the 1980's nobody was riding them anymore.
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Old 11-02-18, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
looked at the cambiums, but just like the classic leather look/feel. never had one, but always wanted one (really the main reason i'm thinking of a brooks). are there others in that arena that i should consider? possibly an american made company?
I definitely wouldn't commit to riding a Brooks leather saddle without knowing beforehand what you like in them. Tensioned leather saddles feel very different from modern shaped saddles, and the butt can be very particular about them...

They have a hard and smooth surface, allowing the legs to glide nicely across them. They also breathe very well. Between these two properties, leather saddles can perform very well in preventing/minimizing chafing, especially for hot-weather riding.
Also, although the surface is hard, the hammock effect of the saddle provides good suspension. So as long as the region of sitbones that you're sitting on are happy to sit on a hard surface, they can ride quite plush as well.

However.

The fact that the surface is hard means that you have to find a seated position on the saddle that your butt really likes. Playing around with saddle tilt and fore-aft can usually produce at least one decent sit position out of a leather saddle, but it's a weird art. And leather saddles - despite physically having a nose rivet - are usually not nice to ride on the rivet; the narrow bones toward the front of the pelvis usually prefer a blunt cushioned surface, and the noses of Brooks saddles are not this.
The upshot of all this is that a leather saddle that doesn't fit you well can be very bad, and if you're someone whose riding style involves significantly changing your position on the saddle as you switch between different postures, leather saddles in general might not work very well for you. I have a Brook's Swift that I find amazingly comfortable when I'm cruising around, but if I'm doing spirited riding where I'm occasionally getting really aero, it can become a torture implement.

I do think that you should try a leather saddle to see how you get on with it. And if you initially deal with sitbone soreness from the surface hardness, you should give it a few rides to see if the tissues around your sitbones acclimate. But don't stick with the saddle over the long term if it isn't working.
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Old 11-02-18, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
+1...The most beautiul Brooks, IMO. The only Brooks that's comfortable to me is the B17, the Swift just didn't work for me. But it sure is pretty.
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Old 11-02-18, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
looked at the cambiums, but just like the classic leather look/feel. never had one, but always wanted one (really the main reason i'm thinking of a brooks). are there others in that arena that i should consider? possibly an american made company?
Selle Anatomica are leather saddles made in California. I love mine and wouldn’t consider anything else for future bikes.
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Old 11-02-18, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The boat anchor saddle. I've always wondered why they became popular again. I know by the 1980's nobody was riding them anymore.
I've tried a lot of different saddles over the years but my Brooks B17 is the one I never problems with. I have a Specialized Romin that I really enjoy too and have done many long distance rides with it but the comfort sweet spot feels smaller than on the B17. I don't care about the weight one bit if it means I can ride without any crotch pain.
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Old 11-02-18, 06:51 PM
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Maybe the Swallow. I have a Ti version on a road bike and it is pretty comfortable. Dream saddle though, not so much.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/06...g?v=1525902037
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Old 11-02-18, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The boat anchor saddle. I've always wondered why they became popular again. I know by the 1980's nobody was riding them anymore.
I'm guessing they became popular again due to people liking them.
cap'n obvious and all.

they arent for everyone, just like 125mm add hatchet road saddles arent for everyone.

some have brooks saddles because they like the traditional look.
some have brooks saddles because they read good reviews for specific use- touring bikes, for example.
some have brooks saddles because after trying many saddles, the brooks fits best.

those are the same reasons for someone to get any saddle, really.

I have 2 b17 saddles, 1 on a touring bike and 1 on an 80s singlespeed mtb. The touring bike has one because its extremely comfortable. The single speed has one because i needed a saddle for it and a b17 was laying around.

A road bike and my gravel bike have c17 saddles. I would outfit all my other biles with c17 saddles if I had half a grand lying around to spend on saddles as it fits better than any saddle ive tried.

seems like good reasons to use brooks saddles.
admittedly- if I found a different saddle thats 280-285mm long and 160-165mm wide, I would absolutely try it out. It's hardly a brooks specific like for me, they just happen to have a couple saddles with an effective width that works for me.
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Old 11-02-18, 10:21 PM
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I sort of like the idea of Brooks but can get comfortable on any number of other saddles that are cheaper and several hundred grams lighter.
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Old 11-02-18, 11:38 PM
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Brooks goes with box section rims-

something's got to go.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Brooks goes with box section rims-

something's got to go.
Yeah,
I giggled when I read the OP wanted to build a Waterford bike with Brooks with deep section carbon wheels.
No accounting for taste woodcraft.

I grew up riding Brooks saddles. To me Brooks saddles are antithetical to riding in the drops and a better mousetrap for aggressive riding in particular has been invented ergo the modern saddle.
But Brooks kind of goes with Waterford...but not with deep carbon wheels. Open pros or another more period correct box section wheel as you say would be more in the theme of this bike.

Lastly, my take on the vintage bike thing and reliving the past is...I can see buying a vintage Waterford complete bike with all the period correct accessories for nostalgia. Many have them hanging over the fireplace.

Its kind of like buying an old muscle car that didn't handle, brake or ride worth a dam when a modern SUV will do everything better and more quietly with better fuel economy...tho Waterford bikes ride pretty well but they don't have the precision or performance or lightness of a modern bike. 8 track versus Ipod. Many still like their vinyl.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I'm guessing they became popular again due to people liking them.
cap'n obvious and all.
They became popular again in the 2000's with the city boy hipsters going for the whole classic look thing.
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Old 11-03-18, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
They became popular again in the 2000's with the city boy hipsters going for the whole classic look thing.
sure- this is the first example reason I mentioned. Totally agree some like em because of the classic look.

...then there are all the others who like em because of comfort.
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Old 11-03-18, 07:25 AM
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B17 is for more upright touring, not racing geometry.
Brooks Pro or Swift.
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Old 11-03-18, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...then there are all the others who like em because of comfort.
I don't think comfort is the main initial reason somebody who has never had one buys one. They're going for a certain look as the OP said he is. He's never owned one, he wants the classic vibe. If someone likes the look then I'm personally happy for them but for me it ruins the bike when I see it. Unless it's an actual vintage bike from that era a Turbo, Concor, ect would look much better, don't need to spend hundreds of miles breaking them in and weigh about a half pound less. And they're plenty comfortable, the Turbo is my main saddle.
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Old 11-03-18, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Lastly, my take on the vintage bike thing and reliving the past is...I can see buying a vintage Waterford complete bike with all the period correct accessories for nostalgia. Many have them hanging over the fireplace.

Its kind of like buying an old muscle car that didn't handle, brake or ride worth a dam when a modern SUV will do everything better and more quietly with better fuel economy...tho Waterford bikes ride pretty well but they don't have the precision or performance or lightness of a modern bike. 8 track versus Ipod. Many still like their vinyl.
1- the OP didnt say he is buying a vintage Waterford. By what was said, it will be a new Waterford.
For many people, me included, a new steel frame with modern groupset and wheels gives up nothing measurably important to a comparatively priced full carbon or aluminum w/ carbon fork road bike.

the 3.3# I would save riding a carbon road bike as effectively nothing. I would still go my same general speed up hills, I would go the same speed on flats and my same general speed down hills.
The frame isn't noodly and it isnt harshly stiff.
it handles the same on curves and turns due to the geometry.
it brakes perfectly fine as the braking setup is the same as a modern carbon road bike.


a modern Waterford build is hardly anything you describe. It isnt an 8track vs ipod. It isnt a muscle car that handles and brakes poorly.


...the can of worms may have just been opened.
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Old 11-03-18, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- the OP didnt say he is buying a vintage Waterford. By what was said, it will be a new Waterford.
For many people, me included, a new steel frame with modern groupset and wheels gives up nothing measurably important to a comparatively priced full carbon or aluminum w/ carbon fork road bike.

the 3.3# I would save riding a carbon road bike as effectively nothing. I would still go my same general speed up hills, I would go the same speed on flats and my same general speed down hills.
The frame isn't noodly and it isnt harshly stiff.
it handles the same on curves and turns due to the geometry.
it brakes perfectly fine as the braking setup is the same as a modern carbon road bike.


a modern Waterford build is hardly anything you describe. It isnt an 8track vs ipod. It isnt a muscle car that handles and brakes poorly.


...the can of worms may have just been opened.
No can of worms. To me a Waterford....I have owned 30 steel road bikes, is a '69 911 and modern carbon is a new Carrera. No comparison.
Nothing wrong with an old 911 if that is what you like. I got rid of my vinyl a long time ago. I enjoyed it at the time until something better came along which it did and why Waterford's are only sold to sentimental old riders who don't care about keeping up with fast guys or you wouldn't write such silly stuff about 'riding your general speed up hills' while of course donning obligatory beard which slows you down as well. Hope you got a giggle. Ain't changing anybody's minds. I owned 'em then and I ride the new stuff now.
I know some can't tell the difference. Call them technically agnostic...lol.

Last edited by Campag4life; 11-03-18 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 11-03-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
+1
If you must have a Brooks this is the on that would best suit your ride.
Get Ti rails too. That will make the weight just ever so slightly more bearable.
You can also just look at the whole Brooks range on their website and decide what you like the look of yourself.
This is after all a purely aesthetic decision.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
The boat anchor saddle. I've always wondered why they became popular again. I know by the 1980's nobody was riding them anymore.
because the are beautiful and way more comfy than plastic saddles. Also the bike industry developed this nasty habit of selling saddles that were way to narrow formanyone than 125lb Colombian climbers.

To OP, get a Pro. I tried swift, too narraow.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by silverado8405 View Post


Selle Anatomica are leather saddles made in California. I love mine and wouldn’t consider anything else for future bikes.
I have a Selle Anatomica and 2 Brooks Pros, All very comfy. I expect my Brooks Pros will outlast the Selle by a couple of decades but I have been very happy with the Selle.

By the way, I have one of my Brooks Pros on my CAAD10 and have no issues with riding fast in tne drops.So, to OP, dont believe all the nonsense you are getting from the naysayers who have drunk the plastic is better koolaide.

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Old 11-03-18, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post


because the are beautiful and way more comfy than plastic saddles. Also the bike industry developed this nasty habit of selling saddles that were way to narrow formanyone than 125lb Colombian climbers.

To OP, get a Pro. I tried swift, too narraow.
Will give you the Brooks counterpoint. Don’t know a single good rider that rides one or wants one.Btw, I am old and grew up riding Brooks saddles and have owned few different models.Why is that? Because ‘most’ good riders don’t need one. Why not? Because good riders are light and strong and push hard on the pedals and their rearends are firm and a properly sized plastic saddle doesn’t bother them.Now if you fall outside this group and can only get comfortable on a Brooks, then that is your gene pool for saddles. For good riders, a saddle is perch and not a seat. In my experience, the better the rider, the less important the saddle. An uber fit lightweight rider can ride a bunch of different saddles because they have light weight bearing on the saddle and their rear end is as firm as a Brooks.
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