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BROOKS B17 Imperial –Looking for Some Testers

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BROOKS B17 Imperial –Looking for Some Testers

Old 02-26-08, 11:01 AM
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Andrea Men
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BROOKS B17 Imperial –Looking for Some Testers

Brooks England Ltd. is looking for about 10 people to test a prototype saddle called the B17 Imperial. It’s a saddle with cut out, meant to solve the problems of those who can’t sit comfortably on a traditional Brooks Saddle because they feel too much pressure at the front.
-Why is Brooks doing this?- You may comment…
Nowadays most saddle manufacturers are offering a range of “anatomical” saddles, claiming that they were the first to find this solution or that their invention works best. We recently discovered that John Boultbee Brooks is the inventor of the saddle with cutting. In many pages of the BROOKS 1890 catalogue you can read that the Imperial, Long Distance, Climax and many more saddles have “registered cutting that is a certain preventive to all perineal pressure”.
I would like to have some feedback on the idea of reintroducing the original Brooks cut out design on the B17 and, maybe, on other models like the Team Pro in their men’s and women’s versions.
As I’ve read many posts on “modified saddles”, I’d also like you to share your experiences if you have ridden a Brooks saddle with self made cut out.
Why did you cut it? Why do you like the cut out? Why don’t you?
I hope to see many posts on this subject.
If you are INTERESTED IN TESTING A SAMPLE I will be able to have about 10 pieces in about a month. Please send me a PM if you’d like to get one of the samples. Shouldn’t I be able to send samples to all those who ask for it, I’ll choose among those who give the best inputs on this thread.
Thanks
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It is not the name of Brooks which makes the saddle good,
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Old 02-26-08, 11:18 AM
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i've ridden brooks B17, the unsprung Ideale copy of that design, and a broken-in Team Pro from the 80s that I received secondhand. I found the B17 and Ideale to be extremely comfortable once broken in, but the latter didn't hold up well over time (although it wasn't well cared for regarding weather). The B17 wasn't great with a lot of saddle-to-bar drop compared to a 'modern' design saddle, though— something about the nose put a great deal of pressure on my perineum. Changing to the Team Pro alleviated this somewhat, but I encountered a dilemma: if I tilted the saddle down enough to keep pressure off my soft bits, I put too much weight on my wrists from resisting my slide off the smooth leather. After trying a few different bar/stem setups, I mounted a San Marco Rolls with a textured suede leather cover and didn't have any more problems.

In any case, I've seen but not ridden DIY and aftermarket cutout saddles, but never fully trusted them (especially the ones with the cuts in the centre of the hide). I'd love to try an official Brooks model.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:22 AM
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PM sent.

I will be doing an all new build for my commuter next month and would love to give you plenty of honest feedback on the prototype!
Oh, and I use a standard B17 currently.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:24 AM
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Also sent a PM, I'm another B17 owner who could provide some feedback. I like how Brooks is having a representative posting here to get some direct feedback from the cycling community.
Edit: most cuts I've seen have been on B17s in order to achieve a more Pro-like profile, presumably to make it more comfortable for an aggressive riding position. I haven't ridden a cut Brooks for more than a few minutes, so I can't comment on the effectiveness of it. I personally haven't had any inclination to cut my B17 as it's by far the most comfortable saddle I've ridden, but this is just relative to other saddles so I'm sure there is room for improvement.

Last edited by curiousincident; 02-26-08 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:28 AM
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I've ridden both a B17 and a Pro. I find the Pro to be the best suited for a performance aspect or where you want a large saddle to bar drop without having the nose "dig" into you. The B17 is better suited for me when I have my handlebars in level or a little below the saddle. I've done a Century tour on a Pro and had no issues and 50 milers regularly on the B17 with no problems. If I follow my method with saddle to bar drop in relation to the saddle type I am well off but would be curious if the Imperial would give any extra comfort to already comfortable saddles.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chase. View Post
i've ridden brooks B17, the unsprung Ideale copy of that design, and a broken-in Team Pro from the 80s that I received secondhand. I found the B17 and Ideale to be extremely comfortable once broken in, but the latter didn't hold up well over time (although it wasn't well cared for regarding weather). The B17 wasn't great with a lot of saddle-to-bar drop compared to a 'modern' design saddle, though— something about the nose put a great deal of pressure on my perineum. Changing to the Team Pro alleviated this somewhat, but I encountered a dilemma: if I tilted the saddle down enough to keep pressure off my soft bits, I put too much weight on my wrists from resisting my slide off the smooth leather.

In any case, I've seen but not ridden DIY and aftermarket cutout saddles, but never fully trusted them (especially the ones with the cuts in the centre of the hide). I'd love to try an official Brooks model.

PM sent. I have had the same expierence (without owning a team pro). In order to avoid perenial pressure, I have to tilt the saddle down, which results in wrist pain. My b17 and B17 special are by far more comfortable than any other saddle i tried, esp. some of the plastic/gel "anatomical" saddles with the cut-outs. I found that the plastic lip or edge on the inside of the cut-out area actually caused MUCH more pain and discomfort.

I love my Brooks and swear by them, and my 3 yr. old B17 is finally broken in enough where it is less of an issue. I'd be interested to see if a cutt out would make it more comfortable right out of the box and require less adjusting
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Old 02-26-08, 11:36 AM
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PM sent. I've ridden a B17 and a Selle An-Atomica.
The SA is probably the closest competitor for this kind
of saddle. Happy to provide feedback and be a test
case. . .

Best,
KV
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Old 02-26-08, 11:38 AM
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pm sent
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Old 02-26-08, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by curiousincident View Post
Also sent a PM, I'm another B17 owner who could provide some feedback. I like how Brooks is having a representative posting here to get some direct feedback from the cycling community.
same here.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:40 AM
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I currently ride on a (quite old) B15, and have experienced problems similar to those noted above. If I set the saddle flat, the nose digs in uncomfortably, but if I tilt it forward to alleviate the pressure, I find myself constantly fighting a downward slide. I'd actually like to lower my bars a little compared to the current setup, but that would probably worsen the problem.

I'd be very interested in testing the new saddle - it would be a very welcome replacement for the original B15 on my early '70s Raleigh.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:40 AM
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PM sent, I too have seen after market Brooks saddles with the cutouts and always thought they looked sketch, having an official saddle by Brooks with the center cutout is going to be an interesting thing t behold.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:50 AM
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I've sent a PM too.
I'm interested to see how this saddle would work for me (and other women), as most of the people on this forum are men.
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Old 02-26-08, 11:54 AM
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By the way--I think this "direct" approach to market research is really neat and as a loyal customer, I am glad Brooks is interested in other customers' actual opinions and experience and not simply the advice from some new-fangled marketing guru
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Old 02-26-08, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by skanking biker View Post
By the way--I think this "direct" approach to market research is really neat and as a loyal customer, I am glad Brooks is interested in other customers' actual opinions and experience and not simply the advice from some new-fangled marketing guru
Man, quoting makes things so easy around here sometimes. I was thinking the same.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:05 PM
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PM sent. I'm using a brooks professional, but I have noticed a little pressure on really long rides (like 60+ miles). I don't think I've used a saddle that didn't cause those kinds of problems on long rides though.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:09 PM
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pm sent.. I would be interested in seeing how different the feel is. I currently ride a team pro and like the way "SOME" skillfully modified b17's look but if a commercially available model with an anatomical cutout was available, I would be very interested. The main reason people don't do it is because they don't want to ruin a perfectly good saddle.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:16 PM
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PM sent earlier. Like I said eariler, I promise I won't butcher your test saddle. Not all my Brooks are butchered among my fleet of bikes.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:16 PM
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PM sent. Since the weather was finally broke, I will be commuting to work each day, and also ride for my job as well (more in the PM about this). Looks like an interesting opportunity to get some honest feedback from those that will put them to good use.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tmanAg08 View Post
If I set the saddle flat, the nose digs in uncomfortably, but if I tilt it forward to alleviate the pressure, I find myself constantly fighting a downward slide. I'd actually like to lower my bars a little compared to the current setup, but that would probably worsen the problem.
+1

Yeah I love my B-17. I live car free and spending the money on a good saddle has really made a world of difference in the comfort of my ride, although I have the same problem with the downward slide. I haven't really been able to counter that without receiving some unwelcome pressure. I ride a cut-out Koobi Ti saddle on my mountain bike and its very comfortable, I would love to give it a try on the Pista. I'm sure a production cut Brooks would look many times better than the homemade chop jobs you see sometimes.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:59 PM
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PM sent.

I'm interested in testing the new Brooks. Though I have not ridden one full time before, I have tried my friend's. While it was allright, there was an excess of pressure at the front. As a larger rider, (6'5 and 300 lbs) finding comfort in riding a bike can be a little difficult. The market is designed for people smaller, lighter, and differently built than myself. I find myself constantly tweaking my ride, trying to get it as comfortable as possible... and while I have not tried a seat with a cut out, perhaps this is just the thing to solve my seat woes.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:04 PM
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Wow, I wonder what Selle An-Atomica thinks about this...their market will essentially vanish if Brooks succeeds at putting out a better version of a cut out saddle.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:08 PM
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brooks is murder
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Old 02-26-08, 02:16 PM
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pm sent

As I said in my pm... I commute full time on a bike every day of the year. I'm also an avid cross, track, and road racer. I've had a B17 on my crosscheck for years, and love it. My race bikes have saddles with cuts in them, so I'm curious how the new design would work on a Brooks.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
brooks is murder
No it isn't. Also, we get it, you're opposed to animal products. Great. Don't ride one. Much like the helmet no helmet debate, you're not going to change anyone's mind here, and are detracting from the real purpose of this thread... which is for people who DO like to ride on animal skin.

Last edited by dirtylittlecity; 02-26-08 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 12XU View Post
Wow, I wonder what Selle An-Atomica thinks about this...their market will essentially vanish if Brooks succeeds at putting out a better version of a cut out saddle.
given that Brooks was advertising this feature in the 1890s I don't think Selle An-Atomica will have much
to say about it at all.
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