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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-15-08, 11:16 PM   #1
skeem
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come on, brooks cant be THAT good

it seems everyone (who wants to be viewed as super hip), even my best pal, is buying into the brooks craze. i feel people used to get em for 10 bucks at yard sales for thier conversions but now young hipsters are buying them for top dollar. from my experience on road bikes and in a high end road bike shop, people (including myself) seem to think a nice sam marco, italia, fizik... saddle does the trick. im wondering why every hipster is spending $120 and up for an old style leather saddle. they seem outdated to me. people rave about thier comfort, ive never ridden one, but are they really as good as a modern racing saddle that people who ride all day in the saddle up the alps use? can someone back me up and just help me feel im not wrong in thinking that a new italia flite is as coumfy as a b17 and that a flite is lighter and uses more modern technology. any help?
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Old 09-15-08, 11:22 PM   #2
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I'll be honest... I've ridden one and they look ******** in my opinion but under the taint, a broken in good ole B17 is freakin' comfy. I think theyre for either hippies or people that actually have had em for long enough that their taint has broken it in like a well oiled baseball mitt.

I NEED a new better saddle but I'll probably go with a Concor Comfort or an Alpine or something more full than the majority of road/track saddles out there.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:24 PM   #3
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people rave about thier comfort, ive never ridden one
Ask your best pal to let you ride his bike, then see for yourself. I have 2 brooks saddles and would highly recommend them to nearly everyone. A leather saddle is a completely different animal when compared to a plastic/composite/foam "modern technology" saddle.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:25 PM   #4
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A quality product that is aesthetically pleasing and a good value always has the potential to become trendy. Brooks are pretty trendy right now, but they are very good saddles that get better with time.

For anyone that's played baseball, it's like comparing a new, high-tech superglove to the old leather glove that you've had for ten years, that has been perfectly formed to your hand and fits like...well, a glove. The superglove may be just as good or even a million times better, but there will always be that attraction to the broken-in down to earth glove.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:25 PM   #5
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if you've never ridden one, why are you so opinionated about them?
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Old 09-15-08, 11:27 PM   #6
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Its def personal pref. Some peoples' buns prefer leather (designed by god himself) to synthetics (made by man). Natural materials are hard to phase out. To find a brooks at a yard sale is f***ing treasure. There is nothing better when you find great stuff like a brooks at a sale. There are tons of leather saddles of lesser quality like middlemore sp? thats prob what you're referring to. But i digress, personal preference. No one's riding all day in the alps so its not imperative that we all ride those saddles. When treated properly a well conditioned brooks is a wonderful and unique feeling, but its also no for everybody.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RichPugh View Post
I'll be honest... I've ridden one and they look ******** in my opinion but under the taint, a broken in good ole B17 is freakin' comfy. I think theyre for either hippies or people that actually have had em for long enough that their taint has broken it in like a well oiled baseball mitt.

I NEED a new better saddle but I'll probably go with a Concor Comfort or an Alpine or something more full than the majority of road/track saddles out there.
Aw goddamnit, way to totally snake on my analogy
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Old 09-15-08, 11:30 PM   #8
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The saddles you mention are great for all day up and down the Alps as long as you are wearing bibs with a chamois. I've got a racing saddle on my road bike and it's great for what it is, but I hate it in street clothes.

My b17 on the other hand, is excellent in jeans or slacks or anything else.

What I don't understand is how people can be comfortable on a b17 with a lot of saddle to bar drop.

Chacun a son gout.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:36 PM   #9
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if you've never ridden one, why are you so opinionated about them?
Seriously.

"I don't get it, must be a hipster thing."

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Old 09-15-08, 11:37 PM   #10
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if you've never ridden one, why are you so opinionated about them?
"Whats the big deal about those $1000 Herman Miller Office Chairs.... I mean, come on! Its a friggin' office chair! Whats so fancy about it that makes it cost $950 more than all these chairs at Office Depot? ***Sits in one for an 8 hour meeting** Ohhh.... wow I want one now"
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Old 09-15-08, 11:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by skeem View Post
from my experience on road bikes and in a high end road bike shop, people (including myself) seem to think a nice sam marco, italia, fizik... saddle does the trick. im wondering why every hipster is spending $120 and up for an old style leather saddle. they seem outdated to me. people rave about thier comfort, ive never ridden one, but are they really as good as a modern racing saddle that people who ride all day in the saddle up the alps use? can someone back me up and just help me feel im not wrong in thinking that a new italia flite is as coumfy as a b17 and that a flite is lighter and uses more modern technology. any help?
Not many racers or people riding high end fast bikes will pay the extremely high price for the narrower and lighter rail styled Brooks, and it's simply impractical to run a B17 with a race bike. But, I have seen people riding Swifts on race bikes. The shape doesn't match the use, and the saddle weighs a ton. But, I love my B17 (that I got for $85 new from my LBS, not sure where $120 came from) on my already heavy Steamroller with 1.5" saddle to bar drop. I also love my Flite Ti that's on my faster bike, but it cost more and I wouldn't want to ride it totally upright with a 30lb bag on my back, it works better for faster riding and more saddle to bar drop for me.

Outdated? Sure. Comfy for some uses? Absolutely. Comfy for all riders and all styles of riding. Of course not.

I once saw a Pista Concept with a B17 and over 6" of saddle to bar drop though, that was dumb.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:47 PM   #12
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I have 14 bikes with two of those being "in the works"... of the other twelve, 9 have leather saddles and I have a new old Lycett that will be replacing the Selle Italia saddle on my '73 Raleigh Gran Sport since it is period correct and simply a far nicer saddle.

ONly two are Brooks saddles (a B17 Imperial and a B66) while4 of the others were made by Brooks (Wrights and Lycett), 2 are French made Ideales, one is an AGDA (also French), and one is a complete but utterly comfortable mystery saddle.

I have never found anything to be more comfortable than leather and in this day and age it is good to see that Brooks continues to make a high quality product that has stayed faithful to designs that have stood the test of time for decades.

Not everyone has the same leather fetish I do and I can respect that, but if you have never tried a leather saddle you are in no position to make any criticism and it makes you much like folks who criticize fixed gear bikes without having any first hand experience.

I like the ride leather offers and the fact that a well made and well cared for leather saddle might even outlast my butt.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:50 PM   #13
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you guys can keep giving your opinion about them, but the OP will never form his own opinion about them until he actually rides one.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:58 PM   #14
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I like the idea of a leather saddle that will break in to fit me, but the B17 narrow is too wide for me. I would try one of the narrower Brooks racing saddles, but don't feel the need to drop that much money on a saddle that may or may not get comfortable in a few months.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RichPugh View Post
"Whats the big deal about those $1000 Herman Miller Office Chairs.... I mean, come on! Its a friggin' office chair! Whats so fancy about it that makes it cost $950 more than all these chairs at Office Depot? ***Sits in one for an 8 hour meeting** Ohhh.... wow I want one now"
except it's only like, 70 bucks
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Old 09-16-08, 12:30 AM   #16
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There are many of us, myself included, who have been riding Brooks saddles for a very long time, regardless of fashion. In the early 1990s they were almost impossible to find; I had to hunt for NOS ones at LBS, who were more than happy to sell them for $20.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:35 AM   #17
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Ziemas - There was a shop here that was almost giving away Ideale saddles in the early 90's... I know a fellow who bought 10 model 92's for less than $200.00 Cdn which was like, $25.00 US at the time.



My Ideale 92 is an incredible saddle... I scavenged it off a bike I saved from the tip.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:49 AM   #18
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it's all about comfort Brooks aren't the prettiest. Trick is you need to ride a broken in one, not a new one to really understand why they can be so comfy
I did the NYC Century Tour on this B17 Narrow Imperial and had no complaints...ok butt was a very little bit sore next day, but when you spend a couple of hours in the saddle that's inevitable
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Old 09-16-08, 12:49 AM   #19
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I think they are hideous...
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Old 09-16-08, 12:52 AM   #20
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Sheldon says:

""Revolutionary" saddle designs come onto the market every year, and these new technologies have much to offer for many riders. Nevertheless, many others may be best served by a technology that has not changed substantially in this century, the tensioned leather saddle.

From the dawn of history up through the early 1970's, virtually all good quality bicycles came with leather saddles.

A leather saddle, like a good pair of shoes or a baseball glove, softens with use, and molds itself to fit a particular person's shape. What ever part of your rear end pushes hardest on the saddle causes the corresponding part of the saddle to soften and stretch to relieve the uneven pressure, until the saddle accomodates perfectly to your own particular tush."

Actually makes some sense, eh? Go figure.

If you don't want one, don't buy one. I you think they look ugly, don't buy one.

And it should be noted people have been spending $120 on Brooks and other leather saddles long before you turkeys came along.

Last edited by TNCLR; 09-16-08 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 09-16-08, 06:51 AM   #21
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I've had mine on my Nishiki for over 20 years and it is still my favorite saddle. If you condition it yearly and keep it from drying out (as in getting it soaked in the rain) then you can expect it to out last the rest of your bike.

If you only use your bike for short trips then any of the "modern ass hatchets" will do.
However I don't get the Brooks as a style icon as it really only looks period correct on a lugged steel road bike from back in the day.
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Old 09-16-08, 06:58 AM   #22
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How many REAL riders use one? I mean racers or road riders. Tour riders?
While I'm not overly familiar with the cycling world, I imagine it's alot like any other sport where the tour de france riders or other professional cyclists ride whatever their sponsor tells them to ride.
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Old 09-16-08, 06:59 AM   #23
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My stock seat that came on my Lager is comfortable. Personally I feel its over-rated, plus its ugly as all heck, even the black. It looks like a horses saddle on a bike. Seems like a college, hippy hipster fad for now.

I ride my fixed for excersice. I usually wake up at 5:15am and ride maybe 15, 20 miles 3 times a week. I dont see how a brooks will make that ride comfortable. I think people who like brooks just casual ride to the market or the bar, not true riding
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Old 09-16-08, 07:02 AM   #24
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I love my Brooks Swallow...

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Old 09-16-08, 07:04 AM   #25
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maybe you are not riding further than the coffee shop on your stock seat...you might not like your seat as much after riding 30 miles or so
i think the brooks saddles are beautiful and i will be riding mine for awhile...pppbbbttttt!!
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