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Saddle change?

Old 04-07-15, 02:19 PM
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Saddle change?

Ok here is my line of thinking and was wondering what you all thought.

After a few month of winter where I have not ridden my bike I am starting to get back into riding shape for an upcoming summer tour. I will need to "retrain" my arse for long distance riding but was thinking that this would be a good opportunity to upgrade my saddle from the default to a Brooks. I fully understand that YMMV when it comes to this saddle but I am willing to give this a try. What does everyone think?
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Old 04-07-15, 02:33 PM
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It's one choice .. realize people steal those saddles, Now that they are Popular and known to be expensive.
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Old 04-07-15, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
It's one choice .. realize people steal those saddles, Now that they are Popular and known to be expensive.
Good point and I will take measures to prevent that.
I was thinking that since I have to go through the "arse" pain I might as well use that training time to break in a higher end saddle. It would stink to have to go through this process again if I change the saddle after a few months of riding.

Hopefully someone can relate to going through this same process.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:38 PM
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Just a couple thoughts on that...
1. I generally do not find that my bottom needs retraining after a few months off, so that part of the rationale doesn't necessarily work for everyone. I know it doesn't for me.
2. I also have not found Brooks saddles to actually be an upgrade. They don't work especially well for me. They may work out better for you, but if your current saddle has worked OK for you why go to a saddle that probably weighs twice as much and may or may not be an improvement?
3. Leather saddles have the disadvantage of requiring break in so that you can't really tell for sure how they will work out. I had the opposite problem from what folks typically complain about. For me the Brooks was OK, but nothing special when new and sucked when fully broken in.

So I would recommend either sticking with what you have or trying some different saddles and buying one that feels good right off. I actually think that modern race saddles are a good bet. If nothing else seems right buy your Brooks from someone who will take it back for a full refund (Wallingford?) in case it doesn't.
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Old 04-07-15, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I also have not found Brooks saddles to actually be an upgrade.
This was true for me.

It took 500 miles to really break it in. It feels great but so did my previous saddle that I rode for 10 yrs.

I just wanted to try it. I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. (I only weight 155 lbs so maybe that has something to do with it.)

I've had it 5 yrs now and will keep it forever unless I ruin it.

I've got the one with the springs and it weights a bunch.
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Old 04-07-15, 04:48 PM
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Have you done any searches on this forum to get other opinions on Brooks? That is a frequent topic of discussion.

And keep in mind that Brooks makes many models. The B17 (unsprung) or Flyer (sprung) are probably the most popular, but some people like me prefer different Brooks models, I prefer the Conquest (sprung) for touring. The new C17 (non-leather) does not yet have enough users to have many opinions, but that is another possible option. And there are a couple other leather saddles out there, a friend of mine likes the Selle Anatomica over a Brooks.
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Old 04-07-15, 05:36 PM
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I would suggest that if youíre trying a Brooks for the first time, get it early on so that you have time at home to see if itís going to work for you. Brooks donít work for everyone. For some there is a break in period, for others theyíre comfy from the get go, but for some riders they never become comfortable and have been likened to torture devices. I would also suggest Wallingfords for their return policy.

Brooks are the only saddles that work for me for 50+ mile rides and riding on a daily basis. My husband tried one and didnít care for it.

When I decided to do a long distance tour. I wanted to try a B17 imperial (cut out). The lack of a cut out was the one thing that kept my other Brooks from being perfect. I got an imperial and have been riding it these past few months before taking off on tour. Right from the start it has been everything I hoped for in a saddle. Now Iím just worried that it will become uncomfortable as it ages, as some here have experienced. Good luck in your quest.
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Old 04-07-15, 06:45 PM
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Considering a leather saddle; look at Brooks, Sella Anatomica, Gille Bouthard ?
brooks has a great history of comfort and reliability, and perhaps not comfort for some.
Sella is very nice, made in usa - easy to break in; some feel they might not be as long lived as a Brooks.
GB - little break in, great comfort and high quality.
A leather saddle usually takes a fair amount of fit tweaking to optimize their comfort.
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Old 04-09-15, 02:57 PM
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Also depends on your riding position. Low bars, I like a racing saddle. Bars a bit under seat to above, I find brooks B17 to be wonderfully pleasant, pretty much from the get-go.
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Old 04-10-15, 09:26 AM
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I can say the following about brooks...

I have a Flyer and LOVE it. My daughter rides a B67 and LOVES it. I got a C17 for Christmas and I have yet to finish a ride on it and not have a sore a$$. I'm very close to throwing it on Ebay or CL. On the other hand, I don't get the spring squeaks from the C17 that I get from the flyer so I know hear all of the other odd noises from my bike and my o/c has been kicking into high gear. I'm especially annoyed by an infrequent non repeatable creak coming from somewhere in my front end that makes me nuts when I hear it, of course it always happens when I'm not ready for it then doesn't happen again for miles.
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Old 04-10-15, 12:56 PM
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I'm personally not to put off by soreness, it typically goes away after a few rides once your body adapts, from my experience. I'll absolutely switch seats when I get saddle sores and/or numbness, two things that progressively get worse.
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Old 04-11-15, 05:38 AM
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I won't ride anything but a Brooks.
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Old 04-11-15, 06:26 AM
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I am going to pass some personal opinions on this post which may or may not be agreed by others.

1. There is a lot more to saddle comfort than the saddle itself. You must be measured for the width of your sit bones. A saddle that is too narrow will not be comfortable, no matter what. A saddle too wide can lead to other problems.
2. Adjustments are critical. Saddle height, and fore/aft adjustment are extremely important for a comfortable fit. Just a few mm can make a huge difference.
3. Nose height/tilt is critical. Just a degree or two of or down makes huge differences.
4. Length of ride. I specifically was having trouble when riding more than 60 miles/day. Less than that and I was very comfortable but longer and I was squirming.
5. Riding shorts/bibs etc. Not all padding is created equal. My gel padding was not wicking the moisture on longer rides. I have now switched to Bontrager RXL riding shorts which seem to be much better.
6. Chamois cream etc. This will make a big difference in daily comfort.

I do the majority of my riding on three different bikes with the longer rides being mostly on a roadie and a hard tail. The setup can be very different on bikes with different geometry. Be patient and your rear will thank you.

I have not tried a Brooks and cannot speak on their behalf.
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Old 04-11-15, 07:57 AM
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I tried a B17. Beautiful saddle. Didn't work for me tho as I had other medical issues develope due to the hardness of its nose after much fitting and adjusting. Had to go to a noseless saddle.
My wife LOVES her Brooks B17s....said she would not ride anything else.
Not for everyone I guess, but may be worth a try.
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Old 04-11-15, 04:24 PM
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The only Brooks worth a damn is the Cambiums. I have a C17 carved and it is probably the most comfortable saddle I have ridden and I don't have to worry about a long ridiculous break-in period.

Rehab made some great points though!
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Old 04-12-15, 10:28 PM
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I ride a Brooks B17 and like it, but the break in period was much more than the often mentioned 500 miles.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:22 AM
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I formerly used a Brooks Team Pro, and now use a Selle Anatomica. The Brooks was comfortable, but the Selle Anatomica is even more so. I'd give them a try.

If you're set on Brooks, don't be deterred by the break in period. The Team Pro is supposed to have a longer break in period than the B17, but I had no issues at all with mine.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Rehab
2. Adjustments are critical. Saddle height, and fore/aft adjustment are extremely important for a comfortable fit. Just a few mm can make a huge difference.
3. Nose height/tilt is critical. Just a degree or two of or down makes huge differences.
These two seem to hold more strongly for Brooks (and presumably other leather saddles) than for your average plastic saddle. I've gone to two-bolt seatposts on two of my bikes to get the tilt adjustment just right -- for some reason, my first bike got it nailed in with the stock one-bolt seatpost.

Wallbike.com is the place to try out a Brooks, as noted.

I'm one of the throng who finds Brooks saddles comfortable. They're comfortable out of the box for me, and I stop noticing the saddle after 500 (B-17) to 700 (Pro) miles. It's hard to write much about them, they're so good to my tush, so all I can do is post "they work for me, too!"

I've got fenders on my bikes, and an Aardvark saddle cover goes on if it's going to rain all day or if it's a "90/90" day to protect the leather. I spend more time worrying about brake pads or chain lube and wear than I do the leather saddle. YMMV.
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