Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Brooks Saddles

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Brooks Saddles

Old 04-25-05, 11:38 PM
  #1  
Magictofu
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Brooks Saddles

Ok... Since I was about to buy a new bike I have been reading a lot on the net during the last weeks about touring bikes... Doing so, I noticed that the only brand of saddle people were talking about were Brooks saddles as if nothing else existed. So I read a bit more about these saddles... the way they are built seems to make sense and they do look solid... and lets admit it, quyite cool too... On the other hand they require a bit more attention and are a bit heavier than other types of saddles and it would cost someone quite some money to change the stock saddle on a bike to a Brooks.

Sometimes I wonder if it is really a wise move... my ass do sore after long rides and I guess a better saddle would improve the situation a bit but to what extent?
Magictofu is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:02 AM
  #2  
ispoke
----------
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N. Hollywood
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Magictofu
Ok... Since I was about to buy a new bike I have been reading a lot on the net during the last weeks about touring bikes... Doing so, I noticed that the only brand of saddle people were talking about were Brooks saddles as if nothing else existed. So I read a bit more about these saddles... the way they are built seems to make sense and they do look solid... and lets admit it, quyite cool too... On the other hand they require a bit more attention and are a bit heavier than other types of saddles and it would cost someone quite some money to change the stock saddle on a bike to a Brooks.

Sometimes I wonder if it is really a wise move... my ass do sore after long rides and I guess a better saddle would improve the situation a bit but to what extent?
Guess it depends on if you ever wished for a more comfortable saddle. Or cut a ride short due to saddle discomfort. Or simply haven't considered a longer ride (perhaps double century), assuming you'd be in pain...

I made the switch to a Brooks B17-narrow about a month ago. The "narrow" model roughly matches the classic Turbo in dimensions. When I installed it, I was out of condition, but felt no more discomfort than on any other saddle at the beginning of the season. Now I have perhaps 15 hours on the Brooks and, as promised, it "disappears" underneath me and I don't give it a second thought while riding. Except to love it's cool temperature while sweating, and the ease in sliding/shifting position. The weight doesn't matter. It's insignificant compared to the comfort, which enables performance. And one unexpected benefit: You might notice how the saddle sides drop quite low, generally hiding the rails. Well I found that these smooth leather sides help me to spin the pedals at a high cadence, whereas a typical saddle has an abrupt transition along the sides that can rub the thighs.

As for price - most "good" saddles cost $50-$100 retail. I paid $88 for my B17 on the Wallbike website. That included a nice waterproof cover (i tried it - works well), a tin of leather treatment, and their 6 month unconditional buy back guarantee...
ispoke is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 02:39 AM
  #3  
Alekhine
1. e4 Nf6
 
Alekhine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 7844`W, 4246`N
Posts: 872

Bikes: Mercian KoM with Rohloff, Bike Friday NWT, Pogliaghi Italcorse (1979)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's like a good leather baseball glove for your bottom: Once it's broken in and properly adjusted, it's just comfortable and it fits you.

If you're worried about the weight, there is the Titanium B-17, which costs almost double the standard, but weighs 1/5th less: 412 gm to 528 gm (B17 standard).

I'm not a weight weenie about my bike though; rather, moreso about my gear (and I'm still not a weight weenie about that, really). Comfort, durability, and my own endurance are my troika of touring, and the B17 fits all categories nicely. One other nice thing about that titanium model is that it comes in the excellent antique brown color (so does the B17-Narrow that ispoke mentioned), but I don't think either of those advantages of weight and aesthetics makes it worth $100 more than the standard unless you've got money to toss around.

Last edited by Alekhine; 04-26-05 at 02:46 AM.
Alekhine is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 03:32 AM
  #4  
pinerider
bici accumulatori
 
pinerider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ottawa, Maberly, Apsley, Ontario
Posts: 855

Bikes: 1985 Nishiki International Touring Bike, 1992 Vitus 979 road bike, 1996 Bianchi Premio road bike, 2002 Thin Blue LIne CO2 mountain bike, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa touring bike, 1964 CCM roadster, 1959 CCM Motorbike, 2002 KHS FXT mtb + more to fix!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just installed a freebie Brooks B9B on my touring bike I use for commuting and some longer rides. I am amazed at how comfortable the Brooks is. I got mine from a dump bike, it was pretty well dried out, applied lots of Proofide over the winter, it's now very supple and very comfortable. My Good Friday ride of 35 km (first longer ride of the year) left me with no soreness to the arse at all! The leather provides a bit of suspension that normal seats don't give you.
The seats I have on my other bikes didn't cause me any pain, but I am seriously considering buying some new Brooks saddles to replace them!
pinerider is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 02:21 PM
  #5  
lmzimmer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I got my first brooks saddle in 73- used it until about 4 years ago. I bought a nice body geometry that felt good...until I rode about 15 miles. After a few months I bought another brooks. It is actually more comfortable than the old one and really needed no breaking in The body geometry is available to anyone wanting to pay postage. I plan to get another brooks for my other bike
lmzimmer is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 02:28 PM
  #6  
Stubacca
Senior Member
 
Stubacca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Oztraylya
Posts: 2,677

Bikes: '03 Fuji Roubaix Pro; '03 KleinGi Attitude; '06 Soma Rush; '04 Surly Cross-Check; '06 Soma Rush; '07 Scott CR1 / Chorus

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With a Brooks you're really only adding about 2-300g more weight. Is this really that big of a deal on a touring bike? I think not... I'd rather have the comfort for the long haul.
__________________
Stubacca is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 02:47 PM
  #7  
jnoble123
Senior Member
 
jnoble123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 274

Bikes: Surly Cross Check, Trek 520, Giant VT1, Norco Scrambler, Norco Unicycle, Dirtsurfer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a Brook's Champion Flyer on my Trek 520. True it's old school and true it does require you to pay attention to water etc but it is very comfortable. I've ridden it as far as 178.44 km in a day and when I dismounted while I had sore parts my rear end wasn't one of them!

I don't worry about the extra weight at all! I could reduce weight far beyond the small difference by just packing less other stuff with me when I tour.

I used other saddles prior to my Brook's and I found them uncomfortable at some point as the ride progressed.

I too purchased my original saddle (and a second one) from Wallbike. Great people to work with and they support their products with an excellent unconditional buyback offer if you don't like the saddle.

The Champion Flyer has some springs under the saddle. These springs are really stiff so they only seem to come into play when you hit some real bumps in the road. They certainly add to the comfort factor too.

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
jnoble123 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 03:19 PM
  #8  
Magictofu
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So it seems that it is unanimous... to be honest with all of you, I do think they look nice... a bit retro but very stylish. I do not care that much about weight (I should loose weight myself before taking a few grams off my bike) and maintenance seems fairly easy to do... in fact what bugs me is that a new saddle came with my new bike... it is probably the best saddle I ever used so far... but it is certainly not perfect.

I plan on touring for a month in Quebec and Eastern Ontario this summer and was wondering if buying a Brooks was worth the money. I know a lot of people swear by them but I am a little bit concerned about spending more money... I have to admit I feel tempted to try the Brooks.
Magictofu is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 05:57 PM
  #9  
Magictofu
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another question: Sprung or unsprung?
Magictofu is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 06:49 PM
  #10  
late
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 8,656
Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10063 Post(s)
Liked 414 Times in 323 Posts
Hi,
I have a B17 Champion Special and a Flyer.
If you bounce around a lot, get springs. If you don't need them, don't get them. On my current ride, I am using the B17. Last year I had a stiffer frame and did most of my miles with the Flyer.

The tricky part with a Brooks is getting the right one. I much prefer my Champion Special to the standard B17. I'd like to try the titanium B17, but that is one expensive saddle!

If your handlebars are below the saddle, a narrower saddle might be neccesary.
late is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 07:01 PM
  #11  
DocF
Older Than Dirt
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Reidsville, NC
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Our tandem is equipped with a B67 for the captain and a B67S for the stoker. My wife and I appreciate the little bit of extra suspension from the springs.

Doc
DocF is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 09:01 PM
  #12  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,030

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 139 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3165 Post(s)
Liked 426 Times in 258 Posts
Brooks don't work for everyone, but I will say this:

I have ridden a 1000K brevet, a 1200K brevet, and about 6000 kilometers of touring and other cycling on mine so far ... and I am COMFORTABLE. I love my Brooks B-17.
Machka is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 09:11 PM
  #13  
blwyn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 488

Bikes: Kona Dr Dew, Lemond Le Alp, Mongoss NX-7, Trek T200 Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My unsprung B17 feels springier than my Conquest with springs. I can't tell that the springs do anything other than add a lot of weight.
__________________
The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. M.L.King
blwyn is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 09:32 PM
  #14  
jnoble123
Senior Member
 
jnoble123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 274

Bikes: Surly Cross Check, Trek 520, Giant VT1, Norco Scrambler, Norco Unicycle, Dirtsurfer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I guess I need to try an unsprung B17 sometime then.

Two winters ago I actually mounted the Champion Flyer on my Icebike that I used offroad from time to time. It seemed to make a huge difference when going through "potholes" etc on trails where people walked their dogs.

I always attributed this to the springs and the leather especially since the springs do move when hitting a really rough bump but not in a noticeable way when riding on normal roads.

~Jamie N
jnoble123 is offline  
Old 04-27-05, 11:07 AM
  #15  
gendasza
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You might also want to check out Selle Anatomica. There's this guy in California who chops out the middle of a brooks saddle. I currently ride the "Robusto" model, which is based off of the Brooks Professional. This has all the virtues of a Brooks (it started off life that way), but a cut out for softer support. I've had mine for a few months here in Seattle... I just need a decent cover for it in the rain ( I use plastic grocery bags now ).
gendasza is offline  
Old 04-27-05, 11:19 AM
  #16  
Alekhine
1. e4 Nf6
 
Alekhine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 7844`W, 4246`N
Posts: 872

Bikes: Mercian KoM with Rohloff, Bike Friday NWT, Pogliaghi Italcorse (1979)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wild!

[edit] I'm OK with mine as is, but that's definitely an interesting combination of modern "nads-oriented" groove saddles and the old Brooks ethic.

Last edited by Alekhine; 04-27-05 at 11:26 AM.
Alekhine is offline  
Old 04-27-05, 12:38 PM
  #17  
Magictofu
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 309
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's funny... I just looked back at my saddle and it seems to be a cross between the usual plastic saddle and the Brooks style leather ones... there is a kind of rubber membrane stretched from the front to the back which is covered with some kind of padding and leather covered. I wonder if I should not give it a try and see if I can break it like would a leather saddle... (Leather is probably a better material though...).
Magictofu is offline  
Old 04-27-05, 04:36 PM
  #18  
Wingman115
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I put a Brooks B-17 on my Trek 520 and love it .... break in time was only a few hours..
Wingman115 is offline  
Old 04-28-05, 11:10 PM
  #19  
rlong
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had so many seats I've lost count, and all just looking for some comfort. My B17 Special was preconditioned and I loved it the first time I rode it. I also noticed, just coming back from a long layoff, I had no crotch soreness when I road 2-3 days in a row!!
rlong is offline  
Old 04-28-05, 11:59 PM
  #20  
mtnroads
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ and SE Asia
Posts: 947

Bikes: Spec Roubaix Expert, Cannondale CAAD12, Jamis Quest ELite, Jamis Dragon Pro, Waterford ST-22

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
So, with this thread going I went out today and bought one for my 520. Ouch! Ow-w! $%^#$@# That thing is hard as a rock! Got the B17 Narrow. The others looked too wide. Pre-conditioned??? Now you tell me. This is going to be a long four hours, or whatever one poster said it took to break in. I rode for an hour today. Did I mention that the thing is hard as a rock? What?! #%$@%@ Did someone say FIFTEEN hours? Oh-no-o-o!
mtnroads is offline  
Old 04-29-05, 01:11 AM
  #21  
dreamy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oz
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I share your pain, rlong! I went for my first ride yesterday on my new B17 (about 2 hours) and had exactly the same experience. Not only was it hard as a rock, but my butt was sliding about all over the place.
Sigh, off now to try again......
dreamy is offline  
Old 04-29-05, 02:38 AM
  #22  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,755
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1440 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 25 Posts
If you find it slippery, that will improve. The surface of the leather gets a patina on it that reduces that sensation.

If you've set it up HORIZONTAL, you're going to have problems slipping forward anyway. Just about every Brooks I have seen (including my own) is nose up at the front, and quite so.

You'll end up with two things -- butt grooves that eventually appear when the saddle is broken in, and a hammock-like situation. You may need to drop the nose millimetre by millimetre to take pressure off the perineum as you go. An infinitably adjustable, two-bolt seat post really helps.

Once it is "broken in" you won't go back. The clue are the appearance of those butt grooves created by your sitbones (isichial tuberosities).

Of course, if you are using a B17 and you have the handlebars low, you won't be quite so comfortable as if you had a Team Pro. The B17 is suited for handlebars level with the seat; the Team Pro for lower bars.
Rowan is offline  
Old 04-29-05, 04:10 AM
  #23  
gaross
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought one recently and am going to sell it on Ebay after just a couple rides. Maybe if I stick with it I would like it, but I think I will just go back to my gel seat.
gaross is offline  
Old 04-29-05, 08:11 AM
  #24  
abbub
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 129

Bikes: 2003 Trek 520, 80's Openroad, 1975 Schwinn Suburban.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Maybe? Um.... yeah. I'd say that if you actually took the time to break it in you'd like it a lot better.

When I'm in the south I see those pro-gun guys with the 'cold dead hands' bumper stickers. Well, you can have my Brooks saddle when you pry it from my cold dead hands....

...which is not an invitation to kill me and take my saddle...i'm just saying that I like it...a lot.
abbub is offline  
Old 04-29-05, 02:16 PM
  #25  
Crashtest
Senior Member
 
Crashtest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by abbub
Maybe? Um.... yeah. I'd say that if you actually took the time to break it in you'd like it a lot better.

When I'm in the south I see those pro-gun guys with the 'cold dead hands' bumper stickers. Well, you can have my Brooks saddle when you pry it from my cold dead hands....

...which is not an invitation to kill me and take my saddle...i'm just saying that I like it...a lot.
You can have MY brooks when you pry it from my cold, dead, err... butt?
Crashtest is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.