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Brooks B17 Saddle+Gel shorts

Old 10-24-19, 05:41 PM
  #1  
Love_Bikes
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Brooks B17 Saddle+Gel shorts

Is it a bad idea to wear padded shorts on a Brooks saddle? The gel seat on a smooth saddle does not make a good grip for my butt in the seat. Thanks
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Old 10-24-19, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Love_Bikes View Post
Is it a bad idea to wear padded shorts on a Brooks saddle? The gel seat on a smooth saddle does not make a good grip for my butt in the seat. Thanks
I almost always wear padded shorts on my Brooks saddles. I do not have any grip, my shorts easily slide on the saddle which does not bother me.

The rare times when I do not have padded shorts is for short errands to the store or something like that.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:25 PM
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My butt hurts on my brooks saddle after 1.5 hours when without shorts. Shorter rides than that, I don't wear padded shorts. Longer than that, I would wear them, but then I have to readjust the saddle height to lower it by around 4 or 5mm because of the extra height from the pads. Brooks saddles are slippy slidey whether or not I wear padded shorts. I actually prefer it that way so that my skin can freely move wherever it needs to go. With padded shorts, I get a slight discomfort after 2 hours but it's bearable.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:28 PM
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Yep, I wear padded shorts (actually padded underwear things) on my B-17 almost always.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:34 PM
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I read that brooks saddle adjust's to your butt bones once broken-into and so, wearing a padded short defeats that purpose? Thank you for the suggestions on not wearing padded shorts during shorter rides. Excellent idea!
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Old 10-24-19, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Love_Bikes View Post
I read that brooks saddle adjust's to your butt bones once broken-into and so, wearing a padded short defeats that purpose? Thank you for the suggestions on not wearing padded shorts during shorter rides. Excellent idea!
The padded shorts are not thick enough to prevent your saddle from breaking in to your body shape.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:41 AM
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always wear padded bike shorts unless commuting short distances.
and as brought up, the "slideyness" of a leather seat is part of why they are comfortable, less friction that leads to friction to skin--my experience anyway.
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Old 10-26-19, 04:04 AM
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I'm not a big fan of gel anything. I have tried it and I don't feel any difference over a little padding with frictionless fabric.
A good saddle will over come "over padding". Yes, I have a Brooks C17 for my touring bike and can spend all day on the bike, where my other bikes have mid range saddles after a few hours start to hurt, with the same shorts.
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Old 10-26-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Love_Bikes View Post
Is it a bad idea to wear padded shorts on a Brooks saddle? The gel seat on a smooth saddle does not make a good grip for my butt in the seat. Thanks
I always wear padded shorts on my Brooks and having the saddle at the right angle eliminates any tendency to slide forwards or back.
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Old 10-26-19, 06:09 PM
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I personally don't. I own an Imperial and have found it a lot more comfortable without either gel shorts or even a rain cover.
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Old 10-27-19, 03:54 PM
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I thought the whole point of spending $100+ on a Brooks, which also requires more care than a regular seat, was that it's supposed to just be comfortable. If you're wearing padded shorts anyway, why not just save yourself a lot of money and get a cheaper seat that you won't have to constantly worry about getting wet, dried out, etc...
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Old 10-27-19, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I thought the whole point of spending $100+ on a Brooks, which also requires more care than a regular seat, was that it's supposed to just be comfortable. If you're wearing padded shorts anyway, why not just save yourself a lot of money and get a cheaper seat that you won't have to constantly worry about getting wet, dried out, etc...
If you could simply wear padded shorts and that would be enough to turn any crappy saddle into something great, we could all have saved a lot of money and bought crappy saddles.

For a six or eight or ten or twelve hour day, I really want a good saddle AND padded shorts. My longest day this year was 12 hours, 36 minutes.

I do not constantly worry about it getting wet, when it starts raining I put on the rain cover. And in the evening in case of heavy dew I put on the rain cover. About once a year I put on some Proofide on the bikes I rode the most, but some years I forget to do it.
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Old 10-27-19, 04:42 PM
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I agree, my skinny little keester prefers good cycling shirts shorts AND my comfy leather seats, but hey, that's me. I simply don't like having a sore donkey after a days ride.
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Old 10-27-19, 10:31 PM
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Also, I've cut my saddle to lower the bridge of the nose to relieve pressure on the perineum tissue and male organs, since the leather starts to sag a little bit after a while, causing the nose to rise. With the weakened structure, I added an extra row of lacing to the sides to pull them in. The extra cut works really well. Before I kept getting bumped by the bridge and was getting sore after only 30 minutes. Now there is almost zero contact with the bridge. I cut all the way to the tip of the metal plate under the nose. I tried 20 other plastic saddles which were either too narrow, too steep, too soft, or too sharp on the edges. So I came back to the Brooks and experimented with modifying it.






Last edited by tomtomtom123; 10-27-19 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 10-27-19, 10:42 PM
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Padless shorts and a leather Brooks is all day comfort in the saddle. I've often wondered if it would be even more comfortable completely naked......the world may never know....
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Old 10-27-19, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I thought the whole point of spending $100+ on a Brooks, which also requires more care than a regular seat, was that it's supposed to just be comfortable. If you're wearing padded shorts anyway, why not just save yourself a lot of money and get a cheaper seat that you won't have to constantly worry about getting wet, dried out, etc...

Unpadded shorts/undies can bunch up uncomfortably with any saddle, padded shorts help prevent that. One can buy shorts w/thinner padding if the saddle is otherwise comfy.
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Old 10-28-19, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Love_Bikes View Post
I read that brooks saddle adjust's to your butt bones once broken-into and so, wearing a padded short defeats that purpose?
I've never heard that myself. I've got about 3k miles on my B17; at least 2k of those in padded shorts. A Brooks saddle isn't so special as to change the basic rules-of-thumb (rule of thumbs?).
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Old 10-28-19, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I thought the whole point of spending $100+ on a Brooks, which also requires more care than a regular seat, was that it's supposed to just be comfortable. If you're wearing padded shorts anyway, why not just save yourself a lot of money and get a cheaper seat that you won't have to constantly worry about getting wet, dried out, etc...
Yeah, it would be nice if such magic shorts existed. But alas. What a Brooks did for me was increase my max saddle time from around 3 hrs, to as long as I could stay out. (10-plus hours on many days with my ass being a non-issue.)

So far, I haven't had to give the Brooks any special care considerations. But I usually tour in the desert and don't ride from home in the rain.
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Old 10-28-19, 05:12 PM
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Padded shorts unless I'm on a short ride.

Sliding around is part fo the fun, isn't it?
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Old 10-28-19, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by I.B.Roots View Post
Padded shorts unless I'm on a short ride.

Sliding around is part fo the fun, isn't it?
My Brooks B.17 didn't work out for me (nose & skirt too wide) but I kinda liked the smooth surface, let's one adjust position easily & doesn't grab shorts. I reckon if one is sliding out of position too much the saddle position needs to be adjusted.
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Old 10-29-19, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Love_Bikes View Post
Is it a bad idea to wear padded shorts on a Brooks saddle? The gel seat on a smooth saddle does not make a good grip for my butt in the seat. Thanks
My shorts have padding ... but I've never worn gel shorts.
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Old 10-29-19, 09:05 AM
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As no one has mentioned this yet, gel shorts are pretty much a gimmick, similar to gel seat covers.
I would not recommend buying them, if they worked that well, they would be popular, but they are seldom seen and used.
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Old 10-29-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
As no one has mentioned this yet, gel shorts are pretty much a gimmick, similar to gel seat covers.
I would not recommend buying them, if they worked that well, they would be popular, but they are seldom seen and used.
Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of cyclists that use them competitively or touring.

Last edited by BikeWonder; 10-29-19 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 10-29-19, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of cyclists that use them competitively or touring.
If you say so, I'll check out more closely next time in a bike store. I was under the impression gel stuff was rarely seen in padded shorts and bibs.
I do have a 1990 avocet gel touring seat that fell apart ages ago, it was always kinda sweaty back in the day.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of cyclists that use them competitively or touring.
No offense, but the popularity of a product does not necessarily make it a good product.
A few examples from our past:
-The Pet Rock
-The Segway
-Google glasses
and of course the worst product that sold hundreds of thousands and may have even caused deaths:
The Singing Bass (Big Mouth Billy Bass)

I'm not saying that gel is bad, but I believe it has been over hyped, over used and put into poor quality products so any benefits it may offer are nil
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