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Now that my Brooks saddle has arrived...

Old 04-27-22, 01:30 PM
  #1  
zacster
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Now that my Brooks saddle has arrived...

I'm beginning to doubt that I want it. This B17 is rock hard and heavy. After all these years of riding (I'm 67) I don't think I need something new to torture my butt, even for a few weeks. I've seen the reviews and comments about how once broken in you'll never want to go back but I've also seen plenty of comments on how they never quite break in and are as uncomfortable after a month as they are on the first ride. At this point in my life maybe I should just stick to what I have. For that matter, my Selle Italia road saddle might be the most comfortable for me as I've been on that one more than any other and I've done 10-12 hour days on it without giving it any thought. The one thing I can see with the Brooks is that the smoothness of the leather will prevent some chafing. The saddle currently on the bike I'm setting up for touring is some no-name padded one that is falling apart, so I need something. Now that I think about it, I've been saying this for years now but it is still on the bike and hasn't gotten any worse.

I was looking at all the photos in the sticky at the top, and see maybe a third of riders are using a Brooks, yet I remember looking and being surprised that EVERYONE was using it. Maybe I was just surprised to see that many as you don't see them much out and about on local rides, but then again you don't really ever see the saddles.

I'm more inclined to go with a lightly padded saddle than this Brooks at this point and save myself some money. I just don't know which though, and saddles run the gamut. I've got a few months to decide, but I should break my butt into whatever one I decide in advance.
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Old 04-27-22, 01:32 PM
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Mine was comfortable right out of the box. You won’t know until you try it. A broken in brooks isn’t “soft”. I think a lot of people erroneously think of a nice soft leather chair. It’s never going to be that.
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Old 04-27-22, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Mine was comfortable right out of the box. You won’t know until you try it. A broken in brooks isn’t “soft”. I think a lot of people erroneously think of a nice soft leather chair. It’s never going to be that.
Yea, but do I want to commit the money to trying it? Maybe I should give it a try and sell it if I don't like it. I didn't see many for sale out there in new condition so it should be an easy sell.
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Old 04-27-22, 02:31 PM
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Brooks break-in

If your Brooks gives you problems, try my "tennis ball break-in" as described in the linked BF thread. It might help you. It has me.

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Old 04-27-22, 07:49 PM
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I loved my brooks out of the box, and it got better every ride. I can't imagine riding without one now. However, I have also ridden saddles that everyone loves that didn't work form me. If a brooks works for you I think you will know off the bat - I don't think mine is much more comfortable than when I got it - it is just broken in - but the overall feel didn't change too much.

But in saying all of that - If you are looking to sell it, I have been considering going back the straight b17 route - currently riding a flyer special.
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Old 04-27-22, 08:58 PM
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I too never had a break in period for my B17. Comfy right from the get go and my butt thanks me when i do a long day touring.
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Old 04-27-22, 10:01 PM
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I'll give it a try if the weather ever gets to normal here. 25-30mph winds all day. It hasn't been much of a spring with 1 or 2 normal days and the rest just cold and windy and overall not very nice. Sometime around mid May it'll hit 90 and that'll be the start of summer without a spring. I'm doing the 5 boro bike tour on Sunday and I don't want to use it for that in case I can't get comfortable.
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Old 04-27-22, 10:43 PM
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imi
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I can’t imagine ever riding such a monstrosity.
Selle Italia ”genuine gel” saddles suit me perfectly and I don’t even wear padded shorts.
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Old 04-28-22, 04:19 AM
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Every one is different in their preferences. I found my one and only Brooks just okay when new. It didn't get better with break in though and when it was really well broken in with full dinples I actually hated it. I am not very fussy about saddles and am fine with most of the saddles that came with my bikes. The worst of them required a few hundred miles of getting used to but I could ride across the country on any of them. That said I do have a preference for WTB Volt saddles.
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Old 04-28-22, 06:00 AM
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Some people really do not like them, others do.

The B17 I bought based on recommendations for touring is wider than I care for. I had used a Brooks Pro decades earlier and was happy with the shape of that. Now I have Brooks Conquest (essentially a sprung Pro) on most of my bikes. Very happy with them.

I need about 500 miles to get a Brooks to where I want it. Once you put Proofide on it, that will slow how it forms to you, do not put anything on it until it gets broken in. But make sure you do not get rain on it or ride in the rain, riding in the rain could ruin it. That said, once you have applied a few layers of Proofide to it, it can handle damp conditions, but you should still use a rain cover for rainy days. Or if touring, rain cover at night to keep dew off of it.
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Old 04-28-22, 06:09 AM
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My take is if you can do 10-12 hours days on another saddle, go with that saddle.

I went to a Brooks because I could not do multiple hours on a padded saddle due to chafing. I like the B17, but then found the "C" series (C19 in my case) to be even better.
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Old 04-28-22, 06:32 AM
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I did not find the B17 to the end all of saddles but, found the B67 sprung saddle to be the bomb for me you just don't know till you try.
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Old 04-28-22, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I'll give it a try if the weather ever gets to normal here. 25-30mph winds all day.
It's nasty windy out there. Awful.

Thankfully Sunday is supposed to be decent. 30,000 cyclists...now that's a group ride!
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Old 04-28-22, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mbusky View Post
I did not find the B17 to the end all of saddles but, found the B67 sprung saddle to be the bomb for me you just don't know till you try.
I thought about the B67 or the Flyer but the weight talked me out of it. I'm adding too much weight to this bike that I used to use for commuting that was always heavy enough. And then I thought if I like it I'd swap it to my 16lb road bike but it would be way too heavy for that. Even the B17 feels really heavy. I'd love to try them all but that gets expensive.
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Old 04-28-22, 07:26 AM
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I just bought like new B17 and the guy I bought it from said he took one ride and hated it. $80 it was a score. I fully know good and well it will be 400-500 miles of pain then it will feel great. Just waiting for the Proofide conditioner to show up.
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Old 04-28-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jadmt View Post
I fully know good and well it will be 400-500 miles of pain then it will feel great.
I suspect that a lot of saddles would be fine if riders had that level of commitment to making them work. I find that my body breaks in to any remotely decent saddle in 400-500 miles if not a good bit sooner.
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Old 04-28-22, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I suspect that a lot of saddles would be fine if riders had that level of commitment to making them work. I find that my body breaks in to any remotely decent saddle in 400-500 miles if not a good bit sooner.
I agree but none really look as good as a Brookes B17 I can't wait to get this thing mounted and broken in...just need to wait for Chris King broken lock nut to get here first...it is going to look great on my 1993 Serotta ATX...

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Old 04-28-22, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I suspect that a lot of saddles would be fine if riders had that level of commitment to making them work. I find that my body breaks in to any remotely decent saddle in 400-500 miles if not a good bit sooner.
I tried two different C17s and after only 20 miles I knew that it was not going to work. One is now on my errand and grocery shopping bike, it works for a couple miles.
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Old 04-28-22, 11:08 AM
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Takes me about 500 miles to break in a B17. Maybe even more.
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Old 04-28-22, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
My take is if you can do 10-12 hours days on another saddle, go with that saddle.
No Brainer
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Old 04-28-22, 01:41 PM
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After years of hating the look and the weight of Brooks saddles, a few years ago, I took the plunge and bought a VGC Brooks B17 narrow. I tried 3 different times, on 3 different bikes, to get to where I could ride the saddle more than an hour before it became quite uncomfortable. I also tried more set ups with it than I can remember. A couple of months ago, I saw a post from a member looking for one, and sold it to him for a pretty low cost. He pm'd me to tell me was very happy with the saddle, that made me happy. My favorite saddles are Pro Turnix and Griffon, narrow size. They just plain fit my rear end really well.
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Old 04-28-22, 10:23 PM
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I am one of the lucky ones where the B17 was comfortable out of the box. I cannot say it's the best or most comfortable saddle, as I have not tried all saddles, but the padded saddles I have tried were very uncomfortable for me after a few hours of riding. The breaking in period is not the softening of the leather, but the stretching of the leather where your butt bones contact. With newer tech, there are synthetic materials which comare to the adaptability of natural leather. The C17 for example. As far as weight goes, there are numerous versions of the B17. The Titanium version is much lighter.
I don't know what to recommend, but if the saddle is unbearable now, I believe it will not change that much in the future
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Old 04-29-22, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I don't know what to recommend, but if the saddle is unbearable now, I believe it will not change that much in the future
If you are directing that comment at me, the OP, I haven't even tried it yet so I don't know if it will be comfortable or not. I'm still debating whether to even try it.
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Old 04-29-22, 07:18 AM
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As usual with you Americans, I blame the lack of gun control, because clearly someone put a gun to your head to make you buy it.

A seat is just a seat, life is too short if you don't like it. I like mine but don't fret, you should be able to sell it easily if you don't like it.

Or sell it right away.
Up to you.
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Old 04-29-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
... , I haven't even tried it yet so I don't know if it will be comfortable or not. I'm still debating whether to even try it.
Sounds to me like you already decided. Buyers remorse is a bummer, best fixed quickly.
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