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Brooks saddle, should I give it a try?

Old 07-17-22, 09:31 PM
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Best way to break in a new Brooks saddle is to hose it soaking wet and go for a ride. Boom, broken in after one ride. Does this shorten the life of the saddle? Yes, it shortens it by the 1000 miles breaking in timeframe. It's a saddle, not a child. Ride it till it croaks and buy another one.
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Old 07-17-22, 10:19 PM
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Having gone through 2 brooks saddles, I now have a SERFAS RX-922V. So far it is much more comfortable from the very first ride.
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Old 07-18-22, 12:01 AM
  #28  
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I wouldnt get a saddle

Unless it was from a reputable bike shop that would spend time asking about my riding style, flexibly and preferences as well as help me with a fit. I bought a new saddle recently this way and it made a huge difference.


saddles are so subjective and have so many factors affecting comfort and power transfer that I would never buy online.

my $0.02
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Old 07-18-22, 06:59 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
Unless it was from a reputable bike shop that would spend time asking about my riding style, flexibly and preferences as well as help me with a fit. I bought a new saddle recently this way and it made a huge difference.


saddles are so subjective and have so many factors affecting comfort and power transfer that I would never buy online.

my $0.02
I on the other had, made my own saddle program by buying 6-7 saddles online used, trying them all out, kept the one I liked, sold the others (online and Craigslist), and ended up just about breaking even. I think my spreadsheet said I was slightly ahead if you didn't count the cost of the one I kept - slightly behind if you did (but definitely below the price of a new one of the saddle I kept, Selle San Marco Regal).
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Old 07-18-22, 07:42 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Best way to break in a new Brooks saddle is to hose it soaking wet and go for a ride. Boom, broken in after one ride. Does this shorten the life of the saddle? Yes, it shortens it by the 1000 miles breaking in timeframe. It's a saddle, not a child. Ride it till it croaks and buy another one.
I guess that works if you want to really break it in. I found that the one and only brooks that I owned, a b17, was just okay when new and went downhill from there. so for me that break in procedure would eliminate any usefil life at all. I am probably the exception though.
I'd never buy another brooks based on my experience with that b17. I do wonder if I'd find the c models more acceptable, but really see no reason to try them when I like the WTB Volt models really well. Truth be told I am not very fussy about saddles and am actually okay with the saddles that came with the bikes I own. I have upgraded some to a volt, but would ride the originals coast to coast without much complaint if any. Even the cheapie that came on my bikes direct windsor touring was okay for the trans americe after breaking in my bottom to it a few hundred miles.

The well broken in brooks was pretty much my least favorite saddle. I guess the hammock style just doesn't work for everyone. My point is that the brooks is great for some, but you shouldn't assume it will be for you. Also, committing to a radically different style of saddle too close to a long trip may be a big mistake.
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Old 07-18-22, 07:54 AM
  #31  
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I have Brooks B-17 saddles on two of my bikes and they work for me. I would not change saddles before a major tour.
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Old 07-18-22, 10:59 AM
  #32  
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A Brooks saddle is not some mythical thing. It's just a saddle. If Your current saddle works fine for You then don't switch.
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Old 07-18-22, 11:59 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I guess that works if you want to really break it in. I found that the one and only brooks that I owned, a b17, was just okay when new and went downhill from there. so for me that break in procedure would eliminate any usefil life at all. I am probably the exception though.
I'd never buy another brooks based on my experience with that b17. I do wonder if I'd find the c models more acceptable, but really see no reason to try them when I like the WTB Volt models really well. Truth be told I am not very fussy about saddles and am actually okay with the saddles that came with the bikes I own. I have upgraded some to a volt, but would ride the originals coast to coast without much complaint if any. Even the cheapie that came on my bikes direct windsor touring was okay for the trans americe after breaking in my bottom to it a few hundred miles.

The well broken in brooks was pretty much my least favorite saddle. I guess the hammock style just doesn't work for everyone. My point is that the brooks is great for some, but you shouldn't assume it will be for you. Also, committing to a radically different style of saddle too close to a long trip may be a big mistake.
The worst saddle I ever toured on as the Fizik Arione. This is a very popular saddle amongst road cyclists and people claim it is very comfortable. I have a pretty aggressive position on my touring bike so I figured I'd try it. It's simply not padded enough. It was like riding on a permanently new Brooks saddle. I ended up wearing double shorts that tour.

Personally I left Brooks a few years ago and went over to Selle Anatomica. They are softer than Brooks and have no break in period in my experience. However they do have a shorter life. They have a model where the leather is user replaceable so that's what I settled on.
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Old 07-18-22, 12:51 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Personally I left Brooks a few years ago and went over to Selle Anatomica. They are softer than Brooks and have no break-in period in my experience. However, they do have a shorter life. They have a model where the leather is user replaceable so that's what I settled on.
In fact, you can swap the leather top with Selle Anatomica's R2 vulcanized rubber top, too.

I like that Selle Anatomica's slots in their cast tailpiece are easier on my saddlebag straps than the sharp-edged sheet metal of most other tensioned leather saddles.
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Old 07-19-22, 06:50 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
Spending $120 on a Brooks saddle and not liking it is a concern
Have you seen bike seat prices? There are scads of good bike seats in the 75 to 200 buck range, so no different really.

But yup, buying any seat can be a crapshoot.
Having enough riding experience to know what shape etc works for you already can help though.
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Old 07-19-22, 06:54 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by HendersonD View Post
I have a 13 day 680 mile bike tour starting the third week of September. I am using a Trek 520 touring bike that currently has a Selle Italia Sport Gel Flow saddle. I am thinking about purchasing a Brooks saddle to use on this tour. A few questions:
  1. If I go this route, which Brooks should I purchase? I know the B17 is the classic choice
  2. The B17 is a leather saddle so how would this work on a tour when rain is likely?
  3. Do you think the Brooks will be more comfortable than my current Selle Italia saddle?
As noted, using something new or newish seat putting in 13 days of riding 5, 6 hours a day is just asking for trouble, unless you can put the hours in and make sure it works.

Time honoured tradition of not using new "magically better" stuff before any self propelled trip, hiking boots or bike seat or whatever.
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Old 07-19-22, 07:23 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
As noted, using something new or newish seat putting in 13 days of riding 5, 6 hours a day is just asking for trouble, unless you can put the hours in and make sure it works.

Time honoured tradition of not using new "magically better" stuff before any self propelled trip, hiking boots or bike seat or whatever.
I think this is a bigger deal when going to something that is way different like a leather saddle. I feel like I can personally choose any of a pretty large number of similar saddles and be fine. I have a history of knowing that I am not too fussy about saddles within a certain range of designs though. Even given that I'd be inclined to spend a little time on a given saddle before heading out on a long tour. Some (probably most) need to take greater care.

I think that riders with a more aggressive posture are likely to carry more weight on their legs and less on the saddle. If they are comfortable with that posture it will likely allow better saddle comfort. That may not be an answer for everyone though as some will prefer an upright posture.
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Old 07-19-22, 08:43 AM
  #38  
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Really all I wanted to emphasize is the downsides of anything that you really haven't spent a lot of time sitting on or using to see how it works, whether it's new padded bike shorts, or a seat or shoes.

It's just no fun maybe having issues on a planned vacation, supposed to be fun time, and dealing with a sore arse or other bits or feet or whatever, when your body is the motor for 680 miles
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Old 07-21-22, 02:11 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
Personally I left Brooks a few years ago and went over to Selle Anatomica. They are softer than Brooks and have no break in period in my experience.
+1 on the Selle A. I switched my Brooks Flyer from our touring tandem to my commuter and loved it there. I found the Anatomica suited me better on tour.
I lost possession of my now-well-broken-in men's Brooks Flyer when I lent it in 2020 to my stoker, who disliked her expensive Terry women's saddle. She almost instantly fell in love with the Flyer and refused to give it back. She continues to rave about it after many 1,000s of miles.
Really all I wanted to emphasize is the downsides of anything that you really haven't spent a lot of time sitting on or using to see how it works, whether it's new padded bike shorts, or a seat or shoes.
+1 on this, too. For both my Flyer and my Selle, I put them on my commuter bike first and rode them 8 miles a day for several months before shifting them to the touring tandem. By the time we took off on tour, I knew they worked.
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Old 08-14-22, 06:56 AM
  #40  
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So interwebs question asker, did you get one?
still doing your trip in Sept?
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Old 08-14-22, 07:12 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
So interwebs question asker, did you get one?
still doing your trip in Sept?
I ended up purchasing a Selle Anatomica H2 saddle which is similar to the Brooks. It will arrive tomorrow so once I take a few rides with it, I will report back. I am doing a trip in September
https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/flowersteelcapital/
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Old 08-14-22, 07:46 AM
  #42  
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Hope it works out.
hey, I saw that you are going with MTB tire shorts and padded liners. If your regular padded bike shorts are more comfortable and especially cooler on really hot days, consider getting some cheap thin pull over shorts to put on when going into stores or restaurants.
I do this, because I find the MTB shorts over liners or thinner padded bike shorts to be a lot hotter than regular bike shorts only. My regular padded bike shorts are also very comfortable for me touring and biking day after day, so I prioritize that, but throwing on the thin over shorts is easy and fast.

I usually keep these over shorts under the bungee holding my tent on rack so I can grab them easily, also handy when sitting on rocks or whatever to not damage Lycra.

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Old 08-14-22, 03:41 PM
  #43  
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One thing to consider is that B-17 comes in one size, so if you are at the upper/lower end of the size grid you might have to compromise on a b17
SQ Lab and Ergon have a different approach but you get to choose your size.
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Old 08-15-22, 03:27 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ciquta View Post
One thing to consider is that B-17 comes in one size, so if you are at the upper/lower end of the size grid you might have to compromise on a b17
SQ Lab and Ergon have a different approach but you get to choose your size.
They have the B17 short and B17 narrow so you have three B17's each is also available with or without a cutout
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Old 08-15-22, 05:09 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ciquta View Post
One thing to consider is that B-17 comes in one size, so if you are at the upper/lower end of the size grid you might have to compromise on a b17
SQ Lab and Ergon have a different approach but you get to choose your size.
There are lots of other models of different size and shape. I prefer a Brooks Pro (or Conquest which is discontinued again) over a B17.
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Old 08-15-22, 05:23 AM
  #46  
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It takes some special care to tour on a B17. If you do not have fenders and do not cover it in the rain when unattended, you're asking to trouble.

So, I would caution OP.

Nonetheless, I have cross the USA on a B17 Special with Ti rails. No butt pain at all.
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Old 08-17-22, 04:45 PM
  #47  
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I bought one online for a good price and it went back. There was no way I was subjecting my old butt to that for even a day to break it in.

See my thread here: Now that my Brooks saddle has arrived...
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Old 08-19-22, 10:23 AM
  #48  
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B17 is the one to start with. Don't worry about rain, just ride it. Aply proofide once a year or so. They just get better until they wear out, it will be a long while, so don't worry about tit.
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Old 09-05-22, 10:28 AM
  #49  
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I don't know if it's been mentioned here yet, but it's important to point out the B17 has no aft adjustablity; there is no space on its rails ahead of the midpoint. So if your normal set up requires the clamp to intersect a line ahead of the center of the saddle (ie., you need setback), you will need a seat post with extra setback like the Velo Orange. I learned this the hard/expensive way on my Surly disc trucker.

But it was worth it. I started with the saddle I used on my road bike that I thought would be good enough for touring, but found after four hours it became a torture device. The Brooks B17, OTOH, as made saddle comfort a non-issue for over 4k miles now, with many long, 8-12 hour days on tour.

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Old 09-27-22, 05:43 AM
  #50  
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I have now ridden about 300 miles on my Selle Anatomica H2 saddle and I do think it is an improvement over the saddle I took off
This week I start a 13 day, 640 tour using my Trek 520 with this new saddle. I will report back at the end of my trip
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