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Brooks B-17 vs Brooks FLYER

Old 12-04-12, 10:36 AM
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chefisaac
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Brooks B-17 vs Brooks FLYER

Does anyone have any experience with the Brooks Flyer? Thoughts? Positives? Negatives?

I use a B-17 on both my bikes and love it. Just curious if the Flyer might be better for touring.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:40 AM
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I have toured on both and heartedly recommend the Flyer -

it's like sitting on a pillow all day. B-17s not bad, but the flyer offers ubelievable all day comfort.
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Old 12-04-12, 12:26 PM
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My wife and I have only used the flyer and highly recomend it. With the springs on the flyer and 35c tires we ride all day in total comfort.
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Old 12-04-12, 04:44 PM
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I ordered my saddle from Wallbike and got both the B-17 and the Flyer to test. After riding around on the flyer I thought it was a little overkill on my LHT with 35mm tires.

Then I tried the B-17 and after just 15 minutes my back was killing me. I couldn't believe how much the flyer was dampening the road shock.

The Flyer went back on and the B-17 went back to Wallbike.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:42 PM
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I got a Flyer, but my daughter got me to put in on her bike. It's still there. Even after I had to ride my B-17 standard all the way across the country while she was riding on my Flyer! I still wonder how it feels to ride on one.
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Old 12-05-12, 07:18 AM
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I haven't completely broken mine in yet so I can't do a full review but I can vouch for the springs. I was told that they only help on the big bumps but for me they clearly dampen road vibration too. On chip seal, bumpy trails, rough sections of road this makes a huge difference in your comfort.
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Old 12-05-12, 08:44 AM
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I have never used a Flyer, but I assume the springs are the same as those on the discontinued Conquest that I use.

From reading the above comments supporting the Flyer, if I did not know better I would assume that riding on it was like being on a magic carpet or soft mattress or something like that. That is not the case, the springs are great but they are mainly useful for smoothing out the road vibration. You will still find yourself standing on the pedals as you approach large bumps, etc.

The Conquest that I ride is essentially a sprung Brooks Pro. (The Pro is narrower than the B17, my sit bones make this shape better for me than the B17 that I tried but did not like.) I have used both the sprung Conquest and unsprung Pro and prefer the Conquest for touring. But I just wanted to make sure you did not get your hopes tooooooo high about the ride that you get with the springs.

Touring, I think that the springs are more useful than for other riding. Your 55th mile of the day is a lot harder than your 5th mile of the day, your rear is more sore, the reduced road vibration is much more noticable at that point during your ride.

Also keep in mind that the springs are not adjustable for your weight. If you are heavy, the springs deflect much more than if you are light weight. Someone that weighs very little then might not get as much advantage from the springs as a heavy person. I weight about 180 pounds but a couple years ago was at about 205. If I was 140 or 150, I might not feel that the springs are worth it.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 12-05-12 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 12-05-12, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have never used a Flyer, but I assume the springs are the same as those on the discontinued Conquest that I use.

From reading the above comments supporting the Flyer, if I did not know better I would assume that riding on it was like being on a magic carpet or soft mattress or something like that. That is not the case, the springs are great but they are mainly useful for smoothing out the road vibration. You will still find yourself standing on the pedals as you approach large bumps, etc.

The Conquest that I ride is essentially a sprung Brooks Pro. (The Pro is narrower than the B17, my sit bones make this shape better for me than the B17 that I tried but did not like.) I have used both the sprung Conquest and unsprung Pro and prefer the Conquest for touring. But I just wanted to make sure you did not get your hopes tooooooo high about the ride that you get with the springs.

Touring, I think that the springs are more useful than for other riding. Your 55th mile of the day is a lot harder than your 5th mile of the day, your rear is more sore, the reduced road vibration is much more noticable at that point during your ride.

Also keep in mind that the springs are not adjustable for your weight. If you are heavy, the springs deflect much more than if you are light weight. Someone that weighs very little then might not get as much advantage from the springs as a heavy person. I weight about 180 pounds but a couple years ago was at about 205. If I was 140 or 150, I might not feel that the springs are worth it.
Bingo, my thoughts exactly! I have toured on both saddles and currently on the Flyer. I love my saddle but agree that a very light rider won't benefit as much (or at all) as a heavy rider.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:56 AM
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I'm 150lbs and the springs in the Flyer are worth every penny.
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Old 12-08-12, 04:17 PM
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I have a Flyer on my Tricross and love it. I put a b17 on my Fargo because it has a Thudbuster seatpost and that combination works very well too. Just put a Flyer S on my wife's Trek and she loves it.
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Old 12-08-12, 07:23 PM
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The flyer is a very noisy saddle. mine creaks and sqeeks enough that I sometimes get a little annoyed. Sometimes I tune it out, then stand up for a hill and realize how loud its been.
It is pretty comfortable though, even though I am one of the lucky people who can stand almost any saddle for touring, it is really nice for day after day riding.
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Old 12-08-12, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
The flyer is a very noisy saddle. mine creaks and sqeeks enough that I sometimes get a little annoyed. Sometimes I tune it out, then stand up for a hill and realize how loud its been.
It is pretty comfortable though, even though I am one of the lucky people who can stand almost any saddle for touring, it is really nice for day after day riding.
The custom bike people say the same thing but he said to grease the springs.
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Old 12-08-12, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
The flyer is a very noisy saddle. mine creaks and sqeeks enough that I sometimes get a little annoyed. Sometimes I tune it out, then stand up for a hill and realize how loud its been.
It is pretty comfortable though, even though I am one of the lucky people who can stand almost any saddle for touring, it is really nice for day after day riding.
Yep, they can get squeeky, just lube up the springs and the connection to the saddle and all is well for a couple thousand miles. Lube can be oil, grease or Brooks wax.
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Old 12-08-12, 09:20 PM
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Love my Flyer...a few century plus rides this past summer on my TransAm tour...my butt was fine...can't say the same for other parts of my body after 128 miles!
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Old 12-08-12, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
The flyer is a very noisy saddle. mine creaks and sqeeks enough that I sometimes get a little annoyed. Sometimes I tune it out, then stand up for a hill and realize how loud its been.
It is pretty comfortable though, even though I am one of the lucky people who can stand almost any saddle for touring, it is really nice for day after day riding.
I had a squeak and creak. Tightening the spring bolts took care of the creak and putting finish line ceramic lube in every area that I thought needed it got rid of the squeak. It's totally quiet now.
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Old 12-09-12, 08:51 PM
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I ride both, the Flyer is more comfortable hands down. I use the B17 on my go fast bike.

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Old 12-09-12, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mm718 View Post
I had a squeak and creak. Tightening the spring bolts took care of the creak and putting finish line ceramic lube in every area that I thought needed it got rid of the squeak. It's totally quiet now.
Well, you inspired me to try greasing it again. Disasembled the whole thing this time and used some vintage K22 silicone lubricant on everything.
So far its quiet.
Last time I tried greasing it was at a service station/garage somewhere in backcountry Mississippi. it worked for about two days, then started again. The lubricant I used this time should be a little better than the grease gun I was loaned. I also used their grinder to alter a box end wrench to adjust the tension. The Mechanics on duty must have thought I was some sort of crazy person.
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Old 12-10-12, 09:36 AM
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Brooks Flyer.....ORDERED! :0P
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Old 12-10-12, 05:26 PM
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Well, you inspired me to try greasing it again. Disasembled the whole thing this time and used some vintage K22 silicone lubricant on everything.
So far its quiet.
Last time I tried greasing it was at a service station/garage somewhere in backcountry Mississippi. it worked for about two days, then started again. The lubricant I used this time should be a little better than the grease gun I was loaned. I also used their grinder to alter a box end wrench to adjust the tension. The Mechanics on duty must have thought I was some sort of crazy person.

Let us know how the silcone works out... I just have a few hundred miles on my Flyer since the lube but so far so good. Like you I find the squeaks and creaks annoying so I want to have all this worked out before any significant tours. A squeak might be charming on a beater bike for a run to the store but not on a touring bike for several hours a day.
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Old 12-10-12, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Brooks Flyer.....ORDERED! :0P
Good move! I think you are going to love it...
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Old 12-10-12, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Also keep in mind that the springs are not adjustable for your weight. If you are heavy, the springs deflect much more than if you are light weight. Someone that weighs very little then might not get as much advantage from the springs as a heavy person. I weight about 180 pounds but a couple years ago was at about 205. If I was 140 or 150, I might not feel that the springs are worth it.
This is probably true, but I weigh between 150 and 160 pounds, and like the flyer. I have a B-17 on my tandem and fixie, but the flyer on my other bicycle, with racks, fenders, lights. If I had the choice, I would consider getting the flyer for the tandem.

I also agree with the comment about the flyer not being a magic carpet. I can, however, tell that the springs are working.

I had a bit of trouble with the flyer at first, because my weight changed the saddle's angle. My first ride of any length with the flyer was to pick up a fairly large quantity of frozen meat, in the snow. As I became more tired, more of my weight rested on the saddle, and the angle changed more, so that the saddle was quite painful by the time I returned home. Now that I have the angle adjusted, I haven't had any further discomfort.
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Old 12-11-12, 05:51 PM
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All I can say is that after many a day of touring I've gotten off the bike complaining about the wind, climbs, rain, dangerous drivers....but, never about my arse!
(I ride a flyer).
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Old 12-19-12, 08:27 AM
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Blimmin eck! Following posts in another forum I found similar amounts of positive remarks to here, but for the B17. Thus I ignored my instincts which leaned toward the Flyer (Special) and bought the B17 Special. I've nothing bad to report about the B17 as yet except it seems more comfortable than the Swift Ti it replaced.
This wasnt too surprising as my bike is a Moulton APB which enjoys a very upright riding position. I've only done a few short rides so far. My original Brooks saddle before the Swift was a B73 which was very comfortable but as my bike is already a weighty version, I was looking for ways to lighten things up.
The 1.1kg B73 I decided had to go. Not so sure now that it was a good decision although I think one day losing a nut holding one of the rear springs as I was riding along quite far from home helped me make it.
If I ever get another sprung Brooks saddle, I'll invest in some nylock nuts to try to prevent a repeat performance. Unlike then, the nylock nuts are now plentifully available in stainless steel or alloy (at least in my neck of the woods).
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Old 12-19-12, 12:09 PM
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I have two B17s and one Flyer. The Flyer is heavy, but very comfortable (and was comfortable from day one). The B17s took awhile to break in, and were not so comfortable initially, but they're both very comfortable now. I don't really have a preference. Both models are very nice.
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Old 12-19-12, 02:18 PM
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The ONLY two downsides I have for the the Flyer vs. the B17 is 1) the springs on the Flyer make mounting certain saddlebags tricky, and 2) it is heavier. I own both a B17 and a Flyer and the Flyer is the one I would choose for touring.
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