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Should I believe a brooks saddle will be more comfortable than my racebike saddle?

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Should I believe a brooks saddle will be more comfortable than my racebike saddle?

Old 10-31-13, 10:25 AM
  #1  
Walter S
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Should I believe a brooks saddle will be more comfortable than my racebike saddle?

I've been riding touring bikes for about a year. My focus was on lightweight race bikes before that. For years I've been a strong believer in the hard racebike type saddle with a crevice for the male stuff. When I got my Surly about a year ago I rode the no-name saddle that was on it for a few hours and it made my crotch area particularly numb and tingly. Then I put a racebike saddle on it and have since had much better results.

The fact remains that after five or six hours of riding I get increasingly sore down there and after eight hours I'm desperate to get off the bike. I've seen strong believers in the Brooks saddle (the 17?) being great for touring. But I look at it and the lack of a crevice down the middle and it just seems like it would cut off blood flow.

They aren't cheap to try, otherwise I would just haul off and buy one and see for myself. Can any believers in the Brooks give me their perspective on this issue? Why would sitting on that seat for a long time not compress my stuff and cut off blood flow? I hate to be prejudice just by looking at it but I'm concerned about wasting a lot of money on something that won't improve my ride or might be worse than what I have.
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Old 10-31-13, 10:38 AM
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Not living a theocratic state, what you believe is a choice.. you make.

Which Race Bike Saddle ? You post No Specifics .. so you are on your own there ..
You got a flipped and slammed stem road Bike setup , Or What?

FWIW, I find similarity between My Turbos and Rolls', and the Brooks Professional .

I bought My 2 Brooks saddles 20 & 30 years ago , before Hip & Trendy .

NB:

If you bend your spine in the lower lumbar area , and not roll your hips forward as much

you wont put the pressure on the 'taint' .. Posture Matters ..

you might like The Selle Anatomica, though the hole punched in the center is to have the leather move as separate pieces.

Perhaps not enough off the bike breaks? or just stand on the pedals, off the saddle,
every-once in a while..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-01-13 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 10-31-13, 10:40 AM
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Brooks did not work for me.
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Old 10-31-13, 10:43 AM
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I'm have no experience with Brooks saddle up to this point, but a bike I just bought and will puck up at my LBS on Saturday, comes with a Brooks Swift. When I did my test ride, the saddle seemed to hard for my liking. I know many people that swear by them. I won't dispute them ... a saddle is a personal choice.

I like the little hole down the middle for my man parts. And, I don't want to wait for the "break-in period" to decide whether I like it or not.

I plan on changing the Brooks to a Terry Fly. I have them on two other bikes I ride. One I have put more them 8 hours in the saddle many time, with no issues. For my money, the Terry Fly is "my saddle". Not bashing Brooks, they certainly have a loyal following ... I feel the same way about my choice.

Worth a look ...
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Old 10-31-13, 11:04 AM
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For sit-bone comfort, a leather saddle is unbeatable. But if you have any issues with pressure on the center bits, leather saddles might not be for you. They all form a ridge in the center of the saddle eventually.

I've tried a B-17, B-67, and a Team pro on my Trek 520 and all of them put too much pressure on in the center for my comfort. I use a Specialized Avatar. It's very nice but after 6-8 hours the sit bones get beat up. Still, you can toughen the skin over sit bones over time, you can't toughen up the perineum.
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Old 10-31-13, 11:18 AM
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Have you considered a Brooks B17 Imperial model with the cut out?
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Old 10-31-13, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I've been riding touring bikes for about a year. My focus was on lightweight race bikes before that. For years I've been a strong believer in the hard racebike type saddle with a crevice for the male stuff. When I got my Surly about a year ago I rode the no-name saddle that was on it for a few hours and it made my crotch area particularly numb and tingly. Then I put a racebike saddle on it and have since had much better results.

The fact remains that after five or six hours of riding I get increasingly sore down there and after eight hours I'm desperate to get off the bike. I've seen strong believers in the Brooks saddle (the 17?) being great for touring. But I look at it and the lack of a crevice down the middle and it just seems like it would cut off blood flow.

They aren't cheap to try, otherwise I would just haul off and buy one and see for myself. Can any believers in the Brooks give me their perspective on this issue? Why would sitting on that seat for a long time not compress my stuff and cut off blood flow? I hate to be prejudice just by looking at it but I'm concerned about wasting a lot of money on something that won't improve my ride or might be worse than what I have.
Check these guys out. I have the Titanico X on my 520 and I absolutely love it.

http://www.selleanatomica.com/
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Old 10-31-13, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Have you considered a Brooks B17 Imperial model with the cut out?
Whoops, I forgot that one. Yes, I tried the Imperial also, it still didn't work out. I still had pressure in the center after the break in.
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Old 10-31-13, 01:05 PM
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Everyone is different. I am not a Brooks fan myself and find a road bike saddle to be fine for long tours. I think Wall Bike may still offer a money back refund if you want to try one out.
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Old 10-31-13, 01:22 PM
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Don't believe. Try. There's no reason a saddle shouldn't be reasonably comfortable for 24 hours. People ride much longer rides than that. It's mostly the right saddle, but also putting in the butt time. I've probably tried and returned at least 20 saddles. I also have a box of saddles that were past the point of return by the time I found they didn't work for long miles.
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Old 10-31-13, 01:50 PM
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I think saddle comfort involves proper bike set up, saddle time, and the right saddle. If you,re not riding much or your position is not dialed no saddle will be comfortable. I say saddle selection is the lowest priority element.
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Old 10-31-13, 02:09 PM
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I use a Brooks Imperial B-17 and can spend all day on it. The Brooks Imperial saddles have the cutout and are laced along the bottom. The lacing allows you to adjust the flex in the saddle (the tighter the laces, the firmer the saddle and vice-versa). The cutout causes the center of the saddle to flex downward, away from your bidness when you sit.

wallbike.com has a return policy. If you try out a Brooks from them and are not happy with it, you can return it for a full refund.
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Old 10-31-13, 02:31 PM
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Both Wallbike and Rene Herse Cycles offer 6-month satisfaction guaranteed policies on their saddles. They carry basically the same array of saddles, including Brooks and Gilles Berthoud.

I've got a Brooks B-17 on the Rambouillet with bars at saddle height, but it started to give me perineal pressure after the first few years, so I had Selle An-Atomica slot it (they are again offering that service). It is extremely comfy on that bike now. But it wouldn't be so good on the Marinoni with lower bars, and the Swift that was excellent ten years ago isn't as good now on that bike, probably because I've changed over that decade (now 64 years old with a couple of new hips and surely much less core strength). So I'm about to start my 6-month test on a GB saddle, which gets rave reviews from just about everyone that has one. Several have noted that the GB saddle works best set level while my Brooks are always nose-high, and nobody has complained about perineal pressure with GB. I will be trying it for the first time tonight.

BTW, I have a Selle An-Atomica on my Miyata that needs a saddle with longer rails, also with bars about an inch below the saddle, and it's pretty good in many riding situations, but I'm not thrilled with the more triangular shape (viewed from above) that rubs the inside of one thigh when climbing. I've seen this complaint about SAA in other saddle discussions.

i also have a Fizik Aliante Versus (center relief channel) that I'll be including in the comparison. Wouldn't surprise me if it ended up on the Miyata instead of the SAA.

Last edited by Dfrost; 10-31-13 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 10-31-13, 02:38 PM
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I use the B17 Imperial for my touring bike and find it marvellous. No numbness occurs, unlike the many other saddles I have used and worn out over the years, all of which had grooves as well.
I would get a sore bum after hours on the bike using the old saddles, as well as numbness. I have just completed a 3 month tour and had no soreness or numbness using the Imperial. I am totally sold on this saddle and recommend you try it. It was so good that even on our 'rest' days, we still felt able to cycle 50-70km since we did not have any soreness to recover from. My partner uses a B17 and is similarly pleased with it.
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Old 10-31-13, 03:40 PM
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And a seatpost that is able to finely Tune the angle and setback is adequate..

NB: Anatomica has a Lot longer range of adjustment rearward than Brooks

I have very traditional Campag 2 bolt seatposts with my Brooks'..
the Campag seat post wrench n.771 has a hex for the top bolt
and an open end spanner for Brooks' tension nut.
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Old 10-31-13, 03:51 PM
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A brooks should be comfortable everywhere. Keys are break it in, for me that took 20 min. Have a realistic posture on the bike. Be sure the seat to pedal fitis perfect. Wear lined garments
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Old 10-31-13, 04:02 PM
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When I build for brooks I use a lower seat tube angle to accommodate the design and I go further still so I don't have to use a set back post. Not a factor for the op comment.?
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Old 10-31-13, 06:51 PM
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My preference is for a leather saddle, have used Brooks, Sella Anatomica and GB. Each can be really nice, or not- different saddles for different rides. Had a brooks champion flyer on my road bike, handle bars level with seat- it felt fine. Then I had a chance to try GB Aravis, wow very nice. My partner now has the champion flyer on her road bike, after several saddle trials - doubt I'll ever get the flyer back. The commuter bike has a sella Anatomica, this probably gets the most saddle time; trips are shorter rarely more than an hr, it is very comfortable for this setting
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Old 10-31-13, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Have you considered a Brooks B17 Imperial model with the cut out?
No. That looks promising. Thank you. Will definitely consider it. Do you ride one?
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Old 10-31-13, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Namaste_608 View Post
Check these guys out. I have the Titanico X on my 520 and I absolutely love it.

http://www.selleanatomica.com/
Thanks for the link and endorsement. That looks very nice!
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Old 10-31-13, 07:00 PM
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Walt, I don't ride a Brooks Imperial but had a friend who loved his. The only downside we found is that because of the cut out, the leather seems to stretch out more quickly.
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Old 10-31-13, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
wallbike.com has a return policy. If you try out a Brooks from them and are not happy with it, you can return it for a full refund.
Good to know! Thanks
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Old 10-31-13, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Brooks did not work for me.
Me either. I tried one for 300-400 miles and truly, truly hated it. Luckily, I purchased from Wall Bike and took advantage of their six-month money-back return policy. If you're not sure about a Brooks, Wall Bike is the place to purchase from!
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Old 10-31-13, 07:46 PM
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I wonder if a major factor isn't the height of the handlebars, relative to the saddle. I sit on my sit-bones on my Brooks Flyer. That keeps the pressure off the tender parts up front. But my handlebars are about level with my saddle. As one lowers the handlebars, one can lower the nose of the saddle to avoid the collision with the tender parts. But then, surely, one will tend to slide forward on the saddle. Then again, another factor is just how much torque one is applying at the pedals. Pushing hard on the pedals is one way to move one's torso back against the saddle to counteract any tendency to slide forward.

Anyway, the secret does seem to be to keep on one's sit bones. I really like the springs on my Flyer. Mostly they don't do anything but then you hit some nasty pot hole or whatever and the sting only lasts a minute instead of the rest of the day.

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Old 10-31-13, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Which Race Bike Saddle ? You post No Specifics .. so you are on your own there ..
You got a flipped and slammed stem road Bike setup , Or What?

FWIW, I find similarity between My Turbos and Rolls', and the Brooks Professional .

I bought My 2 Brooks saddles 20 & 30 years ago , before Hip & Trendy .

NB:

If you bend your spine in the lower lumbar area , and not roll your hips forward as much

you wont put the pressure on the 'taint' .. Posture Matters ..

you might like The Selle Anatomica, though the hole punched in the center is to have the leather move as separate pieces.

Perhaps not enough off the bike breaks? or just stand on the pedals, off the saddle,
every-once in a while..
No they were hip and trendy back then too even more so than today,,,good try though
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