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Brooks saddle questions(8 posts)

Brooks saddle questionstarwheel
Jun 9, 2003 5:00 AM
I recently ordered a Brooks Team Pro, after concluding that the Swift I had been using is just too narrow for me. One of my issues with Brooks saddles is that it's difficult moving them far enough back on the rails to align my knees over the pedals. On my Swift, I've got it jammed back as far as it will go and it barely fits. The Team Pro is even worse in that regard. Jammed as far back as it will go, it's a full 2 cm forward of the position of the Swift. I just don't understand this. How could these saddles fit any modern day bike? My frame fits me fine, if anything it's a little large. It has a slack (72.5) seat tube angle, so moving the seat back far enough should not be a problem. My seatpost has a fair amount of seatback, more so than most. How do other Brooks users cope with this issue? As far as I know, my femurs aren't unusually long.
re: Brooks saddle questionsSteve Bailey
Jun 9, 2003 5:52 AM
I have 4 B17's on 4 bikes - Proflex mt. bike, Lemond Ti, Heron Road and a Miyata tourer.

The position is fine on the Miyata as it has a 72 degree seat tube angle, thus I'm setback enough. On the Lemond I'm seemingly OK with a standard Ritchey seatpost. The Proflex Mt. has a Thompson with bent post setback (which in reality has no more setback then a Ritchey). It's only on the Heron, which already has a 72.5 ST angle do I use a post with additional setback - a CLB from Wallingford.

Note that in order to use a CLB, you need a good bit of seatpost currently showing above the seat tube as the post has a sculpted shape for the top 4 inches or so that cannot be clamped. If you're already riding a frame with a "fist of seatpost" showing, the CLB probably won't work. Ditto the Thompson for than matter, though the CLB had probably 10 cm of additional setback as compared to the Ritchey or Thompson.

Steve B.
A common and mystifying problem.OldEdScott
Jun 9, 2003 7:34 AM
I don't know of anyone who uses a Brooks who doesn't have it jammed all the way back. I've wondered why they don't change the rail design just a bit. Doesn't seem like it would be that hard.

I cope by just ignoring it, and remembering K Bontrager's famous article saying KOPS is a myth. A comfy butt is worth a little denial, in my view.
Too late for you (and me), but Brooks has a new saddle...Silverback
Jun 9, 2003 7:55 AM
In the newest Rivendell Reader (got mine Friday), Grant shows a photo of a new Brooks that can be slid back farther. Don't have it in front of me, but I think it's based on the B-17.
FWIW, I've had a Team Pro for years, but even it's a little narrow for my wide butt. Can't remember the specifics, but I think the B-17 is 20 or so mm wider. Works nicely for me.
maybe not too latetarwheel
Jun 9, 2003 8:25 AM
Actually, I ordered my saddle from Wallingford bike specifically because of his return policy. So if Brooks has a new saddle coming out, it might be worth waiting for. Did the Rivendell article give a timeline? I've talked to Bill Laine at Wall bike about this and he said most people use a setback seatpost, so it seems to me that the saddle design might need some tweaking. He said the rails were short to accommodate the tensioner device. However, I have a Lepper leather saddle that has the longest rails of any saddle I have ever seen and had no trouble adjusting it properly. Unfortunately the Lepper saddle broke after 4 months of riding, and I've since heard that this is a common occurence.
maybe not too latePjkad
Jun 10, 2003 8:46 AM
Tarwheel, I also had a Lepper that broke. Which Brooks did you get and how does the fit compare to the Lepper? My Lepper was great.
re: lepper vs brookstarwheel
Jun 10, 2003 12:09 PM
My Brooks is a Swift, the version with titanium rails. The Swift saddle is almost the same dimensions as the Lepper Voyageur but the rails are quite different -- much shorter and less adjustable. The Lepper has more adjustability both forward and back. Another difference is the copper rivets are on top of the Swift, so I can feel them. On the Lepper, the rivets are on the curved portion on the rear and don't affect comfort. The leather on the Swift seems thicker as well.

Apparently these problems with Leppers saddles are common. It's too bad because it was the most comfortable saddle I have ever used. Mine is an older version with steel rails. I've sent an email to Harris Cyclery, which sells the ti version, to see if it has had the same problems and what kind of warranty it has. No response yet.
That is the problem with Brooks..DINOSAUR
Jun 9, 2003 9:07 AM
I could not get my Brooks Team Pro to dial in with the 74o sta of my Klein. I finally pulled it off. I switched over to a San Marco Regal on my new Colnago, which is sort of half between an old retro saddle and new era. But the Regal rails are a little on the short side also, but I am not slammed all the way back. I've been comtemplating slapping on my old San Marco Era, but I don't know if the rails are any longer than the Regals, lining them up side by side the Regal is longer and wider and you can use the whole surface of the saddle. I could not find a site listing the rail lengths of the various San Marco saddles, that's what I go by, along with width and firmness.

If Brooks made a Swift with longer rails I would seriously consider buying one. These are truly retro saddles and will not fit most of the new age bikes.

Actually one of the best saddles I've ever used is a plain Selle Italia Max Flite I purchased on closeout for $14.00. It's just the half black/half red color scheme that keeps me off of it (stupid reason).

I was watching a tape of the '96 Giro yesterday and it's interesting how the saddle shapes have changed over the years. Most of the riders in the '96 Giro were using the same saddle (looked like a Sella Italia Turbo), now there are a lot of different saddles to choose from. Lightness prevails I think, not comfort.