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Ok, which Brooks saddle?(15 posts)

Ok, which Brooks saddle?cyclopathic
Jun 12, 2001 4:01 PM
kinda confused so many options..
which model? :-)
none?ColnagoFE
Jun 12, 2001 4:09 PM
i know people that swear by them but i think leather saddles' time has come and gone. they are heavy. get ruined in the rain, and stretch over time. do you really have a saddle problem that a conventional saddle wouldn't resolve? plus aren't brooks now out of biz?
Re: none?cyclopathic
Jun 12, 2001 5:20 PM
no, they're back in business.
with respect to what conventional saddle wouldn't resolve,
do you know of any you could ride 250miler 3 days in the row?
Click on VeloNews forumDINOSAUR
Jun 12, 2001 4:12 PM
Check out the VeloNews Tech Talk forum, they have a recent post regarding the various models of Brooks saddles...
call RivendellHank
Jun 12, 2001 4:12 PM
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com
re: Ok, which Brooks saddle?kyvdh
Jun 12, 2001 6:58 PM
Just one opinion but I recently bought a Brooks B17 saddle and so far I love it. It is the cheapest model they sell and perhaps not the longest lasting but so far it works for me. When it came in the mail it was scary cause it was absolutely as hard as a rock. Reminded me of a picture out on Harris Cyclery. Anyway, after only a couple of rides it had started to form to my bones and really wasn't that bad for the first ride. It's a different sort of feeling in that you can feel your bones on the saddle (unlike some of the gel saddles I tried) but it doesn't hurt. Saddle pain used to be the thing that limited the enjoyment of my rides. I know some reviews I read people never did get them to feel right but it seems to be an extremely popular saddle with touring cyclists. There is a low risk way to try one and that is to get it from Wallingford Cycling. He isn't the cheapest but he will give your money back if you aren't satisfied, up to something like 6 months. I use the Proofide stuff to condition the leather but didn't find that I needed it much to help break in the saddle. Mostly doing it to protect my investment. If you want more info, email me and I'll send you some links with articles about the saddles. Just for info I'm 42, 182lbs. 5' 10", Ride 12 miles 3-4 times during the week and then 35 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. Did a century a few weeks back but did not have the Brooks then. Would love to do that over again.
Awfully personal questionKerry Irons
Jun 12, 2001 7:07 PM
Since saddle choice is totally personal, and what is great for one person stinks for another. This question really can't be answered, especially since you offer nothing on your past saddle preferences weight, riding style, or anything else.
well for starterscyclopathic
Jun 12, 2001 8:02 PM
I always believed Brooks is ancient now not sure.

I am building a touring bike and though I can fit it with my pers favorite /Bonti FS/, I know it is not PBP kinda saddle.

Here's some info:
weight: 135-140lbs
designation: 250mi, 3 days in a row
pref: flat firm seats (aka Bontrager FS+10/FS200)

I am very picky about saddle I can't ride Selle Italia seats /too narrow/ tried and true or seats with round profile /I can list handful of those/. I seem to favor flat firm seats with wider middle section. FS was great riding century, turned out not so great on double a bit narrow @ 135mm.

At present time I am leaning towards Conquest which is said to use the same top as Professional, only fitted with springs /hey, I dont need that suspension post/
watch out for narrowness and rainredman
Jun 12, 2001 10:41 PM
Brooks saddles are narrower than they seem. Whereas on a typical saddle, your butt bones (ischia) can perch right on the edge and they're sitting on padding. But the outside edge of the Brooks is rivits on top of the leather and a hard steel edge rail right under it. So you must have enough width to put your ischia inbetween the rivits. This is deceptive because if it seems hard you think it's only the hard unbroken-in leather. Only as the seat breaks in and the leather suspends you in that great way that Brooks do, do you find out that one or the other of your butt bones have to perch on the rivits and rail. I can take this for 20 miles and no more. In the Brooks line I'm familiar with--what they left off with in the mid 90s--the B-17 is relatively wide. The B-17 always seemed too chunky to me, and I've mostly used the Professional which is about a centimeter wider between the rivits than the Team Professional. The difference isn't obvious, but is enough to make one ridable for me, and the other not. And my most comfortable all-time saddle is the Flite--yes the Flite can be just fine, while the Team Professional is too narrow. Brooks Pro have been great for me on tours and racing alike, 90-100 miles a day, day after day, so I have no comfort complaints.

The quick way to wear out a Brooks is to ride it wet. When I was riding Brooks exclusively, I had to always remember to carry a plastic seat cover under the saddle because you don't want to be caught in the rain. When I didn't have mudguards mounted, that cover needed to cover the bottom of the saddle. When rain caught me without a saddle cover (and too lazy to stop at a market and grab a platic bag), as long as I had mudguards all I had to do was stay in the saddle and my butt kept the rain off--track stands at lights protect the saddle. On at least a couple of occasions I'd come out of a play or movie to find it had rained on my bike while I was inside. The saddle was perfectly fine but saturated with water. That meant I had to ride home without sitting down on the saddle (one sit down and the saddle would stretch an inch). The saddle would dry out overnight without damage. 7 miles on fixed gear without sitting down is going to make you remember that saddle cover. But if you don't ride the wet Brooks it lasts and lasts--I've never worn one out, nor ever had to tighten the nut at the front.
(By the way, no amount of proofhide waterproofs your saddle. It conditions and protects and wards a little water off.)

If all this sounds like a lot of trouble it is. But for me it is worth it, though I have to confess I've ridden mostly Flites for several years. Still keep Brooks on a couple of bikes, however.
Saddles are the most personal thing IMO...Dougal
Jun 13, 2001 2:41 AM
Are you talking about 250 miles over 3 days or 250 miles per day? Either way I'm quite shocked that you have been training enough to be able to do these rides, but you don't have a preference for a saddle.

Either way, everybody I know with a Brooks reckons they needed a couple of hundred miles to get the leather broken in, so that may be something to consider if the rides are soon.
Re: I do..cyclopathic
Jun 13, 2001 9:14 AM
have preference for saddle /all my bikes fitted with it!/ and it feels good on 70-130mi run.

I cannot imagine someone having enough time to ride double centuries for training (unless your name is Lance and you can avg 25mph). Still riding 750mi in 3 days would impose some dose of suffering.

I am building a touring bike steel, planters, lights, etc.
Re: I do..DINOSAUR
Jun 14, 2001 11:29 AM
Well this is buried back here on page two. I omitted responding to your post the first time around, mainly because I get tired of dealing with reading all the inane posts with input about everything under the sun, and neglecting to answer your original question.

For what it's worth after reading all the stuff about Brooks saddles, I purchased a Brooks Pro, winter of 1999. The Brooks pro is preconditioned, is a tad wider than the Brooks Swift and has large copper rivets. It does weigh a ton compared to the new age saddles.
I swapped back and forth between my Brooks and the Giro Fizik Pave that came stock with my Klein. Then after messing around so much and changing a saddle position while in the middle of a ride, I tweaked my lower back and was down for two months. When I started back up again I decided to stay with the Brooks come hell or high water. The difference is that my Brooks fits like a fine pair of custom shoes, and the more I ride, the more comfortable it becomes.
The tradeoff was about 200 grams of extra weight. I treat my saddle with a leather condioner every couple of weeks or so. I have gotten my Brooks wet a couple of times with no adverse effects.
I've read that Brooks saddles can last up to 15 to 20 years, if maintained correctly.
If your worried about weight, go with the Brooks Swift with ti rails.
If you spend a lot of time in the saddle and plan on some cross country treks, you will not be disappionted with a Brooks.
Disclaimer......saddles are a matter of personal preference, like shoes, helmets and pedals. We all have different shapes and sizes. I doubt very seriously you will be disappointed with a Brooks, but what the heck, give one a go, if it does'nt live up to your satisfaction after a couple of months, then sell it on ebay. Sometimes the only way to find out is to experiment and see what works for you....
Good luck
Dino
Brooks ProfessionalStickers
Jun 12, 2001 7:14 PM
Slid around on in at first. Three years later I needed to crank the nut under the saddle, as the leather was starting to sag. I do have a Brooks Swift. I ride standing on the pedals with the Swift. It's like ridin' a rail.
re: Ok, which Brooks saddle?Randyf
Jun 12, 2001 9:02 PM
I rode a Brooks Professional for about 5 yrs it came on a used c-dale that I bought. It was wonderful! The most comfortable saddle I've ever been on, it was well worn when I got it and after 5yrs it had stretched so far that it couldn't be adjusted. I bought a new Brooks Professional and half way into my first ride I wasn't sure if I was going to make it home. It was as hard as a ROCK. It took me several months to "break it/me in". I came very close to sending it back to Wallingford Cycle. I commute to work 3-4X per week 20 mi.RT and after a year it still is not as comfortable as my old one but its keeps getting better. One cruel joke, on this very hard leather saddle is embosed the words "pre-softened", I guess you have to know what the frame of refrence is.
re: Ok, which Brooks saddle?cycleguy
Jun 12, 2001 10:54 PM
I road a Soffati, (ms). A Spanish version for 15 years. Leather is just like our skin, oh it is skin. LOL Needs to be taken care of. Treat it with loving care and it will last longer then any other saddle. And though some of todays saddles are made of leather, they are not the same. Remember your first baseball glove guys. You rubbed it down with a conditioner (Bear grease or Mink oil), heated in the oven, then more conditioner, and then wraped it around a ball! Spend some time with a real leather saddle and it will return the favor.