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Help me decide(11 posts)

Help me decideKristin
Jun 1, 2003 4:40 PM
I'm buying a saddle tomorrow. I am choosing between the Brooks Pro Ladies saddle, or the Avocet Women's Cro-Mo or Ti. Questions:

1. Brooks. Does the Brooks break in time hurt considerably? I have a 50 mile ride scheduled for June 29--only 4 weeks away. I'm doing the ride with a friend who is slower, so I expect 4+ hours of saddle time. Will I be sorry I tried it on the Brooks?

2. Avocet: What differences do the rail materials make--other than price?

Do you want a saddle that you have to worry about in the rain ?MR_GRUMPY
Jun 1, 2003 5:15 PM
Brooks saddles are a little like Dura Ace bottom brackets. If you get caught in a downpour, what do you do? Ride 80 more miles with a wet leather saddle? Both the Brooks saddle and the Dura Ace bottom bracket are high maintinance items. If you have a wet leather saddle and you want to ride the next day, what do you do ??
The only difference that the rail material makes, is weight. Ti rails may save you 100 grams, but you have to ask yourself, Is it worth it ?????????
The only other advise I have, is .......Ride more...
If you are interested in comfortLeroy
Jun 1, 2003 7:28 PM
then get the Brooks. You can allow for rain with plastic covering and leather conditioners. Read what Sheldon Brown says about Brooks. Mine felt fine out of the box. Yours may vary.
Okay, here goes...Gregory Taylor
Jun 1, 2003 7:55 PM
1. Should I Buy a Brooks One Month Before A Big Ride? Well, it depends. I just bought a Brooks Team Pro that feels dang good right out of the chute. I, however, will presume that I am carrying a LOT more weight than you (about 190 lbs.) so the break-in isn't that big of an issue for me. I've pretty much squashed the thing into submission, and a Brooks may prove a more formidable adversary for your petite form. In the long run, a Brooks will be very comfortable. In the short run, you could have issues. Not "will" - I said "could".

Oh, the rain thing is something to consider. I've taken to carrying a plastic Safeway grocery bag and a shoe-lace in my pocket. If it is wet out, put the bag over the saddle (just like they taught you in health class -- we practice safe cycling here, mister!), wrap the shoelace around the seat post a few times and and tie it shut. If the bag has printing on it, put that on the outside, away from the leather. Not elegant, but it is effective.

2. Frame Rail Material -- big difference is in weight.
re: Help me decideDINOSAUR
Jun 1, 2003 9:02 PM
If the Brooks Pro is pre-softened it should feel fine right out of the box. I used a Team Pro off and on for one season and had no problem with it at all, although I could not get it to dial in with the geometry of my Klein. Your first impression probably will be that it's a hard saddle, but they either work for you or don't, there is no way of telling unless you try one. I got my Pro wet on a couple of occasions and had no problems.

Ti rails make the saddle lighter and help dampen the ride (nice if you have an al bike).

I would place the Brooks on my new bike, but the San Marco Regal Ti is working out fine and I see no reason to make a change. I'm kinda of a semi weight weenie anyway and the Brooks are heavy for todays standards, but if it came down comfort, I'd use it.

Too bad to could not try out both of these saddles then you could decide, they are both different animals. I chose my cuurent saddle (the Regal) by narrowing down the length of the rails, width, weight, all leather cover, ti rails, firmness, color (black), and price (found mine slightly used ebay).
Love my Avocet!Becky
Jun 2, 2003 3:44 AM
I have the women's Avocet O2 on both my road bike and my mountain bike and it's an awesome saddle. The road bike sports the saddle with Ti rails while the MTB has the Cro-Mo version. I don't notice a difference between the two saddles, but it's hard to make an accurate comparison between the rail materials when they're on different bikes, with different riding positions and different conditions.
I found them both to be comfortable right away with little-to-no break-in time needed. My best guess is this: the rail materials differ primarily in weight and, if the Avocet fits your butt properly, the rails aren't going to make much of a difference when it comes to comfort.
Hope this helps and good luck!

Here is an idea......Len J
Jun 2, 2003 4:21 AM
Wallbike offers a 6 month no questions asked return policy on Brooks saddles. If you return it in "Like new" condition, they will even cover shipping. It's a no risk proposition. I just bought a Brooks Swift from Wallbike and it was reasonably comfortable out of the box, it seems to be getting more comfortable the more I ride it YMMV. Call them and talk to them and they will help you choose the right saddle. Also, check out their used equipment section, they offer returns at lower prices, but it's hit or miss on availability.

As to the rain thing, just carry a shower cap for real downpours.

Don't know about the Avocet.

Nobody can predict any better than you which will work better.dzrider
Jun 2, 2003 4:37 AM
My wife loves her Avocet - cro-moly rails. I believe the only difference the rails make is weight.

I watched many brevet riders on Brooks saddles do nothing but ride them when the rain started, so I conclude they don't melt. There is no doubt that, with time, they become more comfortable. I don't believe they become most comfortable for everybody. The one that I had didn't work that great for me.
re: Help me decidetarwheel
Jun 2, 2003 5:09 AM
If you buy a Brooks, get it from Wallbike so you can return it if it doesn't work out. It should be comfortable in 4 weeks or less, if you are riding enough miles. Generally I've heard it takes about 500 miles to break in a Brooks, but they fit right out of the box for some people and never fit others. I wouldn't worry about the water issue with Brooks, as long as you take precautions. I carry a saddle cover in my seat bag and treat the leather w/ Proofide. A plastic grocery bag is also worth carrying to prevent the saddle from getting wet from road spray. You may not ride in the rain, but you never know when you might get caught in a shower.

I believe that Avocet has a 30-day return policy on its saddles. So it might be worth giving that a shot as well. I have heard good reviews of the Avocet saddles, but everyone is different. The only difference between the ti and cro-mo rails is weight. I cannot honestly believe that anyone could notice a ride difference between the two rail materials.

Have you tried the Terry Butterfly? I know a lot of women cyclists who use the Butterfly and seem to like it -- at least they haven't switched to other saddles. Terry also has a 30-day return policy.

Both the Avocet and the Terry would probably weigh about 1/4-1/2 lb. less than the Brooks. If you are a weight weenie that might be an issue, but the weight will mean nothing at all if the Brooks is comfortable and you've had issues with other saddles.
re: Help me decideandy02
Jun 2, 2003 6:22 AM
My wife loves her terry D-fly (I think that is the name) It is narrow compared to what your looking at but she does a lot of long hard rides and says she won't ride anything else. But it is more of a race saddle so this might not be what you want.
Everyone's advice is 'right-on'coonass
Jun 2, 2003 8:14 AM
1) Call and talk to Bill at Wallbike (toll free: 888-731-3537) and ask if he has a returned Ladies Pro saddle and talk about his return policy. (He's as nice as they come....)
2) Weight difference between Avocet Cro-mo (275g) vs. Ti (255g) is about 0.7 oz....I doubt that there is a noticable difference in ride. (I'm not in the 2% fat category, so the weight of the Swift's 366g (13oz) is not a concern for me....losing about 12# is my dream :) )
btw...I've ridden in rains w/my Swift and I haven't had any problems with the saddle....I get more saddle saturation from long rides in the summer due to sweat than on rides in the rain....(my saddles came with plastic seat covers; but I've never used them due to just being caught without it)