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bikerinNE
10-02-2008, 05:28 PM
Does anyone use a Brooks Saddle, any thoughts on them? And does any LBS carry Brooks?

Thanks.

tfahrner
10-02-2008, 07:37 PM
Clever Cycles carries the entire Brooks line (>20 models), and they are stock on most of the bikes we sell. I have ridden them exclusively since 1994, mainly the B17 model but increasingly the broad sprung B67 and B135 types. Top 3 thoughts on them:

- don't believe stories about grueling painful break-in periods. it is true that certain of the racing models start out pretty firm and can take a few hundred miles to conform to your shape, but models B17 and wider break in within dozens of miles or less.
- when you sink into padding, padding sinks into you, where it compresses your junk, kneads it, traps heat, and so on. a firm saddle keeps your soft tissue up off the surface. no need for a hole if you don't sink into it, huh? don't fear the firmness.
- brooks saddles look and feel better the older they get, for many tens of thousands of miles, given reasonable care.
- ok, fourth thought: saddles are personal. anatomies differ. riding styles and postures are diverse. leather is a natural product that varies piece to piece. adjustment is critical. anybody who tells you that a certain model, let alone a whole make of saddle is comfortable or uncomfortable without taking all these variables into account is oversimplifying.

bonny790
10-02-2008, 09:06 PM
What he said. I've been using a Champ Flyer (sprung B-17) for I think a year and a half or so, maybe 5-7k miles. When I had multiple bikes I would switch the saddle from one to the other. The bikes had different size posts so I had to swap only the saddle (read; PITA), but I could never go back to what I had before. As was said, every ones butt's different. Yours may not love it, but mine thanks me every time I sit down. Well, it says something and I assume that's what it says!

vincentpaul
10-02-2008, 11:10 PM
I've been participating in a pre-production test of their new Imperial saddle. Its essentially a B17 w/ cutouts and lacing in order to provide relief to the male anatomy on long rides. If you do any distance rides that cause discomfort, I'd highly recommend buying this model when it goes into production next year.

raruss1
10-03-2008, 11:25 AM
I put one on my Trek520 and have about 2K o it. I did not notice that breaking it in was any problem. Very comfortable.

vincentpaul
10-03-2008, 12:01 PM
I'm just over 3500 since I received the imperial in March and I haven't noticed any significant changes since the first couple hundred miles or so. I've described the difference between a good leather saddle and other saddles in this way: On some saddles, you sit down and think its either comfortable/cushy or its uncomfortable, and either way it becomes steadily more uncomfortable. When you sit down on the Brooks, you notice that your sitting down on a firm saddle, and then you never think about it again.

bikerinNE
10-03-2008, 12:29 PM
Thanks for all the great input, i thinking i'm going to pick up the B17.

fredlf
10-03-2008, 02:42 PM
I don't get Brooks saddles. Despite the fact that they are very trendy at the moment, they strike me as heavy, expensive solutions to a problem that doesn't exist. Plus, I'd be worried about maintaining leather in our climate. It's hard enough to do all the bike chores without having to condition your saddle as well.

I've learned what shape of saddle fits my personal configuration of bits n' pieces and I buy those. I've spent as little as $8 on saddles that ride perfectly for me, even after 8-9 hours on the bike.

tfahrner
10-03-2008, 03:29 PM
I don't get Brooks saddles. Despite the fact that they are very trendy at the moment, they strike me as heavy, expensive solutions to a problem that doesn't exist. Plus, I'd be worried about maintaining leather in our climate. It's hard enough to do all the bike chores without having to condition your saddle as well.

I've learned what shape of saddle fits my personal configuration of bits n' pieces and I buy those. I've spent as little as $8 on saddles that ride perfectly for me, even after 8-9 hours on the bike.
fred, i've also used other saddles that were comfortable enough, some cheap and some expensive. i've grown attached to the physical beauty of leather saddles, especially over time, to the extent that i find most others unacceptably ugly. beauty isn't trendy! one tear or scuff in a plastic saddle and it just looks ratty; scuffs just rub out of brooks. that means they hold their value. check ebay for used brooks and try to imagine any other used saddle holding or even increasing in value like that! annual maintenance works out to a few minutes a year.

fredlf
10-03-2008, 04:06 PM
I can sure appreciate nice looking, well-made things. But I don't really care if my saddles look a little tatty after a couple of years. The nicks and scuffs are badges of honor... For me, a pleasing patina and re-sale value aren't enough to over-come the weight and expense of a Brooks. Besides, if it's leather you're after, you can have fancy euro leather (e.g. a Fizik Arione (http://www.fizik.it/catalog.aspx?subid=Arione_Wing_Flex_Black)) in a conventional design for less than $50 on ebay.

But hey, to each his own. If it keeps you happy on the bike, I'm all for it.

flying_dutchman
10-03-2008, 07:24 PM
I have been riding a long time. Never a racer, but toured across country a few times and just spent lots of time on bikes. I had a Brooks saddle on my only bike when I was young strong and stupid. (now I can only claim one of those traits). I never considered that it needed to break in, but it did, and in a passtime that, if done enthusiastically, is guaranteed to deliver pain, the saddle was never something that I thought about. At no time in my vigorous youth (and able middle age) has my manly virtue failed me (drunken lapses and unrelated crisis of confidence not withstanding). Granted that bike was a 10 speed (a nice one too) and that I spent lots of time standing to get leverage on hills.

That saddle met its ultimate end when I was at a city park. I had the bike leaned against a tree while I was engaged in a ball game and I returned to find that a squirrel had gnawed the saddle to oblivion. Darn squirrels.

They are a good, handsome saddle that if fitted well - putting weight on the pelvic bones, will serve for a long long time. By my way of thinking the handsome part is important, but I guess I'm a bike snob. I recently got a new touring/commuter bike and I am delighted with its Brooks saddle and handlebar wrap.

Yes they need maintenance, so do all the other important componentents on a bicycle. When one considers that the only 3 points where the rider touches the bike are the bars, pedals and saddle, it is important that stuff fits and is right (or Wright if one wants to include another brand of classic leather saddle).

If the current trend for classic leather saddles seem fopish, then get a foam cover plastic saddle and do your bikey thing. There are no wrong answers.

OK...... so how do you break in a Brooks saddle? Find a flat rock and bind it tight to the saddle. Throw the assembly into a tub of warm water and soak it for 48 hours. Take it out, throw away the saddle and sit on the rock. Ba_dum_dum

jgadamski
10-03-2008, 10:10 PM
Brooks B72. Suspended on three points, with no seatstay. Never had an issue with pubic-bone numbness i experienced with other saddles. I tried one of the anatomical saddles,but preferred the Brooks.

There is a certain frugalness keeping the same saddle all these years. Im ok with that.