Saddles; Any Brooks users?

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composite
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Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by composite » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:10 pm

Since I have started riding again I have been doing most of my long rides on the road using my CX bike. When I was previously riding a lot, I only used this bike for rides up to about 4 hours. Now I'm doing 7-10 hour rides I'm finding that I'm getting sore in the 'saddle area' in places that I never have before.

For about the last 10 years I have used SDG Bell air as my saddle. I have one on all my bikes, 3 mtb + 1 CX and they have been very comfortable for me including long days back to back. I'm wondering if now I'm doing much longer rides on the CX, maybe the Bell Air just isn't the right shape for the different (drop bar) ride position. I have done quite a lot of tweaking of saddle position in the last few months and I'm fairly confident the setup is now good.

So maybe I need a new saddle and for some reason, a Brooks caught my eye. I'm now wondering what peoples experiences are using them as a bikepacking/mtb saddle and/or on a drop-bar bike?

ton
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by ton » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:30 pm

long term brooks b17 user here, until the last couple of years, since i had hip replacement. now cant get on with em.

longest one lasted was 21 years, a black b17 standard, used on my tourer from 1986 to 2007. the rail snapped due to rust.
also used a b66 or conquest offroad for a few years.
i find brooks worked if you like to sit very upright. i cant imagine one working if you try to get aero at all. i may be wrong.

in recent years i have tried again to get on with one, and a Spa cycles nidd saddle. the nidd took longer to break in, about 800 miles. a brooks took at 500 miles.

i still have the Spa nidd if you want to give it a try? it isa very nice saddle.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:30 pm

I used a B17 for touring and the sort of longer rides I did on my Amazon and then on some off-road stuff when I started using that as my #gradventourer. It was comfy from the get-go. My first ride was a 50 miler in East Lothian and I was amazed how nice it felt. I used it for years but it eventually all but gave up on me as I kept getting it wet and muddy when doing off-road stuff. I'm sure a cover would have helped but having my arse grind mud and grit into it just ruined the surface and I struggled to get it as comfy once it had been soaked/dried out many times.

Also heavy.

voodoo_simon
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by voodoo_simon » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:32 pm

Cambrian C17 user, find it ideal for bikes with saddles and bars level, would need a C15 on my road bike as the drop is much more.

Pros - comfortable, only saddle I can ride all day without padding

Cons - the abrasive surface wears away Lycra shorts :| Have worn out a pair of winter longs since using it

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Pirahna
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Pirahna » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:51 pm

I swap saddles around. B17 Imperial sometimes, I can't ride a saddle without a cutout and find this super comfy with lycra shorts, without a pad I find the cutout pinches a bit. C17 Carved, I can ride this all day in normal undies so it's getting a lot of use at the moment, I'd like to try a C19 just to see what the extra width feels like.

I've got some SMP's as well. The Dynamic, Drakon and 209 Lite are all the same shape but with different amounts of padding. Wifey has taken the 209 and Drakon so I'm left with the least padded Dynamic. They're expensive but come up on sale in Europe occasionally which is how I bought mine.

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gairym
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by gairym » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:00 am

I've got a couple of Cambium C17's that I find a bit too wide for my boney little bottom (that can be available cheap for someone to try out :wink: )

For the last few years I've used a couple of C15's which I find perfect for multi-day (and multi-surface) use and I prefer the cutout too (always ride everything in just baggies and pants).

And I've just installed a B17 (narrow, Imperial) on the new gravel bastard and I'll be taking it on its first multi-day trip tomorrow so will let you know how it goes but first impressions are positive.

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thenorthwind
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by thenorthwind » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:25 am

I'm still a bit Brooks-curious in my long quest for a comfortable bum-bike interface. I had an old leather saddle years ago which I did find comfortable, but the constant soaking in gritty water was a problem, and eventually made it less comfortable.

The Cambium seems like the solution to that, but wondered if the comfort was compromised.

What's the deal with sizing on Brooks saddles? Having relatively recently measured my sit bones and found they're quite close together, I've noticed some improvement from using narrower saddles. Brooks are obviously wider, but a different approach I guess?

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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by bikemad » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:47 am

I got put off by Brooks mainly due to lack of rail length,thoughts of riding 500+ miles until it gets shaped. Then there's reports of issues like rails rusting,leather tops not lasting etc.
Having tried many saddles over the years & getting pain,numbness,sitbone sores.
I found Selle Anatomica to be just super comfy from day one,their basically a hammock for your ass Soft flexy ment to be loose not hard & tight like Brooks,so don't go winding the bolt up ruining it.
Also trying a Gilles Berthoud Aspin with cut out,slightly firmer than the SA but very comfy.
Every part is available for the user to replace on these too,the quality is superb.

As with any leather saddles carry a cover for wet days,don't leave it in a damp shed/garage

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Mike
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Mike » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:47 am

:-bd have two c17 on my bikes and love em.. bought the c15 for my drop but dont get on with it.. its for sale still if you wanna try one. Drop me a message pal if you go down that line its new had one ride on it ;)

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Mart
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Mart » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:00 am

Both my c17s are about 4 year old and have suffered catastrophic cracking of the rubber by the front rivet. They have taken some abuse but i expected better.
Certainly not comparable to the lifespan of a Leather one

I think AlistairMc has some issues also
2924 miles per Gallon

Joe
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Joe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 am

I've had a b17 on my touring bike for a long time, really comfy after breaking it in but only after I got a seatpost with a lot of layback, the rails wouldn't let it go back far enough otherwise. I'm not sure that I would use it offroad, too much mud getting flung at it and my saddle did go mouldy just sad in the garage (probably a bit moist in there though)

I have a C17 on my mountain bike and find it really comfy, I did just get it warrantied though, I ran my seatbag straps through the bag loops and one of them snapped so I'm not very confident in the fiberglass/plastic frame.

Mart - were those issues on the C17 all-weather version? I'm wondering if they have done anything to fix that issue.

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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:09 am

My C15 suffered the same issue as Mart's. That's been sent back under warranty before it failed. I have fitted a new C15 I bought off here, that's starting to show the same issue after only 2000 miles. I'm 68kg so it's not like I'm too heavy for it. I also don't find it that comfortable. When I first fitted it I was better than the saddle it replaced but on flat rides where I'm sat down for long times I do get some discomfort.

I've now given up on Brooks, certainly the cambrian range, as I think the design/material is flawed. I'm now trying a Specalized Phenom but only done one ride so far of 50 miles but it was comfy enough.

Edit, this is what happened to my C15

Image[/url]
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Mart
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Mart » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:37 am

Joe wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:04 am
Mart - were those issues on the C17 all-weather version? I'm wondering if they have done anything to fix that issue.
I contacted Brooks, who very kindly warrantied one of them (which i think was fair as they were both about 4years old)

I think the fundamental flaw in the material is that the rubber itself gets old and doesn’t keep the same properties when it’s new
The rubber becomes less elastic and will crack.

I’ve started looking at other makes of saddle but haven’t found anything suitable for my arse yet. I have some very specific requirements due to a previous hamstring injury.
2924 miles per Gallon

bikemad
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by bikemad » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:51 pm

Yes rubber properties will deteriorate over time no doubt can be made to be flexy & comfy,a shorter lifespan should be a lot cheaper too really.
I was reading about Berthoud saddles.he cuts the leather with the grain going in the right direction. A lot of others don't to get more saddles from a hide,exactly why they can mis-shape after a while.

Joe
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Joe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:44 pm

Mart wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:37 am
I’ve started looking at other makes of saddle but haven’t found anything suitable for my arse yet. I have some very specific requirements due to a previous hamstring injury.
I have seen that Selle Anatomica are making a similar rubber saddle, whether it suffers from the same issue as the C17 will remain to be seen. I know that they have postponed releasing the saddle a few times because they hadn't got it quite right yet.

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composite
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by composite » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:19 pm

It was certainly the B17 that I was looking at. A nice one in brown with the matching leather bar tape on a titanium gravel bike. :grin:

firestarter
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by firestarter » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:37 pm

I had a b17 for years and it was lovely when I got rid of the bike I tried a brooks cambium but it ruined me I got rid of it sharpish, I'm currently on an smp drakon and 209 lite.

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PaulB2
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by PaulB2 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:41 pm

Does anyone know if the all-weather version of the cambium improves the longevity?

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Alpinum
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Alpinum » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:13 pm

composite wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:19 pm
It was certainly the B17 that I was looking at. A nice one in brown with the matching leather bar tape on a titanium gravel bike. :grin:
Photos? Sounds hot.

Selle Italia SLR fan here. A friend who was a friend of the same saddle for years has started to find it uncomfy and is now happy with SQLabs.
Saddles... trial and error

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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Moder-dye » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:45 pm

Brooks C17 carved all weather fan here and the road and gravel bike. Before that I had a specialized romin 155mm saddle that was great. Done mixed terrain up to 100mile days with it with no issues

I have a wtb rocket on the MTB, but will be getting another c17 all weather carved when funds allow.

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gairym
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by gairym » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:22 pm

composite wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:19 pm
It was certainly the B17 that I was looking at. A nice one in brown with the matching leather bar tape on a titanium gravel bike. :grin:
Like this:

Image

Not titanium obviously but you get the gist.....

Loving mine so far :-bd

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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Jamesh » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:49 pm

I rode a b17 on a two year trip and got on great with it. Due to the nature of the trip (humidity and my rough treatment) it's retired now and moved on to C17s.
I do rate the original C17s, though the (denim?) material with wet conditions + road grit does eat lycra shorts. Also I have a slate which is now super bleached, but believe these can be dyed anyhow. The material does absorb water a touch, certainly compared to the all weather versions.

Last year moved on to the all weathers which I'm liking the most. Dirt/oil/weather friendlyC15 on trail bike and C17 on drop bar 29er.

Would say the Cambiums of all styles certainly have more flex in them than the leather versions, if weighing up cut out or not.

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composite
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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by composite » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:35 pm

Alpinum wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:13 pm
Photos? Sounds hot.
It's the bike I'm currently planning. Will be based around a 105 build Ribble cgr ti.
Alpinum wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:13 pm
Saddles... trial and error
I got lucky with the Bell air; finding something that has done me very well for the last 10 years. I do feel that maybe I could try out something else now though.

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Re: Saddles; Any Brooks users?

Post by Andiphim » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:01 pm

I struggled for about 4 years to find the right saddle for rides over 50 miles.
The day before starting a 4 day 400 mile coast to coast ride I decided to give Brooks a go.
Fitted a B17 and off I set, 400 miles later I hadn't even noticed the saddle.
It's been my saddle for the last 6 years and still going strong.

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