Author Topic: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase  (Read 5062 times)

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Offline Stevenp

Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:35 am »
Hey guys,

I'm about to purchase the brooks saddle and wanted to make sure I get the right one. I know I've heard the B17 suggested many times but I want to make sure that it will fit my setup.

I have the Surly LHT with everything stock on it. I don't like the saddle it came with even after trying it for about a month so I want to get a saddle that will be comfortable for the ride across the country. Another consideration has been whether to change the handlebars on my bike. to something more comfortable. I can't imagine I will be leaning over all that much while riding across the U.S., but maybe I'm wrong.

So, Brooks saddle and what handlebars do you like.

Thanks again!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 11:35:34 am »
You questions re:  Brooks seems to be based on the assumtpion that you will find one confortable.  How do you know that to be the case?  Saddles are highly personal, and I know several people for whom Brooks do not work.

When are you starting your trip?  Brooks has a break in period.

FWIW, I use the Terry Men's Liberator and love it.  But again, it's a very personal thing.


Offline Stevenp

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 11:47:20 am »
It's all a guess at this point. The only thing that I know is that I don't like the stock saddle that came with the LHT. I haven't ridden bikes much either so I have no past experience, so I'm trying to go on borrowed experience from others who have experience. I realize this isn't fool proof, but I come in to it knowing that and based on others experience, I can make up my mind.

Any thoughts on the Brooks B66 with the springs?

Also, I realize that everyone's butt is different and that it's not the same for everyone, so no need to tell me that, but I would be interested in hearing about your trial and error.

I have about 1 month before the trip where I plan on riding 10-30 miles a day, every day. I also weigh about 165 and do not have a big butt, just in case that makes any difference.

Thanks for the input.

Also, never mind the handlebar question, I'm sticking to what I got. I found that if I tilt the handlebars back a bit, it helps a lot.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 12:03:20 pm »
My DiffEq prof used to tell us, "A differential equation is nothing more than a hunting license for a solution."  I think the same may apply to bicycles and saddles.

You can try a B-17, and if it works out, your problem is solved.  (Mine was, so I'm one of those who recommends trying a B-17!)  Not everybody's butt matches a Brooks, which is one of the reasons Wallbike is often recommended -- they sell you the saddle with a money-back guarantee.  There may also be some adjustment needed, particularly in the tilt of the Brooks.  It takes a while to be sure a Brooks doesn't fit you, if that turns out to be the case.  If it does, it'll be apparent shortly -- within 200 to 500 miles.

I bought a Champion Flyer for myself, but my daughter claimed it and loves it.  At your (light) weight, I'd suggest that over a B-66 unless you're riding a sit up and beg posture; it'll be too wide otherwise.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 12:42:27 pm »
I have owned and broken in a number of Brooks saddles.  I have a Conquest (a predecessor to the Flyer), and I think that springs might be overrated.  I currently have a B-17 (with an aftermarket prostate cutout) on a mountain bike, and don't feel that I need any extra cush that springs might bring.  It is more important to figure which shape fits you, and then get to work on breaking the saddle in.

As has been previously mentioned, wallbike.com is a great placed to buy a saddle from, and you should talk to them.

What did you no like about the saddle that you have, and what is it about a Brooks saddle that you think will be different?

Handle bars are such a personal thing.  I happen to like the traditional road bike ram horn style bars.  Since I have broad shoulders, all of my road bikes have needed to have their handle bars swapped out for wider ones. 

If you are feeling that stretched out, then maybe your LHT does not properly fit you.  Your dealer should have at least done a quick fitting. Maybe you need to invest in a professional fitting.  These are exspensive, $175+, but sometimes worth while.  I paid for one, when I ordered my touring bike, and I am glad that I did.
Danno

Offline happyriding

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 07:42:13 pm »
I've been cycling my whole life, and I've never encountered a comfortable saddle.  Sitting on a bicycle saddle just plain hurts.  At some point, I bought a Brooks B17, and it hurt so much I couldn't use it--and my sit bones were bruised for the rest of the season to boot.   I get relief from my saddle by lots of training, and by standing and pedaling every 10-15 minutes.

One month isn't a lot of time to find a saddle, and it takes at least a month to break in a Brooks (or for the Brooks to mold your sit bones to its liking)--although some people like them instantly.

As far as bars go, I have always used drop bars because of all the possible hand positions: top of bars, hoods, drops.  For touring, my bars are level with the top of my seat.  And I always wear gloves.  They help with comfort, and if you ever crash you will be glad you had gloves on to protect your palms from scrapes.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 07:50:59 pm by happyriding »

Offline Stevenp

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 08:01:46 pm »
Good input!

It's my sit bones that are a bit uncomfortable. It's not like I'm in terrible pain, i just don't want to hurt at all when I am riding the bike across the country. I know I'm a bit late on getting a saddle, and if I had to stick with the one I have it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'm going to check out wallbike.com, that's helpful.

Thanks for your input once again!
stevenp

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 12:20:22 pm »
When you talk to wallbike.com, as about leather softness and color.  There are lots of V-17 variants.  A B-17 Standard supposedly comes with a pre-softened leather.  I have a B-17 Imperial, and it has the second hardest leather of the 5 Brooks' saddles that I own.
If you don't care which saddle that you get, then I would go for B-17 Champion Special.  Yes it is more expensive than the B-17 Standard, but at some point you will appreciate the copper rivets and the copper plating on the rails.

Wallbike.com also sells Berthoud leather saddles, but I don't know anything about them.

If you are up for more research, mcmwin.com has their line of Selle An-Atomica leather saddles too.  I do not personally like them, but I have a friend who can only ride their saddles.  Their strength seems to be that a greater degree of sit bone asymetry can be accommodated.  Selle An-Atomica also break in quickly.  I have taken advantage of their upgrace service to add a prostrate cutout to two of my Brooks B-17s.
Danno

Offline reed523

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 07:54:00 pm »
Very pleased with my B17.  One thing you don't see mentioned much is that there is limited fore-aft adjustment, seemingly about half what my other saddles offer.

Offline happyriding

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 08:51:21 pm »
Wallbike.com also sells Berthoud leather saddles, but I don't know anything about them.

I do.  They are expensive, but they are absolutely beautiful.  I bought one because it is narrower than a B-17, which was too wide for me.  At first the Berthoud was painful, but after about a month it was tolerable, so I decided to use it on my impending tour.  It never really got comfortable, but it didn't bruise my sit bones like the B-17 did.  Well, that's not true: I had to take two unplanned rest days my first week because my sitbones were so tender--even though I completed a century training schedule before my tour, and I am a life long cyclist.  But after the first week, I didn't have problems like that again.  I did something like 300 miles my first four days, and being in the saddle so long every day was not something I was used to.

The screws on the Berthoud saddle, which are used instead of rivets, do loosen up, so I checked them daily and tightened them when necessary.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 09:01:00 pm by happyriding »

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 10:15:54 pm »
 I've owned both and found huge difference between the two. Unlike the Professional model my B-17  broke in very quickly, felt good the first ride. The Pro's take thousands of miles to break in but one of the Pros lasted 35 years; the B-17 will not last that long.
Hated the Selle AnAtomica and Terry.
Saddles: only you will know which to ride but only after trying them.

Offline BobT

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 07:19:44 am »

I bought a Brooks B-17 Standard prior to a recent bike tour around Florida. The first day I used it was the first day of my tour. I know it could have worked out badly for me, but it didn't!  I cycled approx 400 miles in a week and the saddle was good from the start - No bruising and no discomfort. I would certainly recommend it for a tour

Offline jimbeard

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 10:49:15 pm »
6 years on a B-17 Champion Special. worked for me from day
Jim

Offline John Nelson

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 11:46:40 am »
In my opinion, it's too late to change saddles. If you buy the B-17, keep the old saddle and switch back if you're not sure you love it.

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Brooks Saddle - Some helpful tips before I purchase
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 06:14:09 pm »
It's all a guess at this point. The only thing that I know is that I don't like the stock saddle that came with the LHT. I haven't ridden bikes much either so I have no past experience, so I'm trying to go on borrowed experience from others who have experience. I realize this isn't fool proof, but I come in to it knowing that and based on others experience, I can make up my mind.

Any thoughts on the Brooks B66 with the springs?

Also, I realize that everyone's butt is different and that it's not the same for everyone, so no need to tell me that, but I would be interested in hearing about your trial and error.

I have about 1 month before the trip where I plan on riding 10-30 miles a day, every day. I also weigh about 165 and do not have a big butt, just in case that makes any difference.

Thanks for the input.

Also, never mind the handlebar question, I'm sticking to what I got. I found that if I tilt the handlebars back a bit, it helps a lot.
I'm not sure the B66 would work with the LHT. From the Broooks website: "B66 and B66 S are the ideal all-rounders for daily city or touring use in a rather upright posture. They are most appropriate for cyclists who set their handlebars higher than their saddles." If you want springs you should look at a Flyer. I have been using a Berthoud saddle for two years and It's been great.