which Brooks saddle?

Dec 4, 2008
169
3
38
Tokyo
#1
Currently I have a city/hybrid bike, but may be exchanging it for something with drop bars....thinking about the Cannondale Bad Boy? The frame's a bit on the small side and like most budget bikes is equipped with low-end bits which are starting to let go.

The original Velo oem saddle is starting to fall apart, I've been advised to get a Brooks Flyer, I only ride 20-40km a day, are all those springs really neccessary? It would go onto the hybrid bike until things start getting really bad, then I guess I swap it over onto the new machine.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#2
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/m/cycle/7/Brooks_Saddles/

I'm also interested in any comments on this query. I've been dithering over the B17 standard, special, and imperial. I've seen a couple of those, and also the team pro and what might've been the swift or swallow at one of my LBS (both of these latter much too hard), but have yet to try for any of them. (I've never considered the sprung one.)
 

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
#3
Currently I have a city/hybrid bike, but may be exchanging it for something with drop bars....thinking about the Cannondale Bad Boy? The frame's a bit on the small side and like most budget bikes is equipped with low-end bits which are starting to let go.

The original Velo oem saddle is starting to fall apart, I've been advised to get a Brooks Flyer, I only ride 20-40km a day, are all those springs really neccessary? It would go onto the hybrid bike until things start getting really bad, then I guess I swap it over onto the new machine.
My first Brooks was a Flyer, and at first I thought it was great > having all that suspension built in to the saddle. But .... it's a heavy beast, and the springs started making horrible creaking sounds. I could cure the noise by applying some of the Brooks saddle soap/grease to the springs and joints, but the weight of the darned thing was getting me down.

Now I use a Swift, which is the polar opposite of the Flyer, and if anything is more comfortable. I don't miss the bed-springs of the Flyer at all!

They are all hard new, but rubbing in the Brooks saddle gunk a few times before riding prepares it to mold to your sit bones.
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Shimokitazawa
#4
I ride a B17 on my touring/commuting bike and it is, without a doubt, the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden. The best way I can describe it is that I never think about it. It's so comfortable that I almost forget I'm sitting on something. This may sound like hyperbole, but I can't think of a more appropriate way to describe it.

Personally, I didn't have any issues with it even when new, but I know most people find it a bit hard in the beginning.

One thing to bear in mind using a Brooks on your commuter: Brooks saddles are no friends to rain, so the rain cover that comes with the saddle is something you'll need to have with you every day during rainy season.
 

snoogly

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Oct 14, 2007
695
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Machida, Tokyo
#5
One thing to bear in mind using a Brooks on your commuter: Brooks saddles are no friends to rain, so the rain cover that comes with the saddle is something you'll need to have with you every day during rainy season.
I bought a bulk box of shower caps from Amazon. Light as a feather, and just as effective as the Brooks cover. I leave one scrunched up, crammed under the bolt at the front of the saddle.
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Shimokitazawa
#7
Other than the leather balm/proofing, how do you protect the underside if you don't have fenders?
The owner's manual says that one application of the Brooks-brand wax to the underside of the saddle (and not wiped away) is enough to protect it from the elements. I suppose you could do this once a year or so, at the beginning of rainy season if you were so inclined. Other than that, I don't do anything. Brooks claims it will be fine.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#9
B17 Cut

I have ridden B17s for years and as others have said, Brooks are great saddles. Recently I cut the sides (skirt) and back off a B17 for an old school racing look for a fixed gear project. It came out great and looks much like a Swallow for about a third of the price.

Drill some holes in whats left of the skirt and stitch it for a really classic look and great riding saddle.

Search cut Brooks on roadbikereview.com for pictures of what others have done and how to if interested.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#13
I've now got a brooks on the way from wiggle, and also happened across sheldon's page on leather: (scroll down to the last part for details)

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

I won't try the soaking that he describes, but I do have a partial bottle of neatsfoot oil, so I may give it an initial blast of that and then switch to the proofhide. Will have to see how it feels, and decide from there.

I've used mink oil, snow-seal, and dubbin on other leather in the past (neatsfoot, too, obviously), and while I have no experience using those things on a brooks saddle, IMNSHO it can't be all that different. It would be nice to know what's in Brooks' proofhide for comparison.

On edit: Please avoid anything with silicone like the plague (often sold as shoe waterproofing). Tho a temporary "miracle", it's only temporary/short-term, and is one of the worst things you can use on leather.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#16
The B17 came yesterday morning, the one with copper rivets/rails. Painted the underside on off & on thru the day and a couple times this morning with neatsfoot oil, probably over dozen times total. (Which seemed to make no immediate difference to its "give" or softness.) Then let the last coat set a bit and coated it top and bottom with proofhide. Wiped off the top, and popped it on the bike for a ride.

It feels fine (for ~35km).

Hard, yes, but in spite of being on a bike with a seat-post shock, I think I can feel some give. The shape seems to fit my rear fine and for the more upright riding position on this bike. Its slick surface is a major plus.

I wonder what it'll be like a year from now?

Next step: which model for my road bike? Swallow or Swift? Team pro?