Buying my first Brooks

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
slowster
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby slowster » 30 May 2020, 2:21pm

brooksby wrote:Picking up on something someone said upthread... The dye can come out and stain clothing? I ride exclusively in normal clothing, so that's a bit of a red flag.

To expand on what I wrote I have an old black B17 saddle, and when I wear relatively light coloured shorts, e.g. kakhi or grey, I find that after a few rides the part of the shorts in contact with the saddle is noticeably somewhat darker than the surrounding fabric. The staining can be removed by washing the shorts (although depending upon the washing liquid/powder used it might be necessary to use a pre-wash treatment or - as I do - rub the fabric with soap and water).

It's not a big deal to me and I continue to use the saddle with those shorts, but if I were buying a new Brooks saddle my preference would be for the honey colour for that and the other reasons I have given. Note that this is not something which is limited to solid leather saddles or Brooks: I get similar staining from the dye of a black leather topped Rolls saddle.

gazza_d
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby gazza_d » 30 May 2020, 4:39pm

I have both a brooks team pro which is nearly 39yr old and a spa nidd which is almost 5.

Both saddles were uncomfortable for the first few rides.
The spa took about 600 miles of regular commuting to break in (can't remember about the brooks) but both are supremely comfortable now to the point that I rarely nerd to wear padded shorts. Although to the touch they are still rock hard.
I've had to replace the tension bolt once on each saddle.
And they just get an occasional rub of proofide when I know I'm not going to be riding for a few days.
The spa is honey and has faded a little with some marks which to my eyes gives it a nice patina but someone more bothered about appearance may want a darker colour

Gaz

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Trigger
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby Trigger » 30 May 2020, 5:13pm

I had a B17 a few years ago and was a bit undecided about it, sometimes it was OK and other times I really didn't like it.

The Cambium I have now is a lot better and was comfortable* from the off.

* relatively speaking.

JohnW
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby JohnW » 30 May 2020, 7:12pm

gazza_d wrote:I have both a brooks team pro which is nearly 39yr old and a spa nidd which is almost 5.

Both saddles were uncomfortable for the first few rides.
The spa took about 600 miles of regular commuting to break in (can't remember about the brooks) but both are supremely comfortable now to the point that I rarely nerd to wear padded shorts. Although to the touch they are still rock hard.
Gaz


That is very interesting - there's hope for me yet, except that I don't really know what to do to achieve "......supremely comfortable....." with the Spa. :cry: :cry: :cry:

I've had B17s down the years which were "......supremely comfortable....." from the start with no extra attention from me :D :D :D.

This pains me, because I am very much pro-Spa in all other respects.

gazza_d
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby gazza_d » 31 May 2020, 6:52am

You don't need to do anything extra John apart from ride it a lot and persevere .
The Spa was tougher to break in than the Brooks. I understand the leather is thicker although if It's the Nidd the shape is basically a B17

brucelee
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby brucelee » 31 May 2020, 9:04am

brooksby wrote:North Road handlebars, quite sitty uppy.
How 'sitty uppy' is 'quite sitty uppy'. If most of your weight is going to be on the saddle, reconsider springs and ditch the QR. As far as water is concerned, you can't have the spray from the back wheel hitting the underside of the saddle. Many ways to block this - maybe your saddle bag will take care of this and a rack or mudguards will. As to the top, there are branded saddle covers or just a carrier bag stuffed under the saddle.

WrightsW5
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby WrightsW5 » 23 Jun 2020, 1:33am

Sitting upright you need something wider, like a B73 or something else with front and rear springs if you want top comfort.

reohn2
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby reohn2 » 23 Jun 2020, 8:33am

WrightsW5 wrote:Sitting upright you need something wider, like a B73 or something else with front and rear springs if you want top comfort.

The only saddle that's comfortable is one that suits the riders backside.
Yesterday I rode 48miles,85% off road with some hard climbs in it and some rough trails included.
I rode it on a 1990's Selle Italia Turbomatic 2 with Planet X 'Geoff' loop bars,so a quite upright riding position.
Perfectly comfortable and due to circumstances I haven't ridden for a week.
What's comfortable is what's comfortable for any particular person,not what people perceive to be comfortable for others.

I've done the whole Brooks thing a long time ago they don't work for me or many other people,they aren't a cure all for saddle comfort some people would have you think,you either like them or you don't.
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WrightsW5
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby WrightsW5 » 23 Jun 2020, 9:51am

Some people will be able to ride anything on anything, but I was just trying to save someone a wasted purchase, the general scientific opinion is that upright should mean wider, which I have personal experience of trying a B17 on a cruiser and being in agony, on more lower position bikes it was always confortable.
https://www.thebikeroute.com/buyers-gui ... -pg152.htm

JohnW
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby JohnW » 23 Jun 2020, 10:39am

gazza_d wrote:You don't need to do anything extra John apart from ride it a lot and persevere .
The Spa was tougher to break in than the Brooks. I understand the leather is thicker although if It's the Nidd the shape is basically a B17

Thanks for that encouraging comment Gazza............I will be persevering.

WrightsW5 wrote:Some people will be able to ride anything on anything, but I was just trying to save someone a wasted purchase, the general scientific opinion is that upright should mean wider, which I have personal experience of trying a B17 on a cruiser and being in agony, on more lower position bikes it was always confortable.
https://www.thebikeroute.com/buyers-gui ... -pg152.htm

For what it's worth, "upright" is some peoples' "low-handlebars" position, and some other peoples' "sitty-uppy" position - it depends on how you see it and what you're used to.
From starting cycling and learning from the then 'old guys' I've always had handlebars and saddle set level - how do you describe that? - and our day-rides have down the years since then varied between 200 and 100 miles (tending towards the shorter, as one ages of course!). I've always been comfortable with that on 'B17's and Brooks 'Pro's. One of my cycling companions down the years has always set his 'bars at least two inches lower than his saddle, and always been comfortable on Brooks saddles.
r2, (above) says : "What's comfortable is what's comfortable for any particular person, not what people perceive to be comfortable for others".
, and that just about sums it up. It is very difficult to successfully advise others.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby Bmblbzzz » 23 Jun 2020, 10:50am

brooksby wrote:I've never actually bought a saddle before - so should I just check the width of a saddle I like (on my other bike) and get a Brooks that measures the same?

I always assumed from your name you were a fan of Brooks saddles!

Anyway, no I don't think it's just a matter of width, though that's obviously one important dimension. Also try to match the shape of the saddle you like: curvature (or flatness as it may be) front to back and side to side. You could even take the favoured saddle in to a shop, if you've got one nearby with a decent range of saddles in stock.

WrightsW5
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby WrightsW5 » 23 Jun 2020, 12:26pm

John,
Yes, i've got nothing against B17's, I owned a Standard, Narrow, 2 Sprinter reissues, original Sprinter, a Team Pro Classic which are based on the old B17 Competition, also had an actual B17 Competition.
The narrower a saddle is the higher I try to set the seatpost in relationto the handlebars.
My Selle Italia Storica is 147mm, I bought it because it was their narrowest traditional saddle, fitted to a track style frame, comfort is excellent.

JohnW
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby JohnW » 23 Jun 2020, 10:18pm

WrightsW5 wrote:John,
Yes, i've got nothing against B17's, I owned a Standard, Narrow, 2 Sprinter reissues, original Sprinter, a Team Pro Classic which are based on the old B17 Competition, also had an actual B17 Competition.
The narrower a saddle is the higher I try to set the seatpost in relationto the handlebars.
My Selle Italia Storica is 147mm, I bought it because it was their narrowest traditional saddle, fitted to a track style frame, comfort is excellent.

Ah - right - if I gave the impression that I had the impression that you were denigrating B17s, I'm sorry - I really didn't mean to give that impression - clearly from what you've said above, you're not.

There's something I'm learning - as I've got older the flesh etc under my sit bones, and in contact with the saddle, seems to becoming less resilient. The Brooks Pro is now less comfortable than the B17. I noticed in my earlier days, when plain leather was all we rode, several of the older riders got to a stage when they would wrap padding, or sponge around the saddle. Now, of course, we have a real variety of saddle materials and profiles available, and some chaps are making appropriate choices.............is it going to happen to me?

reohn2
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby reohn2 » 23 Jun 2020, 10:34pm

WrightsW5 wrote:Some people will be able to ride anything on anything, but I was just trying to save someone a wasted purchase, the general scientific opinion is that upright should mean wider, which I have personal experience of trying a B17 on a cruiser and being in agony, on more lower position bikes it was always confortable.
https://www.thebikeroute.com/buyers-gui ... -pg152.htm

I wasn't having a pop just stating that what's good for one isnt for another.
Whilst I agree that some people will ride anything and not bat an eyelid,I'm a bit of a princess and the pea TBH,who has wandered through saddle city for a good few years until I found the correct saddle for me,that's why I say whatever suits the individual,saddles are a personal thing :wink:
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WrightsW5
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Re: Buying my first Brooks

Postby WrightsW5 » 24 Jun 2020, 1:18am

John and reohn :D

Yes, no-one can know for definate, however good someone else says a saddle is, until they experience it themselves.