Which B17?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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DaveP
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Which B17?

Postby DaveP » 30 Oct 2010, 10:56pm

There's the B17 Standard, the B17 Special (Copper rivets, chamfered skirts) and the B17 Imperial (large cutout t6o releave perineal pressure).
I like the copper rivets, I have known the small steel ones to end up standing proud - not nice!
But what about the Imperial cutout?
Any thoughts to help me choose would be appreciated.
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully...

random37
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Re: Which B17?

Postby random37 » 30 Oct 2010, 11:31pm

Surely, the more cut away from the saddle, the quicker it will wear out?

I would stick with a normal B17 if it were me.

tooley92
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Re: Which B17?

Postby tooley92 » 31 Oct 2010, 12:00am

I have 2 B17 specials (one honey and one black), they are basically a B17 titanium with copper coloured steel rails. Spa cycles is one of the best places to buy Brooks saddles from as they have a massive range and are very good on price. Worth noting that the last B17 special that I bought from Spa (about 6 weeks ago) came with an adjusting spanner and a saddle cover in the box.
Remember folks 'A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!'

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deliquium
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Re: Which B17?

Postby deliquium » 31 Oct 2010, 12:52am

I've got a standard B17, an old very saggy (abused) B17 which I drilled and laced to bring back into shape, a B17 that I modified drastically with a Stanley knife as I was bored one wet Sunday, a Flyer (which looks like a B17 with springs) and a B17 that was bought already modified and sold as a Selle Antatomica (hole cut out like Imperial but without lacing holes). They are all slightly different and importantly very comfortable. I doubt any two Brooks B17 saddles would ever feel the same anyway. Strangely the cut away one is the harder and unsurprisingly, the Anatomica has the most give.
Current pedalable joys

"you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who nearly are half people and half bicycles"

Tandem Man
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Re: Which B17?

Postby Tandem Man » 31 Oct 2010, 9:51am

All backsides obviously differ but I had a B17 Standard which I never really got on with.

I switched to an Imperial and find that much more comfortable,YMMV.

It comes pre-holed for lacing and the laces are provided ( in different colours no less ).
Ian
Last edited by Tandem Man on 31 Oct 2010, 10:21am, edited 2 times in total.
Ian From Wakefield

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simonineaston
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Re: Which B17?

Postby simonineaston » 31 Oct 2010, 10:15am

Golly - what to say?! I have one of each. A Copper Special, and 'common-or-garden' Standard B17 Put on my Mr. Vanity head, and I like the brown Copper Special best, with its big copper rivets, chamfered cut, it says, "Hey, I'm a Brooks Pro if you don't look too hard...!"
But, put on Mr. Comfy head, and my butt tells me the black, boring Stnd. version is actually a bit more comfortable - and yes it has got a couple of 'proud' rivets!
It makes me chuckle a bit, 'cos I've tried all sorts of Brooks over the last few years - Pros, B17s, ladies and gents, new, second-hand, vintage, etc.etc. and actually the best of the lot is the basic, boring, could-have-bought-it-in-the-first-place!!, black B17 Standard...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

GrahamNR17
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Re: Which B17?

Postby GrahamNR17 » 31 Oct 2010, 12:43pm

I have a B17 Standard. My bum hurts so much I feel like I've been in prison for a month :(

...I shall never understand what people see in B17s :|

ROBRIENMIKE
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Re: Which B17?

Postby ROBRIENMIKE » 31 Oct 2010, 2:25pm

I have been using various Brooks saddles over the years and they vary in comfort tremendously. This also goes for Wrights & Mansfield. That is why, I would never pay Ebay prices for second hand saddles or buy a new one. I now pick mine up at jumbles where I can have a good butchers and a feel of them. I would say that over the past fifty years, I have found more uncomfortable ones than comfortable no matter how you look after them or give them time to "break in" ( I sometimes wonder myself what is supposed to be broken in). I would go along with the B17 Standard theory.
Those that are very soft and and/or misshapen cannot usually be retrieved. Likewise those that are hard & cracking. I speak as a harness maker used to dealing with the raw materials. Again, all depends upon the original piece of leather. Hides are natural, organic material and vary between animals no matter how they are supposed to be "selected for the job.
Hidefood by Connolys is Ok to rub in and may help. We used to use this on dried out motor-car upholstery...several applications over a period of time, covered with polythene bags to induce sweating and left in a warm place would improve things no end... for a while. Regular application is necessary. I have never tried Brooks own but I guess it is a more expensive variation of Hidefood.
Of course you will get whatever dressing you use on your clothing especially saddlery & boot oils which work the best to soften and preserve. If things are dire and you are tempted to use anything like Neetsfoot or the more radical Mars Oil, paint them on with a brush from the underside to leave the top clean. Cream dressings & oils should be kept in a warmish place as viscosity increases with the cold. They can be stood in warm water to thin which is what you want to help them soak in.
Keep using the padded shorts!
Mike.

asterix
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Re: Which B17?

Postby asterix » 4 Nov 2010, 11:08am

and actually the best of the lot is the basic, boring, could-have-bought-it-in-the-first-place!!, black B17 Standard...


Agreed, I've tried a few and my best is an old B17 I bought 2nd hand but unused for £3 in a junk shop. Rock hard leather but once it learnt to give a bit astonishingly comfortable.

hamster
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Re: Which B17?

Postby hamster » 4 Nov 2010, 4:21pm

Have a look at your current saddle - if it's slim go for a B17 narrow.

I was very skeptical about Brooks saddles - generally I thought they were used by the same CTC stick-in-the-muds who still had screw-on freewheels and Carradice saddlebags. :wink:
:oops: So here I am eating humble pie. :oops:
I love the B17 Narrow I bought and my wife has just moved to a B17S, saying it is perfect straight from the box.

pete75
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Re: Which B17?

Postby pete75 » 6 Nov 2010, 11:41am

GrahamNR17 wrote:I have a B17 Standard. My bum hurts so much I feel like I've been in prison for a month :(

...I shall never understand what people see in B17s :|


I guess people of certain proclivities just love that feeling :D

Seriously I've used B17s and Professionals for many years now and find them supremely comfortable even without padded shorts.

GrahamNR17
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Re: Which B17?

Postby GrahamNR17 » 6 Nov 2010, 2:14pm

Having read Mike's post, I've gott he B17 out of the garage bin. I've applied load of Brooks Proofhide to the underside, stuck it in a placcy bag, and it's been sitting near a radiator for the last week. I may apply more and leave another week. By summer, it might have started to soften up a bit :| That or I need something more radical, maybe the saddlery oils etc. If that fails, it's going on ebay :twisted:

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Mick F
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Re: Which B17?

Postby Mick F » 6 Nov 2010, 2:43pm

I have a Brooks Team Pro. It's as solid as a rock, bullet-hard and the most comfortable saddle that I've ever had!

It's as bullet-hard now as it was when I first fitted it. I've done in excess of 14,000 miles on it over the last 5 or 6 years, and I love it!

Just coz a saddle is hard, doesn't mean it's not comfortable.
Mick F. Cornwall

GrahamNR17
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Re: Which B17?

Postby GrahamNR17 » 6 Nov 2010, 3:28pm

Mick F wrote:I have a Brooks Team Pro. It's as solid as a rock, bullet-hard and the most comfortable saddle that I've ever had!

It's as bullet-hard now as it was when I first fitted it. I've done in excess of 14,000 miles on it over the last 5 or 6 years, and I love it!

Just coz a saddle is hard, doesn't mean it's not comfortable.

Maybe my bum's too soft then :|

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Mick F
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Re: Which B17?

Postby Mick F » 6 Nov 2010, 4:46pm

The saddle has to match the bum.

By that I don't mean hard or soft, I mean shape. Sit bones have to be supported and the saddle shouldn't chaff between the thighs. This isn't easy, you have either to be lucky, or use Trial and Error to get the perfect saddle. You may never find the perfect saddle.

Also, position on the bike is important too. You shouldn't sit ON a saddle, you RIDE a bicycle. Your weight should be evenly distributed between hands/arms, feet/legs and bum.

The saddle on my Raleigh Chopper was excruciating - yes, it was an awful saddle being too soft and sweaty, but my position was all wrong. I tried to raise it enough and keep the 'bars as low as I could, but it was my position as much as the saddle that made it uncomfortable.
Mick F. Cornwall