Author Topic: Brooks saddle  (Read 658 times)

ourclarioncall

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Brooks saddle
« on: May 29, 2022, 02:11:43 AM »
Got one a while back . Hard as a rock and then it started to feel good .stopped cycling for quite I while and trying the brooks again

Theres a lot I like about it

But Iím just not sure itís the one for me. I want it to be the one but Iím not sure it is.
I have put on weight so donít know if that changes things.

I previously had problems with chaffing and heat /sweat and the brooks helped a lot with that .

Iím just finding that I see to have to be really precise with how I sit on it for it to feel good.,

What are other good quality saddles out there ? Are you a brooks user or ex brooks user but moved on to something else?

ourclarioncall

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2022, 02:16:43 AM »
One other thing Is Iím finding I canít get the brooks saddle back as far as I would like to so that a plum line from my knee is in line with the pedal axle . My knees are too far forward .

I donít know if this is a brooks saddle thing or not

Iím tempted to try one of those layback seat posts to give me more options fif adjustment

steve216c

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2022, 06:54:29 AM »
A tip for sweating and chaffing would be Penaten or Suducrem type creams which have lanolin and Zink in them. The creams are very sticky and become a barrier that can stop irritation forming or treat contact irritation after a ride. A bit messy to apply, but very effective.

As for Brooks, I needed a good 2000km before mine felt like home. During that time I questioned the logic of spending approx 12x the cost of mostly Selle Royal Type gel saddles which I have used/still use on other bikes and which are themselves not uncomfortable.

The longer the journey the more my Brooks outperforms my other saddles. Basically, any sore bum bones appear later with the Brooks. The leather appears to allow sweet/moisture to better evaporate/dissipate vice the gel saddles. On longer rides, a definite advantage. But you are disadvantaged with leather if parked in the rain without a cover and due to price of Brooks in the temptation they offer thieves.

If you are mostly doing short rides then a gel saddle might be better value for money. As a Brooks moulds itself to your backside over time, then not ideal on a family/guest bike with multiple users. Again, gel saddle probably better suited.
But if you are the main rider and keep saddle out of rain and keep leather in good check, then a Brooks will gradually become more comfortable as it slowly adjusts to four shape and weight. And at some point you will agree it is the perfect saddle for you over the best gel saddle alternatives.

As for a layback saddle post, this might help. I added one to my old MTB which effectively moved saddle back around 3-4cm, but which allowed me to find my sweet spot on that bike. Perhaps go with your new bike to your local bike shop and CV let them see your sitting geometry. The can probably advise if a lay back post is right for you, or if other adjustments would improve your ride comfort.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

JohnR

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2022, 09:01:39 AM »
One other thing Is Iím finding I canít get the brooks saddle back as far as I would like to so that a plum line from my knee is in line with the pedal axle . My knees are too far forward .

I donít know if this is a brooks saddle thing or not

Iím tempted to try one of those layback seat posts to give me more options fif adjustment
Ihe current seatpost is visible at about 3:10 in your video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFg4OgeprHk and has some layback and you might be able to gain a few mm using a different seatpost but there's not a big selection of seatposts with more than 20mm layback / setback / offset (this is 24mm https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201839880192). If whatever you can find is smaller diameter than the hole in the frame then get a suitable shim. The Brooks leather saddles do have shorter rails than many others (I noticed a few days ago that the C17 rubber saddle has longer rails).

Spa Cycles https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m18b0s0p0/Saddles has a good range of leather saddles other than Brooks both their own brand (actually these http://www.gyes.com.tw/saddle.html) and those made by Gilles Berthoud (I think both offer slightly longer rails than Brooks). They may have demo saddles which you could try on your bike. It's generally reckoned that Brooks use a thinner leather than the others so are faster to adapt to the right shape. However, you may want to first prioritise getting the saddle setback sorted and be sure what width saddle suits you before investing in a new leather saddle.

PS: I would concentrate on finding the optimum saddle - handlebar spacing (you might need to try a different stem) and compromise on the knee over pedal spindle objective. If the handlebar clamp is diameter is 25.4mm then there's a nice Thorn stem up to 130mm long at https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313972184442.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 10:04:16 AM by JohnR »

PH

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2022, 10:45:55 AM »
I used Brooks leather B17's for years, got on with them OK, but hadn't really tried much else to compare, there was/is  a perceived wisdom that they were the touring saddle so never looked much further.  My last two didn't last very long, apparently something to do with BSE and the thickness of available leather now cows are slaughtered younger, or maybe not...  Tried a synthetic Brooks C17 and am now a convert, have four and never any issue or discomfort and I've generally stopped using padded shorts (Though I was going this way before giving up on the B17's)
My saddle experience is still limited, I know I didn't like the San Marco Rolls that came on my tourer, or the drop nosed SMP that I really wanted to like but never did, also tried an Ergon saddle that got rave reviews but felt to me like sitting on a plank.  With lower bars and a more sporty position I get on fine with a Charge Spoon, but wasn't comfortable when I moved it onto my folder.  Oddly the stock Trek saddle that came on my E-bike is absolutely fine, it's been my most ridden bike for he last year, but it's used for delivering so it might be 50 miles a day but rarely more than 3 miles in one go. I'm tempted to try it on another bike.
That might sound like a fair amount of experience, but in reality it hardly scratches the surface of what's available, I've managed to rule out those things I know don't work for me, but still can't look at the specs of a saddle and know it will. I can reject something after a single ride knowing it won't work, yet it'll take many miles before I'm convinced it will.
Decent guide to saddle here:
https://www.cyclingabout.com/saddle-comfort-for-cyclists-the-best-bicycle-touring-seats/

in4

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2022, 10:50:27 AM »
Obviously fit is the driver here. If however Brooks saddles donít work for you this alternative might; available in two sizes.

https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-parts/saddles-seats-posts/selle-smp-trk-gel-saddle-medium-589629.html?cm_mmc=Google+PLA-_-Cycling%3EBike+Parts%3ESaddles+and+Seat+Posts-_-Cycling%3EBike+Parts%3ESaddles+&+Seat+Posts-_-589629&istCompanyId=b8708c57-7a02-4cf6-b2c0-dc36b54a327e&istFeedId=62b447cf-331e-4fec-a47a-9985ff72d404&istItemId=wrxwxpxtw&istBid=tzwt&_$ja=tsid:%7Ccid:14880115585%7Cagid:127603077505%7Ctid:pla-394598910197%7Ccrid:550513245065%7Cnw:u%7Crnd:12560593366694090522%7Cdvc:m%7Cadp:%7Cmt:%7Cloc:1006497&gclid=CjwKCAjws8yUBhA1EiwAi_tpEXiGAqSIVdjTd9PR6b4f6qXfIuf1-IikfanX_5s2yKk_A4-_ozLQQRoCoZ0QAvD_BwE

Iím not quite optimum fitness guy but straight out of the box and with a few adjustments en route I did 100 miles on this saddle without issue.

PH

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2022, 10:56:33 AM »
PS: I would concentrate on finding the optimum saddle - handlebar spacing (you might need to try a different stem) and compromise on the knee over pedal spindle objective.
There's sometimes a fair bit of disagreement in the bike fit world, but I think it's pretty unanimous that that's the wrong way round.
There's an excellent short fitting guide (By the designer of Spa Cycles frames, who is also a frequent poster on the Cycling UK forum)  It says:
Quote
Get your saddle height and setback right first, then you can start thinking about reach to the handlebars.
The whole guide is worth reading
https://wheel-easy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/bike-set-up-2017a.pdf

Leaving aside that the saddle to pedal relationship is the critical one, if you bought a stem to get what you thought was the perfect reach, then adjusted saddle, the reach would no longer be perfect... 

PH

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2022, 11:03:34 AM »
One other thing Is Iím finding I canít get the brooks saddle back as far as I would like to so that a plum line from my knee is in line with the pedal axle . My knees are too far forward .
I am a bit surprised by that, please do read the guide posted above and double check that you're following those principals.
Thorn touring frames are known for their relaxed seat tube angle, it's possible it is too steep for you, but if so I suspect that'll be the case with every bike.
Your posts say "put on weight" " not ridden for a while"... I've been there, more times than I want to think about, it takes a while for it to feel right again, and I know how discouraging that can be, but there is no substitute for getting the miles in.

JohnR

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2022, 11:56:07 AM »
Leaving aside that the saddle to pedal relationship is the critical one, if you bought a stem to get what you thought was the perfect reach, then adjusted saddle, the reach would no longer be perfect...
For me, saddle height above ground level is the first distance to get sorted as I like to be able to put my left toes on the ground while seated (and probably means that my saddle-pedal distance isn't optimum - something that is also affected by frame design and bottom bracket height above ground level). Moving the saddle forwards or backwards will have minimal effect on the saddle-pedal distance but will affect the vertical position of the knees above the pedals.

If, as seems to be the case here, the saddle is set as far back as the current seatpost and saddle rails permit then, if the handlebars feel a bit close, then a longer stem can be a solution. That's what I had to do when I got a bike which I knew was on at the small end of my size range. I find that fine-tuning the fit involves going out on the bike for a couple of hours and thinking whether the change is better or worse than before.

PH

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2022, 01:07:57 PM »
Moving the saddle forwards or backwards will have minimal effect on the saddle-pedal distance but will affect the vertical position of the knees above the pedals.
Good that you've found what works for you, I'm not arguing your position isn't right for you, how would I know.
I am pointing out that your advice is contrary to that of the cycle fit professionals, and I reiterate the advice to read the guides, the one posted above is probably the best I've seen.  Fore/aft position isn't about leg extension, it's about weight distribution, if you'd looked at the link before replying you'd have realised that.

Andre Jute

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2022, 02:55:42 PM »
I know of two very comfortable fundament supports for those who prefer a back angle of only ten or fifteen degrees from vertical, and those who are heavy -- I used to be a 190lb athlete but these days I'm 15 pounds heavier.

The first isn't a saddle but a seat. The Cheeko 90 is a little bucket seat with low sides on three edges. It's padded and mine was covered in a reasonable facsimile of the MBTex found on the seats of the more expensive Mercedes in the '60s and 70s, only not so hard wearing. These photos, found on the net by Dan, aren't of mine, which doesn't have the built-in lamp either. Those rails have less adjustment than at first appears, because this is a seat you lean against rather than sit down on, so it works best if the mounting point is right at the front so the front edge is in line with the seat post. Out of production, of course, but very occasionally new old stock becomes available.




I've sat on a few Brooks B17s of various versions, though I've never owned one. Just a short ride on a B17 every few years is enough to convince me anew that it is an instrument of torture from the age when cyclists were hard men with harder bums.

But, because Thorn had it on sale for fifty quid, I bought a B73 as an experiment, fully expecting to hate it. On the contrary, it turned out to be very comfortable, and 11,000km later anyone who wants it will have to unclench it from my cold, dead cheeks. It's a saddle on which to sit upright or nearly upright. I can't imagine it has any drop bar applications. But after two pandemic years nearly permanently off the bike, I immediately found it comfortable for a standard ride. As far as I know, it was the third widest Brooks saddle, but the B135 was never common, and the B190, the largest of the Brooks saddles, is for German baumeisters. The B73 has helical springs at all three corners and the twin mounting rails are also springs. It looks like it could be unstable, but anyone who tells you that it actually is unstable has never ridden on one. The springs are stiff enough to be flexible in only one direction. The leather is a hammock, of course, or to my eyes (as a racing driver, my field of car development was tyres and chasses) another spring. By some magic these springs all work together in perfect harmony.


Before you rush out to buy a B73, first find and acquire your twin-rail adaptor, which allows you to fit the B73 to a micro adjustable seat post, rather than Brooks' crude fitting which also requires a dedicated "candlehead" seat post (parts which have no place in this century). SJS sells spares and accessories for the B73 on this page:

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/search/?term=Brooks%20B73&geoc=IE
« Last Edit: June 10, 2022, 01:09:31 AM by Andre Jute »

JohnR

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2022, 08:48:10 PM »
I saw this well-weathered Brooks saddle in St Davids a couple of days ago. It could well be past redemption. Someone thought it a good idea to park some old bikes around the city centre as ornaments.

Andre Jute

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2022, 01:16:57 AM »

Prince of Darkness

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Re: Brooks saddle
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2022, 04:52:35 AM »
I have been using Brooks saddles for forty something years and wouldn't fit anything else to my bike. First one was a B5N, on a Raleigh Royale which I inherited when my brother outgrew it. I never reached anywhere near his height so I kept using that bike until I moved to Scotland and picked up a second hand machine for the daily commute. Couldn't take to the padded saddle on that, so I brought the old B5N back up. Having long since upgraded the componentry, I upgraded the frame to a Thorn XTC and later treated myself to a B17 Champion Special, which I really love; now using it on my Raven Sport Tour.