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anon123
Participant
#

Thanks, guys! I have read up on them a little, but this is one of the “aged” ones, and supposedly they need slightly different treatment – but there doesn’t seem to be complete consensus about what that means. Parts of the Brooks website say don’t do anything and just ride it, parts say to Proofide it (but only the underside and never the top), etc. IDK. Right now I’m going with “just ride it.” My ride in today was pretty comfy with shorts with a less horrendously placed seam, but I’ll have to get some longer rides in before I give a verdict.

In other news, after further investigation, rice rocket was right. The pedals are fine, that one cleat was just weird.


edmonds59
Participant
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Oh if it’s a pre-aged one don’t wet it, and don’t let it get wet (I have one). They’re softer to begin with, just ride it. But def oil it at some point. You can do the top too, it just darkens it some.

Also I like stuff called Sno-seal, it’s for boots, but it’s basically the same as Proofide, and you can get a cup-sized can for the price of a thimble of Proofide.


anon123
Participant
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Oh okay, thanks. Have you had it for a while? How have you liked it? I’m hoping I made a good choice with it.

Also, that Sno-seal stuff sounds really handy. I have some boots that could also use that. (Actually, now that I think about it, I have some kind of fancy boot leather conditioning something-or-other… I wonder if it’s anything like Proofide. If a Brooks is like good leather boots, seems like I could put the stuff I put on my good leather boots on my Brooks… but I’m somewhat afraid to risk it if it’s not the same)


HiddenVariable
Participant
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i’ve also been meaning to ask some questions about my first brooks saddleâ„¢.

basically, i’m having a hell of a time getting the tilt correct. if i adjust it so that the nose isn’t digging into my bits, i slide forward, due to the slight incline at the back of the saddle. is there a consensus about how best to do this for this kind of saddle?

is this the sort of thing that goes away after the breaking in period? because other than the pressure i’ve had on my arms lately, it was really pretty damned comfortable to begin with.


edmonds59
Participant
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pearmask I’ve had mine 2 yrs or so, love it. I’m pretty confident you will be pleased.

HV, the sliding forward thing should go away over time as it breaks in, the leather will conform to your bony parts and snuggle you right in there. Just keep fiddling with it until it feels right.


jonawebb
Participant
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You might try moving it forward or back a bit. If you can’t move it forward far enough you can reverse the seat post. With the right adjustment the force from your pedaling should keep you in place, is the way it feels anyway.


anon123
Participant
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HV, I have totally been having the same issue. I rode like 15 miles of trail today for the sole purpose of adjusting and re-adjusting the saddle every few miles. I think I *finally* got it where it needs to be to keep weight off of my hands and other places that shouldn’t be weight-bearing, but it was a matter of making teeny-tiny adjustments… lots of them. Moving it forward definitely helped, but who knows whether the same thing would work for someone else, since saddle adjustment is about as personal as it gets.

Was it one of you guys who talked to me in Iron City yesterday and asked if I was pearmask? Awkward human that I am, I didn’t think to ask you who you were. (And if I should have recognized you… my bad.)


mr marvelous
Participant
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So now I want a Brooks saddle but I don’t know much about them or why they are so popular. My concern is I ride all year in all types of weather. Can I use a Brooks in rain and snow? And are they really THAT comfortable?


stefb
Participant
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I won’t get a brooks saddle cause it is leather.

However I do have a pair of lake shoes that I have had for forever that don’t hurt my feet. I need to find comfy cycling shoes for wide feet that aren’t leather, but that is a whole other topic (and I realize I am strange when I occasionally apologize to my leather shoes).


Pierce
Participant
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@marvelous

Because they’re expensive, come from England, look cool, and are durable?

I wonder how many cyclists with Brooks saddles tout the environmental benefits of cycling:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather_production_processes#Environmental_impact

(Animal use is the largest source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions)

I will never understand the vegetarian’s aversion to leather. The leather may very well be sourced from the hides of spent dairy cows

Criticisms aside, I could also potentially use a new non-leather saddle. The one on my Schwinn isn’t particularly comfortable. Any recommendations BikePgh message board users?


anon123
Participant
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I’m pretty sure all the reasons I’ve heard for buying a Brooks have been “because it is the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever had.”

Better one Brooks saddle than a leather interior and a combustion engine.


stefb
Participant
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Cause vegetarians may not like to wear or use dead animals, just as they don’t like to eat dead animals. I kew I shouldn’t have said anything, but it is a consistent view to have when you think about it (“I don’t want to buy or eat any dead things”)… Though I post this from cburch’s stupid leather chair, where I sit because he and the dogs have fallen asleep on the couch..

Anyway I have Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour Road Saddles, and as far as I know, they are not leather. Very comfy, and they’re not yet worn out.


mr marvelous
Participant
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I didn’t mean to start a leather vs non leather debate. I’m sorry about that. I think I’ll take back the question. I just am interested in a really comfortable saddle.

Some of my best friends are vegans and vegetarians.


anon123
Participant
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Yeah, stefb, I think it’s totally reasonable, despite the fact that I’m a leather-using vegetarian.

mr marv, I think it was a fair question. I shouldn’t have said anything to encourage the leather debate, haha

So… let’s talk about bikes instead of cows :)


edmonds59
Participant
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Mr. Marv, Brooks saddles are great, but they are not some magical mystical thing. There is presently some aura of exclusivity about them, because they are cool, but try and disregard that aspect. They are simply a time proven well functioning quality product. They are intended to last you 30 or 40 years if properly taken care of. And they are extremely comfortable once broken in, exactly like good shoes. They are expensive because they are hand made by living human beings and not popped out of a mold by 10 year old Chinese children.

They really come into their own when you start riding 80, 100, 200 miles at a time, if you mainly 5 or 10 miles to work or around town, I would find it hard to justify, you could effectively clamp any old thing to your seat post. In that case I’d be more worried about theft than anything.

Mine came with a fitted cover for riding in rain and snow, but they are not in any way fragile, they’re fine as long as they’re oiled right. If you’re not concerned about the leather issue it’s worth considering. If you want something really comfy, check out the sprung Flyer. You could ride down Joncaire street full speed and not even notice it.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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My Kids love watching a program on I think Discovery Channel (or maybe Sci-Fi?) called “How It’s Made.” The “Bicycle Seat” segment showed how Brooks saddles are made. It is a pretty cool segment (can probably view on YouTube?).

(Disclaimer: I don’t have one, but I do eat meat.)


orionz06
Participant
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I never got the Brooks appeal. Tried them, were not worth the effort and care. My Specialized and WTB seats can sit at the bottom of the river for a week and not be an issue. I think they are all also non-leather, if that really matters. I am sure you can find a shop that you frequent to try out a few seats, I know WTB, Specialized, and a few others offer loaner saddles.


jonawebb
Participant
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Seats are hard to adjust in any case. was on a rental bike recently (my bike was delayed in shipping) and the seat felt like hell. Seemed to be shoving my prostate right into my crotch. Then my bike arrived and my Brooks saddle was like an old friend. I don’t doubt that you have to make many micro adjustments to get a saddle just right, but what a difference it makes when you do. I guess the big advantage of a leather saddle is that it adjusts itself as it wears in, so those tiniest adjustments are done for you.

I am a vegetarian but don’t have a problem wearing or using leather. There is a big difference, for me, between using an animal product and actually consuming animal flesh. Yuck!

For what it’s worth, Brooks saddles are made from cows raised organically, probably some place nice like Switzerland.


Anonymous #

@orizon06 I also failed to make my butt and Brooks friends. It just plain did not work.


orionz06
Participant
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My favorite seat is a $50 (clearance) WTB. I like it more than my $200+ Specialized seat. If I could find one I would also buy an old Dyno seat that I had on a VFR circa 1995-1997. Was an amazing seat that fit me quite well at the age of 19, I assume that would still be the case today as my Specialized seat is about the same with a subtle difference. I would have no shame putting that on a “race” bike.


Ken Kaminski
Participant
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@hiddenvariable:

Leather saddles don’t work with everyone’s physiology, which sucks because you can’t know this until after you’ve spent a ton of money and effort trying to get it right. Your tilt issue might mean that you need a seat with a cut-out. There are some cut-out leather saddles on the market.

For anyone giving up on leather, I will buy your cast-offs at a reasonable price.


Anonymous #

Ken,

Sorry, my cast-off is long time gone.


edmonds59
Participant
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Also there are about fifty different designs of Brooks saddles for different people and pursuits from the ridiculously minimal Swallow to the mattress-like B18 Lady, so if someone is considering it, do some research.


orionz06
Participant
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One thing I don’t get about Brooks, after looking them over more. I understand that handmade leather items cost much more at times, but damn. Some of these heavier leather seats exceed the prices of some pretty high end “race” seats. Not that everyone here is buying parts based on their weight but wow. Strikes me as a poor investment based on the return unless they are that magical.


rsprake
Participant
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if i adjust it so that the nose isn’t digging into my bits, i slide forward, due to the slight incline at the back of the saddle. is there a consensus about how best to do this for this kind of saddle?

Place a level across the nose and the back of the saddle and adjust until it’s flat. That should be it.

Not that everyone here is buying parts based on their weight but wow. Strikes me as a poor investment based on the return unless they are that magical.

To each their own. A supple Brooks saddle absorbs bumps in a way that normal saddles just can’t match. My arse and back are worth the money.


edmonds59
Participant
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Not magical, just made to last 30 years. IMO a reasonable life cycle cost, and a small antidote to the disposable tendencies of our society.


cburch
Participant
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not to mention hand made in a union factory. even the rivets are hammered in by hand on the fancier ones.


rice rocket
Participant
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It’s been said…the Brooks saddles never break in, they break YOU in. ;)


Ken Kaminski
Participant
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To me they’re worth it.


Anonymous #

@edmonds59 I have old Fuji Monterey road bike (27 inches wheel, steel frame, friction shifters, 10 speed). I believe it is about 30 years old. It still has original saddle. And it is not a Brooks one. Actually I’ve tried Brooks for this bike. I have this bike for over 11 years now. Never care much about sit. But it’s still OK. I need to fix a couple of broken spokes and true wheels and use it again for trail biking.

Somehow my current saddle on my road bike is OK for more than 3 years now almost maintenance free (I wash it when I wash bike and dry it after). While leather requires ongoing maintenance through all 30 years. I understand that 3 years and 30 years are on the rder of magnitude different but I know what is going to happen to Brooks if you do the same with it. Friend of mine did it. :)


reddan
Keymaster
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If the Brooks pricing causes undue sticker shock, there’s always the Velo-Orange leather saddles. (And Thick Bikes carries/can order V-O stuff.)

I’ve used neither Brooks nor V-O myself, so cannot speak to relative quality.


rsprake
Participant
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The Velo Orange saddles are significantly harder when new.


Anonymous #

@reddan good racing saddle goes on par with Brooks in terms of pricing. :) And since saddle is something very personal… I know a guy who races a lot and he has changed 4-5 bikes but his Fizik is still with him after more than 5 years. :)


cburch
Participant
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My brooks swift is right between my other road and mtb saddles price wise. It’s the perfect saddle for the bike build and my usage of the bike. Thats why it’s on there.

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