Brooks B17 or B17 narrow?

Chris Long

Senior Member
Hi,

I've ordered a bike and it comes with a Brooks b17 saddle.

I have the option of swopping it for a brookes b17 narrow but I haven't sat on either and can't get to anywhere that has them in stock to compare

I'm sure the b17 is very comfy but the narrow seems to be a shape I'm more used to. My race saddle is a selle italia flow.

Any experiences with either?

Apparently the b17 can feel wide if you aren't used to it

Thanks

Chris
 

robjh

Legendary Member
I've got both, on different bikes. The B17 narrow is still quite new and not yet fully moulded to my backside, but my impression so far is that the shape is better and will be more comfortable in the long run. I guess however that it will depend on various factors, such as how upright a position you ride in, so there will be no definitive answer to this question.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
The B17 does feel a bit of a lump and feel quite wide when you first sit on it after riding other saddles. I found that when swapping between riding on a standard brompton saddle and going to a B17.

But there's no substitute for arse-testing.

And also be prepared to discover that you hate whichever you choose and be ready to try something else.
 
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Chris Long

Senior Member
thanks both

I ride mainly fast club rides and bash rides on a narrow selle Italia flow, Bars are low, as aero as my non flexible body can be, and I ride quite compact, knees together. For this reason I was thinking the narrow.

chris
 
For what it's worth I had a B17 for decades, having been advised "get a Brooks leather saddle" after having been crippled by arse pain with the OE plastic saddle. I'd not then realised there was a choice of Brooks saddles. B17 suited me and didn't need breaking or anything. and I never bothered with cycle shorts for decades. Naturally enough, got same again on replacement bike. I ordered a swift (narrower and more sporty) for my fixie but it easn't quite as comfy for me though improved over time. Subsequently replaced it with their team pro which I like even more than the B17, again perfect from new The team pro is slighly narrower than the ordinary B17 - dunno about the B17 narrow but I guess it's close to the team pro.

Above may or may not be if help, but perhaps also look at team pro
 
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Chris Long

Senior Member
ah, hadn't looked at the team pro, it is in between the B17 and the narrow. Apparently the swift doesn't bed in as much as the B17 saddles?
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
ah, hadn't looked at the team pro, it is in between the B17 and the narrow. Apparently the swift doesn't bed in as much as the B17 saddles?
I own 6 different Brooks, the B17n is my favourite,

In order of preference,

  1. B17n
  2. B5n (obsolete model)
  3. Swallow 2004 Limited Edition Titanium
  4. Swift Titanium
  5. B67s
  6. B17
However everyone's bum is different.
 
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Chris Long

Senior Member
how do you find the Swift? it's the closest to my racing saddle, but for everyday use may be a bit extreme
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
I fitted a B17 to my Thorn Club Tour. A thousand agonising miles later I took it off and fitted a Specialised Body Geometry which was perfect from day one and for many thousands of miles before I sold the bike.

Everyone's backside is different, but I still resent the money wasted on that B17! And the pain!
 
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Chris Long

Senior Member
Im fgoing to be doing less touring on it, more commuting, trails with the kids, and use the bike as a winter club ride bike. Got my summer carbon bike for other faster stuff. SO I guess I'm after something in between. Maybe the Swift would be fine. I'm used to hard saddles over 100 miles. Maybe the Team Pro is a compromise between width and comfort...

I know, hard to tell as i cant test them out. I do think the B17 is so far away from what I'm used to and it comes as standard on the bike.
 

simongt

Über Member
Location
Norwich
Whichever Brooks you go for, remember that it will take time to break in. My B.17 took a couple of weeks of daily commuting after carefully Proofiding it beforehand. Now, I wouldn't swap it for any other saddle - ! :thumbsup:
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
how do you find the Swift? it's the closest to my racing saddle, but for everyday use may be a bit extreme
TBH it's on my 653 TT bike so I don't ride it for that long, about an hour tops whereas the B17n is on my Ridgeback and I've done thousands of miles on that including multiple tours.

DSCN0058.JPG
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
TBH @Chris Long I don't think it's much use asking what other people like as everyone is different. Look at the seat you currently find most comfortable and compare the dimensions to the Brooks models.
I've never been tempted by a Brooks due to the lengthy breaking in period but I would like to try the Cambium.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
TBH @Chris Long I don't think it's much use asking what other people like as everyone is different. Look at the seat you currently find most comfortable and compare the dimensions to the Brooks models.
I've never been tempted by a Brooks due to the lengthy breaking in period but I would like to try the Cambium.
I don't regard the Cambium as a true Brooks, for a start they're not 'breathable' like a leather saddle and I don't think they'll have the same longevity as a well looked after leather one would. Mind you Brooks have made some crap over the years, anyone else remember these horsehair stuffed things,

Peug_Chuck_Done_Saddle_1.jpg

you've never lived til you ridden something like that that's been rained on and then frozen :ohmy: and then when it thaws out due to body heat:eek: :thumbsdown:
 
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Chris Long

Senior Member
@Cycleops
I've contacted the bike shop, they seem to think comparing with my current saddle isn't much use as the brooks is so different. I can sort of see their point. Lets face it, a 200g selle Italia isnt really made for comfort, more for weight! I've never struggled with any saddle in the past though, Ive even had one of those cheap carbon fibre unpadded things on my turbo!

I think I'm after similar dimensions to my current saddle, which is the Swift or the team pro (a bit wider). No problem breaking things in. Although the bike shop said they had all tried the swift and found it didn't break in as much as the B17 or other saddles.

Gut feeling is the team pro. Not too wide.

Chris
 
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