which brooks?

GazK

Senior Member
Location
Wiltshire
I'm heading down the bike shop tomorrow to enter the Wonderful World of Brooks. I ride a fast (theoretically) flat bar hybrid which may become a drop bar hybrid in the near future. I'm trying to ride faster, I feel I'm dawdling if I'm below 15 mph, and I tend towards spinning not mashing.

I have my eye on a B17 special, but I would like some advice on whether this is best for me. I'm also conscious that they may not have one and would like a couple of other candidates to choose from. Anyone got views on the B17, swift or team pro?

PS also I need to stay at the lower end of the price range - my wife knows we're going to buy a saddle tomorrow but I haven't told her my budget yet!
 

aqaleigh

New Member
Location
ascot berkshire
i am in the same situation

went today and got measured on the "bumometer" (143) and on flat bar hybrid that i use for touring and commuting was recommended the b17 special

hope this is of some help
 

craigwend

Grimpeur des Holderness
Sadly it's a try it and see, difficult to predict if you have a 'brooks-bum' which can be expensive!

I've got two; a very old (20-30 year old) 'b17 special' which fits like a glove (now) & is now on my mountain-bike/commuter (having previously lived on my dawes galaxy, before that raleigh record ace, before that a previous owner...) and a new 'b17 special which I bought of another 'forumer' having kindly broken it in for a year for me, before deciding it was not for them - but great for me & now lives on the galaxy -there lies (or sits?) the problem they don't suit everybody!

My 'new' one is not as comfy as my 'old' one, but as comfy as a (my) fizik arione for me.

my old one is 4-5 mm longer after many years tensioning (stretching) and a slighltyl different angle to the other on the bike - so a bit of fetling and perciverence (breaking in) is required - but even so you may not have a brooks - bottom ;) after spending many quids.
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
If you are thinking of changing to drops in the near future, I'd hold on before buying the saddle. I have B17s on 2 bikes, a hybrid with flat bars & my tricross with drops. The B17 on the hybrid is & was comfortable from the off & I can sit on all day with no probs, but the different riding position on the drops means the B17 on my tricross is not as comfotable. It's over a year old & probably done well over 1k miles so broken in, but not quite right ;)
 
OP
GazK

GazK

Senior Member
Location
Wiltshire
Thanks for all the responses. Turns out the bike shop (Tredz in Swansea, I'm on holiday in the Gower) only had one Brooks in stock - a fine looking Swallow Titanium for a paltry £199. Hahahahahaha no thanks.

I will visit my LBS (Johns Bikes in Bath) when I get back, they have a rep for saddle fitting and carry Brookes. I will take their advice, then flip a coin and pick the sexiest looking one ;)

And if it turns out I haven't got a Brookes bum, well there's always ebay...
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I'm on my second B17, the bog standard version, my first B17 only lasted 25 years..
Both are on drop-bar bikes with the bars some 3 to 4 inches below saddle height and no discomfort issues at all.

BTW, converting a hybrid to drops is a quite expensive business... it's primarily the cost of the integrated brake lever/gear shifters.


@craigwend. Interestingly I've just bought an Arione wingflex (Planet-X sale for £35 seemed a bargain), so as a dedicated Brooks user it will be a new experience! Bought due to the lighter weight, I have superlight summer wheels etc and atop the bike is a Chesterfield sofa! Looking forward to trying it out.
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
Fab Foodie - I think you'll like the Arione, I found mine very comfy - I did worry slightly about the flatness of the shape & the pressure that places on ones bits though.

And they're not good for attaching the Carradice...

To the op - if you're not sure about a Brooks, a B17(N) perhaps makes sense as the cheapest option - you could always eBay it (you shouldn't lose much) if you find you like Brooks and want a fancier perch. Like Fab Foodie, both my B17s are on drop bar bikes, and I've not found it a problem.
 
OP
GazK

GazK

Senior Member
Location
Wiltshire
A quick update - visited John's bikes today and the very helpful chap there measured by a***. Turns out my sit bones are 150mm apart - and my crappy Raleigh OEM saddle is 130mm wide. So no surprise that my a*** was killing me by the end of todays 28 mile round trip (on lumpy towpaths) to Bath.

On that basis I have gone for a team pro, which is wide enough for me. I also got a bit carried away and ordered the copper version, which is (cough) more expensive. I will pick it up next week, if my a*** can stand another trip to bath!

Bike gent also advised me to forget all my crazy ideas about drop bars, carbon fork etc. He quite rightly pointed out that by the time I've paid for all that, I would be half way to a decent road bike, and porbably not solve the problem. He advised a much cheaper solution would be to replace my current 28mm tyres with 32mm slicks - he has done this with his winter road bike, and at the same PSI as 28s says it makes no difference to speed.

This seems like a sensible - and cheap - option. Does anyone have any views on this, or recommendations for 32 slicks? He offered Bontragers, but I have a prejudice against all things Bonty on the admittedly-flimsy premise that they are fashionable.

I also picked up a pair of Cane Creek Ergo grips, and I will experiment with moving my main grips inboard over the next few days.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Just come back from a short (20km) ride on my new Flyer. Copper rivets and all. Basically a B17 on springs. A proper all day all night saddle.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
second ride on it on Sunday. It would appear to have broken in over less than 6 hours / 70 miles of riding. It was like riding a sofa.

I wonder if one would look really stupid on my singlespeed?
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
GregCollins said:
I wonder if one would look really stupid on my singlespeed?
There was a fad for fixie riders to have enormous sprung saddles on their "whips" as I recall.

I don't think you're likely to end up being mocked on BSNYC, so why not do it?
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
John the Monkey said:
There was a fad for fixie riders to have enormous sprung saddles on their "whips" as I recall.

I don't think you're likely to end up being mocked on BSNYC, so why not do it?
I would've thought a sprung saddle was more suitable for the naturally slower pedalling style of old roadsters and the like as they become very bouncy if you try a fast cadence in my experience.
 
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