This Brooks B17 Imperial saddle is on my main touring bicycle, a 1993 Bianchi Project 5 cross bike, converted to a gravel bike with aero bars. I will benefit from the comfort of this saddle on multiple consecutive, 40 mile days of cross country travel.
I bought this because of ongoing soft tissue pain on long multi-day rides. Break in took a while but it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever owned. It feels good in the morning and better each time I get back on the bike during the day.
I will use this saddle on my touring bike ,like all Brooks saddles it does need breaking in. After about 200mi it will conform to my shape. I find it best to take 20mi daily rides until it is my shape, then longer rides will be fine. This saddle came with a wrench and a sample of leather dressing. If you take the time to break it in it will comfortable for several years.
I have put off purchasing a Brooks saddle since I was 20 years old - 40 years ago. During these years of separation, I have ridden every make and model of saddle on the market that now pile high in a cardboard box in my closet. Piled just as high are the butt calluses I accumulated riding over 8,000 every year commuting to work, racing, and bike touring across the United States. It has taken a long time to return to my roots in the 70's when I rode Masi, Ital Vega, Raleigh, and other great Brooks holders of the era. But I'm back, here to stay, like finding a high school sweetheart at your 40-year reunion.
I took my partially broken in B17 and my WTB saddles on my coast to coast trip last year. The idea was that if I got a little sore I could switch saddles for a day or two for some relief. By the time I crossed the Cascades I stowed my WTB and dropped it with a friend in Boise. It took 37 riding days to cross the US. Of those 37 days only 8 days were without rain of varying degrees(don't cross the US in the Northern climes in the spring time). I treated the saddle about 4 times, top and bottom, during the crossing. I thought it held up extremely well considering the water torture it endured. I'm still riding it approximately 20 milesday commuting to and from work. The Brits know quality especially in bike saddles. If I had one critique it would be how long it took me to break it in. But it was well worth it. Without a doubt I will exit this life with Brooks on my bike.
Daily commuter (29 miles round trip for more than 20 years), very pleased at how this saddle is not only very comfortable once broken in, but, how it was never uncomfortable like I always thought they would be. Again I wish I would have believed all the hype years ago as it would have saved me a lot of time and money. In the Pacific Northwest the rain cover comes in very handy and is a great fit as well.
I was a little apprehensive when I learned it may take 500 miles to break this saddle in. Some years I may not ride 500 miles all year. Anyway it was an immediate improvement and allowed me to increase the frequency and length of my rides.
Also, I had experienced prostate pain with blood in my urine (Gross, I know) with another saddle. This is why I choose the saddle with the interior cutout. I have not had any prostate problems with this saddle. I am very happy with this saddle.
Not even finished breaking it in and haven't had a sore day yet. I have used a B17 on my commuter road bike for years, andI just bought a nice new carbon fiber Cannondale but couldn't enjoy it properly without a B17.
Monkey see monkey do... Go show up to a rando ride and count the number of Brooks chosen by cyclist who regularly ride 200K to 1200K events. The first time you sit on your Brooks Saddle you will think eh... its pretty good (I road mine fresh out of the box on a 300K event with no problems)
The first time you ride your bike after your saddle is broken in (For me this was at mile 819) you will think Holy smokes! This is wonderful... now I understand why all those old dudes use these saddles!
The bottom line is that once your saddle becomes shaped to YOUR BUTT you will never have a saddle problem again. Just like breaking in a good pair of boots....
I'm getting older and it's become harder for me to get and stay comfortable on longer rides. This past winter I've tried a half dozen different brands and styles of saddle. Some were better than others and brought improvements which typically turned out to be relatively short-lived. And then I bought a Brooks B17 for my touring bike. Instantly, I felt more comfortable in the saddle than I have in years. An immediate settled-ness and fit. It's terrific and well worth the extra 100 grams. I'm considering getting Brooks saddles for all my other bikes.
The saddle is Brooks quality, very nice. The color is as advertised, it is exactly what I was looking for. Breaking in has taken a few 20 mile rides and is now sitting on perhaps my favorite ride. Looking forward to many more rides in the future, that wouldn't be the case if the saddle had not broken in well.
This is the fourth Brooks saddle I've owned and by far my favorite. The best part is you don't even notice it while riding, it's just there as a natural extension of the bike. Shock absorbing in the city and a source of ease and comfort for miles, this is the one for me from now on.