This is my first unsprung leather saddle. I'm using it on a Rivendell Hillborne build, which seats me pretty upright with albatross bars. I appreciate that the leather is smooth, so it won't erode my pants like saddles with stitching or perforated surfaces have done in the past. I got the Special for the look of the copper rivets and the tapered edge, figuring that I'll have the saddle for at least 10 years, so cost is not an issue over time. The saddle does look great, and very appropriate for a bike with classic lines.
Beautiful looking saddle. Caused very sore butt first couple rides then better. If comfort is your cause, this wouldn't be my pick. For me it was a look to go with my vintage bike. After 10 rides it is comfortable enough and fine for 40-50 k for me.
There are cheaper seats out there, but none more comfortable. Takes some time to get it broken in, but once you get 1000 miles on it, you won't go back. Have 4 bikes, have 3 Brooks. Need to upgrade the 4th because I always dread riding it.
There's a reason there are so many other saddles out there They're all uncomfortable and keep trying to get the right geometry for each rider, and mostly fail.
There's a reason there are so few Brooks models Get the right width, and the saddle will conform to your backside. Don't need to get the perfect fit because the saddle will bend to fit you, not the other way around. And once it fits your particular anatomy - Bliss
Break-In - When you get the saddle, turn your oven on the lowest setting (no more than 150F) and liberally coat the underside of the saddle with Proofide. Put it in the oven upside down and let the Proofide soak in. Repeat. Repeat until it stops soaking it up (you'll be surprised how much it will take). Then saddle up and go riding. Will definitely darken the lighter colors, but your backside will never regret spending the extra few bucks.
I rode this saddle on Pac Tour Transcontinental 126mi per day for 25 straight days. You will see LOTS of ultra-distance cyclists on Brooks. And I never had a comfort issue from day one, no break-in needed. (But I know some people do.) Downside it's heavy. Small price to pay for most riders.
I've owned five other Brooks saddles (B17 standard, Team Pro, Team Pro Special, Cambium C17) and have not found one better than this for my commutertouring bike.
- Comfortable from day one and gets better with time
- Absolutely gorgeous. The copper rivets set it apart from others and get better with age with a beautiful patina.
- Durable. I've had one B17 for 3 years and only got rid of it because I sold it with the bike. They last a LONG time.
- Price. Upgrading to the special is expensive. Honestly, the B17 standard is as comfortable and durable, just less beautiful.
- Susceptible to weather. Don't let this get wet! Leather deteriorates if it gets soaked. Buy a cover or use a plastic bag if you have to. If you don't want the hassle of covering it when parked in the rain, buy a cambium, but you will sacrifice on comfort.
This saddle is great for commuting and touring. For sports cycling like road biking and mountain biking, I would prefer the narrower Team Pro, Swift, or Cambium C17C15.
Amazingly comfortable - when I sat on it for the first time, it felt like I had been riding it for years (I have had the same saddle on another bike for the last seven years). The brown color is awesome, too!
So far I have three rides on the Brooks Saddle. So far it has been better than my previous saddle ever was. My first ride was 45 minutes long and it felt great the ride. The second ride was almost two hours, after about an hour I started feeling my backside, after standing for a bit when I sat back down the saddle was comfortable again, worked every time. I rode for about 90 minutes this morning and still good. I used the Proofide on it as directed. One of the reviews recommended putting the saddle in the oven, I didn't do that but I did put it in my car with the windows closed while I mowed the grass, don't know if it helped or not.
The saddle is a little shorter than my prior saddle and sits up higher. I may need a setback seat post to get in the same position as I used to, I can't sit as far back as I would like.
Not only is this saddle beautiful, but it is also quite comfortable right out of the box. I know it will be even better as I ride it more, but I can tell you that I am delighted with this purchase! So much better than gel or plastic saddles.
Buy one! You won't regret it. Modern Bike is also a very reliable company! And the brown color is a gorgeous chestnut.
I have a B17 Special and a Standard B17 the leather is the same on both models . The difference from Special and the Standard is just the copper rivets and on the Special they are hand hammered and the leather is chamfered on the skirt on the saddle. The B17 Select has different leather than the other 2. I have been to the factory in the U.K. Both saddles were comfortable from day one for me. Great all day comfort at least for me. I'm a big guy 6ft2in 195lbs. The Brooks are on my road bikes and I've done double century's with the B17's. Next saddle will be a B17 Select just because I like the looks of it, if the price ever comes down.
Not my first Brooks but the most comfortable. The Brooks I owned before was the narrower Team Pro and was not wide enough for my seat bones and subsequently not as comfy as it could be.. The B17 special I have now is sheer bliss to sit on right out the box.. At $130 ish delivered it was a great price as well. Long rides are free of any numbness and makes the ride far more enjoyable. I am able to enjoy the ride and not focus on the pain in my arse!!!!!
After 35 years, and tens of thousands of miles, I finally had to retire my old beloved B17. The new B17 special looks spectacular, and in the next few weeks, will begin to feel spectacular as well. A couple of months of decreasing discomfort will be well worth the next 35 years of comfort. I'm glad I ordered the antique brown, but I think the honey also looks beautiful. Fight dependency on petroleum products! Feel the leather!