I ride a hybrid bicycle 400 miles per month on city streets and bicycle trails. The Brooks B17 provides an excellent balance of comfort, weight and rigidity for my style of riding, and requires - in my case - no break-in period. I enthusiastically recommend the Brooks B17 saddle to other riders.
The honey colored Brooks B17 saddle is a classic, and as a rider on Brooks for nearly 60 years, I can say that the quality remains. Be prepared for a reasonably long period of break in, but know that the reward of a close fitting and personalized saddle are well worth it.
Like other cyclists I have amassed a bin of saddles and spent $100s in quest of the comfortable seat. I decided to buy the Brooks B17 and believe this is the one. My bike is a Specialized Roubiax and I weight 215 lbs. Riding 10 - 15 miles daily I did question my purchase of this rock hard leather saddle the first day, but it was comfortable. With each daily ride I'd look for indications of the saddle conforming to my bottom, if it happened I wasn't seeing it but again the seat was comfortable. After two months the saddle and I are molding to one another. This saddle meets my comfort requirement, but then I'm not a century rider.
Nowhere as hard to ride on from the start for me. Yes, it's stiff like a new pair of leather shoes, but not uncomfortable at all. Been riding it for a month and I love it. I know I will have this saddle for many years to come. I have it on my hybrid commute bike and I put a small amount of Profride on the top and a bit more to cover the entire underside. That's it - now time to ride.
Had a leather saddle 40 years ago, and gave it away with the bike. Was trying to ride on the cheap for many years thinking that the new technology had to be better. Wrong. Tried over a dozen different saddles, finally went back to the Brooks B17. Was as good as any of the others, and only got better. Now have three for four bikes, including a B17 Imperial on a full custom Ti roadster. Fourth bike? Kid rides it in another state, that's why I don't have 4 Brooks. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? After 450 miles in 7 days over Colorado mountains with no saddle sores or hot spots, abso-freaking-lutely!
As a general rule you either love Brooks saddles or don't care for them at all. For those of us who love them (and the concept of the 'leather hammock') you can hardly go wrong with any of their products and the B-17 is probably the best all-around saddle they make. Variations in leather can make a softer or harder saddle, but they're easily adjustable and the design and workmanship hasn't changed over the years. Brooks provides a very comfortable and reliable product.
Been riding Brooks saddles for years. Very comfortable once broken in after a few hundred miles of riding. Remember to tension the saddle when it begins to sag by tightening the bolt at the front of the saddle. Use Proofide to condition the saddle and aid in softening it more quickly.