Maybe my old saddle was so bad that this saddle felt perfect the moment I started using it, but the break-in period hardly existed. It's truly a dream and makes my bike look so beautiful. I'm about to buy another for a different bike!
There's a reason this saddle is beloved by cycle tourists worldwide - IT WORKS! Yeah, you do have to break it in a little bit (took me maybe a week of daily commuting), but after that it's wonderful. Comfortable and elegant-looking too. I will say that after a few thousand miles of riding in all conditions (including not-very-leather-friendly rain, etc), it was starting to get a little less comfy. My sit bones were creating indentations in front of the rivets. I'd read online that you should never tighten your Brooks saddle using the little wrench that came with it... and just for the record, that's nonsense. Leather stretches, and if you want to keep the same awesome comfort, you gotta pull it tighter. I used some pliers (since I didn't have the little wrench with me on tour) to tighten it up mid-tour and that got the comfort ALMOST back to where it had been. A few years later, I still have the same saddle on my touring bike, but if I ever do another 1000+ mile tour, I'll probably buy a new one and keep a better eye on when it needs tightening. I also wish the rivets weren't on the seat itself, but most of the time they're not really contacting me or my clothes. All in all, this is a great saddle that's a classic for a reason, and as I mentioned, I would definitely buy it again.
I'm a transportation cyclist. I ride to work, to do errands, to movies, and other fun. I've been wanting a Brooks saddle for a while, and when my old Avocet wore out, I got this one on sale. My bike is 40 years old, and I think this saddle will last another 40 years.
I've bought and returned a half dozen saddles, and finally found one that doesn't just plain hurt. Out of the box, this saddle works for me and it's getting better every week. I think this saddle is a great choice for my flat-bar bike, I'm trying a second one on my road bike. So far, so good!
First ride was absolutely brutal. 20 miles, and I couldn't walk without pain. Second ride was a little better, but still my poor bottom hurt so bad it kept me awake at night. Third ride, better. I could sleep. I think I've put about 80 miles on it now. I have to get this saddle broken in in four weeks for Cycle Oregon, a 7 day ride, and 360 miles. I am hanging in there by a thread, trying not to go back to my old worn out saddle.