Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:38 am

The Walrus wrote:I saw a post or two on this thread (can't find it or be bothered to look) that suggested if you use a Brooks saddle you don't need padded shorts!

Is this true? I'm seriously considering one after having tried most/all the Specialized range with no luck.

I've got another brand or two to try yet but test saddles are limited around here so I'm not hopeful and it seems few buy Brooks and complain!

It's true that many ride on well broken in Brooks saddles with ordinary street clothes.

But be warned that despite the multitude of aficionados, like other saddles Brooks don't work for everybody.

You probably have a better chance of finding comfort on a Brooks though - if you choose the right model, and have the persistence to break it in.
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by BNA » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:04 am

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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby The Walrus » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:04 am

Thanks Ronk

How long to break them in? I'm spending hours on saddles that are uncomfortable at the moment with no chance of breaking them in!
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:25 am

The Walrus wrote:Thanks Ronk

How long to break them in? I'm spending hours on saddles that are uncomfortable at the moment with no chance of breaking them in!

I have a couple of B17's. They both started to soften and mould to my shape after around 3,000 km.
Others experiences are different. And there are debates on various forums about ways to break them in faster.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby Nobody » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:43 am

The Walrus wrote:How long to break them in? I'm spending hours on saddles that are uncomfortable at the moment with no chance of breaking them in!
It really depends on what point you call them "broken in". Heavier people often find them OK from the beginning and they just get better while light people often report longer break in times. It also depends on the model of saddle. The Team Pro is the only stand out model that is hard to break in. At ~80Kg, the B17 variants didn't take very long to break in before they were more comfortable than anything I'd ever ridden previously. The Team Pro took at least 2 rides before it started to be better than feeling like a flexy bit of wood. It took about 500Km for me to think it was significantly better and it just got better from there.

Also keep in mind that they are tilt sensitive. In other words, you need to get the tilt finely adjusted for best fit.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:50 am

RonK wrote:
The Walrus wrote:Thanks Ronk

How long to break them in? I'm spending hours on saddles that are uncomfortable at the moment with no chance of breaking them in!

I have a couple of B17's. They both started to soften and mould to my shape after around 3,000 km.
Others experiences are different. And there are debates on various forums about ways to break them in faster.

Crikey! 3000kms??

I am a 60kg lightweight. Every Brooks I have ridden has been quite comfortable in shape (but hard) from day 1. My B66 began to shape after 400kms. Most others have become nicely shaped after 1000-1500kms, although after 3000kms they are really well broken in and very comfy.

Re treatments, I have hardly done anything except ride them. Brooks Proofide is recommended, but is mainly a waterproofing treatment not a softening agent.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby The Walrus » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:50 am

Nobody wrote:
The Walrus wrote:How long to break them in? I'm spending hours on saddles that are uncomfortable at the moment with no chance of breaking them in!
It really depends on what point you call them "broken in". Heavier people often find them OK from the beginning and they just get better while light people often report longer break in times. It also depends on the model of saddle. The Team Pro is the only stand out model that is hard to break in. At ~80Kg, the B17 variants didn't take very long to break in before they were more comfortable than anything I'd ever ridden previously. The Team Pro took at least 2 rides before it started to be better than feeling like a flexy bit of wood. It took about 500Km for me to think it was significantly better and it just got better from there.

Also keep in mind that they are tilt sensitive. In other words, you need to get the tilt finely adjusted for best fit.



Its difficult to know where to start when you look at the choices available on the website! I'm under 80 kilos and happy to put up with some discomfort in the short term...As long as I know it will get better.

I want something that looks good on a roadie but aesthetics are less important than comfort!
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby ironhanglider » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:54 am

Edit: (this is re breaking in time)
Another piece of string question. A lot will depend on weight, riding style, distance and even weather. One ride in the rain can make a big difference.

For many they are 'good enough' or better from the beginning, and improve further. For some they are an instrument of torture at first, particularly the harder ones like the Team Pro. Like any saddle getting it into the right position first is most important.

The softest of the saddles IME is the Swallow which is also the most copied one from my observation. The cheap knock-offs from Taiwan, (Sobdeal, Breza, Brora, Gyes etc.) are a good foot in the door. Something like this View item.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:58 am

Regarding the padded shorts question - I commute 10kms each way wearing trousers and undies. However normally for longer rides (>20kms) I would wear knicks or MTB liner shorts. In my experience there is more to comfort than saddle chafe, and there is more to chafe than your saddle choice.

At the same time I do know of friends who ride quite long distance tours wearing ordinary shorts or trousers. These people do ride Brooks saddles.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby Nobody » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:34 am

The Walrus wrote:Its difficult to know where to start when you look at the choices available on the website! I'm under 80 kilos and happy to put up with some discomfort in the short term...As long as I know it will get better.

I want something that looks good on a roadie but aesthetics are less important than comfort!


http://www.brooksengland.com/catalogue- ... d+%26+mtb/

Generally there are Swift, Swallow, B17 Narrow and Team Pro variants above. All are fairly narrow at about 150 to 155mm wide except the Team Pro which is 160mm. I suggest you measure your sit bone width then add 30mm at least. If a 152mm wide saddle still suits you, then you have a wide selection. It also depends on how low your bars are in reference to your saddle, or how much you angle you body forward. It is generally considered the lower you are, the narrower the saddle. That is why the touring models are all B17 variants (170mm) for a more upright position.

For example, I've got a ~10.5 to 11cm sit bone width. So in theory the Specialized Alias 143mm I bought years ago should have been wide enough, but I found myself "slipping off" to some degree. At the time, the bars were below saddle height too. So if in doubt, go wider. Just keep in mind that the Team Pro may be a break in battle if you are significantly under 80Kg.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:00 pm

ironhanglider wrote:Edit: (this is re breaking in time)
Another piece of string question. A lot will depend on weight, riding style, distance and even weather. One ride in the rain can make a big difference.

For many they are 'good enough' or better from the beginning, and improve further. For some they are an instrument of torture at first, particularly the harder ones like the Team Pro. Like any saddle getting it into the right position first is most important.

The softest of the saddles IME is the Swallow which is also the most copied one from my observation. The cheap knock-offs from Taiwan, (Sobdeal, Breza, Brora, Gyes etc.) are a good foot in the door. Something like this View item.

Cheers,

Cameron


Likes this post. The ebay item is what started me down the leather road. Now there's a Swallow on the roadie and the commuter, a Swift on both MTBs and another knock off on the FG. The Swifts took more work to be fabulous but were good from the start anyway.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby DavidS » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:56 am

I sit on a B17 special without padding. Works for me. They are not soft but the Brooks gives support without making me sore.

DS
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:56 am

I commute on my Brooks in MTB shorts with no liner. No comfort issues for me.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby il padrone » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:25 am

Probably the one advantage of a Brooks that enables regular shorts is that often the surface (especially when new) is so slippery that your clothing moves with you, minimizing the incidence of chafe. Plastic padded or gel saddles tend to grab the clothing much more, along with the modern funky shapes. However on longer rides, especially at high intensity, climbing lots of mountains, and in summer, I find that sweatiness causes more issues. Your clothing has a greater tendency to cling to the saddle, together with the aggravation of sweaty skin, and all this makes chafing more likely.
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby The Walrus » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:53 am

B17 or team pro look good as they are nice and wide. I'm finding the 155's I'm trying now still seem very narrow, yet my MTB saddle is 143 and works fine!
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Re: Recommend MOST comfortable saddle commuting Road Bike

Postby RonK » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:44 am

The Walrus wrote:B17 or team pro look good as they are nice and wide.

Well, take note that Brooks say the Team Pro (and the B17 Narrow) are their stiffest saddles.
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