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To all Brooks wannabe's out there,
Hello, my name is Smiley, I'm a part-time bike fit specialist living in Maryland US and I cycle about 3,500 Miles a year. I have three custom fitted bikes that I ride throughout the year (for those of you who know about these things I own a Serotta Hor's Categorie Ti frame, a Co-Motion Al-Cappucino tandem with soft ride stoker beam and a Serotta Ti mountain Bike a TiMax to be exact). I fitted all three of these machines with Terry Fly saddles and, as they performed ok, I stayed loyal to the product. However, the Terry on my tandem would give me aches if I did not dismount and give my butt a break every 25 miles or so. It's a familiar complaint and one that I thankfully no longer have since I discovered Brooks.
I was initially skeptical about how something as old fashioned as leather could be more comfortable than modern gel or plastic saddle. To be honest, it was the stylish retro-look of leather saddles as much as anything that made me seriously look into leather saddles. I then read a few online testimonials about leather saddles being the most comfortable and decided to give one a try. I contacted a well-respected Brooks retailer (Wallingford Bicycle Parts in the US www.wallbike.com) and spoke at great length about saddle fit and sit bones - things that really were never discussed when buying a plastic saddle. After my consultation, I was advised to try a Brooks B17 and, after some initial fine-tuning and breaking-in, I've never looked back.
Am I done yet? Not likely! My Brooks dealer informed me about the re-introduction of the New Brooks Swallow so I've just put down a deposit for this limited edition saddle. It will look great on my treasured Serotta Hor's Categorie bike and I really want to move my B17 N to my mountain bike because I know it will improve the ride of this bike as well.
I have this to say with my new found knowledge of bike saddles from Brooks, my advice is to give them a shot. These saddles only get better with age or break in time. For the amount of money I spent replacing commercial plastic saddles, (I have a basket of failed saddle experiments at home) and chasing down the latest fads every 2 years or so, I am glad I can depend on a Brooks to outlast all these saddles combined.
Brooks saddles are the GOLD standard for me now, it's what a comfortable saddle should feel like. Weight freaks "forget about it" and enjoy the ride. I hope my story inspires you to give Brooks real leather saddles a go on your bike. It's nice to know my butt won't give out on me before my legs do!
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