The new coloured B17 are now available!
The B17 is our flagship model, ideal for long distance sports touring, trekking and atb use. It has been on the market for over 100 years, being featured in as early as the 1898 catalogue . The model is available for gents and ladies: the B17 (gents) and B17 S (ladies). The Standard models feature black steel rails, the B17 Special features copper plated steel metalwork, and the B17 Titanium … Both the B17 Special and the Titanium also feature hand hammered copper rivets.
MADE IN ENGLAND
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I fitted a B17 to my hybrid bike after suffering a painful posterior on the second day of a 100-mile ride mostly along the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath (on the standard Specialized saddle). Revelation! From the moment I sat on the B17 to set the height, it has been supremely comfortable. On the bumpy canal tow path it is comfortable for 60-mile days. Three previous attempts to find a comfortable saddle now lie discarded in the back of my garage; must try eBay to get rid of them! Now for another Brooks saddle for my mountain bike....
I am not a young man but I ordered one of your B17 standard saddles via the Internet. I am a British ex-pat living in Hungary. It had been many, many years since I was a teenager that I had not sat a Brooks saddle. My dear old dad used to moan like hell about it. Well, he would since it was broken in to me.
I was not disappointed when UPS delivered the box early on the day that their web site indicated that it would be delivered. Neither was I disappointed when I unpacked it. It was of the quality and finish that I remembered from my teenage years.
Priority job was to get it on the bike. By the way, transport of choice here in he village is bicycle - young and old, male or female.
I have not yet had chance to put many kilometres on the saddle but it shows the signs of great comfort aleady
I purchased the b17 standard about 3 years ago. it has broken in well and still has much more to go.
Ill probably have it for the rest of my days. i would have purchased the b17ti but i prefer the chrome colors rivits instead of bronze colored. will they ever make an all flat black b17ti? I'm interested. for those of you who say the seat is slippery or sit to far forward, i recommend a thompson seat post. you can adjust the seat angle and it makes all the difference. PEACE
A> Thank you for the kind compliments. We are trying to develop a custome ordering system for requests such as these.
I've put around 3500 miles on my B17 and it was comfortable from the first mile as it was positioned correctly from day one. It has held up beautifully and is by far the most comfortable saddle that I have ever had on bike. I panned them back in the 70's as old fashioned and uncomfortable and never gave them a chance. I purchased a Swift ti saddle several years ago and fell in love. It is all about saddle positioning and not leather break in. Get them right from the beginning and they are just about perfect.
My first Brooks and as well the first saddle ever which has been comfortable right from the start and keeps getting better everyday. What a fantastic piece of equipment!
A Brooks saddle is the best piece of kit I've ever owned. I just bought a new B17 for my new tourer, can't wait to get out on the road on it.
Bought the B17 Black this morning. Before that, I had a super duper gel high tech saddle. BIG DIFFERENCE. B17 is far superior. Even from the first ride (forget fears about the first "hard days").
Style is superb. A jewel! It looks great.
The only negative thing is: Much higher theft probability. Everybody looks at the saddle...
Having started to cycle longer distances a couple of years ago, I was having real trouble finding a saddle that was comfortable beyond 3 or 4 hours. I tried all kinds of expensive, modern, gell filled, anatomically designed saddles but without any real success. The best I could find was a Selle Italia that would be comfortable for 4 hours and bearable for 6, but after a 4 day coast to coast ride of 300 miles last year, I was in real pain and couldn't have got back on for a fifth day. I had read all the "hype" about Brookes, but found it hard to imagine that such an old design could really offer anything that modern technology couldn't better, but in desperation I took the plunge and bought a B17 for an End to End tour last month. From the first days riding it was more comfortable by far than anything else I'd ever ridden on and, once broken in, I just forgot it was there. 1017 miles in 15 days and I never had any kind of discomfort from the saddle at all, even after 8 hours toiling up the hills in Devon one day. When I got back, I bought another one for my Audax bike and did 80 miles last week on it from new and 100 miles yesterday, with absolutely no pain at all (apart from the legs!) An amazingly comfortable saddle, I just wish they a) made them in white and b) altered the rail shape so you could move the saddle back further.
I took up cycling seriously about 2 years ago. Over that time span, I've utilized four different saddles. With the first three my backside would begin to offer protest by mile ten or twelve and by mile thirty-five or forty it was an exercise in pain tolerance just to keep riding. I'd be up out of the saddle 25% percent of the time just because my backside couldn't take it anymore. Then on the recommendation of my local bike shop I bought my Brooks B-17. Hallelujah, John Boultbee Brooks be praised! I rode thirty miles on the first day I owned my Brooks and had far fewer backside complaints than I had ever experienced on a ride of that distance, and that was on a saddle that wasn't broken in yet. Now that she's properly broken in, I can complete a fifty to sixty mile ride and the only thing on my body that doesn't hurt is my backside. I cannot praise the comfort of this saddle highly enough. No bike I own will ever have anything but a Brooks saddle on it ever again.
I recently purchased a new bike and had about 75 miles on it. I was experiencing some tail bone pain despite my usual set up. I had always wanted to try a Brooks, but was hesitant due to the "break in period". I figured what have I got to lose? I bought a B17, took it out of the box. Looked at it, mounted it, and adjusted it. Took off on a ride. What break in? I have to find some proofide to protect it. I could not believe the comfort right out of the box! Thank you Brooks. Why did I wait so long?
I've been told that a new Brooks B17 standard would be painful for the first 500 miles until the saddle becomes broken in. Nonsense! I ride about 6000 miles a year on my Coconino touring/commuting bike. My bottom is already broken in. The saddle felt great right from the get go. I just followed the instructions for applying a bit of Proofride before I installed the saddle and set the seat up correctly as per instructions. No worries.
The only thing that is allowed to touch my arse (no curseing please) is a Brooks Champion Standard B. 17 Brown. Thank you Brooks for letting me ride with pride and comfort! You are truly appreciated. Yours Truly, Captain Mike
Had not ridden in 45 years so I bought a bike with a "comfort saddle". Within a week the comfort was getting worse. Mentioned Brooks saddles to my son who bought me one for Christmas ! What a difference from the very beginning. Very comfortable, I was quite surprised given all the talk about how hard it is before breaking in. Doing about 100 miles a week right now and no complaints . Used the Proofide dressing and continue to use it during the breaking in period.The quality is outstanding, the design impeccable. New lifelong, very happy customer here. Thanks so much.
A> Take care not to use too much Proofide!
I recently received a Brooks B17 saddle as a Christmas gift from my parents. Today I took it on its first real ride, a 60 mile ride on challenging terrain. I daresay this is *the* most comfortable saddle I ever have placed my buttocks upon, right from the very first day! I cannot wait until I've applied proofed and broken it in!
I came back to cycling about 6 years ago after a period of about 34 years [ knee problems forced me to give up running ] I have tried several saddles from sporty to mtb and gell including gell covers on sporty types. I was told about Brooks and recalled them from my youth. so I thought why not try one, and found one on an auction site [ B17 Standard ] and thought it would suffice to try, my goodness what a revelation. I do a 30 mile ride at weekends and now with no sore arse ! sorry , I can only say that I will never use any thing else, and recommend them to every one
After a long research on the best saddles, I reached Brooks England website and I am very happy with my find. I ordered B17 Standard through my friend who is in UK and he was kind enough to carry my "precious cargo" when he came to this part of the world.
I was dreading the so called break-in period and I had a pleasant surprise waiting for me. The saddle was "comfortable" from day one!!!. I don't know if the procedure of "proofiding" the saddle and keeping it for a few days, some sun and buffing it etc helped.
But I would whole heartedly recommend the saddle to anyone without any doubt.
Thanks Brook, keep up the great work.
I bought a B17 Standard to put on an old vintage Dawes I am restoring, but started using the saddle on my commuting bike to break it in. I have found it fine over the last 6-8 weeks, a little hard but not uncomfortable like some say. Due to the recent snow I used my mountain bike to commute this week - and I longed for the B17! It's not until you go back to an old saddle that you realise how good the B17 is, and it will get better!!!
I just bought this saddle at a local bike shop to put on my Softride. After a few minor adjustments, this saddle is a DREAM to ride on. I am going to end up being a Brooks customer for life!
With the original saddle that came with my hybrid bike, I had been having problems with perineal numbness, so I started looking for a new saddle. I had seen the Brooks B17 Standard in our local bike shop, and it was highly recommended by one of the bicycle technicians there, but the price was an obstacle at the time. Instead, I bought what I thought would be a good saddle for about half the price of a Brooks. While the new saddle did cure my perineal numbness, it always left me with a severe case of saddle soreness, so bad in fact, that I could hardly bear the thought of getting back on my bike after about 50-60 miles of riding.
For Father's Day this year, my son bought me the B17 Standard. I was so grateful! And while I could hardly wait to get it broken in, I decided to exchange it for the black model (he bought me the honey-colored one), and so had to wait for a couple of more weeks for the replacement to arrive at the store.
Once I had the new saddle, I installed it and wanted to get right on and start breaking it in, even though I hadn't ordered the Proofide dressing yet. (Our local shop didn't carry it.) I put about 300 miles on it, and the break-in was happening very slowly. Even so, the Brooks was a great improvement over the other saddle. After receiving the Proofide, I treated the seat and put another 200 miles on it over the next 5 days. It made a huge difference! The seat seems to be nicely broken in now, and it feels great. And coupled with some adjustments to the seat height, angle, setback, and shock absorption, it made a truly remarkable difference. Now I can ride 100+ miles in a day and not feel like I need to take the next week off from riding. I plan to put it to a real test and put about 600-700 more miles on it over the next two weeks. I wouldn't even have considered that with the other saddles.
One thing I would strongly recommend to anyone buying a Brooks, though: Treat it with Proofide before starting the break-in. You'll be glad you did!
Thanks, Brooks! Keep up the great work!
A> You're VERY welcome!
If you have a question and desire a timely response, send a mail to email@example.com or just simply post to our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/Brooks.England. Our antiquated shop comments section does not lend itself to frequent updating.
About seven years ago, I put a Brooks saddle (B17 Standard) on my bike. From the first day it was installed, I never got out of the saddle again! No more pain, soreness, or numbness due the the saddle. When we obtained a tandem, I put the Brooks on it. The old seat from the tandem was put on my regular bike. Needless to say, every time I rode my regular bike, I was in pain. I shifted, stood up, got off, and what ever else to stop the pain and numbness but regardless nothing helped. For my birthday, I was surprised to see my wife had gotten me another B17, and I immediately installed it on my regular bike. We did a short 20 mile ride that evening, and guess what: never once did I get out of the saddle and no pain or numbness. For me, there is no other saddle better than a Brooks, and like a fine wine, they only get better with age! A big thank you to all the "Brooks team"!
Only completed a couple of weeks on my new B17 saddle. Unbelievable. After years of agony on my old saddle (well known and respected brand) this has reignited my joy in cycling. So impressed on the first ride I went for broke and ditched the padded shorts on the second. Can't wait for it to break in properly, if it gets any better by bottom will be in heaven being kissed by Brooks' angels.
Doing a bike ride around the Philippine Islands is no joke, and I have only good words to say about my B17 Standard. Its very comfortable right out of the box and surprisingly better than the Selle Royale Mach I had for 4,000+km. I guess I'm one of those blessed with a "Brooks Arse' as it gets everytime I ride my bike. I highly recommend it to cyclists who spend a lot of time on the bike but not for weight weenies.
The Man who Cycled The Philippines
I have tried many saddles ranging to reasonable to very expensive & the cheaper one felt better than the expensive ones but they were a "couch." Wanted to try a Brooks over a year ago, but was afraid cause of cost, weight, & the dreaded break in period. I ride predominately "fixed", but got a Brooks for my road trekking bicycle; however, I rarely ride it due to my preference for my fixed bicycle. So I decided to to do the dreaded break in period on my fixed that I used for my daily commute to work. I fell in love with it from the first ride. The break in period is no big deal & I curse my fears that intimidated me for the past year. It is true, the saddle gets more comfortable with every ride. I couldn't be more please. I just prepped with the Proofride and loosened the saddle tension. The saddle stayed on my fixed gear and I just bought another one for my road bike & with the same positive experience & that was with over 30 miles on the first ride! They compliment the look of my two rides (I have a preference toward steel lugged bicycles). Oh yeah, I don't wear the padded cycling shorts either.
Wonderful Seat! My friends have had the B-17 for years and I just laughed at the shear weight and stiffness of the leather... I had done a 3 day 350 mile ride with these guys for a few of years and I always ended up with what I call Baboon Butt. I finally broke down and got a B-17 last year and could not be happier with the comfort. The third day of the trip after 350 miles and it felt like I had been on the couch for 3 days... Now I am going to have to ask for another for Christmas to add to my other bike(s). I get a lot of comments on my B-17 and I just smile and tell them you have to try it to believe it! Hard to explain.... how this fairly stiff leather can offer such profound comfort!
I've only become acquainted with Brooks saddles in the last 2 years, when I bought a new saddle for my hybrid touring bike (B17 Standard). I've been biking daily to work with it, and have never had a seat that felt so comfortable. The break-in period was nothing like I'd heard (with people claiming over a 1000km needed), only needing a few weeks to conform to my bone structure.
Regrettably this saddle was stolen off my bike a few nights ago (my mistake for leaving it on the bike). Of course I could not even think of buy any other saddle now but my Brooks!
A> we address this calamity on our blog, please look inside.
I bought the B 17 not only because it was the least expensive of all the seats but because of its years of positive reviews, both online and in person. Even at the price I paid, it is not a "cheap" saddle by any means. It is great to know that the type of craftsmanship that is expected (but commonly not found in today's market from many imports) is present even at the most common saddle that brooks sells. Perhaps more items should be imported from England!
I don't know why there is so much fuss about the "break in" period; my behind loved the feel if it the minute I first rode it. I have since put about 100 miles on my seat and have had no complaints, no "monkey butt" feeling.
Nothing else can be said that hasn't already been said by other riders except for the continuing praise of my saddle. Thanks for making a great product!
The B17 is my first Brooks Saddle. I commute 34 miles each day and it just keeps getting better and better. The last thing that's ever sore is the rear. Thanks Brooks!
I don't know what the big deal about 'breaking' a leather saddle in is. I fitted my new B17 saddle (along with matching leather bar tape) last weekend. This last week has been the most comfortable week of cycle commuting I've ever had. If the saddle is this comfortable now (and it is about 100 times more comfortable than the 'modern' saddle it replaced) I can't wait until it is fully broken in. Oh, and my bike looks the absolute business.
I started using the B-17 four years ago. Initially, I was apprehensive about how much this saddle could be better than the other saddles I had used, especially gel-based ones amongst them. But after the saddle was broken with about 700 kms of riding, the experience has just been awesome since. My wife and I have subsequently acquired the B-17 Imperial and the B-17S because there is nothing else that come close to the Brooks experience! Always a Brooks fan, plain and simple!
I can't praise brooks enough. Some people talk about the break in period, some talk about the saddle making them want to ride more. I'm both of those people. The first time I used my b17, I was amazed, and wanting to break it in more gets me to ride more. I love this saddle. Thank you brooks.
When the leather cracked on the Brooks B17 seat on my 1943 BSA Airborne Folding Bicycle I was prepared to carve a wooden mould from the original leather and use that to shape a new piece of Oak sole leather for it.
To my surprise and considerable satisfaction I found that a) you're still in business, and b) you still have the model I needed in production.
My replacement B17 recieves the proper attention that the original should have had - an occasional wipe with saddle soap and a bi-annual brush with neat's-foot oil, which should massively prolong its' working life, even under the heavy use I put to it - over 50 miles/week on the road.
This is my first brooks saddle and it will not be my last! Fantastic saddle, superb quality and easily the most comfortable saddle i have owned, well done brooks keep up the good work!!!!
I've been riding for a couple decades now, some of it competitively: road and off road, recreational and had a summer stint as a bike courier in my younger years. And I have to say that the Brooks saddle is without a doubt the best saddle I've ever used. Forget the fancy, ultralight, super cutting edge, carbon fibre offerings. Nothing beats natural materials, master craftsmanship, and a little breaking in pain. With regards to the latter, I really can't say that breaking in my saddle was either painful or lengthy. Quite frankly, it only took me 2 weeks to feel completely comfortable in my first ever Brooks saddle. I commute pretty much every day to work, even in the winter months (except on -10 Celsius and below). I know the weight of a Brooks saddle seems like a drawback, but the positives totally outweigh the negatives: 1) the fit is like a custom made cabretta glove; 2) the breathe-ability factor alone was the real bonus! don't know about you, but I sweat when I work out; 3) the aesthetics are a bit of a double edge sword, the saddle looks so damn good, that you should have a quick release for your seat post to prevent it from being stolen.
Dear BROOKS, I am a Pedicab driver in Denver, Colorado and recently purchased the B17 in place of the cheap seats placed on the bikes by the company which cause me much discomfort. Literally the first night let me tell you your seat saved my rear end! Thank you BROOKS!!
My old (30+) Mercian has a B17 on it, I am refurbishing it, I have ordered a new Mercian, a 'King of Mercia', I new I wanted a new B17, I just didn't know which one. I had heard & read that it takes about a year to get it to fit. So on ordering my new bike (takes 5 months) I thought I would get the saddle & settle it in. I hummed & harred on which B17, In the end I chose a Brown Titanium, I treated it both sides left it for a fews days, put it on the old mercian, the saddle being worth more than the bike, preparing to go thru' the pain barrier for 12mths. I personally have a deformed spine, it sticks out a bit here & there..............
OK, the trial, my 30minute block, uphill 7 down dale, in Herefordshire. I was to have the thrill of my life, amazing, one can slide all-over the saddle & use it to help power the bike. It felt very comfortable for a short ride, I'm so impressed with my new purchase, & very pleased I've gone for a Titanium B17.
If I need another saddle guess which one I'll get?
I installed a B17 on my bicycle after fifty miles on a foam-and-plastic saddle left me sore for three days. I was scheduled to do another, more difficult ride (fifty miles and 4,300 feet of elevation gain) two weeks later, and worried that I wouldn't have enough break-in time. And then I got a head cold and couldn't ride for one of those two weeks.
I did the second ride on the new saddle (it had under 100 miles on it at that point, though I did give it a second go-round with the proofide), and despite it being essentially straight out of the box, I was much more comfortable throughout the ride and had no soreness at all the next day.
My saddle has only continued to improve over the last few weeks. I am a mother of two, the second of whom weighed almost ten lbs. at birth, and my sit bones are wider than most. I had gone through four saddles in the last 18 months, and I am very happy to have found a product which does so much to improve my cycling experience. I would also mention that I very often ride in a skirt in the summer and I have no trouble doing so even on the longer-nosed saddle.
The only problem I have with the B17 is that I will have to get a second one for my other bicycle.
I have to say that I really cannot believe that Brooks saddles don't have a larger following here in the US. They have everything you could want in a bike component... old-school charm, durability, relative affordability (especially compared to many newer "high tech" saddles), and in terms of comfort... well... I have never known another saddle that even begins to approach these in that category. My suspicion is that many potential Brooks owners are put off by the straight-from-the-factory "firmness" of the "brand new" Brooks they might see in their local bike shop. That's a shame, as I suspect that there are thousands of cyclists in this country torturing themselves with some fancy, expensive "seat" when the best saddle in the world is readily available, possibly at a lower cost. The great thing about these products is that, with use and age, their value to the owner actually increases. There are very few things in this world that genuinely get better with time. A Brooks saddle is one of them.
A truly magnificent saddle - comfort levels are just fantastic. I used to be a devotee of Specialized's BG range of saddles, but since I bought my B17, I have been forced to purchase another to go on my roadbike! Recently my partner bought herself a B17s and is thinking about replacing her other saddle too.
I recently crashed on the commute to work and even though the saddle took quite an impact, enough to dig a couple of chunks out of the leather at the back and slightly displace a rivet, it is still comfortable and solid.
My feelings were not of joy when 20 miles into a transcontinental journey across the USA the frame on my trusty stead snapped. I had travelled thousands of miles on the bike and we had moulded together. The success and joy of the trip now relied on the stock of the local bike shop. Although I did not realise it at the time it was probably the best thing to have happened. Located at the back of the shop behind all of the mountain bikes lay the proprietors wife's almost unused touring bike with what at that time I considered a dinosaur in place of a seat, a Brooks leather saddle. In order not to offend the proprietor who had specified and built the bike I rode off with the dinosaur in place with a view to swapping it a the end of the day. A few additional trips and 7500 miles later the seat has still not been removed and i have not intention of removing it. Almost instantly the seat was the most comfortable I have ever had, 500 miles in and was perfect. Other people have ridden with the saddle even with it bedding into my shape and have gone on to purchase a brooks saddle. Best piece of cycling equipment I have ever purchased.
I purchased a Raleigh One Way today, which comes with a Brooks B17 stock. I hadn't heard of Brooks until today, but the B17 is an incredibly comfortable saddle. I also like its looks. I was surprised to see a mid-range bicycle come with such an expensive saddle, but I'm happy that it did. I put about 20 miles on the bike today, and am not sore at all -- my last saddle, a foam/plastic Speicalized stock saddle was uncomfortable on long rides, but I didn't realize how uncomfortable it was until I spent some time on the B17. Who knew that hard leather could be so comfortable?
I purchased a b17 standard after finding my padded saddle uncomfortble. This saddle has been a revelation. Having not looked forward to breaking my new saddle in it came as a pleasent surprise to find instant comfort.
PROBLEM > I had 2 B17's both broken now (after 1,5 years of daily usage or even less). I weigh 95Kg, maybe that is the reason for the problems, but for me it is not working out.
The first one I got replaced by a new one (guaranty) but the next I did not even bother any more.
In both cases I did about 2000Km before they broke down. As soon as I was getting comfortable I had to get a new one. I do 25Km a day to and from work and there are some pretty bad bicycle roads in the daily commute (not more than 1km in total).
Is there a way that I can order a new frame (preferably titanium since I think this must be stronger) for my B17 standard saddle?
REPLY > Please use the form in the GETTING IN TOUCH section for claims! Anyway it is possible to get a spare frame.
I've been riding my new B-17 for 5 days now, maybe 100 kilometers total.
It was absolutely perfect from the start, once I'd gotten it set up properly. No painful break-in whatsoever.
The Proofide I slathered on the day before installation may have helped.
Based on my own experience and what I've read from others, I'd say that the decision to buy a Brooks saddle is a small scale version of Pascal's gamble. At worst, you're out a few dollars (or euros) on a saddle that does not work out, but you (or at least the part of you that you sit on) will have a good chance of experiencing what seems like heaven, compared to most saddles.
When I first rode bicycles, I had absolutely no regard as to parts and components upon which I would sit on and ride. But when I first came to University, I noticed these saddles everywhere and I could only remark at their elegant lines, simplicity and beauty. Setting off to get my own, I purchased a B17 Honey Standard. I figured a black one would have gone better with my old steel Raleigh Nottingham, but going bold would make me stand out in terms of colors. Riding on that Brooks, which I still have, I have logged over 1500 miles on it yet, It still looks rather new and hasn't really broken in at all. Save for a little area around the left sitbone. But because of the quality and the look, I have outfitted both my Raleigh touring bicycle and Raleigh track bicycle with Brooks saddles.
I want to let you know two things. I want you to know that Bill Laine (wallbike.com) provided me with the upmost attention and help with making a decision on which Brooks saddle to purchase. I hope all bicycle shops selling Brooks saddles provide their customers with the same high level of respect I received from Bill.
And two, my ride was short tonight. The sun was going down as I set out to test ride my new Brooks B-17 saddle. I applied a coat of Proofide, allowed the saddle to sit for a couple hours while completing some chores around my apartment. Buffed the saddle, mounted it on my bicycle, then set away for a short 25 mile ride. For me, a short ride. I normally would save comments evaluating an adjustment or component until having ridden fifty to one hundred miles. But I am quite confident when telling you I am looking forward to many miles of enjoyable riding. I felt something I had not experience over the past four thousand mile since returning to bicycling, comfortable, unexplainable comfort.
I would like to thank you and all at Brooks for such wonderful experiences to come.
I first looked at Brooks Leather saddles about 20 years ago when I rode many miles every year. At that time I didn't buy one, thinking the leather would not last or it would be uncomfortable.
After a 10 year absence I started riding again 2 years ago to stay in shape. I bought myself a Cannondale with the "modern" high-tech saddle and was constantly fidgeting while riding. Last year I decided to buy a B-17 Special. ( I wanted a Team Pro but I'm 6'4" and 195 lbs so I got the slightly extra width )
What a joy!! I got the saddle in the mail on a Friday and went out for my usual 55Km Saturday morning ride. It was like riding on butter!! I never fidgeted once. A week later my wife and I participated in a Ride for Multiple clerosis that was 100Km on Saturday and 100km on Sunday. Wonderful!! I had no discomfort and was "flying" the whole time. Man,I should have bought one of these 20 years ago! 5000km later and love riding on my Brooks saddle. Keep up the good work!!
After riding on a Brooks saddle for 36 years i have decided its time to break in another one - for my next 36 years of riding. I believe the model is a B17 standard, although i'm not sure since all markings have long since worn away. It came on a 1973 Schwinn Super Sport bike purchased when i was a freshman in high school. Little did i know that the saddle on this Schwinn would grow into the gem it is today - it draws frequent comments for its spartan look as well as looks of awe from those who know the legacy of a Brooks saddle. I have owned three bikes since this one and each time i would try the new saddle that came on the bike and they were never as comfortable as the Brooks. And my bikes do not spend alot of garage time. The bike that it is presently on - a Trek 520 touring bike - i would estimate it has over 50,000 miles on it. The previous bike about the same. In the past 25 years i have been an active touring cyclist completing a week-long, self-supported tour about once per year, and last year completed a 4,300 mile summer-long tour across the U.S. No gel seat can touch the comfort of my beloved Brooks! Although i will not part with this one, i do feel that it is time to start breaking in another. i would like to send a picture, if possible, so i might get some advice on what model to purchase (you may be able to tell which model it is as well as see how it has aged over 36 years).
i look forward to hearing back - thanks for you time!
I got a B17 standard saddle on Christmas 2008. Never before I had a leather saddle .
I heard a lot about the long break in, suffering, etc. .so I was expecting a long " agony" . In the end, there was no pain nor suffering.
From the very beginning, the saddle is comfortable with padded shorts ( this is my personal experince).
The smooth leather surface lets you slide along the saddle as needed (great) and when I am riding , I am not aware of the saddle, no uncomfort, etc . .
I am delighted with the saddle ( Standard B17). I have bought another B17 STD for my commuter bike, and the experince is being the same .
I treated the saddles, both sides of the leather, nivea in the upper side, proofhide in the reverse side .
For my next bike, i will get another B17 STD for sure.
B17 is the best saddle I ever had. I bought few saddles before (different gel, air ventilation ... ). Most shops in Germany sell a lot of gel stuff but nobody recommended me leather saddles. Some shops even advised me against. My B17 was comfortable from start on. I regret I didn't trust you before. Now I'm driving often longer distance without pain.
B17 Special is my 1st Brooks saddle, and I'm gonna put all my bike with Brooks saddle.
Last year I resuscitated my Follis, a 1962 French-made road bike - I am the original owner - with a new B17 saddle. The B17, its leather initially hard as a rock, was none-the-less comfortable for me right out of the box, and has only become more so with time.
In addition to comfort, the saddle adds a healthy measure of vintage class to my old bike. My honey colored B17 frequently garners compliments from other cycling enthusiasts.
Over the years, I've used a variety of other saddles on my Follis, from racing to comfort models. I now know it was a mistake to wait 46 years to make the switch to the B17.
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I bought my B17 more than 4 years ago. I have found it extremely comfortable. One time 3 years ago I went to a bike repair shop. An old mechanic came, looked at my bike and then nodded with his head and said "Respect..." :-) I may change my bike but will never part with my B17.
I now have approximately 945 miles on my test saddle and I have to say I love it. I've been riding it on a non-suspension MTB that has been converted to a commuter and all around duty bike. Two days ago I switched it out and put it on my Trek 7.3 to ride that bike for a while. I also have a B17 Std on a comparable bike (Giant FCR3) that I can do a side-by-side comparison with. I'm really pleased at the difference in this saddle. I take really good care of my stuff and this saddle is no exception. It hasn't shown any signs of wear or breakdown. You could probably rub a little Proofride on it and put it in a box and sell it for new. I was a bit concerned that it would give some because of the size of the cut-out. I haven't noticed a thing. I haven't done anything to alter the lacing either. I just took it out and bolted it on as-is.
Others have provided feedback about how hard the saddles are, how long it takes to break in, slipping around...etc. I don't find any of these characteristics to be a problem. In fact, I wouldn't be entirely displeased if the saddle stayed hard. I think squishy, lesser quality saddles have been part of what has contributed to the perennial pain I've suffered over the years. I'm not sure what originally drew me to the B17, but it's been my personal choice since. I wouldn't buy anything else. If I had to give up my B17's, I'd probably just hang the bikes up for good. I haven't found anything that provides this amount of comfort and quality and I've tried other options. I think this new design is just going to give people like me one other option to keep on riding without pain or numbness. I think you guys have a winner. Thanks people..GREAT products. I'm a Brooks lifer!
Wow. When I got my first BROOKS B17, back in January, initially, I was rather dismayed by its firmness. It took a few months but eventually, my boney butt pressed itself into the leather and I was officially hooked. When the Imperial arrived, I was expecting to go through the same discomfort. However, right out of the package, this baby felt like it was made for my rump. I know lacing is nothing new for BROOKS saddles, but I was really taken by how much control they allow the user in getting the "flex" right where it is needed. My interest in having a cut-out saddle is due to my perianal fistula. This was due to my having Crohn's disease. This fistula occasionally becomes inflamed and turns into an abscess in a most undesirable area. Any time that it has happened in the past, I have had to forgo cycling for a week or so. Last week, it flared up again and I had some tenderness in this area. I was prescribed antibiotics, which did clear it up, but I didn't miss a day of riding. This very incident has made the Imperial tops in my book. I'm even considering a cut-out and laces for my original B17. Awesome saddle. I can't say enough about the comfort.
The IMPERIAL is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden.
I really wish I had some piece of constructive criticism to add here, but as far as I'm concerned, BROOKS knocked this one out of the park. Job well done.
Still after more than 1500km the Brooks B17 Imperial seems to be the best saddle I've ever had. I'm curious about the durability...
Generally, the B17 Imperial makes my genital area feel much less numb than the normal Brooks B17. If the saddle turns out to be strong enough to last over a long time, I would buy another of these saddles and I would recommend it to our customers. This because of its comfort.
My B17 has been in service since its purchase in 1995 (at Harris Cycles in Newton, MA, USA), and I've loved it since the first ride. I'd fully recommend it to anyone searching for a saddle that will obviously serve for a lifetime. I can ride 150 miles a day without any soreness, unlike other more "modern" designed seats. (You know, the strange ones with the hole cut out of the seat in strategic spots?) Over the last decade, my Brooks saddle has taken me over 15,000 miles around the United States. I enjoyed an extended endurance on my Brooks, during twelve hour rides, when cycling on my tour across America (from Virgina to California), unlike some of my companions, who complained every day of their soreness. Thank you Brooks, for this wonderful contribution to the cycling world! -Brooks G., Massachusetts
Before trying the Brooks Imperial, I had always regarded the B17 as a comfortable saddle. However, I could only use the regular B17 on bikes with a fairly upright riding position or I would experience excessive perennial pressure, leading to numb genitals. I was excited to hear that Brooks was considering the idea of producing saddles with cutouts, and was ecstatic to hear from Brooks that I had been accepted in the Brooks Imperial pilot program.
I mounted the Imperial on my recently completed randoneering bike, a 2007 Salsa Casseroll. This bike has 1" saddle to bar drop, and after trying for 700 miles, I couldn't make a regular B17 work comfortably. No matter how I adjusted it, I'd get perennial pressure and genital numbness. This isn't a failing of the B-17, it's just engineered for bikes that have the handlebars approximately level with the saddle.
The first 400 miles on the Imperial were somewhat uncomfortable. I was expecting the saddle to break in after about 100-150 miles like my other B17s, but this one took much longer. The laces make the saddle stiffer, and the leather seemed a little tougher and thicker than it is in my other B-17s (but this could be my imagination). But even though the saddle was still breaking in, I noticed a major positive change - the problems with genital numbness and perennial pressure were gone!
After about 500 miles, the Brooks Imperial showed definite dimple marks from my sit bones (indicating that it was breaking in), and it started getting much more comfortable.
After 700 miles, the Brooks Imperial fits me like a glove and it's honestly hard for me to ride any other saddle. I pamper this saddle out of fear that Brooks will never put it into production. I rate its comfort as a perfect 10/10 and I can't think of how Brooks could make it better.
Please put this saddle into production, I'm begging you. I plan on buying three of them for my other bikes.
The Imperial virtually eliminates the perineal pressure that hounded me with other saddles. I had a surgery that left me with a very sensitive bottom, and the only saddle that I've been able to ride since then has been the Brooks B17, but this Imperial has changed the game. Even with the B17's comfort level, I've been limited to rides of about 40 miles or so... but I've found that I can ride the Imperial on rides of 50+ miles for three consecutive days! I cannot tell you how I love this saddle! The Brooks Imperial has given me my bicycle back...
The initial 'break-in' period was much shorter with the Imperial than with my B17 Champ. Std. I was concerned at first, that I might run into hammocking problems as I put more miles on it, but the lacing has kept things taut; just like my Champ. Std... except that I punched and laced that one myself around 2000 miles to fix the problems I was having.
I've done 2 century rides so far (200km and double century planned over the next 2 months) and over 300 commuting miles on the Imperial and I don't plan on switching to a different saddle. Especially for long distance riding and lots of climbing (7000+ feet) the Imperial is the most comfortable saddle I've been on. The cutout really helps to alleviate the pressure I was getting from my Champ. Std. when sitting for a long climb (hills longer than 2 miles.)
I've been riding the Brooks Imperial for about a month now. Prior to the Imperial, I was riding a well broken-in Brooks B17, which had about 6000 miles on it. The B17 had a long break-in time (1000 miles at least). The Brooks Imperial has been more comfortable during the initial break-in period that was the B17 standard. While it's not yet as comfortable as my old B17, it's breaking in faster. I'm looking forward to putting more miles on the Brooks Imperial. BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia) is coming in about two weeks!
My titanium-framed B17 is still immaculate after 16,000 miles of hard use. It is the most comfortable all-day saddle that I have ever used, and I only wish I had bought it before I did Land's end to John o'Groats in 2003. If you ever stop making these, sell me the last one. It will last me the rest of my life. Colin Wood (Age 69)
I have a Brooks B17 standard (three hole) saddle which I used for 68 years. The saddle is in beautiful condition, being firm and in perfect shape. During its early years I treated it regularly with Proofide and properts white shoecream. It was first fitted to my taper-tube Selback in 1936, being subsequently transferred over the years to replacement machines, including the F.W Evans, after WW2 it adorned a Gillot, then my two George Longstaff trikes.
While on active service in the Western Dessert with the RAF in 1943 I contracted Polio. In 1944 I was invalidated from the RAF, and resumed cycling, on the same B17 saddle. I have ridden over 220 miles in a day on the B17. And also had the honour of riding in the first of the annual Stan Spelling 25-mile time trial in Staffordshire. This was the only time in the 100-year history of cycle racing that a full field of 120 trikes had assembled for a time-trial. In 1997 I suffered a recurrence of Polio, and so had a lightweight trike built with an open frame. This I continued to ride, fitted with the same B17 saddle.
Unfortunately, now in my 90th year, I am unable to get on board the trike, due to the Polio. If I had a couple of strong neighbours to lift me onto the trike I could still ride it. But as it is it stands under a dustsheet, still with the original B17.
I hope you have found this of interest.
My Grandfather (J. Ballardini, born 1905) bought a Brooks B17 in the early 1920s as he started with amateur cycle racing in Vienna, Austria - a friend of famous Ferry Dusika and Max Bulla. A few years later he had to stop his career for family reasons and gave his saddle to a friend. Decades later this friend died and my Grandfather asked the widow for his friend's bicycle. He was surprised as he found his own old saddle on the bike. My Grandpa died in 1980 and since that year his saddle is part of my bicycle.
I find the Brooks B-17 so comfortable that I put in on a drum stool and use it at my desk, or on my deck as shown in the photo. It is a joy, I have them on all six of my bikes, road, touring, and off road. If a design maintains over a century, chances are, its the best one going.
I have probably spent about $700 over the past year trying to find the prefect saddle. I was taking a break on a ride at a park a few weeks ago and over heard some people talking about how great the B17 was. Once home I started to search the internet trying to find with a B17 was. That same day I went to the store and got one.
I put this saddle on my road bike and then set out on a ride. It was a quick 10 miles. Over the next week or so I put another 150 miles, in with this saddle. The B17 made each mile feel like I was sitting on an really nice office chair. I am a 100% sure at this point my search is over. I will never ride on anything other than a Brooks again!
The B17 is hands down the best saddle for my aspects, it is like it was made just for me. I read about a break in period. How can the best, get any better? I can not wait!
One the recommendation for Brooks, advertise your products in the US a little. It was pure luck, that I found this great saddle.
If your reading this and trying to decide between a Brooks Saddle and something else. Stop thinking and buy the Brooks!
One of my first ever, proper bikes had a Brooks saddle, passed down from my fathers bicycle.
The saddle lasted for a good few years before it passed on, through lack of care, and the odd accident damage, Now after a long lay off from cycling, it therefore seemed a normal thing to replace the nasty plastic saddle on my new bike, with a lovely, new Brooks saddle, and I chose to fit a B17 Standard.
What fantastic memories of the past! The saddle is a work of art, and I know that it may well out live me with proper care and attention!
We are still going through our 'getting to know each other' period for now, but the saddle will only get better with time and more use.
My next purchase will have to be another Brooks (of course!) to go on my latest road bike...
Beautiful saddle, when I first recieved the saddle I just stared at it for ages. It was a pleasure to Proofride and stick on my vintage road bike to complete its restoration. I have done about 20 miles on it and it feels great and is beginning to 'break in' to the shape of my backside. The only downside was the leather seemed to be put on scewed but you do not notice it when riding. Will purchase for my next bike!
Recently I bought a new bike, a koga miyata light trekking, the standard saddle was good for 30min's on the saddle before the pain in the perineal area began -the saddle has the same height as the handlebar. -Quite a while I was looking for the "perfect" saddle I tried gel, anatomically designed etc etc, nothing seem to work, or the saddle was nice but only with bicycle shorts with a patch.
After a few day's searching for saddles I read al lot of good comments about leather saddles, so I ordered a Brooks B-17 Standard with a tub of proofide.
Now with ~200km on the saddle it is starting to break in, and it feels fantastic from day 1, the only thing that was a little bit tricky was the saddle positioning.
No more pain in the "area", no more sweating, and also with jeans it rides fine
I think I found my saddle.....
QUESTION > I live in Holland and it rains a lot here, I am a little bit concerned with riding in the rain and in the cold and wet wintertime.
Does the saddle need special care, or should I ride with a saddle cover on it when it rains?
ANSWER > You should protect the saddle from moisture from below with occasional application of Proofide on the underside of the saddle and put a rain cover on the saddle when you are parking the bike in the rain.
Great saddle. And it's beautiful. I ride it on both of my Mericans, and cannot imagine riding anything else. The copper-railed honey Pro is, to my eyes, one of the most beautiful bicycle components made. But most important, it's the most comfortable saddle I've found, by a wide ma
If you're trying to decide which model to buy, ask whether you can test-ride friends' saddles or see whether a shop near you has "loaners." Or, you can buy a saddle from Wallingford Bike and, if it's not right for you, they'll let you return it within six months.
In my case, I tried both the standard and narrow versions of the B-17, the Pro and the Swift before settling on the Pro. And, I tried men's and women's models of each. Although I'm tall and rawboned, I have unusually narrow sit bones for a woman. So, the men's version of the Pro turned out to be what my Mercians and my bum needed.
By the way, I ride a brown B-67 on my commuter/townie bike. I have difficulty imagining myself riding anything but Brooks saddles.
I've ridden Brooks saddles since the early 1970s and I love them. As a 15 stone (95Kg) powerlifter who cycles for fitness I need some width to support my large rear end and I've got three Brooks among a collection of about twelve saddles ... the pricey but worthy Honey coloured Swift, a B17 narrow and a B17 standard, which my wife has hijacked. The Swift Titanium is also really light in relative terms. The classic styling of Brooks saddles just looks so good and draws many comments. Although some of the others are comparatively heavy that extra few hundred grams is a sacrifice worth making for the sake of the great comfort and durability you get from a genuine Brooks hide saddle especially on the longer rides. I continuously recommend Brooks saddles. It's just such a shame that the titanium metalwork is so expensive otherwise I would replace my two other others for the titanium special models withe the big rivets..
I had a tried with a Swift titanium for 2000 miles and still not that comfortable. The B17 Standard was extremely comfortable straight from first contact, now all of my bikes have B17's (one has the titanium version).
ever since i bought my first brooks b17, ive been in love with brooks saddles. since then i have had 15 custom builds, and each one has had the brooks b17 on it. from touring to fixed track riding, the brooks b17 BEATS ALL.
I like this saddle but found the B17N version to be difficult to set up properly, however once dialed in
it is well worth the time and effort. This is not my first Brooks saddle but it was one of the more
difficult ones to dial in. I think the B17N has a flatter profile than either my B17 Standard, or Swallow
which is my reference saddle.
When the saddle is dialed in correctly it is absolutely forgettable, that is I don't notice it. When it wasn't
dialed in properly I found myself constantly fidgeting, repositioning myself in a vain effort to find that
sweet spot where the saddle disappears.
All in all I would say I am favourably impressed with the saddle, I initially had some doubts about
the longevity of the saddle with the cut out but these have been dismissed as the saddle hasn't lost it's
shape or required numerous adjustments due to sagging leather.
It has been a privilege to have taken part in the testing of the new Imperial saddles. I've always held Brooks saddles in high regard and the Imperial has lived up to my expectations. The weather here has been unusually wet this year, floods and all, and life has been unusually hectic, so my anticipated mileage is way below what I had planned and hope for so far. My longest ride so far with this saddle has been around 30 miles, other rides have averaged around 20 miles, and a lot of shorter jaunts around town of under 5 miles, and so far there have been absolutely no numbness issues or problems in the perineal regions. This saddle so far has surpassed my fond memories of my B17 I rode for thousands of miles way back in the 1970's, and I anticipate the Imperial will continue to provide good service.
Once the Imperial begins production I can foresee adding these to several of my other bikes.
During my cycling trips I always experience a num feeling in my genital area.
For that reason I've tried many saddles. Unfortunately I always had to compromise between the comfort of my sit bone area and the genital area. The normal Brooks B17 Standard was very comfortable to my sit bones but the numbness in my genital area prevented me from choosing Brooks. The Velo Plush and Respiro saddles gave me far less numbness but where to soft for my sit bones.
The new Brooks Imperial combines the comfort for my sit bones without blocking the blood circulation in my genital area, Perfect! Still after more than 1500km the Brooks Imperial seems to be the best saddle I've ever had. I'm curious about the durability...
I must say I've never been a fan of "holey" saddles in the past, I always found the hole very obtrusive creating more points of contact than a normal saddle. On first sight I thought the Brooks would have the same problem so when you ride on it all you feel are the edges of the hole.
On actually riding I was pleasantly suprised that the softness of the leather flexed enough that the corners of the hole were not felt at all.
The saddle then behaved as I would expect the B17 that I took off the bike to.
I did however chamfer the edges of the hole a bit more as when the saddle softened the edges became more aparent. More chamfering helped this and now the saddle is fully softened there is no feel of the edges of the hole.
A production model would need better chamfering and a neater cut of he hole (I know this was a prototype) most people who saw it assummed I'd cut it with a knife myself!
The 1st thing I noticed about the saddle was how simmiliar it was to the b17 I already have. I also notice that I thought it broke in faster than the 17. I think it was more comfortable because of the cutout. At times my clothes got snagged on the cutout when I stood up or got off the bike after sitting on it for a period of time.
I really like how at times, I would not notice the saddle at all. I had to realize that I was testing it and I needed to be aware of how it was operating.
I really like the saddle. I has gotten rid of some of the pain I felt from prolonged riding.
I commute to work about 35-40 miles a day. So, it is worth it to have a good saddle to ride on.
I think that initially after the leather started breaking in, it started to sag. So, the tension of the saddle needs to be tightened. I have not done this yet. But I think if the saddle can hold up the correct tension and not sag, it should last for quite a while.
I have found the cutout on the B17 Imperial to be very useful allowing a lower saddle to bar drop that was not achievable with a regular B17. It was comfortable from the second I sat on it. I was curious to how the narrow saddle felt and asked another member if we could trade, so I actually got to test out the B17N Imperial as well. I find the B17N to be better than a regular only because I have thick thighs so the narrow profile is very nice when I am pedaling fast.
Overall I am very pleased with the saddle and the cutout is a really large improvement.
The cutout may lead to wear a little faster than a regular one but it will still be a long lasting saddle in itself it seems.
The simple fact of having a lower saddle to bar drop is a nice thing when you don't want to shell out as much $ for a Team Pro or Swift saddle.
This Brooks was typical of all my others in the fact that out of the box it was hard as a rock. My first ride of 3 miles did much to confirm that fact. This was to be expected, the cut out as I hoped would relieve pressure did not disappoint me it performed as expected. I commute daily and have put over two hundred miles commuting and about another two hundred miles in weekend rides the saddle while not actually any softer has comformed to my anatomy and I can ride it without discomfort. I will say that bicycle specific shorts are the more comfortable way to ride with this saddle I can ride in just abou any other pants other than really new jeans without problems for 10 miles or so. The cutout does the job although it could use a bit more easing of the edges and I think it would be a bit more comfortable out of the box that way. I tried this saddle on three different bikes. My hybrid commuter and a Schwinn Volare and a Bianchi road bike each bike has a different ride but the Imperial was better on the roadbikes than the commuter owing to the different geometry of the hybrid which is more relaxed and upright in its riding position. I only included one picture since I usually forget to take my camera when I ride.
Saddle is breaking nicely and I really like the lacing. Cutout needs a bit more easing around the top edges.
I expect this saddle to be as bulletproof as any previous Brooks with the proper care.
While break-in of the Imperial has been gentler than that of the new B17 standard I can't say it was great right out of the box. I experienced pain in the genital area and discomfort on my sit bones. I found I had to tweak the adjustment considerably before I found a comfortable spot. I am just now getting there. At 80 miles this does not seem excessive to me for a saddle of this quality and supposed durability. It helps that I anticipated the break-in issues and was fully prepared to deal with them. With the saddle in a flat position I felt considerable discomfort in my genital area just as I had done with the standard B17. I had never adjusted a saddle before (!) nor had I ever experienced genital discomfort. I have had a lot of squeaking in the saddle which I find quite unpleasant. I have not yet adequately addressed this. I believe applying oil and running the tightening bolt back and forth will solve this as one BF member suggested. I just haven't gotten around to it. I would think Brooks might want to address that before these saddles go out of the shop to avoid a flurry of questions and complaints upon delivery. I did not note this with my standard saddle from Brooks. I have never once been aware of the cutout. I wear street clothes (blue jeans, khakis, hiking shorts) and have not had any issues with grabbing or pinching my clothes. As I begin to get adjusted my overall impression is that for me having the saddle lowered about 1/4 to 1/2 inch has been very important. I also have the nose very slightly raised. At 80 miles there is just beginning to be some dimpling at the cutout where it is cut on the underside and the chamfered edge is beginning to fold down.
My last ride just brought my mileage to 100 and this suddenly seemed a breakthrough in comfort. I went from 6.5 to 8 and at times did not notice the saddle at all, other to enjoy its firm support and smooth feel. No discomfort in either the sitbones or genital area. The weather was 80 degrees F and that may have been a factor. I have not adjusted the laces after the initial installation, nor have I tweaked the tightening bolt. I applied a thorough proofide application on the saddle's top and a thick layer on the underside at the outset. No reapplication since.
My mileage is low due to late delivery of the saddle. I was on tap for the female version which did not make it out of the shop.
I am not sure why the cut-out flares at the top. My uneducated guess is that a smaller cut out might work as well and lend increased durability to the saddle. I do not expect the same level of durability with the standard yet that seems a reasonable trade-off if the comfort continues to improve as I expect. I would pre-grease the tightening bolt to reduce problem with squeaking which I have had and others have reported.
I would debate between the Standard and Imperial. My one question would be re durability. I like the standard a lot. Once it started to break in (a process interrupted by the arrival of the Imperial -- a Brooks quandry!) I was pretty devoted to the B17 Standard. I'm not yet sure if I like the design of the cut-out as much, but it is growing on me. I love the elegance and feel of these saddles and the notion (so far just abstract) of their longevity. I honestly don't think I'll ever use another saddle. I appreciate the idea of a saddle that conforms specifically to my shape. Then again, I'm someone who uses a fountain pen! It has been a real pleasure to take part in this test.
I have only Brooks saddles on my cycles, a Swift on my racer, a Pro on my tourer and a B17 on my trekker, I won`t ride anything else. Since changing to these saddles 5 years ago I no longer have back ache and I don`t creep on the saddle in hard efforts anymore, I guess that`s all due to the saddle adjusting itself to my hip contours. I recommend these highly for every type of rider. I love sitting on my cycle now and I've never pedalled better.
I have been cycling on and off for about 40 years.When I was in my early teens and much lighter than I am now I rode on a popular european-named plastic saddle that was padded with foam and then leather-covered.This was quite comfortable for me at that time as a club rider doing 60 - 80 miles on a Sunday and the odd extended tour.
After a long spell of inactivity I resumed short rides once a week but now I was heavier, wider and in my 30s and the similar popular style of plastic-based padded leather saddle was now a source of great pain and, it's fair to say, affected the enjoyment of my cycling.
I finally bit the bullet and bought the B17 Standard, applied proofide and I will be riding Brooks from now on.
The initial softening and breaking-in process took no time at all and I can now ride for hours with only slight discomfort at the end of the day and it seems as if the leather is forming to my shape progressively with each ride and, most importantly, I'm enjoying my cycling much more!!
Thanks to Brooks for using time- tested natural materials
Paul (51 and still going strong!!)
I haven’t ridden a bicycle for 28 years. Five months ago I bought a touring bicycle with a B17 standard and after 1300 km of commuting to work I flew to Patagonia and spent 4 weeks cycling mainly on dirt tracks, 6-8 h/day, 2300 km. What a nice saddle, comfortable since the first day, very well made and nice looking. I hope it last many years. I really look after it (maybe because I do leather craft as hobby), I never rest the saddle against walls or trees to avoid scratch the leather, I cover it with a plastic bag when it rains or during the night in the wild and proofhide it when need it. It might be developing a crack on the leather around one of the back rivets, nothing serious but I am keeping an eye on it. In a world when disposable items are in fashion it is nice to have something made to last, brilliantly functional and with traditional appearance. Well done Brooks.
Cozy. I rode Unicanitor saddles for half my life. Softened up to Concor and eventually TFI. Making a few retro touch ups on my old Raleigh, I found the B17 in matching blue. Yes, it weighs twice the saddle that I put away, and I was worried about the comfort. No worries. Supreme comfort on my first ride, and it's not even broken in yet...What i was missing for all these years. Also added shorty fenders - it's like 70s art deco....
Recently, it had become necessary for me to purchase a new saddle. A lot is said about the B17's retro value and comfort which, i should say, is not to be discounted. What is most valuable for me, however, is that I can buy a B17 today and know it will be exactly the same as the last one I bought. In an age in which product designs rarely last one or two years, it's nice to know that when I need a new saddle I can go to Brooks and get one that I know that I will like.
The B17 Standard is a benchmark for comfortable saddles. I ride the B17 on my road bike. Some laugh at my combination of carbon and leather but after 70 miles in the saddle my butt feels great. For most road riding I would recommend the Team Pro, Swift, or Swallow. While I love my B17, it is a bit wider than I would prefer. I can't wait to get a Swift! For touring or if you are on a budget they B17 really is fine on the road. I use the B17 on my mountain bike as well and it is by far the best mountain saddle I have ever used. It is such a gorgeous and versatile saddle. The best investment you can make on your bike (maybe after a nice set of hoops).
I have been in serious biking for the last 3 years.All my bikes viz.Firefox,TREK,Cannondale and Colanago came with the pvc narrow seats.Though i dont complain about the design but surely after riding a distance of 100 kms my i used to feel the burning sensation.I bought the B-17 basic seat thro wiggle U.K and my rides are very comfortable.I have already done 9oo kms and find it superb.Thanks to BROOKS.
I am 61 years old and hail from South India capital Chennai which is hot throught the year.
Awhile back I laid my bike down at speed on some wet streets and was super bummed to see that my B17 was scratched and gouged along the top rear corner. It had also picked up some white paint scratches from the road striping. Sad.
I've continued to ride it since then, and the combination of multiple proofide applications along with more miles, has resulted in the saddle repairing itself! All the roughness has laid down and the gashes filled. The white paint has also been buffed out by my ass. I mean, you can still see a little wound there, but it looks 80% better than it did before. How awesome is that?!
A> Pretty awesome!
...I ride a 70's Schwinn Cruiser to the beach, to surf, regularly. It's only a six mile round-trip, but the usual, big, fat, foam-padded cruiser seats can get pretty uncomfortable on a hot day. I've always admired the styling of Brook's saddles, my brother-in-law had one, but never thought the expense was worth it. All I can say is, Wow!, was I wrong! Not only does my cruiser stand out in a town chock-full of classic bikes, but it's more comfortable than I'd ever imagined. I've only put about thirty miles on it, and it's already like sitting on a cloud. Cheers! Brook's. I'd like to say that I'll buy another, but I think this one's gonna last forever...
Q > When I built up my actual touring bike last year I decided to give the B17 a try. When I got it my first thought was "holy crap, I will be sitting on a brick!" The first week the saddle was quite hard, but although it took about 600 km to ride in, I had only few butt problems on the third day. Probably just the time to get used to loaded touring 100-150 km daily. After this year's tour the bike and saddle have about 3000 km. The saddle is well broken in and quite o.k., but I think my butt needs someting narrower than the B17. Any suggestions?
A > The Team Pro and B17 Narrow are our best sellers among the sports models. If you like the B17, I would recommend the B17 Narrow. Alternatively, the Swift is a bit more elastic.
I have know owned four of these- two at present on my dawes tourers,
They are unbeatable. Comfort is quite astonishing- it makes sense ,really, as the leather moulds to your bott. shape. One word of warning- i loaned a bike with a B17, to a friend of mine for about 6 months- big mistake- he has a completely different bum to me. I couldn't use the saddle comfortably after that!
This is by far the most comfortable and most superbly made saddle I've ever owned. I've just returned from a 1000 km tour without so much as a tender spot. And this without padded cycling shorts!
Takes a couple of hundred miles to break in, and feels a little hard till then, but after that it just gets better and better.
The only downsides are its weight (it's fairly hefty) and the fact you need to protect it somewhat from the rain. I wouldn't use one on a mountain bike or a lightweight road bike, but for touring or commuting there can surely be nothing better.
I'm going to buy another for my classic road bike.
Well, I prefer to ride long distances with my (3) bikes (not all the same time). With normal gel saddles it was a torture. 2 years ago, I monted the first brooks B 17aged. It was so excellent that I bought two others brooks for my another bikes. So I have two B17 aged and one Flyer. What should I say. Only one word: Great!!
Short and sweet, I never think about my saddle when I'm ridding, it's that comfortable. I have a B-17 on my Peugeot, a Flyer on my 3 speed Club bike and a Swift on my Raleigh Clubman. Excellent workmanship and design!
BUM BALM!!! There's no better description. These saddles do what no fancy gel saddle ever can - they grow with you. I recently completed 230 miles across a variety of surfaces. On any lesser saddle I would need to sit in a bath of ice cubes after a day's activity. Not so with the B17. A mild discomfort after 150 miles, but nothing that would force me to stop.
Too often the assumption is made that old stuff is inherently better. But this time it is true. These saddles are amazing.
When I was looking for a saddle for my new bike, I wanted something long-lasting, comfortable and nice-looking. One of my friends had already bought a Brooks saddle and was saying how comfortable it was. I read a lot of reviews and watched some videos on the saddle and decided to get one myself. The saddle felt like plastic right out the box. The plastic feel wore out in about 100 km or so. It took about 1000 km to really ware in the saddle and by that time you are hooked and don't want to ride any other saddle ever again. I have ridden it now for 5400 km and it just feels great, you don't even notice it when you're riding and I think it is one of the best features. You don't even need to buy bike-shorts for riding long distances. On one particular trip we rode 160 km within half a day and I only had regular shorts on. But you also have to take good care of the saddle by tightening it and by applying proofide or regular honey bee wax to it. It will protect it from rain and keep the saddle from drying out. So if you take good care of the saddle, the saddle will take good care of you.
This really is a wonderful saddle and if anything should happen with my saddle I surely will get another Brooks saddle.
Hi I recently purchased a B17 special (the brompton version, brown top, copper rivets, standard black frame) I have only put 70 kms and it's by far the most confortable saddle I have riden, by far much much more than my previos gel saddles (one with ventilation) they were fine for a few kms then it's was a pain in the butt, literality. Q: My concern is only one, I sweat a lot from the buttocks and I can't always wear padded short, which helps a lot with this matter, so when i use jeans sweat stays there in touch with the saddle, and leaving a very embarassing trace in my jeans. Would this sweat damage severly the saddle eventualy? Because I noticed in some parts of the saddle it has become darker just like a few spots, and in the back part has a little brighter spot as if the color has fell off.
answer - Sweat will not damage your saddle!
Q > Hi! Could we now in this Ipod age have White saddles in a range of models (and not just for the very exclusive few!), please.
A > White BROOKS Saddles are much more difficult to make. It takes us more than triple the time than any other colour and lots of leather is wasted in the process. These are the reasons why we can't offer them in the standard range.
I've been riding my B17 Select daily for two months now on a commuter bike. Its been by far one of the best saddles I've ever owned, from being comfortable out of the box, to even being able to ride even without padding which was completely unheard of with any other saddle I've owned.
My only regret was not purchasing one sooner.
I recently purchased a B17 Special. Had a Brooks many years and many bikes ago. Have had a variety of saddles on a Trek, Lightspeed, LeMond, but always remembered how comfortable the Brooks was. I put some Proofide on the B17 and it has been soooo comfortable from day 1. I was prepared for a break-in period but this saddle rides like it is already broken in, right out of the box. My compliments to Brooks for making the best all these years. Please continue producing such a quality product.
p.s. The saddle is absolutely beautiful as well.
Hello gentlemen. I own a Devinci Hybrid that I happily purchased 10 years ago. In the time I have ownd this bike it has traveled about 10,000 miles I suppose, and worn seveal saddles as well. All the other offerings worked to one deegreee or another, However, 3 years ago I bouight a Brooks B17 standard ,from my local bike shop,on their considerd recommendation. A shout out to Hub Cycle in Truro NS! I can say wthout hesitation that if I cannot have a brooks saddle under me I will be reduced to walking or, blue horrors, a recumbent!!! As a bouns people who are not cyclists are drawn to this saddles beauty. I have the honey version. Some have even mistaken it for wood! But everyone agrees, there is nothing that needs changed with this saddle. Keep up the excellent work guys, many bottoms are depending on you.
Attracted by the good feedback on Brooks I bought B17. Put it on my Santa Cruz then start pedalling. I had annointed profide the night before. First ride is for 30s km, and I dont feel any pain or fatigue !! Amazing... Usually after only 15km on my Selle Italia SLR, I had to cycle whilst standing to relieve the numbness on my butt.. Thank you Brooks for the traditional approach on saddle design... Works for me, and am already planning to install a flyer on my folding bike...
"BROOKS saved me arse!" My B17(Imp) taught me that I needed to tilt the nose up(way up in my case) to get my sit bones into the sweet spot. And boy, leather under pointy sit bones is a good answer. How did my seat teach me the correct position one may ask? Well a leather seat is quite slippery. So if the seat's nose is not up (for me personally) I am sliding my crotch onto the nose, even at level. And a brooks nose has a lot of steel beneath. So quickly, I learned. I was in so much pain and discomfort just forward of my sit bones before my brooks. Also, more importantly, the problem was effecting me in the bedroom. I was about to give up my commute via a bike. Dr. Brooks was the prescription. My ride, is year round except when icy, and to commute 26 miles round trip 2-3 times a week on a river trail, gravel and paved... completely flat the whole damn ride! This sort of ride demands a proper saddle. I've had the B17 for 2yrs now. Any more milage though for me and I am too beat up or tired and I do still become uncomfortable in the soft tissue as I think my anatomy is not meant for much more distance. So now i have the best quality product at the right tilt/angle. I am much more comfortable and able to do the commute therefore creating more happiness in life.
Why O why have I been sitting on the rock hard plastic Brompton saddle for 4 years! I bought a B17 today and transformed my Brompton! Okay it's heavier, but the ride is amazing. I can't wait for it to ear in.
A> We don't think our good friends at Brompton include that particular saddle for comfort reasons.
I would like to purchase a B17 standard saddle for my singlespeed mtb in green, but who in South Africa stocks them?
A> Try here: http://www.brooksengland.co.za
Well...l like so many others went through a plethora of super duper, wiz bang, gel, plastic, wonder material, super light, etc saddles on my new full suspended Giant MTB....for over a year l never had a ride that l just thought about pedaling and enjoying the trails or roads...
Until l finally got smart a bought a new B17 standad in honey flavour! It is simply heaven on my rear from the 1st pedal stroke...all l did was proofide the sucker, mount and get back to enjoying the wonder of bicycling...at this point l have all but forgotten that my bicycle actually has a seat, and, l can tell with every ride that it just keeps getting better. Way to go Brooks!! You guys got it right over 100 yrs ago and you keep doing the wonder work of handmade ecstasy!!! Buy one people....you'll be happier than ever
I live in the Auburn WA area, south of Seattle, for my whole life when the Military did not have me in Germany. I bought a Schwinn Sports Touring back in 1972 and it came with a B17. When the dealer asked me as we were fitting the bike to me if I wanted him to remove that hard leather seat and put a softer Schwinn one on. My answer was NO! I rode that bike for 10 years and over 40,000 miles. My first trip was Seattle to San Fran CA and back in the summer of "72". I still have the bike with the Battle Scarred B17. The tires are rotted, chain rusty and the "Moly" tube, in 1972 was the lightest touring bike under $500, is heavy by todays standard. I may soon fix it up and ride it again, with my BROOKS B17 still on it. The only thing I ever did was to treat it with English saddle soap and oil, I had a woman's hair cover that went over it when I was out. I could send in a picture if you want. Heck, I could sell it as a B17 AGED ;)
640,000 tons of bombs were dropped by B17's on Germany in WWII. Why not leave history to the books, movies, museums, and graveyards. Let cycling be about peace.
A> The B17 precedes the 20th century. Though we are looking into a branding dispute with the USAF.
Some **** stole my 1977 B17 two years ago. Like the idiot I am, I went through several "modern design" saddles and a wall full of personally modified saddles trying to find something that works. I gave them all a generous 3-500 miles of trial each. What a waste of time and money. No platform saddle regardless of hype can match the Brooks stuff. I finally ordered another B17. Just like my 35 year old one, comfortable right out of the box and somehow it gets even better each day. I'm still riding 7000 mile per year. I absolutely could not continue without the B17 and my B17N on the road bike. Thank you Brooks. I'm also sending a personal thanks to the marvelous craftsmen that make this saddle a winner.
Very comfy saddle from the start. Just wish I'd got the special for the look. Excellent product any future bikes of mine will be fitted with Brookes saddles.
Q > My B-17 standard in black leaves a big ugly nasty looking stain on my bottom after rides. I am considering a replacement, like a Terry Liberator or some such thing, because I cant continue to show up at work looking like I got scared and soiled my knickers. Would one of your brown saddles be a better choice?
A > Normally honey stains less than black, but if you are riding with light coloured trousers you might still not solve the problem.
Q >>> Will the B17 Special mount directly to a Crank Brothers Joplin Seatpost? I am in need of a GOOD saddle and hear rave reviews about your products. I ride an all mountain type of bike. Through wet and mud and muck. Is this a good product for its intended use? Thank you. Derek Johnson
A >>> All our saddles have standard 7 mm rails, so it should work!
Q > Why don't you make the B17 Standard in the nice brown rather than the sickly honey? If I were to treat the honey with some oil over a period of time would this work in darkening the colour whilst not damaging the saddle?
A > Honey tends to become darker with use, but not as dark as brown.
I ride rigid singlespeed mountain bikes for the past 3 years and have tried many seats in the past. Bent rails, broken bases and lack of support were just some of the complaints. Installed the honey version B17 2 years ago. After one ride in steamy Florida, I was sold. 1 application of Proofhide on the top and bottom. 6 hr/12 hr races in rain and heat and it still looks good and the support is great- Thank you for your product- I get so many questions about this seat!
I opened the box of my B17 saddle this morning before work and haven't even had a chance to ride it yet. I just wanted to thank you so much for such a considered product. I haven't bought something in years that wasn't swathed in masses of plastic and cellophane. Every single bit of the Brooks packaging can be recycled (almost all paper/card), except for a tiny, tiny piece of plastic that secured the saddle in place in the box. Oh - and the saddle is beautiful too!
B17 standards are on all my cycles, including the Brompton; fitted before Brompton 'discovered' Brooks!. I keep trying to persuade people that Brooks are the ONLY good saddles. One chap even fitted his cheapo with a Brooks cover. Did him no good, it still broke. Brooks are cheaper over the long run as they outlast the rest by miles; thousands of them.
As my half-century approaches, I decided to celebrate the milestone by recruiting a couple of like-minded, if younger, friends to ride from Lands-End to John-O-Groats. I'd a lot of fitness to regain, and started by putting in a lot of miles on my old turbo-trainer. After buying and rejecting five saddles of various types and costs, I remembered that in an old Karrimor saddlebag in the garage was my trusty old B17 which had been on every road-bike I'd owned since my first Carlton which was given to me at 14. It had been used on an almost daily basis, often for rides up to 90-100 miles per day, and even one of 190 miles in a day. I imagine it had covered probably something like 50,000 miles before it was retired (but not thrown out) when my Merlin frame finally gave up the ghost after about 30,000 miles in 1992. Once the B17 was back on the trainer, miles were no object, and it now graces my new road-bike, looking slightly anachronistic on a carbon seatpost, but it is so far superior to all the other saddles I've tried that I will never again ride anything else. It is so old now (34 years) that I may have to replace it, but it will definately be replaced with a Brooks... I might splash out on the Titanium rail version to save some of the weight, but the leather and Brooks workmanship are a must.
In 1996, I decided to cycle from London to Jerusalem. I was using those skinny, lightweight saddle you see everywhere nowadays. When I reached Holland, my butt couldn't take it any more, so I bought a Brooks B17 at a flea market in Amsterdam. I had never used a leather saddle before, but I was desperate. It took me until Austria that I felt the saddle broken in. Want to know when you have a good saddle? When you never think about it. That's how I felt with the Brooks - it was so comfortable that I didn't even feel anything under me. Ever since that three month trip, I have used Brooks exclusively on all my tours. During one of those trips, I cycled across the Bolivian altiplano in 1999. I made some mistakes on that trip, and had to abandon my bicycle and gear at 16,000 feet. I walked for about 100 miles over three days. During that time, I encountered no one. The only thing I took from my bike was - you guessed it - my Brooks. I still have that saddle today, and it's been to over three dozen countries. I will never part with it.
It all started out with importing the frame from italy.. Took about a week to build up the bike from scratch... lots of patience.. when it was done the bike looked plain and simple.. so i decided to purchase me a Brooks B-17 after all the good stuff I heard about them.. and when we put that beautiful saddle on there everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the bike.. Gorgeous!! and i have to say its been the best, most comfortable ride i've been on... Brooks for life!
Q > Your saddles (B-17 Ti, standard and Special) are on each of my three road bikes and are exceptionally comfortable. The Special is around seven years old and has about 7000 miles. I use Brooks Proofide three or four times a year, and seldom is the saddles wet, however the leather is cracking a good bit around the back upper most four rivets. Is this detrimental to the life/quality of the saddle? Is it repairable?
A > Leather is subject to detriment, as any other material. This depends on the climate and use. Unfortunately we can only repair the metal parts...
I have just purchased a B17 Standard and I like the shape. However, I am having some difficulty with the "trim" ridge that runs around the saddle. I feel this sharp ridge through my shorts. I am considering having the ridge removed by a shoe repair shop. Does the ridge serve any purpose other than appearance?
A> The chamfered edge is done so you do not feel the edge as much :) Perhaps the B17 is too wide for you?
Can you please provide more in-depth instructions on protecting the saddle from rain? I live in Seattle, USA where it rains almost everyday. I don't own a car and ride my bike to work. Sometimes I can lock my bike indoors or under an awning, however, not everyday. How can I best protect my saddle in these conditions, knowing that it's going to get wet a lot. Thanks!
A> You must use of a waterproof cover. A soaked leather saddle will stretch and age prematurely when ridden.
I would love a saddle without 'Brooks' everywhere on it, and no visible rivets, or at least in the same colour as the leather. Just the quality without letting everybody in on what you have. I know, it's like asking for Chanel No. 5 in a PET bottle...
My b17 frame has broken within less than the saddle being 1 year old it has broken away At the front close to where the spanner attatches and as such the saddle has deformed. How long this has been like this I can not say, it is only now that I notice the saddle is leaning heavely to the right because of the metalwork broken problem. This saddle is just about the most pleasuarable item on my bike. The leather grips I hold and the saddle really do give me the most pride on a bike costing over £3000 I think that's compliments enough to brooks. Now I wait to learn the factories opinion as to just how best to address this quality issue. I am a proud fan of all things brooks and I hope simply to have this new saddle replaced. Breaking a new saddle in I don't mind, having to accept a twisted leather saddle repaired I will cry. I will post my results once brooks reply to my request for a replacement.
A> You saddle has a 2-year warranty, please return it to the place of purchase or send it directly to us.
Upon recently visiting an online bike part retailer, I noticed that they once sold the B17 Standard (NOT NARROW) in Antique Brown. I was wondering what the likelihood would be of ever seeing one of these being produced and sold to the consumer in the near future along with the Honey and Black models that are already out. I've also noticed on eBay that there were a couple listings for this saddle claiming that they get custom orders in Antique Brown for their bikes.
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