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Information on the Brooks B-17 Saddle

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Information on the Brooks B-17 Saddle

Old 06-09-19, 08:21 AM
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Helderberg
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Information on the Brooks B-17 Saddle

I was looking at the B-17 advertisement and saw, from the bottom view, that there are a series of holes and laces that appear to offer adjustment for width and a bolt at the nose that appears to allow length adjustment? If I am seeing this correctly, how much adjustment do you actually have over the size/shape of the saddle? In theory it looks very customizable but I have read that the leather is very stiff and takes many miles to "adjust" to the riders personal shape. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Frank.
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Old 06-09-19, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I was looking at the B-17 advertisement and saw, from the bottom view, that there are a series of holes and laces that appear to offer adjustment for width and a bolt at the nose that appears to allow length adjustment? If I am seeing this correctly, how much adjustment do you actually have over the size/shape of the saddle? In theory it looks very customizable but I have read that the leather is very stiff and takes many miles to "adjust" to the riders personal shape. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Frank.
That bolt is to maintain the desired tension in the leather. Technically it does change the length but it's a miniscule change. Usually one doesn't touch that adjustment until after a number of years of use and the leather is sagging.

I haven't used a Brooks with holes/laces but I think that's another way to affect that sag/stiffness of the saddle.
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Old 06-09-19, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
That bolt is to maintain the desired tension in the leather. Technically it does change the length but it's a miniscule change. Usually one doesn't touch that adjustment until after a number of years of use and the leather is sagging.

I haven't used a Brooks with holes/laces but I think that's another way to affect that sag/stiffness of the saddle.
Thank you. I appreciate you input.
Frank.
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Old 06-09-19, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I was looking at the B-17 advertisement and saw, from the bottom view, that there are a series of holes and laces that appear to offer adjustment for width and a bolt at the nose that appears to allow length adjustment? If I am seeing this correctly, how much adjustment do you actually have over the size/shape of the saddle? In theory it looks very customizable but I have read that the leather is very stiff and takes many miles to "adjust" to the riders personal shape. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Frank.
Not really. As someone else said, maybe after many years, you can turn the bolt. When a Brooks is new, the leather is very hard. You treat the leather with a small amount of proofhide. But in practice, you mostly break in a Brooks by riding it. The give of the leather is pretty subtle, but it is real. My Brooks is 7 years old and while it doesn't look new, it is still fairly hard. That said, though I am an avid rider, I am a recreational rider. That means my bike doesn't side out in the elements all that much, and even in season, I am only riding maybe 3 times per week. I try not to let the saddle get wet, which means putting a plastic bag over it when it is raining.
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Old 06-09-19, 05:42 PM
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I have used Brooks saddles for many years, and the ones with holes in the base on either side of the leather have been an option, but not for me, although I think I do have one on either on one of my bikes or Machka's.

They are intended to compensate, I think, for extensive weight on the saddle which pushes the top down and therefore the bottoms out so they start to irritate the inside of the thighs and they pass of the edges. Adjustment of the end-of-saddle bolt system can compensate for some of the slacking.

I think a thin but strong cord (I think maybe fishing line as in heavy duty stuff) can be used to tie the sides together underneath so they can be brought back from irritating the thighs (or wearing out pants/shorts). The cord does need to be threaded so that any ties are on the inside the saddle.
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Old 06-09-19, 09:18 PM
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The holes and laces are present on the B17 Imperial. It's the one with the slit on the top. The B17 standard does not have holes or laces. The bolt is on all B17's, and as mentioned above already does not require tensioning until down the road a long way.

I run a B17 Imperial on my commuter, and a Brooks Flyer Imperial on my touring rig. The Flyer is the one with the springs, and I can highly recommend it if you don't mind the extra weight.

Edit: BTW I highly recommend the B17 also. But it's your butt!

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Old 06-09-19, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I was looking at the B-17 advertisemen...
Brooks seems to have the largest advertising budget, but there are plenty of other tensioned leather saddles on the market in 2019, with various design subtleties and features at different price points.

Berthoud - France
Brooks - UK
Gyes (Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fyxation, Lekker, Origin8, Papillionaire, Shinola, Spa, Torelli, Velo Orange, Zimbale, etc.) - Taiwan
Ideale - France
Lepper - Netherlands
Nasiruddin (Persons) - India
Rivet - AFAIK manufactured in Taiwan by Gyes but to their own proprietary designs
Sella Italia - Italy
Selle Anatomica - USA
Selle Monte Grappa - Italy
Tabor - Portugal
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