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Help w/ Brooks saddle selection

Old 02-10-21, 10:18 PM
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cheezenip
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Help w/ Brooks saddle selection

I purchased the 2021 Sirrus X 4.0 a few months back and am enjoying the heck out of the bike except for the saddle. After 15-20 miles each ride, I'm hurting you know where (it's ridiculous that Specialized can't put a comfortable saddle on an otherwise quality bike). Since I am a novice when it comes to cycling, looking for some assistance from the forum with choosing the proper Brooks Saddle.

Background: I do primarily 60% suburb riding on paved trails, 35% city streets, and 5% gravel trails. I wish to purchase Brook's traditional old school leather product line (aka B series) instead of the Cambium saddles because of reports of Cambium models showing no mercy tearing up pants/shorts/bibs which will then need to be replaced on a regular basis per many users posting on the Internet. I'm a 6 ft male weighing 165 pounds.

Questions:
(1a) Is the seat post for my model a single or double rail saddle? I'm guessing that it's a single rail since Brooks uses the term "modern single rail ". If that's the case, I would get the B67 (as oppose to the B66 which is a double rail clamp) but I would like to get confirmation here.
(1b) Brooks say if you ride in an upright position, get the B66 / B67. Given the Sirrus X 4.0 is classified as a hybrid, I'm assuming I am riding in an upright position since there's no drop bars. Need confirmation here.
(1c) I get confused because Brook's marketing further says choose the B66 / B67 if your seat is higher than the handle bars. When my LBS fitted me, the seat height happens to be equivalent (or just very slightly lower) than the handle bars. If that's the case, maybe I should get the B17 which is the old classic, more neutral saddle.
(1d) The B66 / B67 comes with springs which I'm not sure I really need given how amazingly effective the Sirrus 4's Future shock system is when I ride . The B17 doesn't have those springs. Given my riding style, not sure if I really need those springs.

My gut tells me to get the B67 but I would like to get input from more experienced / knowledgeable riders. Also, am I missing something while doing my research on saddles? Saddles seem to be so subjective!!
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Old 02-10-21, 10:47 PM
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- it isnt ridiculous that Specialized spec'd a saddle that isnt comfortable. Everyone's butt is different and your complain is another person's heaven. This is why there are so many different saddle shapes and sizes- a manufacturer won't know what each person needs. Its also why saddles on bikes under $2k are often not too expensive- why waste the money on a product thst so many people buy specific to them.

- based on your bike's geometry in my size, yes the riding is more upright compared to a typical drop bar road bike. But it isnt as upright as a beach cruiser.

- nobody here knows which brooks saddle is best for you, but that won't stop people from giving opinions. Just like you are miffed about a random stock saddle not fitting, we have no idea which brooks will fit you.

- I love the Cambium series and have C17 saddles on my main road bike and my gravel bike. They have never shown to wear the seat or legs of my big shorts. Its been years so I dont expect anything to happen soon either. My saddles are the old cotton top and I dobt have experience with the current waterproof top so that may be different.
But hey- don't get one if you like something else more. Thats the beauty of saddles, there are so many options so each of us can find what we like.

- you want a single rail saddle. Brooks single rail is for microadjust seatposts, which is what you have. Its called single rail because there is a single rail on each side of the saddle for a total of 2 rails. Confusing, I know.

- total wild guess, but get the b17. The springs of a 67 are just heavy and really not needed for a fitness bike like you have. A b17 will have some flex to it once its broken in, but suspension on a fitness bike or road bike is best to come from quality tires at proper inflation.

- be prepared for the brooks saddle, no matter which you pick, to be hard and unforgiving at the start. You need to work it in for it to feel better. Also, be ready to jack the nose of the saddle up to a comical angle. Its common for leather brooks saddles, especially the b17 and similar designs, due to the hammock style design. Some have it set at such an angle its like they are preparing for a proctology exam.
For what its worth, a c17 is designed to be comfortable right away and be set up in a flat neutral position.

- find a brooks dealer near you and go try them in the store. Have your sit bones measured while you are at it. A shop near me that sells brooks has loaner models for you to take home and try.
If you don't like the saddle you try first, don't get insulted with Brooks- they have no idea what your butt looks like.
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Old 02-10-21, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cheezenip View Post
I purchased the 2021 Sirrus X 4.0 a few months back and am enjoying the heck out of the bike except for the saddle. After 15-20 miles each ride, I'm hurting you know where (
No, we don't know where. You will have to tell us. Is it your sit bone area that hurts? Do you have perineum pain? Where? We don't know.

If you have perineum pain, try dropping your saddle a small amount, then see how it feels. If you get a Brooks, you will have the same pain if the seat is too high.

You stock seat post will work for a B17 or the B67, the B66 is for the old pillar type seat post. The only thing you may have issues with is adjusting the tilt. With a brooks, it works best to have a two bolt adjustment system for the tilt, and I do not know what yours has. A one bolt adjuster will work, but it won't have the infinite adjustability that a two bolt adjuster has.

The Brooks B17 is a great seat, but it won't help you if your fit isn't right. It also won't help you if you are simply a new rider, and haven't built up to riding. We all get pain when we first get back into riding, generally speaking. Riding more, and building up the distance will help.

If you want springs, there is a sprung version of the B17, they make the Flyer, which is the B17, with springs. I have something the same shape as the B67 on an old mountain bike, with a tall stem with sort of mustache style bars. I sit upright on that bike. The seat is their old B72, the leather is thinner than the B17, and it is very comfortable on that bike. I sit upright on that bike.


On my touring bike, I have my bars slightly above my seat, but they are drops, so I run the B17. It is their B17 Special, which has a little thicker leather. It is now very comfortable.

No one can tell you what seat to buy. Chances are the B17, or Flyer would be fine, but your bike fit has to be good, or you will be no better off than you are now.
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Old 02-10-21, 11:58 PM
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Respnding to phughes

No, we don't know where. You will have to tell us. Is it your sit bone area that hurts?

<<sit bones in the front of both left and right side. NOT perineum pain. I should have been more detailed in my original post.>>

You stock seat post will work for a B17 or the B67, the B66 is for the old pillar type seat post. The only thing you may have issues with is adjusting the tilt. With a brooks, it works best to have a two bolt adjustment system for the tilt, and I do not know what yours has. A one bolt adjuster will work, but it won't have the infinite adjustability that a two bolt adjuster has.

<< Thank you for suggesting adjusting the tilt. I have completely relied on my LBS but I suspect they weren't that thorough. I may need to go back and get them to spend more time with me since I have no idea what is the proper tilt>>

Last edited by cheezenip; 02-11-21 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 02-11-21, 12:03 AM
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Response to mstateglfr

- you want a single rail saddle. Brooks single rail is for microadjust seatposts, which is what you have. Its called single rail because there is a single rail on each side of the saddle for a total of 2 rails. Confusing, I know....total wild guess, but get the b17. The springs of a 67 are just heavy and really not needed for a fitness bike like you have. A b17 will have some flex to it once its broken in, but suspension on a fitness bike or road bike is best to come from quality tires at proper inflation.
<<<< Thank you. Helpful info>>

... Also, be ready to jack the nose of the saddle up to a comical angle. Its common for leather brooks saddles, especially the b17 and similar designs, due to the hammock style design. Some have it set at such an angle its like they are preparing for a proctology exam...
<<Never considered that. Thanks>>

- find a brooks dealer near you and go try them in the store. Have your sit bones measured while you are at it. A shop near me that sells brooks has loaner models for you to take home and try.
<< Good advice. Will see if one is close to where I live>>
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Old 02-11-21, 12:12 AM
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Great news you aren't suffering from perineum pain! In my own opinion, a hard leather saddle without a central cutout is almost guaranteed to deliver perineum pain.
Consider a modern design. Other responses above are excellent.
One thing I like regarding setup is a digital level. I simply use the free app "Bubble Level". It helps zero in on the level you prefer.
Good luck!
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Old 02-11-21, 12:20 AM
  #7  
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Response to cyclic_eric

... In my own opinion, a hard leather saddle without a central cutout is almost guaranteed to deliver perineum pain....Consider a modern design. ".
<<Interesting ...I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind. I never understood the purpose of a cutout except for possibly airflow. I'll need to investigate this>>

-- One thing I like regarding setup is a digital level. I simply use the free app "Bubble Level". It helps zero in on the level you prefer.--
<<Great suggestion. Thank you!>>
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Old 02-11-21, 03:09 AM
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I ride a completely different style of bike so my experience is probably not going to help much. I have a few Brooks saddles on my bikes , one B17 and a few Professionals. I also have and Ideal on my French bike. They are all comfy for me and my vintage racers . I also have , on my newest acquisition, a Cinelli saddle(old) that is my new favorite . I have found that the older saddles I have from the seventies are more comfy so the saddle will “break in” as you use it, provided it is maintained. I use Dr. Martens on mine and it keeps the leather nice and conditioned. It is available at the cowboy shops that sell boots and for me easier to get that Proofide. I pay $10 a tin and it lasts a couple years on about six saddles.
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Old 02-11-21, 06:07 AM
  #9  
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You will need more than an hour in a shop to determine saddle angle. Have the shop show you how to adjust the angle so you can do it yourself and then spend the time to tweak the angle over a bunch of miles. I have also found as the saddle breaks in the saddle angle may or may not require adjustment.

As for cutouts. In my case they cause serious discomfort in the groin and I am unable to use a saddle with a cutout. Fortunately for me I don't have issues with numb nuts or other non-cutout design influenced problems.
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Old 02-11-21, 08:34 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by cheezenip View Post
No, we don't know where. You will have to tell us. Is it your sit bone area that hurts?

<<sit bones in the front of both left and right side. NOT perineum pain. I should have been more detailed in my original post.>>

You stock seat post will work for a B17 or the B67, the B66 is for the old pillar type seat post. The only thing you may have issues with is adjusting the tilt. With a brooks, it works best to have a two bolt adjustment system for the tilt, and I do not know what yours has. A one bolt adjuster will work, but it won't have the infinite adjustability that a two bolt adjuster has.

<< Thank you for suggesting adjusting the tilt. I have completely relied on my LBS but I suspect they weren't that thorough. I may need to go back and get them to spend more time with me since I have no idea what is the proper tilt>>
If you are experiencing pain at the sit bones, tilt won't do a lot for your pain. If you haven't been riding for a while, or simply haven't ridden much, most likely that is the main issue. I will say I do not get any pain in the sit bone area using my B17. My B17 is well broken in though.

If you are not wearing padded shorts, you could try that. I din't need padded shorts on the B17, but that is a different saddle than you have, and that it me. I would not mess with the tilt of the saddle if you are not experiencing perineum pain.

I think the B17 could potentially help your sit bone pain, but the B17 is much more sensitive to adjustment, if it is not adjusted correctly, for you, you will have problems. When you install it, you will have to lower the seat post, since it generally sits higher off the rails than other saddles.

The B66/B67, like the B72, does have thinner leather than the B17 special I have, and in the case of my B72, was immediately comfortable on my sit bone area. The leather gives a lot. The B17 Special though is extremely comfortable for me now, and I can easily ride 50-70 miles in a day, and then do it again the next day.

As for the Cambium version of the B17, I don't care for it. I prefer the leather models since the leather is slicker, and doesn't chafe, or wear clothing as much. It also breathes better.

Last edited by phughes; 02-11-21 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 02-11-21, 08:43 AM
  #11  
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Trying to predict what saddle will fit a rider over the internet is foolish, IMHO. But guess who rushes in where angels fear to tread?

That said, I haven't found anything to match the comfort of a broken in B-17. Some things to think about if you want to try one. To make it comfortable on a new bike usually takes me a few weeks of adjusting the saddle height, fore and aft position, and tilt. It's ridiculous how sensitive a Brooks is to the tilt; I've learned to use two bolt seatposts to minutely adjust saddle tilt.

It's worth looking for (slightly) used Brooks saddles if you want to try one. Save a third to a half the cost up front, and if it turns out not to work for you, you know where you can sell it.

I'm not going to guess whether you'd be happier with a B-17, Champion Flyer (with the springs), or the B-67. Looking at your bike, it appears to favor a more upright position than the bikes I ride with a B-17. It might be worth looking to see if someone will give you a trial period with any or all of the above to see if you can make it work for you.
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Old 02-11-21, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cheezenip View Post
No, we don't know where. You will have to tell us. Is it your sit bone area that hurts?

<<sit bones in the front of both left and right side. NOT perineum pain. I should have been more detailed in my original post.>>

You stock seat post will work for a B17 or the B67, the B66 is for the old pillar type seat post. The only thing you may have issues with is adjusting the tilt. With a brooks, it works best to have a two bolt adjustment system for the tilt, and I do not know what yours has. A one bolt adjuster will work, but it won't have the infinite adjustability that a two bolt adjuster has.

<< Thank you for suggesting adjusting the tilt. I have completely relied on my LBS but I suspect they weren't that thorough. I may need to go back and get them to spend more time with me since I have no idea what is the proper tilt>>
you can find the right tilt by raising the saddle nose one click at a time.
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Old 02-11-21, 08:31 PM
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I second the B-17 recommendations. It's kind of a baseline model that, IMO, is comfortable pretty much out of the box. I have most of mine set to about an 8 degree nose-up angle on both my upright and (slightly) more aero position bikes.
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Old 02-11-21, 10:07 PM
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Everyone's butt is different, the saddle choice was a choice based on probably quite a lot of data from their Retül fits and finding a reasonable middle ground. You cannot please everyone's butt and if you could you would be a billionaire.

My favored saddle is the Cambium C-17 it works well for my butt and it avoids the animal skins and makes it weather proof and without any maintenance.

However the biggest thing in all of this is fit, a saddle is helpful but the fit could solve a lot of issues. Some saddles like I said could be wrong for you but it also could be angle and height and setback and other positioning that is causing problems as well. Certainly a fitter can recommend a different saddle and that saddle you have may not actually be the one but sometimes at least part of the problem is position.
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Old 02-12-21, 02:05 AM
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i have noticed that some saddles can make the bike feel squirrelly, don't know why, probably from wobble of the posterior,

as luck would have it, my most comfortable saddle is the most unstable,

best just to ride uphill all the time so you can stay off the saddle.

i used to do long rides on a plastic unicantor saddle for the weight savings and boy did i suffer.

Last edited by cjenrick; 02-12-21 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 02-12-21, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cheezenip View Post
No, we don't know where. You will have to tell us. Is it your sit bone area that hurts?

<<sit bones in the front of both left and right side. NOT perineum pain. I should have been more detailed in my original post.>>

You stock seat post will work for a B17 or the B67, the B66 is for the old pillar type seat post. The only thing you may have issues with is adjusting the tilt. With a brooks, it works best to have a two bolt adjustment system for the tilt, and I do not know what yours has. A one bolt adjuster will work, but it won't have the infinite adjustability that a two bolt adjuster has.

<< Thank you for suggesting adjusting the tilt. I have completely relied on my LBS but I suspect they weren't that thorough. I may need to go back and get them to spend more time with me since I have no idea what is the proper tilt>>
A self admitted novice to cycling calling out a major manufacturer and his LBS in his first thread.
Bravo. You will fit in well here on BF
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Old 02-12-21, 03:17 AM
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Message to All who Resonded

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions to my post.

Yesterday, I went back to my LBS and had an unexpected surprised. After hearing about my concerns to an employee, one of the managers came over and told me know the person who "fitted" me no longer works there and immediately apologized noticing I wasn't fitted properly when looking at my bike. Apparently, the saddle height was too low and the angle of the seat was slightly tilted forward. I got refitted and was told to come back if I continued to experience any pains. So far now, I will be holding off with a purchase.
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Old 02-12-21, 03:19 AM
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Message to All who Responded w/ Helpful Tips

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions to my post.

Yesterday, I went back to my LBS and had an unexpected surprised. After hearing about my concerns to an employee, one of the managers came over and told me know the person who "fitted" me no longer works there and immediately apologized noticing I wasn't fitted properly when looking at my bike. Apparently, the saddle height was too low and the angle of the seat was slightly tilted forward. I got refitted and was told to come back if I continued to experience any pains. So far now, I will be holding off with a purchase.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:41 AM
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Glad to hear that the manager was helpful for you. As you have seen from the posts in this thread, sometimes seemingly minor adjustments of saddle position can make a big difference.

In addition to getting saddle height, tilt, and fore/aft positioning optimized for you, the other factor is your body getting used to sitting on a bicycle saddle. This happens to all of us either when you first start riding, or at least in my case in spring when I get back on the bike after a winter hiatus. Our sit bones eventually get acclimated to this new activity.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:41 AM
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So it’s no longer ridiculous that Spesh put such a cheap saddle on your bike?
Or maybe they also fired the person responsible for that saddle being on your bike
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Old 02-13-21, 01:04 AM
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i have noticed that saddle position is not a constant, it can depend on the muscle mass in your legs, how many miles you accumulate , what kind of shape your are in, what may feel right at the beginning of the year might not be the best position by the end of the year.
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Old 02-13-21, 07:09 AM
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I'm in a similar situation as the OP except I'm 5'9", 185ish and have eyeballing the B17 for my Traverse hybrid/wannabe flat bar gravel bike. I ride similar terrain with maybe some more non paved/hard pack trails mixed in. I'll probably get a Sirrus later too so I'll be taking my Brooks saddle with me when I do. Any thoughts on the Swallow or is that more of an agressive/drop down type position saddle? Looking at the C17 Carved too as the all weather Cambium may be good for me here in FL.

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Old 02-13-21, 09:09 AM
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Good LBS. If the current saddle still causes problems, ask if they have any loaners to try. I was in your same boat, and with my LBS and REI letting me try various saddles I was able to find one that worked. I tried a Selle Anatomica and found that did not really work the best and the worry of not getting it wet was a concern. I want a saddle I can just use and not have to make sure I cover it in the rain or when on the back of my car rack.
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Old 02-13-21, 10:51 AM
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For future reference, this is the chart for the Brooks Cambium line of saddles, which is a weatherproof series.

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Old 02-13-21, 12:20 PM
  #25  
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For future reference, the list of tensioned leather saddle manufacturers is longer than 'Brooks'.
Berthoud - France
Brooks - UK
Gyes (Cardiff, Dia Compe, Fenix, Fyxation, Lekker, Origin8, Papillionaire, Shinola, Sobdeall, 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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