Featured User Review: Brooks Swift Titanium Saddle

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Featured Review: Brooks Swift Titanium
by Iasonas

Price Paid: $280.00
Review Date: October 26, 2009
Used product for: 2 years
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 4 of 5

Bike Setup:
Raleigh Supercourse (1973)/ Raleigh Interntionl (1972) / Medici Pro (1990s)/ All campy Record 10 speed system.

Summary:
This may be an unorthodox way to start, but very few would be the alternatives on what I would put on a classic 1970’s Raleigh. Those were coming with Brooks B17 actually but still, this saddle suits them much better. I think that it is either the most beautiful or at least one of the handful of those saddles that really look beautiful. When it comes to looks I was also considering the San Marco Royale, but the idea of riding on leather to me was not exactly that of having a plastic layer underneath. Once heavy thick leather breaks in, it is a different situation. The surface level softness is not really my aim when it comes to a saddle. The Swift takes way too long to break in. You need to work on it a lot and use lots of that proofide (not a lot at once, but a thin layer at a time). I also used a fair amount of leather wax in the beginning (wax based shoe polish also), which did not do as good a job as proofide. A B17 breaks in within a month or so. The swift may take at least 1000 miles and a number of proofide applications for you to sense the initial change. In the meantime you get used to the harder ride and you appreciate how well it is contoured. I can feel the bounce of the titanium rails more than that of the leather!

This saddle is not for everyone. It is for those of us that have the patience and the will to break it in and form it, and in the meantime for us to adjust to it as well. It is the saddle to use if you want to have those sudden bursts of acceleration and be able to slide on it. In the beginning I needed good padding. Now, I can easily ride it without any padding. The swift will likely never become very soft. It is not meant to be. It is a classic performance saddle. For randoneuring it may be slightly hard even after break-in. Like a thoroughbred horse, its elegance and grace are unmatched, but it will not do for just any type of riding and it takes patience and work to get it there.

Strengths:

  • Beautiful just to look at.
  • Once it breaks in it is comfy.
  • Titanium rails have great elasticity.

Weaknesses:

  • Takes patience and time to break in.
  • Expensive.

Similar Products Used:
Brooks B17

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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