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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on a B17 for about 2 years now. Recently I'm starting to feel a bit less comfortable with it. I've lost a bit of weight and am riding longer and harder, so it might be an evolving fit issue, or just life. It isn't terrible or anything, but I wonder if it can be improved. Any suggestions for saddles to look at that might be an improvement but not a radical change? I don't have pudendal nerve issues or anything like that. The Brooks is more comfortable than most saddles I have tried. I'm not a fan of padding, but I don't want an arse hatchet either.
 

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Have you treated the leather recently? That can help fractionally. You can also back the tension off VERY slightly and get a bit more give to compensate for weight loss. I'm talking like 1/16 a turn of the tension nut. Alternatively, you might need to add a bit of tension, if you never have. Again, 1/16 of a turn at a time. I would try that first, given you have like the saddle for over a year of riding.

But it is possible that it never worked perfectly, and your longer rides are revealing the slightly ill fit. These links provide some opinions on saddles that might be worth looking into.

Modern saddles similar to Brooks B17

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rbw-owners-bunch/Ra-hOoOFqyE

The WTB SST, from back in the day, seems a common choice in the second link. And from personal experience with the SST on the MTB (which has me in a similar position to my road bike), I like both that and the B17. So maybe consider WTB saddles. The 150mm wide Rocket looks like it might give you a similar fit, but they have tons of options.

Good luck.
 

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Brooks saddles come in different widths. The B17 is wider than the Pro, Swift and Swallow models, which are designed for a more forward oriented position. I have a Pro and Swift Ti on my road bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My favorite saddle is the Brooks Swift with titanium rails. I would consider it an upgrade from the B17 but similar.
Brooks saddles come in different widths. The B17 is wider than the Pro, Swift and Swallow models, which are designed for a more forward oriented position. I have a Pro and Swift Ti on my road bikes.
I was thinking that might be the most reasonable thing to try -- a Brooks in a narrower width.

But it is possible that it never worked perfectly, and your longer rides are revealing the slightly ill fit.
Absolutely. Specifically, the width might be too much. On the left side, I have a sensation of my hip joint being positioned sub-optimally. At first I blew this
off, attributing it to asymmetric riding (due to a now 3 year old ankle injury). My riding, however, is no longer (as) asymmetric.



Have you treated the leather recently?
Yes.

That can help fractionally. You can also back the tension off VERY slightly and get a bit more give to compensate for weight loss. I'm talking like 1/16 a turn of the tension nut. Alternatively, you might need to add a bit of tension, if you never have. Again, 1/16 of a turn at a time. I would try that first, given you have like the saddle for over a year of riding.
Yeah, I should give that a try first.

These links provide some opinions on saddles that might be worth looking into.

Modern saddles similar to Brooks B17

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rbw-owners-bunch/Ra-hOoOFqyE

The WTB SST, from back in the day, seems a common choice in the second link. And from personal experience with the SST on the MTB (which has me in a similar position to my road bike), I like both that and the B17. So maybe consider WTB saddles. The 150mm wide Rocket looks like it might give you a similar fit, but they have tons of options.

Good luck.
Thanks very much for all the helpful info. I will look at those links, etc as soon as I have a chance.

So I guess that means Fi'zi:k is out? :wink5:. Have you considered replacing the Brooks with another Brooks? I would say try out the Cambium.
I'm wondering if the ALIANTE VS K:IUM would work.



Amazon prime has it for $130 (list is $150). If they allow returns, it might be worth a try.
 

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I've been on a B17 for about 2 years now. Recently I'm starting to feel a bit less comfortable with it. I've lost a bit of weight and am riding longer and harder, so it might be an evolving fit issue, or just life. It isn't terrible or anything, but I wonder if it can be improved. Any suggestions for saddles to look at that might be an improvement but not a radical change? I don't have pudendal nerve issues or anything like that. The Brooks is more comfortable than most saddles I have tried. I'm not a fan of padding, but I don't want an arse hatchet either.
In answer to the title of your post, let me tell you a story. Two guys I used to ride with were both complaining about their saddles. One was a Brooks B-17 and the other was a popular standard model. So they swapped, and guess what: they both went away happy. So nobody can really tell you what saddle will work for you. Since you don't offer any specifics about what "less comfortable" means, it's pretty hard to suggest anything. And BTW some people find those a$$ hatchets perfectly comfortable for many hours in the saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is a bit of discomfort in the iliofemoral ligament and ischiofemoral ligament, left side mostly.
 

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I've given up on Brooks saddles several times in my riding life. Over the years, I'd hear constant testimonials for the things, and constant suggestions on how to make them, ahh, perfect. I'd buy the testimonials and buy various Brooks saddles (including a thoroughly worn one, one time). Sooner than later, I'd always install another brand. Sometimes, yes, a Fizik, which I've currently got on my Bianchi. I've never failed to be happier when I'd get rid of the Brooksie. Sometimes you gotta just listen to your keister.
 
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It is a bit of discomfort in the iliofemoral ligament and ischiofemoral ligament, left side mostly.
Is this evidence your hips and joints haven't balanced out since sitting off-center on the saddle? it could take a year for the ligaments such as the ones you describe, to adjust to the new movement parameters. In the meantime, it'll be uncomfortable, as you say.

I've always thought saddles with 1/4 inch or so padding absorb just enough shocks to keep the sit bones relatively comfortable. The Aliante might be a very good choice. It's classic overall shape, tried and true over the years, would probably be a good bet. Then work with it. I knew a guy in ETX, name I won't divulge, who swore off-setting the saddle a bit from straight ahead is the way to go! You might try that too, if the discomfort is on one side only. Skew the saddle away from the discomfort. Give a little more room for the left side ligaments, see how they do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds like a great idea.

In fact, I inadvertently did this experiment on my wife's bike, and she is now having less hip pain (hers is quite bad -- arthritic in origin).
 

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I've given up on Brooks saddles several times in my riding life.
While I love mine, we all know people are different. My basic rule on saddles is that if you are still thinking about the saddle after 100 miles, you have the wrong one. Ditch it, and never look back.

Every spring when I ride the road bike for the first time, I notice just how perfect my Brooks saddle feels compared to the commute and trainer bikes. Then I stop thinking about it until the next year.
 

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With the standard disclaimer of every person's butt is different, I find the Selle Italia Turbo to be a pretty comfy saddle. It has the same basic shape of the B17 as far as I can tell. They recently started re making these saddles, but opinions differ on if they're as good as the ones from the 80's.
 

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So I guess that means Fi'zi:k is out? :wink5:. Have you considered replacing the Brooks with another Brooks? I would say try out the Cambium.
30,000 miles on my Fizik Aliante and it works just fine.

I do not believe there is an "upgrade" per se when it comes to saddles, it is just a matter of finding one that works for you.
 

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30,000 miles on my Fizik Aliante and it works just fine.

I do not believe there is an "upgrade" per se when it comes to saddles, it is just a matter of finding one that works for you.
I thought about an Aliante for my 26er (feels odd calling it a MTB since it never sees trails) but I keep getting Arione's for cheap ($12 for my first one, $40 for my second).
 

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With the standard disclaimer of every person's butt is different, I find the Selle Italia Turbo to be a pretty comfy saddle. It has the same basic shape of the B17 as far as I can tell. They recently started re making these saddles, but opinions differ on if they're as good as the ones from the 80's.
Yep, great saddles. LeMond and Hinault rode on those, and Selle Italia is still making them. What does that say? The nicest thing is they're only $25-30. Why spend $140 on a saddle that's going to wear out in a few of years?
 

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I enjoyed my Sella Italia Turbo saddle. I also just realized I have Fiziks on two of my bicycles. And have you guys ever used an Ideale -- the French equivalent of the Brooks? I had one back in the 1970's. I honestly can't remember how it was.
 

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Yep, great saddles. LeMond and Hinault rode on those, and Selle Italia is still making them. What does that say? The nicest thing is they're only $25-30. Why spend $140 on a saddle that's going to wear out in a few of years?
I was a long time 30 year fan of the Turbo. so much that a couple years ago I even bought a couple of their retro '1984' turbo saddles, and still have my nice Turbomatic in good shape, plus a new very light SLR ...

... and then I tried an SMP saddle last year. No more Selle Italia for me.

but wholly an intensely individual thing. I even tried an Adamo a couple years ago. It lasted about 5 minutes on my bike! Some love em though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm wondering if the ALIANTE VS K:IUM would work.



Amazon prime has it for $130 (list is $150). If they allow returns, it might be worth a try.
I got this, and for six long miles was in agony. I taped the rails so it wouldn't get scratched, and carefully repackaged it. Asthetically, it is a beautiful saddle, and the color scheme would have been ideal for my bike (black with red highlights -- matches the red Chris King bling). But it was not to be.

I really truly appreciate the B17 now. (I also discovered it was about 10mm higher than my frame builder suggested, and lowering it seems to have helped quite a bit.)
 

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I really like fizik aliante saddles as well as the brooks swallow saddle I have. However, after getting more involved in racing I took the brooks off and it's been in a parts bin for a while since it's hard to justify the weight. It wasn't much more comfortable to me than the aliante, I really like the pocket of the aliante. Takes a while to get it adjust since it's super touchy but once it's dialed it's fantastic.

If you're interested in a used Brooks Swallow, it's for sale.
 
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