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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to ask you: what do you think of your Brooks B-17? Apparently it's working well for you because on the other thread you say you've had it for 3 years.

I'm thinking about getting that or a B-72 for my 'all-purpose' bike. I'm a heavier rider too at about 200 lbs. How long and/or painful was the break-in period on your B-17?
 

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Got 'em on three bikes, like 'em a lot.

I had a Brooks Pro (narrower than the B-17) for about 15 years that I used on three or four bikes, and it was just OK--comfortable, but not the miracle all the Brooks fans said, and expensive for the time ($45 when you could get decent saddles for half that). When I built up my Atlantis in 2000, Rivendell recommended the B-17, so I bought one. It was MUCH better for my butt than the Pro. When it looked like Brooks would go out of business a couple of years ago, I bought another one just in case, and then I wrote a newspaper column about the company and a reader sent me his old one. So the Pro is in the parts bin and I have B-17s on my singlespeed and the ex-mountain bike commuter as well as the Atlantis.
The break-in period is exaggerated, I think. They get better as you go along, but mine were OK right out of the box. The thinner, stock model breaks in faster than Rivendell's thick-leather one; don't know yet about durability. Set-up is really crucial, though--a millimeter or two of tilt can make a difference, so if you get one and don't like it, try fiddling with the adjustment.
You hear horror stories about what happens if they get wet, and I imagine they're true if you ride it that way. Mine have been soaked on the car rack a couple of times, and that's inconvenient because you have to wait for them to dry, but there's no damage from it. I cover them now... Maintenance is easy, too: A coat of Brooks' Proofide once or twice a year (no more than that). A six-buck can is a lifetime supply.
Saddle choice is a really individual thing (I HATE the Specialized Body Geo, for instance, but a couple of my buddies say it's the only reason they can still ride), but I've been really happy with these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. I've used the Body Geo's a few years ago and didn't like them; also Koobi's, various Selle Italia's, Bontrager's, etc. to varied degreees of sucess. I guess they're all about the same

The B-17 sounds good, but I'm also wondering if I might like the wider B-72 better. Like you, narrow saddles and me don't get along. I'm on the heavier side (200 lbs.), and my bars are set a bit higher so I can be semi-upright, and I ride in the drops maybe 20% of the time. The rest of the time I'm on the hoods or flats. I'd like to be able to ride longer than a couple hours before having to quit from a sore a$$.:( The bike it would go on is pretty much a 'do everything' rig.

I'm not worried about the maintenance/care issues, it's not much to take care of one and common sense not to set a wet Brooks on the radiator.(!) But it's good to hear from a rider who's actually used the saddles.

Do you ever find yourself wishing you had bought one of the suspension models?
 
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