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About 30+ years ago I bought my first road bike. It had an old (used) Brooks leather saddle on it, whose design probably dated back to 1900 AD. To anyone who hasn't seen these, these

they look like a they were inspired by horse saddles, but tinier. The leather is rock hard, but once they get broken in are surprisingly comfortable.

Nowadays the saddles you see in shops are all high-tech, lightweight creations. I had to search, but found some ads for Brooks on Amazon. So: does anyone use them? Or are they outdated and anachronistic?

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4  
Everyday - most comfortable saddle I've every owned... –  Byron Ross Oct 12 '10 at 8:52

5 Answers 5

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Yes, people still use them and swear by them.

I've seen them for sale in most of my local bike shops. The breaking-in thing (that they mold to your backside over time) is the big feature that everybody who uses one seems to love. They're very popular amongst the touring crowd, especially the B-17. Yesterday, I was volunteering at a huge road ride event and even saw some Brooks saddles on fancy new carbon bikes (though I think that was one with titanium rails).

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Also very popular in the fixie/hipster community around my town. –  Jack M. Oct 12 '10 at 16:21
    
Everyone I know who does brevets uses them, as do I. I convinced my wife to put one on her commuter, and now she swears by them too. –  Stephen Touset Aug 22 '11 at 19:35
    
Gilles Berthoud also makes traditional style leather saddles –  Illotus Jan 7 '12 at 22:36

They're not anachronistic at all. The range of saddles offered by brooks are good for all types of cycling. I use the Brooks pro, never had a problem with it, and expect it to last some multiple of the ~7 years I've had it.

That said, there's nothing particularly magical about them. They're definitely stylish and for utility bikes, the wider Brooks models look far better than any other seat on the market.

For road bikes, Brooks are just one of several "top-choice" vendors that would definitely also include fizik and Selle Italia.

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That picture appears to be the B17 which is the "light weight" touring type saddle, Brooks also makes even more comfortable springed saddles that are great for city, around town riding when you are not wearing biking shorts. They are very popular in EU, especially on more upright style city bikes.

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Those springed saddles are nice. I put one on my tandem for my stoker, and I don't even have to call out bumps anymore. –  whatsisname Aug 22 '11 at 14:14

Yes! I use one and would estimate that about 50% of the long distance riders I've met also use Brooks saddles. They're not for everyone, but the custom fit (after the break-in period) can be very comfortable on long rides. They're also slightly wider than most saddles sold in bike shops, which I needed to accomodate my sit bones.

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Brooks saddles are on the way back in with the trendy fixie crowd. You can certainly see plenty of them on the streets of Sydney, and two of my friends have them on their bikes.

Apparently they are pretty comfortable once broken in, just as you've said in your question.

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