I use a brooks B17 leather saddle now for nearly 12 months. It's quite comfortable, has a great design and looks very neat on my bike. I use my bike for my commute every day.

There is something that bugs me with the saddle. It rubs off. Every time when it rains or when I sweat a little bit more my jeans looks dirty after a ride. Unfortunately sometimes more than that. I cannot say with certainty when the saddle rubs off, it depends on moisture but I don't know how many. The result is, that I use a cover since I noticed that.

Yesterday I read about the Cambium C17. Does anybody has already experience with this saddle, especially with rubbing off?

  • Thats the way leather saddles are - they stain clothes (see sheldonbrown.com/leather.html, for example). The Cambium C17 is a non-leather saddle so I would expect it to be free from this behavior (though i dont see the point of this saddle given its price).
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 7:40
  • 1
    Yes, I've had this with other leather seats and light-colored shorts. This is one reason why cycling shorts are black. Dunno about the Cambium -- perhaps Brooks felt their clientele would not like it unless it rubbed off like leather. Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 12:37
  • Unfortunately I didn't read about this fact of leather saddles and the sales person didn't mention it either. I like the Cambium because it uses the same technique like a leather saddle (at least it is as hammock as the leather saddle is) but without rubbing off. But I don't know for sure if it actually doesn't rub off. Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 14:15
  • Presumably your bike shop will sell you one and let you return it after a week for a good test ride?
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 15:18
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    @Batman - I think the point of the Cambium is that it should be more hardy to long rides in the rain. My poor leather Brooks takes a beating on some of my more rainy commute dates.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


If you're at all concerned, just go for the natural colored cambium saddle, which I don't think is dyed, so it shouldn't be an issue with that one. I have not had any issue with colors tranferring from the slate colored saddle to my lighter colored synthetic shorts. However, After riding the slate colored saddle, the gray faded and now appears more brown. So I would avoid the slate colored saddle if you're concerned.

I actually had the reverse problem using the natural colored cambium saddle which I was demoing from a local shop. The dye in my dark indigo colored jeans transferred to the saddle and turned it somewhat blue.

  • Confirm that the slate Cambium doesn't keep its color. I haven't noticed any dye transfer to my garments, however.
    – D.Salo
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 11:53

The issue with the C17 isn't so much that anything rubs off on you. Instead, it's that dyes from your clothes will easily rub on to this saddle. I wore a pair of Gap jeans the other day and now my Cambium C17 has a bluish glow around the edges. If it stains blue from demin, what color will it be if I wore my brown corduroy pants? What color will it be 6 months from now? I use this saddle for commuting in NYC and as you know people tend to wear black or dark colors here. Eventually, this saddle will start to look pretty dirty.

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