I recently got a Brooks B17 and am having trouble finding a comfortable angle. If it's level, I tend to slide forward. If it's angled up to the point where I don't tend to slide forward, I feel pressure on my perineum. A worrisome amount of pressure.

I haven't had such an issue with other saddles (plastic based saddles with cutouts).

With the Brooks I've compromised so it's angled slightly up, slight tendency to slide forward, slight pressure down there.

Q: I'm hoping when it breaks in the tendency to slide forward will be reduced, that my sit bones will create indentations that reduce the forward slide. Anyone know if this will happen? Any tips?

It's a touring setup, saddle about as high as the bar tops.

  • Problem with Brooks is that they put you further forward than pretty much any saddle. Try a set-back seatpost before you go mad with the tilting. – jqning Aug 9 '15 at 3:42
  • @jqning The fore-aft feels correct to me. It's slightly aft of where my old saddle was, I feel like I'm in the same "place" I've been. – obelia Aug 9 '15 at 16:10
  • What are your pants made from? Try wearing some wool trousers, or fit a cloth cover to your saddle to provide a little more friction? – Criggie Sep 9 '16 at 3:40
up vote 8 down vote accepted

I noticed the same thing when I first got a B17. I fiddled with various angles and so forth, but in the end I found it's mainly just a matter of getting used to the smoother feel of leather as compared to the plastic you're used to. You slide over leather more easily, especially if you wear typical bike shorts, and this gives you the sensation that you're going to slide forward since you're not used to a smooth surface. But you won't. Your position in the saddle is maintained by your arms and core no matter what sort of saddle you have, not the saddle itself. The smoothness of a leather saddle is actually a benefit, not a drawback, and you'll come to appreciate it if you give it time.

Yes, breaking in helps a bit but it's not necessary. Just getting used to the new feel is all that's necessary.

After a lot of trial and error, I ended up setting my saddle perfectly level just as I had with my plastic saddles. The temptation to tilt the nose upward just because the material is smooth should be resisted, as you've already discovered.

  • Good to hear. Actually, even with my plastic saddles I'd put them at a slight upward angle (I ride upright - saddle height close to handlebar height) but didn't feel any pressure because of the cutout. – obelia Aug 8 '15 at 15:18
  • @obelia You should probably angle the Brooks the same as you did your other saddles, but if doing that leads to discomfort then maybe you just need a saddle with a cutout. Brooks makes one but I don't believe it's leather. – Carey Gregory Aug 8 '15 at 18:46
  • 1
    Also, the tendency to slide on a Brooks leather saddle can be minimized by slightly reducing the tension on the saddle leather. This will both speed the break in process, and provide a deeper seat in the saddle which prevents forward movement. Like most things, you can take it too far though. – zenbike Sep 12 '16 at 1:37

If you are sliding forward YOUR SADDLE IS TOO HIGH. Sliding forward, when the saddle is level, is your legs way to shorten the extension. Do this: level 2/3 of the front of the saddle. If you creep forward or put pressure on your hands lower the saddle in 1/4" increments until you are stable.

  • This doesn't seem likely, to me. The recommended height for the saddle is so that your leg is only just bent when the pedal is at the bottom of its stroke and it's simply not possible to have the saddle much higher than that and still be able to ride the bike. – David Richerby Nov 8 at 17:19

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