I've got a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle, and as others have noted (see "long term experience" heading), the fabric covering has worn through the seat of my pants from abrasion and has resulted in one pair of pants tearing just a few weeks after riding on this saddle.

Does anyone have a good remedy for this?

I'm considering a rain cover like so, but I'm not sure how long that would last before it tears through as well.

I wrote an email to Brooks about a recommendation for the problem, but I've yet to hear back.

Saddle detail photo

My seat height is such that my legs are almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I have not noticed this problem on other saddles.

The pants that wore through (and I have another pair of the same pants that is wearing thin in the seat as well) are Dockers Life Khakis like this - a cotton / polyester blend that has been fairly durable in my years riding in other saddles.

pants that ripped

  • Fabric saddles? The rain cover should help, but ideally a saddle should be slippery. Its not a seat.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 5:56
  • 1
    I'm tempted to suggest this is a duplicate of Prevent trouser damage when biking? but I'm no familiar with any subtleties of Brooks saddles so won't (despite thinking my answer there is the solution)
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 9:03
  • 1
    I commute by bike every day, I have a C17(Since Feb) and I have experienced no sort of abrasion on any of my clothing. I have 1 pair of work pants and 2 pair of shorts that account for my daily wear, work pants are cotton, shorts are linen and denim. I've worn pants out with riding before over the course of a year(s), but the move from B17 to C17 does not appear to have accelerated this in any way in my experience. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:01
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Prevent trouser damage when biking?
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 21:34
  • I don't think its something you can avoid on most saddles, especially if you're on the heavier side.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


It's difficult to know as you haven't said what your are wearing exactly. I have this exact saddle and have covered approx 8,000km on it- wearing out no clothing (that I have noticed). I'd suggest that you saddle position is possibly not quite correct and you are moving slightly through the pedal stroke- causing friction and wearing through the clothes you are wearing. I'd look at possibly moving your saddle up, as having it too low tends to cause the hips to move outwards/in on each stroke. Alternatively, you are wearing clothing that is not designed with cycling in mind & should perhaps look at buying some.

  • 2
    Thanks. I updated the question with info on the pants and my seat height. I can't raise it any higher without having to overextend and lean at the bottom of each pedal stroke, and I would rather not have to pay over $100 each for a new set of pants after blowing $150 on this saddle if there is a less costly solution.
    – Mike Eng
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 2:17
  • I wonder if the saddle should be further back, to allow the underthighs to be further forward.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 5:58
  • Thanks for the additional information- I'm not sure what the cause could be, if your seat/saddle height is correct, you shouldn't be moving your hips/seat-ted area much. Can only comment on what I wear (usually endura mtb shorts), and haven't seen any issues with this saddle yet.
    – AliGibbs
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 14:09
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    The root cause is that this saddle has very rough surface. You can get away with it with very durable or very slippery pants, and the Enduras look like both.
    – ojs
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 9:37

Ride out of the saddle for the entire commute. Or get pants with a tougher crotch. There are plenty of companies that make commuter type pants that have reinforced crotches to slow the destruction of the pants.

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