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Are Brooks saddles a meme or are they really god tier once broken in?
I'm gonna need a nice saddle for my touring trips next year. I'm thinking about the B17 Imperial. Any thoughts on the regular B17 (uncarved) vs Imperial (carved)?
>>
I really love mine
just a regular b17
i liked it out of the box too. Didn't treat the leather.

It's a bit of a gamble if it works for you, but lots of bike things are like that. Worth trying imo.
Just avoid if you ride much bar-drop or with a chamois.
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>>1717752
>Just avoid if you ride much bar-drop or with a chamois.
I don't do neither of those things and I'm not planning on doing either, so that's good.
Do you tour/bikepack too?
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>>1717747
I went back to a Fabric Line after trying one for a while. It wasn't bad, but I didn't care for the long leather skirts along the side. I think
>>1717752
>It's a bit of a gamble if it works for you, but lots of bike things are like that
just about sums it up perfectly.
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>>1717754
yeah i've done about 8 months all up

don't feel like you need a brooks or really anything fancy to tour on. It's amazing the shitty setups like true bsos i've meet people riding who get by just fine. Just always keep that in mind when you start wanting fancy stuff. But yeah, I like em.

also are those pedals spds or jsut the regular kind? If it's the latter highly rec you change them to like fookers or the mzyrh clone or add cages/straps to them
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>>1717758
>also are those pedals spds or jsut the regular kind?
They're regular pedals. No idea of the model, they're the ones that came with this bicycle I bought used earlier this year. I'm riding with low hiking shoes, no complaints so far.

I'm also using the saddle that came with it and in fact it's really not that bad. I haven't spent more than 3 consecutive days riding so far (I'm gonna do one last trip on Monday, 4 days this time) and it seems like the only pain I'm getting is on the third day in the morning when I put my ass on the saddle, I think it's the perineum that hurts but it fades out overtime when you ride. I'm curious to see how the fourth day will feel like next week.

I'm not covering big distances though, last trip was 130km, next one will be 187km but it's mountainous so the climbs is where the effort is at. Next year will be the real deal though, I'm planning long distances trips across France and Switzerland so that's why I'm thinking about a Brooks saddle...
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>>1717747
I got a B17 Flyer for my dad, he loves it
I got myself a B17 Carved like in your pic and it was meh, the lacing makes it too hard and forming badly compared to my dads B17.
My dads saddle flares out a bit but doesn't get in the way, if you do get one don't get the carved one
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>>1717747
i have the plain b17 on my all-day/credit card tourer bikes. very comfy, minimal break in and upkeep - check the tension every so often, apply a little boot cream (not the stuff brooks gives you) a few times a year and use a saddle cover when its wet out or if you are wearing an abrasive fabric.
avoid the b17 imperial. the cut out weakens the structure of the saddle and usually lacing isn't necessary until you've been riding the same saddle for years. when it's time to lace, it's very easy to make the holes yourself. i did it with a dremel and small drill bit.
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>>1717813
forgot to mention the cambums - i have a c19 on my daily driver. its a good alternative if you don't feel like taking care of a leather saddle. even though the c17 is supposed to be the b17 equivalent, i found it too narrow. c19 seems spot on. be sure to get the all weather rubber version, not the fabric top.
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i went all out and got a gilles berthoud aspin open on my midnight special that is getting built up at the moment. can't review but i am pretty excited.
i really like that their black coloured one still looks very brown and natural but went with the brown
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>>1717782
dude upgrade your pedals
>>
Tried a b17 without the cutout and even after 500 miles it was just the most uncomfortable piece of shit. Was convinced brooks was a meme but for some reason decided to try the b17 with the cut out and it bared zero resemblance to the original. First saddle I really feel zero need for any additional padded shorts or the like, don't really understand how a small cut out could make that much of a difference
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>>1717957
Ok, I might before doing my big tours then. Why is it such a big deal? And what would you recommend?
>>1717802
>>1717813
>>1717976
Fuck, it indeed really looks like there is a lot of gambling involved, as >>1717752 mentioned.
Thanks for the feedbacks.
>>
I never understood leather fetishes until I got a B17 in black. Now you can catch me in the Berghain dark room every sunday morning.
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>>1718033
not him, but a composite flat pedal with replaceable pins and serviceable bearings is probably what you want. me and lots of other anons like the "fooker" brand pedal from amazon. they're perfect knockoffs of raceface chesters.
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>>1717754
How did you do your frame bag, the divider between the two zip pockets? Is it hook & loop, one half on each side, and you stick them together when you flip the bag right-side-out?
I started making my own bags this past year (a pair of panniers, frame bags for two of my bikes, etc). I'm decent at visualizing sewing layout/construction sequence, but I can't figure it.
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>>1717817
>cambiums
I picked up one of these in a pinch, when some melanin-enriched individual stole my seatpost & saddle. From a comfort perspective, I hated it. But it's proven to be indestructible, so I keep it on my winter commuter.

>>1717976
>don't really understand how a small cut out could make that much of a difference
It might be an asymmetry w/ your pelvis. I bought a lightly-used Selle Anatomica saddle from a friend, and had a similar--epiphany, I guess. A leather saddle already gives you a kind of "ass hammock" effect, but having the cutout gets you one hammock per-cheek (the movment & sag of each side is independent).
Check out this clip. There used to be a better "butt cam" video on Youtube, but I can't find it. Basically the same thing as this clip, but longer--just gave a better sense of how the leather flexes.
Cons? When it's wet out, you'll catch wheel spray in an inconvenient place. And the cutout leather will wear out/stretch out faster than the non-cut version. I got eight years hard riding out of my first one. That's just decent care, not babying it.
>>
>>1718079
>Is it hook & loop, one half on each side, and you stick them together when you flip the bag right-side-out?
Yes, this is exactly how I did it anon.
https://bikepacking.com/gear/how-to-make-a-bikepacking-framebag-krampus/
https://youtu.be/oWDRiexLA0I
I followed these two tutorials.
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>>1718087
have you gone full autism on adjusting it? i also thought it wasn't comfy, until i spent an hour doing laps in the park and fiddling. seems like it's less forgiving of position than other saddles.
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>>1718107
It's on a Thomson seatpost, 2-bolt w/ the little angle gauge. I feel like I've done my part, fiddling with it. It's fine for short rides, but for longer stuff I'm going to pick something I know to be comfortable.
I'm not just dragging on it--the last time I rode TOSRV, a friend of mine had the exact same cambium saddle, and he was fine with it.
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>>1718087
You made the mistake of buying one with the cutout. Leather saddles lose too much integrity with the cutout, only the full ones are good.
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>>1718119
yep, you did everything you could. and fwiw i also would not choose the rubberized cambium for such long days.
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>>1717747
They only positive about them is their width, the rest is hype. I would suggest a cheap and vastly superior alternative but the mod bans me because he thinks I work there or that I'm trolling. So, good luck
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>>1718516
Go on
>>
i got a brooks recently and I like it but I suspect I just needed a wider saddle rather this it just being specific to brooks. Sheldon brown says I should bathe it in oil idk if I should really do that lol https://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html#breakingin
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>>1719559
no no, don't do that. treat it like any other leather - just apply a good quality boot cream a couple times a year.
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>>1719555
I can't post the saddle, they'll instantly ban me

>>1718119
>It's on a Thomson seatpost
those things are rigid af.. sell it and get a curvy seatpost for some flex
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>>1719724
yea I'v found that to be true /n/ has really weird mods I've gotten bans here for just giving advice or asking about certain brands
>>1717857
let me know how it is dude, I was gonna get one but then I just couldnt stomach paying like almost 300 for a saddle lol
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>>1717758
looks like america but uses british pound signs?
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>>1719733
it's Central Otago.
if you watch pic rel they shoot it for Montana.
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>>1719733
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>>1719726
only ~100km so far of mixed road and gravel but i like the berthoud a lot. can feel my sitbones a bit after riding but i can tell the seat and my body will adjust. smooth so i can slide around but i have it angled a little bit upwards which keeps me sitting at the right spot. nice with a chamois or just in jorts. might be in love. i'm certainly a leather convert now. think i'll give a brooks imperial a go on my planned second-hand cross check shopping/local trail bike.
i am currently in a really good living situation with plenty of money to spend though, so take my opinion with that in mind.
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>>1719726
Can you post a pic of it or the name or something that rhymes with the name
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>>1721717
>think i'll give a brooks imperial a go on my planned second-hand cross check shopping/local trail bike
I'd advise against it. After a regular B17 I went for a B17 Imperial on my second bike and it feels weird. It breaks in weird, gets creases in a bad way and the lacing makes it much less adaptive. Tried lacing it in a different way but after all the hassle I'd rather have the flare out on the B17 and honestly the flaring doesn't get in the way unlike the hardness and ugliness of the Imperial. Sold it and went with a green B17 instead.
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>>1721749
seconding this. its very easy to lace a regular b17 later on if necessary
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>>1717747
They dissolve in rain which makes them useless.
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>>1721771
>leather isn't waterproof
get a grip anon
cows don't disolve when it rains
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>>1717747
They were 60 years ago before modern materials, today just get a pre-molded density foam with rubber shockbreakers for 30-50 euro.
These saddles thrive on nostalgia, not because it's a valid economic or comfortable choice.
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>>1721779
>pre-molded density foam with rubber shockbreakers
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>>1721779
>retarded eurozoomer is retarded
shocking
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>>1721782
>>1721783
Old leather good.
Old leather strong
Old metal springs good
Old metal springs strong
Me gladly pay $200 for historic value.
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>>1721786
>new=good
>new=bad
>old=good
>old=bad

sentiments shared by idiots
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>>1721790
>I just love the hardness and elasticity of my saddle changing depending on my sweat and air moisture content.
>I just love having to lather my saddle with cream every 2 weeks when not in use, oh you forgot it once? The leather cracked, too bad huh?
>Nothing beats having to switch out your saddle each year due to metal fatigue and breaking it in with your ass over another 6 months.
>No sir, 100 year old technology is the best.
It was 'good', then it became 'bad' because better alternatives came along. You buy it to show off your meme value, nothing else.
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>>1721749
>After a regular B17 I went for a B17 Imperial
Why did you move from the regular B17 in the first place?
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>>1721791
break in and maintenance are both memes
I found mine comfy out of the box and didn't treat or tension it in the first year (6 months of that was touring, so high mileage)

The rest of what you say is nonsense.
You don't know what they're like because you've never had one.
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>>1721794
>You don't know what they're like because you've never had one.
Nope, I had one, horrible. After I switched to a standard modern torx never went back. If you like it because it has 'comfy' value for you, that's great.
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>>1721779
>>1721791
If they're so outdated how come some people that have tried a ton of different saddles for touring keep saying that the Brooks are the comfiest for them?
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>>1721795
>horrible
elaborate
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>>1721792
I didn't move away, new bike needed a new saddle and the imperial looked funky with the lacing.
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>>1721796
>If they're so outdated how come some people that have tried a ton of different saddles for touring keep saying that the Brooks are the comfiest for them?
Counter question, if they are so good then why do none of the winners in any major bike tours use them? Sounds like the yare mostly used by the losers who are doing it for fun and don't care about objective performance.
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>>1721800
>Sounds like the yare mostly used by the losers who are doing it for fun and don't care about objective performance.
.. yes? lmao
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>>1717747
yeah, i've got b17s on a couple of bikes, wouldn't use anything else for distance. don't know about the ones with the cutout. they can be really stiff new - i'd get one now and break it in, wouldn't want to tour with a fresh one.
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>>1721800
>the winners in any major bike tours
What tours are you talking about exactly? Which competitions?
>used by the losers who are doing it for fun and don't care about objective performance.
Well, that would prove our point then. They care more about having fun and being comfy than actually winning?
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>>1721791
>can only use hyperbole to make his "point"
~yawn~
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>>1721804
>What tours are you talking about exactly? Which competitions?

Pick any major one, let's say because I'm eurotrash, Tour de France, Tour Spain and Tour Italy. Never in the last 20 years I've seen a guy with leather/spring saddle be it Brooks or any variation take even a top 50 place.

>>1721801
>>1721804
>They care more about having fun and being comfy than actually winning?

Yes, and that's perfectly okay, you should have fun in what you are doing. But my initial arguement is that you don't get a leather brooks for 'objective' performance. You do it for being comfy, having fun, meme, nostalgia or whatever makes you feel better enjoying your hobby.
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>>1721816
They haven't been superceded by superior alternatives, they just fit a different niche to racing, which is cycle touring. You bought up other 'comfort' saddles, which are equally redundant for cycle racing, as the modern 'superior' altenrative and now you employ this nonsense arguement about the Vuelta like a fucking retard.

For what they are they are uniquely comfy and good, compared to anything else (though, as with any saddle, they won't work for many people).
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>>1721818
Being 'comfy' has 2 elements, one physical and one emotional. Any modern saddle can have the exact same physical characteristics at lower maintenance and price point.
It can not however replicate and positive emotion you have about using an article you have favorable feelings about.
>>
>>1721816
>you don't get a leather brooks for 'objective' performance. You do it for being comfy
What the fuck? Isn't the main goal of a saddle for anyone not racing to be comfy? Isn't that the "objective performance" your average rider is looking for?
That also answers your question regarding the Tour de France riders, these people are racing (which is different from what we mean by touring). They're counting each grams but more importantly they have very agressive positions and I might be wrong but I think Brooks leather saddles aren't the best when it comes to agressive racing positions. Also these guys are fucking machines, they probably don't give a fuck if their ass hurts as long as they can save weight. I guess they also wear padded shorts, something that the comfiness of a Brooks might allow you to skip which is very nice when you're touring and can't or don't want to bother changing/cleaning bibs all the time.

Also, can you elaborate on >>1721797?
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>>1721821
>Any modern saddle can have the exact same physical characteristics at lower maintenance and price point.

You are basing this on what?
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>>1721822
>they probably don't give a fuck if their ass hurts
comfort actually matters a LOT for a pro cyclist because it relates to fatigue and performance. But what it means for them and how they can achieve it is totally different to a touring cyclist.
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>>1721826
yeah that makes sense
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>>1717747
>god tier once broken in?
seems like bullshit to me, audiophiles say the same sort of thing about having to wait around
late in the 1970s they got replaced by plastic seats mainly for cost savings
some plastic seats are ok it really depends on the shape and strength distribution of the plastic
the gel seats that appeared in the 1980s and 1990s were sometimes too soft or the wrong shape
>>1721822
Brooks do come in different widths B17 just so happens to be the middle ground between wide tractor seat for sitting bolt upright and narrow ass hatchet for the fetal position
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>>1721870
>norider angry about leather
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>>1721771
that's why the leather needs to be constantly slathered in balms to keep it waterproof and also stop it from drying out
>>1721777
cow is alive leather is dead
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>>1721871
are you a hipster larping as a boomer ?
>>
>buy b17
>ride around on it for a couple years
its pretty good
>>
Brooks is not even the best leather saddle
they get away with overcharging for a mediocre product because most of their competition died out
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>>1721873
>If you just slather your crotch in grease you don't have to balm separately.
>The chafing of your groin is part of the charm.
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>>1717747
>Are Brooks saddles a meme or are they really god tier once broken in?

They are a meme, but also good, but also not for everyone.. Don't overpay for the name brand though. Lots of other great leather saddles out there. The fundamentals of saddle, like getting the correct size for your ass still apply. And of course, you need the right kind of riding. If you need the big sprung upright saddle, go with that. If your descent position has you sack tapping your top bar, don't go with the brooks.

The cambrium is a completely different beast than the leather ones.

>>1721883
Don't forget the hipster tax.
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>>1721791
You're a king and it doesn't matter what these hipsters think.
>>
I have Brooks leather bartape on my bike, it is awesome. It is "mandarin" color and I have a spare set in "raspberry" if I need to replace it.
Looks like it will take a couple years, much better than the 4-5 months the cork tapes lasted before
>>
I got the cambium c17 after measuring sit bones and some consideration.
I'll be honest and say I wasn't ready for how they flex since I've mostly been using just stock seats that come with the bike, but having done some rides already, seems alright.
Never really had much trouble with seats on and off the bike after fitting a bike to my liking.
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>>1721926
kill yourself
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>>1722004
>kill yourself
>by riding on an overpriced iron-wired leather saddle that's so uncomfortable one could imply its killing you.
>as in figure of speech.
Right?
>>
>>1722009
keep riding in foam diapers lmao
>>
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Ah yes.
>later that day I checked my mail and found an envelope from the Brooks saddle-making concern containing this actual autographed picture of Eric "The Chamferer" Murray
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>>1722457
>thanks for all the hipster pussy
lmao
>>
>>1718516
>>1719555
Its the famous noseless one that looks like the letter c and an equals sign c=
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>>1721818
>They haven't been superceded by superior alternatives, they just fit a different niche to racing, which is cycle touring.

My Serfas RX performance touring saddle is better in literally every way. But we are here in a saddle thread...use the one that really speaks to your ass
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>>1722480
Which comes at twice the price though but thanks
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>>1722482
weak bait
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>>1722522
If he's talking about ISM then you can find clones on aliexpress and other chinese retailers. They're usually listed as "time trial" or "TT" bike/bicycle/cycle seat/saddle. Just try all the common keywords. They are usually under 35 USD. Please don't ban me. I'm not a shill.
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>>1717747
A lot of talk about "other" leather saddle than Brooks, but no name drop. What are they? I'm in the EU, if shipping matters.
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>>1723462
gilles berthoud
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>>1723475
>143 € minimum
thank you
>>
>>1723462
Rolls
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>>1723462
selle anatomica
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>>1723479
Expensive for poor people :D
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>>1723520
A new Idéale is what, 270€
Why are Frenchie saddles so expensive
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>>1723520
Yes, the term is 'overpriced' vs cogs, you buy it for emotional value of feeling special. Expensive depends on your own budget.
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>>1717747
if the brooks b17 was a meme they would have went out of business a hundred years ago.
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>>1725217
Being a meme is how you stay in business.
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>>1725258
not for more than a year or two it isnt.
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>>1717747
My b17 has over 20k miles and three bikes. Ride it daily and year round in everything from thunderstorms, blizzards, heat waves, -40 to 100+, take care of it and it will last your life and keep you comfortable. Having fenders on your bike will make them last much longer with less maintenance, keeps the tire spray and filth off the flesh side of the leather.
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>>1717747
i have a c17 cambium and its pretty comfy
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>>1717747
why not buy a old bike from the 60s for 50€ and use that saddle?
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>>1732750
>comes in brooks thread to insult brooks
>posts bike with nice clean repro saddle
oh no, it's retarded
>>
>>1732750
You can get old leather saddles for little to nothing in many ways, but that is generally because they are old and the leather neglected. Once the leather dries out and goes hard there is little you can do, even if you put in the time and effort to get that leather supple once again they tend to have a short life. I have attempted this a few times over the years and it did keep me riding in reasonable comfort but they never lasted more than a few years since it is nearly impossibly to work in the conditioner around the rivets where it is most needed unless you also remove the rivets so that bit of leather with the most strain on it remains hard and inflexible, starts tearing and the saddle fails. A reasonable path for the occasional rider or those just making do but saving up the money for a Brooks is not terribly difficult, even poorfags should be able to do it in a few months and it is a purchase which will be with you for decades if you take care of it.

There are old saddles which were well taken care of and maintained, but they tend to be attached to old bikes which were also well cared for and in great shape, so less of a deal.
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>>1732778
A bit more. If you really are hard up for money and want to get a leather saddle, replacing the leather on a dead saddle can be done and you can probably do it for around $20. Buy a suitable hunk of veggie tan and some rivets, a suitable sized hunk can probably be found in scrap with some hunting, especially for the smaller sized saddles. Scrounge up some scrap 2x4 to make a mold and use the old leather from the saddle to figure out the shape making sure to subtract length to account for the stretched old leather, your length needs to fit the frame when it has its tension bolt set all the way back. Soak the leather and lash it the mold with some rope or old inner tubes (will take much longer to dry) and let dry. Once dry rivet it to the frame and tension. Reading about leather molding will fill in the gaps if you want to attempt this.

It is some work but enjoyable, used to do it at the local bike co-op so we could stop throwing away all the old worn saddles.
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>>1718516
Post it so we can streisand effect it
>>
>>1732781
very cool



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