I think Brooks saddles look beautiful but are they actually comfortable? Also, are they easy to look after?
The consensus is that they are extremely comfortable - once worn in and moulded to your particular shape, when they become a saddle for life. (The breaking in process is likely to take a few hundred miles. I have though heard of people who don't get on with them.
As to care, basically you feed your saddle Proofide from time to time.
I had a look around and here a good source of info you might want to check out
And of course there is the Brooks website too http://www.brookssaddles.com/
Hope that helps
The pedallers' a-z maintains that it's the rider of a Brooks that gets broken in, not the saddle...
They are like a high maintenance girl friend. It is up to you if that effort will give you the return you desire. Maybe have one as a mistress, on your other bike.
Are there any similar vintage looking saddles available which don't require looking after?
we saw these at CORE bike this year:
they're nice leather perches that don't need breaking in, they've got an adjustable tensioner to alter the ride of the saddle.
Depends on the bike, but the brown Charge Spoon can look pretty nice on older bikes.
The Selle Italia Storika has a nice vintage look.
It has copper plated Ti rails and a carbon shell, but with a leather cover similar to the type on the old Flite's, but with sections cut out for the sit bone and perineum areas and Brooks-like leather inserted with copper rivets holding it in place.
It is very light and quite comfy, but has a really nice vintage style to it.
I don't think they are still made, but I'm sure there will be some old stock available. I was also planning to sell mine as I have now put an NJS Kashimax saddle on my track bike, so if you're interested let me know. here's a link to a pic of it on my track bike.
Brooks don't really need too much looking after. I've got 2 Swallows and 1 Swift. I've maybe proofided each once since I've had them (about 4 years?), covering about 12,000 miles between them in all weathers.
In terms of breaking in, I wouldn't go and ride 100s of miles on one (in one day) when they're new but I think that's true for any saddle.
Mine are admittedly at the more spenny end of the range but they were comfortable enough for commuting (30 mile return) or club run straight off.
Of course the choice of particular Brooks depends on the shape of your arse.
If you get one, it's worth investing in a Ti railed version.
Are Brooks comfortable? yes. Smear of proofide every now and again is all. Mine's on it's third bike/10th year/lord knows how many miles.
...and if you dont get on with it, you can always do this..