Brooks B17 S saddle  £60.00

9/10

Exceptionally high quality, traditionally styled British made saddle that'll give years of comfortable riding

Weight 472g   Contact  www.brookssaddles.com

by Leonie Jennings   March 15, 2010  

Brooks B17

Historically, I’ve always ridden on high-tech, gel-filled, cut-out, super light saddles. Saddles that promise much, but often deliver little but discomfort. There are websites offering ‘saddle trials’ for those who, like me, suffer frustration in the process of finding a comfortable women’s saddle. I’ve most often taken the trial and error approach, to the point where I currently have about four or five redundant saddles in my shed.

The Brooks B17 S is the women’s version of one of the company’s longest running and best selling designs, the B17. As the women’s version, it is 7mm broader in the rear and 35mm shorter. The shorter length is certainly beneficial, but, as I mentioned in the review of the Flyer S, I’d have liked to have seen a couple of width options to cater for women with differently proportioned sit bones. Being female does not necessarily mean broader sit bones. The only narrower saddle Brooks produce for women is the Finesse Titanium, designed for sportives and racing, which is the same width as the men’s B17 standard (170mm).

Having always used modern gel type saddles, the classic styling of the Brooks and the deceptively simple construction using leather and steel rivets was a little alien. It felt solid and well built, and at 472g a good couple of hundred grammes heavier than most ‘sports’ saddles. The weight and style of the B17 (and the Flyer) are best suited to the more sedate and less racy looks of tourers, commuters and hybrid bikes rather than leaner road bikes, and the B17 is indeed set within Brooks’ Touring and Trekking category of saddles.

In use, the shiny leather takes some getting used to, but does help to reduce friction where it matters, and the saddle is so well crafted and shaped, that I experienced far less discomfort than with pretty much every other saddle I’ve ever ridden on. There is a cut-out version, the Imperial, but I found the B17 S sufficiently comfortable to feel the Imperial to be a case of fixing something that isn’t broken. The additional weight over modern style saddles is not significantly noticeable in use on tourers and what tend to be heavier bikes anyway, and the durability of the Brooks definitely compensates for this, as does the way the leather moulds to the riders shape with use, making for a uniquely comfortable custom fit. Two eyelets at the back allow for easy fixing of a traditional style saddlebag.

All in all, it’s a sleek, smart, well crafted saddle that’s a good all-rounder for touring, recreational riding and commuting and it’ll give you comfortable service for years and years.

Verdict

Exceptionally high quality, traditionally styled British made saddle that'll give years of comfortable riding.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Brooks B17 S saddle

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Te B17 is Brooks' flagship model, ideal for long distance sports touring, trekking and atb use. It has been on the market for over 100 years, being featured in as early as the 1898 catalogue.

The model is available for gents and ladies: The B17 (gents) and the B17 S (ladies)

The standard models feature black steel rails.

A great saddle for touring and trekking purposes, due to its comfort, durability and high build quality. A bit on the weighty side for road use, but ideal for commuter bikes and recreational use as well.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Width: 177mm

Length:245mm

Weight: 472g

Leather body with steel rails and steel rivets.

Saddlebag eyelets at rear.

Available in Black and Honey colours

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Superb build quality and components

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Comfortable straight away and ideally suited to its purpose

Rate the product for durability:
 
10/10

With care this saddle will last for years.

Manufacturer's 2 year guarantee against defects in manufacture or materials

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Adds a couple of hundred grammes of weight to your bike over a modern style lightweight saddle.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Comfortable right away and just gets more comfortable the more you ride on it.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

More expensive than many modern style saddles, but still less than some, and offers superior durability over almost all. A good investment.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Comfortable and confidence inspiring as a touring saddle.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, craftsmanship, handmade in the UK, comfort

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Would have preferred a narrower option to be available as well

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A well-made comfortable saddle with traditional good looks.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Surprise £60? I remember paying £35 for mine and it wasn't that many years ago. Having said that its worth every penny. My MTB friend had one and it looked odd on his full sus kona but he insisted it was the best thing ever, now i'm a convert and just use the same saddle on different bikes because it is the comfiest thing in the world!

Ruthe's picture

posted by Ruthe [50 posts]
15th March 2010 - 23:15

4 Likes

I have them on two audax bikes and a swallow on my MTB. I just fit them... But then I have been riding on them for 30 years. Not sure if I have broken them in or they broke me... Pete

Pete Bragg
Shutt Velo Rapide
www.shuttvr.com

Miggers's picture

posted by Miggers [63 posts]
27th March 2010 - 20:13

2 Likes

I had a brooks special edition b17 fitted to my singlespeed last year. You initially tap the saddle and get that hard resonate ring and you think 'wow' thats' hard. However when you actually get on, it is really comfortable. Add in its longevity - its a blast.

It is the first saddle I have ever ridden that I find very little discomfort. I have done some 2 to 3 hour rides with out cycling shorts and no problems with this saddle. A Brooks now adorns my condor bivio cross bike which I got to replace my mountain bike and I am having a ball on both bikes. I must put quite a bit of that down to the comfort and lack of discomfort that the saddle provides. Brilliant product

posted by Ciaran Patrick [117 posts]
19th May 2011 - 18:32

2 Likes

road.cc reviews

Latest reviews

8/10
£110.99
July 4, 2014
7/10
£29.99
July 4, 2014
9/10
£79.99
July 3, 2014
8/10
£34.99
July 2, 2014
8/10
£779.00
July 2, 2014
8/10
£99.99
July 1, 2014
7/10
£119.99
June 30, 2014
8/10
£19.99
June 30, 2014
7/10
£120.00
June 29, 2014
7/10
£249.99
June 29, 2014
8/10
£85.00
June 28, 2014
7/10
£12.49
June 28, 2014
7/10
£29.99
June 27, 2014
7/10
£22.00
June 26, 2014
8/10
£240.00
June 26, 2014
8/10
£249.99
June 25, 2014
9/10
£2799.00
June 25, 2014
9/10
£40.49
June 25, 2014
7/10
£65.00
June 24, 2014
9/10
£125.00
June 24, 2014
7/10
£25.00
June 23, 2014
8/10
£2.99
June 23, 2014
 
1