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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12

    Brooks b17 narrow or not - please help!

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been trailing through the many posts here about brooks saddles and would love some advice. I currently use my drop bar bike as mainly my commuter (to uni and work etc) and the handlebars are about even with the seat. I have had a specialized oura in the past (155mm) but it was chaffing badly on my inner thighs and causing blisters. I tried a loaner Selle Italia SLR Lady from the bike shop and width wise it is much better (from memory my stiffness are around 130-135mm on specialized test) but it still is not quite right - still very sore despite constant tweaking to the height, angle etc. I have heard so many good things about the Brooks saddles but am at a loss as to which one would be right - I am not a big person by any means and am around 90lbs - and petite. Would a brooks b17 be too wide in the nose and cause thigh chaffing again? Should i go with the B17 narrow or a different model all together? There is no where in my state (Queensland australia) that has them to try I typically ride without proper cycling shorts as I have to quickly get to lectures etc, no more than an hour on the saddle at a time. PLEASE HELP A LITTLE AUSSIE!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Going to assume, as you say you've been reading all the posts that you did your sit bone measurement. If you fight inner thigh chafing the design of the B17 (or most brooks) may be an issue, the sides o fthe saddle sometimes bother people and over time, the sides tend to flare out as well - that can be fixed by punching holes and using leather strips like the B17 Imperial. Those who know me here, are now smiling, but I do love Deb Banks, Rivet Saddles - the Rivet Independence may work well for you. Not sure who, in your world stocks them. Shipping saddles to Australia can be pricey. Here is what it looks like.

    Quote Originally Posted by annabanana2 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have been trailing through the many posts here about brooks saddles and would love some advice. I currently use my drop bar bike as mainly my commuter (to uni and work etc) and the handlebars are about even with the seat. I have had a specialized oura in the past (155mm) but it was chaffing badly on my inner thighs and causing blisters. I tried a loaner Selle Italia SLR Lady from the bike shop and width wise it is much better (from memory my stiffness are around 130-135mm on specialized test) but it still is not quite right - still very sore despite constant tweaking to the height, angle etc. I have heard so many good things about the Brooks saddles but am at a loss as to which one would be right - I am not a big person by any means and am around 90lbs - and petite. Would a brooks b17 be too wide in the nose and cause thigh chaffing again? Should i go with the B17 narrow or a different model all together? There is no where in my state (Queensland australia) that has them to try I typically ride without proper cycling shorts as I have to quickly get to lectures etc, no more than an hour on the saddle at a time. PLEASE HELP A LITTLE AUSSIE!
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    As much as I love my Brooks, the other issue is it doesn't leave much room in the cockpit when you are off the saddle. When I have to stop at lights etc of course I'm off the saddle and my stomach is pretty close to the stem since the nose on my Brooks is so long.

    I'd also recommend the Rivet.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    Going to assume, as you say you've been reading all the posts that you did your sit bone measurement. If you fight inner thigh chafing the design of the B17 (or most brooks) may be an issue, the sides o fthe saddle sometimes bother people and over time, the sides tend to flare out as well - that can be fixed by punching holes and using leather strips like the B17 Imperial. Those who know me here, are now smiling, but I do love Deb Banks, Rivet Saddles - the Rivet Independence may work well for you. Not sure who, in your world stocks them. Shipping saddles to Australia can be pricey. Here is what it looks like.
    I was just going to mention Deb Banks' Rivet saddles. My husband, who is a rando and rides about 5000-6000 miles a year including 1200ks, has switched from Brooks to Rivets in the last year and says NO CHAFING is why. You might want to give it a try.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,979
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
    Going to assume, as you say you've been reading all the posts that you did your sit bone measurement. If you fight inner thigh chafing the design of the B17 (or most brooks) may be an issue, the sides o fthe saddle sometimes bother people and over time, the sides tend to flare out as well - that can be fixed by punching holes and using leather strips like the B17 Imperial. Those who know me here, are now smiling, but I do love Deb Banks, Rivet Saddles - the Rivet Independence may work well for you. Not sure who, in your world stocks them. Shipping saddles to Australia can be pricey. Here is what it looks like.
    Also going to assume you've read http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...-saddles-.html

    This article pretty much orriginally written by this forum. So it's not your height or weight but you must measure your sit bones, determine if you need a cut out or not. And of course we also assume no underlying issues with bike fit.

    A hale and hearty welcome to TE!
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Find out what your outside distance of your sit bones measure, then get back to us. If you are small enough, it's possible that you can use one of the mens models like the Swift or Swallow. Those are unlikely to have the chafing issues you describe.

    Read this to make it easier.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 03-23-2015 at 02:28 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12
    Thanks everyone - I have not tried a brooks yet to know whether or not they will rub, so that is why I was wondering whether to just go with a brooks narrow b17 as I am used to quite a narrow saddle anyway - also been looking at rido saddles but cannot find that much feedback on them. Are there any brooks saddles that have a more t shape? Do the swift and swallow with the shorter sides eliminate thigh rubbing at all? And on the specialized test my outer sit bones were 138mm (well that is the only measurement they gave me - distance between my sit bones so guessing outer larger ones that make the impression on the seat) does this help?
    Last edited by annabanana2; 03-23-2015 at 02:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    I just added a link to the above. Good to read.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12
    Yes just double checked - approx 135mm using the do it yourself sit bone test (alfoil on carpet and measured the distance between the two dents my skinny bum made ) My bike has a pretty upright seating position and i mainly ride on the hoods - the specialized oura is definitely too wide for my thighs
    Last edited by annabanana2; 03-23-2015 at 02:41 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Leather saddles like the Brooks and Rivet are constructed over a metal cantle plate. So the leather is suspended over a piece of metal. You want to avoid sitting on metal. To avoid this, add 20 mm to the outside measurement of your sits. So, a saddle that is 155 should work. But it may or may not solve the chafing problem. You need something very T-shaped to do that. The Swift is about 150, so perhaps a bit too narrow. The Swallow is 153. Better. You have a lot of choices being that narrow, since it puts you on mens saddles.

    As Skyking mentioned, the Rivet saddles are quite T-shaped, so you might check and see if there are any around 155 mm. (The B-17's are often considered too pear-shaped by TE'ers, but a lot of people like them, too).

    At your height, you may also want to find a saddle with shorter rails than the standard mens. A lot of the 'women's saddles have shorter rails, but would be too wide for you).

    For a non-leather type saddle, you would need something approximately 135 mm. (Give or take). For Specialized brand, you should have been on a 130 mm saddle. 155 would have been much too large. So it's hard to say if the chafing was caused by having a saddle not T-shaped enough, or if it was just too big. The Sell Italia SLR is in the 140's, if memory serves. So, again. Too big. (Also very pear-shaped as opposed to T-shaped. So the shape may have contributed).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Actually, I'm going to say hold off on the leather saddle. For now.

    The Selle Italia Monolink is 131 mm, which might work, and is designed to be 'friction free' in the area you need. Competitive Cyclist has a white version for 89.00, and they always take returns.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/se...edition-saddle

    It looks like they have a 'special' where you can get a carbon seat post, high-end mono link saddle with carbon rails for about 300 dollars. Yuck. Ignore those! You can purchase the saddle on sale with no seat post. (heh, I've never recommended anyone on TE use this saddle, most of use can't fit on it. Too bad, cause it's a great saddle otherwise).

    Future reference. A Selle Italia Turbomatic might work, even though it's 153 mm, because it's so domed that there is much less seating area than expected. And it's very T-shaped and friction free. It's available both with and without a cutout.

    Just to verify: you are measuring the outside distance of your bones, and not the center to center, correct? If it is c to c, then you need something much wider.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12
    I checked at my local specialized bike store again - 138mm approx. Sky, with those Rivet saddles you recommend, would the pearl or independence be better? I do have a very relaxed riding style and don't normally wear knicks unless going for a longer ride - would the independence still work? Do prefer narrow I must admit

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by annabanana2 View Post
    I checked at my local specialized bike store again - 138mm approx. Sky, with those Rivet saddles you recommend, would the pearl or independence be better? I do have a very relaxed riding style and don't normally wear knicks unless going for a longer ride - would the independence still work? Do prefer narrow I must admit
    The Independence is narrower than the pearl. They also come w/ or w/o the slot. I haven't ridden the no slot yet. The Bike Hermit has a no slot Selle Anatomica on his Desert Bike and it may be worth looking at. We stopped offering Selle Anatomica because they kept dropping their prices to below the wholesale prices they charged us. The nose seems extremely long though.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    The Brooks Team Pro Classic is 160 mm wide by 260 mm long, so narrow and shorter than most. At 22 mm wider than your outsides, should be okay. Don't know how it compares with the transition area and friction, though. Brooks, in general, is considered T-shaped. Just some people need more.

    http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/unspr...classic-saddle
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    12
    I have managed to find an australian stockist for the Rivet Independence - it should be arriving in the next few days so wish me luck! Thanks for all of your help everyone much appreciated

 

 

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