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4 Best Brooks Saddles for Road Bikes (Reviewed May, 2020)

We have chosen 4 Brooks saddles (Brooks B17, Team Pro, Swift and C17) for judging their capabilities as a road bike saddle. All four of them are perfect and unique in their own way to be used for road cycling. But among them we picked Team Pro as the overall best Brooks saddle for your road bike if you are choosing a racy or performance riding posture.

Brooks Team Pro

L x W x H (mm): 273 x 160 x 67, Weight: 530 grams, Best for: Race or Performance Cycling Posture

A perfect steel rails (chrome plated) saddle for racy or performance sitting position. Tubular steel rivets give it classic look. Super quality European vegetable tanned leather makes it durable. Handmade in England.

 

‘Brooks’ is undoubtedly a renowned and respectable name in the saddle industry for their history and heritage. Although they have an issue with the break-in period but it is like the saying: “Patient is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”. After the break-in period you will feel like this saddle is made just for you.

When you are looking for a long lasting saddle, these saddles are remarkable choices. They have a reputation in this sector. If you want an extended 10 years of warranty as an award, you should register your product at their official website (1) if you haven’t done yet.

Comparison Table

Here is a short comparison table for an advance judgment:

Saddle
Editor's Choice
Preview
Brooks England B17 Bike Saddle - Handmade Leather Bike Seat (Steel, Titanium, Copper)
Brooks Saddles Men's Team Pro Bike Saddle, Antique Brown/Tubular Rivets
Swift Antique Brown
Brooks England Saddles Men's C17 Cambium Bike Saddle
Best for
Long touring in more upright position
Racy or performance riding position
Good for racy or performance riding position. Too narrow for some riders.
All weather saddle. Good for an angled riding position
Weight (gm)
520
530
510
464
Dimensions (mm)
275 x 175 x 65
273 x 160 x 67
272 x 150 x 72
272x150x72
Rails
Regular: Steel Optional: Titanium
Tubular Steel
Steel
Steel
Gender
For Men
For Men
Saddle
Preview
Brooks England B17 Bike Saddle - Handmade Leather Bike Seat (Steel, Titanium, Copper)
Best for
Long touring in more upright position
Weight (gm)
520
Dimensions (mm)
275 x 175 x 65
Rails
Regular: Steel Optional: Titanium
Gender
Editor's Choice
Saddle
Preview
Brooks Saddles Men's Team Pro Bike Saddle, Antique Brown/Tubular Rivets
Best for
Racy or performance riding position
Weight (gm)
530
Dimensions (mm)
273 x 160 x 67
Rails
Tubular Steel
Gender
Saddle
Preview
Swift Antique Brown
Best for
Good for racy or performance riding position. Too narrow for some riders.
Weight (gm)
510
Dimensions (mm)
272 x 150 x 72
Rails
Steel
Gender
For Men
Saddle
Preview
Brooks England Saddles Men's C17 Cambium Bike Saddle
Best for
All weather saddle. Good for an angled riding position
Weight (gm)
464
Dimensions (mm)
272x150x72
Rails
Steel
Gender
For Men

4 best Brooks saddles you can buy today for your road bike

1. Brooks B17: For long touring in more upright position

Brooks B17

  • Weight: 520 gm
  • Dimensions: 275 x 175 x 65 mm
  • Color: Black, Brown, Honey, Red

PROS:

  1. Company’s flagship model, has been on the market for over 100 years.
  2. Vegetable tan leather saddle handmade in England.
  3. The standard model has Steel tubular rivets.
  4. Steel rails with Chrome plating, you can select Titanium rails as an option if you can spare a little bit more of your money.
  5. Adjustable with micro-adjust seat posts.
  6. Comes with a maintenance kit and waterproof seat cover.
  7. A 2 years warranty from the date of purchase and an extended 10 years warranty will be provided for registered customers.

CONS:

  1. Will take 200-300 miles to break-in.
  2. Need proper maintenance and apply Proofide (Brooks leather conditioner) at least 2 times in a year.
  3. The saddle is relatively heavy for a road bike saddle.

Even if the Brooks saddles have longer break-in periods, but they are your best options after they are properly break-in. You will feel zero discomfort and and as if there is nothing below your back while riding. Saddle is not waterproof, so please maintain carefully. The saddle offers a ladies version (B17 S).

2. Team Pro: For touring in more racy or performance riding position

Team Pro

  • Weight: 530 gm
  • Dimensions: 273x160x67 mm
  • Color: Black, Honey, Brown

PROS:

  1. Has been on the industry for half a century and it was emerged from the old B17 Competition.
  2. It is made for superior performance, so it is a great choice for a road bike saddle.
  3. Time honored simple classic design.
  4. Features Steel rails and tubular rivets.
  5. Cover is made from original vegetable tan leather.
  6. A 2 years warranty will be provided and an extended warranty of 10 years for registered customers will be gifted.

CONS:

  1. Has longer break-in period.
  2. Proper nourishing is needed.
  3. For a road bike it is quite heavy.

Brooks made this saddle simply prioritizing on performance. As a result this saddle is an absolute competitor for the other road bike saddles in the market. This saddle will make you pleased for its simple design, originating from the old B17 Competition. For its simple design it has gained the title “timeless classic”.

3. Swift: Too narrow for some riders. Good for racy or performance riding position

Swift

  • Weight: 510 gm
  • Dimensions: 272x150x72 mm
  • Color: Black, Brown, Honey

PROS:

  1. A modern appealing saddle in Brooks range.
  2. The lower side edges are skived off by hand contemplating user comfort.
  3. Two embossed logo with graphical details featuring the saddle’s name on both sides of the cover.
  4. Cover is made from vegetable tan leather with hand.
  5. Features Steel rails.
  6. Rivets are made of Copper and they are hammered by hand.
  7. A 2 years product warranty will be provided from the date of purchase and you can an extended 10 years warranty as an award if you register on their website.

CONS:

  1. A bit expensive compared to other Brooks saddles.
  2. Not waterproof and need maintenance.
  3. Need to apply Proofide to shorten the break-in period.

This might be your personal choice for a road bike saddle in Brooks range. Because of its modern look and build quality, it will be hard for you to ignore this saddle. Made for young energetic riders as Brooks declares this saddle as youngest gentlemen’s racing saddle. Also comes in three different colors for young people’s demand.

4. Brooks C17: All weather saddle. Good for an angled riding position

Brooks C17

  • Weight: 464 gm
  • Dimensions: 283x164x52 mm
  • Color: Black, Bronze/Orange, Octane

PROS:

  1. No break-in period, comfortable from the first day.
  2. An all-weather durable saddle.
  3. The vulcanized natural rubber and Nylon on the top makes you very flexible while riding.
  4. Rails are made of Steel reinforced with a plastic back plate.
  5. Very light weight compared to other Brooks saddles.
  6. Like all other Brooks saddles a 2 years warranty and an extended 10 years warranty for registered customers will be provided.

CONS:

  1. Not so padded, some riders may find this unappealing.
  2. Nylon made rubber can be rough sometimes.
  3. Not so wide and relatively narrow.

If you are looking for a road bike saddle and at the same time you also have a criteria that it must be from Brooks, then this just might be the perfect saddle for you. An all-weather saddle suitable for freezing rain or blazing sunshine. There is almost no break-in period, so it is “ready to ride” from the first day you ride on it.


Choosing a Brooks saddle for road bike

For touring where the distance is usually long, you can go for any kind of saddles, i.e. cheaper saddles rather investing a lot of money for a saddle. Even you can also use the addle that comes with the bike for long distance tours. Trust me you will feel nothing but pain and discomfort. When choosing a road bike saddle, people usually do these types of mistakes:

  1. They are not in the condition or state of buying a saddle for a lot of money.
  2. Even if they have the money to spare, but they are uncertain of choosing the saddle.
  3. If you are new to the cycling world or unconscious about saddles, then should get expert help or read blogs or something.
  4. Gel padded, not padded or it has to be cushy- there is always these kind of uncertainties.

OK! Of all the words that I have said, I honestly suggest that you should go for a Brooks saddle, even if they are a bit expensive. They are worthy of the money. You will thank me later for sure. For a long tour which is about 8 hours long or more or it may take day after day, you should go for something better. Gel or padding is not the issue here, they will cause chafing in the long run.

Breaking in leather saddle

It is common that you will most likely feel uneasy when using a Brooks saddle at first. You might disagree we me that buying a Brooks saddle was in fact a good decision. But hold your horses and keep on riding with it until it is properly break-in. You will feel butter smooth feeling and you will barely want to shift to another saddle.

It usually takes around 200-300 miles to properly break-in. But if you can maintain it properly and apply Proofide regularly it will lessen the time. Like I said the more you ride the more it will adjust your fit.

Brooks England Leather Saddle. Before and after break-in

Leather saddle (Brooks) maintenance

Well, I know it is bothering that you need to give your time on maintaining a Brooks saddle.

Unlike other seats with synthetic covers, leather saddles need extra care. You can find a conditioner in the market called Proofide made by Brooks for preventing drying up and cracking of the cover.

You can also rub a little bit of this conditioner on a new Brooks saddle if you like. What will it do? – It will shorten the break-in period time. Ideal is that you rub Proofide on your Brooks saddle twice a year which is a half turn every 6-12 months.

You should be careful with your Brooks saddle on Rainy rides. They can be your biggest threat unless you are using one of Brooks C series (C13, C15, C17, C19) as they are waterproof. Do not expose your Brooks saddle on rain or water unless you are covering it with a waterproof cover.

Check out this video from Brooks for maintenance and care:

Should you buy a Brooks saddle?

For leather selection of saddle they beat all other saddles by their leather quality and their traditional making process. But the question is, how good will it be for you as a road bike saddle?

First of all it depends entirely on you. Perhaps you don’t want a leather saddle for their longer break-in periods. Rather you want to move on to other saddles where the cover is usually made of microfiber or microtex or something else. Furthermore they are cheaper compared to Brooks saddles. Also they really don’t need proper care and maintenance. They also come in a lot of cool and modern looking designs.

So why should I go for a Brooks saddle? The reasons are many. The first thing is they are making saddle for over 100 years and yet the company hasn’t lost its customers. This means they are doing their 100% for providing a comfortable saddle to the customers.

You are paying a lot of money for one Brooks saddle, Brooks absolutely values your money and their products are worth every penny. As you are getting the best quality leather saddle in the market, it is deserving that it should get extra care than other saddles.

Ask any professional rider for buying a saddle whether it is for touring or casual rides, they will suggest a Brooks saddle for sure. Because professionals know Brooks value.

Conclusion

At the end of our discussion, I just want to say that you should buy a Brooks saddle if you haven’t bought one yet and feel the experience by yourself if the price is not a headache for you. We have tested it and using it. Research shows it is indubitably one of the best saddles for long distance touring especially the B17 model. It is the flagship model for the company. Our forefathers used it and they liked it, we are using it and hopefully the next generation will use it too.

Related Readings

Sources/helpful links

https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/10-years-program

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Last update on 2020-05-26 at 16:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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