7 best Brooks saddles for long touring (performance or relaxed)

It will be the SMARTEST choice if you select a Brooks Saddle for your next short or long touring. Here, we have shortlisted the best 7 Brooks touring saddles based on your cycling styles (performance or relaxed).

Bike touring means day after day, hours after hours, an activity that sometimes carries on for up to eight hours a day. However, if you are to enjoy this activity, you should ensure that you choose and buy the right saddle. The saddles that come with bikes are cheap and are not appropriate for short or long bicycle touring. Although gel saddles can be comfortable for about an hour, they are not suitable for rides that last eight hours a day and are also known to be a source of chafing issues. Similarly, putting a gel seat or cover on a saddle would also not be a good idea since it may not be comfortable for long rides despite being enduring.

Before buying one, know the properties of the touring saddles:

While touring, you will be riding through towns, cities, and the countryside. So, search for the following properties in your touring saddle:

  • Cushioning/Sprung for your sit bones
  • Fairly long
  • Narrow nose
  • Choosing saddle types depends on varieties of sitting positions
  • Wider seat for additional support

7 Best Brooks Saddles for Touring

There are several factors you have to keep in mind when choosing the right saddle for your needs. These include your type of riding, the number of hours you spend cycling, comfort, and performance. Here are some of the options available when looking for saddles for long touring.

Standard leather saddles for touring

There are a number of standard leather saddles that can provide the comfort you need during bicycle touring. Here are a few options you can consider.

1) Brooks B17 – Simply the Best (for Men)

Brooks B17 - for Men

Trail type: Town, City, Paved Roads

Tour type: Long distance touring, MTB, trekking or road cycling. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Riding position: Sportier, Performance

Weight: 520 gm, Height: 65 mm, Length: 275 mm, Width: 175 mm

THE FLAGSHIP model for short or long distance touring:

  • The flagship model of Brooks. Made with 100 years’ of traditional method. No. 1 choice for short or long distance touring.
  • It comes in different colors and variations. You can even change the rails if you have money to spare.
  • Original handmade leather saddle will get used to over time, so you will never get rid off this.
  • Very light, only 540 grams.
  • Steel, Titanium or Copper made rails, making it strong and durable.
  • Hand hammered Copper rivets are provided.
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty, and a 10-year extended warranty is given to those who register it on the Brooks Company website.
  • Comes with a maintenance kit and a waterproof saddle cover.
  • Fairly easy to look after and maintain.

Drawbacks:

  • Bike seat is not waterproof
  • Longer “Breaking-in” period, usually takes around 200 – 300 miles of riding. Using Proofide Saddle Dressing can make the “break-in” period faster.
  • Very stiff adjustment bolts.
  • Expensive.

The Brooks B17 is a great choice for men shopping around for a saddle for touring. The bike seat is designed for men who ride within towns, cities, and paved roads. If you spend between five and eight hours on saddles, you may want to consider buying this seat to replace the one that came with your bike. Brooks B17 saddle features a unique design that offers support and comfort during long rides. The wider rear spreads your weight while the pointed nose prevents chafing. Three holes at the center reduce pressure and keep you cool when cycling in hot weather, while the steel rails and metal hardware provide additional strength and support. The durable leather breaks in beautifully over time to assume the shape of your body and prevent you from slipping off.

2) Brooks B17 Carved – Cut-out version of the B17 (for Men)

Brooks B17 Carved – for Men

Trail type: Town, City, Paved Roads

Tour type: Long distance touring. Days after days of riding (5-8 hours/day) on saddles

Riding position: Sportier, Performance

Weight: 520 gm, Height: 65 mm, Length: 275 mm, Width: 175 mm

Another best touring saddle for men:

  • It is the Carved Version of legendary B17 model. A comfortable saddle for bicycle touring.
  • Central cut-out helps riders relieving perineal pressure.
  • The bike seat has exceptional longevity. If you ride 200 miles per week or more, you should buy this.
  • Indentation at the center helps reduce pressure, so it can be used also for female riders.
  • Steel, Titanium and Copper rail are very reliable for handling the weight pressure.
  • Just wait for the saddle to breaks-in. After that you will no longer feel any soreness or tenderness.
  • A good varieties of colors are available to choose from.

Drawbacks:

  • Rider might slip off of the seat while pedaling, because it is slippery as butter (initially).
  • May face some rail replacement issues.
  • Very sensitive to water.
  • Costly and need regular maintenance.

This is another option for men who mostly cycle on the town, city, and paved roads. If you are a frequent rider, you can consider going for this saddle. The carved seat is designed and made for long tours, especially those that last anywhere between five and eight hours. Just like most of the other Brooks bike seats, the B17 carved saddle features quality construction that is reflective of the experience the brand has accumulated over the years.

This saddle has a unique design in terms of shape as well as features. The seat is wider towards the rear to offer increased support and help to prevent back pain, and narrower towards the front to ensure your pedal easily and comfortably. Rivets also hold the material in place, so it does not move about when you cycle vigorously. Steel rails and metal hardware provide strength and support so you can cycle for longer.

3) Brooks B17 Special Short – Women’s version of the Legendary B17

Brooks B17 Special Short – Women

Trail type: Town, City, Paved Roads

Tour type: Long tour. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Riding position: Sportier, Performance

Weight: 480 gm, Height: 58 mm, Length: 242mm, Width: 176 mm

Remarkable choice for female riders:

  • This is the female version of Brooks’ Flagship Model B17. Ideal for touring, urban riding, trekking or even road cycling.
  • Made of finest leather and handmade. All Brooks leather saddles are made from finest vegetable leather (tanned).
  • Short version is especially designed for women or smaller riders.
  • Rivets offer additional support, as they are made of Copper.
  • Genuine vegetable-tanned leather material is strong and durable.
  • The laces work perfectly.
  • Comes in different colors.

Drawbacks:

  • During rainy weather, seat needs to be covered.
  • Some riders slip off the seat when pedaling.
  • The leather rubs against soft tissue before it softens.
  • Expensive like most of the Brooks saddles.

Riders who cycle on the town, city, and paved roads for long periods of time need a saddle that will keep them comfortable. This means that it works perfectly for those who spend five to eight hours on saddles day after day. In addition to enhancing your cycling performance and experience, the bike seat also ensures you are comfortable in a sporty position. This helps you enjoy your commutes from one place to another. But which features of this saddle give you the comfortable commutes you need to avoid pain and soreness?

The wider rear and short design ensure there is reduced pressure on women’s soft tissues, while the narrow front part prevents the thighs from rubbing against the seat. An ample width accommodates the wide pelvic area of women to keep you relaxed.

4) Brooks Flyer Special – Sprung Model (for Men for Added Comfort)

Brooks Flyer Special – Sprung Model

Tour type: Long tour. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Trail type: Town, City, Off-road

Riding position: Upright, relaxed

Weight: 890 gm, Height: 87 mm, Length: 275mm, Width: 175 mm

Why do you need this saddle:

  • It is the sprung version of Brooks’ Legendary Model B17.
  • Two large steel-made suspension springs give it a retro look and provides added comfort in long distance trekking and touring.
  • Two rear springs below the seat and leather cover provides superb durability.
  • It also has a women’s version (Flyer S).
  • Available with Steel or hand hammered Copper rivets.
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty, and a 10-year extended warranty is given to registered members.

Drawbacks:

  • The wide surface can cause discomfort to inner thighs.
  • The seat is not weatherproof, might have to use a waterproof cover.
  • “Break-in” period can be really disappointing for some riders.
  • As like other Brooks’ leather saddles, it is costly.
  • And need maintenance.

This Brooks flyer special saddle for men is ideal for long tours. It is a great choice for those who spend five to eight hours on saddles day after day and wish to avoid the pain and discomfort associated with riding for long hours. One of the advantages of this saddle is that it provides comfort not only on town and city roads but also when you go off-road. This allows you the flexibility you desire when trying out different types of cycling or exercising. If you want to maximize comfort with this bike seat, you should maintain an upright and relaxed posture.

5) Brooks Flyer Carved – Sprung Model (for Men and for Added Comfort & Flexibility)

Brooks Flyer Carved – For Men

Tour type: Long distance touring. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Trail type: Town, City, Off-road

Riding position: Upright, relaxed

Weight: 860 gm, Height: 87 mm, Length: 275mm, Width: 166 mm

An extremely comfortable saddle for men for long distance touring:

  • This is the cut-out version of our previous selection Flyer Special. Cut-out saddles put less pressure on perineal area
  • Perfect choice for long-distance touring in hot weather.
  • Two rear springs create suspension and absorb shock, especially on rough and uneven surfaces.
  • The center cutout reduces pressure and promotes free airflow to ensure you remain cool when cycling in hot weather.
  • Frame is built from tubular coated steel.
  • Comfortable seat with quality construction.

Drawbacks:

  • Bike seat might start squeaking loudly after some time
  • Having the cutout slightly decreases durability
  • Costly
  • Maintenance necessary like other Brooks’ leather saddles.

If you are looking for a saddle that will deliver comfort for different styles of riding, you should consider going for this Brooks flyer carved bike seat. The seat works well for long tours, ensuring that you remain comfortable even after spending up to eight hours on the saddle.

The center cutout ensure you remain cool when cycling by reducing pressure and promoting much airflow. This saddle features vegetable-tanned leather that not only delivers comfort but is also durable for long-lasting performance. Black steel rails and frame feature tubular coated steel to ensure flexibility and exceptional strength. There are also two rear springs for added comfort during your ride, especially on rough and uneven surfaces. The rivets keep the leather in place, and the shape promotes easy pedaling.

6) Brooks B67 Softened Short – Sprung Model – No Break-in Time – For Women

Brooks B67 Softened Short – For Women

Tour type: Long tour. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Trail type: Town, City, Off-road

Riding position: Upright, relaxed

Weight: 470 gm, Height: 58 mm, Length: 242mm, Width: 176 mm

A classical suitable saddle for women: 

  • Aged/Softened version of Brooks’ leather saddle. No Break-in period require. Comfortable from day-one.
  • A classically sprung saddle with wider rear, top choice for women riders.
  • The pores process natural ventilation to reduce pressure on soft tissue.
  • Seat cover is handmade in England with finest vegetable tanned leather. Manufactured with 100 years of old traditional technique.
  • Most appropriate saddle for riders who wants their handlebars higher than their saddles.
  • Has micro adjustable pillars.
  • Comes in different colors.
  • A quality saddle for long term use.

Drawbacks:

  • Saddle takes some time to break-in. Very little when compared with regular leather saddles of Brooks.
  • Need proper maintenance to reduce the break-in time.

Another option for women riders who go on long tours from time to time is the Brooks B67 saddle. Without the right seat, sitting on saddles for between five and eight hours a day can cause pain and discomfort. This is especially true if you ride day after day. This Brooks bike seat will provide reliable comfort regardless of whether you are cycling in towns, cities, or off-road trails. The good news is that using the saddle lets you maintain an upright and relaxed position throughout your cycling session.

The vegetable-tanned leather is durable and provides a rough surface to keep you from sliding off the seat when pedaling. Single rails attach to a micro-adjust seat pillar so you can position the seat in a way that offers maximum comfort.

Brooks’ Cambium Saddle for All Weather Touring

7) Brooks C17 Carved All Weather

Brooks C17 CARVED ALL WEATHER

Trail type: Town, City, Paved Roads

Tour type: Long tour. Days after days. 5-8 hours/day on saddles

Riding position: Sportier, Performance

Weight: 446 gm, Height: 52 mm, Length: 283mm, Width: 164mm

An all weather saddle:

  • Our only cambium saddle from Brooks.
  • We selected this one for the riders who want something special for their all-weather touring.
  • The Cambium top adjusts with rider’s movement.
  • Vulcanized rubber on top makes it very flexible.
  • The cutout is for pressure relief and additional flexibility.
  • No break-in period is required.
  • Weatherproof and waterproof saddle designed for freezing rain or blazing sunshine.
  • Fiberglass reinforced back plate has loops for holding a saddle bag or other necessary things.

Drawbacks:

  • Narrower than “C19 Carved”, not so wide.
  • Not padded, so it might be hard saddles for some riders.
  • Flat top can be sometimes slippery.

This Brooks C17 bike seat is made for riders whose trail types include town, city, and paved roads. It is also a great option for those who go on long tours days after days and spend around five to eight hours on saddles. The seat offers great support and comfort during your commute and helps you maintain a sporty posture.

The construction of this Brooks saddle features vulcanized natural rubber and organic cotton for enhanced comfort and flexible performance. The structure is made of die-cast aluminum while the rails are made of steel, offering great strength and durability. This bike seat has a hard-wearing top that does not need a break-in period, ensuring that you are comfortable right from the start. The weatherproof nylon cover performs well in all conditions, so you can ride at any time.

Buying Guide: Touring Saddle

Choosing the right touring saddle for your needs can make for a daunting task. With the many options available in the market, you will need to invest both time and effort in the process. This means taking into account a number of factors. Here are a few things to consider.

Material

When it comes to material, you have the choice of either plastic or leather. Most of the people who have never been on a bicycle tour might imagine that the cushiest gel saddle will provide the comfort they need. While such seats will keep riders comfortable for the first few days, the rider will be sitting on hard plastic once the gel wears down.

The best material to go for when it comes to touring saddles is leather. Although leather can have a stiff and uninviting appearance, it fits you well once you break it in. Leather saddles are also more long-lasting and cooler than plastic seats when riding in hot weather. However, leather is not waterproof and needs special care and maintenance. Even with some type of padding, plastic saddles are suitable for short tours and racing.

Springs or no springs

Another factor you will have to decide on is whether to go for a saddle with springs. Saddles with springs absorb vibrations to ensure that riders are comfortable even when riding off-road. However, your riding position will play a crucial role in determining whether you find a sprung bike seat comfortable. The seats are usually recommended for riders who maintain an upright riding position and whose handlebars are at the same or higher position that the saddle height.

Women-specific saddles

Since a woman’s anatomy is different from a man’s, women-specific saddles tend to have a different design and shape. Compared to the men’s version, these bike seats are usually shorter and are wider towards the rear. However, it is important to note that women can be comfortable riding with a men’s saddle and vice versa. You should also consider your riding style and personal preference when choosing a bike seat.

Cut or no cut

Another feature you will have to consider is whether the saddle should have a cut or not. Bike seats with cutouts help to reduce pressure on the pelvic area in order to protect the nerves and blood vessels around this area. Cutouts also promotes airflow so you can remain cool when riding in hot weather. This makes the seat comfortable, especially for long rides.

In the end, you must ensure that the saddle you choose and buy works for you. Apart from providing comfort, the bike seat should also help to reduce back pain and discomfort.

Why is a leather saddle perfect for touring?

Every rider who spends a considerable amount of time on the saddles knows how important comfort is in enhancing the riding experience. Choosing the right saddles not only helps to ensure comfort but also improves performance. A leather saddle is perfect for touring because it gradually conforms to the shape of your behind, effectively reducing the pressure points that can cause pain. After using the bike seat for some time, the perfect mold of your behind will support the entire area and not just your sit bones.

Compared to plastic seats, leather saddles are cooler. This ensures that you are comfortable when riding during the hot summer months and reduces the chances of shifting your weight. Although the material requires special maintenance and care, leather is long-lasting and will serve you for many years. Considering that bicycle touring takes a significant amount of time every day, this is the best saddle material for the activity.

Breaking-in a leather saddle faster

A good majority of leather saddles are firm when they are new, making for a hard surface on which to sit. Although the leather eventually gets softer to the tough, it may take a long time and several miles of riding in dry conditions. The good news is that there are several ways of speeding up the breaking in period.
One of the most common ways of breaking in a leather saddle faster is to soak it in hot water for between five and ten minutes. Take it out of the water and flex the sides with your finger. If the seat still feels still, you should soak it for another five minutes while being careful not to over soak it. Once you take it out, Mink Oil into the leather before it cools, both on the top surface and the bottom side. Massage the leather, especially the sit bone areas of the saddle, for about ten minutes, then ride it for a short distance. Do not ride for long on a damp saddle as this could distort the leather. Allow it to sit overnight and rub more Mink Oil into the leather before going for another ride. Keep doing this until the leather saddle softens up. However, during the break-in period, you should ensure that the saddle is always oiled and never dries out.

Since Brook’s saddles have a tension-bolt at the nose, you should tighten it and stretch the seat after riding for a while.

How long does a leather saddle take to break in?

Generally, the process of breaking in leather is likely to take about one week or 100 miles. However, since saddle comfort is all about getting the right shape for your backside, some bike seats will get more comfortable but will not change shape significantly. In addition to breaking in leather, you should ensure proper care to help prevent self-destruction.

Leather saddle maintenance

How long any leather saddle will last is directly related to the care and maintenance you provide. When it comes to cleaning, the frequency will depend on how often you ride your bicycle. If you use your bike for daily commutes, you will more likely need to clean the saddle than someone who uses theirs for pleasure rides over the weekend. Saddles that are often exposed to sweat, dust, and mud will have to be cleaned more often than those used on paved roads. In addition to cleaning the saddle, you should moisturize it before storing it.

Cleaning helps to remove dirt so that the leather can absorb the oil that nourishes it. It is recommended that you use glycerin soap, which not only cleans but also moisturizes and protects the leather. With the condition, the balm is applied using a dry cloth or sponge. This should be done on dry leather so it can absorb the balm for deep-down action.

Conclusion

In summary, there are numerous options available for riders looking for touring saddles. However, people must take their time to identify the saddles that will meet their unique needs and requirements. Beginners can talk to their fellow riders to help them choose the best products in the market. You can also consider trying out the different brands and models available before making a purchase.

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Last update on 2020-01-27 at 14:24 / 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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