Classic saddles that last a lifetime.
Reviewing Brooks saddles might seem a bit odd at first, given that they’ve been around in pretty much the same design for over 150 years. It’s also easy to think that a bike saddle is just a bike saddle, something not particularly worth thinking too much about. We’ve been using Brooks saddles for years now, so we thought it worthwhile to give you a review of exactly why we think they’re so great.
All Brooks saddles follow the same basic design: a single piece of thick leather stretched over a metal frame. There are plenty of different styles and colours to choose from, but this construction style is consistent. There’s a very good reason for this: the stretched leather acts as a hammock and gives your backside a flexible platform to rest on. Unlike other bike saddles, this means that the leather of Brooks saddles move with the bike, cushioning the blow from any bumps or rough surfaces you might meet.
This sounds great, but one of the first things you notice about a Brooks saddle is that the leather feels pretty hard. You ask yourself “how can this be comfortable?”. Well, the magic of using leather is that it softens over time, gradually forming to your shape as you ride. Use the same Brooks saddle for a few months and it’ll ‘break in’, becoming the most comfortable saddle you can imagine.
Leather, being a natural material, will develop a lovely patina over time. As the saddle softens, unique and lustrous tones will develop within the grain, forming along the contours it develops as you wear it in. We reckon a Brooks saddle adds a lot to the overall appearance of a bike, with a classic shape, colour and over 150 years of cycling heritage.
We think that any upgrade you make to your bike should serve a functional purpose, and a Brooks saddle fits the bill. Not only will it deliver you dreamy levels of comfort, but it also comes with bag loops built in. You can use these to attach one of our leather D-lock holsters, or a saddle bag for crucial spares and tools on long rides. A Brooks saddle is also a hardy beast, able to shrug off bumps and scrapes that would usually cause inferior saddles to tear and be resigned to the box of old bike bits in the garage.
Brooks was one of the original bicycle saddle companies and has been manufacturing its saddles for over 150 years at their factory in Birmingham. Their saddles are world renowned and they’ve built up an incredible reputation for making a quality and desirable product. Placing a Brooks saddle on your steed will undoubtedly add an extra element to your ride, knowing you’re perched on something with a notable history behind it.
Which Brooks saddle is best for me?
Like we mentioned earlier, there’s a seemingly endless selection of Brooks saddles to pick from and it can get pretty confusing. Here at Temple Cycles, we all stick to the classic B17. This is the quintessential Brooks saddle, with a classic profile and a wide platform for everyday riding. The B17 is generally meant for bikes where the saddle is roughly level with the handlebars, which covers a majority of mainstream bikes. The biggest challenge is picking the colour: honey, brown or black?
When it comes to bike saddles, Brooks really is the gold standard. Sure, as a basic option a comfortable synthetic saddle like ours is plenty comfortable, but only a Brooks saddle will give you the sort of long-term comfort that will stay with you for a lifetime. If you’re thinking of upgrading any part of your bike, we’d have to say a Brooks saddle is the safest bet - after all, how many products are made to last decades?