In my opinion, Brooks makes the finest saddles with regards to comfort and durability. Yes, they take a while to break in although I have always found that I never experience any pains after a good day's ride. I generally ride 20 miles as a reference point. This time, I opted for the Imperial saddle not only for the extra relief but also the logic of less seat, less to break-in About a two months and a few hundreds miles old now, I love it. Thank you to Bike Tires Direct for the savings too!
The saddle is Brooks quality, very nice. The color is as advertised, it is exactly what I was looking for. Breaking in has taken a few 20 mile rides and is now sitting on perhaps my favorite ride. Looking forward to many more rides in the future, that wouldn't be the case if the saddle had not broken in well.
I have put off purchasing a Brooks saddle since I was 20 years old - 40 years ago. During these years of separation, I have ridden every make and model of saddle on the market that now pile high in a cardboard box in my closet. Piled just as high are the butt calluses I accumulated riding over 8,000 every year commuting to work, racing, and bike touring across the United States. It has taken a long time to return to my roots in the 70's when I rode Masi, Ital Vega, Raleigh, and other great Brooks holders of the era. But I'm back, here to stay, like finding a high school sweetheart at your 40-year reunion.
Bought my saddle 2 weeks before a 720 mile 1 week round trip Madison WI. to Minneapolis Minnesota. 6 days of consecutive 100 mile centuries and no issues with comfort. The saddle is weighty but comfortable so I'll go for that anyday
I took my partially broken in B17 and my WTB saddles on my coast to coast trip last year. The idea was that if I got a little sore I could switch saddles for a day or two for some relief. By the time I crossed the Cascades I stowed my WTB and dropped it with a friend in Boise. It took 37 riding days to cross the US. Of those 37 days only 8 days were without rain of varying degrees(don't cross the US in the Northern climes in the spring time). I treated the saddle about 4 times, top and bottom, during the crossing. I thought it held up extremely well considering the water torture it endured. I'm still riding it approximately 20 milesday commuting to and from work. The Brits know quality especially in bike saddles. If I had one critique it would be how long it took me to break it in. But it was well worth it. Without a doubt I will exit this life with Brooks on my bike.
What's not to like. This saddle is superior to all others. It looks great, and rides the best. It's not even broken in yet, and is still far more comfortable than any other saddle I have owned. Aside from the general quality of this product, bike tires direct offers it at the best price on the net.
Only have 300 miles on new seat, still breaking in although it does seem to be getting better. Concern included sharp edges on seat cut out caused problems at first. Did some gentle cutting around the opening which seems to have taken care of the initial issue. Very high quality leather and hardware. Hopefully another 300 or 400 miles will get it broken in.
I remember the leather saddle that came on my first ten speed forty years ago. It was not comfortable. Maybe I didn't adjust it correctly. Maybe it was a cheap brand, I don't remember. I do know it was not a Brooks.
Given that history, it took a small leap of faith to try a leather saddle again. This is my second Brooks B17 Imperial and I won't use anything else on a road bike. I might be just as happy with a Brooks without a cutout, like the Imperial has, but I don't need to experiment. The Imperial disappears when I'm riding my 18 mile commute or 60 mile days on a loaded touring bike.
I haven't used any proofide yet but I'm careful not to get it wet. I adjust the tensioner every now and then so that the saddle flexes a bit but not enough to get pinching from the cutout.
My search for a great cut-away saddle is over. This is it. It is comfortable, and the leather around the cutaway section gives the saddle just a little extra give in the sensitive parts of the anatomy. (Some so-called comfort saddles have a little hard ridge around the cutaway that kind of negates the whole point of the cutaway). The only possible issue that some people will have is weight, but that is not my top concern when it comes to my saddle.
Ordered the B17 Imperial to replace the torture slab WTB saddle that came stock on my Surly Cross Check. I couldn't be happier with it. I had developed some rear end issues over the years that have been greatly diminished with the Brooks saddle. Saddle has broken in nicely even though I had put 1,000 on it before I was able to obtain the magic Proofide. Expensive, yes, but I am sure that I will be ordering another Brooks to replace my wornout road bike saddle.
Best saddle I have owned. Much more comfortable than the stock saddle on my CAADX. I expect when it gets fully broken in it will be a 5 star, but only time will tell. I am worried about the color changes and absorption of watersweat in the saddle. Suppose it will be alright.
This is the fourth Brooks saddle I've owned and by far my favorite. The best part is you don't even notice it while riding, it's just there as a natural extension of the bike. Shock absorbing in the city and a source of ease and comfort for miles, this is the one for me from now on.