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.
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
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 Brooks B17 Imperial saddle is on my main touring bicycle, a 1993 Bianchi Project 5 cross bike, converted to a gravel bike with aero bars. I will benefit from the comfort of this saddle on multiple consecutive, 40 mile days of cross country travel.
I applied several coats of Proofhide to the underside of the saddle over a 2 week period. I also loosened the adjusting screw approximately 12 turn. After 50 miles or so of use the saddle is quite comfortable. Much easier to break in than the standard B-17 which I also have.
Monkey see monkey do... Go show up to a rando ride and count the number of Brooks chosen by cyclist who regularly ride 200K to 1200K events. The first time you sit on your Brooks Saddle you will think eh... its pretty good (I road mine fresh out of the box on a 300K event with no problems)
The first time you ride your bike after your saddle is broken in (For me this was at mile 819) you will think Holy smokes! This is wonderful... now I understand why all those old dudes use these saddles!
The bottom line is that once your saddle becomes shaped to YOUR BUTT you will never have a saddle problem again. Just like breaking in a good pair of boots....
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.