Like all Brooks seats the leather is very stiff. The Swallow is narrow and has very little on the side. The shape allows the seat to be more pliable. I'm a very light rider so other Brooks seats have taken me a long time to break in. Right out of the box with the included conditioner the seat was comfortable. After a few hours it took shape and rides nicely. Looks great and bought it on sale couldn't be happier with the purchase. Thanks BikeTiresDirect!