A guide to the wide range of saddles offered by British brand Brooks
Established in 1866, Brooks is a saddle making icon. It still produces an extensive range of traditional leather saddles at its Birmingham factory, but also the innovative new Cambium saddles as well as a host of accessories with a traditional look.
The Cambium range
The innovative Cambium saddle range uses organic cotton canvas impregnated with vulcanised natural rubber. Benefits of the Cambium saddle include comfort, durability and waterproofing. It also absorbs vibration well due to its suspended design.
The Cambium saddle is made in a variety of widths to suit different riding styles and body positions and the Carved version includes a cut-out in the top to reduce pressure points.
The standard Cambium range, priced at £110 includes the C15, C17 and C19, with the C19 being the widest and designed for touring or city riding. The C15 and C17 are available as Carved saddles as well, priced at £120.
The latest additions to the Cambium range are the C13 saddles. Priced at £160, these replace the steel rails of the standard Cambium with carbon fibre rails.
There are five different models in the C13 range: the C13 158, 145 and 132 refer to the different widths, designed to suit different riders. The C13 145 and C13 132 are also available as Carved versions with central cut-outs, at the same price.
Brooks has just announced a Cambium C13 package, celebrating Paris-Roubaix, in collaboration with David Millar’s Chpt III clothing brand.
A limited run of 50 sets, the saddle comes with special graphics. It’s supplied along with a matching Chpt III jersey and a copy of “The Racer” book, signed by the man himself. Price is £320.
The B17 family
Brooks has been selling the B17 leather saddle continuously since the 1890s. It’s aimed at long distance cyclists. The Team Pro range also derives from the B17, while the Flyer uses the same top, but with a sprung frame for extra comfort.
At £90, the B17 Standard comes with a steel frame and in a gent’s model and a ladies’ model called the B17 S. Like many of its saddles, Brooks offers the B17 in black, brown or honey variants.
You get the traditional steel riveted design, three air holes in the top for ventilation and, of course, the saddle bag loops and Brooks logo plate at the rear. There are B17 and B17 S Aged versions too, with an antiqued leather top.
If a narrower saddle better suits your riding style, Brooks also makes a B17 Narrow, with a 151mm width rather than the standard 175mm.
The B17 Imperial differs from the standard B17 by having a central cut-out. Although we may think that cut-outs are a modern invention, Brooks actually featured the design in its 1890 catalogue. Again, there’s a men’s and a women’s (S) variant. It too costs £90.
Move up to the £110 B17 Special and the B17 S Special and you get the same leather top, but a copper plated steel frame and hand hammered copper rivets. Again, there’s a choice of three saddle colours.
Top of the B17 range is the B17 Special Titanium. Priced at £185, this features a titanium frame and copper rivets, for a decreased saddle weight.
The Team Pro
Derived from the B17, the Team Pro and ladies’ Team Pro S have been made for over 50 years. They have a slightly shallower top than the B17 and larger hand hammered copper rivets. You can buy the Team Pro with a Chromed steel base, priced at £110, or with lighter titanium rails for £185.
The £90 Team Pro Classic has the same top but smaller steel rivets. And Brooks has added even more options to the Team Pro range with the Team Pro Imperial. Priced at £90, this has steel rivets and a central cut-out to the top.
The B15 Swallow and the Swift
Another classic design for the racing cyclist, the B15 Swallow’s design was originally patented in 1937, when it became a popular choice for professional cyclists in the UK and on the Continent.
The top is cut away more on the sides than the B17 or Team Pro. It has a steel frame and rivets and costs £135, while there’s a limited edition copper riveted 150th Anniversary version priced at £145 and a titanium railed version at £230.
The Swift is another racing saddle. With chrome rails, it costs £110.
Alongside its unsprung racing and touring saddles, Brooks also makes a whole range of traditional coil sprung saddles. They’re good for leisure and commuting use, where you ride in a more upright position. They’d also look great on a traditional vintage machine.
And Brooks often produces special edition saddles, like this £150 Brooks x Vault Swift. Its beautiful laser etched top is complemented by copper rivets and a chromed steel base. It’s a limited edition numbered from 1 to 1866 –Brooks’ founding year.
To learn more about the Brooks saddle range, head over to the store via this link.