Imagine you have a marathon to run tomorrow. And you just bought new shoes- A quality ones for it. To your dismay, these shoes don’t exactly fit you right and cause discomfort while you’re walking. Can you think of wearing these shoes to the marathon tomorrow and winning too? As far as I see it, you will not only fall behind your own potential but may as well suffer from shoe bites and bruises that will last longer than the race. As shoes are essential for you to have a good run, similarly a saddle is arguably the most important aspect of your bike.
Regular bikers understand that a good saddle makes all the difference to help you achieve supreme flexibility and enhanced performance.
If your saddle is perfect for your buttocks, you won’t even feel its presence. But if the width, texture and the shape of the saddle are even a tad bit uncomfortable, it will serve as a reminder throughout the ride and even after it. The ischial tuberosities are the components of your body designed to take on your seated weight.
Most cases of saddle-related discomfort get highlighted because the weight is carried on the soft tissues between the sit bones instead of the bones themselves. Just like you need to have some essential accessories for your motorcycle for a comfortable ride, having a comfortable saddle is a must for your bicycle.
Let’s compare the leather and rubber saddles one by one to understand their pros and cons better.
BROOKS 17 STANDARD LEATHER BIKE SADDLE
Weighing about 530 gms, the Brooks 17 Standard Saddle helps to amalgamate durability with comfort at a price that is easily affordable. A bit heavier than the usual saddles, it takes a little bit of time to make your buttocks accustomed to it, but once you’re there, the comfort you achieve is irrevocable. This is readily available in black or honey leather covers. The dimensions are 280mm x 170mm.
You are bound to find this one a bit slippery for your taste initially, but eventually, after some long rides, you will be a Brooks fan for life. The rails have limited adjustment potential as compared to modern saddles, but the comfort this provides is unparalleled.
Avoid getting your saddle wet. Although it requires a minimal amount of care to prevent damages due to rain, etc. but still cannot be totally neglected, if you wish for a saddle that lasts a long time. The durability and the outstanding look of this saddle will definitely grab a few compliments.
BROOKS CAMBIUM 17 COTTON RUBBER BIKE SADDLE
Source: Cycles in Life
The complaint most riders have with the supremely comfortable Brooks leather bike saddles is that it takes a really long time for your ischial bones to get accustomed to it. During this time, it may not be the most amazing feeling for your buttocks. And hence riders dive to purchase other cheaper varieties of it.
The Brooks Cambium Cotton Italian Vulcanised rubber saddles are a revolution on their own. These are already broken in from the moment you purchase them, hence the initial torture that you face for your bum is eliminated here. The indestructible vulcanized rubber that sits atop Cambium’s removable frame makes all the difference.
However, there is no compromise made on the appealing look of the saddle, which is as alluring as the leather and plastic ones before it. The two colors available are the Natural- which is a tan snakeskin covering a lighter brown rubber, and a Slate color that two-tone grey cotton atop a brown rubber.
The dimensions are 283mm x 162mm and it weighs close to 415 grams. Another great thing here is that the frame of the C 17 saddle can be totally removed from the rubber, thus repairing works can be easily done. The thin trim around the rubber edge creates a good amount of friction during your first few rides.
Although it wears out completely within a week, it can chafe your skin and prove to be slightly uncomfortable in this period, something which you will not experience with any leather saddles.
For both these above models B17 and C17, there is an ‘S’ model that stands for ‘Short’. This is just a smaller version of the B 17 and C 17 models that fit better to the female anatomy.
Looking deeply into the pros and cons of both the saddles, the B 17 is definitely more expensive than the C 17 and it also won’t last long unless you put in care and efforts.
But at the same time, B 17 is what my bum chooses hands-down for my long distance expeditions.
Jessica is a traveller by heart. She loves to pen down her thoughts related to her travel experiences and her knowledge about motorcycle adventure products to keep one’s safe and enjoy the ride. She loves to meet new people during her trips.