A few weeks ago I blogged about my brand new Brooks saddle, which I hoped would replace the original saddle on my Ridgeback Panorama road touring bike.
A number of you warned me that a Brooks leather saddle wouldn’t be heaven on earth immediately but might take a fair while to break in, some suggesting between 600 and a thousand miles!
Well, I’ve given it a good 600 miles and it still feels as though I’m sitting on hard plastic. It’s not desperately uncomfortable at the start of a ride but by the end my bum feels very sore, as though it’s been bruised. What’s worse, the enjoyment and sheer pleasure I’ve had riding the Ridgeback has gone. A comfortable saddle is crucial for enjoyable riding and I’m afraid, for me at least, the Brooks saddle is not comfortable.
I’m well aware that I should use it more, break it in more, keep riding on it for at least another few hundred miles but the truth is that after each ride I swear it will be my last. The pleasure has gone, so I’ve reverted to my old saddle. I rode 53 miles on it the other day, from Newtonmore up to Inverness over the Slochd, and it was fine. The pleasure of riding a touring bike had returned so I’m going to stick with it.
When I first took the Brooks saddle from its presentation box I marvelled at the sheer beauty of the thing. I loved the craftsmanship that had created it, I rejoiced in the lovely warm leather smell from it, I looked forward to having it as a friend for many years to come.
Alas, it now sits on a shelf in my garage. It just didn’t do the trick for me. Sorry Brooks!