Are Brooks Saddles Worth It? [PROS + CONS]
Brooks England saddles have a reputation for being top of the range. The name itself conjures images of luxury, comfort, and saddles that last a lifetime. Quality materials and stylish designs make these saddles a tempting proposition for many cyclists.
Brooks is an old brand too, which adds to the sense of prestige. Of course, with such a reputation comes a high price tag and many will wonder – are Brooks saddles really worth it?
Read on to find out.
Are Brooks Saddles Made in England?
All Brooks saddles are made in England. They’re produced in Brooks’ West Midlands factory, the same one they’ve been using for over 150 years! Although it’s now owned by an Italian company, Brooks keeps its manufacturing in England. It’s one of the top English cycling brands, alongside Brompton.
Brooks was founded back in 1866 and still uses many of the same production methods. Its reputation as a heritage brand ensures quality materials and fantastic workmanship. The saddles have (of course) modernised over the years, but history still plays a large part in the Brooks brand identity, and every product is handcrafted.
Are Brooks Saddles Any Good?
Brooks saddles have a reputation for high quality, premium design, comfort and longevity. They’re some of the best saddles on the market and many cyclists swear by them. You also get a 10 year guarantee, proof of just how durable these saddles are.
The saddles are handcrafted with extraordinary attention to detail using durable, premium quality leather. They’re breathable and take the shape of the rider over time. If that wasn’t enough, they’re also versatile and suitable for any kind of cycling; from the daily commute to off road.
Are Brooks Saddles Comfortable?
The simple answer is yes! Brooks saddles are widely regarded as some of the most comfortable on the market. That’s owing to the leather build. There’s no chafing, sweat is quickly wicked away and the saddle moulds to its rider over time.
At first glance, these saddles don’t look as comfortable as they actually are. They don’t contain any gels or extra padding, but they’re comfortable precisely because they’re firm, offering plenty of support as you cycle. They offer such a pleasant ride, in fact, that Brooks has become a byword for comfort.
Can Brooks Saddles Get Wet?
As with any saddle, Brooks can get wet, but they won’t stay wet for long, absorb water or become “moist.” Leather saddles are exceptionally water resistant and any moisture quickly wicks away. The same applies to sweat, so your saddle will remain dry even on the longest ride.
Of course, if you’re caught in a torrent of rain it’s important to dry your saddle when you get home. Simply dabbing it with a towel and removing surface moisture will dramatically increase its lifespan. These saddles are expensive investments and should be treated as such.
If you’re happy to stray from the iconic leather seats then Brooks offer the Cambium C17 too. This flexible, vulcanised-rubber top seat is suitable for all rides, roads, and weathers.
Why Are Brooks Saddles So Popular?
Brooks saddles are popular because of their long history, reputation for quality and extreme comfort. The saddles have attained near mythological status in the cycling world and are considered the height of luxury.
The company has had a long time to build its reputation – it’s been making saddles for over 150 years. That’s given Brooks ample time to perfect their products, source quality materials and create a stylish design. It’s this combination of comfort and longevity and style that makes the saddles so enduringly popular.
Their iconic design puts them alongside other premium, fashionable riding gear. Being immediately recognisable inevitably boosts Brooks’ popularity.
Do Brooks Saddles Get Stolen?
As is the case with any expensive item, theft is always a danger. Saddles are one of the most commonly stolen parts of a bicycle (along with lights) so it pays to take precautions. Using a secondary lock, replacing quick release clamps and installing locking clamps all make a big difference.
That said, Brooks saddles aren’t any more vulnerable to theft than other products, although their price tag might make them more attractive to thieves. Cyclists should also be wary of buying second hand Brooks saddles. Since these saddles take time to break in, it’s unlikely that a cyclist would suddenly sell. Many second hand Brooks saddles are stolen.
Brooks Saddles Prices
As you might expect from such a premium name, Brooks saddles carry a hefty price tag. The cheapest C15 clocks in at around £99.99 while the top of the range B17 Special Titanium can set you back as much as £244.99. Clearly, this isn’t an investment to be taken lightly.
You’ll pay about £129.99 for a midrange B17 or £135.99 for the touring Flyer. Brooks’ range is wide, with models to suit every style. Some come with additional suspension, others (like the B17 Special Brooks Lab) feature intricately carved designs. Whatever your riding style and aesthetic, Brooks has a saddle to match.
Why Are Brooks Saddles So Expensive?
Brooks saddles are expensive because of the quality materials used, how comfortable they are and how long they last. These saddles come with a 10 year guarantee but most cyclists use them for much longer – in some cases even a lifetime. The heritage and prestige of the Brooks name also play a part.
As such, Brooks saddles are best considered a long term investment. You’re paying for an incredibly comfortable ride and a product that won’t need to be replaced for a long time. The initial price tag might be hard to swallow but it will eventually pay for itself. Cheaper saddles are often “false economy” since they’ll need to be replaced more frequently.
Are Brooks England Saddles Worth the Money?
Most cyclists consider Brooks saddles a worthwhile investment. Ride quality alone distinguishes these saddles from the crowd and justifies the cost. When you factor in that every saddle is handmade, will last for years and uses the highest quality materials, the cost suddenly doesn’t seem as high.
It becomes even less daunting if you look at Brooks saddles as an investment. The comfort and build quality on offer here are virtually unparalleled. Of course, saddle preference is ultimately a matter of taste, but you’ll struggle to find many cyclists who regret purchasing a Brooks.
Brooks England Pros and Cons
|Extremely comfortable||Expensive even at entry level|
|Moulds to the rider’s shape over time||“Breaking in” can take a while|
|Long lasting (and with a 10 year guarantee)||Attractive to thieves due to value|
|Quality leather materials and fantastic build quality||An element of “paying for the name” in the price|
|Fully waterproof and durable|
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