The Brooks B17 is a truly a beautiful saddle. First introduced in 1898, the B17 has been in production for over 100 years. Superb craftsmanship and a vintage yet timeless design set it apart from other touring and commuting saddles. The tensioned leather evolves over time, giving each saddle a unique character. It does not offer the performance and low weight of more modern designs, but it does offer style and comfort for the more casual ride. It is not cheap and requires a bit more TLC than most, but with the proper care, it could last longer than many other components on your bike.
Brooks England B-17 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable, comfortable, classic style
Cons: Maintenance intensive, long break-in time, heavy
Manufacturer: Brooks England
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Brooks England B-17
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|Pros||Durable, comfortable, classic style||Lightweight, comfortable, durable||Lightweight, supportive, comfortable on long rides||Lightweight, comfortable, reasonably priced||Relieves pressure, good price, texture prevents slip|
|Cons||Maintenance intensive, long break-in time, heavy||No anatomic relief channel, lacks versatility||No pressure relief channel, limited colors||Unique shape may not be for everyone||Saddle can stick, excess padding, pricey|
|Bottom Line||An all leather classic, no padding just high quality tensioned leather that gets better with time and use.||A high-end, ultra lightweight racing saddle that blends comfort and performance.||A comfortable, affordable saddle great for long-distance cruising.||A high-performing saddle that provides lightweight comfort and a unique design.||A sweet cut-out model with generous padding and a sleek racing design.|
|Rating Categories||Brooks England B-17||Fabric Scoop||Fizik Aliante Gamma Kium||Prologo Dimension||Terry Fly TI|
|Specs||Brooks England B-17||Fabric Scoop||Fizik Aliante...||Prologo Dimension||Terry Fly TI|
|Dimensions||L 280 mm, W 174 mm||L 282 mm, W 142 mm||L 265 mm, W 142 mm||L 245 mm, W 143 mm||L 277 mm, W 140mm|
|Weight (grams)||537 g||195 g||252 g||191 g||236 g|
|Target Use (mountain, road, etc.)||Road, Commuting, Touring||Road||Road||Road, Mountain, Cyclocross||Road|
|Rail Material||Steel||Carbon fiber||Alloy||Tirox||316 Titanium alloy|
|Seat Cover Material||Leather||Waterproof microfiber||Synthetic||Microfiber||Leather|
|Shell Material||None, Tensioned Leather||Nylon, PU foam||Nylon Carbon Reinforced with Twin Flex™ center||Light foam||Unspecified Composite|
|Anatomical Cut Out or Channel||No||No||No||Yes, full cut out||Yes, cut out|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We found the Brooks England to be comfortable, following a long break-in period. The tensioned leather takes time to break in. Once broken in, it develops a distinct sweet spot where you will always find yourself. Our testers preferred the other saddles in the test that utilize some sort of padding for most riding.
The Brooks B17 did not receive high marks for performance from our testers. Its wide tail and short nose do not allow the rider to get into a high-performance position. A longer nose would allow the rider more position options when down in the drops on a road bike. It is better suited to a more upright position, utilized by commuters and touring riders.
The tensioned leather design does not lend itself well to many cycling disciplines such as cyclocross, road, and mountain biking. We liked the Brooks B17 on our commuters, touring bikes, and cruisers.
When properly cared for, the B-17 can be a very durable and long-lasting piece of equipment. We know riders who have had the same Brooks saddle on their daily commuter bike for many years. The tensioned leather will stand the test of time if it is treated often using Brooks Proofide, and protected from the elements.
At 570g the B-17 is not a lightweight racing saddle. But with an intended use of touring and trekking, it does not need to be. Touring saddles often compromise on weight to achieve all-day comfort.
You will likely pay over $100 dollars for a B-17, and another $25 or so for the proper leather conditioning products. There are cheaper saddles, but none that offer the vintage style and design of the B-17. The B-17 is expensive but its value comes through in the long run.
There are many versions of the B-17, including a titanium railed version that will save you quite a bit of weight. The B-17 is also offered in a women's specific design, as well as a range of different colors.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Curtis Smith