Brooks England Cambium C15 Carved All-Weather Review
Cons: Heavy, not very comfortable or supportive
Manufacturer: Brooks England
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Brooks Cambium C15 Carved All-Weather shares the racing-inspired design of the C15 line of saddles and adds the vulcanized rubber construction of the Cambium lineup, as well as a carved pressure relief cutout. Our testers found the unpadded material to be a little too hard to rank highly on the comfort scale, and a little too flexible and heavy to rank highly on the performance scale. While most of today's riders wouldn't put this saddle on their racing bike, there are some riding applications where this model could shine.
This Cambium C15 Carved doesn't score too well in our comfort ratings compared to its more modern counterparts with comfortable padding and higher-end materials. While the classic shape and profile of the saddle is a good fit for many riders, the lack of padding tends to cause pressure points for those with uninitiated sit bones. We also found that the precise "carved" cutout doesn't have any padding or edge taper, and its stiff edges have the potential to cause uncomfortable pressure points. The overall flex of the saddle helps to soften the ride and absorb road vibrations, but not enough to compensate for the lack of padding. Riders who are experienced with firmer saddles may appreciate this design, but riders looking for more cushioning may want to look elsewhere.
The firm rubberized material and racing-inspired shape of the Cambium C15 Carved have the potential to make this a high-performing saddle, but its heavier weight and high flexibility can limit the support needed for efficient power transfer. The unsupported rubber seat tends to flex a lot and become bouncy when riding on rough roads or when pedaling aggressively, especially with the carved cutout that decreases the overall stiffness of the saddle. While this probably wouldn't be an ideal choice for all-out racing, it is better suited to lower intensity steady riding styles like touring or commuting.
Although it's not the most comfortable or highest performing saddle in our lineup, the Cambium C15 Carved could be a good option for touring, commuting, or even cyclocross racing, where all-weather performance is a priority. The tough vulcanized rubber material and organic cotton canvas cover are ready to stand up to rain, mud, snow, or sweat. However, racers or aggressive road riders will likely prefer a more modern option that is lighter, more comfortable, and higher performing, which limits the overall versatility of this model.
This saddle is definitely built to last. The tough, weatherproof rubber material and high-quality Brooks construction give a strong impression of excellent durability. We didn't notice any wear and tear during our testing period. The only potential drawback is that the high flex of the saddle could mean that the comfort or performance might change as the saddle breaks in or eventually breaks down. But given the reputation of Brooks saddles, we don't have any doubts that this saddle could stay on your bike for decades.
The Cambium C15 Carved is not a lightweight saddle and comes in at the heavy end of our lineup with a measured weight of 430 grams. While the burly materials and construction will likely withstand years of weather and abuse, the weight penalty for such durability may be a turnoff to riders looking for lightweight performance.
The Cambium C15 Carved retails for $120. The classic Brooks design and construction are high quality, and the durable materials should last a long, long time. For riders looking for a classic design with great potential longevity, this could provide a great long term value. Riders looking for more comfort or lightweight performance will find many other modern saddles in this price range that may better suit their needs.
The Brooks Cambium C15 Carved All-Weather is an interesting twist on the design of a classic Brooks saddle. The heavy-duty vulcanized rubber material will likely provide years of trouble-free use, and the carved pressure relief cutout aims to increase riding comfort and saddle flexibility. While certain riders looking for long term all-weather performance may appreciate this saddle, our testers preferred other more modern options with more comfortable and lightweight materials.
— Nick Bruckbauer