Author Topic: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?  (Read 1537 times)

What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« on: April 06, 2021, 09:39:52 pm »
I like Professionals best but they haven't been made for decades and don't have bag loops.  They are 151mm wide, which is a fair bit narrower than the current Team Professional, a rather different saddle with a similar name.

The Swallow or B17 Narrow are the right width but IME the width of the centre section is more important than the rear (where they are measured).  I have Swallows and they are ok but feel a little on the narrow side.  Is a B17N narrower or wider than a Swallow in the middle, where it presses on your perineum?

A B17 is right out - it feels like riding a horse to me!
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 11:21:48 pm »
Not Brooks, but have you tried a Spa Aire (148mm) or Wharfe (151mm)?

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 12:05:01 am »
I've got a nice old Professional in the shed somewhere, if you want me to look it out? In my old age, I've settled on B17s as I've given up worrying about what stuff looks like. I've got a brown one on my Thorn Raven which was my best saddle ever from day one, but the black one that I've been riding for more than a year now on my Roberts has only just got itself used to my arse.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 06:43:30 am »
Not Brooks, but have you tried a Spa Aire (148mm) or Wharfe (151mm)?
mike gave me a Wharfe a few years ago.  It was very hard but ok for commuting, as it was tolerable for short trips.  It never broke in but it broke twice - first, the nose shackle snapped and Spa sent a free one, then one of the rivets popped.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 11:31:41 am »
You could have a look at the Berthoud Aspin.  I swapped to those when my ancient Brookses ceased being comfortable.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 11:39:46 am »
The snapping nose pieces on Gyes-made saddles is much less of a problem now the tooling has been changed.

I can loan you a fairly low mileage GB Aspin (slotted) if you want to test out the shape.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 03:15:48 pm »
The snapping nose pieces on Gyes-made saddles is much less of a problem now the tooling has been changed.

I can loan you a fairly low mileage GB Aspin (slotted) if you want to test out the shape.

Come to think of it, I have an unslotted one going spare.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 08:47:37 am »
I've used the Brooks Professional since the early 90s but now use Spa Aire, both the steel and Ti railed versions. They are a fine replacement for the Brooks, if you can get past the painful 1000km breaking in period, that said the titanium version was much comfier out of the box.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2021, 11:02:45 pm »
The Spa saddles break in very quickly riding fixed round the North Pennines!

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 08:34:32 pm »
I'm going to try a B17 narrow.  At least I can sell it for almost the new price, if it doesn't work out.  Thanks for the suggestions.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 01:38:32 pm »
Jumping on this a bit I am in the need of a new saddle for my thorn club tour. I've had a look at the spa own brands l Nidd etc. Any recommendations which i know can be hard with saddles. Im fairly slim and tend to run whatever comes with a bike saddle wise but do have found in the past whats comfy on my aggressive position road bike hasn't been on tourer or mountain bike

I do also use this bike a lot for utility purpose so without cycling shorts

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2021, 07:26:50 am »
I have three ti Spa Aire saddles on various machines. My riding position is essentially 'tourist'.
I prefer the Aire narrow nose and flat wide rear. Very comfortable for me but UBMD. Breaking in was not painful.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2021, 09:25:37 pm »
I’ve got a couple of bike with Aires. I like them. Narrow at front and flat at back. They are on less racy positions. I also ride some Selle Italia SLR on the road bike - that’s narrow but a similar shape and flat at the back.

The Spa Wharfe is only a few mm wider than the Aire and I had one years ago on a Long Haul Trucker. It seemed fine with a more upright position, but I didn’t get on with the bike (long top tube and I found it dead on the road, albeit better on loose and tracks)

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2021, 09:51:10 pm »
I'm the opposite.  After a couple of months trying both the Aire and the Nidd Narrow, and thinking that they were both a bit uncomfortable at the start of a ride but no worse at the end, I decided that I’ll eventually break them in (or they will break me).

I tried a Wharf yesterday.  Fitted pretty perfectly from the very first mile.  Only done 15 miles on it, but it feels like a saddle that'll carry me for a couple of hundred k.  Let’s hope so, as that’s the target for this summer.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 08:51:24 pm »
Obviously MAWV, but can anyone comment on the suitability of the Aire (or anything else, frankly) for someone who's just broken the rails on *another* Brooks Swift?

And is there a difference in comfort between the Ti and CroMo rails that I'm likely to notice to the tune of forty quid? I've convinced myself that I prefer Ti Brooks (at least enough to buy them second hand and exclude steel ones), but I'd like to pretend to be open minded.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2021, 08:57:56 pm »
Ti has about twice the flexibility of steel with the same dimensions (as per saddle rails). Leather has quite a bit more flexibility than either material.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2021, 06:14:22 am »
I had a honey Team Pro titanium that never really needed breaking in, because it was pretty soft out of the box.  The black steel version I bought the same year stayed rock hard, although it eventually developed break-in "dimples".
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2021, 12:57:08 pm »
Obviously MAWV, but can anyone comment on the suitability of the Aire (or anything else, frankly) for someone who's just broken the rails on *another* Brooks Swift?

After having a Brooks Professional break for the second time I bought and used an Aire.  I found it extremely painful to break in, it took about 500km, and the nose bolt broke on that even quicker.

I bought a Swift about 2 years ago and having only done about 10,000km on it the nose bolt has broken. I have bought a replacement and am currently waiting to fit it.  In the mean time, the past 3 weeks or so I have been using a Fabric Scoop Shallow saddle and I have to say I like it, although I have only ridden it for about 2.5 hours max.  That might change over longer distances.  The biggest difference I have found is although it is comfortable, it is not as fit and forget comfortable as a Brooks.  You always know it's there if you know what I mean.

Still not sure if to persevere and get rid of the Brooks as writing this has reminded me of that fact that for expensive saddles they can be quite problematic.

Sorry to ramble on, hope that sort of answers your question :)

Re: What's the closest current Brooks saddle to a Professional?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2021, 08:07:16 am »
Brooks Professional or Team Professional?  They're completely different saddles, from different eras.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.