Last weekend, I did my first long (i.e. over 100km) ride of the year. The weather was alright at 3°C and some sun with clouds and I had a very nice ride out to the L'Île Perrot. Not so nice was the fact that about 85 km into the ride my Brooks B17 Imperial saddle broke: I heard a quick cracking sound and immediately knew that it had to the failure that I had been afraid of for a long time: one of the rails broke, right behind the clamp.
|Brooks B17 Imperial: Still in good shape|
|Just a little asymmetrical...|
- Selle An-Atomica: reportedly, the saddles are very comfortable, but the leather stretches very fast. In addition, they carry a hefty price tag of over 200 dollars shipped.
- Gilles Berthoud offers a range of nice leather saddles and apparently they can be easily repaired at home. Presumably due to their hefty price tag, they are not very common and it's therefore difficult to find reviews.
- Velo Orange sells a range of Brooks knock-offs. They're certainly cheap, but who knows long they will last.
Repairing the saddle is another option. Since prior to the defect I was very happy with the B17 Imperial and the leather is probably good for at least another 10 000 km, it would be nice to repair the saddle. While Brooks offers all the necessary spare parts, unsprung saddles like the B17 require you to re-rivet the saddle onto the frame. This is pretty tricky and Brooks recommends to have it done by a professional. Which, of course, is pretty expensive. I haven't talked to any of the local Brooks "dealers of excellence" in Montreal yet, but what I've found online is not that promising: at this place, the cost would be over 100 dollars, and I imagine other places will charge a similar amount.
|After the temporary repair|
So I'm not sure what to do yet, but I'll keep you updated. If you have experience with Brooks saddles breaking or being repaired, please comment.