Brooks saddles are known the world over. When you think of them, it’s tradition, craft and leather that mostly comes to mind. But think again. The British company has come bang up-to-date with a new range of high-tech saddles in its Cambium range. They are ‘all-weather’ and built for years of racing, adventure or commuting.
Brooks saddles are classics
There can be few cyclists who have not heard of Brooks saddles. Anyone who has owned one knows these are saddles with which you must build up a relationship—they’re stiff as a board for the first 500km, and thereafter fit your butt like a glove (if you see what I mean). These days this might seem like a rather old-fashioned way to approach your cycling accessories, which is perhaps why the company launched its latest range: Cambium.
There are to things that spring to mind when reading the information about these saddles. We take issue with the USP ‘all-weather;. Like, duh. If a bicycle saddle isn’t all-weather, what’s it doing on a bike in the first place? And the second USP: ‘ready to ride’. Well, it should be, shouldn’t it? However, we do understand both points, which we think are rooted in the traditional saddles we have learned to love over the years.
So it is kind of weird that a saddle should be billed as ‘all weather’. But experience shows that traditional, leather Brooks saddles don’t like the rain. If one does not regularly treat the saddle with some kind of water-proofing agent, then it is likely to go a little soggy in the wet. But once the saddle is broken in to your own personal shape, there is no saddle like it for tailor-made fit. It just requires patience and very regular riding.
Ready to ride
So fast forward to the latest saddle range. This new release proves that riders who want a jump-on-and-ride solution to their bike saddle needs can still turn to the Brooks brand. Cambium All Weather saddles are made of a combination of vulcanised natural rubber and either waterproof nylon or organic cotton. This means long-life and total water-resistance—they’re stylish too.
The saddles looks great. But one thing you will notice if you visit the Brooks website is that many of the Cambium range that look particularly super-nice are, in fact, sold out. That is a shame, but it also adds to the exclusivity if you do happen to own one, of course.
Brooks Cambium range
The serial numbers in the Cambium range refer to the different riding style for which they are designed. There are C13/15/17 and C19. The C13 is for racing/performance cycling; the C15 is a narrower saddle designed for long-distance riding; the C17 is based on the traditional B17 model; while the C17s is designed for women riders. The C19 is a wider saddle for touring or city riding.
Rails and prices
There are a range of rail materials, from steel to continuous carbon—with prices and weights to match, of course. The C19 with steel rails cost around €110 and weighs 490g. At the other end of the range the C13 145 with continuous carbon rails, aluminium rivets and an organic cotton top weighs in at 295g, and costs €200.
Something for everyone
So whether you are hard-core racer, a cyclosportive rider, or simply ride to the shops, the new Brooks Cambium range has something to offer. There is something very stylish in this new take on an established classic range.