To B17 Or Not To B17

For some strange reason or another the word Brooks can have the same effect on cyclists as Marmite does on a lot of people .

I know I don’t like Marmite but on the other hand I don’t ever remember trying it !

I have tried Brooks saddles a few times mainly B17’S and B67’S the strange sensation of riding on a saddle that moved on the springs as I rode was one sensation I didn’t enjoy at all . The various B17’s have been comfy enough and look the part on the vast majority of bikes but also on the other hand I have felt they looked a bit too big and cumbersome against the svelte lines of some road bikes .

Brooks b17

About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with having an enlarged prostate , so began searching what if any saddles were recommended with this condition as quite a lot of articles warned about the danger of cycling with this condition . I contacted a few saddle company’s to see what there view was and what options they offered . Charge came back saying they were aware of the issue but as of then none of the saddles they offered were deemed to be Prostate friendly , I also got a similar answer from Brooks although they did offer a B17 with a channel cut out to alleviate pressure for long distance cyclists . The only company who offered a full range seem to have been Selle Smp and looking at their website it showed that a lot of research had been done by them on this issue .

I also found a few other companies were offering totally nose-less saddles but these all seemed to be aimed at the “ time trial” market rather than the leisure cyclist that I classify myself as . Plus in all fairness the general appearance of these just looked a bit strange to me .

Rido Saddle

I finally decided that a Selle Smp product was the way forward but just what model was the next hard decision , my partner and I decided that it was worth paying for whichever one I decided on as they vary in price from £40 to well over £150 each depending on what model I chose . Some of the more basic versions offered a more padded saddle than some others but seeing as I liked a firm saddle they were straight out of the question . I finally decided on the Lite 209 model but seeing the price of these I contacted the UK importers as they offered a free trial period . Due to the weather this trial period was extended and I soon decided this was a comfy saddle and ideal for my needs , so ordered two of them , one in red and one in black .


The only hurdle I have come against in using these saddle is the normal little saddle bags that attach to the seat rails would not on these, but hey I can live with that problem . One of these saddle’s have been ridden almost every day since they were fitted as I try to use my bike every day for commuting duties and leisure rides and at the weekend .

I would quite happily recommend the Selle smp range to anybody that asks about what saddle to use no matter if they have enlarged prostate or not . I have been well and truly impressed with the comfort and durability offered by these fantastic saddles . They still look as good as the day I took them out of the box


2 thoughts on “To B17 Or Not To B17

  1. Mart
    I too have an enlarged prostate and when told this several years ago I went and bought the biggest fattest widest Royal gel saddle I could find. Didn’t work at all and was only good for a ‘short hop’. I then rode a well worn brooks by accident that came on a 1974 RJ Quinn which I found wonderfully painless. I’ve moved on to another brooks that, with a little tweaking, is nice and comfortable and I find the sit bones go before the prostate.!!!!
    Lance Armstrtongs charity did much research on saddles and its worth a read up on its an eye opener and can prevent an eye watering ride

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