Tuesday, 19 April 2016


Last year I bought my first pair of upmarket bibshorts. I´d been struggling on longer rides and thought maybe a decent pair of shorts might make all the difference. And with L´Éroica coming up I went for this pair of Vélobicci ´Victor´ bibs.
P.S. Not modelled by me obviously.

So I set off for a ride (L´Éroica) a few days later on the the Vitus 979, and about half way through  realised that I hadn´t even noticed the saddle. Now this was a first. Normally by this time I'm spending half the time out of the saddle trying to give my rear end a rest. Wow, I thought, the shorts are amazing - my worries are over!

But only a few days later I wore the same bibs on the Enigma with its Fizik Aliante, and the difference was far less marked. An improvement perhaps, but not the magic carpet ride I´d experienced on the Vitus.

So I assumed it must be the saddle. For the Vitus I bought a beaten up old Brooks Swift on eBay for about thirty five quid.

I´m not sure how old this Swift is. On the Brooks website they say the Swift is ´the youngest gentleman's racing saddle in the Brooks range´, and ´On introduction the Swift was offered only with lightweight titanium rails. However, due to popular demand, since 2008 we also offer the Swift Chrome, with traditional steel underpinnings, finished to our usual high standards with bright polished chromium plate.´

But this saddle looks way older than that, unless it was used every day since 2008?
Maybe it was.

So anyway, I was lucky enough to be offered a titanium railed Swift at a special tester price. 
And it´s now on my comuting bike (the Surly Crosscheck) getting broken in.

It´s a decent 384 grams on my kitchen scales, the lightest saddle in the Brooks range I believe.
So far, as you'd expect with a new leather saddle, it´s nowhere near as comfortable as the ´vintage´ Swift, but is already improving with use.

So with bikes getting lighter and lighter it'd be perfectly possibly to have a Brooks on your super light road bike and still be under the UCI's 6.8Kgs minimum. 

Below are some other classic or well known saddles and their weights. 

The Turbo was considered lightweight back in the day....

Above: The trusty Brooks Professional from my commuting bike.
Weighty, but comfortable!

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