Alas poor Brooks, I knew him well for he hurt me so much

The Brooks Swift.

Can't say I've been after a Brooks for years 'cause I've not. Ugly, heavy things that inflict a world of pain. Plus they were designed in something like 1888, so why are they all £120 or more? Even used they are way more expensive than a nice, new saddle from somebody like Charge. They also need maintenance - application of Dubbin, which is made of wax from old world oils.

That was before I bought a Fat Bike. Or a set of Jones bars. You see, to me a fat bike looks like one of those old English motorbikes from the 1930's. I don't mean exactly like, no; that would be silly. No what I mean is that the tyre width, rider position and size of rider relative to the tyres are similar in both instances. Mentally remove the engine from the motorbike and you'll see what I mean. This is further reinforced by the fact that you see a lot of them used for backpacking, so they have bags attached in a similar vein to a dispatch rider in WWI.

So, if to my eye they remind me of an old motorcycle, then why in heaven's name would I fit a modern looking saddle? It has to be leather, it has to be Brooks.

I'm still not paying £120 though. hence on-line discounts are my friend. Figure there are counterfeits around, so I waited until a bike shop advertised one. Hence why my saddle is from 2012, not 2016.

My saddle.

Brooks Swift

Fitting is easy enough as it is micro adjust friendly. You then do the tap test. Yup, the first thing you do after fitting one is tap it. It's true! They really are like wood. Solid. Oh dear.

Then you go for a ride.

Two point five seconds later you are off the bike standing next to it wondering what the? You see, they really are that hard. Anyway I got back on and did about six or seven miles on it. This took ages, and ages, and ages. They're not normal these saddles. I had to keep stopping to adjust it as the position was all wrong. Even now, 100 miles in I'm thinking that I need a new handlebar stem as I'm sitting way more forward than I ever have.

It does get better. Marginally. Only 100 miles in; I've not hit the sweet spot where it is the same shape as my bum. Figure that takes lots of miles.


You know all those saddles you've had? The plastic ones? Ever thought about them in the rain? Nope, neither have I. This thing comes with a little rain cover to protect it. Oh do come on. This is the UK. This is a mountain bike. I can't stop every five minutes to put a sodding cover on. That is so not going to happen.


Yes, I did buy a cover for it, from a company called Velo Vintage for £25. Again Brooks want quite a bit for their bags. One day I will, sure, but not now. This bag is tiny. Holds a multi tool or that silly rain cover.

I still like the look, and think it all very appropriate to my view of fat bikes. I suspect very strongly, however, that myself and Brooks may well part company soon, to be replaced by a retro looking, brown Charge.

14/07/2016: Update.

Well the Brooks did not last long, not on the fat bike. Way too uncomfortable. Each ride hurt and I hated sitting on the thing. I've moved it over to another bike, one that I do not use. Much happier with it there.

I still like the looks of it, and the concept. Just hate using it.