Brooks Cambium?

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  • Brooks Cambium?
  • badgerbater
    Member

    Just wondered if anyone here had purchased and/or test ridden the new Cambium saddle from Brooks? It looks good and has taken 7 years to develop. The only downsides are, that it’s manufactured in Italy (I think) and costs just over £100. There is a Youtube video but I’m no good with links…

    I was lucky enough to get one on their test program so have been riding on it for six months or so. Been very happy with it, comfort-wise I’d say it’s equivalent to a nicely broken in B17 (and was so from the first ride) and it’s now at the point that I really don’t notice it at all when I ride the bike it’s fitted on. Nice to have a weatherproof alternative that you don’t have to worry about it getting wet!

    It’s lasting well (fitted to a audax/commuter that lives outside the office during the day, but I put a cover over the saddle anyway) and still looks good, so I’m happy to recommend them. Not entirely sure I’d want to pay £100, though I would consider it when/if they release a narrower (Swift/Swallow equivalent) version and in black (the ‘Natural’ colour doesn’t look as nice in my opinion, because it doesn’t match anything on the bike!)

    badgerbater
    Member

    Thanks for the review. Like you, I’ll probably wait for the black version and the price to drop before buying…

    occamsrazor
    Member

    Anyone else with a Brooks Cambium C17? Longer term impressions? Looking for a wide-ish comfortable saddle for trail/singletrack use on a hardtail. Love the looks but wondering whether it’s maybe too hard for offroad/bumpy trails.

    vorlich
    Member

    I’ve had one for a month or so.

    I like it, it’s comfy (my first Brooks, long term Spoon user). Seems durable, although the areas around the studs have become a little ‘polished’, I expect it might take a pleasing patina, rather than look tatty over time.

    The cloth finish holds dirt, so needs a stiff brush to clean it properly. The rubbery bits grip baggies, which is noticeable when getting over the back wheel, but hasn’t caused any real issue so far TBH. Not a deal breaker, but I imagine it depends on if you’ll find the grippyness a problem – it’s not noticeable when pedalling.

    No regrets in buying it, but possibly better for a tourer rather than MTB.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I would consider it when/if they release a narrower (Swift/Swallow equivalent) version

    Soon to be released C15 looks interesting.

    aP
    Member

    I’ve had one on my Brompton for over 6 months.
    Its ok, seems to be wearing reasonably well (10 miles a day minimum). There appears to be a very sharp transition between compliant and hard which I find a bit difficult as unlike any other saddle I’ve ever used (apart from the original Fi’zik Arione which completely crippled me) I never seem able to just get on and feel comfortable – I have to move around a bit to find the comfy zone.

    occamsrazor
    Member

    “sharp transition between compliant and hard” – can you elaborate a bit on that please? Do you mean from front to back, or in terms of flexibility? Thanks…

    aP
    Member

    Dependant upon where I sit, it either feels comfy, or hard and not so comfy. The transition between comfy, and hard and not so comfy is very narrow.
    I ride about 10,000 miles a year on a Fi’zik Aliante twin carbon which I find overall much more comfortable than the Brooks Cambium – but its not an appropriate saddle for a Brompton, whereas the Cambium sits better with the Brompton overall, as I pick it up using the saddle, for example.

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    I got one for my 40th its fitted to my SS hardtail which mile for mile gets the most use… It took a little time to get used to it as it is slightly wider than the SDG Bel Air my ass is familiar with and I could feel it on my sit bones. Having owned it now for over 6 months it is very comfortable and absorbs trail bumps with ease, very tough, beautifully made, looks good and always scrubs back up nicely after muddy rides. Really glad I got it.

    occamsrazor
    Member

    @cardo – in terms of cushioning and absorbing trail bumps, how would you say it compares to either the SDG Bel Air or other more “normal” MTB saddles with padding like WTB etc? Thanks

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    Foam cushioning/padding is non existent by design , but the rubber of the seat does flex and move when you put your weight onto it. You do feel the flex and absorption over bumps in the trail and the rubber soaks up vibration really well.

    If you are a fan of the traditional Brooks saddle but don’t want to ruin one with riding in mud and wet weather or worry about the upkeep of the leather then the Cambium is well worth trying out. Some Brooks dealers have demo saddles you can try out.

    Compared to the SDG its heavier more expensive and in my case your backside needs to adapt to it (it is a brooks after all) so might not be instantly comfortable but I ride a lot with it and don’t even think about it which means its working just right… It should last a lot longer than a SDG too.

    occamsrazor
    Member

    Thanks again for your opinions, appreciated. I can see how the middle would flex, but tell me… the very front that has the metal below it, is presumably hard with no flex – would this be problematic in an offroad situation, errr.. for the family jewels?

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    If your family jewels are bouncing off the front of the saddle its time to stand up 😉 .. all my riding is off road and the nose of the saddle interfearing with areas it shouldn’t has not been an issue. The back of the saddle is very solid and can sting a little if you are hanging over the back of the bike and don’t quite clear it when leveling back out and reseating. Again this is no longer an issue its a matter of adapting to your new saddle. Try a demo one for a week.

    occamsrazor
    Member

    If your family jewels are bouncing off the front of the saddle its time to stand up…

    True, I was thinking more if after standing you come back down a little too far forward… but from what you say seems it’s not an issue. Thanks for taking the time to answer all my dumb questions 🙂

    drovercycles
    Member

    We’ve fitted C17s to our two new tandems (in the hire fleet) which we took out for a test ride last night. As others have said, they feel very similar to a broken-in leather Brooks.

    We have demo saddles (and will have a C15 demo saddle soon too) if anyone is interested in trying one – they can be posted out anywhere in the UK for you to try, we knock the return postage cost off the price of a purchase so you can try before you buy at potentially no cost.

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