Well, it's official -- I've crossed over: I ordered my first Brooks saddle today.
Hopefully the UPS man will arrive in good stead and with relative haste, and I will see firsthand what the fuss is all about. I get the solid impression that I will not be disappointed.
No matter who I've talked to; large riders, small riders, mountain or road, racers or tourers -- everyone I've talked to that runs a Brooks says the same thing: It's the best saddle I've ever owned.
There HAS to be something to that, so I've finally bitten.
After practically 27,000 miles logged on my trusty Selle Italia Flite Trans Am, it's time for a new one anyways, as I think I've finally destroyed the minimal padding that was once there, and the thin leather cover is beginning to show signs of wearing through. Since Selle Italia tends to run with the trends, it's a model that I can no longer get. Considering the way I've evolved as a cyclist, and how constant Brooks has been since their inception, it's safe to say that this is not only the right choice, but something I can easily replace in another 5-10 years when (or IF) I wear it out. The Brooks B17 going away would be like taking the turkey out of Thanksgiving. It just isn't going to happen.
So, with held breath, I wait, patiently for my new arrival, along with a tin of Obenaufs and a bonnet for the rain. Yes, this saddle will require a little more care and feeding than I'm used to, but the payoff is huge. The only serious complains logged with the B17, referencing a popular website, come from a lady that was experiencing mild discomfort about 350 miles into a long brevet. I can live with that, considering my Selle often gives me problems much sooner than that. Like the cell phone and the microwave, I have a feeling that once I have a few miles on the Brooks, the extra care involved will not bother me at all. I won't be able to ride without one.
That only means I'll end up getting a Brooks for each of my bikes. Ugh. The wife will LOVE that justification! I have a feeling, however, that will take care of itself -- the good, multi-geared bike will probably maintain it's fairly new Flite saddle - decidedly racy. The nasty-weather bike will maintain it's nasty saddle, so I don't have to worry about it when it turns really foul outside. But, for the fix, I've been converted -- I've crossed over -- buying a Brooks is a rite of passage, of sorts, a return to cycling as it should be. Comfort and enjoyment first, weight second. The fact that this new saddle weighs nearly double the one it replaces doesn't bother me at all.
I'll be submitting my resume to Rivendell later this week.
As the evil emperor once said, I think in Return of the Jedi, "now your transformation is complete."
Of course, I think he was talking about something else. Whatever.