Brooks Cambium C17 Carved Review

We often ask our best customers to let us know how they like a product we sell. It is important for us to gather feedback from riders of all varieties: age, type of cycling, sex, experience level, body type, etc.

Jamie was generous enough to offer us a wonderful review of the Brooks Cambium All Weather C17 Carved saddle.

Position, Position, Position

When I got my new Surly Midnight Special, Downshift had it fitted with a Brooks Cambium C17. I took the bike for a nice test ride and while I loved the new bike, I was not impressed with the saddle. The “vegan” Brooks saddle was hard, sticky, and not “my saddle;” my knockoff Selle Italia Turbo fits like a glove. After taking the plunge and snagging the Midnight Special permanently, I had Steve at the shop fit the stock WTB saddle on the new bike.

Several weeks later I was in the shop grabbing a coffee and noticed a different Brooks C17. It had a cut out for “pressure relief,” the Carved model. It felt supple, it looked cool, and I’d been thinking about some “pressure relief” for several seasons. I asked Steve about it and he suggested I give it a demo, I’m glad I did.

After the initial install I went on several short rides, usually to work and back, and adjusted and re-positioned the saddle after each ride. The position got progressively more comfortable as I continually slid the saddle back, until finding the very end of the seat post clamp. I had found the position.

My sit bones and the saddle had found where they meet and I went on several enjoyable moderate length rides. I noted that the saddle felt very much like a “hammock” for my pelvis, and the cut out provided some nice suspension action on bumpy pavement.

While wearing my cycling shorts the saddle felt great but when riding to and from work I was starting to realize the seat post clamp was chafing my thighs.  The “hammock” effect and my 210 pounds weren’t working together, as I relaxed into my normal riding stance the middle of the saddle would flex downward exposing my moving legs to the seat post clamp. I repositioned the saddle again, perhaps if I didn’t have the saddle rails at the furthest extent of the seat post clamp I could eliminate the friction. Nope. It didn’t work.

I was torn. The saddle shape is fantastic and suits my sit bones, but the material wouldn’t support my weight. I’d suggest this saddle to anyone weighing under 180 pounds. Otherwise, keep searching.

If you’re interested in reviewing a product you have purchased, please contact Kelsey at kelsey@downshiftbikes.com

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