A Comfortable & Tough Touring Saddle
For whatever reason, possibly the ratio of my upper body to legs, I have always had a difficult time finding a comfortable bicycle saddle/seatpost combination. One look at my bicycle parts closet and you would think I was the Imelda Marcos of bike saddles. I have tried most brands and found them to be either too hard, too wide or too short in the rails. After years of frustrating trial and error, I finally settled on a combination of the Thomson Setback seatpost mated to a Fisik Arione Titanium saddle. Although this saddle/post combination was not a perfect fit, it did allow me to cycle 50 plus miles in a day before the usual ache in the groin area began to occur. The important thing was that this was one of the few saddles that had rails long enough to provide positioning far to the rear.
This allowed me freedom of movement to slide forward and aft and achieve comfort while touring for long periods of time. At one time years ago I purchased a Brooks B17 Narrow after reading glowing reviews by many experienced touring cyclists. This saddle was a disappointment to me. I never really got a chance to break it in properly because the rails were so very short that I found myself constantly perched apon the rivetted section of the seat or slipping off the back. Fortunately this saddle sold quickly on Ebay so I did not lose too much in the experiment. Which brings me to the present day. Some time around 2002, the Italian company Selle Royal, stepped in to rescue the Brooks saddle company from near bankruptcy. Thus the age old British leather saddle company was fused with the very same Italian manufacturer who was responsible for the Fisik line of saddles. Then last year (2013), Brooks announced a new line of saddles made from organic cotton and vulcanized natural rubber called the Cambium. The first production saddles were the C17 model which was similar in shape to the vintage B17 leather Brooks; so cherished by touring cyclists worldwide. I mulled over images of these saddles and wondered if Brooks had made changes in the length of the rails on this new offering. Unfortunately, the C17 was still too wide for my style of touring so I passed it by. This year (2014), Brooks has added the C15 Cambium to the lineup and it is a major game changer.
I quickly ordered one in hopes that it would be the last saddle that I would ever need and I was not disappointed this time. The marriage between the Brooks “hammock” slung saddle style and the Italian long rail racing saddle really paid off in the creation of the C15. What this meant to me personally was a perfect fit similar to the Fizik Arione but with the comfort of a Brooks for the long haul. The moment I mounted the C15 onto my bike and took it for a spin, I knew it was a winner. At the end of a 70 mile ride it was as comfortable as the first mile. In addition, the C15 Cambium is also waterproof and the natural rubber covering renders it virtually indestructible on tour.
I can honestly say that my search for the perfect touring saddle is over.
I give this a five star rating.