For whatever the reason, this saddle has generated more hype than any I can recall. Perhaps it’s because Brooks isn’t exactly associated typically with vegan saddles? Or maybe it’s the unique nature of the material application? Rubber, really?! I’ve heard a lot of positive and negative feedback but that didn’t stop me from picking up a Cambium C17 from my local shop to try out (I still hadn’t received mine from Brooks to review, so I figured what the hell)…
Check out more below!
Let me preface this by saying, I’ve put on more ‘lycra’ than ‘around town’ miles when riding this saddle, but I’ve still ridden it enough to make a fair assessment.
The Cambium is the best saddle on the market right now as far as out of the box comfort is concerned. That doesn’t mean it’s comfy like the seat your granny rides with 3″ padding. It’s actually more akin to the Selle Anatomica, Berthoud saddles, or a modern day, supple Unicanitor in terms of flexiness. At first, I thought it was just the fatbike adding the ‘squish’, but I put it on my track, road and cross bike yesterday, all of which offered the same feeling.
Some complain it’s too bouncy and I could see that on a track bike if you can’t control high cadence, but the thought has yet to cross my mine.
What I like the most about the C17 and the C17s are the two top material color offerings. I went with the slate grey (pictured – actually much darker than it looks), over the natural tan (way too light colored IMO) and let me explain why: darker saddles don’t show jean dye. The one complaint I’ve heard over and over again is that the C17 turns blue when you ride in denim. No shit… You’re riding in jeans, you sweat, the dye rubs off. It’s not rocket science! Go with the grey and you’ll never notice a thing.
Another complaint I’ve heard is that the material is like sandpaper, literally eating through denim in a matter of days. Personally, I can’t see how that is true. I’ve ridden in old bibs, that are prone to wearing, brand new jeans so I could note any wearing and my favorite ripstop shorts and saw absolutely zero wear. To the contrary, the saddle top actually got smoother!
Now the dreaded question: is it worth it? Well… I believe yes! I really love the feel of the saddle. I’ve had my Swift for over three years and it’s still not as comfortable as the C17. I only have one complaint: it doesn’t come in all black!
Head into your shop and check out one. A simple squeeze will sell you on it.
Expect an update on durability after a few months and as always, share your thoughts in the comments (politely)!