Initial Reaction: Brooks C15 Narrow Cambium Saddle Jul 23, 2014

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This saddle has been creating quite the stir and rightfully so. I’ve been riding the C17 on and off for several months and it’s great, but I usually ride a narrower saddle, so it was never ideal. When Brooks England gave me two C15 Cambiums to try out on my bikes, I was eager to see how it felt on my touring bike and a road bike. First up, is my Geekhouse Woodville touring bike.

I’ve been pedaling around today on the C15 and I’m already in love with it… See more below

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It’s damn hot in Austin right now and a black leather Swift gets hot pretty easily. I’m not sure if it’s a placebo effect, but the C15 feels considerably cooler – even though it will show a great deal of sweat when you’re done riding. It’s also way more comfortable out of the packaging than my Swift was, which should be of no surprise.

Granted, part of the allure of a traditional Brooks is that magical moment when it finally breaks in. With the C15, there’s no break in period. If anything, the fabric top gets a little less tacky and begins to show age. You don’t need to worry about it getting wet and you’ll never need to adjust it, or care for it.

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The hardware for the Cambium saddles is a point of departure from the copper, hand-hammer rivets, but I like the look. Each of the 200 “pre-launch” saddles have a number laser etched on them. One day, Brooks promised me that they’ll do an all black version. Fingers crossed!

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Back to the main difference between the C15 and the C17, the width. Granted, the C15′s 140 mm width, when compared to the C17′s width of 162mm might not seem like that big of a deal, but for my sit bones, it’s a huge improvement.

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Width and looks are two important qualities in my saddles and with the C15 you get both, along with superb construction, long rails for ideal placement (especially on a PAUL Tall & Handsome seatpost) and Brooks’ legacy of saddle making.

I’ll put in more around town miles and some dirt thrashing before updating you on this unique saddle. Until then, you can sign up at Brooks to try one out yourself!

  • disqus_KZD2FBYTyQ

    how do these compare to a regal? still haven’t seen either version in person to compare.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Very similar.

  • barry mcwilliams

    Hmm, I’m spec’ing my Stinner CX build now & it looks like this might not be widely avail until Oct. They do have the C17′s now, as far as I can tell.

    Do I exercise patience or get the 17 now? Only I can truly decide…

    • sygyzy

      Do you think your Stinner build will be done in 3 months?

      • barry mcwilliams

        Welding commenced (or whatever the first step is) yesterday!!!

      • barry mcwilliams

        Now I feel kind of foolish that I don’t know what the first step is :) Putting the steel tubes in that clamp-thing? Yeah, I know lots about custom bike building!

    • mywynne

      I sprung for the C17 because I’ve got a build coming together this month. Hoping I don’t regret not waiting!

  • salmansqadeer

    What seat bag is that? It’s a beauty!

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      It’s a Yanco x Tracko Ramblin Roll made from some WWII camo that I bought.

      • Rob X

        It looks amazing. Any change that it’ll be available for purchase or nah?

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          I’ll be selling however many Yanco can make from the fabric in August.

          • Rob X

            Sick, thanks for the response.

      • Chris

        Reproduction or original fabric?

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          Original. Down to the bullet holes.

      • James Acklin

        So unbelievably stoked for these to drop. Watching the site like a hawk.

  • Ultra_Orange

    Been interested in the 17 since it was released but I hate to admit I haven’t really considered it because of the color. What can I say, my bum like something pretty to look at during a ride.

  • Western Rapid

    For those asking about C15/C17 comparisons – I haven’t ridden the newer saddle, but I’ve ridden the C17 for the last six months, and on several different bikes. I initially had it on an older, slower randonneur bike and REALLY liked it; it’s so soft and comfortable. It was definitely suited to the more stately ride.

    More recently, however, I’ve had it fitted to my road bike, which I obviously use for faster, more intense rides, and I felt that the wings were a little too wide for rigorous pedalling.

    I’m hoping that the C15 will be the perfect blend – fast AND comfortable.

  • Nicolas Ponroy

    “You don’t need to worry about it getting wet”

    I was talking about that at my local bike shop, since a bike with a C17 was outside under the rain.
    Ok it dont soak up water as leather, but you dont get it dry just by wiping the saddle with a piece of fabric?

    or I am wrong?

  • Raoul Morley

    Hi, just one question, I usually run a leather Brooks as it’s the only thing that seems immune to riding in jeans, are these as strong I’m yet to find a material saddle that can withstand the abrasion of denim?

    • Western Rapid

      Thing is, it doesn’t really transmit the water back into your bibs. It’s quick-drying, and wouldn’t be a problem…

    • demimismo

      I have one C17, the white one, and I wear it with jeans and chinos. It soaks water and body perspiration, the jeans dye transfers to the saddle upper, you can’t clean that with anything and I’ve stained a pair of chinos because of that. For me, this new saddle is not comparable to the leather ones.

  • Richard Smith

    That big chunk of cast alloy is a dealbreaker for me.

  • http://thegrreatescape.tumblr.com Erik Nohlin

    Yes, black, black all the way means anodized aluminium base and plated rails.

  • Tyler Johnson

    I’ve seen a custom one of these with Cambium top, gum bottom and all black hardware. It’s so sick looking.