Brooks England’s C13 Saddles are in Stock and I’ve Been Riding One Jan 13, 2016

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

I’ve been a fan of the Cambium line from Brooks since its inception, yet was always hesitant to put one on my carbon Argonaut road bike. Why? I dunno, they never really matched the sleek and minimal aesthetic of my bike. Read that as: they never came in black! Now I don’t really care about weight. I’m not a gram counter, especially when it comes to saddles- even though the C13 weighs 259g – less than any of my other saddles. What I like in a ride is comfort without sacrificing aesthetic or most importantly, functionality. A lot of the über weight weenie saddles look scary or don’t fit my sit bones right. Or they’re just too damn stiff.

On the other side of the coin, Brooks saddles have always felt great. Luckily, the Cambium C13 continues this tradition just with an undated material palette. It’s so sleek that it looks great on a road bike (full driveside photo coming soon with another product review,) which I have to say has been feeling a bit neglected as of late. Yet over the past few weeks, since receiving the C13, I’ve been riding my road bike more and more, just to test the saddle’s durability and feel before I even began to think about writing this review. I was worried the C13 would lose the springiness of the other Cambium saddles when adopting the carbon weave, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it give just the right amount. The only bummer was having to track down oversize rail hardware for my ENVE seatpost.

After what I would consider a lot of road riding for this dirt-minded individual, I’m completely satisfied with the C13. It’s elegant enough for a carbon road bike, fits great, and is made in Italy. The C13 saddle is available for $220 at Brooks Dealers of Excellence worldwide or online at Brooks England.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments and check out more photos below.

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

BrooksC13

  • James_H

    once and for all, does the material eat up bibs??

    • D0rk

      My C17 has yet to eat a pair of shorts. The material has gotten fairly smooth in the higher wear spots. I’ve lost more shorts to an old saddle that had spot rust appearing on the chromed saddle rails where my thigh would brush against them.

    • Daniel Lemke

      Nope. I’ve been commuting and going on long road rides with a Cambium for over a year and yes there is some friction but it hasn’t ruined bibs or shorts. Its a great saddle.

    • I’ve never had a Cambium eat up anything I’m wearing.

      • Smithhammer

        Nor I. Did the 60-mile Gravel Pursuit last Sept. on a C17 and it had no affect on my shorts at all.

    • Mike Skalnik

      No

    • Jake Riehle

      Ditto. I did 2059 of the GDMR route on a Cambuim C17 Carved in June and had no issues in this regard.

      • Ian Stone

        Only 2059 miles? Pft

        • Jake Riehle

          I know right?! For a myriad of reasons I stopped short but I slapped that Salsa top cap for free pie in Pietown to remind me to try again.

    • Robert Franklin

      I’ve put Cambiums on a MTB, a cross, and a road bike. The only damage to my kits has come from me hitting pavement or dirt.

    • Jake Kruse
  • Ryan Welch

    1) Is there a demo program anywhere? Like other saddle companies have?
    2) Is there going to be a carved version available?

    • Jason Norton

      1) Yes, there are demo saddles for all of the Cambiums.
      2) TBD.

      • Ryan Welch

        How do I demo one? Is there a link on their site?

        • Jason Norton

          The first shipment got held up in customs, they should start showing up in shops next week. Where do you live?

          • Ryan Welch

            Tampa, FL. Really appreciate the responses and info.

          • Jason Norton

            I’ll get back to you tomorrow, I don’t know that one off the top of my head.

          • Ryan Welch

            Thank you

          • Ace Metric Cycles

            My shop’s in Orlando and we’re a heavy Brooks shop. I’ve been riding several cambiums and I’m very pleased overall. At 145 lbs, the carved versions are definitely for me. We’re ordering our C13 kit today which includes a test saddle. email me at [email protected] if you want to work out a demo and I’ll let you know when it arrives- probably Tuesday/Wednesday. Cheers man!

          • Ryan Welch

            Thank you

          • Jason Norton

            Bike Room in Saint Petersburg is one of the largest Brooks Dealers in the area. Ace Metric Cycles is clearly ready to help you so you have two great options.

          • Ryan Welch

            Thank you. I’ll look into it.

          • Matt O’Donnell

            Jason, do you know of one in San Francisco?

          • Jason Norton

            Huckleberry Bicycles will have them next week.

          • Matt O’Donnell

            Thanks!

  • FF

    I’m interested to know how much you paid for yours? If I got a free C13 I’d be ok with it, but otherwise I’d stick to my 100g lighter(and more comfortable) Romin Pro.

    And I have a C15 so familiar with how Cambium feels.

    • Matt O’Donnell

      I don’t think anyone is going to give you one for free.

      • FF

        You never know.. My birthday’s coming up rather soon. :)

        Also you missed my point.

    • Ace Metric Cycles

      retail is $220

    • As a website, I get a few products here and there to check out. No strings attached. If I like them, I write about them. This C13 was one of a dozen or so sent out to media.

      I have however purchased every single other Cambium saddles on my other bikes, at retail from my local shops.

      Saddle comfort is dependent upon sit bone width and body shape. So by you saying your Romin Pro is more comfortable, that’s subjective and dependent upon your body. For me, the Romin Pro didn’t feel so great, but the narrowness of the C15 and C13 feel great.

      Also, the C13 is made in Italy by Selle Italia. Your Romin Pro is made in Taiwan. Hence the dollar difference.

      Bottom line: if I hadn’t been sent this one, I would have bought it. Just like my other Cambiums.

      • FF

        Thanks for the excellent reply. Two others seemed to miss my point.

        I like my cambium C15 but it requires a more upright riding position where as the romin has a cut out so it does not bite into my perineum, and of course saddles are a subjective thing. Wideness and length need to be carefully tested to suit every derriere.

        The price difference is not the issue as robin pro isn’t cheap either but for me would be the stigma of a very expensive-but-not-that-racey- race bike saddle. I have many Brooks saddles and I’m not a weight weenie myself but the bulk looks(plus the 100g) of the Cambium compared to my Romin does not make it too appealing for me for a race bike. I appreciate Brooks trying though and with their material choices I’m not sure under 200g saddle is even possible.

        In the future, with all your reviews, I’d appreciate if you’d declare whether the product was given to you as a freebie or whether you actually paid for it. I know this might feel as it doesn’t matter but openness and coming out with the fact that you were given the product to review for free makes a difference. Many other bloggers and review sites in cycling are doing it so I think you should too.

        • That’s a pretty officious response to a reasonable reply from John, I can see why he didn’t bother to enter into further conversation.

          It’s great that you like your Romin Pro, you’d probably also enjoy their new Power saddle. The point is that the Specialized range is asian made and the Brooks is, well, not – it’s always going to be a more expensive proposition. Saying you don’t care about the cost completely negates other readers’ views of expense – you are not the only person reading these forums.

          As to the 100g, well, all I can say is: are you serious? Sure, if EVERY component on your bike was an additional 100g then there may well be an issue, but a component that’s called on to literally bear the brunt of every ride? No, something stronger that can stand up to the constant use is definitely worth such a realistically minuscule weight penalty.

          Every day I see customers make choices based on weight or aesthetics in isolation, and ever day I have the same conversations about weight – people who could easily stand to shed 5, 10 or more kilos agonising over 100g, it’s utterly ridiculous. From a trade perspective, I’ve never, not once had a customer regret their purchase of an item that is high-quality and a reasonable weight – I regularly speak with customers who have regreted their purchase of a super-lightweight part. I may sound like I’m bashing Specialized saddles (for example), but I’m not – for what they are, they offer a good range that will fit the vast majority of people, and they’ll last a year or two. That’s the reality. A Brooks saddle on the other hand, well, they last for orders of magnitude longer.

          As to your requirement for a disclaimer – if you read the reviews it’s pretty clear if the item was supplied by a manufacturer or purchased. However, as static disclaimer at the beginning of every review is probably a prudent thing to have – seeing as how we live in such a litigious world (as a side note, why read the reviews if you don’t trust the authors opinion? If you do trust their opinion, then it shouldn’t matter if the goods were supplied or purchased – you either think a reviewer is ‘cash for comment’ or you don’t).

          • FF

            Hello and thank you for the reply, let me come back on some points you made..

            First: You never know whether a person does not reply if the person does not inform you of the reason. :)

            “It’s great that you like your Romin Pro, you’d probably also enjoy their new Power saddle. The point is that the Specialized range is asian made and the Brooks is, well, not – it’s always going to be a more expensive proposition. Saying you don’t care about the cost completely negates other readers’ views of expense – you are not the only person reading these forums.”

            The Brooks range in Europe is priced about the same as the Specialized range so choosing Specialized does not save me any money. Cambium C15 is about 140€ everywhere and from Specialized’s range Romin/Phenom/Toupe expert models are in par with that. Pro(which I used at the time comment was made) is more expensive but not 200€ as C13. The most expensive saddles in Specialized range like S-Works and such do surpass the 200€ mark, with how much I don’t know but what I do know is that £200 is more than 200€.

            “As to the 100g, well, all I can say is: are you serious? Sure, if EVERY component on your bike was an additional 100g then there may well be an issue, but a component that’s called on to literally bear the brunt of every ride? No, something stronger that can stand up to the constant use is definitely worth such a realistically minuscule weight penalty.”

            What? :D

            So if Specialized makes(with some experience I might add) a 100g lighter carbon railed racing saddle it’s automatically of lesser quality and does not hold up use? The brunt has been beared quite successfully for some time now..

            “Every day I see customers make choices based on weight or aesthetics in isolation, and ever day I have the same conversations about weight – people who could easily stand to shed 5, 10 or more kilos agonising over 100g, it’s utterly ridiculous. From a trade perspective, I’ve never, not once had a customer regret their purchase of an item that is high-quality and a reasonable weight – I regularly speak with customers who have regreted their purchase of a super-lightweight part. I may sound like I’m bashing Specialized saddles (for example), but I’m not – for what they are, they offer a good range that will fit the vast majority of people, and they’ll last a year or two. That’s the reality. A Brooks saddle on the other hand, well, they last for orders of magnitude longer.”

            I’m very well aware that it makes more of a difference to shed 5 to 10 or maybe more of kilos from the rider than to select a lighter saddle, but we are not talking about losing weight on the rider; we are talking about light racing saddles and C13 isn’t one. So don’t go making this into a discussion it isn’t. :D

            “As to your requirement for a disclaimer – if you read the reviews it’s pretty clear if the item was supplied by a manufacturer or purchased. However, as static disclaimer at the beginning of every review is probably a prudent thing to have – seeing as how we live in such a litigious world (as a side note, why read the reviews if you don’t trust the authors opinion? If you do trust their opinion, then it shouldn’t matter if the goods were supplied or purchased – you either think a reviewer is ‘cash for comment’ or you don’t).”

            The folks in Finland(I’m from Finland btw) are taught media critic. I have no clue whether you are there in the States taught as well but I’m assuming that you do.

            However with product reviews some reviewers declare whether they’ve received the item free of charge without any strings attached to be fairly reviewed and with no compensation to be had. So to make the reviews as objective as possible(not possible to be objective but… as possible) it would be beneficial to declare to help those looking for answers from this blog whether Brooks C13(or any other reviewed item for that matter) would be a good purchase. It would not hurt the integrity of the blog but rather help it grow more. Whether is comes clear that the product was given a freebie or not from the text should not be an issue not the put there in the bottom in italic for example that “this product was sent as a free for review” or something the lines of that.

            I’m happy that we’re having this conversation and if you feel you want to add something or reply to my remarks please do so.

          • All I would really add is to say: system weight is not a side issue – rider + bike = system. Claiming that I’m attempting to divert the discussion by introducing other areas that could more easily and more cheaply affect the performance of the rider + bike system misses my point. Perhaps I didn’t make my point well in the first instance, I hope this clarifies what I mean.

            In Europe, perhaps it is that Specialized are perceived as a higher quality item. However, in Australia (not America) where I am located, Specialized is perceived as a consumable product while Brooks is perceived as a high-value, lasting product. My own first hand experience would back up this idea as I regularly see clients buying the latest Specialized saddles to replace items from that maker that are only a year or so old, while I never see this with Brooks. Market perception is, of course, engineered by the manufacturer to a degree, but if a manufacturer fails to produce an item that lives up to their claims then they will quickly find that the market will alter its perception of that brand. This has happened with Specialized in our market – particularly in the last 12 months since they initiated a global price increase without any alteration in the fundamental aspects of their products. I understand through conversations with British friends who are also in the industry that the same perception shift regarding Specialized has occurred in that market also.

      • Great review, John. Just to clarify for everyone out there, the Cambium series is manufactured by Selle Royal in Pozzoleone, not Selle Italia. The factory also produces Fizik and the bulk of the eponymous Selle Royal saddles for the European and North American markets.

  • sturtlovinggood

    Not that the use case is really there but worth noting that these don’t have bag loops like most of the other Brooks saddles

    • Yeah, I think it’s because Brooks envisions this to be a “racing” saddle perhaps? Not sure….

  • Ultra_Orange

    Whats the width in comparison to the c15?

  • mat Terwilliger

    NYC VELO In NYC has a BROOKS AND FIZIK saddle demo program..as many saddles as u want to try for 2 weeks for $30..after that if u want to buy a saddle $20 of the rental goes towards the purchase.

  • Robert Mead

    now i’m using for 4/5 hour, every day, a fizik arione, do you think the transition to a cambium c15 or c13 is a good idea?

    • Robert Mead

      and which of the two would you recommend

      • Ben Shane

        Robert – I’ve been an Arione user for many years, and took my first ride on the c13 today. It’s stiff, and feels a little bit narrower than the Arione. I felt a bit more pressure on the nethers than I’m used to and my back felt a bit sore after the ride, which leads me to think that this saddle doesnt support the sit bones in the same way that an Arioen does. This is likely due to differences in width and . Did you end up trying a C13? If so, what was your experience?

        • Robert Mead

          i have one since august. It’ amazing, better and more comfortable than arione

  • Shelby Burton

    Where by chance were you able to find the Enve hardware..directly through Enve? I have Enve post and was planning on making this purchase for a saddle.