Touch points are a big thing here at Gravel & Grind. The quick and dirty: normal bike shop bikes come with low quality touch points. Show room squishy saddles that give to thumb pressure, gel grips that go boing under your palm, plastic pedals that will last less than a season of riding. They do this for all sorts of reasons, but show room sales and keeping costs down are two of the biggun’s. Good saddles are firm, have a good shape, and don’t look like garbage in 3 years or even 8. They don’t break down, they break in, and look and feel better with age. For a long time this was solely the domain of Brooks’s leather saddles, our favorites being the B17, B67 and Flyer. They looked and felt better with age, and slowly broke into your particular sit bones. There were and still are a few issues with leather saddles, and they are not for every bike out there. Mainly: town bikes that are locked up outside alot, mountain bikes that get wet alot, and certain more agressive racing oriented bikes that we mainly disavow knowledge of but sometimes have to address fit issues for
Brooks went and addressed these concerns with the new Cambium series. We mainly stock and get down with the C17, which is the widest Cambium saddle. Here’s the whywhat on these saddles. They’re wide, like a B17 touring saddle. Not super wide like a townie saddle, but wide enough for a mountain bike or touring bike or town bike with say, the bars only an inch above the saddle height. They’re made in Italy. They have steel rails and riveted on rubber and canvas tops, which flex much like leather when you are sitting on it. The canvas gets smoother as you ride more. They have saddle bag loops, so you can run a Sackville Saddle Sack or Frost River bag back there. They are not cheap, but no good saddles are. True fact. We stock them in all of the colors currently available, and matching Brooks Cambium Cotton bar tape too, which is thick and tough just like the top of the saddle.