Saddles did not give a huge variety for me, as I swear on Brooks
Brooks B15 Swallow Ti Black
Lightest version, extremely beautiful and really functional. Chosen for this bike from the first moment. After the first test ride in March, I had to send it in, as a rivet was already broken. Weak point of these saddles are the chrome coated rivets, as soon as they are installed and get in contact with water, they start to rust. For such an expensive saddle, no nice thing. As my Ti saddle got a scratch in the leather and I did not trust in his durability for TCR, I sent it in again, to the German Service station from brooks. Unfortunately this time I received the saddle back with some copied information that this saddle is not covered by warranty. As I was asking which of the listed issues are covered by warranty, I was pretty unhappy. This is again time consuming and I am going to discuss this with Brooks directly.
Brooks B15 Swallow Select
As rivets and thickness of the leather seem to be weak points for my riding style, I decided to get a new Brooks saddle in the very last moment. Copper rivets and a leather that is meant to be used for endurance rides. Still there is no clear information about the difference between the three different B15 saddles. Anyway, this one arrived pretty late and I decided not to use it, as I still had another B15 in “sometimes” use.
Brooks B15 Swallow Black
One of my Factory Five bikes from Shanghai, wears a B15. I decided to take this one off and put it on the final composition for the TCR. This was a good choice. Only on the two last days I kind of felt that my ass wants to go on holidays now. The saddle excellently coped with all requirements, from TT-riding to regular riding. Luckily the new saddlebag from Ortlieb kept away any rain that was usually put from the road to the bottom of the saddle.
I took Rapha’s chamois cream with me and used it every day, as a prophylaxis. Never used it before. I am sure it supported my comfortable ride, together with the BIB from Rapha for Brevet rides. I tested several BIB’s and only Assos F.Mille and Rapha Brevet fulfilled my requirement to be seated comfortably for longer times.