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First Look – Brooks Cambium C15 Carved Saddle

A couple of years back Gomez had an opportunity to check out the Brooks Cambium C17 and Brooks recently offered us a chance to check out the narrower profile C15 so, being a guy who prefers narrower saddles, I decided to stick my rump on this one.

Just a bit about the saddles that I normally ride and what will, undeniably, be the two that I will have to judge the C15 against for better or worse. For nearly 20 years the Selle Italia Flite was my go-to saddle in various guises and pretty much the only saddle I rode. Several years back I was looking for a cut-out type saddle and found the WTB Valcon that is currently perched atop all the bikes I ride regularly. I have at least 5 of them, possibly more.

When Tony at Brooks offered up the Cambium C15 for testing, I looked at the narrow form and found that it was pretty close to what I currently ride. The C15 is a bit longer than my Valcons at 283mm vs 274mm and slightly wider at 140mm vs 133mm but pretty close in size and I went for the cut-out version called the Cambium C15 Carved.

While taking a few photos of the saddle I was struck by the build of the C15. One thing immediately apparent about the Cambium line is that it is different that the traditional Brooks saddles you might be familiar with. For starters, it is made in Italy! Additionally, the base of the saddle is made from vulcanized rubber that is covered with an organic cotton top while the chassis is die-cast aluminum with tubular steel rails. Not quite your father’s Brooks but very intriguing.

I mounted the Brooks on our long-term Surface 604 Boar eFat-bike test rig not quite ready yet to give up my Valcon on my trail bikes. Let’s get acquainted I thought. And so we are!

Because the C15 is pretty similar in size and shape to my existing saddles, my initial rides did not find me having to totally adjust to a completely different feel. The C15 has a forgiving feel and doesn’t need the traditional Brooks break-in period having a compliant feel right from the get go.

The bonded cotton covers of the C15 has more grip than the leather on my Valcons and if I have a gripe about the C15 in the first 200 or so miles of riding that might be it. Either the grippy covering or the shape of the nose tends to catch on my shorts when I am moving on and off the saddle. Other than that I find that the C15 is very comfortable. I’ve got a lot more riding to do on the C15 and will get a report out about longer term use of this addition to the Brooks line.

Brooks Cambium C15 Specs

  • Length  283 mm
  • Width   140 mm
  • Height  52 mm
  • Weight  405 g

BTW, The C15 family includes the standard C15, The C15 Carved and the C15 Limited edition so if this type of saddle appeals to you check them out at http://brooksengland.com.


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