A performance leather saddle for racier endeavors. Brooks finest.The handsome Swift was the youngest gentleman's racing saddle in the Brooks range. It features delicately hand skived lower sides, where a thin stripe of the leather top surface is cut back, thus exposing the lighter colored suede beneath which makes for an attractive visual accent and greater comfort when pedaling. The large copper rivets at the nose and tail are also hammered by hand, commensurate with our usual high level of attention to detail. As is the case with all of our hand manufactured saddles, the Swift proudly sports a metal nameplate at the rear, and in addition two embossed graphic details on the sides featuring the saddle name and incorporating an icon of a Swift in flight.
a Weekend Warrior
from Jefferson City, MO
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2009
Strengths: It's a Brooks! The looks, design and quality are unsurpassed.
Weaknesses: This one is difficult to break in - kind of pricy too.
My first Brooks, the B17 Special, I sat on for 12,142 miles (thats 19,547 km) of flat trail cruising, mostly in dirt/gravel. Very comfortable and very quick breakin. The Swift is not quite there yet and I have over 600 miles of sitting on it. Have adjusted the tilt twice and hopefully will get where I was with comfort soon. I am an avid Brooks fan, think it is the best looking part of the bike.
As soon as I got into mtbkng in 03 I had numbness issues in my toes and thigh. I eventually figured out that my saddle and my sit bones were not in tune. I tried the WTB Laser Stealth, and it was an improvement, but not enough better. I went to the Brooks, as so many reviewers rave about them and my issue led me to think that this was my best hope.
I labored over which Brooks to get, but I settled on the Ti Swift.
I'm happy with this saddle. My problem is not completely solved, but it is far better than with the other saddles I rode. Break in was not a big deal, but after about 100 miles the saddle was noticably more comfy. At 200 miles I felt that it was there. I regularly do 20+ miles on rocky terrain, and while I still have a little numbness that comes and goes, I never have that "I gotta get off this frickin saddle" thing.
I'm glad I got the Swift vs the B-17 or Team. It just seems like the right call for mtbkng. I can get behind it easily, it isn't horribly heavy, and it looks the part. It has the doofy bag loops, but I haven't gotten caught in them and I ride in baggies. One thing to be aware of is that the rails on this saddle restrict your seatpost choices. You need a post that clamps a little farther to the rear. I use a Ritchey WCS post and it barely permits the saddle to be far enough back.
Similar Products Used: WTB Laser Stealth, horrible stock Body Geometry (2003)
from Northeast US
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2005
I ride road and cyclocross bikes, and I've owned the Professional, the Colt, and B17N, so I'm used to riding a Brooks.
With the Swift I get numbness after 15 or 20 miles, but not quite as bad as it was with the B17N. I also didn't care for the way the Swift's Ti frame flexed while pedaling, but I think it's designed for that and some people would like it.
Also, the shell had a tendency to 'give' too much. (I weigh between 193-204 lbs. depending on the season.) Probably the sagging could be remedied with lacing in the center or tightening up on the tension nut a bit. It wasn't a lot of sagging, but just needed to be a little more rigid for me.
Break-in wasn't bad, after just a few rides it was OK. Not at all like breaking-in a Pro. (ugh!)
Just my luck that overall the Swift's shape and construction didn't work for me, because it is a cool looking saddle, and it's light for a Brooks. Even so, I think it's overpriced.
Like any other saddle, it might work for you, but you don't know until you actually try one yourself.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2005
Weaknesses: 100g heavier than the light ones,IF you care. Surface wimpy.
This is a follow up. One of the best buys I ever have done. I still don't know how they do it at Brooks. But this is the most comfortable saddle I know. Before I got it, I would give the coconut to the old Flite Titanium. The modern, Gel and so on saddles are not for me. And it keeps your ass cool in summer... VERRY Recomended. And a fine piece of craftsmanship, too.
a Weekend Warrior
from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2005
Strengths: The most comfortable saddle I have ever owned. I did not experience the so called suffering during the initial breaking in period. Perhaps it is just hype. I do not know. In fact I rode in a 12 hour event two weeks after purchasing the saddle without any adverse consequence which I know other saddles would have no doubt inflicted upon me. I applied proofide after almost every ride for the first 1 month and the depression began to appear within 2 months or so. The honey coloured Swift has since formed a darker shade which gives it a rich texture. It looks better now than when first out of the box.
Weaknesses: The saddle rails are a bit short. I could not use the saddle on a Thompson post without being perched too far forward. Found a Race Face lay back seat post for the saddle.
The Swift is one of the lightest Brooks but even at 375g with titanium rails, there are many lighter saddles out there. If weight saving is a premium then it is not the saddle for you. Its comfort is however unparalled and because of that I can put in more hours on the bike than I would on a lighter but less comfortable saddle. Don't be put off by the breaking in hype or tales about how the saddle doen't take kindly to moisture. Proofide it periodically and it will be fine. It rains a lot and the humidity is very high here in tropical Malaysia but the saddle has held up really well. Other expensive Italian saddles I have owned in the last three years have all gone to shreds. The ownership of a Brooks saddle is in itself a worthwhile experience.
Similar Products Used: Specialized BG (painful), Selle Italia SLR on my roadbike (only 125 grams but was a torture instrument), Selle Italia Trans Am (did not learn any lesson from the SLR experience), Titec Berserkr (large and well padded but surprisingly very uncomfortable) and countless other saddles in the past 18 years
Bike Setup: SC Heckler, Vanilla fork, 5th Element coil over, thompson, Chris King, xtr groupset, mavic UST rims and hutchinson octopus
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2004
Strengths: Form and Function and that Saddle Leather Smell. It's BUTTastic!
Weaknesses: techno/weight freaks will disown you. boo hoo.
I was very nervous that I'd suffer during "break in". Well, count me lucky--my arse is happy on this one out of the box.
Just try one. SIX MONTH MONEY BACK return policy at Wallingford. How can you go wrong?
I can ride a brick on my mountain bikes. Just ain't seated enough for problems there--although I do prefer the WTB line for off-roading. On the roadie I was dying during/after longer rides after an hour or two the nerve that runs by/through/under/near my sit bones would get inflamed/impinged/funky and I'd get tingling/numbness in my legs and feet and a MEGA SORE A$$. So I'd pedal harder to take pressure of my butt and that works until the quads crap out and then what? Misery--and the notion that you know kinda what the Tour feels like.
So I play with angles/tilt/height and lots of snazzy plastic saddles. No success until TODAY. I slapped my SWIFT on after I globbed Proofhide on both sides. Put twenty-odd miles on it and my butt be happier ALREADY!
Yes, that's a very short ride, but I can certainly tell the difference. And it gets better? SCHWEET.
NOTE: A longer bolt may be necessary to get the nose down on Thomson-type posts. Mine has just barely enough threads engaged to be safe. I'll get a longer one tomorrow.
Beauty. Not many parts as pretty/traditional/functional and problem solving as this one.
Oh, and when you see that the rails AND frame are Ti on this one--you'll understand the price tag a little better.
Similar Products Used: SI Trans-Am Max Flite (freakin mouthfull), Koobi, WTB, and many more.
Bike Setup: Custom-shop (OTR) Tig-welded steel roadie. (Road Bike Review has no place for Brooks reviews!?) I have bought a second Brooks for my SS ATB already!
a Cross Country Rider
from dallas, the metromess
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003
Strengths: Classic beauty, timeless design.
Weaknesses: Heavier than your average high-dollar saddle. Limited fore/aft adjustability because of short ramps on the rails.
Yeah, you gotta have a certain butt to really appreciate one of these saddles, but if you have that butt there is nothing that makes it more comfy on a long ride. The leather is thinner than many Brooks to keep the weight down so it may not be ideal for a heavy rider, but for me (185 lbs) I will never need to replace another saddle on this bike I expect.
Goop it up good with Proofide (bottom too) and set it in the sun for several days in a row and it is ready to start breaking in your butt. Once the two grow together you will understand why goofy old guys like me love these things. Or you will think you have found the ultimate torture device, there seems to be no middle ground on whether these are comfortable or not.
Similar Products Used: I have had Brooks saddles for the last 20 years.
a Cross Country Rider
from Zichron Ya'acov, Israel
Date Reviewed: July 28, 2003
Strengths: Hand made to a very high standard (90% hand made compared to an average of 10% for most other saddles), top quality leather, comfortable, shapes to your own anatomy, retro looks and different.
Weaknesses: Slightly heavy (only 80g more than my Selle Italia Flite Titanium), not totally waterproof.
I've only ridden once on this saddle. When I took it from the box I thought how uncomfortable it looked, it reminded me of a rock, however, I was more comfortable riding 35 km on this than my Flite...and this is even before the breaking-in period has begun. So, from the other reviews I have read this saddle will get even more comfortable with time. The saddle is truly a piece of quality hand-made craftmanship, top quality leather and copper rivets. From the other reviews I've read it will easily last 20-30 years compared with the average of 2 years my other saddles (mostly Selle Italia Flites) have lasted. $150 seems a lot to pay, but really with this quality and the lifespan it has it seems more economical. After all, Brooks have been making saddles for 140 years, they must know a thing or two...anyhow the human anatomy hasn't changed in this time and with a Brooks you get a totally customised saddle to the shape of your butt. It's a shame that most Mountain Bikers don't know the Brooks saddles, the company need some serious marketing to appeal to the masses of riders out there who want a comfortable perch..it seems that only tourers and roadies know and respect the brand. If you live in a hot climate it's also excellent - less sweating! Thanks also to Wallingford Bicycle Parts for their excellent advice on which saddle to buy http://www.wallbike.com/ (do I get a commission?) I was confused and thought that Brooks were only for old guys on old-fashioned touring bikes - How wrong I was!!!!
Weaknesses: a bit heavy (is this really a weakness?). Better save weight somewhere else...
This is the saddle to get if you suffer from problems such as hard feeling, pain, numbness, or if your butt just gets a too warm due to limited transpiration of the saddle, even using those with gel... and especially in hot summer days. In my case, breaking-in process of the brooks has been fast; probably because I just felt good with it from the start (good for me). But this thing just gets even more confi with miles since the leather progressively adapts to your anatomy. Also, since the leather is porous and this saddle does not have any plastic hardshell in the bottom, it actually "breaths", avoiding that excess of heat mentioned above. If you consider the average lifespan of a brooks, the excessive price of a brooks swift may be questioned. I highly recommend this saddle to any cross country rider looking for a confortable, finely made and sturdy great-looking item period. Happy trails.
Similar Products Used: Avocets, Selle Italia (Turbo, Flite, Trans Am), San Marco (Concor, Regal Girardi), WTB, Specialized.
Bike Setup: Installed on a '02 Turner XCE
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003
Weaknesses: looks very retro (might be an advantage for some), a tiny bit heavier than most expensive saddles, a bit bulky behind
Had saddle problems for an endless time and have tried a fast selection of mtb saddles. So, after having stumbled across these review, I bit the bullet and bought a Brooks (this Swift)for a really tough amount of money. When I looked at it the first time, I was terribly dissappointed: this suposed to be a comfortable saddle? Ridiculous! Just some Ti Rails an' some thick leather. After one month of breaking in this saddle is a revelation. Instead of getting nasty after the usual hour of riding, this thing gets the more comfortable the longer you ride. I don't know how it is done. But it works. THIS SADDLE HAS TERMINATED A 15 YEARS' TIME OF SADDLE PORBLEMs. period.