Brooks Team Pro Black Steel/Chrome Rails: The timeless Brooks saddle for sports riders. A great value in a performance leather saddle. Thickest leather of any Brooks model. Hand-pounded rivets and chamfered sides.
Strengths: Your site has the wrong picture for the Brooks Team Professional saddle. What you are showing with the small silver rivets is the Brooks Team Pro Classic, not the Team Professional. The latter has large copper rivets and is the preferred saddle. The one you're showing should be considerably less than $199.95. Check: http://www.brooksengland.com/catalogue-and-shop/saddles/road+%26+mtb/Team+Pro+Classic/
Weaknesses: See above...
a Weekend Warrior
from New Jersey
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2012
Strengths: Durability, Fit, Adaptability. Comes with a rain cover and tensioning wrench.
Weaknesses: Price, lacks the bag loops of other saddle lines, does not include a tin of proofide.
Hands down, my Brooks was worth every penny, the fact the it was a gift notwithstanding. I ride my bicycle almost every day on an up and down, rough and smooth terrain commute, and the Team Pro has only gotten more comfortable. I appreciate it for its versatility, being narrow and long enough to use aggressively, but wide enough to be sat on for the entirety of my 12.5 mile commute (bear in mind that the shape of your sit bones may vary your mileage). Since it also comes with a rain cover, a pair of fenders is all it takes to ride in comfort in any weather.
The saddle is definitely a trip if you've never sat on a leather one before; the surface is very slick, and depending on what you're wearing, you may have trouble settling into one spot. That same slickness, however, also works to your advantage, keeping your thighs from chafing on the saddle skirt. The leather also breathes, which is a double edged sword, depending on the time of the year. In the cold conditions, it is worth next to nothing for insulation. The plus side is that in warmer weather, it feels almost non-existent (in the best way possible).
Conditioning the leather does not approach the level of a chore (and you really should buy the Proofide that Brooks puts out...the pleasant smell is just a bonus). Every couple of weeks to start, and then months can pass before touching the proofide again. Since I commute daily, I can't speak for the saddle taking forever to break in. It was instantly more comfortable, and has only gotten more so.
A Brooks saddle is an expensive investment, but with care, will last far longer than a plastic and foam saddle, wind up being more comfortable, and have a unique aesthetic while doing it. Well worth the price and break in period.
a Weekend Warrior
from Waynesboro TN USA
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2011
Strengths: Comfort, durability, shape
My Brooks Team Pro came on a 1972 Raleigh Pro that I bought new in 1973. The saddest day of my bicycle life was when it started to tear at the nose top rivet, leaving me afraid that it would leave me sitting on the seat post eventually. I did get more than 30 years out of it, with mediocre level of maintenance. Even when broken in, it stays firm. This is of utmost importance, as it minimizes the pressure on the soft parts of your anatomy between your sit bones. Soft saddles hurt your privates. Every other saddle I ride I wish was my Brooks! They do take quite a while to break in, but are basically comfortable even when hard as new. I put a sheepskin cover over mine, and all tendencies to chafe or heat up disappeared, even back in the wool/real chamois days. One can lighten the bike by half a pound by putting on plastic but it ain't a good trade-off. Just practice riding up hills more!
Similar Products Used: Ideale 90, Vetta SP, Concor, Specialized
Bike Setup: Lots of classic parts, a few new ones
a Weekend Warrior
from hyde park, ma,usa
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2011
Strengths: the most comfortable saddle i have ever used. i used this on a triple century after it was broken in & i finished the ride without a sore bottom. i never paid more than $40, i got at least one free.
Weaknesses: leather does require some maintenance. for the two years i used a brook pro (not a team pro) after 2 hours i would squirm around trying to find a comfortable position, now i can take a brand new team pro on an all day ride. i guess i broke in not the saddle. these are also available (or were at one time) made for women.
lf you are a real man (or woman) & you can get or suffer through the break in preriod there is nothing finer. it will not fit some people, one of my friends, jamie king, an experienced cyclist sold his to me at a bicycle flea market, he wrote on the tag: my butt can't take it any more. this is a mtb forum, this saddle may be good on an of road bicycle.
Similar Products Used: brooks b-17,various plastic saddles & a poor quality leather saddle that came with a huragan (hurricane) bicycle i bought i poland.
Bike Setup: i have 5 road bikes, one tricycle which has a seat, not a saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Brooklyn, NY
Date Reviewed: September 24, 2008
Strengths: See previous review
Weaknesses: See previous review
Couldn't figure out how to edit an existing review. Sorry. Just wanted to add one thing: With ~100 mi on this saddle, it's already starting to conform to my bones. The change is clear. I've done 3 applications of Proofide. Dunno if that's overkill. It feels right. Yesterday, running out of daylight, I rode home in my office clothes. No padding; no discomfort.
All I can say is my experience with this saddle differs from that reported by many others: First, while many reviewers say their Team Pro won't break in, mine is already beginning to conform to my anatomy. Second, some have said it's too hard and uncomfortable to ride without padded shorts. Not my experience at all.
Weaknesses: Attractiveness to working thieves. Hypothetically: If it degrades from getting wet, because it will get wet.
Smooth as silk in urban combat from B'ooklyn to Midtown.
The one think I can definitively state, after one hour on this saddle: Uncomfortable until broken in? Don' ev'n worry'boutit. If it only gets better from here, my behind is going to be in heaven. This was a very comfortable ride, out of the box.
Commuting through Manhattan is serious business. The last thing I want to worry about while dodging lorries and cabs, cranking over cobblestones and potholes, is how long it's going to take my saddle to break in. That was the furthest thing from my mind today. It was a nice, nice ride.
There may be some blind luck in my case. With no fuss, the Team Pro set up on my post at almost exactly the same orientation as the no-name, made-in-Taiwan, foam-plastic-vinyl saddle I'd been riding for the last 5,000 miles. I find myself seated perfectly on this saddle, and I foresee no problems with either numbness or rivets wearing through my tights.
Note that I put the maintenance requirements in the plus column. I love being intimately involved with the things I use. When we had cars, I liked to work on our own cars. I love rubbing oil into our walnut salad bowl and into the wood surface of our kitchen island. I love sharpening our kitchen knives. Why wouldn't I love a saddle that I need to rub treatment into and tension ever so carefully?
Similar Products Used: WTB Rocket V, Specialized Lamda
Bike Setup: Soma DoubleCross Shimano Deore/Tiagra, Araya 310F rims, Infinity Armadillo 700 x 28 tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Atlanta, GA
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2008
Strengths: Amazing craftsmanship, design and durability
What a long, strange trip its been. I started biking about thirty years ago at age 12. I've done all kinds of racing,(road and MTB), junior through Cat. 2 senior, long distance touring, etc. In the past I always made fun of people that had Brooks saddles - goofy looking, heavy, dated, etc.
Boy was I wrong- the Brooks users actually DID know what they were doing.
After a brief hiatus from riding last year I have been riding again this year and went through a bunch of saddles in the last six months: Selle Italia SLR, Flite, Flite Trans Am, SLK, Selle san Marco Concor, Regal, and strada, Fizik Arione, (about ten in all).
I bought a Brooks on a late night whim on Ebay and relunctantly tried it this week for the first time. Ive always been a "weight weenie" or gram counter at heart, so I really struggled with the Brooks purchase- for me buying it was like getting a drunk to go to an AA meeting.
I was amazed at how comfortable it was out of the box- yes, it was hard, but has the "right" shape for me at least. I rode 90 minutes on it offroad and had no soreness afterwards. If it feels this good now, I can't wait for it to break in.
Yes, it weighs somewhere around 550 grams, but I lost 10 pounds in the last year and that amounts to ~ 4500 grams. The average person out there could easily lose ten pounds (even alot of bikers I know) so I really don't think the weight thing is a big issue, unless you are pro- racing in the mountains. (You can get a Ti- railed version that is 100 grams lighter) but I opted for the much less expensive steel version because I didn't know if I would like it.
There's a reason many long distance cyclists use the brooks saddles -they work well and last 30+ years if taken care of.
I guess I'm a convert now. I want one for all three bikes now!
Similar Products Used: 80s-90s vintage Selle Italia Turbo/turbomatic, Selle san Marco Rolls
Bike Setup: Klein Adept race
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2008
Strengths: Top-notch product. Very comfortable once broken in. Saddle tilt and fore/aft adjustment are very important for a comfortable fit. Slick surface will lessen with use.
Weaknesses: None. If you're worried about weight then drop some of that excess off your a$$. If you're having numbness issues then your saddle isn't adjusted properly.
As with most other riders I thought I had to have one of those lightweight a$$ hatchet saddles. Boy was I wrong. After trying a B-17 on the mountain bike I opted for the Team Pro for the road bike. I could not have made a better choice. While a little narrower than the B-17, the Team Pro is just as comfortable once broken in. Very classy saddle also. For those who poke fun at your Brooks, they'll come around eventually.
Bike Setup: Reynolds 853 road bike with Campy Chorus.
from Longmont Colorado
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2006
Strengths: Look very cool, seems to be durable
Weaknesses: I could never get it to break in. I found myself constantly pushing back so that my sit bones were on the rear of the saddle. Otherwise, I'd sit too far up on the narrow hard middle of the saddle. Very uncomfortable for my body.
Similar Products Used: everything: SLR, Bontrager, Flight, WTB, Arione
Bike Setup: Bianchi San Jose SS cross
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO USA
Date Reviewed: July 18, 2006
Weaknesses: Doesn't like getting wet
To the previous reviewer: if you are wearing holes in your shorts from the saddle rivets, your saddle is misadjusted and you are sitting *too far back*. The rivets connect the saddle leather to the underlying steel frame. You will never break in that steel frame by sitting on it. Try moving the saddle back and sit on the leather 1/2 to 1" or so in front of the rivets. Yes, you may feel like you are sliding off the saddle initially but once it breaks in that goes away.
All in all, I wasted a lot of money on various modern saddles before trying a Brooks. Mine was comfortable out of the box once I got it set up and has been for 500 miles so far. The Team Pro has thicker leather than the B17 so it will take longer to break in but it still should be reasonably comfortable out of the box if you set it up right and give it a couple of liberal coats of Proofide to help things along.
Similar Products Used: Brooks B17, Specialized Avatar, E3 Form
Bike Setup: 18" Access XCL, Marzocchi MX Pro fork, Shimano XT everything.
from Kings Beach Ca
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2005
Strengths: Cool retro look if that is what you are into.
Weaknesses: Never breaks in. Looks are not everything especially if you want to use it.
After hearing so much about the legendary comfort of these saddles I tried for years to break one in with no success. No amount of Proofide will help. All my shorts had holes in them in a ring corresponding to the rivets on the saddle. Even though the rivets are flat and polished they are still metal and on he drops you will sit on them. I rode countless centuries on these saddles and wore out at least four over the years. I was never happy and I never was able to break one in. They were always a pain and I don't know why it took me so long to give up on them. Since I have used many other saddles including Selle Turbos, Avocet RS, Flite Unicanoiter and on and on. All of those saddles were better than the Brooks and less than half the weight too. These saddles are a myth. They are heavy and a pain in the A--. They look cool to the geeky set though.
Bike Setup: Too many bikes to list Colnago, Masi, WJL, Tommasso, Cinnelli, Specialized,
a Cross Country Rider
from dallas, the metromess
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003
Strengths: Classic beauty, timeless design.
Weaknesses: Weighty, not yuppified enough for average riders. No bag mounting tabs.
You will either love this thing or hate it, I don't think there is any in between.
I love the way the honey leather turns chocolate brown when you treat it with Proofide and the way the large rivets look like pennies when they are polished from use. I have several Brooks saddles and they definitely work for me but I am pretty old school so when I restored my old bike there was no other saddle. Casual riders may not be able to appreciate a real handmade leather saddle the way someone with several decades of dedicated riding can.
I am in the habit of taking new Brooks saddles and coating them with Proofide and setting them in the sun all day and repeating the process until they are fully infused (underside too). Then, once or twice a year remedial Proofide and enjoy for life. You can ruin a Brooks with too much Proofide, so they say, but I have never seen this happen and have never had a problem with any of mine.
Similar Products Used: Too many to name but many Brooks and Ti Flites.
Bike Setup: 25 year old Ron Cooper touring bike recently refinished and restored to full Campy glory.
a Cross Country Rider
from Truckee, CA
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2003
Strengths: Comfort, comfort, comfort
Weaknesses: Weight Some maintenance
This is the real deal. Black leather saddles are why cycling shorts are black. It's taken about 75 miles of off-road riding to break in my new Team Professional. That's a bit longer than it took for me to break in my B17 (see separate review). Other differences to the B17 are that it's narrower which gives more options with regard to positioning yourself on the bike, and it doesn't have the saddlebag tabs that seem to catch my shorts sometimes. These things are heavy compared to 'normal' saddles. Fine if you're a weigh weany, go somewhere else. But nothing, in my experience, is as comforable as a broken-in Brooks.
Don't get the tension wrench - you may be tempted to use it and potentially ruin a fine saddle.
Do get the proofide. Use it. And don't believe that it mustn't get wet. Rubbish. These things are made in ENGLAND. Duh. It rains there. I ran my old Team Professional on a touring bike in Belgium for 3 years and 30,000 km. It rains there too. Put some proofide on the underside of the saddle and it will be fine.
Similar Products Used: Older Team Professional, B17-Ti, standard saddles supplied with bikes
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Id with XT, CrossMax XLs
a Cross Country Rider
from Monroe TWP, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2003
Strengths: Built like a tank.
When I first bought this saddle (1997?), it went on my road bike and came right back off (and went in the 'I can't believe I wasted money on this thing' bin). Later that season, as a sort of a goof, I put the saddle on my mountain bike. Noone else I knew had one, so it was kind of different and cool. After about three months of riding that rock, an amazing thing happened. Two little dimples formed towards the back of the saddle, and it became the most comfortable saddle my butt has ever been on. I would have felt generous giving the Brooks one chili when I first bought it, but now I don't think five chilis is enough. The Team Pro is now on my road bike and I'm breaking in a Champion on my fat tire ride. For those who are wondering - I'm a biking heavyweight at 210 lbs. Now if I could only find a comfortable saddle for my 110lb wife...