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Brooks C17 Cambium All Weather saddle review

Brooks' modern classic C17 Cambium saddle gets colours and climate proofing

Brooks C17 Cambium
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Heavy but smoothly supportive comfort and timeless style like no other saddle

For

  • Fantastic body moulding comfort
  • Outstanding smoothness
  • Seriously tough
  • Timeless good looks
  • Wide range of colour and fit options
  • Vegan friendly

Against

  • Heavy

Brooks introduced its natural rubber Cambium saddles a while ago as an instantly comfortable alternative to the legendary perineum patience-testing leather saddles. The range is literally wider than ever now and the C17 Cambium delivers incredible, colour-optioned comfort if you’re not watching the grams. 

Brooks C17 Cambium

The Cambium uses a natural rubber infused organic cotton for the body of the saddle (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Performance

For full disclosure, I’ve been riding Brooks leather saddles since the early '90s so there’s some personal ischial bone investment in the brand and I’ve been on an original Cambium since it first launched. The fact it’s always on the bike that I’m doing the most distance or roughest rides on is definitely significant, not least because I’ve generally got a crate of alternative test saddles to select from, many of which are half the weight. That’s because the steel-railed format of this C17 (based on the shape of the classic B17 leather saddle) weighs in at just over a pound. That’s due to the mix of natural rubber-infused organic cotton that creates the smoothly-flexible-but-still-supportive body of the saddle. The fact it’s riveted - rather than bonded - into place on the frame adds weight, too, but again that’s a deliberate link to the iconic leather saddles. 

The latest Cambiums get bag loops on the rear frame, too, which is a rare thing these days. The C17 comes in nine different colours, centre slot ‘carved’ versions, ‘brass look’ and copper rivet versions plus carbon-railed options for weight watchers. The C17 here is 164mm wide across its shallow curve but there are C13, C15, C19 and C67 versions to support a full span of pelvis widths and genders, too. The vulcanised rubber not only removes the many miles of breaking in required on a leather saddle it also makes the Cambium totally weatherproof.

Most importantly it makes the Cambium instantly comfortable in a uniquely fluid and mobile way that takes a lot of sting and buzz out of any surface from road to XC/Gravel. The fabric element gives just enough grip to stop you sliding about and they’re not sweaty either. We’ve put thousands of miles into Cambiums without any obvious signs of wear beyond slight wear fading (think favourite jeans) and as you’d hope for the price, there’s no creak or frame separation either.

Brooks C17 Cambium

There are loops on the rear if you want to use a classic Carradice-style saddle bag (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

All of Brooks' Cambium saddles weigh a ton (unless you get the carbon-railed versions) and they’re pricey, but the amount of riders who’ve found saddle salvation and bought their own after trying one is far ahead of any other saddles we've tested, and that speaks volumes. 

Tech Specs: Brooks C17 Cambium saddle

  • Weight: 468g 
  • Sizes: 275 x 145mm (C13) to 268 x 200mm (C67)
  • Colours: Navy blue, Black, Mud, Orange, Octane, Brown, Silver, Yellow, Natural
  • Price: From £95.00 / €120.00 / $110.00