At Eurobike last week, the 100+ year-old maker of classic, handmade leather saddles unveiled a new saddle with carbon fiber rails. Carbon fiber rails?!
Someone must have spiked their tea.
|Learn a little more about the Brooks C-13 at BikeRumor.|
Recently, Brooks has teased that they were preparing to release a new saddle in the Cambium range -- a new, lighter C-13. It was expected that it would be a narrow racing saddle, and the lightest Brooks yet, possibly with hollow rails. Not too many people were expecting to see a carbon-fiber Brooks at Eurobike, though.
It's a surprising development, but maybe it shouldn't be. Think about it, there was a time when Brooks leather saddles were all over the professional racing peloton. Amateurs, too. The Brooks B-17, and later the Professional and Team Professional were the saddles of choice for many racers, at least up into the 1970s when plastic saddles started making serious inroads. By the 1980s, the only bicycle race where one could still routinely see Brooks saddles was the Race Across America, or RAAM. Three-time winner Lon Haldeman was famous for his Brooks saddles, and I remember reading much about his method for breaking them in.
With a claimed weight of 259 grams, the new saddle would actually be reasonably competitive among the weight watching racers again. Would Brooks be sponsoring a team in the future? Who knows.
On the Brooks website (where actual details about the new saddle are still scarce), the slogan is #backontherivet, which seems appropriate if they are, in fact, going after the serious racing crowd again. The expression "on the rivet" is an old one for racers going "all out" -- sliding forward on their saddles until they were perched on the rivet at the nose. People still use the expression (or at least Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin still do) for that all-out effort, even though no racers in a couple of generations have used a saddle with rivets.
I have no fears that my favorite all-leather saddles are in danger of going away any time soon - but a carbon fiber Brooks was something I never thought I'd live to see.