Saved my butt
I use this as my main saddle for my road bike. I had been cycling for about 7 years using a variety of saddle and chamois combinations, but for longer rides (70-100 miles) I would end up with bruised and tender sit bones. Finally, I decided to try a brooks saddle after having heard about it from a friend. It immediately felt more comfortable than any of the gel or plastic saddles I had tried. I rode 500 miles in my first week with the saddle (which is about the entire break in period), and my rump was the happiest it has ever been while on a bicycle. The saddle molds to fit your rear, and you end up with a very supportive and comfortable saddle.
That being said, there is more to owning this saddle than there is with a cheap plastic or gel saddle. You have to treat the saddle using Proofide or some other substance to prevent water from penetrating and stretching out the saddle. A cover is highly recommended for wet-weather riding. You also may have to occasionally re-tighten the saddle with an enclosed wrench.
So the saddle is more care-intensive than a cheap plastic saddle, but you're rewarded with a comfortable and durable saddle that will last you hundreds of thousands of miles.
Another note: I noticed increased perineal pressure after about 400 miles, from the saddle getting broken in. I had to readjust the position of this saddle multiple times to get it just right so I was happy, but in the end I am very, very, very pleased with how my posterior feels at the end of a long day!
I will only be buying Brooks saddles from here on out.
Easy on the backside and on the eyes
I bought this saddle about six months ago, and have put between 800 - 900 miles on it so far. I used it on a tour from Salt Lake City to St. George, UT, and was on it for seven or eight hours every day. My butt didn't hurt once. Not while I was riding, after I stopped for the day or the next morning. In fact, it hasn't even caused me any discomfort since day one.
There is a supposed break-in period, where it can apparently be a bit sore, but I read another review by a rider who weighed a little over 200 lbs who said he didn't experience that. I weigh 200 lbs and I think the break-in might be more pronounced for lighter riders. But once you get that leather to remember the shape of your sit bones, you'll be in heaven.
The saddle does require some care (regular polishing with Proofide, which I ordered online for like $7), and needs to be kept out of the wet with a seat cover. Brooks sells a saddle-specific cover which I've heard mixed things about, but I just keep 3 or 4 plastic grocery bags in my saddle bag and those have kept the saddle dry through a couple of very wet days of riding.
This is the best all-around saddle out there. Probably not great for serious racing because of its weight, but if you're a commuter, a touring rider, or a weekend warrior, you can't do any better.
I'm on my second B-17 (had it on a previous bike that I sold). The last bike I had it on was a freeride hardtail, and now I have it on a steel CX bike. It's perfectly appropriate for both.
Everything you've ever heard about how good they are is true. If you're over 200lbs, break-in is non-existent. For me, they're comfortable from day 1.
I have never owned or used a rain cover on them, and they get through it fine. Just use Proofide once in a while.
1) the seat rails are famously short. This typically means you won't be able to get the saddle far back enough unless you get a seatpost with a lot of setback (I am currently in the hunt for a seatpost with 30-40mm setback, which is HARD to find!). For some people, the opposite is true: they can't get it far forward enough. Google it before you buy (lots of talk on forums) if it's a concern.
2) once in a while you get a creaking from the front tension bolt. This can be addressed by lubing the bolt (careful not to get oil on the leather!) or just turning the adjustment nut a bit.
3) it's heavy, but so am I.
Classic looks and comfort
After putting a B17 on my commuter bike with excellent results, I put this B17 saddle is on my cargo bike and wasn't disappointed. If you've been searching for a comfortable saddle that doesn't chafe, cause numbness, or other problems, consider that the B17 design is over 100 years old. Brooks comfort doesn't come from odd shapes and hi-tech materials, it comes from a natural leather that conforms to you. The B17 does require some break-in, but it won't take as long as your might think. Ride several times a week and you'll forget about breaking-in before you know it. All good things in life require some effort. What? You were expecting instant gratification?
Another great Brooks product!!!
I'm loving this saddle!! I've only ridden about 200 miles on it, so its still breaking in, but so far it's really comfortable. I guess I'm one of those lucky ones that finds a Brooks comfortable from the beginning. I purchased my last B-17 in the 70's and it was equally comfortable and lasted for years. Brooks is still a great product and I'm very pleased that the new owners are maintaining Brooks high quality and design standards.
The oldie is returning
See my review for the Brooks saddle with springs.
I got one that looks exactly like the B-17 around 25 years ago when bike shops were anxious to get rid of it in favor of the new lightweight saddles. Lightweight was the selling point. A bicyclist's butt could fit the shaping padding of the new lightweight saddles if your butt fit the design of the saddle maker. My butt could never fit the modern saddles.
Great for commuting
Took a bit to get broken in, but use of recommended oil helped a lot. Once the seat is broken in, the ride is extremely comfortable. Seems cooler to ride on this seat over the padded seat I used earlier.
Great comfort, takes a little breaking in but well worth the investment. I used numerous saddles and this by far is my favorite. You do need a cover if you are riding in the rain.