“For a period from the 1930s onwards every single rider at the Tour de France was using Brooks saddles. That includes riders such as Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi who, despite the fact they might change bikes and bike sponsors each year, they’d still swap over their Brooks saddles. They had the same philosophy that we maintain with modern Brooks products — the idea that it’s a saddle you break in and then move from bike to bike.”
Mark Needham, Brooks
You all know about Brooks. We've talked about them before on the blog.The brand is famous for its extraordinary work on comfortable saddles and quality luggage, suited to urban cycling and long-distance touring alike. But it wasn't always this way. Once upon a time it would've been rare to see a rider in the Tour de France that wasn't using a Brooks saddle – such was their pedigree for racing excellence. Now, in a quest to return to the peloton, Brooks have drawn on their heritage and created the C13 – a saddle that they hope will scale the heights of the racing world.
An ultra-light, carbon model it is light and strong, futuristic and cool. While benefiting from their heritage at Brooks, the designers were careful to make sure they didn't build a relic. They used the feedback of more than 100 test-riders, who pulled no punches – either with their tests, or with their analysis. They even had the great David Millar take his saddle, at high speed, across the infamous cobbled road at Paris-Roubaix.
The C13 is the seat for a big performer. It's for those who enjoy hurtling through torrential rain with a crackle in the throat and fire in the legs. This could be the saddle to take your current set-up to the next level, or maybe even to be the crowning glory of a complete new custom machine.
You see, traditionally any performance saddle is a Faustian pact with your bum. You sacrifice your comfort for the first mile or two in exchange for improved speed and reduced weight. With a more traditional Brooks model like the B17 or others from the Cambium range you'll benefit from a wider seat which maxes out the comfort, but you lose that speed. The C13 aims to bridge that gap – offering greater comfort than most performance saddles and still delivering the low-weight, aero shape you want to really go fast.
The C13 looks brilliant. Classic and cool, it combines striking looks with raw speed. It's exactly what you want from a saddle, and as we count down to a long-awaited summer it would be a brilliant purchase for anyone who looks forward to spending the long, warm days turning their legs to jelly so that they can feel the whip of wind on their reddened cheeks.