The cap & a ride on the wild thirteen.

Die Mütze & ein Ritt auf der wilden Dreizehn.

There are days that are a single test. You test yourself, your willingness and will, your buttocks, the new helmet, the new jacket and also the test saddle. As you know, that's what today was about. At the very first Brooks Ride, which was also called the Brooks Ride.

As is well known, Brooks has been producing a successful alternative to the usual leather saddle since 2014 with the Cambium series. On the one hand, the natural rubber material offers veritable damping properties even without a break-in period, on the other hand, vegans are also happy to be able to screw a Brooks onto their bike. While the Brooks saddles have been more in the focus of the classic community and style popes in recent years, the C13 is now a variant that, thanks to the carbon frame, can also inspire sporty, ambitious racing cyclists. The lightweight fraction will hardly fall to their knees due to the 259 grams, but the saddle cuts an extremely good figure on the modern steel frame. However, as is well known, the look is not everything, especially when it comes to the saddle, your own buttocks should be included in the decision-making process. Especially if it's not just to the ice cream parlor around the corner.

We are often asked what makes a really good saddle. Even more often this question is thrown into the vastness of the Internet, every obscure bike-related group has hundreds of such threads. The questioner expects anonymous, often complete strangers at the keyboard to give a useful assessment of their own needs. The answers vary, depending on the contact person and the form on the day. Ideally, you end up with an intern from a manufacturer who can try his hand at viral marketing and, thanks to reasonably well-founded standards, at least leaves out gross nonsense. Alongside shaving habits and helmet-or-no-helmet carnage, saddle discussions are among the biggest road bike nerd battles to be fought on the wide open spaces of the web with no winners. And every troll can accommodate their little helping of meanness.

We in the cap explain to beginners and inquisitive people that everyone's buttocks are different. You can of course measure the distance between your sit bones with a piece of corrugated cardboard to get a rough guide, but the bike, your posture and various other factors such as weight have a huge impact on the well-being of your four letters. Ideally, you should put the saddle that you have shortlisted based on preference, budget, look and social reputation on your own bike for one or two tours to form an opinion. And that's exactly what we did today. As part of the only true winter bitch parade.

First we screwed, own saddles down, test models up. Plus coffee, croissants and banana bread. Then we went on our established Rommerskirchen circuit, which on normal days is the absolute feel-good program for relaxed bike strollers. With the exception of a few truly miserable sections, which thanks to potholes/puddles Eldorados are suitable as the ultimate jogging track. Today, some cleverly positioned gusts of wind also helped to inflate areas such as the Knubbel to Anstel or the flat ride across the fields into real challenges. Our quite large and not completely unfit group was disheveled several times, but the pronounced social streak of everyone involved prevented worse. So there were only smiling faces when they returned to their hats. If you consider how painful just three hours on a 13 centimeter narrow piece of natural rubber with a cotton cover could be, that's the first compliment that you can give the C13 and its brothers and sisters C15, C15 carved and C17, which are also assembled.

And your own impression? Well, I honestly have to describe it as very good. I confess that I wear my old Radbuxen under the long winter trousers. The padding of the pants I was wearing today is as flat as a flounder and lost its dampening properties 12,000 kilometers ago. My ride on the C13 felt really good for the entire ride, the saddle didn't damage my butt or anything else. I generally ride San Marco Regal, in the classic as well as in the modern version. The shapes of the saddles are similar, maybe that's the reason why I get along well with the Cambium. Some testers found the saddle hard, but I always find my saddles to be that way. And I don't like padded models either. But that brings us back to the question of which is the best saddle. Still: I don't know. But today I found a really good alternative for my ass. So I can say it was worth it. And it was fun too. Despite all the swearing and nagging on the nasty sections. But sometimes that's just part of it.

In case anyone noticed, the 13 on the saddle is upside down. Why? Because starters in the peloton also pin the number 13 upside down on their backs. A charming little detail on the saddle that shows how much attention to detail Brooks puts into their work. We think it's good.

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