Review - Brooks England Cambium C13 132 Saddle

For my 21st birthday, I received a Brooks Swift saddle. The beautifully hand-crafted piece of leather and stainless steel represents the artisanal skill and heritage of the Brooks factory workers in Birmingham, UK. The Swift has provided me with many hours and miles of comfortable riding.

Ahead of taking part in the interesting new bikepacking event 'The Distance' in Galloway, Scotland, I was sent a Brooks Cambium C13 132 Saddle to test and ride. I was intrigued to see how this modern adaption of the classic leather hammock would fare and function.

Unfortunately, a collision with a car a few days before 'The Distance' meant I wasn't able to take part in the event. However, I have been riding the new Brooks Cambium C13 132 for a good month now, and I still wanted to reflect on my experiences.


Modern styling. Beautifully crafted.

The Cambium C13 132 replaces leather with vulcanised rubber and natural cotton, and stainless steel with carbon and aluminium. These modern materials suggest that the Cambium might be made in large scale Far Eastern factory production; I'm pleased to say that's not the case; this modern saddle is beautifully handcrafted in Europe, like its leather counterparts.

The concept behind the Cambium is identical to a traditional Brooks England leather saddle: the upper canvas is suspended like a hammock between the two ends of the rails, and is allowed to flex and move with your body, and with the movement of the bike beneath you.

The model I have been testing here is the 'Carved' version, which features a cut-away section in the centre of the saddle to aid further flex, and to reduce potential contact with the sensitive perineum.


Unparalleled comfort

When you first look and feel a Cambium saddle, you might think there is too much flex in the upper, and the saddle would feel soft and unstable as a result. I am pleased to say that is not the case.

The Brooks England C13 Saddle is quite probably the most comfortable saddle I have ever used. It provides flex, comfort and suspension; all whilst allowing your legs to function flawlessly as forward driving pistons.

Whether it be 12 hours on gravel, or 12 hours on tarmac, the Cambium has avoided me any hint of numbness or discomfort in my undercarriage.

To provide even more of a personal choice, the Brooks Cambium C13 is available in a number of widths; the '132' in this product's name refers to its width in millimetres. For wider seat bones, there are also wider saddles available in the Cambium range.


Overall

Beautifully crafted, flexible, stylish, and fantastically comfortable. 

I am hoping the Cambium C13 will be the saddle that I use for this year's #7Countries7Passes tour.
Brooks Cambium C13 Saddle Review
Modern carbon and vulcanised rubber replace stainless steel and leather on the Cambium C13


Brooks Cambium C13 Saddle Review
The Cambium C13 is quite possibly the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden


Comments

  1. HI Tim,

    The saddle is in fact made in ITALY, despite whatever was giving the impression of Far East production.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this review Tim, i have to admit to wanting to get one of these for some time. One question, what shape are the rails? I seem to recall an early review saying they were not round which caused problems?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ian,

      You're right, there are some issues with the rails. The carbon rails are an oval shape, and are wrapped in a protective matting to avoid damage to the raw carbon. They work fine with many clamps, but if your seat post clamp uses a design where the rails sit inside a tube (normally made of two halves that clamp together), then you may have issues, as the braiding means that the rails are not perfectly oval.

      Delete

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