When Brooks C13 carbon saddle was released last year for testing, it was a dramatic departure for the traditional leather saddle company.
While the vulcanized natural rubber compound coveris similar to other new saddles produced by Brooks (C15, C17), what’s new for the Cambium C13 is the one-piece braided carbon frame that supports the cover.
The carbon means a weight reduction of at least 100g from the other aluminum-railed saddles.
Review: Brooks C13 Light Enough to Race On
Bike Radar says the C13 is very comfortable, with none of the traditional breaking-in period.
But the Cambium C13 feels like a saddle that’s been broken in for years. The compliant upper gives – in a much more controlled manner than you expect from something quite so elastic. It’s quite unlike any other performance saddle I’ve tried: the comfort is so complete, and even though I’d usually opt for a slightly wider form than the 13’s 130mm, it never feels as narrow as the numbers suggest.
roadcc says the C13 blends tradition with carbon, resulting in a saddle that is light enough to race on. The roadcc reviewer, though, did say the lack of padding required padded shorts for riding!
As well as being 150g lighter, the C13 is also narrower than previous models at 132mm wide, as befits a saddle with more racy aspirations. It has no padding at all, the upper surface being composed of a dense rubber and cotton hybrid that feels quite hard when you squeeze it.
Bike Rumor tested the beta version of the saddle and said it was surprisingly stiff.
Our C13 sample weighed 265g, which while light for a Brooks saddle, still is a solid 100g more that a similarly shaped, carbon-railed saddle with a more traditional lightweight construction. The nose and mid-section of the saddle have a good bit of flexibility, but the fairly stiff rubber of the top still offers a good bit of support. When pedaling, the edges of the saddle flex up and down with the movement of the legs, without feeling like the saddle is moving around underneath you. But seat your sit bones near those aluminum rivets along the back and the rigid underlying carbon rail translates all of this solid support into a stiff ride.