Ben here. I just had the pleasure of riding one of the new vegan Brooks Cambium C17 saddles out for a couple days. This is the newest saddle in their lineup and was designed to be the same quality as their other leather saddles, only free of all animal products. I’ve owned a Brooks B17 and have been riding a Swift for several months, so I was curious to see how the ride compares.
I took off my Swift and installed the Cambium. The profile between the two are very similar, and my seatpost height was just about right. I started out with riding in town, with and without some weight. At about 170 lbs and with not more than an inch of saddle-to-bar drop, the Cambium rode really nicely and remained comfortable. I ended up taking it on a 3 hour ride, spending about 2 hours on singletrack and fire roads. I’m glad to say that even on rocky, rooty terrain the saddle felt great and my sitbones remained unpunished. The rubber body of the Cambium really works as designed.
My greatest surprise was how unobtrusive the “rivets” are. I was worried that they would noticeably stick out above the saddle upper but as you can see they’re mostly recessed into the rubber base, and I did not feel them at all when riding. They might as well have not been there. I was skeptical at first, but I ended up liking the textile upper a lot, too. It adds a slight amount of “no-slip” texture (which is great with a backpack on) without any negative effects. After spending some time on it, I’ve got to say that the Cambium C17 gets a solid thumbs up.