The latest addition to Brooks’ Team Pro range, the Alpe d’Huez, features a stamped pattern of the topography of the mountain embossed into the saddle’s leather upper.
This looks superb and elevates the ﬁnish to something akin to art. We didn’t know whether to ﬁt it to our bike or display it on the wall.
As with all Brooks saddles there is a period of breaking in as the leather softens, but some seriously wet weather enabled us to get the Alpe d’Huez to conform quicker than previous Brooks models we’ve tried.
The Team Pro is narrow at 160mm yet long at 260mm and fairly modern in shape. This makes for a saddle that most riders who’ve never tried a Brooks will feel more familiar and at home with. That’s not to say everyone will like it – rarely do we ﬁnd a product that so polarises opinion.
Despite some initial reservations the Alpe d’Huez has proved to be extremely comfortable, although we probably wouldn’t ﬁt it to a sportive or race bike. That’s not just because it looks a little incongruous on a modern machine but also because at 540g it’s around twice the weight of a modern race perch.
One criticism of previous Brooks saddles is that the highly polished leather ﬁnish means that Lycra tends to slip and slide, but with the Alpe d’Huez the surface embossing provides a bit of grip and tends to stop your backside from slipping around quite so much.
Stick this on your classic, or classic styled, steel bike or tourer and it’ll last a lifetime, and once you register it online it’s guaranteed for life too. It may seem pricey, but it could just be the last saddle you’ll ever need to buy, and that makes it something of a bargain.