The true test of a saddle is when you pass the 6 hours mark in the saddle. This is especially true when riding off road on gravel roads with varying surface conditions.
Some cyclists might have a tough hide and last a bit longer in the saddle but there comes a time when all that you experience is the agony from behind.
Some contributing factors can be bike fit or saddle type. Speak to your local bike shop to determine the correct saddle width for you. Then buy a Brooks saddle.
After lengthy research I decided on the Brooks C17 Cambium curved saddle for my bikepacking adventures where I often travel long hours on my bike. I love the saddle and the cut out section adds that extra flex to the saddle for an even more comfortable ride.
There is a C15 option that is a bit narrower. Riders with narrower hips might find that the C17 rubs the inner leg.
On first sight the saddle looks hard as it has no padding and only consists of a vulcanized rubber with a material layer for a very cool look. The flex is however superb and similar to the leather Brooks saddles which creates a hammock that moves and flexes as you do.
From my research I have read many reviews and it is said that the Cambium compared to the traditional Brooks leather saddles are not as comfortable.
This is only noticeable if you own a leather version. I decided that the leather saddle is a bit too old school for my more modern looking mountain bike and since I have never owned a Brooks saddle before that I will go for the Cambium with the cut out.
After installation and not really noticing a difference I was at first concerned. I quickly planned a long ride and "this is the best saddle I've ever owned".
I have done the route previously and in comparison this time around I had no pain at all where I used to be in agony.
Consider the Brooks C17/15 if you plan on bikepacking adventures or just for that occasional long ride or race.
Please share your thoughts on the cambium or share your story if you own one.