I am interested in getting into touring this summer. I need a new saddle for my touring bike. I have heard good things about Brooks, but when I look at them in the store they seem pretty hard. Also, what about perineum saddle pressure? Some folks say they are super comfortable but others have told me that when their sit bones adjust and sink into the saddle the nose can move up against the perineum causing numbness issues. Any thoughts?
Touring doesnt require an old fashioned leather saddle; use whatever is the most comfortable for your ass.
I love my Brooks B17. I rode from Chicago to Milwaukee on it and my perineum was in heaven. You just need to adjust it until it feels right for you.
Saddles are a very personal choice, so I'm not going to tell anyone what to use. However I will say that I personally love my Brooks Saddles. I have two B17s and one B67. The B17 on my touring bike is the oldest at around 10 years old. It's certainly well adjusted to my sit bones, but I never noticed any new pressure points forming as my sit bones sank into it.
I like the "Flyer" style saddle, with the springs. Just nice to have a something there to suck up a big bump you might not see...
Oh yeah, I should've mentioned besides the comment that the fastest-circumnavigation-by-bike records being done on Brooks B17-equipped bikes, those were saddles without the cut-out as seen on the B17 Imperial. A properly adjusted Brooks won't put pressure on the perineum. I had believed the hype about needing a anatomic cutout saddle and went through a whole series of them before finally throwing in the towel and trying a Brooks. If you're not sure that you'll like it, buy from Wallingford Bicycles. They have a six-month return policy for Brooks saddles, which should be more than enough time for you to rack up some miles and be sure that you like it.
Thanks everybody for all the helpful comments. I really love The Chainlink! I am going to try a Brooks 17 Standard Edition in Honey to match my bar tape. Very excited about getting into touring. Now I just need some fenders and a tubus rack!
...and be sure to use Proofide. It will help a lot with the break in and life of your Brooks.