WHEN TRADITION MET MODERNISM
In 2015, Brooks released the Cambium. A saddle for the bikes of today, steeped in over a hundred years of cycling history.
Brooks is one of the best-known brands in cycling, having made leather goods since 1866 and cycling saddles since 1888. The Brooks saddle is one of the most iconic designs in cycling, there is no arguing with its heritage or reputation. Yet Brooks realise that they cannot base their entire future on their past, and so when it came to designing a saddle that could match the modern carbon composites out there, they asked if David Millar would help. He’d already worked with their sister company, fi’zi:k, for many years, in particular developing their shoe line, so there was already a working relationship that existed, especially when one of the designers from fi’zi:k moved over to Brooks.
The Cambium C13 is the fruit of these labours. David was one of the first people to test it in 2015, and has been using it on all his bikes since. There was a natural synergy in this relationship: he’d just left the racing ranks as Brooks were beginning the process of re-entering the world they had once dominated. It was like meeting in the middle of a crossroads, only instead of going their separate ways once the C13 was on the market the relationship grew into an exciting new beginning.
One of the most distinctive features of the saddle is the round metal section near the nose. For decades, cyclists have described themselves as being “on the rivet” when riding flat out. This is a nod to that feeling we can all relate to. It originates from the saddles of the early and mid-20th century literally having a metal rivet on the nose to keep the leather taught and in place. Riders would often find themselves having to lever forward to generate maximum power up the arduous climbs of the grand tours or spring classics, giving rise to the iconic turn of phrase. Taking inspirations from stage 17 of the 2014 Vuelta España, David Millar’s final race as a pro, we designed a special edition cambium with a print generated from statistics in the race.