Velcome comrade. Take seat und relax.

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A Brooks genuine leather bicycle saddle and Svetlana, the eastern European masseuse, have quite a lot in common. Your first encounter with them might arouse anxiety and suspicion – a whimper of despair, even – as you imagine what lies ahead. But overcome your prejudices, people, and years of unparalleled bodily pleasure and benefit await.

Yep, a brand-new Brooks bicycle saddle, sitting elegantly atop your gorgeous hand-built Pashley, is a little hard to the touch. Rub your hand across it, give it a knock with your knuckles, then glance knowingly at your partner with gritted teeth and a shake of the head that says (just within earshot of our store manager): “Nah, I would’ve put a gel saddle on there. They must be bonkers.”

We’ve heard that a few times before.

Here’s the point you’re missing. The high-grade leather used by Brooks softens and moulds. It yields to the unthinking descent of your ample derriere and will continue to do so for a lifetime. As the landscape of your nether region changes, so does your Brooks saddle. With every ride, it becomes a part of you; a second skin, because, well, that’s what it is … skin.

Your average gel saddle, bought at a bargain price from a very large building made of corrugated iron, will readily fool the unperceptive. Brand new, its jelly-like plasticity is delicious to behold – full of promise, like one of those flashy shopping mall massage establishments. But in a few a years’ time (if it’s still functional at all) its jelly-ness will have diminished and its shape won’t have moulded a bit, save for a bit of squashing in the middle. Can you honestly say the same about your butt? Really? That’s quite a bit of mac and cheese you’re putting away there.

Two words: Chafing. Blisters. Is your partner prepared to apply ointment there?

Like Svetlana, Brooks has been expertly tending to the bodily needs of the discerning for over 150 years.

Svetlana knows what she’s doing. Svetlana has successfully looked after the muscular function and comfort of revolutionary armies. Svetlana might look a bit unpromising at first, but her repeated touch will leave you giddy with delight. Svetlana will never let you down. Svetlana is the real deal.