Touring - Brooks saddles & padded shorts
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01-18-06, 02:02 PM
I've had my Brooks Conquest for about half a year now, I commute (36 mi. R/T) on it daily during the summer & 2 or 3 times a week during the winter, so I've got to have a good 2.5K miles on it by now, and relatively speaking it is more comfortable than when I started.
However, it's not really gotten to the point where it's acting more like a hammock or so comfy that I couldn't imagine using another saddle, and I don't really see any wear on it. I used the Sheldon Brown break-in method. I'm wondering if the fact that I have padded biking shorts is part of the problem, because my friend who got one around the same time rides about 10 mi/day and has nice butt divets in his. I'm jealous, but mostly I want the comfort.
01-18-06, 03:44 PM
Jealous? …of the "butt divets"? I consider the comfort to be measured by how the saddle feels to ride, not how the bloody thing looks! (Gordon Bennet!!!! :rolleyes: )
01-18-06, 04:05 PM
Send me your saddle.... I'll hammer the butt divets in for ya.... seems to work for some people, seriously...:)
01-18-06, 04:09 PM
Ok, perhaps obvious questions:
1. Have you been putting Proofide on it? Inside, outside, all over the saddle.
2. Have you been riding so that it gets all sweaty (ooh!)? I found mine didn't really start to 'form' until I'd done some decent summer kays and sweated into the saddle. There are darker patches on my saddle where the main contact points are and where the sweat has worked in. Oh yeah, I've always worn bike shorts.
You could always ride it in the rain a few times, making sure it dries out before you ride it again. That's what I've done on mine a few times (unintentionally), dunno if that works though!
20,000 miles I put on one and no divits - made sure the tension was adjusted so it didn't sag. And yes I wear padded shorts - I even got it wet and tried a ball ping hammer to soften it up. Count yoursef luck no divits!
01-18-06, 05:55 PM
Divots forming nicely in my B17N after about 500 miles.
01-24-06, 03:18 PM
OK, sorry, it's not really about the divets, but the comfort. There's no real 'hammock' effect, the comfort is somewhere near my old standard saddle with a cut-out, but not quite there even, and I was expecting more comfort. I've used Proofide & some neatsfoot oil (per Sheldon Brown's rec.). Meh, maybe I'm being too picky, I just seem to remember someone saying that padded shorts hurt the break in.
I hit mine with a hammer, much better idea than softening it with oil beause that weakens the leather. I would have thought if you used their stuff it wouldn't weaken it, but then it wouldn't soften it much either. Water is good too, but it only takes a few taps to get the work leather moving in your direction.
If you are light or possibly well padded, it may take a while for the divots to form. Get a golf or croquet ball, and hit that with a hammer.
I use padded trousers I made myself for comfort. It's comfortable without them, but for long distances I don't leave without them.
01-26-06, 01:57 AM
According to these folks, this is what happens when you use ordinary trousers...
01-26-06, 05:09 AM
Some longer rides might help. Gotta get that leather real hot and sweaty a few times.
01-26-06, 06:32 AM
The saddle will form itself to whatever shape your butt is. If you have no divets after hundreds of miles then maybe that's just your shape.
I guess if you're a heayweight with a pointy arse then the divets will be bigger than if you're a lightweight with a rounded arse.
01-26-06, 08:19 AM
Get a bucket of hot water, hold the bike upside down and dip the whole saddle in the water, count to 20, remove and hop on and ride for a couple of hours. Repeat once or twice.
This method has worked well for me on a couple of Brooks saddles, including a Team Pro that started out as leather "brick".
01-26-06, 08:29 AM
I'm not an expert here, but the divits are made where your body is rubbing in the leather. If you're padding your ass, you're not going to have the same amount of rubbing going on, and especially not in the parts you particularly want it (the point of the padding).
However, if you're comfortable doing it how you're doing it, keep doing what you're doing. If you want to experience the brooks as it's "meant" to be... go sans chamise.
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