Bicycle Mechanics - Time to tension the Brooks saddle?
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09-05-11, 02:20 PM
Seems like my team pro's developed a bit of sag. Wanted opinions since the team pro has a reputation for being the hardest of the brooks line, I can't remember what it looked like out of the box, and this one only has about 1600 miles on it. Put a white board across the top of the saddle and took a photo. What do you guys think?
09-05-11, 02:37 PM
Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing half the time.
With that being said, I tightened my flyer when the leather had my rear contacting the support rails underneath. I tightened enough so that when I sat on it, that did not happen. I had to tighten more than the 1/4 of a turn you hear about. Worked for me.
09-05-11, 05:09 PM
That does not appear to be an unduly amount of sag, however, if you are experiencing creaking or excessive sway, I would tighten it up just a tad - the famed quarter turn should be plenty. My B17 has a similar amount of unweighted sag and it is just as comfortable as can be. Good luck!
09-05-11, 05:10 PM
Are the skirts splayed out? Is it uncomfortable? Did it get soaked by rain?
If not, if it were my saddle, I'd just leave it alone. I have an almost 30 year old Team Pro with uncounted miles on it and have never had to touch the tension bolt.
09-05-11, 06:08 PM
They're not generally flat, I know some older ones sometimes are. But the amount of sag you have seems normal to me. I have a swift, and I only tightened it once after about 10,000 miles when I randomly happened to notice it was feeling bouncy.
09-05-11, 10:33 PM
1/4" drop at the lowest point is normal. I used to ride a B17 with 4mm thick leather. This saddle sagged badly (1/3"-1/2") after only 800 miles.
Switched to an Imperial Narrow with 5mm thick leather. The skirts were laced tight. +3600 miles with only 1/4" gap at the lowest point. Lacing the skirts should drastically reduce sagging.
What is the nominal thickness of that Brooks Pro?
09-06-11, 01:01 AM
Is it comfortable? If so, leave it alone.
09-06-11, 09:40 AM
you can lace it too. Sheldon tells you how:
Most leather saddles have a tension-adjusting nut located under the nose of the saddle. Fortunately, this nut usually requires a special wrench, so most people leave it alone. In almost every case that I know of where someone has tried to adjust the tension with this nut, the saddle has been ruined. My advice is to leave it alone.
If a leather saddle gradually becomes too soft and too wide after many thousands of miles, it is sometimes useful to punch a few holes in the bottoms of the side flaps and lace them together under the saddle frame.
This allows the width and firmness of the saddle to be adjusted to the rider's taste. Some older models came with a row of holes along the lower edge of the side flaps, for this very purpose.
I realize that this sounds like a lot of trouble, but most cyclists who take the trouble find it well worth while--in the end.
09-06-11, 10:41 AM
Past few rides it's felt a little uncomfortable. In the past I have been surprised by a couple of unexpected rain showers but for the most part my butt was protecting the saddle. But that was months ago not recently.
Call me lazy, but...
I'll usually let things go on my B-17s until I start wondering, "Is there a more comfortable saddle I should replace this old thing with?" Then I'll go dig out the spanner, and tighten until I feel resistance. It's usually closer to 1/2 a turn than 1/4 turn for me.
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