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Old 10-23-05, 08:39 PM   #1
hiracer
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Help me lace up by Brooks saddle

Well, did a hilly 60 miles yesterday on my non-Brooks saddle (Alias), and I'm not going to do THAT again without my Brooks.

I don't care what it does to the saddle, I'm going to tighten the leather so it doesn't sag under me. I"m tired of sliding forward. I'm sure I'll need to lace the center "wings" so they don't splay open.

How many holes? How far from the bottom? How far apart for each hole? Any advice, pointers, pictures appreciated.

Saddle in question: Brooks Swift.

TIA.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:59 PM   #2
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I have not done this but here's some info:

From WallBike

From Kinetics

From Bike Forums

Dogbait
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Old 10-23-05, 10:35 PM   #3
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I punched 2 holes near the bottom of the skirts and put a cable tie into the holes and around the seat post, pulling each skirt inwards and downwards. I started out with a single cable tie pulling the skirts together, but the result over time was less thanperfect: The one skirt is slightly more flexible than the other, giving an asymmetrical shape. The one skirt also bulged a bit, the very bottom of the skirt being closer to the seatpost than the bit above it.

Putting in 2 separate ties solved all those problems. The seat is substantially firmer as well - not something I wanted per se.

I don't have a camera here so cant show the hole positions, but they are 1/2" apart and from the edge.
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Old 10-24-05, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiracer
I don't care what it does to the saddle, I'm going to tighten the leather so it doesn't sag under me. I"m tired of sliding forward. I'm sure I'll need to lace the center "wings" so they don't splay open.
Before punching holes in your saddle have you tried tilting the nose of your saddle up ever so slightly to prevent from sliding forward?
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Old 10-24-05, 10:21 AM   #5
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Dogbait, that helps. Thanks.

Last edited by hiracer; 10-24-05 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 10-24-05, 01:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Before punching holes in your saddle have you tried tilting the nose of your saddle up ever so slightly to prevent from sliding forward?
Yes, thanks. Didn't help. I like it level better.
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Old 10-24-05, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Paulie
Hi,

So, you aren't into your Alias saddle? Could you give a quick rundown?

Thanks,

Paul
Paul:

The Alias fits just right. It's too hard! I'm a weenie. I come from recumbents, and like the uprights too. I just can't quite get the fit and saddle riddle figured out. The Alias is great for about 35 miles.

In case you missed my prior thread, which was in the Fifties Plus section, I rode the Swift in 50+ miles of driving hard rain. It stretched too loose. I let it air dry over three days. Road it and noticed it was still too loose, albeit it was dry to the touch. So I tightened the leather a bit. A few days later I noticed that it was too tight; it must have dried some more. So I overloosened to make sure I didn't hurt the leather.

Now I'm at the point that I need to find the right tension, plus I discovered that I don't slide forward as much when I was at that higher tension on the leather.

The Brooks is way more comfortable, but I don't like the sliding forward regime. If the nose goes slightly up, I get pressure where I don't want it. Need a level saddle.

So . . . I'm going to tension the leather to what feels good, and if that results in the sides splaying out, I'm gonna have to lace them up.

Thte Alias has some padding, but it seems to disappear after awhile. The leather on the Brooks seems a better way to go in terms of seat comfort, but the sliding forward increases hand pressure.
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Old 10-24-05, 10:30 PM   #8
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I love my brooks swift. Did you protect the leather before riding in the rain??? Just curious as steps i ened to do just in case that happens to me. I just have 100 miles on the new saddle.

Man its an expensive saddle to destroy by the raint tho.
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Old 10-25-05, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiracer
Paul:

The Alias fits just right. It's too hard! I'm a weenie. I come from recumbents, and like the uprights too. I just can't quite get the fit and saddle riddle figured out. The Alias is great for about 35 miles.

In case you missed my prior thread, which was in the Fifties Plus section, I rode the Swift in 50+ miles of driving hard rain. It stretched too loose. I let it air dry over three days. Road it and noticed it was still too loose, albeit it was dry to the touch. So I tightened the leather a bit. A few days later I noticed that it was too tight; it must have dried some more. So I overloosened to make sure I didn't hurt the leather.

Now I'm at the point that I need to find the right tension, plus I discovered that I don't slide forward as much when I was at that higher tension on the leather.

The Brooks is way more comfortable, but I don't like the sliding forward regime. If the nose goes slightly up, I get pressure where I don't want it. Need a level saddle.

So . . . I'm going to tension the leather to what feels good, and if that results in the sides splaying out, I'm gonna have to lace them up.

Thte Alias has some padding, but it seems to disappear after awhile. The leather on the Brooks seems a better way to go in terms of seat comfort, but the sliding forward increases hand pressure.
My Brooks was real slick when new. After it broke in it was a little harder to slide forward on it. I applies Proofride and let it dry. Now it is as slick as new. Try the Proofride, you will like it. Get a rain cover for the saddle too, about $10 on ebay.

Tim
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Old 10-25-05, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helmets save
I love my brooks swift. Did you protect the leather before riding in the rain??? Just curious as steps i ened to do just in case that happens to me. I just have 100 miles on the new saddle.

Man its an expensive saddle to destroy by the raint tho.
I applied proofhide top and bottom the day I got it. No other protection. BTY, that ride in the rain did more the break it in than all the other 350 miles combined.

I finished the ride with a guy on a brooks b17-- a 25 year old saddle ridden consistently in the seattle rain, with no ill effects according to its owner. He had no rain protection on his saddle whatsoever. He rode his b17 across the country when he was a young man, is now about to retire, has been riding the same saddle in this Puget Sound climate at this while, and aims to ride across the country again in retirement on the same saddle!!

I am going to bag the saddle in the future.
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Old 08-10-08, 01:18 PM   #11
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Dogbait- those links are useful. I'm going to go try this method tonight:

Poke holes, lace, soak saddle. We'll see how this goes, and I'll post again when the carnage is over.

Does anyone know if you can find new front bolts for tightening Brooks saddles? An old one was donated to where I work and I've been trying to nurse it back to health (ergo this soaking/lacing adventure). It's missing its tightening-bolt (how do you lose the tightening bolt?!).

Thanks,

Sister Cat
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Old 08-10-08, 01:29 PM   #12
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Get a rain cover for the saddle too, about $10 on ebay.
$0.00 at the grocery store.
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Old 08-10-08, 03:28 PM   #13
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My Brooks Conquest got a bit saggy on a recent tour after the weather turned British Summery.

On returning home I laced the bottom edges together as well as a touch of tightening on the nose nut - result a saddle which was almost restored to shape.

Using a pliers type craft hand punch with rotating punch head, I punched 6 holes 11mm apart in a row each side, just above the chamfered bottom edge and roughly under the brooks logo which is stamped into the leather. A 3 feet long shoe lace was laced from the front and tightened as it went, pulling the bottom edge almost in to the metal frame. The ends were left tied together under the saddle and have a bit spare for adjustments if required in future.

I hope this helps.
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Old 08-10-08, 04:11 PM   #14
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+1 on the shoelaces. I use waxed black dress shoelaces that work very well, and perfectly match the black saddle. Also very thin.

As far as where to lace, it might be a good idea to experiment with the saddle mounted to the post, so you dont end up with a beautiful lace job that won't allow the post to be mounted. I'm sure I'm not the only person to do this!
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