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  1. #1
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Care and feeding of a Brooks Saddle

    I bought a bike at a yard sale a month ago which has a nearly new brooks narrow racing saddle on it. I have never had one of these, and after three weeks of 20-miles a day, I rather like it.

    What do I do with it? I presume that there is some leather goop that needs to be periodically applied. It also has a bolt in the front, running paralell with the top tube of the bike, which would seem to adjust something like the length of the seat or the surface tension or something. What does this do?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Ferrous wheel
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    Brooks recommends/sells a product called Proofide for the leather. It is to be used sparingly (I do it about once a year), because over-softening the saddle will allow the leather to stretch prematurely.

    Which brings me to that bolt. It is turned to tighten the saddle to account for the inevitable stretching that comes from regular and normal wear. You should not have to turn it very often. Once it is fully tightened, your saddle is worn out.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  3. #3
    Ferrous wheel
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    Also, you should avoid getting your saddle wet, as riding a wet saddle can also cause it to stretch with great haste. When I Proofide my saddles, I also get the underside to help protect it from road spray.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Most important is continue riding regularly, the saddle will fit itself to you and get better over time. Some of my Brooks saddles have not needed tightening for many years.
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    How do I know when I need to tighten it (the bolt, that is)??
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  6. #6
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood
    How do I know when I need to tighten it (the bolt, that is)??

    Don't touch the bolt.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by balindamood
    How do I know when I need to tighten it (the bolt, that is)??
    When the saddle has the look of a swayed back horse. the saddle should remain flat across the length of the saddle. just lie a ruler over the top of the saddle now and get an idea how flat it is and when the saddle has swayed over an 1/8 of an inch beyond that then tighten the bolt a tad, meaning about a 1/4 of a turn. as one poster mentioned over use of Proofide could soften the leather too much; I only apply once a year but I don't do the underside (except when I first bought the saddle I applied in once very lightly) but thats because when I tour I use fenders and the underside doesn't get wet. you shouldn't have to tighten the bolt more then once every other year; I havent tightened mine in over 5 years.

    Also don't let anyone tell you to use any other product then Proofide on your Brooks saddle. Read your warranty papers, Brooks clearly tells you that using any other product will void your warranty. why would Brooks say that? because they have been making saddles for over 100 years and one would think they would know whats best to use for max life and protection...not some local yokal bike know it all.

    Rivendell bicycle works and Carridice sells a saddle cover made for Brooks that can protect it from the rain which could be an issue if the the saddle will be ridden in the rain.

  8. #8
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    So, is this Brooks saddle some that special? I bought a Cannondale with a goofy red and white saddle. It has no bolts to tighten, came with no instructions. I am guessing I'll mess it up one day by having the bike fall while leaning on something - but, I don't have to worry about its maintenance.

    My Schwinn from '74 has a leather saddle. Looks the same today as it did when I purchased it (saddle is a Schwinn-approved part that I bought as an "upgrade" to that bike - a LeTour).

    I am not posting to be a wise guy. I've looked at pics of those saddles - they do look nice. Just wondering if that's a toy I should consider - or would I be setting myself up for one more thing to worry about.

    Caruso

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