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Old 08-24-08, 02:50 PM   #1
flanso 
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New Brooks B17 sags

I have ridden my 6 weeks old Brooks B17 saddle about 300 miles some of which were in hard rain. It got an initial top and bottom treatment with Proofhide and then several follow-up applications on the top. But the saddle has developed a noticeable sag in the middle and I tend to slide into the sag. Raising the nose keeps me in place but causes other discomfort. I have read the late Sheldon Brown’s recommendation discouraging adjustment of the bottom bolt and several other posts that describe lacing a Brooks saddle’s skirt. Is it normal for a Brooks as new as this one to sag? Incidentally, I do not qualify as a Clydesdale.
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Old 08-24-08, 03:44 PM   #2
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Hopefully that was really Proofide and not some other leather softening product (mink oil). Maybe the rain got to it somehow? How about trying one spin of the adjustment nut, it worked for mine. Something made that leather stretch.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:41 PM   #3
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The Proofride is only supposed to be used once intitially and then followup applications around once per year. You may have overly softened the leather by too many applications over a short span of time.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:06 PM   #4
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Did the saddle get soaked when you rode it in the rain? Did you ride on the saddle when it was soaked? This would definitely cause some of the sagging you're talking about.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:39 PM   #5
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Riding a Brooks in the rain causes significant stretch in very short times. Last summer, my riding partner on a tour had a fairly new B17 that was soaked overnight. After a day of riding it was formed (read stretched) to great lengths. Later in the tour I bought a b17 that was soaked in a day long rain. It too was stretched. All I can suggest is tighten it, it worked well for me. Its a leather saddle, stretch happens, it just happened a little quicker for the both of us.
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Old 08-24-08, 11:23 PM   #6
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I did ride while it was wet. I'll tighten it with the adjustment screw and I appreciate the advice.
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Old 08-24-08, 11:41 PM   #7
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Don't tighten it if the saddle is still wet! And only tighten it a quarter of a turn at a time, test, and tighten more as necessary; you don't want to over stretch the leather.
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Old 08-25-08, 06:23 AM   #8
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Don't tighten it if the saddle is still wet! And only tighten it a quarter of a turn at a time, test, and tighten more as necessary; you don't want to over stretch the leather.
+1 Let it dry COMPLETELY and then and ONLY then do any adjustments. I have only done the proofide treatment on my Brooks saddles when new and then once every Spring afterwards. Bring the saddle inside NOT near a heater and let it dry slowly. If you have done any adjustments back off the bolt until the saddle drys. After it drys ride it and see how it reacts then maybe give it a quarter turn once a week or so until it comes back to tension. Good luck
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Old 08-25-08, 04:40 PM   #9
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I found that putting a good coat of Proofride on the under side will keep any water from reaching the leather. Too much Proofride, not in my opinion. It simply will not stretch the leather whereas under application with the addition of water will.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:20 PM   #10
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Your proofide treatment cannot have caused the sag. No way you worked enough of it in to cause that. The rain definitely was the culprit, and you need to tighten it up when dry. I've got about 600 miles on my B17, and no noticeable sag, but I'm a sissy and never ride in the rain.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:56 PM   #11
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I did ride while it was wet. I'll tighten it with the adjustment screw and I appreciate the advice.
Tightening a saddle is a tricky thing to do with only marginal results.

The biggest threat is tearing the leather, which happens in some unexpected part of the saddle just when you think you are pulling out the sag.

Another thing is that the sag tends to pull into a ridge forming something that looks like a pup tent. Talk about an ass-axe!

Next time you buy a leather saddle, choose one that has supports under the leather. My favorite leather saddles have a series of springs that run under the saddle leather as a support. I have ridden these saddles on long tours and in the rain, but they do hold their shape well.

Most of the old unsupported leather saddles I see form the sag and pup-tent ridge.

Question: In theory, the leather molded to fit your fanny and your riding position. Despite it's sag look, is the saddle comfortable now?
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Old 08-25-08, 08:08 PM   #12
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Just lace it. Then you can decide how firm or soft you want the saddle.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:37 AM   #13
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I took the advice and turned the adjustment screw. The new saddle had stretched significantly from being ridden for hours in hard rain. As a result, it took several turns of the adjustment to get out the sag. Last Saturday, I rode 66 mile and the Brooks was quite comfortable.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:59 AM   #14
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Whats the best way to create the lace holes in the saddle?
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Old 09-29-08, 12:30 PM   #15
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A leather punch!
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Old 09-29-08, 01:09 PM   #16
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Lace it and then treat it and then polish it and then center it and then then adj. it and then take it off and throw it in the trash and then
go get a new selle italia cut out and then .................
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