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  1. #1
    Member moogsandboobs's Avatar
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    how to break in brooks

    I just got a brooks team pro ti for xmas from my girl friend, and was wondering a few things about the break in period.1how long 2anything special I have to do. 3should I be the only one riding the seat? And anything else I should know. Thank you

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    1. Conventional wisdom is that it could take several hundred miles before your saddle is completely broken in. My experience is that if properly adjusted, the saddle will feel more comfortable after a week or two of every day riding, once your seat gets used to it. Remember, a Brooks often needs to be more nose-up than you're used to; but I end up fiddling with each one several times before it's perfect.

    2. Don't soak it in proofide or neatsfoot oil or anything. That will make it soften quicker, but it will also make it sag much sooner. Just let it break in on its own. If it's uncomfortable somewhere, adjust it the tiniest bit. Really, it's your bum that gets used to the saddle more than the other way around.

    3. I can't think of any reason why. If you are the primary rider, it will eventually dimple under your sitbones, but that's more cosmetic than anything.

  3. #3
    5' 19" barndoor's Avatar
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    I put mine upside down in aluminum foil, pour some Neatsfoot oil on the underside of it and let it soak for about an hour , then put a coat of Brooks Proofide on the riding surface .....then ride, ride, ride....(make sure you use black shorts!). It may be comfortable right out of the box, so try it that way first! If not, do what I do or listen to some of the other methods that will pop up here shortly....

    Good luck .... and enjoy that fine piece of leather!

    Edit: I emphasize riding it without any "treatment" first .... like in the post above....but some people can't wait that long on Brooks' to "settle in".....then they abandon them....

    Personally , I've found the Neatsfoot method to work fine with no sagging. I am 270# and have a couple thousand miles on each of my Brooks' with no problems...
    I own my dream bike, a 2006 R-14 66cm Waterford road bike

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    I have found for me the best is to put it on my Mag trainer for the Winter and by the Spring the saddle is ready to ride. I think it is a combination of riding it for shorter periods of time and sweating on it more that allows for a more comfortable break in period. Roger

  5. #5
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Just put the saddle on your bike, adjust for the best fit & ride it a lot. The break in time varies. One of mine only took about 300 miles & it was comfortable out of the box, but I have a green Champion Special that has done over 3000 miles. It is better than when new but still needs more break in. I discussed this with my LBS owner & he has one with 5,000 miles that still isn't where he wants it, so be patient.

    I agree with those who warn against to much proofide or neets foot oil. I picked up a new B17 for $10 at a swap meet that got to much of something & had badly sagged. Even after adjusting tension & with the sides laced together, it was only fit for short rides & not comfortable at all after 30-40 minutes. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    You are probably going to get another 20 different suggestions. Just follow the directions from Brooks. If you didn't get the care leaflet with the saddle, here is a link to the Brooks website. http://www.brookssaddles.com/docs/le...addle_care.pdf

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    I just started riding on a Brooks B17. Rode it 20 miles (this is a long distance for me) and never noticed any pain or strain in my seat muscles. You might just enjoy it right out of the box like I do.

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    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    You are probably going to get another 20 different suggestions. Just follow the directions from Brooks. If you didn't get the care leaflet with the saddle, here is a link to the Brooks website. http://www.brookssaddles.com/docs/le...addle_care.pdf


    +1

    You dont need to listen to any other suggestions. Follow the Brooks instructions to the letter.

    That said, congrats on your Brooks 'Pro'. I've had mine for about three years, with 8000 miles on it, and is the best friggen saddle I ever owned. I dont even have to wear cycling shorts with it.

    Which color did you get?
    Last edited by Wino Ryder; 12-29-07 at 12:02 PM.
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    Ride it, sweat on it and let nature take it's course. Your butt has to get used to the saddle as much as the saddle to your butt. Took me about 300 miles. Hello Mr. Butt, meet Mr Brooks. You will become friends.

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    Ride it, sweat on it and let nature take it's course. Your butt has to get used to the saddle as much as the saddle to your butt. Took me about 300 miles. Hello Mr. Butt, meet Mr Brooks. You will become friends.
    Believe me, after 50k miles / 80k km, there is no better saddle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moogsandboobs View Post
    I just got a brooks team pro ti for xmas from my girl friend, and was wondering a few things about the break in period.1how long 2anything special I have to do. 3should I be the only one riding the seat? And anything else I should know. Thank you
    If you are riding dropped bars, which seems likely given the saddle you have, it takes awhile. If you are riding upright bars they seem to quite comfortable right from the start; at least that was the case with my B72 (now 15yo) and B66 (2yo). Just follow Brooks recommendations and tough it out. That way you do not void your warranty.

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    Matthew Grimm / Flunky Kogswell's Avatar
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    For the first have dozen LONG rides, use a spray bottle and apply a LIGHT mist of water to the underside of the leather.

    Once that's done then wait for the saddle to be completely dry and then rub a bit of paraffin into the underside.

    Once a year use wax-based boot or saddle polish on the top side. It will stain your shorts for the first couple of rides thereafter.

    Never, ever, let your saddle sit in the rain uncovered. Always keep a plastic bag stuffed into the nose for those times when you'll need to leave your bike in the rain (which should be nearly never).

    Never use anything that looks like oil or grease on your saddle. They will soften the leather too much and ruin it. Proofide is fine because it's wax. I like paraffin because it's harder.

    If the saddle sags over time then tighten it gradually, a quarter turn a week. Less is better than more.

    Patience is the key to using a leather saddle. Don't do anything quickly or immodestly. Take your time and treat it gently.

    There's a finish that develops on a well-maintained saddle. It's soft but water will bead on it because it has been dressed correctly.

    The Pro is the most comfortable saddle money can buy. If you care for it it will deliver a lifetime's worth of service.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gowfermike's Avatar
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    I have the Brooks Champion Flyer and after 600 miles we are friends. The sit bones felt great from the start. However, as mentioned in an earlier reply, I had to adjust the nose up a little to take pressure off the taint. I still get a little too much pressure there after about 40 miles. This is my first Brooks too and I am hoping the section of the saddle between the nose and seat area soften up as miles go by.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Ride the bike, ride the bike, ride the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kogswell View Post
    Never use anything that looks like oil or grease on your saddle. They will soften the leather too much and ruin it. Proofide is fine because it's wax. I like paraffin because it's harder.
    Proofide is not wax. It may contain paraffin and beeswax but it's mostly tallow/oil based. Read the label.

    I have used proofide on one B17 and neatsfoot on another. I defy anyone to tell the difference except the one with neatsfoot is slightly softer.

    If you really want to ruin a leather saddle, start messing with the tension adjustment.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
    Last edited by Proximo; 12-30-07 at 08:37 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by barndoor View Post
    Edit: I emphasize riding it without any "treatment" first .... like in the post above....but some people can't wait that long on Brooks' to "settle in".....then they abandon them....
    The best advice yet on this thread.

  17. #17
    Senior Member roseskunk's Avatar
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    not all my bikes have brooks, but they will. my oldest saddle is 35 years old, i bought it as a teenager. it's in better shape than i am and i took particular care of it. brooks proofide when necessary but that's it. i really don't understand all this 'breaking in' stuff. they feel fine to me if you've got them adjusted right. the thing about brooks, why they've been around forever and why they have such a following is that they're not fussy at all. i don't ride or leave mine in the rain, but my friend only bike commutes and there are times that he's got the bike sitting out in a storm. if you keep proofide on them, no problems. man, why couldn't my girl get me a brooks for xmas?!

  18. #18
    Senior Member roseskunk's Avatar
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    it's in better shape than i am and i took NO particular care of it.

  19. #19
    jcm
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    A Pro?

    Then, I assume you are set up in a relatively aggressive posture on the bike. That being: bar tops lower than the saddle, weight distributed onto your pedals, saddle and hands - in that order.

    If so, I would start with a dead level saddle, as you are already laying over it to some extent. With a B17 type, you raise the peak because typically, the bar tops will be a bit more level with the saddle for best comfort. This rolls the pelvis back onto the web area, which is designed to carry your weight more so than a Pro. Think of the Pro as a perch, and the 17 type as a seat. The former is for balance and control, the latter is for long range comfort.

    As for actually breaking - in the Pro: The best advice has already been given. Go by Brooks' directions and ride it alot. If you absolutely must get a jump start at it, use 'whatever' very sparingly. Do not use anything with silicones in it. Silicone is about the only thing I can think of that saddlers will recommend against universally. It will permanently seal the pores and destroy the wicking characteristics of a leather saddle forever. May as well ride a rubber one.

  20. #20
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    I want to reiterate, Brooks has been making saddles since 1865. For years, the main complaint has been that they take time to break in. I am sure that the Brooks people have been working on this for a while. If there was some foolproof way to do it faster, don't you think they would have figured it out and shared it with us. Personally, I buy my saddles on Ebay, from people who have tried breaking them in and for whatever reason, have given up after a couple hundred miles.
    I am looking for a Brooks Pro right now for my Centurion, so if you decide to give it up, PM me.

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I thought my b17 was comfortable out of the box, that was until I went on tour and was spending 6 or so hours a day in the saddle. I would say after 1000 it was truly broken in. However around the same time it was out in the rain and the nose and rear got wet (aardvark saddle covers are not 100% waterproof!) soon after the saddle began to sag more that I would like. You start to feel the horseshoe in the rear, that is when you need to give it a turn and bring the tension back up. Those saddles that look like a hammock and people say are comfortable... well they don't ride very far.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  22. #22
    Senior Member jebensch's Avatar
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    I'm reading this out loud to my girlfriend and she's demanding that I mention she got me a Pro for Xmas too. Not only that but she listens while I read her BF posts! I got a keeper.

    I was pretty surprised to find that I felt good on mine out of the box, however that's only been on a 5 mile commute. Gotta take it out for 50 and see if I can walk...
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