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Old 09-18-07, 10:34 AM   #1
epcolt
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Brooks Saddle

Looking at a Brooks for my Raleigh. Do I want a B17 or would the Flier be a better way to go? I haven't ridden either one and wanted some input from those who have them.
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Old 09-18-07, 10:48 AM   #2
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Tough to beat the B-17. My personal tastes dictate the B-17 over the sprung Flyer models. Of course I don't care much for suspension seatposts either.
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Old 09-18-07, 02:14 PM   #3
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I have b17's on 3 of my bikes.. A good saddle, hard to go wrong..

http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/standardsaddles.html
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Old 09-18-07, 03:18 PM   #4
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Has anyone ever tried the Brooks model with the springs for longer rides?
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Old 09-18-07, 03:26 PM   #5
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Since there's been about a bajillion threads about Brooks saddles, I'll post this again:

Don't force yourself to ride a Brooks just to be part of the "Brooks crowd." It should be somewhat comfortable right out of the box.
For the love of everything holy, don't slather it in Neatsfoot compound like a baseball glove, or soak it in motor oil, or Proofide it every day for two weeks and leave it in a Ziploc bag in your car, or any of the other ridiculous things I hear people doing to "break in" their new saddle.
Proofide it top and bottom once or twice, and ride on it. Ride on it a lot. That's the real way to break it in to your sit-bones and not ruin the leather.
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Old 09-18-07, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Since there's been about a bajillion threads about Brooks saddles, I'll post this again:

Don't force yourself to ride a Brooks just to be part of the "Brooks crowd." It should be somewhat comfortable right out of the box.
For the love of everything holy, don't slather it in Neatsfoot compound like a baseball glove, or soak it in motor oil, or Proofide it every day for two weeks and leave it in a Ziploc bag in your car, or any of the other ridiculous things I hear people doing to "break in" their new saddle.
Proofide it top and bottom once or twice, and ride on it. Ride on it a lot. That's the real way to break it in to your sit-bones and not ruin the leather.
+1 on what is said above.. I read all the break in threads and settled on proofide and ride and it has worked well..
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Old 09-18-07, 03:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info everyone.
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Old 09-18-07, 03:52 PM   #8
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+1 on what is said above.. I read all the break in threads and settled on proofide and ride and it has worked well..
I cringe when I read about some of the cycle-voodoo techniques that people use to 'break in' their new saddles. I think a good saddle is like a good pair of jeans: It should fit well to begin with, and get more comfortable over time. If I had to wash my new jeans in boiling oil and run 'em over with my truck a few times to get them comfy, I'd switch brands.

As a side note, I've got about 1700 or so miles on my B-17 and I am getting ready to mod it a little bit. It's broken in and comfy and yadda yadda, but I don't like the slight 'hammocking' effect I get from where the midsection of the saddle is softening up. I'm punching a few holes, and lacing up the mid and front sections of the side skirts; which will stiffen up the midsection and nose of the saddle without having to crank on the tensioning bolt and stretch the leather.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Since there's been about a bajillion threads about Brooks saddles, I'll post this again:

Don't force yourself to ride a Brooks just to be part of the "Brooks crowd." It should be somewhat comfortable right out of the box.
For the love of everything holy, don't slather it in Neatsfoot compound like a baseball glove, or soak it in motor oil, or Proofide it every day for two weeks and leave it in a Ziploc bag in your car, or any of the other ridiculous things I hear people doing to "break in" their new saddle.
Proofide it top and bottom once or twice, and ride on it. Ride on it a lot. That's the real way to break it in to your sit-bones and not ruin the leather.
+1+1+1= absolutely right.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:43 PM   #10
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Has anyone ever tried the Brooks model with the springs for longer rides?
I have two B67's. They're fine for any distance. But, that's me and my anatomy, plus a rather upright posture. I used to have North Road bars on my Trek 520, along with the 67. Sort of a 3-speed on steroids. It was just fine for centuries. It did attract alot of looks - some distainful, some in wonder. A few questions, too.

If you are asking about the Flyer, it's probably the one to use if you want a sprung model for a drop bar bike.

About the springs - I've said this before but it might bear repeating:
Brooks used to make different gage wire for different saddles. I think they have consolidated things around a single gage thickness, that being .193". This renders a very firm spring. Only a "purest" will notice any rocking or energy loss from these springs. They are really only noticeable on rather substantial road bumps. Still, a quick switch between a sprung and an unsprung saddle will be very noticeable. So, they work constantly, but they are very subtle.

On the older B73 - having three springs - they used to be .182" on the back ones. No more. Those are also the newer, thicker gage. I have taken my old B73 springs and put them on one of my B67's because they are so perfect. On the other B67 - now, don't anyone hyperventilate - I've actually installed cheap Murray springs from a $12 comfort saddle. Much more forgiving and still no discernable loss of energy to this rider.

I'm just saying that you can play with things to fine tune your ride - the whole ride, not just measurements and angles, and core exercises, and oil-or-no-oil, and ad infintum ad nauseum...

If you go with a Flyer and you don't like it, and you haven't dunked it in the local tar pit to "soften" it, send it to me for a fair price.
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Old 09-20-07, 08:26 AM   #11
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I have the sprung Flyer. It's turned out to be very comfortable, but the springs creak and I can't seem to get rid of it. It's annoying. I'm wondering how much the springs add to the comfort, and if it would be worth it to buy an unsprung B-17 to get rid of the squeak.
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Old 09-20-07, 09:51 AM   #12
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sheldonbrown.com harriscyclery.com have decent advice.
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Old 09-20-07, 10:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I have the sprung Flyer. It's turned out to be very comfortable, but the springs creak and I can't seem to get rid of it. It's annoying. I'm wondering how much the springs add to the comfort, and if it would be worth it to buy an unsprung B-17 to get rid of the squeak.

BigBlue,

I too run the Flyer and my springs creak some. I thought I would like the B-17 with no creaking much better, so I ordered one from Wallbike (that is where I got the Flyer also). So I tried them back to back and you would be amazed at the difference in comfort on the Flyer. The B-17 made my back hurt, and I am running 700x35 tires too.

Now I just apply a little white lightning on the springs once a week and it creaks much less now, only when it needs some more lube.
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Old 09-20-07, 11:19 AM   #14
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sheldonbrown.com harriscyclery.com have decent advice.
Excellent site. Thanks. It took me a while to find the link/article on leather saddles. Here it is:

http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

Also, thanks to others for the comments on the Brooks models with springs. Very helpful.
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Old 09-20-07, 11:37 AM   #15
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I thought I would like the B-17 with no creaking much better,
The B-17 develops its own particular type of creak, actually. As the leather breaks in and the saddle develops some flex, the rails will flex at the clamp to the seatpost and the seat will creak as you hammer on the pedals or go over bumpy terrain and bounce on the saddle. A little bit of grease on the rails will stop the creaking.
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Old 09-20-07, 12:11 PM   #16
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About the creaking noise that sometimes comes free in the box when you buy a Brooks:

There are a couple places that can create the creaking you hear. Some of it may emanate from the the bolt threads. Some teflon penetrant may help there, or, you may want to take out the bolt and actually grease the threads.

Others say it is the rails. Maybe, since there are many different shapes of seat-post clamps.

Mostly, I have found that the creaking comes from an unlikely place, and is easliy detected with the tip of a finger:

Off the bike, sqeeze the skirts together and listen for the noise. If it creaks, gently and lightly place the tip of a finger on the end of the steel frame that runs around the under side of the saddle. Sqeeze the skirts and feel for a vibration that coincides with the noise. Verify the location by placing your finger at various points along the frame as you sqeeze the skirts.

I have often said that it is the sound of leather working against steel - not steel vs. steel.

If you find the problem is as I describe, have an assistant pull the skirts apart at the rivet. Spread them far enough that you can slip a piece of old inner tube between the leather and the frame. Get it as close to the rivet as possible by using pliers in each hand to pull/stretch the rubber thin as you slide it into place. Trim the rubber with scissors. It will stay in there and provide a silencing gasket.

Last edited by jcm; 09-20-07 at 12:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-21-07, 12:30 AM   #17
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...Don't force yourself to ride a Brooks just to be part of the "Brooks crowd."...
Brooks crowd ?!?
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Old 09-21-07, 12:31 AM   #18
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I figured I'd get the B17 since that's the one everyone recommended and try not to over think it. It's worked out great so far.

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Old 09-21-07, 04:02 AM   #19
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I am gonna go with the standard B17 Thanks
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Old 09-21-07, 06:14 AM   #20
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Brooks crowd ?!?
Yeah, don't hang out with those Brooksies. Those guys just slack off, smoking leather and snorting proofde. These lazy bums are out riding bicycles when they should be at work.
They are noncomformists. They don't wear padded shorts. They all have secret tattoes on their "sit bones".
And it gets worse. Once they try the The B17 they want to try other Brooks seats. People from www.wallbike.com hang arround school yards and say "Psst, kid, wanna try a seat with a money back guarantee". Once they get the kid hooked, the addiction takes hold. Next thing you know, the kid is telling his buddies and getting them to try it too. Gangs of Brookisies roam the streets, B17's, Champions, Swifts and the dreaded B-67 are just the tip of the iceberg. When the disease takes hold, its hard to get rid of. A 12 step program is necessary.

1) We admitted that we were powerless over comfortable seats and out shorts had become unmanagable.
2) Came to believe that hard plastic seats could restore our discomfort.
3) Made a decision to turn our butts over to .......
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Old 09-21-07, 06:48 AM   #21
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Once I was able to get my B 17 dialed in and broke in, there was no turning back. Mine will creak a little if I'm pounding hard on the bike. I like the creaking, it sounds like I'm accomplishing something.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:49 AM   #22
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I love this post!



Quote:
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Yeah, don't hang out with those Brooksies. Those guys just slack off, smoking leather and snorting proofde. These lazy bums are out riding bicycles when they should be at work.
They are noncomformists. They don't wear padded shorts. They all have secret tattoes on their "sit bones".
And it gets worse. Once they try the The B17 they want to try other Brooks seats. People from www.wallbike.com hang arround school yards and say "Psst, kid, wanna try a seat with a money back guarantee". Once they get the kid hooked, the addiction takes hold. Next thing you know, the kid is telling his buddies and getting them to try it too. Gangs of Brookisies roam the streets, B17's, Champions, Swifts and the dreaded B-67 are just the tip of the iceberg. When the disease takes hold, its hard to get rid of. A 12 step program is necessary.

1) We admitted that we were powerless over comfortable seats and out shorts had become unmanagable.
2) Came to believe that hard plastic seats could restore our discomfort.
3) Made a decision to turn our butts over to .......
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Old 09-21-07, 07:12 AM   #23
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They are noncomformists. They don't wear padded shorts. They all have secret tattoes on their "sit bones".
What I meant is that someone shouldn't feel obligated to suffer for hundreds of miles, wondering "when the hell is this seat going to get comfortable?" just because so many other people swear by their Brooks saddles. The B-17 does seem to be one of the unofficial "equipment insignia" that are the mark of a commuter or otherwise dedicated cyclist. (Like Arkel or Ortleib panniers, and other high-end equipment that most light-mileage recreational cyclists don't see the value in spending X amount of dollars on.)
I'm simply suggesting that given the number of people who say that they'll never go back to a plastic shell saddle, and the number of people who complain about how uncomfortable they are on their Brooks after as much as 400 miles, maybe some people fall prey to a certain degree of peer pressure when selecting their gear.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:27 AM   #24
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It's okay, Cliffy, I knew what you meant.

Still, the only Brooks crowd I seem to encounter is here on these forums - certainly not in either of the clubs I ride with. I actually think we have an inferiority complex, and must bloviate upon the worthiness of these saddles to no end. Well, at least I do...

By the way, as a 10th Order High Priest of The Wicking Hide, I can say that no Brooks Cultist worth the title will ever stoop to a tatoo n his/her butt. Nope, it's a Genuine Brooks Stamp, embossed on the right cheek, just above the sitbone. After the agonizing, but character building experience of breaking-in our saddles, it's a small inconvenience to undergo the ritual ceremony...

Last edited by jcm; 09-21-07 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:57 AM   #25
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I almost gave up on B 17 before it was broke in. It was slippery and I kept sliding forward on the saddle. Now that I'm getting sit bone dimples, my sit bones are starting to lock into the dimples so don't slide forward. The saddle is ridiculously comfortable. I simple cannot believe I ever rode anything else. I also love the fact that I no longer have to wear padded shorts.
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