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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-20-08, 03:21 PM   #1
bcc
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Another Brooks B17 convert

Well, last week we ordered some lights for my wife's new bike from a place I've used before, and I noticed they had some Brooks B17s in at the price they were at the beginning of the year. I'd been holding off buying one since the prices went up, so I couldn't resist...

I've had it a bit over a week and put 50 miles on it so far, and it's *so* comfortable. After all the horror stories I've heard I was expecting pain, but a couple of days of minor discomfort soon passed and it's been great since. I can really tell it's properly supporting my sit bones now, which I was never really sure of with the old saddle.

I ended up having to cut my ride short at 16 miles on Saturday due to a popped spoke (grrr, potholes!) and I felt like I'd been sitting on the sofa for an hour.

Just wanted to give a report that doesn't talk about the hundreds of miles of pain...
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Old 10-20-08, 03:29 PM   #2
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Just wanted to give a report that doesn't talk about the hundreds of miles of pain...
WooHoo! Glad you're enjoying it right out of the box. I was the same way: I found the B-17 and the Imperial to be comfy right from the get-go. I have noticed an increase in that comfort as things break in and conform to my shape, but I've never experienced the 500 miles of torture that some Brooks users speak of.

I'm convinced that us big people have it easier with Brooks saddles than our less massive brothers and sisters. More weight means we just break-in a saddle faster.
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Old 10-20-08, 04:49 PM   #3
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Well, last week we ordered some lights for my wife's new bike from a place I've used before, and I noticed they had some Brooks B17s in at the price they were at the beginning of the year. I'd been holding off buying one since the prices went up, so I couldn't resist...

Clever move. Hey honey, I'm just going to order some things for YOU. Oh look here, they have a great deal on an item I didn't even know they carried. I guess I better order it now and save the shipping costs.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:03 PM   #4
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My Brooks was comfortable from day one. I was afraid of the long break in too. The first thirty minutes in the saddle put my fears to rest. I'm so glad I bought one. Worth every penny. Glad to hear you like yours.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:07 PM   #5
CliftonGK1
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Clever move. Hey honey, I'm just going to order some things for YOU. Oh look here, they have a great deal on an item I didn't even know they carried. I guess I better order it now and save the shipping costs.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:15 PM   #6
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Glad you liked your Brooks. One day soon I'm going to get me a B-17 to put on my Centurian. On my Italian bike I have a Brooks 'Pro' and its great.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:39 PM   #7
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I've been thinking of a Brooks on my commuter bike, but I just can't seem to get by the high maintenance factor. Don't you have to put proofhide on (and obviously buy some first) at the beginning? Do you have to repeat it every so often? I've also heard the leather doesn't handle getting wet that well, which is a possibility when you're commuting. I like my commuter bike to be low maintenance, I don't think I could justify the price with those setbacks. Someone tell me if I'm wrong in my assumptions :-)
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Old 10-20-08, 06:41 PM   #8
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I've been thinking of a Brooks on my commuter bike, but I just can't seem to get by the high maintenance factor. Don't you have to put proofhide on (and obviously buy some first) at the beginning? Do you have to repeat it every so often? I've also heard the leather doesn't handle getting wet that well, which is a possibility when you're commuting. I like my commuter bike to be low maintenance, I don't think I could justify the price with those setbacks. Someone tell me if I'm wrong in my assumptions :-)
You could always try a selle anatomica. They're ergonomically slotted, made in the USA and the "watershed" leather requires no maintenance...just wipe with a damp cloth. Once you get it adjusted properly it's comfy right out of the box. I rode a century two weeks after installing one and had no discomfort.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:24 PM   #9
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I've been thinking of a Brooks on my commuter bike, but I just can't seem to get by the high maintenance factor. Don't you have to put proofhide on (and obviously buy some first) at the beginning? Do you have to repeat it every so often? I've also heard the leather doesn't handle getting wet that well, which is a possibility when you're commuting. I like my commuter bike to be low maintenance, I don't think I could justify the price with those setbacks. Someone tell me if I'm wrong in my assumptions :-)
Brooks recommend application of proofide once every 3-6 months after the initial breakin period - that doesn't seem too bad. They also say proofide the bottom once (but don't rub in) to help waterproof it if you don't have mudguards, and if it gets wet let it dry. Doesn't seem to be too big a deal to me - doesn't need much and it doesn't take very long at all...
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Old 10-21-08, 01:24 PM   #10
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Clever move. Hey honey, I'm just going to order some things for YOU. Oh look here, they have a great deal on an item I didn't even know they carried. I guess I better order it now and save the shipping costs.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
I've been thinking of a Brooks on my commuter bike, but I just can't seem to get by the high maintenance factor. Don't you have to put proofhide on (and obviously buy some first) at the beginning? Do you have to repeat it every so often? I've also heard the leather doesn't handle getting wet that well, which is a possibility when you're commuting. I like my commuter bike to be low maintenance, I don't think I could justify the price with those setbacks. Someone tell me if I'm wrong in my assumptions :-)
Application of Proofide takes about 2 minutes when you first get the saddle. Buffing the leather after the first application takes all of 10 seconds.
Then you need to put that same amount of effort in about every 6 months, so you'll spend around 5 minutes a year on maintenance of your Brooks saddle.
When it's wet, put a cover on your saddle. I spent $8.00 on a Velox fitted cover and I've had it for 2 years so far. No issues. To protect the underside, use fenders, a rear rack, or just stuff a plastic bag up in the rails to keep the spray off the leather.

They're not high maintenance at all, and I'd hardly consider that low amount of work a setback for a saddle which will last you well over 25 years when cared for properly.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:57 PM   #12
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What? Whoa wait. Actually the first ride I had in the rain is what helped break it in good. Do let it dry out good and I wouldnt recommend riding in the rain a lot with nothing on it. But I would ride in the rain once just to speed up the break in. Thats just my opinion though I'm sure others would advise different.
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