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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 04-17-09, 11:15 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Help me save my Brooks!

My Brooks B-66 feels like it's sagging in the middle. I only have 15 miles on it. HELP!
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Old 04-17-09, 11:32 AM   #2
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My Brooks B-66 feels like it's sagging in the middle. I only have 15 miles on it. HELP!
First, slide it forward on the rails a little bit to shift your weight toward the back of the saddle. If that doesn't work, very lightly tighten the bolt in the front of the saddle nose to give the leater a bit more tension. DO NOT overdo it, thugh.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:35 AM   #3
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Brooks recommends only tightening 1/4 turn at a time.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:48 AM   #4
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My solution has been punching and lacing the skirts. I've got 3 B-17s (two Champ. Std., one Imperial) and the only thing that has kept them from sagging out in the middle has been the lace-ups.

I didn't develop the issue until almost 2000 miles on my Standard B-17s, though. The Imperial has never had an issue because it comes punched/laced from the factory.


Sprenger-Herm makes a great rotary punch (check the local tack & stable shops) and I use 2mm climber's accessory cord to lace my saddles: No stretch, and super strong.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:56 AM   #5
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You can get leather punches from ebay.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:00 PM   #6
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This is great info. Just got a B-67 from Chain Reaction, and am looking forward to using it.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:08 PM   #7
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Siding any Brooks sprung saddle forward on the rails is key for clyde comfort. Otherwise, it is liable to tilt suddenly backwards on you beneath your weight, the banana interfering in your, ah, anatomy with a surprising and decidedly uncomfortable abruptness. Tilting the saddle slightly forward helps, too. Always carry a 13mm wrench on you to adjust and re-tighten the clamp, just in case.

(Bennie's, a local hardware and homegoods retailer, has a generic bike repair kit that comes with some surprisingly useful tools. One of them is a box wrench with every size on it from 6mm to 15mm. Damn handy for these sorts of emergencies on the road. It also has a real, steel spoke wrench, three hex-keys, a third hand brake tool(!), a bike tire pressure-gauge and three tough little poly tire levers that snap together, and it all fits in a tiny roll-up pouch. $8.)
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Old 04-17-09, 09:40 PM   #8
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My B67 is not at all disformed, and doesn't sag noticeably, but it is noticeably softer than my B17s (plural). I think you can give the adjustment a little tweak and be okay. I treated the hell out of mine when new and found it necessary to give it a full turn. I was concerned by all the pictures of messed up B66 and B67 saddles I saw on flickr, but I think most of those have been rained on and ridden wet.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:19 PM   #9
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First, slide it forward on the rails a little bit to shift your weight toward the back of the saddle. If that doesn't work, very lightly tighten the bolt in the front of the saddle nose to give the leater a bit more tension. DO NOT overdo it, thugh.
Now that I'm back from work, let me provide some detail.....

My first Brooks ride was three miles Thursday. I liked the saddle, but I felt my 'cockpit' had gotten smaller. So Friday I moved the saddle back a little on the rails. I must not have tightened the locking screw enough, for by the time I'd reached Kimberton, the halfway point, the saddle nose was higher than it should be. Once I'd picked up my hummus wrap and iced tea at Kimberton Whole Foods, I tightened the screw and set off. However, it soon became clear that I'd overcompensated. My arms were locked and I was sliding forward. The 'sagging' I felt was probably my sitbones resting mid-saddle instead of near the back. I can't believe a saddle with so little time on it is developing a sag; I've used it 15 miles, the previous owner about as much, and the saddle is hard as a rock. I've not used any Proofide or other treatment on it. I expect some attention to leveling it tomorrow morning will help resolve the problem.

As for the stats on the ride, it was 11 miles, 675 feet of climbing, and three dismounts: one to avoid heavy traffic on Kimberton-Pughtown Road, one to enter the store, and one at Sheeder-Hall covered bridge to let some blood back in my hands. Aside from my mishap with the saddle tilt, the Brooks performed as well as they've been praised to do. I've never been so comfortable on a saddle. A couple of hours after the ride I was having some pain in my back and sit bones, but the latter was expected and the former is from my radical alterations to the fit by changing the saddle tilt.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:50 PM   #10
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You're probably overreacting to the sagging. Brooks do flex quite a bit with weight on them (clyde remember?), thats part of what makes them comfortable. I thought having a B-17 on my mountain bike was as good as having a thudbuster seatpost. Keep riding, it will only get better.
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Old 04-18-09, 12:47 AM   #11
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Neil, part of the process is also getting used to the different feel, as well as getting the Brooks tweaked to the right tension and position.

By the way, don't overtreat it, or use a silicon base treatment. Too much proofide will make the leather too soft, and if you treat it with Silicon, you might as well have a plastic saddle.....it won't wick moisture of breathe.
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Old 04-18-09, 02:27 AM   #12
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If you press (your hand) down on the middle of the saddle with moderate pressure, does it visibly sag?

I just put a B17 on my bike a week ago and it's been comfortable since the first ride. It doesn't give much at all when I press down on it. Definitely a different experience than other saddles I've used.

I found that I had to tilt the saddle nose up just slightly to avoid "sliding down" the saddle and putting a ton of weight on my arms/wrists.

Scott
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Old 04-18-09, 05:21 AM   #13
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If you press (your hand) down on the middle of the saddle with moderate pressure, does it visibly sag?

I just put a B17 on my bike a week ago and it's been comfortable since the first ride. It doesn't give much at all when I press down on it. Definitely a different experience than other saddles I've used.

I found that I had to tilt the saddle nose up just slightly to avoid "sliding down" the saddle and putting a ton of weight on my arms/wrists.

Scott
No, it doesn't sag so much as flex a little. I did feel the nose was up a little when I first rode it, but it wasn't so much painful as odd-feeling.
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Old 04-18-09, 05:23 AM   #14
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Neil, part of the process is also getting used to the different feel, as well as getting the Brooks tweaked to the right tension and position.

By the way, don't overtreat it, or use a silicon base treatment. Too much proofide will make the leather too soft, and if you treat it with Silicon, you might as well have a plastic saddle.....it won't wick moisture of breathe.
OK, I'll keep that in mind. The saddle is still untreated. I'm ordering a tin of Proofide.
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Old 04-18-09, 07:13 AM   #15
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+1 on using the Brooks proofhide. It is tempting to use off the shelf treatments but I don't recommend it.

The Brooks on my Dawes Super Galaxie is from the mid 80's. While it took a very long layoff I treated it about every 18 months over the years and it help up eceptionally well.

If I could over come the OCP in me I would ride Brooks on every bike I on, lol.
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Old 04-18-09, 08:47 AM   #16
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Start with it perfectly level, and adjust nose up or down to keep you from sliding fore or aft. Once that is correct, start making SMALL adjustments, up/down, fore/aft. Small 1/4 turn adjustments on a micro adjustable seatpost are best.

You shouldn't be able to feel the nose of the saddle when you are in your normal riding position.
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Old 04-18-09, 09:04 AM   #17
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What about using a can of Kiwi Nuetral colored shoe polish? Wouldn't this do the same thing?

Edit: Nevermind... found some stuff about the warranty, and would rather have that in case something goes wrong. I'll get the proofide

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Old 04-18-09, 11:11 AM   #18
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OK, I'll keep that in mind. The saddle is still untreated. I'm ordering a tin of Proofide.
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What about using a can of Kiwi Nuetral colored shoe polish? Wouldn't this do the same thing?

Edit: Nevermind... found some stuff about the warranty, and would rather have that in case something goes wrong. I'll get the proofide
You don't have to go with Proofide, which is amazingly expensive for what it is. There are equivalent products on the market:

Sno-Seal, likely available at any store which sells work boots.
Obenauf's LP (leather protectant), available online and at tack & stable shops.

40g tin of Proofide is $15
8 ounces (225g) of Obenauf's heavy duty LP is the same price.
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Old 04-18-09, 07:23 PM   #19
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Another fifteen miles today on the Brooks, this time on the Perkiomen Trail. I wore gel shorts, which are probably to blame for the soreness 'between' my sitbones. The new adjusted saddle position was very good, and again this remains the most comfortable riding I've ever done. I may slightly lower the nose, but only a little.

As for why the ride was only 15 miles, that's another thread. You won't believe what happened.....
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Old 04-18-09, 07:28 PM   #20
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Another fifteen miles today on the Brooks, this time on the Perkiomen Trail. I wore gel shorts, which are probably to blame for the soreness 'between' my sitbones. The new adjusted saddle position was very good, and again this remains the most comfortable riding I've ever done. I may slightly lower the nose, but only a little.

As for why the ride was only 15 miles, that's another thread. You won't believe what happened.....
I have to agree with you that having this saddle (B17 Imperial for myself) is the most comfortable ride ever for me... it's so unreal, almost like waking up from a bad dream!

So... what happened? You pull a Matt Lauer and hit a deer?

V
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Old 04-18-09, 10:08 PM   #21
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My B17 has it's nose titled up quite a bit. I can only change the rail positioning, so that's just how it is. I think it looks kind of ridiculous, but it's so god damn comfortable that I don't want to mess with it.

I'm glad you settled on the Brooks and are liking it Historian. When I was debating on whether to get one with my LHT last year, I thought they had to be over hyped and damn were they expensive. Once you try one, there is no looking back. I can't see ever needing any kind of padded or gelled shorts with a Brooks saddle, but YMMV.
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Old 06-04-09, 08:27 PM   #22
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I am 73" 218# and a bad L4/L5 :-(

One Dr. said no more running, jump rope or ridding, another (the acupuncturist) said maybe ride for <:30. To push the envelope I am looking at a Brooks or a Thudbuster to see if I can manage an hour or so in the saddle and not be dying the next day. Comments from those who have ridden both? Thanks. Am going to ride the Woodrow Wilson Bridge trail opening Saturday regardless, figure I will have Sunday to recover.
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