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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-29-07, 09:45 AM   #1
bfromcolo
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Yet another B-17 torture/break in thread

Well this was about my slowest commute yet. Got my spiffy new B-17 in the mail yesterday. Did the leather treatment drill, attached it and rode around to the block to verify the setup, everything seemed fine. 2 miles into my 16 mile commute I realize I was sliding forward and my wrists were taking too much weight. Adjust saddle nose up a bit and back on bike, 5 miles later you know what is feeling a bit numb. Try to adjust seat another couple times in the rest of the ride, but my seat post seems to have 2 positions close to where I need it, and I need the in between position. I am either sliding down the front of the saddle, or the nose of the saddle is pushing the wrong spot. What will the ride home bring?

It does look cool though....
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Old 06-29-07, 09:50 AM   #2
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Bring the right sized wrench for those loose nuts. heh, heh, heh...

Seriously now, how's that bar height? Low? Even with the bars set level with the saddle peak, you can still get some pressure from a 17 when they're new. If the bars are mounted to a longish stem it can happen, too. If the stem is long, it's almost the same as laying over the peak. For my 17's I use one of those super-micro-adjust seatposts. I don't know what they're called but they have an allen bolt in front and in back of the clamp and can be adjusted to any position. No teeth and no in-between spots.

Last edited by jcm; 06-29-07 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 06-29-07, 10:40 AM   #3
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I've got a micro-adjust post, and that's what I think is necessary to dial in the comfort on a leather saddle. It took me 3 rides of sliding back and forth and fiddling about with the adjustments before I finally got everything set where I want it. I've got about 50 miles on my B-17, and it's starting to break in. There's a bit of texture to the leather where my sit bones contact it, and it's starting to soften up a little.
Here's how I did it:
Proofide saddle top and bottom before even installing it. I put one coat on the bottom and the top, buffed the top coat when it dried, then added a second coat to the bottom after the first one soaked in.
Installed it, rode one day on it, readjusted. Put a second light coat of Proofide on the top and let it sit overnight before buffing it clean.
Rode the second day, didn't do any additional Proofide.
Rode the third day, did a light coat of Proofide to the top and bottom of the saddle.

The sit-bone area is breaking in quite nicely. It's a little tougher toward the nose of the saddle, and the leather is still pretty hard there. I make sure that I stand up every once in a while so my junk doesn't fall asleep.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:17 AM   #4
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My understanding is that you not only douse a new leather saddle in treatment oil, but also beat it with a piece of broomstick to speed its break-in period. My Brooks was 2nd-hand and already broken in.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:20 AM   #5
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I have found that when I fit a Brooks I have to raise the seat post a little.

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Old 06-29-07, 11:27 AM   #6
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Will these work on a carbon bike, like an older Trek 5200? -btw Clifton, if you work in Bellevue, I think we work in the same area of town.

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I've got a micro-adjust post, and that's what I think is necessary to dial in the comfort on a leather saddle.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:35 AM   #7
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I have B17s on two bikes. Break in is pretty simple---and you've done everything right. Some people actually angle the nose up a bit to keep from sliding forward, but that may also be solved by raising bar height. When I got mine, I applied Proofide to both sides, then put the saddle in a hot car all day so the Proofide could soak in. I apply Proofide to the top every three or four months. Just ride it and it will get really comfortable really soon.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
Will these work on a carbon bike, like an older Trek 5200? -btw Clifton, if you work in Bellevue, I think we work in the same area of town.
I don't think there's any compatability issues with a saddle and a CF frame. You could put one of those big cushy gel-pad cruiser bike seats on there if you wanted to, as long as the seatpost clamp was the right kind.
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Old 06-29-07, 11:48 AM   #9
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aw nuts proofide...The Team Proff is due to arrive today. I'll bet Wall Bikes doesn't include that! Was going take the bike up to Canada to break in the saddle. Wonder if KIWI Mink Oil or Sno-Seal will work instead?
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Old 06-29-07, 12:23 PM   #10
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Some sort of treatment is not an end all necessity to breaking in a leather saddle. It's point is to keep the leather from drying out and cracking, the same kind of upkeep as you would do on any leather product.

vrkelly, don't sweat not having any Proofide. When you get your hands on some, slather some on the saddle; in the mean time ride it and adjust its position to one that is comfortable. The saddle is not going to break in any differently or wrongly because it does not have a little bit of oil rubbed on its surface. Treat it when you get a chance, don't worry about putting miles on it, and it's going to end up as great saddle.
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Old 06-29-07, 01:06 PM   #11
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Will do AllenG. Here is another thread. Apparently it's not good to soften the saddle to lessen the torture.
The truth about proofide and brooks saddles

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenG
vrkelly, don't sweat not having any Proofide. When you get your hands on some, slather some on the saddle; in the mean time ride it and adjust its position to one that is comfortable. The saddle is not going to break in any differently or wrongly because it does not have a little bit of oil rubbed on its surface. Treat it when you get a chance, don't worry about putting miles on it, and it's going to end up as great saddle.
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