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Old 09-27-06, 07:35 PM   #1
mollusk
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New saddle - First "impressions"

There was some sad news in the Mollusk household this week. My dearest riding partner died at the tender age of 26. I am speaking of my beloved Brooks Pro saddle, of course.

I had bought this saddle back when I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois in 1980. It was initially mated to my first road bike - an cheap Peugeot. The cost of the saddle was more than 50% of the cost of the bike when new!

The saddle (and Peugeot) came down to Gainesville with me when I started working at UF in 1982. In 1983 I bought a REAL road bike (a celeste Bianchi) and the Brooks Pro was moved to my new ride. In 1986 my beloved Bianchi was stolen and I bought a Cannondale with the insurance proceeds and some more $'s. A few months later the stolen bike was recovered, but I didn't have the $'s on hand to buy it back. I did have the $'s to buy the saddle, however, and so I was reunited with my old friend.

This past December I finally bought a "modern" bike - a used 2002 Lemond Zurich. I rode that bike with it's stock saddle for quite some time but became increasing annoyed that my bike shorts were wearing out holes within 1000 miles. I finally figured out that the stitching on the saddle was in just the wrong place and that was the reason, so I moved my trusted old friend over to my new ride. At that time I was aware of a small "check" in the leather near one of the rivets, but I was hoping that the crack wouldn't propagate too fast. Well, that hope was in vain. 26 years and over 100K miles with the best riding partner I have ever had and now it is over.

This past weekend I bought on Ebay a very lightly used Fizik Arione. I wanted a saddle with a long nose like the Brooks Pro because I ride aggressively and in the drops a lot. Today there was a package on my screen porch that seemed to be empty. In fact it was the saddle! Dang it is light compared to the Brooks! Of course I immediately mounted it on the bike and took it out for a nice 12 mile/20 mph test ride.

First "impression" is that I think this is the start of a wonderful new friendship.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:36 PM   #2
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Keep us updated? I could spring for a saddle that feels like a Brooks, and weighs like an empty box - without the box.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:54 PM   #3
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And the grave is yet cold before you dance on it with another partner. Some friend you turned out to be. RIP Brooks Pro

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Old 09-28-06, 07:01 AM   #4
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And the grave is yet cold before you dance on it with another partner. Some friend you turned out to be. RIP Brooks Pro


Yeah, where's the appropriate period of mourning? I too have a Brooks Pro (from 1973) that is still functional. It is a heavy saddle. Currently, it's on the bike I've sentenced to spend it's time locked in the indoor trainer. So, the weight is not an issue. I find it as comfortable as my Specialized Alias, but not more so. At least you're not having affairs and flings with lots of other saddles (What is it, about one a month, Cheeseflavor?). I hope your new relationship blossoms into one that lasts for years.
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Old 09-28-06, 07:40 AM   #5
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Yeah, where's the appropriate period of mourning?
Umm, I did wear my black gloves. Does that count?
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Old 09-28-06, 03:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NOS88
Yeah, where's the appropriate period of mourning? I too have a Brooks Pro (from 1973) that is still functional. It is a heavy saddle. Currently, it's on the bike I've sentenced to spend it's time locked in the indoor trainer. So, the weight is not an issue. I find it as comfortable as my Specialized Alias, but not more so. At least you're not having affairs and flings with lots of other saddles (What is it, about one a month, Cheeseflavor?). I hope your new relationship blossoms into one that lasts for years.
I think you need to go on a 7-day credit card tour with the new saddle to appropriately mourn the deceased one.
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Old 09-28-06, 04:34 PM   #7
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Did you give the old saddle an appropriate burial, or just flush it down the toilet?
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Old 09-28-06, 04:45 PM   #8
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I think you need to go on a 7-day credit card tour with the new saddle to appropriately mourn the deceased one.
I like the way you think.
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Old 09-28-06, 04:54 PM   #9
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Did you give the old saddle an appropriate burial, or just flush it down the toilet?
This is actually a very good question. I cannot bring myself to just toss it in the garbage. I keep thinking that there might be some way to repair the leather. Do they make mending plates for leather? Fortunately I don't have to cryogenically freeze the saddle until science figures out a cure. In the meantime I'll probably put it somewhere deep in my closet so my wife won't chuck it out.
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Old 09-29-06, 02:46 AM   #10
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I have been mesmerized by all the worshipful posts concerning Brooks saddles. Earlier this year, I installed an Arrione on my C'dale C'cross. I think it will cause you to quickly recover from any remorse over the "passing" of your old friend. The Arione is one very comfy saddle.

Keep the Brooks for a conversation piece.

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Old 09-29-06, 04:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mollusk
At that time I was aware of a small "check" in the leather near one of the rivets, but I was hoping that the crack wouldn't propagate too fast. Well, that hope was in vain. 26 years and over 100K miles with the best riding partner I have ever had and now it is over.
Have you thought about re-riveting your saddle? Check out http://www.wallbike.com/. They sell replacement rivets. If yours had the smaller rounded rivets they could be replaced with the larger ones if your tear in the saddle has not gotten too big. BTW, did you only use Profide on the saddle or some other kind of treatment?
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Old 09-29-06, 07:02 AM   #12
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Have you thought about re-riveting your saddle? Check out http://www.wallbike.com/. They sell replacement rivets. If yours had the smaller rounded rivets they could be replaced with the larger ones if your tear in the saddle has not gotten too big. BTW, did you only use Profide on the saddle or some other kind of treatment?

What?! The Brooks could be re-born? This is very cool information.
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Old 09-29-06, 07:31 AM   #13
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What?! The Brooks could be re-born? This is very cool information.
I'm guessing this can be done. I believe it is worth contacting Wallingford to ask. They might even have or know a leather worker who can do the work if you believe it is over one's head. I have two Professionals, a '77 (small rivets) and an '84 (large rivets), and a '79 B-72 . Before tossing a Brooks if a tear starts, I will give this a try. I'm certain I'll need special rivet tools.
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Old 09-29-06, 08:14 AM   #14
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I'm guessing this can be done. I believe it is worth contacting Wallingford to ask. They might even have or know a leather worker who can do the work if you believe it is over one's head. I have two Professionals, a '77 (small rivets) and an '84 (large rivets), and a '79 B-72 . Before tossing a Brooks if a tear starts, I will give this a try. I'm certain I'll need special rivet tools.
I have the large rivet saddle, so a re-rivet job won't work for me. I'm thinking that I might be able to install eyelets on either side of the crack and lash it back together. The saddle can be ridden as it is, but the crack is growing so it will reach the point of no return soon if I continue to do so.
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Old 09-29-06, 08:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mollusk
I have the large rivet saddle, so a re-rivet job won't work for me. I'm thinking that I might be able to install eyelets on either side of the crack and lash it back together. The saddle can be ridden as it is, but the crack is growing so it will reach the point of no return soon if I continue to do so.

Maybe a good shoemaker/repair person could do some work with it to keep it from getting worse. I had a custom motorcycle seat repaired by a shoemaker once. Or, perhaps this is just keeping the saddle "on life support" when it would be better to just let it go?
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Old 09-29-06, 09:41 AM   #16
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Or, perhaps this is just keeping the saddle "on life support" when it would be better to just let it go?
I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps it is better to let it die with dignity.
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Old 09-29-06, 10:09 AM   #17
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I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps it is better to let it die with dignity.
On the other hand, perhaps it can become an object d' arte. With a little imagination, you could have it framed, or mounted into a side table, or proudly displayed on a shelf somewhere. If it can be done with an old baseball mitt, it can be done with your saddle, proudly reminding you of the thousands of miles of pleasure it brought you!
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