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Old 08-02-07, 05:42 PM   #1
hoss10
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Divorcing my Brooks

My butt and my Brooks B 17 are not on speaking terms.

I have 1600 kilometres on the sadddle, and I'm thinking of giving up. I road a tour last week, and after two days I had to swap seats (lucky I brought along an old seat). No saddle sores, just some weird nerve like pain at the end of the day. I am forming some indents in the seat, but they seam to be right over the two round steel parts of the frame (of the saddle).

I really want to like this saddle, should I give it some more time? Put on some magic oil/potion, hit it with a ball pein hammer, or sell it on EBay?

Are there any other Brooks seat which might fit my wide sit bones better?

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-07, 05:50 PM   #2
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Thats a lot of miles to put on a saddle and not be comfortable. My Brooks was comfortable from day one, but they aren't for everybody.

Do you mind telling me which model you have? I am looking for another one.

Edit.....Just saw it is a B-17. Is it a 'Champion'?
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Old 08-02-07, 06:12 PM   #3
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I don't usually tell this story for fear of being burnt at the stake by Brooks fanatics. But, I too, faced the shame and heartbreak of a seemingly failed relationship with my Brooks saddle. I tried everything--flowers, kind words, candlelight dinners, gentle massages with Proofide. No matter. The B17 remained cold, hard, unresponsive.

Then, in desperation, I performed an act that even now can only be spoken of in whispers. I read that the same thing had worked for mega-distance rider Lon Haldeman. And here it is: I made a basting pan out of aluminum foil which I fit around the saddle. Then I poured a quart of 30-weight motor oil into the pan. I left saddle soaking in the pan out in the blazing sun all afternoon. Later, I wiped off the saddle with some rags, put it on my bike and went for a ride.

That was four years ago. It was the last treatment I ever gave the sadde. The Brooks and I have gotten along like two peas in a pod ever since.

BTW, I later bought another Brooks. It was comfy right out of the box. Go figure.
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Last edited by Jet Travis; 08-02-07 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 08-02-07, 06:12 PM   #4
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Are there any other Brooks seat which might fit my wide sit bones better?
Well, the B68 is wider, but they say it's for "city or touring use" so I'm not sure it would work well on a road bike. The B17 was too narrow for me on my commuting bike, so now I have a B68 and it's comfy. But I sit fairly upright.
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Old 08-02-07, 06:13 PM   #5
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You could always send to MCM SELLE AN-ATOMICA and have them rework it, I have one and right out of the box its been great. Did a 400 mile ride two weeks after getting it and never had a sore butt.
They can rework your Brooks for fifty bucks:

http://www.mcmwin.com/saddle%20shop....rade_Services_
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Old 08-02-07, 06:21 PM   #6
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While I agree with those that say you shouldn't try the extreme treatments with your Brooks, if it's still causing trouble after that amount of time, what have you got to lose? Give it the oil soaking and see what happens.

Richard
btw, you have far more patience with something that isn't doing the job than I have
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Old 08-02-07, 06:34 PM   #7
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I never could see what it was about brooks that made them so popular. They look like a medieval torture device. Go ahead, cross over to the other side. Only comfort awaits you. bk

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Last edited by bkaapcke; 08-04-07 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 08-02-07, 06:41 PM   #8
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It's a B17 Champion Special Honey Brown, you know the one with the hand hammered copper rivets. That's one of the problems, the saddle is just just so darn pretty, and it looks smashing on my dark green touring bike.

It's like that really pretty girl in high school, with the attitude.You know, great to look at, and be seen with, but after a long period of time, kind of a "pain in the a##".

Last edited by hoss10; 08-02-07 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:15 PM   #9
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Walbike or Wallbike or whatever it is lists the sizes of all the saddles on their web site. I'm so happy to have switched to 210 mm wide. With my sit bones 170 mm apart none of the others were comfy.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:17 PM   #10
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Then, in desperation, I performed an act that even now can only be spoken of in whispers.
What a pervert.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:21 PM   #11
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Before taking any drastic steps, try loosening the tension nut 1/2-1 full turn. I have 3 Brooks saddles. Two were comfortable right out of the box. After 500+ miles, the third still didn't feel good. I turned the tension nut back 1/2 turn & it was immediately better. Another 1/2 turn & it felt as good as the other two. The thickness of the leather will vary ever so slightly between saddles. The tension may be slightly different as well. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Word of caution: Don't tighten the nut any. That is almost never a good idea.

Good luck.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:28 PM   #12
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Just measure your sit bones and order a saddle that fits.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hoss10 View Post
My butt and my Brooks B 17 are not on speaking terms.
I really want to like this saddle, should I give it some more time? Put on some magic oil/potion, hit it with a ball pein hammer, or sell it on EBay?
pm George.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoss10 View Post
My butt and my Brooks B 17 are not on speaking terms.

I am forming some indents in the seat, but they seam to be right over the two round steel parts of the frame (of the saddle).
Sounds to me like you may be sitting too far back on the saddle (if I understand correctly what you mean by this). Can the saddle move back any further? Maybe you'll need a seat post with more setback. Or are you saying the indents are near the outer edges of the saddle. If that is the case, you may need a wider model.

I would advise trying reversible adjustments before performing any bizarre rituals involving oils and such.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:16 PM   #15
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What, your giving up already, it only took me 1500 miles. 4 coats off proofide and a lot of riding. It's finally there, though. I can sit on the saddle for 40 miles now. I don't know if the saddle broke in or my *****. This is my second one and I don't know if I would go through it again. Maybe in time I'll forget, but in time I'll probably forget everything. Stick it out with the saddle and join the iron butt club.

Now you can tell me where you bought that True North bicycle, that is a very nice bike.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:24 PM   #16
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Thanks George I love my bike, it's custom made by Hugh Black at True North Bicycles http://www.truenorthcycles.com/default.asp. Highly recommended!!

Yes I know I am sitting too far back it seems to be a habit, I tend to always push myself back on a seat. George has inspired me, I'll loosen the nut and I will put it back on for another go.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:28 PM   #17
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I have a Brooks Pro that I've ridden since 1972, but the first summer with it was PAINFUL. Toward the end of that first summer, I took the route that is not recommended to "fix" the hardness problem. One night, a six pack of beer, a baseball game, a can of Brooks Proofhide and an old rolling pin "that's right the kind you roll out pie crust with.) I opened a beer, smeared a bit of proofhide on the seat and beat the daylight out of it with the rolling pin as I watched the game. Three hours, six beers, and a half-can of proofhide later, the thing wasn't hard anymore. I've had no problems with it over these last 25 years.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:30 PM   #18
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Oh yes, I forgot, BD reminded me with his post. I think one of the reasons I had such a hard time, was because, I couldn't get the saddle far enough back. Everytime I went riding my knee was hurting, not much, but hurting just enough to keep trying different things. Anyhow with the set back seat post I got that squared away. I still had knee pain, and I knew something was still wrong. Then the light came on, I said I bet one of my legs are longer than the other. Sure enough, my right leg was almost 1" shorter than my left. Anyhow after all is said and done, I'm glad I kept the Brooks and kept playing with the fit. Now I'm almost affraid to buy a new bike. The reason I stayed with the Brooks is I knew how comfortible it could be, because I ruined one, and it went to soft on me. Before I got caught in the rain you couldn't ask for a better ride. The saddle I have on the bike now, isn't that good yet, but I know it's going to happen. Good luck, you have my blessings.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:34 PM   #19
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Hey hoss, did you get a test ride somehow?
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Old 08-02-07, 08:34 PM   #20
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Thats a lot of miles to put on a saddle and not be comfortable. My Brooks was comfortable from day one, but they aren't for everybody.

Do you mind telling me which model you have? I am looking for another one.

Edit.....Just saw it is a B-17. Is it a 'Champion'?
Well I'll be dipped! Someone admitting a Brooks is not the cure for cancer. Thank you.

Dipped has something to do with sheep and getting the bugs off by dipping them is some chemical stew.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:37 PM   #21
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Don't be so drastic. Give the Brooks a chance to adjust to your sitbones. It's a delight to see a Brooks but I don't have one yet however my eye is open for opportunity to obtain one in a future date.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:20 PM   #22
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Well I'll be dipped! Someone admitting a Brooks is not the cure for cancer. Thank you.
Many of us among the Brooks faithful have said that Brooks may not work for everyone. I know I have said that a few times. For all I know, they may cause cancer. If so, I'm still not sure I'd give mine up.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:45 PM   #23
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or sell it on EBay?

That's what I did with mine, never looked back.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:03 PM   #24
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Well I'll be dipped! Someone admitting a Brooks is not the cure for cancer. Thank you.

Dipped has something to do with sheep and getting the bugs off by dipping them is some chemical stew.
I returned mine to Wallbike for full refund. I tried to make it work, but ordered a Selle An-atomica in the meantime. My goodness what a phenomenal saddle. After working with the fit and adjustments a couple of weeks, its reached a state of comfort that I used to dream about.

Bob
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Old 08-02-07, 10:07 PM   #25
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I am forming some indents in the seat, but they seam to be right over the two round steel parts of the frame (of the saddle).
This REALLY sounds like a setback issue (a common complaint with the B.17). It is rare to find somebody with ischial tuberosities (i.e., sitbones) so far apart that the B.17 is too narrow for them. Make sure the saddle is pushed back as far as it will go on your current seatpost. If it is already maxed, then call Wallingford and ask for a seatpost with more setback. Trying to ride on the steel frame of a B.17 is miserable. Hope this helps.
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