Mission: Prepare the LeMond (and me) for a 300 mile, five day ride this June. Finding an optimum long-distance saddle for this is critical, and I'm assuming that a 1 1/2 to 2 hour saddle (my normal ride time) is not necessarily satisfactory for a 5 to 6 hour ride.
Personnel: The "subject" is 61 and weighs 225ish and has ridden 2800 miles since taking up cycling last June. 210 or even 200 pounds is very possible by June. Also he is an equipment wonk and enjoys trying out different stuff.
Strategy: As I ride longer in preparation for the June trip I am auditioning saddles and this riding is a good time to break in one of those fabled Brooks thingies that send so many (but clearly not all) riders into rhapsodic celebrations. Saddle being replaced, for now, is a Terry Fly Gel that has been good for riding in the 1 to 2 hour range.
So the B-17 arrived and was installed yesterday, March 19. This thread will be a day-by-day report on the break-in. I will add new posts as I ride my way to comfort and ecstasy- or not. I have followed the Brooks instructions using Proofide and did not sauna the saddle for a week, radiate it in the microwave, or soak it in a vat of pig brine.
Episode one- 22.8 miles. The initial feel of the saddle is very hard but its size and shape feel pretty good, even without a cutout. Last 20 minutes of this ride were becoming pretty uncomfortable on the tender parts, but nothing horrible. No sign at all of the hamstring cramping I am prone to... could just be nutrition or some unknown interactive factor.
Episode two- 23.2 miles. Dropped the saddle nose a little (it was up noticeably) and nudged the saddle a half-a-tad forward. Pretty much the same experience as yesterday: first hour is fine but getting a bit "pressy" on the tender bits near the end but nothing too bad. No sign of ecstasy just yet. Still no hamstring cramps... maybe the B-17 is taller and I'm getting a little better leg extension? Evening examination of the saddle seems to detect minor flexiness developing in the leather. Aesthetically I really like the looks of the B-17.