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Old 09-19-07, 03:12 AM   #1
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Brooks on Brompton

Just got a new Brooks B17 for my Brompton. Been searching a while for a suitable saddle and this seems to be the most fitting in terms of asthetics and function. Quality is beyond reproach but still waiting for the leather to "break in". Does any one know how long this takes?

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Old 09-19-07, 04:30 AM   #2
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- five Brooks:

black B17 - comfy out of the box
black B17 - comfy out of the box, needed to be tightened!
honey brown B17 Special - starting to break in after 1,897 miles
honey brown B17 - still hard as a rock after 3,000 miles
honey brown Flyer - not broken in yet, but close after 300 miles

- my experience, YMMV...
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Old 09-19-07, 05:06 AM   #3
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I have 2 B17 honeys, both were well broken in after about 6 weeks of everyday riding. It varies as the leather varies. I also have a black B17 narrow, it is still rock hard. Being narrow, there is less leather to become supple.

Just ride if often and in hot weather, because sweat (ie moisture in modest amounts) helps a lot.

BTW, a very very nice photo. Looks like you carefully selected the scene. I say you succeeded. It can go straight on the front page.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:27 AM   #4
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Info from here
"There are many fables as to the best way to soften the saddle. However you do not want to soften the saddle, you want to promote its forming without it becoming soft. A good saddle will still look and feel hard but it will have taken to your shape. Consider your best, hand-made leather dress shoes. The first time you wore them the leather was hard. They pinched and you got blisters. But after a few months they felt better than any shoes you ever owned before. The leather is not any softer, it has formed to your feet so the shoes are now truly custom fitted.
This is what a leather saddle can do for you if you treat it properly. And the proper way to break in a Brooks saddle is to ride it. A perfectly broken-in Brooks saddle is still hard at every point, even where indented, as no foreign substances have been used to accelerate its breaking in. The rider's contact with the saddle is now uniform, with no pressure peaks. The saddle may look distorted but to the owner it is incredibly comfortable exactly how a Brooks should ideally become. How was this form achieved? Simply by riding.
'Proofide' does not accelerate the breaking-in process. It conditions the leather without saturating it, allowing it to breathe whilst offering some protection from the elements. A saddle that has been treated with Hydrophene or Neatsfoot oil may appear comfortable but this comfort comes from its bowing. Brooks' official advice is lots of Proofide on the underside without wiping off to protect the saddle from anything thrown up by the wheels (not so important on a bike with mudguards). On the top use it sparingly every 500 miles: apply in the evening, wipe off in the morning."
PS - +1 on the 'nice picture' front. Lovely warm tones...
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Old 09-19-07, 08:41 AM   #5
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the picture is great ......
very well done
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Old 09-19-07, 09:03 AM   #6
Small wheels ARE better!
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Thks all on the useful tips to break in the Brooks. Looks like no short cuts except to ride on it - something that all of us take great pleasure in! Appreciate the generous comments on the pic too
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