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  1. #1
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Just got my Brooks B17 wooden saddle...

    The Fedex man delivered it today.

    I opened the box, to the sound of angels singing.

    Cherubs flew out and I glimpsed the wonderfulness that is the almighty Brooks B17.

    Then I touched it.

    Hey! This thing's supposed to be leather!

    Holy hardness, Batman! It feels like it's made out of wood!

    People mention being suprised at how hard it is, but no one really does it justice.

    So anyway I applied Proofide, mounted it on my bike (It isn't noticably heavier than my original saddle BTW). Then I sat on it. Unfortunately, that's as far as I've gotten... Either I need to go for a late night ride when my wife gets home, or I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

    My initial reaction to sitting on it though was WOW what a different feel than that great big sponge that was my old saddle. I can FEEL my sit bones resting on it! The old one just kinda had pressure all over the place because it was soft and mushy. The Brooks lets you know exactly where your sit bones are. I can definitely see how the saddle (and/or your butt) will take some breaking in, but I can also see where it might be significantly more comfortable. Or at least, the discomfort will be in new spots .

    Also the Brooks is quite a bit narrower through the middle section than my old saddle (slightly narrower at the back, but not by much). I'm thinking that is a good thing because it felt like the top/inside/back of my legs were hitting the old saddle too much.

  2. #2
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Did you say...late night ride?
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  3. #3
    Senior Member bkbroil's Avatar
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    I have the Brooks Team Professional saddle and I had the same reaction. Then....for the next 3 months I kept saying "This hurts!" I kept telling myself to stick with it, since I paid so much money for it...(actually it was a culmination of gift certificates for a birthday.) and I am happy to say....that today...it is the "MOST COMFORTABLE" saddle I have ever had the pleasure of sitting on.... One thing to note is, remember to apply more proofide in two - three months...

    You will be hurting for a while and wanting to give it up....but don't....it will be worth it in the long run!
    bkbroil

    2001 Cannondale R400
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    http://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie4378.jpg

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Oh, to be a new Brooks owner again...

    I have put three B-17s and one Conquest on my bikes. Even during the break-in period, they were supremely comfortable. Kind of like a La-Z-Boy recliner on wheels.

    Your butt will ever grateful. You will actually enjoy cycling long distances. You will learn to hide that smirk when you hear others discussing their problems 'down there'.

  5. #5
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Ouch! Hope you don't slip and slide too much on your new wooden saddle. Wouldn't want you to get splinters!

  6. #6
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Um, I would actually say to proofide it daily for like a week or so, before actually putting it into use, and expect it to take one cycling season to fully break in. If it still hurts after that, it's not the right model for you...my butt feels best on a Champion Flyer S.

  7. #7
    jur
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    Hey, snap! I also got my honey B17 yesterday! I must say, the woodgrain is reallly beautiful. I mounted it on my not quite vintage Giant Farrago project bike and went for two rides today, for a total of 3 hours.

    1) I sat on it and immediately realised that I won't be able to ride it in the nude. Bike shorts are for now essential.

    2) The number of contact points with my bike increased by one. Instead of a large rear end contact, I now have two tiny dots bearing my weight on the saddle. Maybe I shouldn't have lost all that weight.

    Jeff, let's keep each other posted on the number of hours ridden and the difference in comfort.

    <Hehoo breaks first wins.>

  8. #8
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Breaks IN, or just breaks? .

    I didn't make it on a late night ride yesterday so I think I'm going to go on an early morning one this AM. I don't have bike shorts yet... but by this afternoon I may .

  9. #9
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    ...proofide it daily for like a week or so, before actually putting it into use....
    You can't possibly expect me to have the kind of self control it would take to wait a WEEK before trying it out...

  10. #10
    jur
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    Boy, you're up early. (Did you wet the bed this morning? ) What's the time there? It's 9:42pm here now.

    Going for a 4-hour ride tomorrow with a group of friends. I think most of them don't even know about the name Brooks, so they won't be impressed, I think. More fool me. SWMBO informed it's just another new-fangled fad, these Brooks'.

  11. #11
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Hehehe... Let's see, I guess I'm two hours off from you, as it's 8:10 here now. I'm on the east coast of the US. You must be ... in the middle of the Atlantic? Iceland?

    OK well I was out for a half an hour... Some of that of course was making adjustments to get the fit right. My conclusion: All leg / crotch discomfort that I had before is gone. The sit bone area may become somewhat sore on a longer ride until I get used to it, but all pressure is definitely on the bones now. Big improvement!

    One downside is that I still seem to be having a hard time finding a saddle position that doesn't have the saddle angled back (and whacking me in the family jewels with the nose) and doesn't allow me to slide forward (resulting in sore wrists). I had this problem before so I wouldn't blame the Brooks... I'm suspicious that my bike isn't really the right size for me (it's normal to have 10" of seat post showing, right? ).

    Hey what does SWMBO stand for? I'm sure it's some variation on "significant other" but all I can think of is Single White Male Body Odor. And no offense but if your BO talks to you then I'm glad you're two time zones away .

    [edit] Wait a minute, I just realized you said 9:42 PM. So you're 10 or 14 hours off from me. That would put you... on the other side of the planet. [Just looked up your lat/long, you're on the south-eastern corner of Australia...]
    Last edited by Eggplant Jeff; 06-25-05 at 06:26 AM.

  12. #12
    jur
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    SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed (spoken in echoing voice).

    Melbourne. You got it.

    Riding my Brooks today, I could distinctly feel my sitting tissue getting rolled to and fro between the bone and the woodgrain... And that leather sure is slippery. If I weren't holding on to the handle bars firmly while pulling away, the bike would have pulled out from under me...

  13. #13
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    One downside is that I still seem to be having a hard time finding a saddle position that doesn't have the saddle angled back (and whacking me in the family jewels with the nose) and doesn't allow me to slide forward (resulting in sore wrists). I had this problem before so I wouldn't blame the Brooks... I'm suspicious that my bike isn't really the right size for me (it's normal to have 10" of seat post showing, right? )


    On Sheldon's site I read a tip if your saddle angle can't be set right: Just file off the ridges on one of the sides on the adjuster's bowed surface. This leaves you with one smooth side pressing against a ribbed side, with infinitesimal adjustments possible.

    What is the fit that people talk about? Is it simply a question of adjusting the various bits of the bike until everything feels just right?

  14. #14
    Spandex Disaster velomedieval's Avatar
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    Congrats, Eggplant Jeff- you're gonna love the saddle. I've had mine for a month, and the day after I got it (I splurged and bought the B-17 Special in Brtitish Racing Green), I went on a 20-mile ride and couldn't believe how comfortable that hard hunk of "wood" was! Seriously, I don't even feel the saddle, I forget it's there. Enjoy your Brooks!

  15. #15
    jur
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    Right. I'm back from my 4 hour ride. I won't lie by saying it was unbelievably comfortable. But it was better than yesterday. I do believe that chunk of leather is beginning to sag under my bony backside.

    For thos people who say it was comfortable from day 1, I wonder if the saddle the Brooks replaced was very uncomfortable? So that it is a relative thing? My pre-Brooks was quite comfy. I will reserve my final word until the thing ought to be broken in.

  16. #16
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    How much do you weigh, Jur? I noticed that heavier people seemed to be more comfortable from the get go (just from reading other posts). I'm 200 lbs. I suspect that being heavier makes the leather flex more initially even before its broken in.

    I'm pretty comfortable on it, I rode around with the wife for 45 minutes or so last night, no significant discomfort from the saddle itself. My pre-brooks saddle made me sore after like 15 minutes so to me it's a big improvement.

  17. #17
    jur
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    12 months ago I used to be 200lb, I decided to shed all my excess fat, now I'm a 165lb weakling... smack in the middle of the recommended BMI for my tallness. My cholesterol count went thru the floor. I find these days driving the car, my belt is pressing into hitherto unsespected bony bits in my back - so i drive around without a belt, then when I get out my pants tend to fall off

  18. #18
    jur
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    During this morning's commute, the area under one sitting bone was painful, so I think a saddle sore is developing there. Other than that, because of it being the chilliest morning thus far this winter, I was wearing 3 layers on my backside, so it felt comfy enough.

  19. #19
    Spandex Disaster velomedieval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    For thos people who say it was comfortable from day 1, I wonder if the saddle the Brooks replaced was very uncomfortable? So that it is a relative thing? My pre-Brooks was quite comfy. I will reserve my final word until the thing ought to be broken in.
    The saddle my Brooks replaced wasn't bad at all (I turned it over to Mike_Like_Bike and he loves it)- I tend to like hard chairs, so it makes sense to go for the hard saddle.

    Hope the saddle works out for you, jur!

  20. #20
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Watch out for sewer grates, Jur. You could fall in... I know what you mean though, I used to weigh 225, went to weight watchers and dropped 40 lbs. I've got about 10-15 back but I'm also more muscular than I was so I doubt it's more than 5-10 of fat.

    Man you are really racking up the miles. I feel like a slacker. All I did today was go to the pool and back (1/4 mile? maybe 1/3?). After I got there I realized that I'd be riding back in a wet suit... probably not good for the saddle (Big Brooks Warning all over the place saying never ride a wet saddle). I stood up for as much of the ride back as I could. It looks dry now but I'll let it go another hour or two then proofide it again.

    That's kinda wierd comparing experiences with an Aussie... you're riding on the coldest day of the winter thus far, and I'm riding to the pool .

    Tomorrow will be my first commute with it, and probably (at 4.3 miles) the longest uninterrupted stretch of riding. We'll see how it goes, but so far so good.

    OK when you say "this morning" are you talking Monday morning? I'm trying to figure out if you're 14 hours ahead of me or 10 hours behind. Time zones are the screwiest things... If we don't need "climate zones" why do we need time zones? You can have winter in June, why can't someone have the sun overhead at midnight? 0700 ought to be 0700 wherever you are.

    Which would incidentally make the project I'm working on at work a WHOLE lot easier, but I'm not biased in any way .

  21. #21
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    Watch out for sewer grates, Jur. You could fall in...
    lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    OK when you say "this morning" are you talking Monday morning? I'm trying to figure out if you're 14 hours ahead of me or 10 hours behind. Time zones are the screwiest things...
    You really had me smiling broadly for several hours with your guess that I'm in the middle of the Atlantic. Not that I'm ridiculing you, it was just very funny.

    I'm 14 hours ahead, so Monday morning here Makes it quite difficult to communicate with our US business partners. Each comm has a 24h turnaround unless we agree to comm after hours.

  22. #22
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by velomedieval
    Hope the saddle works out for you, jur!
    Thanks, I think it will. I am very positive about it, it looks fantastic at least. And I paid only $52 Aus NEW for it, including postage, which I wonder is some record of sorts? That is less than $40 US! Wallbike asks $65, not including postage. I was going to buy from them before.

  23. #23
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Oh I have to repeat what my son said (he's 7). He and my wife were downstairs doing something and he looked at my new saddle... He misread the name on the side and my wife corrected him saying "No, it's 'Brooks', that's the company that made it."

    He said "Hey that's like BRICKS."

    I thought "You have no idea, kid."

    Timezone-wise... Heh, AM/PM does make a slight difference . But I think the UK is 4 or 5 hours ahead so 2 hours would pretty much be in the middle of the ocean .

  24. #24
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    He said "Hey that's like BRICKS."

    I thought "You have no idea, kid."
    Heh, I cringe at the idea, yet there is a certain applicability

  25. #25
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    Is the B17 really that good? From the threads that I've been reading, most people LOVE it while others find it to be uncomfortable. So which is it?

    How do you know if you should get the B17 or the B17 Narrow?

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