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Old 01-19-06, 01:03 PM   #1
v1nce
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Brooks & Ideale: Bwuhahaaa, Evil Experiments herein!!

I have made mention on BF of an LBS that sells second hand (but still servicable) leather saddles for 5 to 10 Euro's a piece. And that i intended to buy some in order to try out some evil experiments. And that is exactly what i did today!

For E 20 i bought an Ideale, a Brooks B66, and a Brooks Champion Flyer S. All of them looked a bit ratty for sure but were in decent condition. If this works out i might try selling it to recoup some expenses.
I hear there are still some people out there pining for an Ideale. But i might also keep it to do some comparison. It sure is lighter than most Brooks and pretty stylish. Ach why did these people go out of business? Anybody know? A pity.

Experiment 1. Refurbish the Ideale (it also had one side rather flared and warped probaby from storage and possibly water). I used the hydro and Proofide method without the flexing with the foot bit. Plus i used my Vice Grip pliers (with some cloth in between) to try and push the flared side inward and upward.

Experiment 2. Soak (and i do mean lots of it) the Flyer in boiled linseed oil! *More evil maniacal Cackling is heard*. Either i will create the most waterproof Brooks in the world or i will die trying and kill my brainchild along with me!!! It lives!! It's Alive i tell you!! Alive!

.... Well actually i don't know yet.. time will tell. I'll keep you posted. I might need my assistant Igor to go out and get me some more Brain(s)...

Experiment 3. Give it the CHOP! I though i'd try the cutting and reshaping as posted by others here. Most likely i will cut the B66 or the Flyer, not likely the Ideale.

I'll let you guys know how it works out and might try to include some pictures.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:30 PM   #2
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I have a hypothesis about leather saddles and the people that ride them. There are riders who are adamant about their love for and inability to get comfortable on anything but a leather saddle. My hypothesis is that those riders ride in a more upright position than those of us to whom leather saddles seem unnecessary.

I only know one or two people who use leather saddles and they fit this profile. They are commuters who ride with a very heads up profile as a matter of safety. I intend to keep my eye out for leather saddle users and see if my hypothesis stands up.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:49 PM   #3
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I think your hypothesis has merit but only to a degree, i think you can safely say that of Brooks riders the majority has a more upward position. However it is truly a chicken and egg type thing. Lastly, on these very boards there are various very Aero and fast cyclists (including someone who does many Traithlons on her Brooks, you don't get less upright than that!) that use Brooks as well. Lastly for the first 50 or 70 years of the TDF and all other grand tours almost all the riders also rode leather saddles. It is only in the last 3 decades or so that good bikes (racing or not) come with none leather saddles, i personally don't feel it is really an improvement for most.

As an aside, in the defense of people who love Brooks and nothing else, almost all of them have really tried non leather and rejected them in favor of leather. Very few of the most vocal criticasters of Brooks have actually given them a fair trial and yet they seem convinced of their viewpoint.
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Old 01-19-06, 01:54 PM   #4
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You ever tried one olebiker?

I was going to replace my brooks, but after trying 10 different saddles at the LBS, I gave up and kept the brooks.
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Old 01-19-06, 02:08 PM   #5
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You ever tried one olebiker?

I was going to replace my brooks, but after trying 10 different saddles at the LBS, I gave up and kept the brooks.
Yep, back in the 70s. I rode it for a long time because there was nothing any better. I finally got rid of it and havent looked back. Even after several thousand miles it would still leave me bruised.
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Old 01-19-06, 02:22 PM   #6
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As an aside, in the defense of people who love Brooks and nothing else, almost all of them have really tried non leather and rejected them in favor of leather. Very few of the most vocal criticasters of Brooks have actually given them a fair trial and yet they seem convinced of their viewpoint.
As I said, it's just a hypothesis. I have put several thousand miles on a Brooks and agree that, for some riders, they are the greatest thing since they put pockets in shirts. Mine was a miserable experience.
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Old 01-19-06, 02:55 PM   #7
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This year I've begun to abuse all my Brooks by refusing to cover them when I ride or park in the rain.
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Old 01-19-06, 02:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Olebiker
I have put several thousand miles on a Brooks and agree that, for some riders, they are the greatest thing since they put pockets in shirts.
I do love shirt pockets.
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Old 01-19-06, 05:18 PM   #9
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This year I've begun to abuse all my Brooks by refusing to cover them when I ride or park in the rain.
Did that on tour once on acccident, 80 miles later that day, it felt like a hatchet was you know where and it never got better. Riding them soaked for long periods until they dry all messed up just isn't an idea that I like anymore.
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Old 01-19-06, 05:39 PM   #10
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these are specially doped saddles, water just rolls right off....no worries! I've been riding Brooks without saddle covers for years (always, actually) and just this year have decided to not cover them while parking outside in Seattle.
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Old 01-19-06, 08:26 PM   #11
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Picture of my decade old Brooks FrankenSaddle that has seen its fair share of city living and abuse, and the Brooks that helped me commit to my pledge and never cover any of my saddles anymore.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg frankensaddle.jpg (56.0 KB, 63 views)
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Old 01-20-06, 07:22 AM   #12
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Hey Bek, so what did you do to treat those saddles and make them waterproof?
The results on my experiments are not really in, but they are all looking good so far..
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Old 01-20-06, 07:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olebiker
I have a hypothesis about leather saddles and the people that ride them. There are riders who are adamant about their love for and inability to get comfortable on anything but a leather saddle. My hypothesis is that those riders ride in a more upright position than those of us to whom leather saddles seem unnecessary.

I only know one or two people who use leather saddles and they fit this profile. They are commuters who ride with a very heads up profile as a matter of safety. I intend to keep my eye out for leather saddle users and see if my hypothesis stands up.
Well...

On my touring, comuting rig I ride a Brooks Team Pro. My bars are 1" below saddle height, and I spend most of my time on the hoods.

On my LeMond, I ride a Brooks Swallow (just got it, after using my Team Pro on it) and my bars are 2.5" below saddle height, and I spend my time on the hoods and in the drops. I'll be adding aerobars soon.

There are a few BF'rs who ride Tri, and use Brooks.
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Old 01-20-06, 01:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by v1nce
Hey Bek, so what did you do to treat those saddles and make them waterproof?
I've been treating my saddles to regular, I mean frequent, torture sessions involving a hair dryer, a can of Obenauf's, Proofhide, or Snoseal, and a block of beeswax.

Just like a good pair of boots, Brooks can become virtually waterproof.
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Old 01-21-06, 10:42 AM   #15
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Interesting that, good one. So did you get the impression that those torture session meant you had to tension the saddle often or that i sagged a lot? The one on the pic sure look just fine.

Seattle is pretty rainy and snowy at times right?
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Old 01-21-06, 01:05 PM   #16
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This is solely my personal experience with Brooks, but if they're treated against water properly and not in the 'traditional' Brooks method, the saddles take about 2 seasons to break in and get dimples.

And no, they don't need more tensioning, if anything, they need less. My Brooks Frankensaddle in the picture has been tensioned less than a full turn, even after 10 years of being left out in the rain, etc...

I would NEVER use neatsfoot oil on any piece of leather I wanted to keep around for a while. Maybe breaking in baseball mitts, but never neatsfoot oil on footwear or a Brooks! Blasphemy!
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Old 01-22-06, 07:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1nce
As an aside, in the defense of people who love Brooks and nothing else, almost all of them have really tried non leather and rejected them in favor of leather. Very few of the most vocal criticasters of Brooks have actually given them a fair trial and yet they seem convinced of their viewpoint.
I posted a request a couple of days ago on a local (Tallahassee) bicycling E-mail list asking if anyone had a spare Brooks lying around that they were not using. I thought I would give one another try, thinking that maybe my old one was just possessed or something. A guy responded that he had one. I just got back from his house with a brand new, honey colored Champion Special. Best thing was he sold it to me for $50.

I'll let you know how it works out. It sure is pretty.
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Old 01-22-06, 07:38 PM   #18
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Well Congrats on your Purchase, i really hope it works out for you! Also, have you ever measured your sitbones, in Brooks as in most saddles, the right width and fit are often crucial.
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Old 01-24-06, 10:27 AM   #19
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Well Congrats on your Purchase, i really hope it works out for you! Also, have you ever measured your sitbones, in Brooks as in most saddles, the right width and fit are often crucial.
No I haven't. I mounted the saddle after work and got in a few miles and a few adjustments before the rain started. The width seems to be just right.

I mounted the saddle quite level but, when I rode, the boys were getting crushed. I stopped and tilted it a little bit forward. I then felt like I was sliding off the nose, so I made one more adjustment and I think I have it just right. So far, it feels good. If the weather holds out I may be able to get in a few miles after work.
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Old 01-24-06, 12:38 PM   #20
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weather, shmeather. Brooks don't have to be scared of the wet.
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Old 01-24-06, 01:59 PM   #21
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weather, shmeather. Brooks don't have to be scared of the wet.
Yeah, but I kinda clump up when I get wet.
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