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Old 03-07-03, 01:11 AM   #1
heybulldog
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New Brooks Saddle

I Just won a New Brooks b-17 saddle on ebay for $45.00. My first Brooks leather saddle. Whats the tension spanner for?
Also, I did a search of the forums and found that anybody who has ever had a Brooks has loved it. Is there anyone who has had one and not like it?
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Old 03-07-03, 01:35 AM   #2
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I had one that I thought was ok but nothing spectacular. They look beautiful on old bikes or cruisers.
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Old 03-07-03, 04:10 AM   #3
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When the saddle gets fairly old and the leather has stretched, you can use the tension adjustment to tighten up the "hammock." The most common advice is 'leave it alone.' Mine is 7 years old, and I've used the adjustment to stretch it maybe 1/8", total.

That's a good price, doesn't matter which model. Care of a Brooks is (like everything else) a matter of debate. I say follow the manufacturers instructions... a thin coat of Proofide roughly once a month. (After it's set overnight, there should be little or none to wipe off.) Sheldon Brown recommends soaking new ones in neatsfoot oil overnight (who am I to argue with Sheldon?). DO NOT TRY TO SOFTEN THE LEATHER. The beauty of them is that they mold to your form. If/when they mold too much to your form, they can start applying undue pressure where you don't want it.

There are people who don't like Brooks. I like mine (B-17 Champion Special) for long, leisurely rides, but prefer something with a narrower nose (and lighter) for shorter, faster recreational rides. Alas, I can't use it on my commuter, since the leather rubs off and browns my trousers. Another thing about the B-17, at least, is that the way the rails are bent, you can't slide it back as far as some saddles, and it's wide which forces you to sit farther forward, so it requires a seat post with ample set-back.

More than you wanted to know. They're very nice saddles, enjoy yours!
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Old 03-07-03, 04:54 AM   #4
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Look up care and feeding on the Brooks website. I do exactly what the manufacturer says, and use Proofhide, not neatsfoot oil.

Carry a plastic bag under the saddle to cover it, if there is a chance of rain.
I think a B17 looks good on any bike, even a modern lightweight road bike, but they are most at home on finely lugged touring bikes.
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Old 03-07-03, 06:02 AM   #5
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If you ride, the Brooks will come to be your best friend
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Old 03-07-03, 06:07 AM   #6
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If this saddle is ancient (the B17 has been made for something over 50 years), there is a chance that the leather has become hard. If this happens, I'd use some Neatsfoot oil to soften it. Otherwise, just use the Brooks Proofhide a couple of times a year on it, and it will be fine..
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Old 03-07-03, 08:26 AM   #7
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Lol, I thought Brooks came out of the package hard. I have a B17N on one bike and Team Pro pre softened on another. To be honest there is not much difference in the "softness." They just break in quicker. Seriously though, all you need to break any Brooks in is Proofide and saddle time.
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Old 03-09-03, 02:05 AM   #8
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I would have to disagree on all of this presoften business, sorry guys and gals. And by the way, Rivendell agrees with me.

I have a Brooks Swift TI saddle and I did not use anything to hasten the breakin period, not even the Brooks recommended Proofide. Did it take longer to break in? yes, about 500 to 700 miles, that was roughly 4 weeks. But presoftening the leather will make the leather age faster thus the need for using the tension spanner sooner and more often because the leather will sag as Roadbuzz pointed out. But my last Brooks was a B17 and that saddle never needed an adjustment, unlike what Roadbuzz had to do; and that saddle also never had presofteners applied. A leather saddle is not much different than leather shoes, but we don't apply presofteners to our shoes and they eventually break in, so why would we do this to our saddles? Because we want the saddle broken in now but at the cost of durablity.

You can use water proof treatments (the kind for leather hiking shoes) to prevent water damage to the leather if you sweat a lot or ride in the rain; or you can buy a seat bonnet that will protect the saddle from the water.

Last edited by froze; 03-09-03 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 03-09-03, 07:02 PM   #9
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Just an aside... you alway hear about Brooks break-in. Mine was just fine right out of the box! In any case, break-in never means that the saddle will get soft. When you knock on it, it should always(!) sound more like wood than leather. Break-in just means it will develop indentations where your sitz-bones ride.

In any case, after you've ridden it a few times (bet that's already happened), I'd be curious to know what you think of the saddle.
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Old 03-09-03, 08:05 PM   #10
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Have not received the saddle yet. The guy I won it from lives in Canada and I had to contact him first to use paypal. He say's that there is a extra fee converting U.S. to Canadian $. So, now i sent him a quote and i am waiting for a reply. I don't know why he didn't just tell me the amount that he expected.
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Old 03-09-03, 11:38 PM   #11
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My B-17 was comfy from the get-go.
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Old 03-10-03, 06:20 AM   #12
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Geez- you can get yourself a new B17 standard from Wallbike.com for only $62-why bother with some unknown person on EBay? Especially with international shipping? By the time you get through shipping, duty, and PayPal charges, it's gonna cost you more than a new 'out of the box' saddle would...
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Old 03-10-03, 07:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex
Geez- you can get yourself a new B17 standard from Wallbike.com for only $62-why bother with some unknown person on EBay? Especially with international shipping? By the time you get through shipping, duty, and PayPal charges, it's gonna cost you more than a new 'out of the box' saddle would...
And WALLBIKE gives you a 6 month no-question guarantee.
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Old 03-10-03, 09:58 AM   #14
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to late now. total was $52.25. Saved 10 bucks plus S&H.

Someone else on ebay is selling Brooks that he claims where made back in 95'. He say's that someone bought ( I forget who) the Company last July and that the saddles are not the quality saddle's that they use to be. Any truth to that??
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Old 03-10-03, 10:20 AM   #15
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Selle Royal bought Brooks last year. http://www.brookssaddles.com/ I have not heard any factual info regarding quality degradation, just the "my friend told me......." stories, as Pokey says "stinky applesauce"

Apparently they are using somewhat thinner leather, but perhaps the leather on the older saddles was too thick! A properly cared for Brooks should outlast your desire to keep it, and certainly outlast any "new' saddle on the market today.

If the Brooks fits you, you will keep it for a long time. Prepare it properly, treat it well and it could become the most valuable piece of equipment on your bike.

http://www.wallbike.com/Products.html#Brooks

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 03-10-03, 12:54 PM   #16
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someone bought ( I forget who) the Company last July and that the saddles are not the quality saddle's that they use to be
Bull****!!
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Old 03-10-03, 06:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Davet
My B-17 was comfy from the get-go.
Hey, Dave! Nice bike.

Back to the Brooks discussion...
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Old 03-10-03, 11:55 PM   #18
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Bull****!!
That's what I wanted to hear.
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Old 03-11-03, 12:01 AM   #19
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Hey!

My name is Brooks too!
I'm also 17 yrs. old so would that make me a B-17?
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Old 03-11-03, 12:09 AM   #20
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Are you made in England??
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Old 03-11-03, 01:10 AM   #21
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Hey Dave, nice bike. By the way how old are you? I have the same Nitto Tech. stem because I got to old for that 2 inch lower than the seat thing-but I am 49 so I guess if I am still riding that's a good thing.
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Old 03-11-03, 04:17 AM   #22
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Froze: Asking a Gentlman's age is impolite, but I can tell you that my new custom Oswald (due next month) will have a Nitto stem to get the bars up slightly higher than the seat.

I'm 61.
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Old 03-11-03, 04:47 AM   #23
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No, no asking a LADY"S age is impolite. Asking a Gentleman's age gives the old fart a chance to brag about longevity.
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Old 03-17-03, 09:23 PM   #24
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Hey, Davet, nice bike. Nice door, too. Real wood!?!
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Old 03-17-03, 10:03 PM   #25
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Yeah, I like the door too. It's varnished wood.

Raiyn: I expect to live forever. So far, so good!
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