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  1. #1
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Brooks B17 question

    So I took the plunge and bought a Brooks B17 Champion Special about a month ago. I know it takes a while to break in, but I'm starting to question whether I made the right choice. It doesn't seem to fit my sit bones the way my old WTB saddle does, and it's rock hard on my tush. Plus, I'm getting numb feet on longer rides (anything over 25 miles). I've adjusted it up, down, up, down, etc. Tell me, can I expect the saddle to get a lot more comfortable after a few months? I'm looking for a glimmer of hope

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It might get better, but I doubt it.

    I recently bought my second Brooks saddle and, personally, I like them a lot. How many miles do you have on it? My estimation is that after 100 or maybe 150 miles it should be broken in.

    Years ago virtually everybody rode on either Brooks saddles or Brooks clones. Over the years a real high percentage of riders have shifted to other things. If Brooks saddles had fit everybody's tushees perfectly that wouldn't have happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragboy
    So I took the plunge and bought a Brooks B17 Champion Special about a month ago. I know it takes a while to break in, but I'm starting to question whether I made the right choice. It doesn't seem to fit my sit bones the way my old WTB saddle does, and it's rock hard on my tush. Plus, I'm getting numb feet on longer rides (anything over 25 miles). I've adjusted it up, down, up, down, etc. Tell me, can I expect the saddle to get a lot more comfortable after a few months? I'm looking for a glimmer of hope
    How many miles have you given it?

  4. #4
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    I've got just over 100 miles on it. I've heard so many rave about it, when I bought a new bike I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, but it would be nice to run into someone who had a similar experience and after about 4 or 500 miles it became comfy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragboy
    I've got just over 100 miles on it. I've heard so many rave about it, when I bought a new bike I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, but it would be nice to run into someone who had a similar experience and after about 4 or 500 miles it became comfy.
    That isn't enough miles acclimate your body to the saddle. Forget acclimating the saddle to your body. Also, you need to describe your overall current cycling conditon. HOw much have you ridden lately? Is your backside "conditioned?"

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    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    That isn't enough miles acclimate your body to the saddle. Forget acclimating the saddle to your body. Also, you need to describe your overall current cycling conditon. HOw much have you ridden lately? Is your backside "conditioned?"
    I believe so -- I've been commuting 12 miles daily since last August plus some weekend rides this spring of 20 or more miles. I didn't think 100 miles was enough, that gives me some hope.

  7. #7
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Over the years a real high percentage of riders have shifted to other things. If Brooks saddles had fit everybody's tushees perfectly that wouldn't have happened.
    Well you can pretty much say that about any product. No one product is ever going to please everyone. In any industry.

    That being said. I love my Brooks B-17. The best investment I've made on my bike.

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    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -VELOCITY-
    Well you can pretty much say that about any product. No one product is ever going to please everyone. In any industry.

    That being said. I love my Brooks B-17. The best investment I've made on my bike.
    Velocity -- did you notice a break in period?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
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    RAgboy!
    Just posted this one a day or two ago..

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...74#post4184674

    It took mine 235 miles!!!

    Patience is the operating word... Also saddle angle and where r u sitting too far back??? I noticed on mine that as soon as it is not align correctly , dead center,vwith the frame I will have the same problems u r talking about.... will crimp the wrong nerve!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragboy
    Velocity -- did you notice a break in period?

    I have 3 Brooks B17's. The break in thing is overexagerated as far as i am concerned. But i have thousands and thousands of hours of saddle time on them. Actually my newest, least broken in saddle is the one i consider the most comfortable.

    Although they basically are all pretty much the same: Saddles that you really never think about, because they are so comfortable that you never know they are there.

  11. #11
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguelangel
    RAgboy!
    Just posted this one a day or two ago..

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...74#post4184674

    It took mine 235 miles!!!

    Patience is the operating word... Also saddle angle and where r u sitting too far back??? I noticed on mine that as soon as it is not align correctly , dead center,vwith the frame I will have the same problems u r talking about.... will crimp the wrong nerve!!
    Good timing Miquelangel. There is hope!

  12. #12
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    My first Brooks B-17 simply killed me for a while (100+ miles) - numb butt and feet. Then I noticed that even though I had not moved my seatpost, the saddle was a little too high. I lowered the saddle just a little and the saddle magically broke in. I then moved this saddle to my MTB, tweeked it a bit and it rocks. My roadie currently sports a Teampro - thicker leather, longer nose, higher sex appeal factor! It was murder for about 50 miles, I then adjusted the height and tilt a bit and never had another problem. I rode about 140 miles in a three day stretch back around Thanksgiving and the saddle became more and more comfortable.

    Take a look at the height and tilt and fore/aft positioning. Maybe a little fine tuning will help.

  13. #13
    jcm
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    When I first bought a touring bike, it had a B17 on it. The thing was killing me because my ischials were too wide by just a tad. I switched to a B67 and all was well. Then sometime later, I re-tried a B17, and stuck with , adjusting it as I went. I now have two B17's and two B67's. The 17's are not as comfortable as the 67's, but they are still way better than any other brand I've tried.

    The newest 17 now has 1200 miles on it and is well formed. It took about 350 miles to really get the indents, and I'm a heavy rider at 230lbs. Also, a short ride to me is 30 miles. In my opinion, at only 12 miles per day, a 17 can be torture to some people. It's just not enough to warm the leather and breakdown the fibers. For others, it's no problem. I still experience a warm-up period on the 17's that lasts just about the 12 miles that you ride. After that, they get very comfortable. I'm convinced that it's like putting on a pair of very heavy leather workboots. They feel stiff at first, then they disapear. 17's are ideally designed for longer rides. 67's are more for utility, but can be used for long rides as well. I think a person's anatomy ultimately decides which is best.

    The numbness in your feet may be caused by the saddle being too narrow in the seat portion. Pressure to inside of the sitbones. That's why I got a 67. I felt like my ischails were being pushed apart, sort of. When I decided to stick with it, that eventually went away as the dents formed. By comparison, the 67 was great right from the start due to adequate weightbearing.

  14. #14
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    The break in thing is overexagerated as far as i am concerned.
    +1......I hear of riders experiencing a sort of "saddle nirvana" with their Brooks, they're riding along and suddenly the saddle has conformed to the perfect shape and their butts feel wonderful on it. Maybe that happens with some, but for me, I liked my Brooks from day one, and after thousands of miles I like it even more. But there was never a point where I said, "wow, this saddle is so much better than it was yesterday!"............. I have no need to wear padded shorts with it, it's that comfortable. I think the key to a Brooks, especially a model like the B17, is that there's an awful lot of surface area to spread the load out. The same principle as working on a weak roof; lay a sheet of plywood down and step on that, it spreads your weight out over the roof's surface and keeps the roof from caving in (sometimes, anyway)-
    Last edited by well biked; 04-07-07 at 10:38 AM.

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    My B17 was horrible, really painful, for about the first 100 miles - much worse than the plastic saddle it replaced. I was ready to trash it. Now after around 300 it's not so bad and, if it continues to improve, will be good. I did the agressive neat's foot oil treatment per Sheldon Brown. Not sure if that helped or not.

  16. #16
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    I have about 1000 miles on mine, and I think it's just beginning to break in. I added the Proofide treatment to it initially, but it's been pretty hard all along. I tilted the nose up a bit recently, which helped a little bit. It's definitely more comfortable (less hard) than it was at first, but I think it still has a ways to go.

  17. #17
    Dead Men Assume...
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    I've only ridden a little bit on my new B17 and, truth to tell, I can't feel any difference from my old Specialized Body Geometry saddle. If it becomes more comfortable I'll be happy enough.

  18. #18
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    I see Brooks has come out with a non-sprung B67. I think they're calling it the B68. Could be a great alternative for those with wider spaced sit bones.

  19. #19
    jcm
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    Quote Originally Posted by phinney
    I see Brooks has come out with a non-sprung B67. I think they're calling it the B68. Could be a great alternative for those with wider spaced sit bones.
    Yes, if you are concerned about some weight saving. The 66/67/68 top is the same blank. For that matter, the old B72 is a good choice, but I don't really understand what those strange loops actually do...

  20. #20
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    ragboy -

    Just give it more time and it should be fine.

  21. #21
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragboy
    Velocity -- did you notice a break in period?
    Yes there was a little bit of breaking in period. But right out of the box it wasn't too bad for me. Also I think my being heavy forced the saddle to accommodate to my sit bones rather quickly.

  22. #22
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Not that anyone is keeping track, but an update on my Brooks B17 issue: I went for a 28-mile ride on Saturday on the Brooks and had numb toes at about the halfway mark. I swapped the Brooks for my old WTB saddle and went for a 25-mile ride Sunday -- the numbness was hardly detectable, if at all. Hmmm...

    If I had to guess, I'd say the harder Brooks saddle is pinching a nerve somewhere. I'm a fairy skinny guy, I wonder if that could make the brooks do more damage than someone with more "cushion". Now to decide whether to give the Brooks more time, or cut bait and go back to the old relliable WTB.

  23. #23
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    I'd say give it some time. I've heard that sometimes the break in period can take some time. Also make sure you put a nice coat of Proofide. It helps with the break in period. I've given mine a few coats and I've felt the difference.

  24. #24
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Have you treated it with any kind of oil or proofhide?
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    This thing works wonders. Try it out if you haven't already.


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