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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-22-05, 12:45 AM   #1
benk0
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Lots of Brooks threads... here's another from a first timer.

I'll update as time progresses, but here's day one.

I'm starting this thread for those of you that have never ridden a Brooks before... as I haven't either, before today.

Saddle : Brooks Swift, Honey.

Well, it's pretty as all hell. Especially after its first treatment of Proofide... it looks "of rich mahogany". I did buy the glove oil, but decided against soaking the entire saddle. The saddle had a bit more flex than I expected... I was thinking more "wood block" than flexy leather. Did the bottom and top with the Proofide, wiped it off and took it around the block. I set it at EXACTLY the same height/tilt/setback as my Selle Italia Flite and it felt fine from the get-go... at least in terms of position.

It's weird though. It's just flat out hard. Like sitting on a bleacher at a HS football game. You can definitely feel your sitbones on it. The fact that there's ZERO padding actually seems to help your pedaling in that there's no resistance whatsoever from the saddle. I should also add that I do not own one pair of cycling shorts. I ride in cut off Dickies only. Year round, no matter the distance.

I rode to work tonight as I always do and on the way there, it felt fast because it was so slippery. However, on the way back... I started to realize that I'm using WAY more arm strength to maintain my riding position because I'm sliding so much on the saddle... my shoulders started to get a little tingly.

So that's about 15 and a bit miles today... not much, but I can already tell the saddle is not the same shape it was earlier this afternoon. It's flattening out a bit, but definitely still pushing kinda hard on the sitbones. I don't think it's ready for a 25 miler straight, but for commuting, it's fine. It's definitely more comfortable than I thought it would be right out of the box.

The bike is inside tonight with another application of Proofide and a little heat from the salon blowdryer (which gets ridiculously hot) to liquify it and it sits like that overnight to be wiped/buffed before riding to the salon tommorrow.

I'll update in a few days as things progress and it breaks in more... but so far, so good.
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Old 11-22-05, 08:24 AM   #2
Leif-fire-eater
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I'm on a new saddle also B17 narrow and the thing is like a rock. I also notice that it puts more pressure on my arms than I'm used to. Same deal with sliding all over the place also. Anybody have an idea of how many miles I need to put on this saddle before it's broken in?
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Old 11-22-05, 08:43 AM   #3
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Try tipping the nose of the saddle up just a smidge a little more so than you would standard saddle. This will help the sliding. Not to scare you off but it took me about 1000 miles until I was really comfortable on my Swift. It found it's way off and on different bikes (and into my parts box) for over a year - because it looks so damn cool. I put it back on my fixed this spring thinking I'll give it one last go, before I try to sell it off. Now it's hands down the most comfortable saddle I've ridden - great for long rides, some of those first few rides tho- ouch.
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Old 11-22-05, 08:54 AM   #4
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hmm, a 1000 could take a little bit of time. I'll try tipping the nose up a little bit.
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Old 11-22-05, 08:58 AM   #5
Wil Davis
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Congrats on the Swift - here's a tip (somewhat late) - the honey colour will darken if you apply Proofide to the top - so to prevent this, you might try applying it only on the underside.

I bought my first B17 Champion Narrow in the early 1970s - I still use it on a Schwinn Super Sport (1981) and it's like riding in a favourite armchair. It has thousands of miles on it and is still going strong. I have a Brooks Conquest on my mountain bike, and Brooks Pro Team on my other road bike. The strange thing is that neither of these saddles required any "break-in" period, which leads me to believe that it's not so much that the saddle gets broken-in, but more like my butt gets used to the Brooks but YMMV…

Anyway, stick with it and you'll get the best ride (bar none!)

- Wil
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Old 11-22-05, 08:59 AM   #6
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For me, it's not so much just sliding forward, but back as well as there's no real spot where the seat accomodated my sitbones yet.

Oh yeah, to append the original thread. I'm 6'2" and just under 140. Small frame. I think any wider of a saddle would be a no-go.

I'm going to heat it up again before I depart for work this morning...
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Old 11-22-05, 12:14 PM   #7
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i have a b-17 narrow and it hurt like hell for the first, say, 100 miles. now it's great. looks great, feels great. i'm 5'8", 130 lbs if that makes any difference.
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Old 11-22-05, 12:29 PM   #8
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Brooks remind me a lot of track bars for city riding. People swear they are comfortable with both of them, but for me neither of these items work very well.
I have tried 2 brooks. Team pro and b-17. Rode the team pro for about 2000 miles and still wasn't comfy. The b-17 never worked either - I sold afer about 400 miles.
Then I bought a selle san marco regal for 10 bucks and have never been happier with a saddle before. Oh, and riser bars of course!
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Old 11-22-05, 02:03 PM   #9
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I have put about 750 (brooks swift) miles on mine, its still hard as a freakin rock, but i was already used to it. I just moved it (brooks) to my project bike and I put the Selle flite back on my Pinarello.

The Pinarello is a small frame and i have my seatpost jacked up so its basically like riding in drops all the time, i found that the brooks, even with tilted nose, kinda pushed me on to my hands more. The Selle never did that, so i think this works out quite nicely, my new build will have a brooks and my pinarello will be happy again.
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Old 11-24-05, 04:24 PM   #10
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I know this info has already been posted... but since I started this thread...

I've been kinda suffering in the sitbones, but today decided to nose the seat up one click. Voila. It's perfect. I'm sure the seat has broken in a tiny bit, as well as my ass has been broken in by the seat itself, but that tiny adjustment has made a 100% improvement in comfort. Rode about 25mi today and it's already more comfortable than my fully broken-in Flite.
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Old 11-24-05, 05:19 PM   #11
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I have a brooks as well. I got it on a used uo8 about 8 yrs ago. Its been through rain snow the works and it looks like it. Does it soften up YES mine is kind of like a hamik s/p? should tighten it up but Im afraid it might stretch the leather to much and it tear.
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Old 11-24-05, 05:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46x17
Brooks remind me a lot of track bars for city riding. People swear they are comfortable with both of them, but for me neither of these items work very well.

b17 and b123 in nyc. deleriously happy with both.
it's entirely subjective, as 46x17 says.
just registering my input.
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Old 11-24-05, 07:42 PM   #13
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I third, fourth, or fifth the nose up recommendation. I kept sliding off the front, but I made a few nose up adjustments and now it's butter.
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