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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 04-23-07, 03:05 PM   #1
noisebeam
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Brooks B17 climbing leverage

I have love/hate with the B17 on my fixed gear.

One thing I like about is when climbing I can use the back metal support to push my upper thighs/lower butt into for extra leverage. Other 'racing' style saddles I've tried, ones ass pushes over the back of the saddle in similar situation.

I don't like how the B17 sits too far forward, how it sags in the middle as it wears.

I tried a Fizik Alliante to replace my overworn B17, but it just doesn't have that ass bar to push against when climbing seated. Anyone else find this an advantage of the B17?

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Old 04-23-07, 07:47 PM   #2
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yep. actually mine's a conquest but i was thinking the exact same thing today. that sag really sucks.

i've been noticing recently how much more taut it gets when i pinch the skirts though. i think i'm gonna punch a couple holes and tie it up like so:

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Old 04-23-07, 08:01 PM   #3
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I thought the B17 was supposed to sag? Like a hamock? I got rid of mine because it broke in unevenly.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:22 PM   #4
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mine is starting to squeek like a mouse moshpit. and a bit of sag. cant decide wether i should tighten it a smidge or not.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:34 PM   #5
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this thread is blasphemous
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Old 04-23-07, 08:44 PM   #6
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supercorsa 4evah
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Old 04-23-07, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
I thought the B17 was supposed to sag? Like a hamock?
to an extent. but when a hammock gets too saggy, your back hurts right?

it's the same thing, except your back is your gooch.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:54 PM   #8
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Put a straight edge across the top, between two middle rear rivets across to top front rivet, sag on mine is just under 3/4"
Al
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Old 04-23-07, 09:00 PM   #9
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i just got my b17 a few weeks ago but have riden mostly flat stuff. i also noticed that it sits further forward than my selle italia trans am. i've been thinking about switching the seatpost for something that has some set back.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
Put a straight edge across the top, between two middle rear rivets across to top front rivet, sag on mine is just under 3/4"
Al
mine's about the same. but the real issue for me is that there's no longer a saddle angle where a) there isn't too much pressure on my wrists and b) there's no pressure on my pernium.

this must be solved, and if it's not the brooks is a goner. but i think it's fixable. with a combination of subtle tying and some tensioning of the nose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnydelnegro
i just got my b17 a few weeks ago but have riden mostly flat stuff. i also noticed that it sits further forward than my selle italia trans am. i've been thinking about switching the seatpost for something that has some set back.
this sounds like a different issue but yes, the brooks sits way forward. a setback seatpost may help.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:40 PM   #11
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Tying solves an awful lot of brooks vs gooch problems. I recommend it. You can make holes with a drill but a leather punch is a lot more tidy---the drill tends to suck the leather outwards so the hole winds up with frayed edges.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
mine's about the same. but the real issue for me is that there's no longer a saddle angle where a) there isn't too much pressure on my wrists and b) there's no pressure on my pernium.
Exact problem I have.

My solution was to get rid of the Brooks and try the Alliante.

On trying the Alliante, I found that there was no way to push back into the seat for leverage when pushing hard seated. I switched back to the B17.

In trying to keep the 'hammock' of the B17 less saggy, I have re-tenstioned, but the rivets in the front are pulling the leather, ovalizing the holes. (not from retensioning, but from use)

The B17 was most comfortable new out of the box, when the top was relatively flat.

Al
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Old 04-24-07, 12:34 PM   #13
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i'm going to try and lace the skirts in the next couple days. i'll share pics and results when i'm done.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:42 PM   #14
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I'm curious how you've set the B17 up to reduce pressure on perineum? I went for a moderately long ride last weekend (about 5 hours) and came home with a lazy Johnson. ****, he was almost dead. Anyway, he's still recovering.

I gotta fix something, and don't want to trade the jewels for biking.

I've tried resting more on the sit bones towards the rear of the seat, but I sometimes forget and end up putting pressure on the perineum. Focussing on putting more of my weight into the pedals seems to have helped also.

Any other ideas??
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Old 04-24-07, 12:47 PM   #15
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tip your saddle down raise your bars up.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:47 PM   #16
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I tried retensioning as well as tying, and tying is superior by far. Retensioning stresses the rivet holes and promotes more stretching and sagging. Tying is mechanically a more efficient way to achieve tension---relative to retensioning, for *much* less added stress on the leather you get much more added firmness. You can see this for yourself by pinching the skirts of your brooks together while you sit on it. Instant tension without adding a huge amount of strain on the leather.

The best thing to do for your saggy Brooks may well be to go back in time and stop yourself from adding all that proofide. Both my brookses (pro and b17) are proofide soaked and both required tying. OTOH they won't crack anytime soon, and the tying does make them firm enough.

Nathbdp, as dutret suggested you should fiddle with overall body positioning relative to your b17 before throwing in the towel. It can make a surprisingly big difference. FWIW my b17 can easily take me on centuries and more, and my pro has been getting better as I move it down and forward; though it numbed on the one 160K I took it on, since moving it, it hasn't been a problem over my last few metrics and I am taking it out for a 225k tomorrow for the real torture test.

Last edited by mander; 04-24-07 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:57 PM   #17
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Try a Team Pro...much tougher than the B17, no sag, still have an ass bar.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:00 PM   #18
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Sucks to your ass bar! (sorry)
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Old 04-24-07, 01:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Try a Team Pro...much tougher than the B17, no sag, still have an ass bar.
I am considering a Team Pro. Good news on the ass bar.

Otherwise I'll get a new B17 and tie it right away.

My old one I put about 3/4 can Proofide on over ~2yrs.

I've started (long) rides with perfect tension (where I measure the 3/4" sag), but by the end the front rivets have stretched leather even more and its sagged (to discomfort) by end of ride.

Al
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Old 04-24-07, 01:20 PM   #20
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About the ass bar...

Has anyone else noticed this benefit for seated mashing?

Al
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Old 04-24-07, 01:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathbdp
I'm curious how you've set the B17 up to reduce pressure on perineum? I went for a moderately long ride last weekend (about 5 hours) and came home with a lazy Johnson. ****, he was almost dead. Anyway, he's still recovering.

I gotta fix something, and don't want to trade the jewels for biking.

I've tried resting more on the sit bones towards the rear of the seat, but I sometimes forget and end up putting pressure on the perineum. Focussing on putting more of my weight into the pedals seems to have helped also.

Any other ideas??
forget the brooks and get a terry fly. mine is great.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:23 PM   #22
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here is an image of the front rivets elongating holes
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CRW_9476-01 copy2.JPG (87.8 KB, 168 views)
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Old 04-25-07, 06:15 PM   #23
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okay, this afternoon i went to a shoe repair place and got them to punch some holes in the skirts and also bought some leather lace. best four bucks i ever spent.

before:


after:


after closer inspection, the saddle wasn't as saggy as i'd claimed, maybe 1/2 inch from level. but the problem happened when i sat on it. the skirts just flapped out and the middle sank down. now with the laces (sorry for the crappy pic, but they're there) it feels a LOT more comfortable. the pressure is back on my butt, and not any tender spots.

haven't ridden any real miles on it yet, but for a spin around the block it felt a million percent better.

oh yeah, i didn't touch the tension adjustment bolt and i dont intend to.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
mine is starting to squeek like a mouse moshpit. and a bit of sag. cant decide wether i should tighten it a smidge or not.
Tighten if it needs it, but search around and there was a really good thread about squeaking and cures for it.
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