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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 07-11-07, 04:15 PM   #1
helloamerican
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Will my brooks saddle make me sterile?

....Because it sure feels like it.

I've been putting the proofide on it, (quit a bit) and riding it but it still feels stiff as hell and isn't giving *that* much.. what is the end product supposed to feel like? a hard seat catered to your butt so it doesnt hurt? or will the leather eventually soften up and create a pillowy layer on top of the hardness that it is now?

And at what point should i quit putting this proofide on? it's been about 3 or 4 healthy coats, drying and polishing.

Thanks
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Old 07-11-07, 04:17 PM   #2
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http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 07-11-07, 04:18 PM   #3
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don't think "pillow", think "hammock."
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Old 07-11-07, 04:25 PM   #4
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There are people -- me, for instance -- who never find comfort with the Brooks. The idea is that over time the saddle will conform to your individual butt. It does not ever get soft, it just gets dimpled and ribbed and whatever else to fit your shape. Proofide -- or any other treatment -- does not, by itself, make this happen. Time on the saddle makes this happen. And the fun part is that you don't know if it's going to happen at all, for you. Depending upon the model it will take anywhere from 500 to several thousand miles before you know whether you've been torturing yourself for any good reason.

Have fun!

Last edited by Six jours; 07-11-07 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 07-11-07, 04:30 PM   #5
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BTW, there are at least two schools of thought re. Proofide and other treatments. The first holds that nothing but Proofide should ever touch the saddle, and then only rarely, like twice a year at most. These folks claim that anything else will ruin the saddle.

The other holds that the above will result in your nads falling off before your saddle breaks in, and that you should soak the saddle in neat's foot oil or something similar to hasten break-in.

I've done it both ways. Neither ruined any saddles, but neither resulted in a comfortable, broken-in saddle either. *shrug*
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Old 07-11-07, 04:48 PM   #6
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I had the same problem as you with the Brooks. The area near the tip of the saddle stayed rock hard the whole time, and over 3 months, the rest of the saddle softened a little but not to complete comfort. If I did it again, I'd buy the pre-aged saddles. But my biggest problem was I had the B-17 and it was a little too wide for the saddle-to-bar drop that I like to ride around with.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:00 PM   #7
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The story goes two ways... Either you will complain for a year and, during this time, become seriously concerned with your groin until one day when, miraculously, you will realize you have never been so comfortable. At this point you will be telling everybody that it was the best/worst year of your life but it was all worth it.

The other way you'll complain for most of the year and then buy a different saddle... never to experience the true pleasure of [U]your leather saddle.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:03 PM   #8
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i've noticed some break in, i guess im just going to pile on the proof, and hope it breaks in quick. I'm not willing to tough 1000 miles of ball bust for an eventually soft saddle.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:05 PM   #9
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You're probably already sterile from years of television and microwave dinners!
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Old 07-11-07, 05:24 PM   #10
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I had the same problem as you with the Brooks. The area near the tip of the saddle stayed rock hard the whole time, and over 3 months, the rest of the saddle softened a little but not to complete comfort. If I did it again, I'd buy the pre-aged saddles. But my biggest problem was I had the B-17 and it was a little too wide for the saddle-to-bar drop that I like to ride around with.
I've tried the B-17, the Pro, and the pre-softened Pro. The B-17 was too wide. The Pro was too hard and didn't break in even with 2000 miles and a several hour soak in Neat's foot. And the pre-aged was gorgeous, but otherwise identical.

I love the way Brooks looks, and I love the history and heritage. I really wanted them to work for me. They don't. Oh well.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:34 PM   #11
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Man, mine was comfortable on the first ride, and has been ever since (B17 Special). Too bad.
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Old 07-11-07, 05:44 PM   #12
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Man, mine was comfortable on the first ride, and has been ever since (B17 Special). Too bad.
yeah mine too. only thing with mine is that it started cracking a it cause i didnt treat it with anything. my bussy passed me some mink oil crap and i wiped it on a few times. been shiny ever since. my fat ass loves teh saddle
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Old 07-11-07, 05:56 PM   #13
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yeah it will

thats why they are so expensive

cheaper than the ol snip snip though
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Old 07-11-07, 05:59 PM   #14
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Never had a problem with my b17 from out of the box. My Pro broke in after 500 kms or so but was good for 100 km rides out of the box---i know this because the first thing i did with it was go for a 100 km ride. Asses are individuals I suppose.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:03 PM   #15
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I got the b 17 narrow. I've ridden it a couple times since then it's gotten better since the original post. So far the, buttocks region has adapted but the pubic bone region is killing me. im hoping it breaks in soon or im going to have to wear maxi pads.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:23 PM   #16
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I can't decide if this post make me want a brooks more, or less. I'm getting one in the moring, though. Question now is black or honey? I think honey.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:27 PM   #17
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Helloamerican, you should start experimenting with saddle tilt. The saddle should not interfere with your pubic bone. It might be either tilted too far down, causing you to slide down; or too far up.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mander
Helloamerican, you should start experimenting with saddle tilt. The saddle should not interfere with your pubic bone. It might be either tilted too far down, causing you to slide down; or too far up.
indeed. it should be relatively comfortable at first, and slowly become more and more. egans story about having to endure a year of suffering before entering the broken-in saddle nirvana is b.s. or just the testimony of someone with a poorly positioned saddle.
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Old 07-11-07, 06:58 PM   #19
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maybe they make them so hard and rugged that eventually, if you ride enough, your ass will conform to it
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Old 07-11-07, 07:00 PM   #20
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the saddle position is very important. my B17 which i switch between 3 different bikes can be absolutely aweful if its not just right. But when its right, there is nothing better, thats why I switch it between all my bikes.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:13 PM   #21
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They key trouble, for me, is that there is no perfect angle. If the tail of the seat is flat/level enough for comfort the nose is angled upward into my nads. And when I start lowering the nose, the rear portion angles up to the point that it's sliding me forward onto my nads anyway. The "hammock" deal just doesn't work for me, and I very much wish that Brooks would make a model that is flat, like the Ideale.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:14 PM   #22
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The b17 is pretty flat---you might have success with the narrow model. Also, I flattened my Pro by lacing it.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:15 PM   #23
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I consider the B-17 to be pretty "hammocked". It's less so than the Pro, but still not nearly enough for me. The pictures I've seen of the Swallow make it look like it might be what I want, but the price is too high for me to take the gamble. I'm using the Selle An-Atomica now, which is overpriced and stupid looking, but pretty comfortable.
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Old 07-11-07, 07:49 PM   #24
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some people get all worked up about this, but i found out the easiest way to break in a brooks is ride it uncovered in the rain once or twice. i did this on accident once, then let it dry out. next time i got on the bike it had the shape of my ass.

honestly, it works.
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Old 07-11-07, 08:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mander
Helloamerican, you should start experimenting with saddle tilt. The saddle should not interfere with your pubic bone. It might be either tilted too far down, causing you to slide down; or too far up.
yeah ill try tilting it down a notch or so, right now its almost perfect level.. but then again im on the tall end for my bike and the seat is up a good amount higher than the bars. i just thank to god im not riding drops on this or i definitely would have nothing left.
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