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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 08-12-07, 07:26 PM   #1
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how to treat a new Brooks?

i have done some searching but have found conflicting opinions on how to properly care for/protect a new Brooks.

I have a B-17 in British Racing green.

I'm wondering...

1. Do I need to do anything to it before I start to use it (ie. treat it with Proofhide)?
2. If/when I treat it, do i treat both the top and bottom, and if so, how often?
3. Depending on answer to #2, will treating the top compromise it's ability to breate?
4. About how long can i expect it to hurt my *****?

EDIT: PS: Are there other things to treat it with that are better than Proofhide (ie. snowseal, beeswax, etc)?
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Old 08-13-07, 12:37 AM   #2
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treat top and bottom with an oil like Proofhide or Mink Oil... this will soften the leather a bit, but not much. proofhide will waterproof your saddle, and that's more important than softening it. it will work itself into the shape of your butt over months. you have to deal with the bad block of wood feeling for the first couple of hundred miles at least, then you stop noticing it altogether....

waterproof the top of the saddle so it does not soak up as much of your sweat. waterproof the bottom so that the dirty water and road crud thrown up by your back wheel doesn't make the mounting points rot, and destroy a good saddle.

the oil does not affect the ability of the saddle to breathe. the waxes like snow seal do affect it a bit more, and they are not absorbed as well into the leather but tend to sit on top of it and then ball up with dirt and fall off. that's great for hiking boots (and also works for chains: WhiteLightning and Finish Line chain waxes for eaxmple) but not really for saddles.
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Old 08-13-07, 01:12 AM   #3
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I prescribe 2-4 coats of proofide and a rear fender, then a long period of leaving it alone. Resist the temptation to douse it in conditioner, because an overconditioned brooks basically becomes a hammock that no longer supports your sit bones. Set up right and assuming you have a normally shaped ass, it should be comfy and good for long rides from the getgo.
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Old 08-13-07, 05:16 AM   #4
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Well, the directions on my Brooks B17 says to treat the top with proofide, and says nothing about the bottom. I have heard people, including the sales person at my LBS, say to proofide the bottom, but I am going with the instruction pamphlet provided by Brooks.

But hey, maybe I need to read again.
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Old 08-13-07, 06:44 AM   #5
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Proofide the bottom for sure if you want to---it won't harm anything. However it's not a huge deal if you're running a fender and physically I don't believe it matters---the oil is going to flow and circulate all through the leather anyway.
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Old 08-13-07, 08:10 AM   #6
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Treat your Brooks like YOU'RE the boss:

1. Lube it (Proofride)
2. Ride it hard
3. Keep riding it until the pain turns to pleasure

Now your bike has everything you've been looking for leather and chains, oh yeah!
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Old 08-13-07, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx View Post
I have a B-17 in British Racing green.

I'm wondering...

1. Do I need to do anything to it before I start to use it (ie. treat it with Proofhide)?
Put it back in the box and return it.
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Old 08-13-07, 10:36 PM   #8
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sd fixed

Why return it? sdsucks
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Old 08-13-07, 11:20 PM   #9
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I would never give mine up, the b17 is the best thing to ever happen to my ass.
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Old 08-14-07, 12:17 AM   #10
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I got my break in recipe from an old schooler. His method was to proofide the top of the saddle and use neatsfoot oil on the bottom. Afterwards tighten the screw a couple times wrap an old t-shirt around the saddle and give the thing about ten solid hits with a rubber mallet. Back the screw back in one full turn. I took his advice and am now the proud owner of the most comfortable seat I have ever used.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:39 AM   #11
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http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

I used the soaking technique for my Brooks Pro and it worked well. I've put about 250 miles on it and its significantly more comfortable than any previous saddle I've had.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:40 AM   #12
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Holy crap Brooks saddles went up in price in just the last 2 weeks. Looks as though I bought just before this happened. Would have cost me 25% more. I love how Bush thinks the US economy is doing great.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:17 AM   #13
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Why return it? sdsucks
SD may suck but we've got better weather.

Because there is no logic to that seat. None at all.
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Old 08-14-07, 06:19 AM   #14
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I would never give mine up, the b17 is the best thing to ever happen to my ass.
Not on the bike in your signature.
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Old 08-14-07, 09:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lvleph View Post
Well, the directions on my Brooks B17 says to treat the top with proofide, and says nothing about the bottom. I have heard people, including the sales person at my LBS, say to proofide the bottom, but I am going with the instruction pamphlet provided by Brooks.

But hey, maybe I need to read again.
Look at all the filth and crap that gets under your regular saddles. You need to proofide the bottom. Give the bottom of the saddle several thick coats and don't polish off.

For the top, 2-4 coats should be good, depending on the climate in which you live.

For the first couple, smear the whole saddle, then leave as long as you can before polishing off. Overnight at a minimum. Then ride for a bit and give it a couple of top up coats over the first few rides.

As you know, if you proofide too frequently, the leather will soften excessively. The saddle will be at its softest immediately after a treatment, but will 'dry out' and harden again after a couple of days. 4 coats of a new saddle won't mess it up and will help speed up break in.
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Old 08-14-07, 11:03 AM   #16
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My poor saddle is waiting to be used. Waiting for the bike it is meant for. I suppose I could put it on my road bike. I think it would be kind of funny to have a Brooks on a CF bike.
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Old 08-14-07, 11:08 AM   #17
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My poor saddle is waiting to be used. Waiting for the bike it is meant for. I suppose I could put it on my road bike. I think it would be kind of funny to have a Brooks on a CF bike.
I have a Brooks Team Pro on my Trek 5200. Screw looks, the comfort of carbon + brooks saddle + well tuned bike = I luv road long time!
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Old 08-14-07, 11:12 AM   #18
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When I got my B17 in July, I remember reading the booklet that came with it - it mentioned (I'm sure) to coat the underside once, and not polish it off, just leave it - just ride in the rain for an hour without fenders and you might want to do the same, if not more. The top I did every few nights, and left it overnight to soak before buffing off the crap and riding. I've got about 800 or more miles on it now and though it looks and feels (to the fingers/thumb) the same, it's incredibly comfortable. Was hard as hell when I first used it though I rode to Niagara Falls and back as part of the break in process . I've not touched it for a good couple of weeks, as it says in the book once it's broken in just to treat it once every 3-6 months. I only ever treat it with proofide, and I guess with leather YMMV anyway.

I use this saddle on my Centurion roadie for the time being, I couldn't give a **** about looks (I've got that funky 80s white/pink colour scheme on this frame anyway), my ass matters more to me than other peoples opinions.

When locking outdoors, I'll cover it in a grocery bag for visual obscurity as well as rain protection.

I figure I'll treat it as I did my boots in the military, and those sonsaguns lasted me a *long* time through a lot of use & abuse.
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Old 08-14-07, 11:15 AM   #19
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from the brooks site:

"on bicycles not fitted with mudguards, an initial application (of proofide) to the underside of the saddle will be beneficial, this need not be polished off."

when you ride in the rain, that's what's going to get the worst soaking. your butt protects the top but your wheel sprays water on the underside. if you leave it outside when it's raining, just tie a plastic bag over it.
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Old 08-14-07, 11:52 AM   #20
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Not on the bike in your signature.
Yeah I need to go take more pictures, its changed a little since then but my digicam is on the fritz
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Old 08-14-07, 02:08 PM   #21
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Even the pain you get from an un-broken Brooks is different from a standard saddle. Sort of like being pleasantly spanked vs. kneed in the groin.
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Old 08-14-07, 02:22 PM   #22
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Even the pain you get from an un-broken Brooks is different from a standard saddle. Sort of like being pleasantly spanked vs. kneed in the groin.
HA HA HA!!!!!
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Old 08-14-07, 02:24 PM   #23
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I was referring to having a light bike with heavy saddle.
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Old 08-14-07, 02:55 PM   #24
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Even the pain you get from an un-broken Brooks is different from a standard saddle. Sort of like being pleasantly spanked vs. kneed in the groin.
Mine was comfortable right out of the box
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Old 08-14-07, 05:41 PM   #25
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Mine was comfortable right out of the box
even when i had my seat badly positioned it felt good. nows its srsly like sitting on a couch
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