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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 07-07-08, 02:08 PM   #1
Redline927
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Proofide for Brooks saddle

I just ordered a Brooks saddle. I have read about putting proofide on it when you get it. My question- is this stuff included with the saddle or will I have to buy it separately? I don't think my LBS carries it either.

Thanks.
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Old 07-07-08, 02:13 PM   #2
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It does not come with it. You will need to order separately. Good luck.
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Old 07-07-08, 02:38 PM   #3
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Just order it on-line and ride the saddle in the meantime.
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Old 07-07-08, 03:03 PM   #4
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Just use Sno-Seal, it's way cheaper, pretty much the same stuff, and you'll be able to find it at most outdoors/shoe stores.
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Old 07-07-08, 10:39 PM   #5
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My sister picked up a Brooks B17 saddle a week ago. I got some baseball glove oil/conditioner and we soaked the saddle for 30 minutes and put it on. It was noticeably softened up. Drastic, but nothing too damaging.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 07-07-08, 11:58 PM   #6
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My sister picked up a Brooks B17 saddle a week ago. I got some baseball glove oil/conditioner and we soaked the saddle for 30 minutes and put it on. It was noticeably softened up. Drastic, but nothing too damaging.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
This is a horrible idea. You'll ruin the saddle this way.

I've used both Sno*Seal and Proofide on my many Brooks saddles. Whatever you use just don't use a lot of it as you'll over-condition and soften the leather.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:04 AM   #7
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I have used Neatsfoot leather conditioner for both Brooks saddles that I own without any problem.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:46 AM   #8
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I have used Neatsfoot leather conditioner for both Brooks saddles that I own without any problem.
Why would you want to soften the leather? It's supposed to be rather hard.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:56 AM   #9
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Why would you want to soften the leather? It's supposed to be rather hard.
+1

We ain't sitting on a baseball glove.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:17 AM   #10
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i used saddle soap. recommended to me by the crusty old track guy at the LBS. worked a treat. waterproofed it pretty well and gave the leather just enough give for to get a nice arse groove going. that being said, mine is an early 70's team pro that is considerably harder than a b17 or other new brooks gear.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:33 AM   #11
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Why would you want to soften the leather? It's supposed to be rather hard.
+1

Theses saddles only need conditioning to repel moisture.
If you want soft saddles get a gel saddle.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:39 AM   #12
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just got some proofide yesterday, it was fun to shine it up
i heard about using sno-seal but i does it really have the same ingredients that proofide has?

mine was comfy from day one without any sort of treatment besides just riding it
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Old 07-08-08, 09:54 AM   #13
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just got some proofide yesterday, it was fun to shine it up
i heard about using sno-seal but i does it really have the same ingredients that proofide has?

mine was comfy from day one without any sort of treatment besides just riding it
I highly doubt Sno*Seal has the same ingredients as Proofide. FWIW, I started using Sno*Seal on my Brooks saddles in the early 1990s when Brooks saddles and of course Proofide were difficult to get as Brooks wasn't doing so well at the time. I've seen no negative results with Sno*Seal.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:56 AM   #14
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Obenauf's LP (check at your local tack & stable, if there is one near you) or Sno-Seal are both hella cheaper than Proofide and won't wreck the leather like oils and silicone treatments will.
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Old 07-08-08, 10:40 AM   #15
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**** brooks.
Too much hassle, and if you have to actually ride your bike and get it wet....

It's also **** ton heavy compared to other more comfortable saddles.
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Old 07-08-08, 10:42 AM   #16
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"There are probably lots of other liquid oils that would work as well-RAAM pioneer Lon Haldeman uses SAE 30 motor oil, but his saddles tend to wear out after only 300,000 miles or so (according to Cyclist Magazine). Paste or wax type leather dressings, such as Brooks Proofide, Sno-Seal, and saddle soap will work, but it takes much, much longer to break in a saddle that way."

"You can just pour the oil on and rub it in by hand, or for a more drastic approach, you can actually soak the saddle. The easiest way to soak a saddle is to turn it upside-down on a sheet of aluminum foil, then form the foil up around the saddle for a snug fit. Pour in a whole 4 ounce can of Neatsfoot oil or whatever oil you prefer, and let the saddle soak for 30 minutes to an hour. "

"The soaking technique is best for thick, hard-to-break in saddles such as the Brooks Professional. For most leather saddles the pour-and-rub technique is adequate. A saddle only needs baptism by immersion once. After that, some oil should be poured onto the saddle and rubbed in by hand every few weeks. Once the saddle has become soft and comfortable it is only necessary to oil it lightly every few months to keep it from drying out. "

"Note; treatment and break-in of leather saddles is not an exact science, and there are those that claim that some of the products I've listed are harmful to leather. If absolute safety is your primary concern, using Brooks Proofide according to directions is probably the best approach...but you may find that the break-in period is un-necessarily long with this approach.

The worst thing you can do is to neglect the saddle and allow it to dry out and crack."
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Old 07-08-08, 10:45 AM   #17
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I use Obenaufs



from rivendelle...



Country of Origin

United States

It's made for the leather boots of firefighters, but is widely regarded as the best leather preservative around. Even Russell recommends it, and when Russell recommends a leather goop, my friend, you know it's good.
A thimblefull will treat an entire saddle. It has beeswax and propolis (something else bees make, and a super preservative). And some other stuff, but basically we're talking about the best thing to put on nearly any leather, and certainly any Brooks saddle. We prefer it to Proofide, Brooks's own leather goop. Made in Idaho. One 4 ounce tube will treat about 90 saddles, or a few saddles and lots of boots, belts, and baseball mitts.
A new saddle doesn't need it, but after a few months, put some of this on it. Topside and underside. What the heck.

fwiw i commuted all winter n the rain on a brooks, and there was no lasting damage. you just have to take care of it a bit more.
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Old 07-08-08, 10:50 AM   #18
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I have a handful of brook saddles and have never needed to soften them up. I only use proofide.. One good coat on the bottom and another on top.. Buff the top and ride.. I usually proofide the top about once a year or so..

The saddles are supposed to firm.. I feel that there is this huge mental obstacle when it comes to Brooks saddles.. You get the saddle and do the knock test with your fist and your mind says "oh my god this thing is hard, it is going to be terrible to ride this leather seat from hell".. People start perusing websites to find out how to break them in and there are many theories and techniques..

I personally have not found any of the brooks saddle to be uncomfortable out of the box.. If it was, it was usually an issue of having the saddle to level.. I prefer to have the saddle pointed slightly up..

When you ride the saddle it will break in..
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Old 07-08-08, 10:52 AM   #19
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they are not really a hassle at all i just started riding mine like any other saddle, not really concerned about the weight thing

you don't have to treat the saddle often, i treated mine yesterday and probably wont again for a couple months
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Old 07-08-08, 10:53 AM   #20
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IMO you should follow the care directions in the saddle packaging - use Proofide, don't over do it, just keep it as dry as possible and re-apply every 6 months or so. I'd also trust Sheldon knows what he's talking about, too.

Riding it in bad weather is hardly a big deal - a plastic bag can work when parked or riding, and there are these wonderful devices invented to keep water from spraying up/out called fenders, which definitely help.

If you're a weight weenie, your Brooks would have Ti rails and be a swift cut or some such... it seriously isn't a big deal. If I load my two cages with full water bottles it's probably about the same if not more... Comfort > weight.

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Old 07-08-08, 10:53 AM   #21
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yep. 2 years later my brooks swift flexes like a chinese acrobat...
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Old 07-08-08, 12:02 PM   #22
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"A thimblefull will treat an entire saddle. It has beeswax and propolis (something else bees make, and a super preservative)."

As a beekeeper, I would not recommend propolis. It is composed of sap from trees, thus making it extremely tacky. It is used by bees to "glue" hive components together. It is a good antiseptic, but it a huge ***** to clean off woodenware.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:07 PM   #23
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geesh, i used mayo there you have it
use some mayo and make sure to put it on and then sit on it for a while to really work it in
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Old 07-08-08, 12:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capolover View Post
**** brooks.
Too much hassle, and if you have to actually ride your bike and get it wet....

It's also **** ton heavy compared to other more comfortable saddles.
I have Brooks saddles on both my commuter/distance rig and my fixed gear, and I "actually ride" both of them in all sorts of weather. Clip on fenders for the fixie, hard-mount fenders for the commuter, and an $8 saddle cover for when it's raining.

I can't argue with the weight, though. The B-17 Champ. Std. is a brick; but it's the most comfortable long distance saddle I've ever put my butt on. I'm doing a double on my B-17 Imperial this weekend, and I've done 40 mile training rides on my fixed gear with a B-17 CS. There's plenty lighter weight, but nothing is more comfortable.
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Old 07-08-08, 12:57 PM   #25
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Why would you want to soften the leather? It's supposed to be rather hard.
I didn't use Neatsfoot to "soften" the saddle but to help break it in.
I used Neatsfoot over 25 years ago to break in a Brooks saddle, and it held for all these years.

One of the reasons Brooks recommends Proofide -- in addition to water protection -- is to help break it in.

The use of Neatsfoot is not necessarily to soften leather, but to prevent dry-crack associated with aging.
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