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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 06-16-04, 07:57 PM   #1
skitbraviking
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breaking in a Brooks?

Riding a fixed requires much more sitting down, so as a result, I need to break in my Brooks, sooner rather than later. Anybody have any other ideas on how to break in a Brooks faster than normal wear? I am already taking it off, polishing it with the Brooks' stuff and letting it sit in the sun for a stretch. Any other ideas?

Incidentally: I put my Specialized Body Geometry saddle in the Brooks' place. It's far easier on the little brothers. So I guess when I am getting at—no double entendre's intended (love ya Schiek )—is that Specialized is does do some things right.

But again: any body have any ideas on the Brooks?
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Old 06-16-04, 08:01 PM   #2
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Paging The Fixer...The fixer, please report to this post. Thank you
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Old 06-16-04, 08:03 PM   #3
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Ride it lots.
Really, I don't think there's any real replacement for seat time on those babies. Also be sure to play with the seat angle, I find the my brooks needs a different angle to keep the boys happy than my other seats, strangely enough, pointed a bit higher up. Others report a need for a little down.
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Old 06-16-04, 08:13 PM   #4
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give it to me..Ill break it in for ya...
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Old 06-16-04, 08:55 PM   #5
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I've only had mine a month and am very happy with mine, but I did do the Sheldon trick of soaking it in neatsfoot oil for an hour.
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Old 06-16-04, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitbraviking
is that Specialized is does do some things right.
What exactly is this supposed to mean Mr. English Teacher?
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Old 06-17-04, 12:18 AM   #7
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Paging The Fixer...The fixer, please report to this post. Thank you
Just clocked in.....
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Old 06-17-04, 05:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crustedfish
give it to me..Ill break it in for ya...

Hey! No need to get nasty.
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Old 06-17-04, 05:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chumpslacker
I've only had mine a month and am very happy with mine, but I did do the Sheldon trick of soaking it in neatsfoot oil for an hour.

Link to the trick description?
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Old 06-17-04, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
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What exactly is this supposed to mean Mr. English Teacher?
No interpretation required. A math guy could read it and understand.
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Old 06-17-04, 06:29 AM   #11
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I stuck mine in a 200 degree oven for 10 or 15 minutes and then put the dressing on when the saddle was warm...did this twice or thrice but I can't really say if it helped or not. Heck, it now has somewhere around 1K miles on it and is just starting to feel nice. I echo previous comment about saddle tilt - play with it 'til it feels right no matter how it looks compared to the tilt of your other saddles.
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Old 06-17-04, 06:36 AM   #12
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Hey, Skit, here's the Sheldon article re neetsfoot oil:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 06-17-04, 08:07 AM   #13
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as much as it hurts.. DONT OVERDO the lotions/potions - im serious.. itll lose stiffness quicker than a johnson... just ride it, thats all you can do.. my b17 has been around for a year, and the only stuff ive applied to it has been proofide, TWICE (once when i got it, once 6 months later)... also - dont ride around with anything in your back pockets during the breakin process.. ive got a wallet imprint, and now it sucks riding that thing sans wallet, i half lose an ass cheek in the imprint

but seriously though - give it time, and dont put too much of anything on it!!!

* thicker leather may require more applications of lotions/potions.. my b17 isnt super-thick by any means.. higher quality brooks saddles have thicker, harder leather
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Old 06-17-04, 09:39 AM   #14
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Thanks much everyone.
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Old 06-17-04, 10:02 AM   #15
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As stated above, go easy with oils and potions. I've seen saddles as soft as baseball gloves which has been treated with neesfoot oil. You definitely don't want that.

As for me, breaking in was never an issue for me. These saddles feel just fine right out of the box.
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Old 06-17-04, 10:35 AM   #16
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I seem to recall that Brooks break-in's vary because the thickness of the leather varies from saddle to saddle saddles. Mine got one treatment of Proofide and after a week of riding was fine. I've also heard of people who have ridden them for years and they've never satisfactorily broken in. al5's opinion seems pretty sound. If the saddle get's too soft, there is no going back...
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Old 06-17-04, 12:36 PM   #17
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I have a few hundred miles on mine now... just followed the directions on the box... one coat of Proofide on the bottom... 2 coats on top, let it sit in the sun, and harden a bit, then buff off... after the first month, I put one more coat on top, and it is good to go... I've got the Brooks Pro saddle... apparently one of the hardest seats they have... but it is comfy for me

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Old 06-17-04, 01:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
i've never heard "is does do" in math before.

Well, Smarty, you wouldn't have heard it in English either. Or I would have marked it wrong on your paper.

My bad on the syntax problem
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Old 06-17-04, 03:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
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man them specialized road saddles look like just the thing for me.

I'll sell ya one. Only 100 bucks!
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Old 06-17-04, 03:21 PM   #20
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No interpretation required. A math guy could read it and understand.
WOW!! That's it! That's your insulting comeback. OOOH, AAAH. Better luck next time.
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Old 06-17-04, 03:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
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um. they're cheaper new.

No no... Good deal, here. Good deal. Best deal in town!
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Old 06-17-04, 03:54 PM   #22
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No no... Good deal, here. Good deal. Best deal in town!
This one was blasted by Gamma rays in an Egyptian tomb and causes your bike to become indestructable in addition to adding super speed. Beware it's curse though......
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Old 06-19-04, 07:59 PM   #23
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Two lingering questions:

Where does one get the goop that Sheldon Brown suggests we put on Brooks' saddles?

How soft should I expect to get this thing?
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Old 06-19-04, 08:41 PM   #24
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I have a Brooks Team Pro on one bike, and a Specialized Body Geometry on another. I swore up and down that the Specialized was the best, and that the cut-out works. That was before I bought my second Brooks. Side-by-side now I prefer the Brooks. The test for me is one and a half hours in the saddle. The Brooks works for me over this distance, the Specialized starts to present problems. Shorter than that, they both are great!
I did nothing to my Team Pro. Didn't have any Proofhide, and was not willing to take a chance on anything else. I remember a Team Pro I bought in '79 on day one of a trip to Mexico from Canada. It was like rock candy. The current one is hard, but not like that, it has the words Pre-softened across the top, and has some pliabiltiy from day one.
My advice is go easy on the treatment, let it conform slowly, you don't want a hammock, you want a saddle. And if you create this pocket that your rear slides into too early, you loose out on being able to slide your butt off the back when you want to engage the butt muscles on a seated climb. My two cents.
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Old 06-19-04, 10:48 PM   #25
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I had a brooks b-17 for couple of months and then I got rid of it on ebay. I found that my Titec Ithys-amore is more comfortable than brooks. As far as breaking the brooks is concerned you are better off not applying any goop. I applied proofide and it did breakin in about a month. After about 3-4 months I noticed that the sides started flaring out (nothing to do with proofide). Unless you baby your bike, store it indoors, never leave it out etc., my suggestion would be to get a bombproof saddle and get rid of brooks. It is more hype (since it is made by a british company and retro) and not all that it is made out to be.
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