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  1. #1
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    Tensioning a Brooks B-17

    My directions that came with my saddle describes tensioning a leather saddle with an allen key. Where does that go. I see no place to insert an allen key. Am I missing something?

  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Don't even think about turning that screw until the year 2026....
    Last edited by roadfix; 03-24-06 at 05:42 PM.
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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    You use a special hex wrench, not an allen key. And you don't need to do fiddle with the tension of a new saddle. Wait a few years (seriously) first.

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    Yea but that is what the directions say. Mine do anyway. An allen key

  5. #5
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    The "key", aka wrench, goes in the trash.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    DO NOT tension your saddle until you've ridden it many, many, many, many, many, many, many miles!! I have ridden mine 25,000 kms so far and have not had to touch the tensioning yet. Adjusting the tensioning is only necessary after the saddle has been well broken in ... too well broken in that it has started to sag a bit. You tension it to tighten up the sagging. Yours will definitly not be sagging yet.

    And the tool is a small flat wrench.

    http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/saddlecare.html

  7. #7
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    It does say wrench or allen key in the little booklet - but from the looks for the bolt, just an ordinary wrench would work fine.

  8. #8
    aspiring Old Wart Sluggo's Avatar
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    I had to tension mine about 6 months after purchase, and after a 4-day tour on which neither I nor the saddle ever quite dried out. (In spite of fenders and a seat cover.)

    On mine (a B-17 purchased about 18 months ago), you use an open-end wrench. I was surprised to find that they still use 5/16 BSC (a peculiarly British fastener size) -- 13 mm is too small and 14 mm is sloppy.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sluggo
    On mine (a B-17 purchased about 18 months ago), you use an open-end wrench. I was surprised to find that they still use 5/16 BSC (a peculiarly British fastener size) -- 13 mm is too small and 14 mm is sloppy.

    Ummmmm .... maybe that's because Brooks is a British company????

  10. #10
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Ummmmm .... maybe that's because Brooks is a British company????
    Also they probably want to keep it somewhat proprietary so that you buy a brooks wrench as well
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
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    Allen key vs. flat wrench

    Some of the more expensive Brooks saddles (e.g., Swift) use an allen key for tensioning the saddle. Most (B.17, Team Pro, etc.) use a flat wrench. The little chrome Brooks wrench, which is available at a variety of retailers and costs 5-10 dollars, definitely makes the job easier.

    The advice above about not tightening the saddle is, IMHO, correct. I've tightened my B.17 just a bit (no more than a turn) but I found that lacing the sides was much more effective in preventing sag. The leather currently used by Brooks seems to be less "hard" (which makes for easier break-in) but it can also result in the sides flaring out when you put weight on the saddle. By contrast, I have an old B.17 from the 1970's that is still "hard" and keeps its shape perfectly, but is also very comfortable. I think Brooks should sell the B.17's with the sides laced (kind of like the new B.17N that you can buy laced for an upcharge from Wallingford). Hope this helps.

    Dr. Bill (who did a 200K Brevet yesterday on his B.17 and whose bum feels OK this morning)

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