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  1. #1
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    Laced Up My Brooks...Amazing Improvement

    In another thread I mentioned that my B17 was sagging quite a bit even after tensioning. I decided to take some members' advice and lace it up. I didn't have a leather punch so I used a power drill. It worked well but didn't make as clean a hole as I'm sure a punch would. I used some nylon laces I had lying around. I drilled the holes in relation to the Brooks insignias on the sides then found out that one is further forward than the other. It's slightly asymmetrical but not bad.

    First thing I noticed when I took it for a spin was that it was very firm again and it felt like my saddle had been raised about 1/4 inch (due to the lack of sag). It also felt slightly narrower due to the sides being pulled in. I'm really liking it. The vast majority of my weight is supported on my sit-bones again and I can lean forward without getting pressure in the middle parts. I highly recommend trying this if your leather saddle is getting too loose on you.
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  2. #2
    Steel Frame BrooklynRider's Avatar
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    Post some pictures of the saddle and your bike. What angle do you ride the saddle and how high are your handlebars? You did not use leather for the laces? Any chance of chafing from the denron cord?

    I enjoy my Brooks 17, but have not needed to lace it up yet (2300 miles).
    ...Riding...Riding...Sleeping...Riding...

  3. #3
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Thanks for the photos! I have a sprung brooks that I had to stop riding due to the extreme sagging. I am definitely going to give this a try.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Miguelangel's Avatar
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    thanks for the pics..i might need to do that too

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    hmm same here
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    any interference with your seat post clamp and the laces on the saddle?
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  7. #7
    Senior Member hockeyteeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fueled by Boh View Post
    any interference with your seat post clamp and the laces on the saddle?
    I laced mine and they touched the top of the clamp. No big deal.

    Lacing seemed to work for a while, but the flaps eventually curled under and disappointingly lost that extra tension. I grew bored with my B-17 and hacked the flaps off recently. Still supports adequately, and it looks ridiculous.

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    Attached are a couple pix. I have the saddle about level and handlebars are about the same height as saddle. After 3 days and 50 miles it hasn't loosened at all. If after a month or so it still feels good I'll probably swap in some leather laces for style points. The laces interfere with the seat post clamp a little if I want the saddle all the way back. A little pull on the saddle while tightening the seat post clamp solves that though. I like the saddle forward maybe 1/4" and there's almost no interference. You can eyeball your particular seat post and see how well it will work. I don't feel any rubbing on the laces, though at this time of year I'm still wearing two layers on the bottom. When I start wearing just cycling shorts and go on a long ride I guess I'll find out. The laces do get pulled inward along with the sides of the saddle when you tighten them up. So if your legs don't rub the sides of your saddle now they definitely won't after lacing it up.
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  9. #9
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    Lacing seemed to work for a while, but the flaps eventually curled under and disappointingly lost that extra tension.
    That's discouraging. I'll just have to keep on riding and see what happens.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellerbro View Post
    That's discouraging. I'll just have to keep on riding and see what happens.
    I have seen many laced saddles and have yet to see the edges curling under.
    Even my new Imperial came from the factory with lacing.
    I know that those who ride in the wet without fenders experience the leather changing shape.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    hockey teeth -- more info on your ride? lots of wet weather? humidity? i want to lace mine, but not if its a nonpermanent nonsolution.
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

  12. #12
    jwa
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellerbro View Post
    ... I'll probably swap in some leather laces for style points ...
    Of course, for maximum points you'll need to find lacing colored to match the rivets.

  13. #13
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    Okay, looks like I spoke, er wrote, too soon. A few hundred miles after lacing up the saddle it's back to its old tricks. The sides are still pulled taught against the rails but the leather must be stretching in the lengthwise direction. It went from 'awesome' at mile 0 to 'my saddle sucks' by about mile 300. I fear that the leather's integrity has been compromised. The last thing I can think of is some crazy thing I read about where you soak the saddle in water then let it air dry for a couple days. Hopefully that will stiffen the leather back up. If that doesn't work I guess I'll have to apply the secret Brooks concoction: oil of bat gizzard, essence of Proofide, and extract of extract. If all else fails, the Brooks rite of sacrifice must be performed: http://www.brookssaddles.com/sacrifice

  14. #14
    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    A bought a b17 from the same store at the same time as my friend did last year. We have nearly equal, if not more on my side, miles on the seats. Ania's can be easily pushed down in the center, and mine i would say gives half the yield. She also weighs more the 100lbs less than me. A totally different seat. We have oiled them equally as well. A great seat, but such difference in quality speaks poorly on there production standards.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseph senger View Post
    A bought a b17 from the same store at the same time as my friend did last year. We have nearly equal, if not more on my side, miles on the seats. Ania's can be easily pushed down in the center, and mine i would say gives half the yield. She also weighs more the 100lbs less than me. A totally different seat. We have oiled them equally as well. A great seat, but such difference in quality speaks poorly on there production standards.
    I would speak to the cows about that...got to quit producing that crappy leather ya know Leather is a natural product it is going to be inconsistent.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    ^^^^ True, but it is possible to select varying thickness's of leather for different models of saddles. Brooks do use a thicker butt of leather for the Pro for instance whereas the B17 special is less thick.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellerbro View Post
    The sides are still pulled taught against the rails but the leather must be stretching in the lengthwise direction. It went from 'awesome' at mile 0 to 'my saddle sucks' by about mile 300.
    have you tried tensioning the bolt since lacing it? also, what is the "brooks sacrifice?" your link doesn't work
    Not going to bother with Antarctica

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