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Old 05-12-08, 06:27 PM   #1
ellerbro
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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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File Type: jpg Laced Brooks Bottom low.jpg (92.3 KB, 230 views)
File Type: jpg Laced Brooks Side low.jpg (86.3 KB, 211 views)
File Type: jpg Laced Brooks Top low.jpg (79.8 KB, 138 views)
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Old 05-12-08, 07:28 PM   #2
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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).
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Old 05-12-08, 08:03 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:11 PM   #4
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thanks for the pics..i might need to do that too
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Old 05-13-08, 10:16 AM   #5
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hmm same here
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Old 05-13-08, 05:32 PM   #6
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any interference with your seat post clamp and the laces on the saddle?
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Old 05-13-08, 07:50 PM   #7
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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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Old 05-13-08, 07:56 PM   #8
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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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File Type: jpg Atlantis Flash low.jpg (91.3 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg Brooks Flash low.jpg (86.6 KB, 103 views)
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Old 05-13-08, 08:18 PM   #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.
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Old 05-13-08, 09:02 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:33 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:26 PM   #12
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... 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.
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Old 05-29-08, 09:30 PM   #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
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Old 05-29-08, 11:11 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 05-30-08, 03:19 AM   #15
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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.
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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Old 05-30-08, 05:03 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:37 AM   #17
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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
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