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  1. #1
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    Brooks rain/inclement weather protection question

    I'm going to drink the Koolaid and become one of the Brooksian cult. After dealing with several synthetic ass-hatchet saddles in an effort to find something that I don't think about while riding, I've decided to go B17. Anyway, I've read all the threads about shower caps, plastic bags, blah blah blah... I'm going to be putting fenders on my bike but since I ride in Chicago and plan to be commuting throughout winter, I'm a bit concerned about keeping the saddle in good shape with all the muck I'll be riding through, not to mention the salt they throw down everywhere. When folks are talking about plastic bags, shower caps, or even the dedicated covers, do these only protect the top of the saddle from moisture coming from above? I could see where a plastic bag might be pulled tight enough to protect the bottom. I'm guessing full fenders will keep a lot of spray and gunk from getting on the saddle underside anyway? Do the dedicated covers (Aardvark, etc.) cover any of the bottom of the saddle? Does the Proofhide applied to the underside confer any water resistance? Anyway, your best tips for keeping a leather saddle in top shape under very trying riding conditions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I've got full fenders, and that and a saddle bag seem to protect the bottom of the saddle adequately. I'm one of those pushing the Aardvark cover; they won't last forever, but they'll last for a long time even with you riding.

    To tell the full story, I figure my butt does a decent job of covering the saddle for a light shower, especially with a rain jacket. I only use the Aardvark when it might pour, or when I have to leave my preciousss outside.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Farmer Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I've got full fenders, and that and a saddle bag seem to protect the bottom of the saddle adequately. I'm one of those pushing the Aardvark cover; they won't last forever, but they'll last for a long time even with you riding.

    To tell the full story, I figure my butt does a decent job of covering the saddle for a light shower, especially with a rain jacket. I only use the Aardvark when it might pour, or when I have to leave my preciousss outside.
    Everyone in the building simultaneously looked at me to see what was so funny. I described as best as I could, but just ended up getting weird looks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    or when I have to leave my preciousss outside.
    It sounds really funny if you say it in the Gollum voice! I laughed out loud!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer Dave View Post
    Everyone in the building simultaneously looked at me to see what was so funny. I described as best as I could, but just ended up getting weird looks.
    Obviously a bunch of Phillistines who wouldn't know good bike humor if it came up and bit them on the ass.

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    I don't ride in the winter so I can't answer some of your questions. I put Proofhide on the top and bottom leather, that appears to protect the underside quite well. I don't trust waterproof covers, I put a plastic bag under the waterproof covers so that if and when the cover leaks the plastic bag protects the leather. In other words, I use the cover to protect the plastic bag that I rely on for waterproofness.

    If I did ride in the winter, I might be tempted to put a cheap plastic saddle on the bike if I was going to go riding while it was snowing.

    I hope you are not one of those people that ride down the center of residential streets in one of two tire tracks at about 6 mph on a snowy day preventing traffic from getting past. I hate those people, they do not realize how much road rage against cyclists they are causing.

  7. #7
    Member antmuzic's Avatar
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    I keep a target bag in my saddlebag and tie it around the bottom of the saddle when it's getting wet. That seems to do the trick. I've got fenders and they actually do pretty well keeping water from coming up under the saddle, but the target bag has worked out well.

    -adam

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    Plastic bag.

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    plastic bag lives under my brooks saddle , just in case it did rain here in Ireland LOL

  10. #10
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Brooks saddles... has P.E.T.A. ever had a Brooks protest?
    Some poor bovine gave up its life so you can have a comfy tush.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  11. #11
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    , just in case it did rain here in Ireland LOL
    got a guffaw out of me there O'Reilly

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Brooks saddles... has P.E.T.A. ever had a Brooks protest?
    Some poor bovine gave up its life so you can have a comfy tush.
    And I enjoyed eating the steak it provided too.

    If you can get across to Canada and an MEC store, see if you can pick up one of the saddle "condoms" they stock. When we went to an MEC in Vancouver early this month, I found this really neat latex rubber saddle cover that is appropriately shaped and simply stretches over the seat. The opening sort of gathers around the seatpost. With fenders (or a rear rack or in our case a seatpost rack to support the Carradices) I expect it to be a great solution to keeping the Brooks dry.

    Proofide underneath is a good move anyway.

    Light rain is not really an issue as pdlamb points out (safe in the knowledge that Brooks hasn't found a lamb or sheep hide thick enough to make its saddles from... yet!).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
    Kilt wearing cyclist PomPilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    plastic bag lives under my brooks saddle , just in case it did rain here in Ireland LOL
    We both know it only rains when you forget the plastic bag, or use it to carry home something from the grocers.
    Everytime a bike is stolen,
    A faerie dies from the sorrow.

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    djb
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    Rowan, if it is the same thing I saw, what I didnt like is that if felt sort of "grabby", know what I mean. I bought a brooks rain cover and while it is a bit stiff, i do like its feel, no grabbiness. Havent ridden on it all day though, so perhaps the folds might get annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Rowan, if it is the same thing I saw, what I didnt like is that if felt sort of "grabby", know what I mean. I bought a brooks rain cover and while it is a bit stiff, i do like its feel, no grabbiness. Havent ridden on it all day though, so perhaps the folds might get annoying.
    Yes, probably is the same. I haven't tested it yet in wet conditions, but maybe the additional of water will slightly lubricate the surface to eliminate the grabbiness.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  16. #16
    Hot in China azesty's Avatar
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    I ride all year round, proofide on top and underneath, with a plastic bag stuffed underneath. I dont often leave precious outside, but the bag is there in case.

    z

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Does the Proofhide applied to the underside confer any water resistance?
    If you get it in the leather..
    at 100F, an upside down saddle in the oven soaks it up like sponge-bob.

    Ie, the melting point of the waxes, then they re-solidify at room temperature.

  18. #18
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    I'm going to drink the Koolaid and become one of the Brooksian cult.
    That's good, because resistance is futile, and you would have been assimilated anyway.

  19. #19
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    Proofide top and bottom,and fenders is all you really need for rideing.
    When I stop rideing and it's still raining then I put a cover on it,or if I'm leaveing it out overnight when touring.
    Had mine for 7 years now,it doesn't look as pretty as it did when new but man is it comfy.
    Anyhow does a Brooks saddle really look as good as new after a year or two.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

    I hope you are not one of those people that ride down the center of residential streets in one of two tire tracks at about 6 mph on a snowy day preventing traffic from getting past. I hate those people, they do not realize how much road rage against cyclists they are causing.
    Nope - my path to work is a MUP with no vehicular traffic on it. I only deal with cars for exactly about a block and a half where I ride from my apartment to the path.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplygib View Post
    That's good, because resistance is futile, and you would have been assimilated anyway.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Fenders, Proofide top and bottom (and unlike fietsbob) I live in a part of the country where leaving the bike in the sun for an hour will allow the Proofide to soak in. I also carry cheap (free) shower caps to cover the saddle when the bike is parked. I also like Target bags. If I am riding my arse covers it.

    Aaron
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  23. #23
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've done a lot of riding and touring in wet weather on Brooks and can wholeheartedly recommend generous waterproofing of your preference among 1)proofhide; 2) Obenauf's; or 3)SnoSeal

    and as to the best saddle cover, the superlative choice, bar none, is an Aardvark neoprene saddle covers in SMALL.

    Distributed only from Cyclone Cycling products out of Portland, tough to track down but the BEST saddle cover on the market for Brooks. Greggs' greenlake cycles in Seattle can sort you out one if you give them a call. Ben's Cycles in Milwaukee might have them too.

    the small fits like a glove, the regular Aardvark cover fits Brooks loose and sloppy. its worth finding a small. ask your LBS to try and order one for you but i've only seen the regulars in most of the wholesale catalogs.

    Aardvark waterproof saddle cover, SMALL.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  24. #24
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    Of course, Brooks do make their own cover. It comes free with Ti saddles. I've not used them yet, either.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Of course, Brooks do make their own cover. It comes free with Ti saddles. I've not used them yet, either.
    I have gotten a couple of those, and unfortunately the quality isn't all that good. One came with our Lady B18, the other I believe was a gift or a gimme from somewhere. I still prefer my shower caps from the hotels, basically free and easy.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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