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Brooks saddle problem.

Old 03-29-15, 01:31 PM
  #1  
willydstyle
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Brooks saddle problem.

I purchased a second-hand Brooks B17, and I'm having problems with it.



As you can see, the tensioning bolt is already getting pretty long. The metal bit under the nose isn't sitting properly on the tension bolt assembly, and this causes the saddle to sag in the nose and be unstable.

I already tried to bend the metal nose piece in with a vice, and this worked for about 30 miles, before it bent back out again.

Any ideas, or did I waste my money on a saddle that's just not going to be ride-able?
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Old 03-29-15, 01:40 PM
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Even Brooks saddles do not last forever. That one looks as if it has been stretched to its limit. The Brooks Team pro saddle that came with my 1973 Raleigh Professional eventually succumbed to the same thing
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Old 03-29-15, 01:41 PM
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IMO, this has reached, and seems to have passed it's service life. When I see this kind of stretch, I suspect overuse of dressings such as Proofhide. These are fine if used sparingly, but if the leather is drowning in it, it gets too supple and stretches like taffy leading to this.
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Old 03-29-15, 01:47 PM
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As disappointing as it is to hear this, thanks for the feedback :/

I'm having so much trouble finding a saddle in my budget that doesn't cause pain for rides longer than a mile or two.
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Old 03-29-15, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO, this has reached, and seems to have passed it's service life. When I see this kind of stretch, I suspect overuse of dressings such as Proofhide. These are fine if used sparingly, but if the leather is drowning in it, it gets too supple and stretches like taffy leading to this.
Yes, although Proofhide doesn't lead to this if applied as recommended. However, leather softeners like neatsfoot oil can cause this sort of excessive stretching
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Old 03-29-15, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
As disappointing as it is to hear this, thanks for the feedback :/

I'm having so much trouble finding a saddle in my budget that doesn't cause pain for rides longer than a mile or two.

I replaced my Brooks Pro with an identical saddle that I bought at a cycling flea market for only $25. Hope abounds
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Old 03-29-15, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Yes, although Proofhide doesn't lead to this if applied as recommended. However, leather softeners like neatsfoot oil can cause this sort of excessive stretching
I agree, and have used neatsfoot oil (sparingly) for years and never had excess stretch. My post wasn't intended to knock Proofhide, or any specific dressing. The operative word was "overuse".
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Old 03-29-15, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
As disappointing as it is to hear this, thanks for the feedback :/

I'm having so much trouble finding a saddle in my budget that doesn't cause pain for rides longer than a mile or two.
saddle or rear end pain in only a mile or two is far too soon. I wouldn't be shopping saddles, but instead try to identify what's wrong, where it hurts and why. Saddles do make a difference, but mostly on longer rides that are hours, not minutes long.

It could be that your saddles aren't supporting you in the right place, the angle may be wrong, they may be too wide or too narrow, or you may have some tendonitis back there that the saddle in aggravating. Take the time to try to sort things down to a short list of causes, then try a few saddles, focusing on shape, angle and fit, before worrying so much about the material.
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Old 03-29-15, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
saddle or rear end pain in only a mile or two is far too soon. I wouldn't be shopping saddles, but instead try to identify what's wrong, where it hurts and why. Saddles do make a difference, but mostly on longer rides that are hours, not minutes long.

It could be that your saddles aren't supporting you in the right place, the angle may be wrong, they may be too wide or too narrow, or you may have some tendonitis back there that the saddle in aggravating. Take the time to try to sort things down to a short list of causes, then try a few saddles, focusing on shape, angle and fit, before worrying so much about the material.
Yeah, my sit bones (as measured by the LBS) are quite wide, so it's more a saddle geometry thing. I've had saddles that support my sit bones, but cause inner-thigh numbness and pressure, saddles that cause too much pressure on my taint unless angled aggressively forward, etc. I've been trying a variety of saddles and adjusting angle, height, forward/back, etc., and this brooks was the first saddle where I had found a "goldilocks" zone that didn't solve one problem by causing another.
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Old 03-29-15, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I agree, and have used neatsfoot oil (sparingly) for years and never had excess stretch. My post wasn't intended to knock Proofhide, or any specific dressing. The operative word was "overuse".
With any product designed to soften leather, a little goes along way. I still have a can of proofhide that I bought back in the mid 1970's for the saddle that was on my old Raleigh Pro. I never used it all up, and it may no longer be useful. I bought another smaller container a few years ago and expect that it will last a lifetime
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Old 03-29-15, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
As disappointing as it is to hear this, thanks for the feedback :/

I'm having so much trouble finding a saddle in my budget that doesn't cause pain for rides longer than a mile or two.
What kind of saddle do you need. I have several that I'd part with for a reasonable amount. Let me know and I'll post them in the For Sale Forum.
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Old 03-29-15, 05:23 PM
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I happen to need a Brooks saddle frame, so if you decide that you have given up on this saddle and want to sell it, PM me.

Thanks
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Old 03-29-15, 05:24 PM
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Dang Willy that sux, I had pile of saddles in the basement that kept getting taller until I bit the bullet and bought a B17 - I think you would have been amazed. As the guys mentioned, over treating the leather is bad news, I use Proofide sparingly once or twice a season.

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Old 03-30-15, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
I happen to need a Brooks saddle frame, so if you decide that you have given up on this saddle and want to sell it, PM me.
I ordered one of these online from Brooks. It arrived quickly and wasn't too expensive.
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Old 03-31-15, 04:00 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
I purchased a second-hand Brooks B17, and I'm having problems with it.



As you can see, the tensioning bolt is already getting pretty long. The metal bit under the nose isn't sitting properly on the tension bolt assembly, and this causes the saddle to sag in the nose and be unstable.

I already tried to bend the metal nose piece in with a vice, and this worked for about 30 miles, before it bent back out again.

Any ideas, or did I waste my money on a saddle that's just not going to be ride-able?
If your saddle has not been treated underneath with any substance then you could try doing the following.

Soak the leather thoroughly with water until it becomes very soft and pliable. Now use cloth or paper to stuff the underside raising the central area and removing the depressions. Now, with the stuffing still in place bind the wings together using string or whatever and leave the saddle to dry naturally for 24 hours. If the saddle has been untreated, the leather will become once again hard and will have shrunk to its former shape. With saddles which have been treated the method will not work.
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Old 03-31-15, 06:09 AM
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The leather will not shrink to its former shape! It will keep the shape you formed when wet, it will shrink very little. Not enough to make a difference I'm afraid.
Tying the skirts together will help keep the center firm and may be enough to save yours.
Good luck.
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Old 03-31-15, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Yeah, my sit bones (as measured by the LBS) are quite wide, so it's more a saddle geometry thing. I've had saddles that support my sit bones, but cause inner-thigh numbness and pressure, saddles that cause too much pressure on my taint unless angled aggressively forward, etc. I've been trying a variety of saddles and adjusting angle, height, forward/back, etc., and this brooks was the first saddle where I had found a "goldilocks" zone that didn't solve one problem by causing another.
Just in case you want to explore this....

Too great a reach will take the weight off the sit bones and force you to float right where you don't want to. I built a "new to me style" bike and the saddle I chose (Brooks B15 Swallow) caused excruciating pain after very short distances. I didn't suspect reach to be a problem because I had no discomfort in my wrists, back or neck. When I finally figured it out and resolved it, that piece of junk saddle became a luxurious sofa.
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Old 03-31-15, 02:24 PM
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I purchased a second-hand Brooks B17, and I'm having problems with it
Probably why they got rid of it ..

did I waste my money on a saddle that's just not going to be ride-able?
tried to ride it yet? Could be a ' Pyrrhic' bargain ..


you could take out all the rivets , make 3 new holes in the Nose Leather , and re rivet the leather back on nose first, that was the logical assembly sequence.

rear rivets done last ..
Stainless steel pop rivets may be easier to deal with than trying Copper hammered ones . then maybe you can just deal with the 3 in front. alone..
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Old 03-31-15, 02:56 PM
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my Dad returns all kinds of stuff to original manufactures, like knives and coats. I'm always so surprised how willing companies can be to refurbish or replace items. send it to Brooks and explain your situation. don't ask for anything, just see what happens. you might get lucky in some way. if they do you a solid, come back here and tell what a great company they are
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Old 03-31-15, 06:54 PM
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The reason most everyone buys a leather saddle is the fact that it can be "broken in" to fit your sit bones and your sit bones only. The leather will slowly break in to your "shape" and become more comfortable after a bit of time and miles. This is why it's so "hit and miss" when you buy a used leather saddle. You don't know how it was cared for, and has already been broken in for the original owner's sit bones. Your sit bones may or may not even be close. And like others have stated, no saddle will last forever. Unfortunately, it may cost more than the saddle is worth to attempt to "repair" this one. Brooks may be able to answer some repair questions or give an estimate for repairs of the frame and leather saddle. It never hurts to ask!
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Old 04-01-15, 08:34 AM
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I once traded for a Brooks Swift titanium saddle with a broken tensioner bolt. I emailed Brooks about how to fix, and they told me they would repair it for free if I would ship it to them. So, I shipped it to England and got it back about a month later, good as new. Unfortunately, it didn't fit me, but I was able to sell it for a nice price. If you don't want to ship it to England, you could probably buy a longer bolt at a decent hardward shop. Make sure that you get stainless steel.

If you need a wider saddle to fit your sit bones, I have the same issue. I rode Brooks B17s for a while until I traded for a Fizik Vitesse, which is identical to their Aliante model but wider. It was so comfortable for me that I eventually put Vitesse saddles on all of my bikes. They also weigh half as much as a B17, and can be bought on eBay for inexpensive prices if used.
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Old 04-01-15, 04:38 PM
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@willydstyle I would try sliding something flexible but a little stiff under the leather over the nose to help with support and lace it. It might help it a bit.
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Old 04-01-15, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I once traded for a Brooks Swift titanium saddle with a broken tensioner bolt. I emailed Brooks about how to fix, and they told me they would repair it for free if I would ship it to them. So, I shipped it to England and got it back about a month later, good as new. Unfortunately, it didn't fit me, but I was able to sell it for a nice price. If you don't want to ship it to England, you could probably buy a longer bolt at a decent hardward shop. Make sure that you get stainless steel.

If you need a wider saddle to fit your sit bones, I have the same issue. I rode Brooks B17s for a while until I traded for a Fizik Vitesse, which is identical to their Aliante model but wider. It was so comfortable for me that I eventually put Vitesse saddles on all of my bikes. They also weigh half as much as a B17, and can be bought on eBay for inexpensive prices if used.
Yeah, the vitesse has an attractive width and profile. As it's marketed as a woman's saddle is it markedly shorter? Is there anything about a woman's saddle that might make it unsuitable for menfolk?
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Old 04-02-15, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
Yeah, the vitesse has an attractive width and profile. As it's marketed as a woman's saddle is it markedly shorter? Is there anything about a woman's saddle that might make it unsuitable for menfolk?
The Vitesse is the same length and shape as the Fizik Aliante, just a little wider. I really don't understand why Fizik markets it as a women's saddle because that limits its appeal to many people. To me, it's just a wider saddle that fits me better because I have wider sit bones. There is absolutely nothing that should limit its appeal to men, unless they simply need a narrower saddle. In shape and width, it is very similar to my broken-in Brooks B17 saddle, except it weighs half as much.

The funny thing is that you can buy used or "take off" Vitesse saddles on eBay for ridiculously low prices, even though the retail price is close to $100. I have bought brand new ones for $25-40 and used ones for as low as $10. All because it's considered a women's saddle.
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Old 04-02-15, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I agree, and have used neatsfoot oil (sparingly) for years and never had excess stretch. My post wasn't intended to knock Proofhide, or any specific dressing. The operative word was "overuse".
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
With any product designed to soften leather, a little goes along way. I still have a can of proofhide that I bought back in the mid 1970's for the saddle that was on my old Raleigh Pro. I never used it all up, and it may no longer be useful. I bought another smaller container a few years ago and expect that it will last a lifetime
I recently got a new Flyer and researched the crap out of it. Although many swear by neatsfoot my impression is that it is a bad thing to use, even sparingly...
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