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Brooks saddle tension bolt, 3H spindle

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Brooks saddle tension bolt, 3H spindle

Old 06-23-15, 11:58 PM
  #1  
eddiearniwhatev
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Brooks saddle tension bolt, 3H spindle

hello, I'm looking for an 8cm + long replacement tension bolt for my modified B66 Brooks saddle. Presently i'm cycle touring in Bosnia so it's hard to find a suitable replacement. Brooks does not produce one that's long enough, and when I contacted them about it I was told i shouldn't have trouble finding something stock and modifying it.

So. Enclosed is a picture of the bolt in question, looks like a headless screw with something pressed onto the top. Can anyone let me know what I'd call this bolt technically? I intend to go to a machine shop in Scotland (next starting point in this tour) to get a new one, if hardware stores aren't forthcoming.

Secondly, I'm searching for a 3H symmetrical spindle. They are available online in the USA but I can't find a supplier in the UK. Were these spindles used on any particular British cycles (Raleigh comes to mind) and hence available in particular UK bike shops?

Thanks!
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Old 06-24-15, 02:11 AM
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The bolt is specific to saddles, and you won't find one commercially. However if you can find a hex head bolt of the right thread and length, with a short enough unthreaded section, you coud file or grind the head to he appropriate shape for the job.
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Old 07-01-15, 10:07 AM
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damn. okay! thanks!
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Old 07-01-15, 11:29 AM
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I suspect your saddle leather sagged and stretched , the bolt being too short to pull it taught enough is a symptom .

I'd replace the whole saddle. try to take better care of the next one..

Such as, dont let the rain saturate it and continue riding on It..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-01-15 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 07-01-15, 05:53 PM
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That's a lot of assumptions.
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Old 07-01-15, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I suspect your saddle leather sagged and stretched , the bolt being too short to pull it taught enough is a symptom .

I'd replace the whole saddle. try to take better care of the next one..

Such as, dont let the rain saturate it and continue riding on It..
Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
That's a lot of assumptions.
Not necessarily. More than a few of us have Brooks or other leather sling type saddles that are many decades old without having run out the tension adjuster.
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Old 07-01-15, 07:52 PM
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I'm in agreement about not having to use the tension bolt mechanism to stretch the Brooks leather saddles. Brooks warns against this in their instructions and care of their saddles. I use their Proofide to treat the saddle to keep it supple, but have not turned the tension bolt mechanism at all. My B-17 is in its third season with nary a problem. It's still tight and no sagging on the sides. Once the leather becomes stretched, there's no fix except to lace the bottom sides together to try and keep the saddle from slipping further.
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Old 07-01-15, 10:24 PM
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The easiest way to make the bolt would be to get some threaded rod, a threaded sleeve, and some LocTite Red. You may want to cut down the original bolt so the sleeve won't interfere with the nut.

I can think of three other methods to make the bolt but they require the skills of a blacksmith, welder, or machinist.
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Old 07-02-15, 08:50 AM
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Well I have Brooks Pros that are 30 years old , but see B17s that are sagging like an old Horse's spine, that they keep on riding.

International Tourists.

drill out the rivets and make new holes in the Leather to shorten It ?

Maybe the nose bolt parts of Selle Anatomica can be acquired?

they use a long bolt and also have, and can be stretched to exceed the length of it, too.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-02-15 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 07-02-15, 08:52 AM
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Any decent machine shop should be able to turn one of those for you!
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Old 07-02-15, 10:05 AM
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Taking a step back, I wonder if the recent boom in popularity of B17s (and similar) is setting us up for a lot of unhappy riders with stretched-out saddles in the near future. Brooks Pros famously last for a really long time if not forever, but it seems like the leather saddles that are most friendly to the new user are the ones that are seeing the most miles in all weather, and aging fast. In the long term, I'm curious if this will drive more people to the Cambium line or away from Brooks altogether.
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Old 07-02-15, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Taking a step back, I wonder if the recent boom in popularity of B17s (and similar) is setting us up for a lot of unhappy riders with stretched-out saddles in the near future. Brooks Pros famously last for a really long time if not forever, but it seems like the leather saddles that are most friendly to the new user are the ones that are seeing the most miles in all weather, and aging fast.
I must confess I've never tried a B-17. I do have four Professionals (ranging from 1967 to 1990s) and two B-66s (1972 and 1982) and none of them have needed more than a tiny tweak of the tension bolt over the years. Most of them have never had the tension bolt moved, in fact.
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Old 07-02-15, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by eddiearniwhatev View Post
hello, I'm looking for an 8cm + long replacement tension bolt for my modified B66 Brooks saddle.
Wonder if this has anything to do with it...
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Old 07-02-15, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I must confess I've never tried a B-17. I do have four Professionals (ranging from 1967 to 1990s) and two B-66s (1972 and 1982) and none of them have needed more than a tiny tweak of the tension bolt over the years. Most of them have never had the tension bolt moved, in fact.
That's the way I think a Brooks ought to be. I couldn't even tell you if the tension bolt on any of my saddles (1979 B5N, recent-production B17S, B17 Regular, and B17 Narrow) is snug, but the leather is firm enough after thousands of miles. That said, the leather on the B5N and regular B17 is noticeably more flexible than the others, and I've surreptitiously felt the leather on friend's B17s and noticed the same, so I'm not as optimistic that these will last through 40+ years of use as I am my wonderful B17 Narrow.
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Old 07-02-15, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Taking a step back, I wonder if the recent boom in popularity of B17s (and similar) is setting us up for a lot of unhappy riders with stretched-out saddles in the near future. Brooks Pros famously last for a really long time if not forever, but it seems like the leather saddles that are most friendly to the new user are the ones that are seeing the most miles in all weather, and aging fast. In the long term, I'm curious if this will drive more people to the Cambium line or away from Brooks altogether.
Why not always carry a plastic bag and use it to cover the seat in rain? I'd use this easy precaution rather than ruin an expensive saddle. I wouldn't think of letting my B-17 get wet. Incidentally, Heinz Stuecke has been through five Brooks saddles, but he is getting over 100,000 km (62,000 miles) per saddle! And he may have run out of plastic bags somewhere in the Himalayas.
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Old 07-02-15, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by habilis View Post
Why not always carry a plastic bag and use it to cover the seat in rain? I'd use this easy precaution rather than ruin an expensive saddle. I wouldn't think of letting my B-17 get wet. Incidentally, Heinz Stuecke has been through five Brooks saddles, but he is getting over 100,000 km (62,000 miles) per saddle! And he may have run out of plastic bags somewhere in the Himalayas.
That's certainly what I do, religiously. I can't do it for everyone else.
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Old 07-03-15, 01:18 AM
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This is a B66, incidentally, and fietsbob, these things can be tweaked, see below. Also I think i read on this forum that Brooks will replace the leather for some nominal fee so long as the hardware is in good condition, so no need to replace it entirely in any case. Leather is a forgiving and sturdy material, fortunately.

Brooks makes a pretty nice seat cover, btw. I had one on my other saddle, a B17, for about 6-7 years of nearly daily cycling. Got some holes in it, repaired em with Gorilla Tape - fits really well, basically molds to the saddle. I can recommend it 100%.

I actually bought my B66 used - it was attached to a bike I wanted and got for cheap in the Netherlands. Scaly and stretched out as you might imagine.

With time the saddle did begin to sag and creak, so I tightened it a little. Problem was, the saddle had already been tightened in it's previous life, so the tensioning screw worked it's way out of one of it's bracket holes so it was no longer entirely stable. A tear appeared near one of the side front rivets, a common symptom of over tensioning, i know, but in this case i think the problem was, the natural motion of my body while cycling eventually caused the tear, the nose was rotating with every turn of the pedals.

Following Sheldon Brown's suggestions, I went to a leather worker in Sarajevo who for the equivalent of about $7 sewed together and reinforced the tear along the front rivet, replaced the rivet and hammered some steel grommets on either side of the saddle. I was able to reseat the tensioning bolt as it was designed, and i experimented with different stitch patterns a la Sheldon til the saddle felt right. As of now the saddle is solid and fits me perfectly, problem solved.

But, I'd like to be able to tension it a teeny but more if I have to, so I'd like a bolt which is more than 1-2 threads longer than the bracket into which it's housed.

"The easiest way to make the bolt would be to get some threaded rod, a threaded sleeve, and some LocTite Red. You may want to cut down the original bolt so the sleeve won't interfere with the nut." - great advice, so long as I can find a threaded rod with the right width and thread pitch and have it cut to the right length. Might be easier to just find a machine shop and throw em a few quid to do it for me...

thanks again for the input!

Last edited by eddiearniwhatev; 07-03-15 at 02:09 AM.
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