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Brooks Saddle Weight reduction.

Old 09-10-08, 08:32 AM
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Baldone
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Brooks Saddle Weight reduction.

I love the ride of my Brooks B 17 saddles, despite its high price tag they are rather heavy. I was wondering if anyone has attempted to replace the huge long tension bolt in the saddle. It appears to be an Long M8 steel bolt.

I do not think the bolt needs to be that long, does not need to be steel, and could possibly be switched out with aluminum or ti. I think this will save a little weight. Any advice?

Last edited by Baldone; 09-10-08 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 09-10-08, 08:37 AM
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How much do you weigh?
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Old 09-10-08, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Baldone View Post
I love the ride of my Brooks B 17 saddles, despite its high price tag they are rather heavy. I was wondering if anyone has attempted to replace the huge long tension bolt in the saddle. It appears to be an Long M8 steel bolt.

I do not think the bolt needs to be that long, does not need to be steel, and could possibly be switched out with aluminum. I think this will save a little weight. Any advice?
Cut your pinkies off. You don't need them, you'll save as much weight. It'll make you faster.


If you want a lightweight saddle, buy a lightweight saddle. Don't start with something that's got 6mm of stiff leather on it...
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Old 09-10-08, 09:53 AM
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You guys are the best, thanks for the help, and the deep empathy.

Let me start over.

I have this Brooks Saddle and the tension bolt one day came up missing, just disappeared, amazing I know. I am speaking of the bolt right under the nose of the saddle.

Anyone out there ever work on replacing this bolt?
What size is it?
Did you go with a shorter bolt?
Any difficulties? I would rather not ruin this saddle.

Last edited by Baldone; 09-10-08 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 09-10-08, 09:56 AM
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They're right. The amount you save would be like scooping a bucket of water out of an ocean. Being someone that has been known to fuss over stuff for a few grams or a neater fit where it wasn't needed this advice is hard to type. But when I looked at the same bolt on my own Brooks and hefted the weight of the saddle I just shrugged.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:22 AM
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I'd like to think of it as a bucket of water out of a swimming pool. But your response is the kindest thus far. I also shrugged, when I first looked at the bolt and felt oh well.

Now lets all focus on the bolt, the bolt. and its removal and installation.

Last edited by Baldone; 09-10-08 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Baldone View Post
I'd like to think of it as a bucket of water out of a swimming pool. But your response is the kindest thus far.

Now lets all focus on the bolt, the bolt. and its removal and installation.
You buy a new one as a service part. Call your favorite brooks dealer.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:27 AM
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Do the ti railed saddles also come with a ti tension bolt?
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Old 09-10-08, 10:28 AM
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The bolt does not have a standard head so be sure to get a replacement that you can machine to fit the nose of the saddle frame.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:29 AM
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I'll have to check the thread pitch for you sometime today. Yes, it could certainly be shorter but finding such a bolt in an alternate material will be tough. I also wouldn't even consider aluminium since it'll have electrolysis issues with the steel frame. Actually Ti would have the same issue from seeing references to the need for a special sort of anti sieze compound when using steel bolts in ti frames.

Best you can do is go for a little shorter of a bolt in stainless steel. And if you're lucky enough to have a lathe and really want to obsess over it then drill out the center of the bolt lengthways so it's a tubular shape.
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Old 09-10-08, 10:33 AM
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Is my B-17 heavy????
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Old 09-10-08, 10:50 AM
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Ah there are good people out there. (Ever notice some forums are more kind that others)

Thanks

My Ti saddle came with a steel bolt. Perhaps I can cut the bolt shorter and if I feel really crazy drill a hole down the center. I wonder if 20 years from now I am going to need the full length of this insanely long bolt.
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Old 09-10-08, 11:08 AM
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The bolt is used to tension the saddle over time. If you really want to lighten the bolt, I would just shorten the one you have.

Another alternative for making the Brooks lighter would be "butchering"

https://www.wallbike.com/content/butchering.html

You may be able to find other examples by searching...
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Old 09-10-08, 11:09 AM
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You could start off short, and get a longer one whenever needed. Brooks recommends only tightening it 1/4 turn at a time, if needed at all.
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Old 09-10-08, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post

Very nice!
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Old 09-10-08, 02:15 PM
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Yeah, I was going to suggest chopping the skirt. You could also Selle-Anatomica-ize it, with a nutsack cutout. But I'm not sure it'd do a whole lot for you.
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Old 09-10-08, 04:20 PM
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That cut down the center and then pulled down in the middle looks super sweet.
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Old 09-10-08, 04:58 PM
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-Get a hair cut
-Leave your water bottle half full
-Skip the bar wrap
-Drop a duece

These will get you equivalent if not more in weight reduction.
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Old 09-11-08, 11:54 PM
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I'm really excited about that "butchering" page. A B.17, slimmed down turns out to look really nice.

Anatomicizing it is another thought. I don't much like that lacing, but I could buy several used B.17s for the price of an Anatomica and experiment.

(That is, if I had the money, I'd get an Anatomica in Honey. They're supasweet. But I ain't got.)
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Old 09-12-08, 12:09 AM
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yes, you can cut your pinkies off. you'll save as much weight. It'll make you faster.
I agree
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Old 09-12-08, 04:42 AM
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The one thing I have noticed about working on Brooks and other leather saddles is that everything goes to hell when you start messing with the tension bolt. I think they could get rid of it all-together because once the saddle starts to sag and you use the tension bolt, the shape of the saddle turns into a pup tent.

So, along with all the posts that recommend you just get rid of stuff like your shoe-laces to save weight... My suggestion is to leave the tension bolt alone because fooling with it is likely to ruin your saddle.
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Old 09-12-08, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Baldone View Post
Ah there are good people out there. (Ever notice some forums are more kind that others)

Thanks

My Ti saddle came with a steel bolt. Perhaps I can cut the bolt shorter and if I feel really crazy drill a hole down the center. I wonder if 20 years from now I am going to need the full length of this insanely long bolt.
I think you're gonna have a problem getting the old bolt out and getting a new bolt in. Getting a bolt is not hard.

Why do you need to cut out THESE 20 grams? can't you save the same weight somewhere else? This is not low-hanging fruit.

The pinkies might be easier!
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Old 09-12-08, 11:18 AM
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I had to replace the nuts that hold the spring assemblies together on my Brooks Flyer. I found that they're not SAE threads nor are they metric threads. They're probably Whitworth threads which don't match up with either of the more commonly used thread standards. Bill Laine at Wallingford came through with replacement nut-and-bolt sets for the Flyer.

I mention this because the threads on the tension adjusmemt screw are more than likely cut to the same (obsolete) standard, and if you contemplate fabricating a replacement screw, you'll want to be sure it'll fit the captive nut that's part of the seat asssembly.

Regards,
Bob P.
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Old 09-12-08, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Pringle View Post
I had to replace the nuts that hold the spring assemblies together on my Brooks Flyer. I found that they're not SAE threads nor are they metric threads. They're probably Whitworth threads which don't match up with either of the more commonly used thread standards. Bill Laine at Wallingford came through with replacement nut-and-bolt sets for the Flyer.

I mention this because the threads on the tension adjusmemt screw are more than likely cut to the same (obsolete) standard, and if you contemplate fabricating a replacement screw, you'll want to be sure it'll fit the captive nut that's part of the seat asssembly.

Regards,
Bob P.
Whitworth threads aren't obsolete. They're superior to SAE and ISO metric threads in some ways; they're stronger for a given major diameter, and the gap between the male and female parts is smaller. They're still used for somethings, and likely always will be.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Brooks are still using them. Nearly all their hardware is unique to them, and produced in house. There's no reason to spend money changing the tooling, and then worrying about which service parts to supply to which customers. (The only part of my B.17 I can get at to measure is the across-flats measurement of the nut, which is 0.53 inches, which is a touch large than a 5/16 BSF nut is supposed to be (0.525 inches).)
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