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Laced my Brooks B17

Old 07-07-13, 08:50 PM
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Banzai
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Laced my Brooks B17

Just thought I'd share the pics/details, in case anyone is searching in the future.

This particular saddle, unlike my other B17, has always been stretchy. I only weigh 140lbs, but this thing after only about 1,500 miles was ballooning out and spreading on the sides like crazy. It was a full 1.5-2 cm wider than my first B17. Getting uncomfortably wide. Went for the tensioning bolt first, which took care of the sagging top but by extending the length of the triangle also made the sides wider even when static.

So, on to lacing;

Holes are 3mm diameter, drilled on 8mm centers, which gives 5mm between each. Done with a drill, then a small blade and round file to finish. I placed them where they are to get them above the seatpost clamp, and also because when I pinched the skirts together at the bottom and pressed on the top, the sides still ballooned out. Doing it this way seems to control the spread. Lacing higher would have reduced the lever arm of the laces and probably required too much tension. As it stands, after only 50 miles the sides/top are still trying to spread/swell away from the lacing.

I used leather dress shoe laces, treated with Obenauf's. Figured they would blend in, plus have the same expansion characteristics as the saddle, while being a slightly softer material. My concern with nylon was cutting through.

I have a feeling that this saddle doesn't have many more miles in it. Sad, considering that it's never been ridden wet, and I weigh so little. I'm not exactly hard on this stuff. Perhaps the next step is to simply cut away the sides altogether, though I think that would be not only ugly, but also probably cause the top to get back to sagging and stretching in a bad way.

Anyway, here it is:

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Old 07-07-13, 09:38 PM
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"1.5-2 cm wider"... are you sure your other saddle isn't a B17 Narrow?

At any rate, hope the lacing works out over the long run. My B17 "regular" is also the most pliant of my Brooks saddles, so I'm unsure how long it will last.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
"1.5-2 cm wider"... are you sure your other saddle isn't a B17 Narrow?

At any rate, hope the lacing works out over the long run. My B17 "regular" is also the most pliant of my Brooks saddles, so I'm unsure how long it will last.
Absolutely certain. It had splayed wider through the middle where it necks down. Standard width across the back, just like the other.

The sides are tugging at the lacing pretty good when I ride, which is why I think the days are limited. It's one of the problems with Brooks saddles; yes, the beauty of it is the natural variability of leather, but the downside is that you can have once saddle that never breaks in, one saddle that breaks in just right, and one that swiftly stretches and just keeps going until it's useless, and lasts less time than a plastic saddle would have.

You can drop a lot of money doing the Goldilocks game.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:43 AM
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For what it's worth, it's fantastic for the moment.

I also never understood lacing the saddle around the fringe/edge of the skirt. I realise that doing so might look nicer (subjective), and also deconflicts from the logo (probably the real reason), but the getting the saddle on the clamps while pushing the laces up and over is probably a pain if you do it that way.

This solution worked very conveniently.
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Old 07-08-13, 04:30 PM
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I laced my sagging splayed brooks.. Lacing is a much easier and controllable method of regulating tension than the tension nut. I also have a factory laced saddle that was used for a template.
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Old 07-09-13, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
The sides are tugging at the lacing pretty good when I ride, which is why I think the days are limited. It's one of the problems with Brooks saddles; yes, the beauty of it is the natural variability of leather, but the downside is that you can have once saddle that never breaks in, one saddle that breaks in just right, and one that swiftly stretches and just keeps going until it's useless, and lasts less time than a plastic saddle would have.

You can drop a lot of money doing the Goldilocks game.
Usually the lacing is done further down the wings but I see no reason it shouldn't last.

The "variability" of the leather is down to poor quality control as it's very possible to choose the same thickness of hide for each model of saddle. QC has improved since Brooks was taken over but advice from Brooks to use Proofide on the underside will over-soften the leather causing stretching.

The B17 model uses thinner leather than the Pro and other models but there are now leather saddles on sale which use thicker leather and have longer rails, an improvement on the Brooks models. In my opinion (and I have been riding Brooks saddles for over forty years ) is that they are of superior quality and considerably cheaper. Here's a link to a UK source but I'm aware that they sell in the USA under a different brand name.
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products....=m2b0s204p2667
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Old 07-09-13, 10:27 AM
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I have a B-17 Imperial that comes with lacing from the factory on my road bike and a standard B-17 on my touring bike. I'm tempted to lace the standard B-17.

As an aside, the Imperial's cutout does make a difference. I'd recommend the Imperial model over the standard B-17.
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Old 07-09-13, 05:24 PM
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4U vegans

off subject...



http://www.brooksengland.com/cambium/
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