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Brooks Saddle Break-in

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Brooks Saddle Break-in

Old 06-24-21, 05:38 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
You don't break in a Brooks saddle; they break in you.
In mother Russia, Brooks saddles break in YOU.
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Old 06-24-21, 05:46 AM
  #27  
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I had a B17 that I 'liked' but was kind of ambivalent about, so it went on a bike that doesn't get quite the amount of miles that some other ones get... I've really been able to tell how much it's shaped last fall/this spring- it's kind of surprised me with how comfortable it is now.

I've spent the last 5 or so years on Brooks Cambium saddles- I really like them.

I also have one of the Berthoud saddles like Germany_chris . That one is resisting break-in, and I suppose I should be riding that one a little more often- but I've been enjoying the B17.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:00 AM
  #28  
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I have a B17 on my road bike. it was good right out of the box. I love how slippery they are. getting the angle correct is key to taking advantage of it's features & benefits. maintenance is minimal

I changed to a 2 bolt seat post to help keep the angle where I want it
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Old 06-24-21, 02:38 PM
  #29  
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I've never had a Brooks () but I have a Berthoud Galibier on my main bike that I'm very fond of. Like several others have said, get a saddle that's comfortable from the get-go, not one that you hope will get comfortable after riding for a year.
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Old 06-24-21, 06:53 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Some people don't like Brooks saddles because they're heavy, expensive, old-fashioned, uncomfortable for years and years, and can require maintenance. But they miss the point. By buying a Brooks saddle, you're buying a piece of cycling history. And you just can't put a value on that.
Originally Posted by th0m View Post
I've never had a Brooks () but I have a Berthoud Galibier on my main bike that I'm very fond of. Like several others have said, get a saddle that's comfortable from the get-go, not one that you hope will get comfortable after riding for a year.

I think this is somewhat correct. Plastic saddles are absolutely, an immediate love/hate reaction. You are not breaking in a plastic saddle. Leather saddles are a little different, because while for some of us, they are comfortable out of the box, there are many who, after riding it a bit, it got more comfortable, as it molded to their sit bones.
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Old 06-28-21, 11:26 AM
  #31  
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I rode a used pro until the bike got stolen. When I made some upgrades to my main ride, I put a new pro on and much to my surprise, had zero break-in period required. IMHO, its all about how it fits your "sit spots". Like someone else said, not for everyone, but you gotta try
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Old 06-28-21, 11:58 AM
  #32  
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If you live near the ocean, then don't get a Brooks with steel rivets because they rust in the salt air. Some Brooks models, like the B-17, are available with copper rivets, which don't rust. Comfort-wise, you can't beat a leather saddle, IMHO.
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Old 06-28-21, 12:15 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Stan Heinricher View Post
If you live near the ocean, then don't get a Brooks with steel rivets because they rust in the salt air.
But then the rivets match the rest of the hardware on my bikes!

cries in Ballard
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Old 06-28-21, 12:21 PM
  #34  
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Like a plastic saddle if a Brooks doesn’t fit out of the box try something else. If it does fit it’ll only get better.
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Old 06-28-21, 12:28 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Stan Heinricher View Post
If you live near the ocean, then don't get a Brooks with steel rivets because they rust in the salt air. Some Brooks models, like the B-17, are available with copper rivets, which don't rust. Comfort-wise, you can't beat a leather saddle, IMHO.
Until I put a dehumidifier in my basement, the copper rivets on my Pros would turn green.

Last edited by gearbasher; 06-28-21 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 06-28-21, 12:37 PM
  #36  
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Brooks can be very comfortable - it depends...

It depends on your type/style of riding. If you typically ride for 2 or more hours, the Brooks B-17 would be a good fit. The theory behind them is that, although they feel stiff and hard, they give just enough to be supportive and comfortable, especially after break-in. However, if your rides are shorter, i.e. less than an hour, you might be better off with one of the "cushier" gel-type saddles.
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Old 06-28-21, 01:39 PM
  #37  
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Like with any saddle, you have to get the positioning and tilt just right. Once you have it positioned correctly, the saddle is very comfortable. It almost has a suspension type effect, given its hammock design. The saddle did seem to have a bit more give after slathering some proofide on the bottom overnight.

Some people say it takes hundreds to thousands of miles to break in, but that’s not my experience. I wouldn’t put up with a bad fit for that many miles. If it doesn’t feel good after a good hour of riding around and tweaking the saddle, I’d probably dump it.
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Old 06-28-21, 03:23 PM
  #38  
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You don't break in a Brooks saddle; they break in you.
I believe this is true, but it's true for every saddle. Unlike a lot of others, I've only ridden a few leather saddles, I don't own a lot of bikes. Here's my experience.
- Bought an Ideale 90 Professional new in 1977, it has been with me all these years and still going strong. Love it. My butt loves it.
- Bought a used Brooks Pro from a guy who didn't like it, so very few miles on it. It's wider than the Ideale, so felt different, but I don't think it required any break in. It felt perfect at first, then a little uncomfortable, then just like the Ideale. All within less than 50 miles.
- Bought a Brooks B15 Swallow brand new. It felt perfect on the first ride, and every ride after. I find it difficult to tell the difference between any of these three excellent saddles.

I typically ride 15 - 20 miles every morning. Pre-pandemic was commuting 8 miles each way 5 days/week. For me, rides of 50 - 80 miles don't hurt (too much), even without padded shorts.
If I did a real sit-bone test, the Pro would be right, the Swallow and the Ideale too narrow, but my butt doesn't complain with any of them.
I rarely ride with padded shorts.
I think your butt will hurt after 50 miles on ANY saddle if you've never ridden longer than 10 - 15 miles or so.

Try one!
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Old 06-28-21, 04:38 PM
  #39  
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After seeing a "How It's Made" video about Brooks saddles a few months ago I decided to give a B17 a go. I had a Brooks on a Schwinn Super Sport many years ago and frankly don't recall how it felt but my new one is fine out of the box. I hope I still like it once its broken in.
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Old 06-28-21, 06:03 PM
  #40  
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My B17 had about 300 miles on it before I went on a multi day ride 2 weeks ago, covering about 200 miles with the first 2 days in 104⁰ heat. Yet although there was plenty of perspiration on the saddle, that B17 butt hatchet still hasn't begun to break in so it will be replaced with a Selle Anotomica.
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Old 06-28-21, 08:07 PM
  #41  
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I have about 350-400 miles on a new B-17 and love it. It felt good new, and gets better every ride. I needed new bibs/shorts and tried "the black bibs" fancy model, but have now realized that with the B-17 I'm absolutely more comfortable in unpadded 8 panel shorts from Aero Designs. It's a great seat for those of us it works for. Before throwing in the towel on a Brooks, definitely take a ride in unpadded gear. My unpadded test ride turned into 40 miles feeling better than ever in the nether-region.
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Old 06-28-21, 08:50 PM
  #42  
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Leather saddle softened with Neatsfoot oil

I've used Neatsfoot oil on various brands of leather saddles for a couple of years now. Great conditioning oil, use it repeatedly (like 8 applications on both sides of the saddle over the course of 2 weeks) and it'll begin to soften the leather so it's easier to break in.
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Old 06-28-21, 11:36 PM
  #43  
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glassman83, I predict an early death for your leather saddles. IMO, eight applications in a couple of years is too many, too soon. I suppose it depends upon how much you apply but, still,... eight.

The very first top quality component I ever bought was a Campagnolo two bolt, micro-adjusting seat post.

If you get a Brooks (or other leather saddle), be sure to get some sort of micro-adjusting seat post. If the seat post has notches of any sort do not buy it. Tiny little tweaks "down there" will take you from discomfort to a comfortable, all day ride.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:12 AM
  #44  
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Horses prefer to sniff the Brooks B17.
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Old 06-30-21, 04:40 PM
  #45  
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Installed a brooks B17 today on a 97 Specialized Allez Sport. Tried it out on a 30 mile ride. As someone mentioned above, they are slippery feeling. Look forward to further break in rides.
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Old 06-30-21, 06:52 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by AVolta View Post

Horses prefer to sniff the Brooks B17.
"Mom? Is that you?"
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Old 06-30-21, 07:10 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by glassman83 View Post
I've used Neatsfoot oil on various brands of leather saddles for a couple of years now. Great conditioning oil, use it repeatedly (like 8 applications on both sides of the saddle over the course of 2 weeks) and it'll begin to soften the leather so it's easier to break in.
neats foot is not advised by pretty much anyone for brooks. use the Proofide and only that. the 25 gram tin i got with my b17 lasted over 10 years
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Old 06-30-21, 07:20 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by glassman83 View Post
I've used Neatsfoot oil on various brands of leather saddles for a couple of years now. Great conditioning oil, use it repeatedly (like 8 applications on both sides of the saddle over the course of 2 weeks) and it'll begin to soften the leather so it's easier to break in.
IMO, soft does not equal broken-in . Shaped to fit equals broken in. I mentioned above that I hopped on a 52 year old Brook Professional that was dry and hard as a rock - Instantly comfortable since the shape was right.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:09 PM
  #49  
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IMO, soft does not equal broken-in . Shaped to fit equals broken in. I mentioned above that I hopped on a 52 year old Brook Professional that was dry and hard as a rock - Instantly comfortable since the shape was right.
Very true. As already noted, neatsfoot oil tends to soften stiff leather. Hopefully glassman83 will get some good life out of it before the sides flare out. My 44 year old Ideale 90 Pro probably hasn't been treated more than a dozen times, maybe more, but NOT even once a year on average. OK, it may be in better shape if I had, but was always proofide or some equivalent.

Picture compares width of the Ideale and my Brooks Pro. I had ridden the Ideale for so long that my butt was used to the narrower profile, and the brooks felt odd at first, but now my butt loves them both.


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Old 07-01-21, 07:49 AM
  #50  
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I also love the Ideale. My first nice bike was a U-08 in 1971 I still own with the saddle replaced with an Ideale in the early 90's. In my experience if you are going to put up with the cost, weight, maintenance, stretch and sometime even creaking Selle Anatomic is superior.
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