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Brooks saddle question

Old 10-31-21, 11:11 AM
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Brooks saddle question

I've never had a leather saddle before but I picked up a Schwinn super sport today that had a Brooks professional saddle. Is this salvageable? I'd like to try riding with it. Seems sturdy enough and in spite of the cracks on the surface it doesn't seem to have any cracks that go all the way through it or anything.



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Old 10-31-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
I've never had a leather saddle before but I picked up a Schwinn super sport today that had a Brooks professional saddle. Is this salvageable? I'd like to try riding with it. Seems sturdy enough and in spite of the cracks on the surface it doesn't seem to have any cracks that go all the way through it or anything.

A bit rough but It shouldn’t need much. Get some Proofide and smear it on the top and bottom. Let it sit for a while (overnight would be enough). Maybe apply some more and then ride. Apply Proofide about once a year.

Don’t think if Proofide as being a softener nor should you apply anything that softens the leather. Proofide helps preserve the leather and acts as a little bit of waterproofing…but only a little. If you ride in the rain or leave the bike out in the rain, cover the saddle with a Brooks cover or a plastic bag. Try not to ride it if it is wet.
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Old 10-31-21, 11:25 AM
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I’ve got one that looked like that when I got it. I put a coat of Obenauf’s (you could use proofide)on it, top & bottom, and have been riding it for years. I can’t say that’ll be your experience, but I would definitely give it a go. Maybe take the first couple minutes on it gingerly just in case. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-21, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A bit rough but It shouldn’t need much. Get some Proofide and smear it on the top and bottom. Let it sit for a while (overnight would be enough). Maybe apply some more and then ride. Apply Proofide about once a year.

Don’t think if Proofide as being a softener nor should you apply anything that softens the leather. Proofide helps preserve the leather and acts as a little bit of waterproofing…but only a little. If you ride in the rain or leave the bike out in the rain, cover the saddle with a Brooks cover or a plastic bag. Try not to ride it if it is wet.
Thanks! I'll order some proofride. I always wanted to try a leather saddle but they are way out of my price range. I usually just stick with a cheap originate saddle. Anyway I picked up the whole bike for 80 bucks so I feel like I just got a little bit lucky with this one.
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Old 10-31-21, 11:27 AM
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Yep. I'm with the others. Treat to some Proofhide and then give 'er a go. I think it'll be fine.
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Old 10-31-21, 11:29 AM
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Agree...that saddle has tons of miles left of it.
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Old 10-31-21, 01:02 PM
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@cyrano138

Pics of the bike man, pics of the bike!

Treat and ride the Brooks, it may out live you, keep in mind your backside has to break into the saddle and vice versa, many struggle to get there.

I always feel you will/should know fairly early on and keep in mind this is a Pro, thicker leather and tougher for some to get there with.

These can be very subjective and very minor adjustments can yield big results IME, both good and bad so you have to stick with it.

Tilt and height are not the same and I almost always end up with mine nose up even with drop bars.

Think of it like football being a game of inches.
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Old 10-31-21, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@cyrano138

Pics of the bike man, pics of the bike!

Treat and ride the Brooks, it may out live you, keep in mind your backside has to break into the saddle and vice versa, many struggle to get there.

I always feel you will/should know fairly early on and keep in mind this is a Pro, thicker leather and tougher for some to get there with.

These can be very subjective and very minor adjustments can yield big results IME, both good and bad so you have to stick with it.

Tilt and height are not the same and I almost always end up with mine nose up even with drop bars.

Think of it like football being a game of inches.
Yeah, I've always wanted to try a leather saddle so I'm pretty excited about it. So the bike is obviously not cleaned or has not had anything done to it in a long time. My understanding is that it sat in storage since the '80s. Seems to be all original stuff. I'm not sure about the brakes or the brake levers but pretty sure everything else is original.

I got it as a possible upgrade for my 86 le tour. It looks to be a 58 which is about the biggest frame I can ride, so I'm going to fix it up and see which one I like better and then sell the other one. It's not perfect. It has some paint defects and some very light surface rust underneath in those spots but other than that it looks to be a good functional bike and I've heard good things about the super sports.













What originally caught my eye was the crank set which seems to be a 144 BCD sugino double, and I thought hey I can use this for one of my fix gears, which would be worth 80 bucks alone to me. But looking at the bike and seeing how nice it is I don't think I have the heart to part it out.
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Old 10-31-21, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
Yeah, I've always wanted to try a leather saddle so I'm pretty excited about it. So the bike is obviously not cleaned or has not had anything done to it in a long time. My understanding is that it sat in storage since the '80s. Seems to be all original stuff. I'm not sure about the brakes or the brake levers but pretty sure everything else is original.

I got it as a possible upgrade for my 86 le tour. It looks to be a 58 which is about the biggest frame I can ride, so I'm going to fix it up and see which one I like better and then sell the other one. It's not perfect. It has some paint defects and some very light surface rust underneath in those spots but other than that it looks to be a good functional bike and I've heard good things about the super sports.













What originally caught my eye was the crank set which seems to be a 144 BCD sugino double, and I thought hey I can use this for one of my fix gears, which would be worth 80 bucks alone to me. But looking at the bike and seeing how nice it is I don't think I have the heart to part it out.
Suntour Cyclone and Mavic MA 40s too! Those rims are often paired with very good hubs. I'd say that's a keeper as is. Clean, service and ride!

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Old 10-31-21, 03:30 PM
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Very nice 84 Supersport, I’ve got a Pearl white one, same year, bought it new, lots of miles, great ride. Love the warm grey with green decals, would have picked that color scheme, but shop didn’t have it in my size. Enjoy!
Tim



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Old 10-31-21, 03:54 PM
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Not a real Brooks expert, but I have had a few. The professional is thick leather, so as others have said, it should last fine. On the other hand the thick leather on it makes it less compliant, and more likely to be uncomfortable. They are all different. I have 2 B17s, and one is fine and so far, one is not. I have a couple vintage B15s that are my favorites. Good luck with nice bike and saddle.
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Old 10-31-21, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by IsleRide View Post
Suntour Cyclone and Mavic MA 40s too! Those rims are often paired with very good hubs. I'd say that's a keeper as is. Clean, service and ride!
"Sunshine" hubs. Does that sound right?
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Old 10-31-21, 04:12 PM
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Old Brooks Pro Saddle

Originally Posted by merziac View Post

Treat and ride the Brooks, it may out live you, keep in mind your backside has to break into the saddle and vice versa, many struggle to get there.

I always feel you will/should know fairly early on and keep in mind this is a Pro, thicker leather and tougher for some to get there with.

These can be very subjective and very minor adjustments can yield big results IME, both good and bad so you have to stick with it.

Tilt and height are not the same and I almost always end up with mine nose up even with drop bars.

Think of it like football being a game of inches.


cyrano138 As merziac said... Sometime a slight adjustment of as little as 1/8" of an inch (3mm) in saddle height and or 1° in the angle can make a big difference for me... but then I suffer from the Eddy Merckx Syndrome:

Eddy adjusting his saddle on the go... (I don't do this but if I haven't been riding for a while I may stop several times and make minor adjustments)



What I look or feel for is a balance in the pressure between my pelvic bones, my feet and my hands. If I haven't been on a bike for a while or with a new or different saddle, after MY butt is broken back in (2-3 rides) I'm set to go. When everything is adjusted right for me, it feels like the bike's not there.


Ischial Tuberosities - They're wider in most women and narrower in most men. That's why seats designed for women are wider in the rear.



Back to Brooks Pro saddles... This is the original saddle on my almost all original 1967 Peugeot PX-10. It has the same kind of cracking on the top surface as your saddle. I'd keep an eye on the gouge in the rear. If it starts to change it may be a crack forming.



This is what's in Brooks Proofide:



I use an old toothbrush to get it into the tight spaces in the underside at the nose. I also use a hair dryer set on low to get the Proofide to soak in better.

A lot of products labeled "neatsfoot oil" contain petroleum based oils... Some are ALL petroleum based oil. Petroleum will damage leather!

Found this saddle in New Mexico a few years back. Someone had been ridding it this way !!!



The Tange Champion 2 tubing on your bike has basically the same wall thickness as Columbus SL tubing and it's made with the same 4130 alloy steel. It should be a great riding bike.

One last thing, the stem on your "new" bike looks a little high. Stems and seatposts should be inserted a minimum of 75mm-80mm (3").

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Old 10-31-21, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wharf Rat View Post
I’ve got one that looked like that when I got it. I put a coat of Obenauf’s (you could use proofide)on it, top & bottom, and have been riding it for years. I can’t say that’ll be your experience, but I would definitely give it a go. Maybe take the first couple minutes on it gingerly just in case. Good luck.
Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Yep. I'm with the others. Treat to some Proofhide and then give 'er a go. I think it'll be fine.
Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Agree...that saddle has tons of miles left of it.
Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Not a real Brooks expert, but I have had a few. The professional is thick leather, so as others have said, it should last fine. On the other hand the thick leather on it makes it less compliant, and more likely to be uncomfortable. They are all different. I have 2 B17s, and one is fine and so far, one is not. I have a couple vintage B15s that are my favorites. Good luck with nice bike and saddle.
Thank you, all! I'm not too worried about thicker leather -- I'm a bit heavier at 195 than some riders, so i appreciate a durable piece of equipment.
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Old 10-31-21, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post


cyrano138 As merziac said... Sometime a slight adjustment of as little as 1/8" of an inch (3mm) in saddle height and or 1° in the angle can make a big difference for me... but then I suffer from the Eddy Merckx Syndrome:

Eddy adjusting his saddle on the go... (I don't do this but if I haven't been riding for a while I may stop several times and make minor adjustments)



What I look or feel for is a balance in the pressure between my pelvic bones, my feet and my hands. If I haven't been on a bike for a while or with a new or different saddle, after MY butt is broken back in (2-3 rides) I'm set to go. When everything is adjusted right for me, it feels like the bike's not there.


Ischial Tuberosities - They're wider in most women and narrower in most men. That's why seats designed for women are wider in the rear.



Back to Brooks Pro saddles... This is the original saddle on my almost all original 1967 Peugeot PX-10. It has the same kind of cracking on the top surface as your saddle. I'd keep an eye on the gouge in the rear. If it starts to change it may be a crack forming.

...
I use an old toothbrush to get it into the tight spaces in the underside at the nose. I also use a hair dryer set on low to get the Proofide to soak in better.

A lot of products labeled "neatsfoot oil" contain petroleum based oils... Some are ALL petroleum based oil. Petroleum will damage leather!

Found this saddle in New Mexico a few years back. Someone had been ridding it this way !!!



The Tange Champion 2 tubing on your bike has basically the same wall thickness as Columbus SL tubing and it's made with the same 4130 alloy steel. It should be a great riding bike.

One last thing, the stem on your "new" bike looks a little high. Stems and seatposts should be inserted a minimum of 75mm-80mm (3").

verktyg

Lots of great info, here, thanks so much! I'm accustomed to doing a lot of miles in much cheaper saddles so I think this will be a nice change. Nothing on that bike has been adjusted or serviced yet. All I did was take off the chain and the "dork disk." I just needed some excuse to look over it really closely.
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Old 10-31-21, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
"Sunshine" hubs. Does that sound right?
Sunshine hubs are correct for your bike, but wheels obviously rebuilt, rims would have been Araya 20A grey hard anodized.
Tim
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Old 10-31-21, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Sunshine hubs are correct for your bike, but wheels obviously rebuilt, rims would have been Araya 20A grey hard anodized.
Tim
Sounds like I got a bit of an upgrade
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Old 10-31-21, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Very nice 84 Supersport, I’ve got a Pearl white one, same year, bought it new, lots of miles, great ride. Love the warm grey with green decals, would have picked that color scheme, but shop didn’t have it in my size. Enjoy!
Tim



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That thing is sweeeet...
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Old 11-01-21, 08:02 AM
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Yeah, you did get a bit of an upgrade, replaced the rims on mine too. Thanks!
Tim
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Old 11-01-21, 08:23 AM
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I just posted the following to another post above yours. That saddle looks usable. If you want to get rid of the cracked surface you could try just the sanding part I outlined. I think you could do that and proof ride and it will look almost new.



I have accumulated a number of old saddles doing resto for the Bike Exchange. A while ago I read a post from someone who soaked and reshaped an old Brooks and decided it was worth a try. The one I chose was not rideable, it's side having flared out so it was almost flat. I filled the bathroom sink with warm water and submerged the saddle in it. almost immediately she leather became completely limp and pliable. I removed it from the water, patted it dry (ish) and took it out to the shop. Then I took some heavy string and wrapped it around the saddle pulling the sides back down and restoring it to it's original shape. I left it there in the garage for a while till it had dried out thoroughly, then removed the string. The saddle retained the new shape. The only problem was that the string had left marks in the leather where it was cinched down tight. At this point the shape was good but the surface of the leather was uneven, with some surface cracking. With nothing to loose, I got out the vibrating sander, put some 400 grit paper on it, and sanded the surface of the saddle. The result was a uniform Swede like surface to the leather. I then changed to 1000 grit and sanded again , resulting in a smooth but not quite shiny surface. Good enough. finally I Got out the Proof ride and coated the saddle top and bottom and then buffed the topsides. In the end the saddle looked almost new.

This should work if the leather on the saddle is not too cracked. If the nose area has substantial cracks doing this may cause it to tear off completely which will end the experiment. Also, if the saddle has deep cracks in the center the soaking may expose fatal weakening. If you have an old leather saddle that is unridable as it is why not give the soaking a try

P.S. I just did the above on another old saddle . this time instead of string I used 3m blue masking tape to wrap the saddle to avoid the string cutting into the leather. Works much better.
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Old 11-07-21, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by capnjonny View Post
I just posted the following to another post above yours. That saddle looks usable. If you want to get rid of the cracked surface you could try just the sanding part I outlined. I think you could do that and proof ride and it will look almost new.



I have accumulated a number of old saddles doing resto for the Bike Exchange. A while ago I read a post from someone who soaked and reshaped an old Brooks and decided it was worth a try. The one I chose was not rideable, it's side having flared out so it was almost flat. I filled the bathroom sink with warm water and submerged the saddle in it. almost immediately she leather became completely limp and pliable. I removed it from the water, patted it dry (ish) and took it out to the shop. Then I took some heavy string and wrapped it around the saddle pulling the sides back down and restoring it to it's original shape. I left it there in the garage for a while till it had dried out thoroughly, then removed the string. The saddle retained the new shape. The only problem was that the string had left marks in the leather where it was cinched down tight. At this point the shape was good but the surface of the leather was uneven, with some surface cracking. With nothing to loose, I got out the vibrating sander, put some 400 grit paper on it, and sanded the surface of the saddle. The result was a uniform Swede like surface to the leather. I then changed to 1000 grit and sanded again , resulting in a smooth but not quite shiny surface. Good enough. finally I Got out the Proof ride and coated the saddle top and bottom and then buffed the topsides. In the end the saddle looked almost new.

This should work if the leather on the saddle is not too cracked. If the nose area has substantial cracks doing this may cause it to tear off completely which will end the experiment. Also, if the saddle has deep cracks in the center the soaking may expose fatal weakening. If you have an old leather saddle that is unridable as it is why not give the soaking a try

P.S. I just did the above on another old saddle . this time instead of string I used 3m blue masking tape to wrap the saddle to avoid the string cutting into the leather. Works much better.
Thanks for the info! I bought some of the stuff recommended above (couldn't find proofide readily so I got the other stuff) and I think I'll just start with that and then ride it and see if I like it.
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Old 11-07-21, 10:30 PM
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thats a great saddle in fine condition, just needs a small amount of proofride, these things go for $190 new and $100 used on ebay, they are argueably the best saddles
https://www.brooksengland.com/en_us/...o-special.html
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Old 11-08-21, 07:19 AM
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SJX426 
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Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

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I have been riding this since 1973. Less often with the bigger stable. My most comfortable saddle.
P1000082 on Flickr
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