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A confession, of sorts

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A confession, of sorts

Old 11-24-23, 02:19 PM
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A confession, of sorts

I've had this Brooks Pro, with large copper rivets, for ten years if I've had it a day. I have tried several times to break it in and get comfortable on it. I have tried twice to sell it or trade it. I decided to give it one more try, and today it almost vanished beneath me. The difference? Only upon reaching the age of 70, a little over a year ago, did I go back to using padded shorts, after 20 years without.
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Old 11-24-23, 02:54 PM
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Old 11-24-23, 02:59 PM
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I always wear padded shorts. Glad it finally worked for you.
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Old 11-24-23, 03:53 PM
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I've got a similar story about a brooks pro that I've neglected for about 4 years...perhaps I'll break it out again with some padded shorts. Here's to hoping I have the same happy ending you did.
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Old 11-24-23, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Piff
I've got a similar story about a brooks pro that I've neglected for about 4 years...perhaps I'll break it out again with some padded shorts. Here's to hoping I have the same happy ending you did.
I would encourage you to loosen the tension bolt a couple turns at a time until it becomes more compliant, add some proofide or dressing sparingly as well.

If and or as it begins to come around, tighten it back up a bit at a time.

I have always been able to use any Brooks I get or find, old, new, worn, broken in, not, Pro, B17, Special, ATB, sprung, etc, etc.

I do wear padded shorts now but didn't always and was fine then too.
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Old 11-24-23, 04:33 PM
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There was a newish Brooks Pro on a bike I test road and was amazed how comfortable it was. I was wearing padded undies under shorts. I’d previously tried a few different Brooks saddles without padding and I just couldn’t understand how people raved about how comfortable they were.

Now I’m looking for an un-broken in one in honey…
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Old 11-24-23, 06:07 PM
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Hmmm, I've got a 1967 Wright's Swallow in very good condition, definitely not as good, but the closest I've come to a 'Brooks' (Wrights had been bought by Brooks by 67 I think).
Tried it on my Cyclone but gave up and fitted a Selle Itailia Sprint (my usual saddle).
But I really should give it another try
(then again I cycle in jeans with no padding - that could be the issue)

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Old 11-24-23, 09:19 PM
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I thought you just sicked it up and rode that first thousand miles, after which it fit you or you fit it. Granted, that was the 1970s. Have the seats or the riders changed? (I rode Selle Italias that fit me from the get go and didn't change. Now the very similar Terrys with the cutout for us non-youngsters.)
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Old 11-24-23, 09:30 PM
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Sometime in the very early 1980s I bought a Brooks Pro Team Select, the one with extra-thick leather. That thing never ever ever broke in. I was more tolerant when I was in my 20s and 30s but by the time I hit my 40s it had to go. It sat in the bin until fairly recently, I exchanged it with @Lascauxcaveman for a standard B17 and a Flyer. The standard went on my son's bike and our friend @rhm added an "Imperial" cutout to the Flyer.
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Old 11-24-23, 10:32 PM
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I have Brooks Pro saddles on some of my bikes and I do wear either padded or chamois riding shorts , never had a problem. They just seem to fit my rear . I also like the Cinelli #3 saddle . Other saddles seem to take a bit of time to get used to. For looks , I like the Team Pro .
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Old 11-25-23, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I thought you just sicked it up and rode that first thousand miles, after which it fit you or you fit it. Granted, that was the 1970s. Have the seats or the riders changed? (I rode Selle Italias that fit me from the get go and didn't change. Now the very similar Terrys with the cutout for us non-youngsters.)
This brings up an important point.

Its not rocket science but it can be a process.

Tension and adjustments of all fittings can have a big impact.

Being prepared to break in your backside too can have a lot to do with success.
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Old 11-25-23, 09:30 AM
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^^^ Van , you are right about that. Although I haven’t had to adjust any of my saddles , I give it time to introduce my rear to a new saddle. I recently went through this whole saddle situation with a riding buddy. He rides a lot , sometimes over 200 miles a week, on a modern (very nice) carbon bike . He was switching saddles after a few thousand miles trying to find the right fit. He ended up with sores which side lined him for over a week. He noticed that most of my bikes had Brooks saddles and also some of the guys on modern bikes in our local cycling club had switched. I first loaned him a B17 Special with the large copper rivets . He rode it for a few months and was pleasantly surprised but it still was not perfect . Then I loaned him a Team Professional for a few months …..BINGO! He ordered one . I was surprised , it actually looks good on a modern bike. I might add that he does wear very good cycling shorts .
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Old 11-25-23, 10:12 AM
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I have two older Pros and they are great.

I have never been able to get comfortable on a new one. The shape is different and just does not work for me

in the pic below the "old" on is on the top. see the difference in shape. I would describe it as "flare"

having said that saddles and saddle comfort are a very personal thing ! so use what makes sense.

I think "breaking in" is somewhat over-rated.

/markp

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Old 11-25-23, 01:23 PM
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I've got 4 Brooks Pros that were new when I got them -- stiff as hell when new, and the prospect of hundreds of uncomfortable miles just to "earn" some comfort is a non-starter for me.

I know saddle comfort is incredibly personal, but this method was an absolute game-changer for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's got a Pro they just can't live with or without.

My oldest saddle treated this was it coming up on 8 years of hard use with no sagging or serious issues with the leather. I ride with a chamois on some and in jeans on others - both are comfortable.
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Old 11-25-23, 02:12 PM
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AFAIC Brooks saddles suk and have since at least when I first tried one in the early 80's. OTOH, Ideale 90's Absolutely Rule ! !

And that's a simple truth, not JMO.
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Old 11-25-23, 02:32 PM
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My confession is that I rode various Brooks leather saddles for decades, mostly B17, but a few Pros along the way, too. Always thought they felt great. Then, about 5 years ago, something changed in my arse region, and those B17s were as uncomfortable as hell over longer rides. I first switched to a C17 but felt it was a bit too wide and now have settled on a C15 as the most comfortable (slotted C15, ideally).
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Old 11-25-23, 02:38 PM
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I have brooks saddles molded to my butt that I treasure. Back in the day it took around 500 miles or so for it to start getting comfy. Well that used to be under a month, nowadays I don't ride that much in a year :'( I'm hoping to change that.

If you want to break in a brooks saddle but don't put a whole lot of mileage on your bike there are ways you can cheat. The problem is that if you overdo it you can ruin your saddle which is why is better to suffer through a saddle for a while and let it do its thing naturally.

Then again it may be that your sitting bones just don't like the shape of that particular saddle.
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Old 11-25-23, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
My confession is that I rode various Brooks leather saddles for decades, mostly B17, but a few Pros along the way, too. Always thought they felt great. Then, about 5 years ago, something changed in my arse region, and those B17s were as uncomfortable as hell over longer rides. I first switched to a C17 but felt it was a bit too wide and now have settled on a C15 as the most comfortable (slotted C15, ideally).
Similar experience, Neal. I'm finding my C17 Carved saddles a bit more comfortable after 30 miles or so than B17 Imperial or Imperial Flyers. Go figure.
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Old 11-25-23, 05:19 PM
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A few decades on a Brooks Pro.

But modern saddles have gotten better with channels and cut-outs and I have moved on.

John
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Old 11-25-23, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
I have two older Pros and they are great. I have never been able to get comfortable on a new one. >>> SNIP >>>
I think "breaking in" is somewhat over-rated. >>>> SNIP >>>
I have three Brooks pro's on three bikes. Two of them are older models with the big copper rivets. I watch the tension, and I treated them with Proofhide on both top and bottom just one time (to protect them from spray off the road). Unlike yours, mine have acquired definite "dents" where my 'sit-bones' settle. Accordingly, these saddles have become more comfortable as they have 'broken in'. At 72 Kg, I'm no "Clyde". So ... I'm wondering what the difference is between yers and mine. I thought it worth mentioning here.
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Old 11-25-23, 07:20 PM
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I have the luckiest Brooks butt on the forum, as stated many times, never met one I didn't like or couldn't ride.

Old, new, saggy, hard, broken in, not, B17, all Pro's, Specials, Imperials, etc, etc, on and on, ad nauseum.

I have at least 25-30 of all types, age and condition, the only choice for any and all C+V IMO.
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Old 11-25-23, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize2
A confession, of shorts
fixed?
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Old 11-25-23, 09:06 PM
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My experience is similar to that of @merziac, though I may not have used as many models. I have one bike whose old B17 has, for a couple of years, looked like it's going to give up any day. I keep riding it, but sometimes when I look at it, I think it's approaching the time to carry a spare saddle in my tool bag. But I want to use the saddle until the moment I can't, because it's so good.
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Old 11-26-23, 08:54 AM
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I do, or rather did fine, padless, on B17 Narrow, and C15. B17 and C17 are too wide. I’ve been riding a Selle Anatómica for the last couple years. All my bikes take the same 27.2 seat post, so I move it from bike to bike as needed, along with its tool kit.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:59 AM
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My son traded me an old pro for a modern b17 because he couldn't bond with it. I put it on a Raleigh pro... Appropriately, I love it!
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