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Brooks B17 Aged issue?

Old 05-17-20, 11:36 AM
  #26  
phughes
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Here's the setup (sorry for the late reply...been a silly busy week).

The pic of the bike has kind of an optical illusion, it looks like the saddle is "nose down" but on level ground, using an actual level, it's almost perfectly flat...maybe 2-3 degrees high on the nose.

I took a few days off, lowered my saddle by 5mm and lowered the saddle nose to where it is pictured now. I took a short 11 mile ride today, and the saddle feels....OK, but now I've developed some slight knee pain on my right leg (pain that goes over the kneecap top to bottom), I "think" the 5mm saddle drop is too much, I think I'm going to try the saddle at the angle it is now, but raise it back up to where I originally had it.



If you have to tip the nose of the saddle down so much, I can almost guarantee you are starting with it too high. There is not way you can have the weight on your sit bones with the saddle set up like that. Try dropping it, and getting the saddle level to start, then make small adjustments from there.
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Old 05-17-20, 01:46 PM
  #27  
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I have the same saddle on an old MTB that I ride not-so-often when I visit my family. It has the handlebars a bit higher than the saddle. I actually really like it, but rarely ride more than 30-40 miles or so.

I also have a conventional B17. I notice that the 'aged' version doesn't allow you to slip around so easily, and the lacing pulls the sides together, making it more 'flat' on top, or in your case, bulging upwards in the center, rather than like a hammock. I would try loosening the laces a bit and see if that improves things.

The other Brooks that I have is similar to the B17, but unmarked, and super old. It's much more flexible, very much like a hammock (and should probably be retired soon). It was my gateway drug into the Brooks-universe.
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Old 05-17-20, 03:10 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
If you have to tip the nose of the saddle down so much, I can almost guarantee you are starting with it too high. There is not way you can have the weight on your sit bones with the saddle set up like that. Try dropping it, and getting the saddle level to start, then make small adjustments from there.
Thanks!

But as I said above, the picture is a bit of an optical illusion, the saddle is almost perfectly level (when parked on a level surface, using an actual level), in fact the nose of the saddle is slightly high, I would say 2-3 degrees....I know the picture doesn't look like it, but I assure you it is.
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Old 05-17-20, 04:28 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Thanks!

But as I said above, the picture is a bit of an optical illusion, the saddle is almost perfectly level (when parked on a level surface, using an actual level), in fact the nose of the saddle is slightly high, I would say 2-3 degrees....I know the picture doesn't look like it, but I assure you it is.
Gotcha. I missed that.
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Old 05-20-20, 01:45 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
........

You should not tolerate bad pain from your saddle!
The *good* pain is another thing altogether.........
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Old 05-20-20, 05:30 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post
Here's the setup (sorry for the late reply...been a silly busy week).

The pic of the bike has kind of an optical illusion, it looks like the saddle is "nose down" but on level ground, using an actual level, it's almost perfectly flat...maybe 2-3 degrees high on the nose.

I took a few days off, lowered my saddle by 5mm and lowered the saddle nose to where it is pictured now. I took a short 11 mile ride today, and the saddle feels....OK, but now I've developed some slight knee pain on my right leg (pain that goes over the kneecap top to bottom), I "think" the 5mm saddle drop is too much, I think I'm going to try the saddle at the angle it is now, but raise it back up to where I originally had it.



Holy 1x drive train 😮. What is the largest cog on the cassette? Granted, I live in the dark ages of bike tech, but I don’t think I have ever noticed something like that before.
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Old 05-22-20, 05:46 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Holy 1x drive train 😮. What is the largest cog on the cassette? Granted, I live in the dark ages of bike tech, but I don’t think I have ever noticed something like that before.
LOL, yeah it's a big one.

That's a Sunrace MX8 11-46 11 speed cassette, the rest of the drivetrain is a SRAM Apex1 (running a 42T chainring).

The thing climbs like a mountain goat, and still has pretty decent top end as well.
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Old 06-11-20, 06:45 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Bluesfrog View Post
The seat may be two things; too high and too much tension. I adjusted my B17 none after the initial fitting. But I also soaked it with Obenauf's leather oil. It is the only leather conditioner I have owned that smells like new leather. The underside of the seat MUST be treated too. Take the seat off and make a "bowl" of aluminum foil which will hold some liquid and the seat. Pour a generous amount of the oil into the upside down seat, spread it, and leave it to soak. Ten minutes in, you can turn it over and soak the top as well. Another ten minutes and you can let it drip a bit onto the pan and wait overnight. Rub down the outside with a soft cloth, install and ride a bit. If it is still too stiff let off some tension from the bolt under the front. Only do about 90 degrees at a time. I always soak a B17 with the provided proofhide first. Then go to the Obenauf's. The proofhide can be used entirely but you will need a tin of it. That tiny packet provided with the saddle isn't enough. Good luck and Be Well, Bluesfrog.
Oh, man, I'm sorry to say it but: I disagree with everything except "may be too high." Soaking a saddle in oil may have been good advice 40 years ago (dunno!) but today's Brooks saddles do not need any such treatment.

What do I know? Well, ive restored a couple hundred saddles at this point, so I've seen what a ruined saddles looks like. Most of them are just worn out from age and use, which is as it should be. But one in five, or maybe one in ten, has been drowned in oil and proofide, resulting in a soft sticky mess. Ugh. I know, there's no accounting for taste, but I do not like a sticky saddle.

I also disagree, quietly, with those who talk about saddle width. I mean, sure, for every rider the is an ideal saddle width, and it behooves us to figure this out. But finding the ideal saddle width depends much more on riding style and saddle-to-bar drop than on anatomy.

I tend to agree with those who have suggested OP's problem is setup or fit. Hard to say. Could also be that OP just needs to ride ride ride. If I take a month off the bike, any saddle is uncomfortable when I get back on the bike. It can take you a while to figure out how to sit on a bike.

Last edited by rhm; 06-12-20 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 06-12-20, 05:56 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Don't throw in the towel yet. After 15,000 miles, your saddle will just about almost start to begin to feel a little bit somewhat slightly less uncomfortable, as with any other Brooks saddle. From former B17 owner.
?? This isn't a suffering competition, there's no reason not to be comfortable.. My B17 was fine out of the box, or at least after a little bit of messing around with it on the trainer, and is now super comfortable a couple years in. In fact, it almost seems a little too soft for me now, and I'm far less than 24,000km. My wife rides a B68 - likewise, comfortable almost right away.
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Old 06-13-20, 09:49 AM
  #35  
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Give it 10 years .. I took a lot of day rides, before my long tours on my Brooks saddle . Proofide wax treated ..
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Old 06-22-20, 03:17 AM
  #36  
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I don't get along with the aged saddles either..
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Old 06-28-20, 09:14 PM
  #37  
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I didn't have time to read all the posts so this may have been covered, sorry it has. I looked at the Salsa Journeyman on their site, the picture of the bike shows the saddle significantly higher than the handlebars, so my question to you is how much higher is your saddle to the top of the bar?

If the saddle is more than a 1/2 an inch higher than the handlebar top than the Brooks isn't designed for that kind of either semi race or race profile setting position. That Brooks B17 is designed for a person who has a bike that will be setting mostly upright while riding, but if your leaning over to the lower bar position then that perineal pain thing will occur due to the saddle being too wide and not made for a aggressive or semi aggressive riding stance. Only two ways to fix this, one is to get a more aggressive saddle, the other is to extend the stem height higher so you end up in a more upright position.

If you have the seat level with the bar then it could be your shorts padding is either shot, or the short doesn't quite fit you correctly, or the padding is not made very well.

Of course you could go and spend money on a pro fit, but more times than not the person doing the fit is a young college kid that's done 15 "pro" fits! It also gives the bike shop the opportunity to sell you more stuff you may or may not need. It's not uncommon to leave a bike shop after doing a pro fit and paying $500 for the fit and extra parts; it's also not uncommon that after you did that you're still not comfortable, so the shop will guarantee the fit, with a no money return policy of course, but you can go in dozens of times and get refitted for no additional cost, while they're doing another refit..."oh, I think you need another part", now you paid another $200 for some part, and you've invested $700, still doesn't work for you? back in you go and another chance at spending more money. You need to ask a lot of cyclists where they get their fitting done, and then go there, don't ask one or two cyclists but ask a dozen or so.
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Old 07-10-20, 04:13 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Brooks sells an "aged" style, meaning it's been pre-softened. A tiny, tiny bit, like sitting on a pine plank instead of an oak plank. You can't feel any difference, but you know intellectually that there is one.
I had one like yours (but the Imperial) and after almost 1000 miles it was still hard as a rock and very uncomfortable. Sold it for a great price. If it feels that bad now I doubt that adjustments will Improve it to where it is not noticeable.

I now ride a Brooks B68 Imperial and love it. I weigh 145 and ride semi-upright on my Kona Rove Ti with Jones H-bars.
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Old 07-11-20, 12:29 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
I had one like yours (but the Imperial) and after almost 1000 miles it was still hard as a rock and very uncomfortable. Sold it for a great price. If it feels that bad now I doubt that adjustments will Improve it to where it is not noticeable.

I now ride a Brooks B68 Imperial and love it. I weigh 145 and ride semi-upright on my Kona Rove Ti with Jones H-bars.
Weirdly, mine was comfortable right out of the box. I'm fairly upright on my Princess with V-O Porteur bars. (Any excuse for a pic, amirite?)


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Old 07-12-20, 06:22 PM
  #40  
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Super bike, @Korina. I haven't seen this picture of it. My B17 is good right out of the box. Some need to break them in, and some don't.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:11 AM
  #41  
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I make new leather covers for early bicycles and I also do conservation work. I can tell you that soaking them in oil is useless. Neatsfoot oil is worst of all. You are better off with a 'greasy' leather treatment, like Proofide or Gilles Berthoud, which is closer to what the tanning process uses. Most newish Brooks saddles are quite soft compared with how they were years ago, so my conclusion is that this saddle just doesn't suit/fit you. Sell it on ebay and get something else!
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Old 07-22-20, 09:48 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by BassistBiker View Post


Did that saddle come already stitched together like that? First thing I'd do is untie it.

Stitching the skirts like that, that's usually something one does at the end of a saddle's useful life and one hoped to eke a little more use out of it. But the stitches completely change the architecture of the saddle and, in my opinion, ruin it.

In your first post you mentioned sit bone measurement. How was that measured? Bear in mind that the so-called sit bones are curved, and closer together in front than in back (picture the rockers of a rocking chair, but with exaggerated curves, and backwards). If you sit up straight, your sit bones will measure wide. If you lean forward, they get narrow. So if you were measured in any other position than the position you take when on the bike, the measurement is useless.

All that said, I've been working on this for years and I still have no useful advice on finding the right saddle. I've gotten really good at finding fault with other people's advice, though. Except for the people who stand back and say, you will have to figure this out for yourself. I can't find fault with that
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