Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Breaking in Brooks Flyer

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Breaking in Brooks Flyer

Old 09-11-07, 05:17 PM
  #1  
gowfermike
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gowfermike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Williamson NY
Posts: 58

Bikes: 2008 Trek 520

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Breaking in Brooks Flyer

I have about 300 miles on my Brooks Flyer. It sits on my 2008 Trek 520 I picked up in August. I put at least 24 miles a day commuting on it. The sit bone section is breaking in fine and no more pain issues. The problem area seems to be in the Taint or just behind the scrotum. I am using proofhide to soften the saddle once a week. I have moved the saddle nose down and that seems to make it worse. I slide forward in the saddle. I move the nose of the saddle to high and the testicles get jammed. Any ideas for softening up that part of the saddle. ie: Roll and pipe on that section etc... (:-).

Mike.
gowfermike is offline  
Old 09-11-07, 08:52 PM
  #2  
Schwinnrider
Mirror slap survivor
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 1,297

Bikes: Gunnar Sport, Surly Pacer, Access MTB, Ibex Corrida, one day a Simple City

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just keep riding it. I think you're overdoing the Proofide, though. I might suggest you coat it in Proofide one more time, remove it, and leave it in a hot car for an entire day. That will bake the Proofide in(at least that's what I did with my B17s). Then remount it and keep riding. Don't mount the nost too high---level is just right, IMHO.
Schwinnrider is offline  
Old 09-12-07, 12:27 AM
  #3  
porq
rain-forest commuter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 137

Bikes: 2008 Kona Dr. Dew, 2002 Kona MokoMoko, 1994 Cadex, 1990 Breezer Thunder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I took Sheldon Brown's advice and used baseball glove oil on my Brooks and it's worked very well. Makes the saddle more supple and willing to move around.
porq is offline  
Old 09-12-07, 04:04 AM
  #4  
Old Dirt Hill
Bring That Beat Back
 
Old Dirt Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: I lost my legs
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sounds like too much Proofide, although I'm not sure that less would fix your issue.

While some would like to think otherwise, Brooks are not for everyone. With that in mind, it took me over 1000 miles on my first Brooks before it felt better than any other saddle. I have somewhere near 4000 miles on that saddle now and it still doesn't look quite broke in.

All that considered, I'd never purchase anything other than a Brooks.
Old Dirt Hill is offline  
Old 09-12-07, 11:15 PM
  #5  
gowfermike
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gowfermike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Williamson NY
Posts: 58

Bikes: 2008 Trek 520

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Breaking in the Brooks Flyer

Thanks for the advice. I made sure the saddle was level before leaving for work today. 24 miles later, I'm still here. I found that if I pushed my butt back where it belongs with the sit bones in the correct location on the saddle, pain in the sensitive areas was diminished a lot. I will have to pay attention until I get the the saddle is broken in to where the sit bones fit naturally in the correct spot. Slipping forward from the sweet spot for the sit boness is easy I'm finding our until the location is worn in.

Mike.
gowfermike is offline  
Old 09-13-07, 07:58 AM
  #6  
Quickbeam
Beer is delicious!
 
Quickbeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 549
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gowfermike View Post
Thanks for the advice. I made sure the saddle was level before leaving for work today. 24 miles later, I'm still here. I found that if I pushed my butt back where it belongs with the sit bones in the correct location on the saddle, pain in the sensitive areas was diminished a lot. I will have to pay attention until I get the the saddle is broken in to where the sit bones fit naturally in the correct spot. Slipping forward from the sweet spot for the sit boness is easy I'm finding our until the location is worn in.

Mike.
Adjusting the angle of the saddle so that it's just slightly "nose high" can help keep your weight to the back of the saddle. Finding exactly the right angle for you is key. Sounds like you're on the right track.
Quickbeam is offline  
Old 09-13-07, 10:11 AM
  #7  
JPMacG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bucks County, PA
Posts: 400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I also used Sheldon Brown's method with success. I used pure neatsfoot oil. Within 200 miles it was confortable. After 1000 miles it is still comfortable. I am not willing to ride an uncomfortable saddle for 500 or 1000 miles while it breaks in.

I find that saddle tilt does matter a lot. Tilting the nose up a little helps keep my sit bones on the wide part of the saddle. Tilting the nose up too much causes the nose to press into my sensitive parts.
JPMacG is offline  
Old 09-13-07, 10:51 AM
  #8  
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Posts: 6,555
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Proofide is primarily a protectant (wax on, wax off).

If your taint hurts, it's a fit issue. Try shucking the saddle back and forth a bit. I've found I ride with it a bit more forward then prior non-brook saddles. How is the saddle height relative to your handlebars? What kind of bike are we riding?
__________________
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
dobber is offline  
Old 09-13-07, 11:30 AM
  #9  
JustBrowsing
Señor Miembro
 
JustBrowsing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: DC
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Quickbeam View Post
Adjusting the angle of the saddle so that it's just slightly "nose high" can help keep your weight to the back of the saddle. Finding exactly the right angle for you is key. Sounds like you're on the right track.
I just put my first B17 on my bike last night and rode around for an hour so making constant adjustments. In the end, I ended up with exactly what you describe. Yes, the nose is a bit higher than I want it to be, but it seems like it's the only way my bony butt is gonna settle into the necessary spots on the seat. Once those spots start softening up I'll lower the nose a bit. And even though the saddle is pretty hard, it's still far more comfortable than the one it replaced (a WTB Rocket V). The nice thing was going over bumps--it seemed to dampen them a bit.
JustBrowsing is offline  
Old 09-13-07, 11:36 AM
  #10  
jcm
Gemutlichkeit
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My observations are that riders with discomfort issues on a Brooks have other bike fit problems that contribute. We put all kinds of ointments, unguents, salves and treatments on the them - and ourselves - hoping to accelerate or eliminate the Dreaded Process of breaking in a new saddle. The real issue is the Whole Setup. Often, the saddle gets the blame (Brooks or otherwise) for rider discomfort.

Over-use of Proofide is the same thing as over-use of any other leather oil. Sheldon Brown is a sharp guy. Perhaps the smartest bike-wonk I have ever know of, but the recipe for 'conditioning' a Brooks can quickly ruin one, too. Good thing leather is so tough. You are definitely done with the Proofide for at least a year. Put it away.

Brooks advises that you set the saddle with the peak slightly raised, with only the seat portion level with the ground. Make sure your bar tops are at least level with the peak - not the seat. Better to go a little above, actually. The peak is there to keep your ischials back on the seat where they belong. If you're sliding forward, scoot the saddle forward so the seat is under you and your pelvis is rotated somewhat upright. That will impart a slight arch to your lower spine, which is the ideal shock absorbing position on a bike.

Do not attempt to reduce the slickness of a Brooks. It's there as a function of highly finished leather, and one of the chief characteristics needed for a cool, comfortable ride. A little clear boot polish every once in a while will maintain this, and you'll thank yourself for it at about 70 miles on a hot day. I know of no surviving cavalry saddle from the old west, Civil War, or Napoleanic times that is not smooth, slick leather. There are ample pics on the web from museums and private collections. No padding. No rough-out, grabby surfaces. Such things were late comers for ladies in dresses and city slickers who couldn't sit a horse - never a working saddle. A Brooks is a working saddle, for sure.

Don't worry about the relatively nebulous Knee Over Pedal doctrine. It's a guideline only. If it bothers you - then worry about it. In that case, move the bars back and up a little while scooting the saddle back again. The main thing is to find the sweet spot so you don't slide forward onto the peak, which will never soften very much, no matter how much gunk you apply. It's the high cross-sectional arch at that point. Very strong - it's called the spine for a good reason. The part of the saddle that forms to your anatomy will be the seat portion, mostly.

Ok, that's for the Flyer and 17's. Some of this may not apply to Pro's, Swallows, etc. A whole different posture there.
jcm is offline  
Old 09-14-07, 06:49 PM
  #11  
gowfermike
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gowfermike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Williamson NY
Posts: 58

Bikes: 2008 Trek 520

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
New Brooks Flyer working out Better

Thanks a ton. I made your suggested adjustments to saddle and bars. What a difference. The Proofhide is in with the shoe polish. Rode for 30 miles yesterday with very little discomfort. This forum saves us newbies a lot of trial and error. Being 55 is turning out not to be so bad.
Mike.
gowfermike is offline  
Old 09-14-07, 10:23 PM
  #12  
jcm
Gemutlichkeit
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,424
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You're welcome. Several of the other responses were really all you needed to know. I just tend to bloviate on the subject of comfort because it was such an issue when I was a newb.
jcm is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.