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Riding a Brooks saddle in the rain. How's it holding up long term?

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Riding a Brooks saddle in the rain. How's it holding up long term?

Old 02-10-12, 10:43 PM
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4Rings6Stars
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Riding a Brooks saddle in the rain. How's it holding up long term?

I just read through the Crosscheck lovefest thread, and it seems most of you are commuting on Brooks saddles...

I'm a Brooks fan through and through. I have a Professional on my four road bikes and have had several other models in the past.

When I started all weather commuting last year I did a few rides in the rain on one of my Pro's and the color faded and the saddle was saturated. I then read some horror stories online about riding them wet causing them to prematurely sag and eventually tear. Since then I've been trying to find a saddle that is as comfortable as the Brooks (but not tensioned leather) for my commuter and I have come up empty handed...

How do your Brooks saddles hold up for the long haul after getting ridden wet?


(here is an old photo that shows my Brooks street cred)

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Old 02-10-12, 11:05 PM
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I have over 10,000 km on my B17. It rarely sits outside in the rain, living either in my apartment, or in the stairwell of the work building.

However, if it happens to be raining when I am riding, it sort of gets wet, though my arse does protect it a lot.

It is holding up well.

I put Proofide on it every 6 months or so, a fair bit underneath, though I have guards, and more than they recommend on top. I let it sit overnight, then polish the top off. I leave the underside as is.

z
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Old 02-10-12, 11:19 PM
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Fenders help keep the underside of the saddle dry, profide and lots of it if you are in a rainy area, you can also throw a plastic bag over the saddle if it is really bad or you plan to leave the bike outside a while. There are also various covers you can buy that are meant to cover the saddle while riding.
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Old 02-10-12, 11:35 PM
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+1 on plastic bag and it can be stored under the saddle nose.
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Old 02-11-12, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
+1 on plastic bag and it can be stored under the saddle nose.
And they're cheap -- you can get a box of 1- or 2-gallon Ziploc bags for a couple bucks, and they hold up well.

If I have to park my bike outside and it looks like rain, I'll throw it on preemptively. I'll ride with the bag on, too.
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Old 02-11-12, 12:19 AM
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Alright you talked me into it. I just swapped the Fizik that's on the new commuter for a trusty old Brooks Pro.

Thanks guys!
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Old 02-11-12, 01:07 AM
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I've ridden in the rain more times than I can remember(bike commuting in Florida means rainy afternoon rides), and my B17s are just fine. I use the cover Rivendell sells, keep a plastic bag stuffed under the rails, and have fenders on my bike. Saddle stays bone dry.
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Old 02-11-12, 01:09 AM
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I use Shower cap as rain cover. It is cheap and has elastic band.

Last edited by DVC45; 02-11-12 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 02-11-12, 01:14 AM
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I just use the free bags from the grocery store. Plus you can tie them closed under the saddle.

My form of recycling.
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Old 02-11-12, 02:33 AM
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Its leather so you need to keep it conditioned and dry. Don't use oil based condition on it, only use wax based conditioners. Profide....you can't go wrong. I use Dr. Martins Wonder Balm. When it starts to rain, I take out my Brooks Cover. It is tough and I can ride with it on the seat. If you use a plastic bag, they tend to wear out quickly or tear. They don't cost all that much but IMO they are worth every penny if they save your seat. Its not just the cost but the time to break them in...ya know.
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Old 02-11-12, 08:24 AM
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I take shower caps from hotels that I stay in and keep one in the seat pack. Not a very rainy climate here, mostly I throw it on if I have to park the bike in the rain. The shower caps are perfect size and super convenient.
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Old 02-11-12, 08:39 AM
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I think the problem,or likely problem, is exaggerated. I've been riding Brooks saddles for years,of course you should try to keep them dry, but each of mine has been soaked through by rain storms several times. I manage to get each one wet sometime every year. Sure it's best to cover and protect them from a downpour,but I wouldn't get stressed about it. Mine have all survived just fine. Sometimes they get more saturated from sweat than rain. I just rub in some mink oil paste a few times a year and enjoy riding.


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Old 02-11-12, 08:46 AM
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I have stopped treating mine in any way. Butt on top, fender on bottom, and put a bag on it when it's parked. And I definitely live where it's wet.
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Old 02-11-12, 11:18 AM
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I currently own a Selle SMP Extra (awesome saddle which I find to be very very comfortable) but Brooks has a lot of hype so I might consider switching when it's time for a new saddle. I ride all weather, and store my bike exclusively outside. Anybody have any experience with leather water repellents like Nikwax aqueous smooth leather wax?
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Old 02-11-12, 11:27 AM
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You let it dry indoors , before you ride it, again..

I used a big wad of proofide , melted in by warming the saddle upside down in the oven.
30 years ago, and its been OK since.

Mudguards and a plastic bag over in the rain.. Toured UK dover to newcastle with the bag on,
wearing rain pants the breathability factor was not meaningful anyhow.

Opaque shopping bag, if you have to lock the bike out, Used Brooks show up on ebay after taken off parked bikes.
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Old 02-11-12, 11:54 AM
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I think rain is more of an issue if you're parking your bike outside when it's raining. While riding, my saddlebag keeps the underside of the saddle pretty dry and my butt keeps the top from getting seriously soaked. But I do have a jandd or aardvark saddle cover i use when I know I'm headed out into the rain.
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Old 02-11-12, 01:25 PM
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brooks pro's use much thicker leather than b-17's so i would expect them to hold up better under multiple wet/dry cycles.

i have never covered my pro's when riding in the rain. but otoh i wouldn't leave them out in direct sunlight on a warm day to dry . and yes the water leeches the oils from the leather if saturated . when that happens, i just apply more oil.
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Old 02-11-12, 01:48 PM
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I've got about five years and 20,000 all weather miles on my pre-aged B67. I've never done anything to it, and it is holding up fine -- far better than my prvious plastic saddles that were split and broken after this time. The bike has full fenders and is parked inside.

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Old 02-11-12, 03:50 PM
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I'm only a year and a half in or so, but with a bag jammed underneath there's nothing to worry about. Also, because plastic grocery bags are so light and thin, I pack two so bike thieves can't see I'm covering a brooks.

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Old 02-11-12, 05:30 PM
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I just don't understand brooks saddles. Apart from the fact that I am not into killing animals for a luxury cover, they are far heavier, more expensive, and less durable than just about any synthetic saddle. And besides the tanning industry is a human and ecological nightmare. I bought my last saddle for 50 bucks (Lorica cover, carbon inset, and Ti rails ~190 gms). It has ~10K on it with absolutely no sign of wear.
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Old 02-11-12, 05:32 PM
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I'll give you heavier the rest is up for debate. Doubt a cow is killed just for the "luxury" cover. Pretty sure the rest of the cow wasn't tossed in the dumpster.

Last edited by ricebowl; 02-11-12 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 02-11-12, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I just don't understand brooks saddles. Apart from the fact that I am not into killing animals for a luxury cover, they are far heavier, more expensive, and less durable than just about any synthetic saddle. And besides the tanning industry is a human and ecological nightmare. I bought my last saddle for 50 bucks (Lorica cover, carbon inset, and Ti rails ~190 gms). It has ~10K on it with absolutely no sign of wear.
So, I'm sure that producing Lorica covers, carbon fiber, and titanium is an ecological dream? I also don't understand where you get that Brooks saddles are less durable.

https://pactour.blogspot.com/2011/01/...er-saddle.html

Lon Haldeman, winner of the RAAM, writes about getting 40 thousands miles or more out of a Brooks. As Ricebowl wrote, the rest of the cow doesn't get thrown away.
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Old 02-11-12, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I just don't understand brooks saddles. Apart from the fact that I am not into killing animals for a luxury cover, they are far heavier, more expensive, and less durable than just about any synthetic saddle. And besides the tanning industry is a human and ecological nightmare. I bought my last saddle for 50 bucks (Lorica cover, carbon inset, and Ti rails ~190 gms). It has ~10K on it with absolutely no sign of wear.
This might be the most inane and ill-informed post I've read on bikeforums. (not including the road cycling forum)
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Old 02-11-12, 09:11 PM
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Brooks saddles would not have been around for over a century if they fell apart after getting caught out in a rain storm.
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Old 02-12-12, 07:29 AM
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I just don't understand brooks saddles. Apart from the fact that I am not into killing animals for a luxury cover, they are far heavier, more expensive, and less durable than just about any synthetic saddle. And besides the tanning industry is a human and ecological nightmare. I bought my last saddle for 50 bucks (Lorica cover, carbon inset, and Ti rails ~190 gms). It has ~10K on it with absolutely no sign of wear.
Leather saddles provide some of the best comfort and lessened friction than any other material that a human can sit on for long periods of time. Leather is also notoriously long-lasting and good-wearing. And it "breaks-in" to your unique proportions, which synthetics suck at. This extends beyond bicycles -- ask any horseback rider about "synthetic" saddles vs. leather.....I have several in the family and have been around them for my entire life -- I've NEVER met one who doesn't prefer a leather saddle. Most of them also have nothing but hate for other saddle types.

You are perfectly free to make your own opinions about whichever items you choose to purchase, but try to at least keep your opinion "whacked-out hippie activist" as opposed to just ignorant (i.e. people use leather saddles for very practical reasons, not because they like to kill animals).



BTW - you've probably been riding in a car and have killed a lot of insects on the windshield -- like beautiful and rare Lepidopterans. You've probably removed a lot of good bacteria from your skin via scratching and showering -- do you really think that's fair to deny those organisms their right to exist just for your own selfish comfortt?

Oh, and you eat unleavened bread right?

To OP: I do absolutely nothing to my brooks b67 at this point and it's about 5 years old now. I've been in a few rain storms and I figure my butt is usually on the saddle, and once I get home it is allowed to dry just fine....so no issues so far. I think I treated with proofide the week I bought it, but I've done nothing since.

Last edited by TurbineBlade; 02-12-12 at 12:27 PM.
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