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Old 03-14-12, 01:50 PM   #1
pauschl
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Brooks break-in question

First of all, it's an actual Brooks-brand Brooks

I bought it off craigslist slightly used. The original owner said he couldn't break it in. He suspects he was sitting to far back.

It's breaking in fine as far as my sits bones are concerned. But I am still having pressing/chaffing in the "taint" and scrotum. This was my problem with padded saddles.I know this is a softer area so break-in for this might take longer. Or will it? Should I have gotten a Brooks with a cut-out? If so, I've read of people who cut out their saddle with a sharp knife. Anyone done this?
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Old 03-14-12, 01:53 PM   #2
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Brooks saddles do not work for everyone.

Mine has not.. I can only ride it for 70 miles.
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Old 03-14-12, 02:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by pauschl View Post
First of all, it's an actual Brooks-brand Brooks

I bought it off craigslist slightly used. The original owner said he couldn't break it in. He suspects he was sitting to far back.

It's breaking in fine as far as my sits bones are concerned. But I am still having pressing/chaffing in the "taint" and scrotum. This was my problem with padded saddles.I know this is a softer area so break-in for this might take longer. Or will it? Should I have gotten a Brooks with a cut-out? If so, I've read of people who cut out their saddle with a sharp knife. Anyone done this?
Did you lower the saddle when you installed it? Brooks tend to be taller than other kinds of saddles and thus need to be lowered a little when first installed.

You can carve up Brooks saddles as much as you like...they are called 'Butchered Brooks'...but I'd suggest lowing the saddle first.
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Old 03-14-12, 02:09 PM   #4
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You can also try tilting the nose of the saddle down very slightly. You'll be surprised at how minute adjustments will make a huge difference.

If you tilt the nose down too much, you may end up finding yourself sliding down the front of the saddle while riding.
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Old 03-14-12, 02:14 PM   #5
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Selle anatomica do that , the saddle becomes 2 strips of leather that act
independently, with each leg.

of USA cows rather than UK, EU cowhide.

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Old 03-14-12, 02:41 PM   #6
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I have a Team Pro and I've found I am happiest when it is adjusted as close as possible to dead level.
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Old 03-14-12, 02:50 PM   #7
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You can also try tilting the nose of the saddle down very slightly. You'll be surprised at how minute adjustments will make a huge difference.
+1

Brooks can be surprisingly sensitive to saddle angle. A two-bolt seatpost will let you set and hold infinitessimal adjustments, which make micro-adjustments seem gargantuan.
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Old 03-14-12, 04:57 PM   #8
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are you wearing bike shorts?
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Old 03-14-12, 05:22 PM   #9
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I have a Team Pro and I've found I am happiest when it is adjusted as close as possible to dead level.
Agreed. I know there are a lot of people who advise tilting the saddle up, but mine are all dead level and I have no discomfort. OP sounds like he might have his angled upwards.
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Old 03-14-12, 05:26 PM   #10
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My first Brooks B17 after 400+ miles was still like a brick, sold it. Then I got the Imperial with the cutout and this one is sweet. It only took a few rides to adjust it and no real braking in to speak of, pretty comfortable from the beginning. I did some 40 mile rides on it and I wasn't even once thinking about my butt during those rides. And yeah, I had to tilt the nose up, it took tweaking to get it right.
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Old 03-14-12, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Did you lower the saddle when you installed it? Brooks tend to be taller than other kinds of saddles and thus need to be lowered a little when first installed.

You can carve up Brooks saddles as much as you like...they are called 'Butchered Brooks'...but I'd suggest lowing the saddle first.
so true!

i've found that lowering the seatpost by as much as and inch and a half was necessary when switching from my Brooks to a newer carbon saddle. YMMV.
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Old 03-14-12, 08:46 PM   #12
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My seat post doesn't have angle adjustment. I'll try lowering it. I do tend to keep it fairly high. That may be the trick. Then, if that doesn't work, I'll look into a better seat post.

No, chefisaac, I don't wear bike shorts.

Thanks for the tips! And, I'll definitely NOT go cutting on my saddle without doing some major research first.
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Old 03-14-12, 10:03 PM   #13
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I would seriously consider getting a new seatpost that allows angle adjustment. I've also found that tiny angle adjustments make a huge difference in comfort with Brooks. Very counterintuitively it's often a slight angle up. For me that allows you to not slide forward and put pressure where you don't want it.

I ended up picking up a salsa seat post http://salsacycles.com/components/shaft_seatpost/ that allows you to adjust angle separately because it was such a pain getting it just right with my old one.
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Old 03-15-12, 07:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauschl View Post
My seat post doesn't have angle adjustment. I'll try lowering it. I do tend to keep it fairly high. That may be the trick. Then, if that doesn't work, I'll look into a better seat post.

No, chefisaac, I don't wear bike shorts.

Thanks for the tips! And, I'll definitely NOT go cutting on my saddle without doing some major research first.
You might want to look at the seat post again. I've never run across any post that didn't have some kind of angle adjustment. That's not to say that all angle adjustments are equal, however, but there should also be one.
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Old 03-15-12, 08:50 AM   #15
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You might want to look at the seat post again. I've never run across any post that didn't have some kind of angle adjustment. That's not to say that all angle adjustments are equal, however, but there should also be one.
True. It's hard to believe there is no angle adjustment. It may be awkward and crude, but it ought to be there.
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Old 03-15-12, 08:58 AM   #16
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You can also try tilting the nose of the saddle down very slightly. You'll be surprised at how minute adjustments will make a huge difference.

If you tilt the nose down too much, you may end up finding yourself sliding down the front of the saddle while riding.
Paradoxically, you can also try tilting it up a bit, as that tends to slide you back onto the fat part. Often if you see pictures of people's Brooks on BF, they are tilted slightly up.
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Old 03-15-12, 09:00 AM   #17
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My seat post doesn't have angle adjustment. I'll try lowering it. I do tend to keep it fairly high. That may be the trick. Then, if that doesn't work, I'll look into a better seat post.
Your seat post likely does have angle adjustment, but it may not be obvious how to do it at first.

Oops, third!
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Old 03-15-12, 10:51 AM   #18
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I've actually got an old SunTour seatpost that doesn't have angle adjustment on it. It keeps the saddle totally level.
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Old 03-15-12, 10:56 AM   #19
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Bottom line, they take a long time to break in. You can try loosening the bolt on the saddle. Sheldon Brown has a suggestion for basically soaking the entire saddle in oil to help with the break in period.

If you didn't get a Brooks with a cutout, you can perform some 'minor surgery' and do the cutout yourself. This should be a last resort as the procedure is obviously non-reversible.

If your seat post has zero angle adjustment, I suggest buying another one. Velo Orange has a pretty nice 'no frills' seat post for $25.
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Old 03-15-12, 11:36 AM   #20
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I've actually got an old SunTour seatpost that doesn't have angle adjustment on it. It keeps the saddle totally level.
The topmost part of the seatpost should sit in a kind of cradle. Usually you can reposition it in that cradle to tilt a bit.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:14 PM   #21
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Which model of Brooks did you get? Both my B17 and B17S have a flat-ish spot where I can put my sit-bones without any perineal pressure. The saddles are still both low-miles, so I actually hope they don't "break in" much more!
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Old 03-15-12, 01:35 PM   #22
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I was having a similar issue with my B17S, I had followed the traditional advice of putting mine nose up a little bit, which was tantamount to ball destruction for me. A little tweaking the angle down and perfecto. Oh and I also can't believe that seatpost truly has no angle adjustment..
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Old 03-15-12, 04:32 PM   #23
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A Brooks is very sensitive to the overall fit of the bike as others have said. Small adjustments make a big difference. I fine tuned mine over the Winter while I had it on a trainer. I found that I had my seat too high causing me pain in the taintal region. I also made sure the seat was positioned properly for me as far as setback and angle was concerned. Mine is very slightly tilted up. I road outside today and it felt absolutely amazing. I was also wearing Levis. My seat has around 900 miles on it now and feels great.

Check your seat height as someone else mentioned. I was shocked at how much too high I actually was. I was rocking and didn't realize it.
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Old 03-16-12, 01:12 PM   #24
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Did I say my seat post doesn't have angle adjustment? You must have misunderstood me. What I meant to say was... "DUHHH!"
I found the angle adjustment! Thanks guys, that's gonna do it, i think. Took a good ride last night and it felt much better.
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Old 03-16-12, 05:40 PM   #25
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Did I say my seat post doesn't have angle adjustment? You must have misunderstood me. What I meant to say was... "DUHHH!"
I found the angle adjustment! Thanks guys, that's gonna do it, i think. Took a good ride last night and it felt much better.
Great to hear!
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