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Brooks B17 Saddle Ordered! :)

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Brooks B17 Saddle Ordered! :)

Old 05-07-20, 02:12 PM
  #26  
davester
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The late great Sheldon Brown had this to say about Brooks (and other suspended leather) saddles:

Plastic saddles have four advantages over leather ones:
  1. They are lighter.
  2. They are weatherproof.
  3. They do not require breaking in.
  4. They are cheaper.
Leather saddles have three advantages over plastic:
  1. The big advantage: they are much more comfortable!
  2. They are generally more durable;
  3. They can be repaired.
He has more to say here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 05-07-20, 04:07 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Hope it works out. One of the surest ways to kill a Brooks saddle is too much conditioner or the wrong kind. You have the right kind..but..

Do some research on BF about such things..
Maybe you could help me out here?...because your comment did cause me enough concern to do the research you suggested and I can't find a single instance of to much leather conditioner destroying a Brooks saddle....even on google...even adding keywords like "Deformed" "Treatment" "Failure" "Lost Shape"...all I did find was a couple of instances of folks leaving them out in sudden rainstorms...and then advice on how to process the shape back into the leather and recover a damaged saddle.

Got any links to these Brooks saddles that died from to much conditioner?
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Old 05-07-20, 04:22 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
Maybe you could help me out here?...because your comment did cause me enough concern to do the research you suggested and I can't find a single instance of to much leather conditioner destroying a Brooks saddle....even on google...even adding keywords like "Deformed" "Treatment" "Failure" "Lost Shape"...all I did find was a couple of instances of folks leaving them out in sudden rainstorms...and then advice on how to process the shape back into the leather and recover a damaged saddle.

Got any links to these Brooks saddles that died from to much conditioner?
I've read about it a number of times here on BF(part of my own pre & post-purchase of Brooks saddles). Did you search all the sub-forums here on BF? The search engine isn't the greatest. What you search and how you search, and whether searching the entire thread or just thread titles makes a big difference in the hits you get. I tend to do extensive research and check all options when looking into something...which is why I seldom create a new thread, as most everything has been discussed before.

In any event, it's sort of a moot point as you can't un-ring a bell. You've slathered yours up extensively already.
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Old 05-07-20, 04:37 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
I've read about it a number of times here on BF(part of my own pre & post-purchase of Brooks saddles). Did you search all the sub-forums here on BF? The search engine isn't the greatest. What you search and how you search, and whether searching the entire thread or just thread titles makes a big difference in the hits you get. I tend to do extensive research and check all options when looking into something...which is why I seldom create a new thread, as most everything has been discussed before.

In any event, it's sort of a moot point as you can't un-ring a bell. You've slathered yours up extensively already.
So you have no links to support your statements?...honestly I didn't figure you would cause like I said I do know a few things about leather and the only damage "Over-Conditioning" might cause (if such a thing were possible) would be stained clothing but it most certainly would never cause harm to leather.

Now I have a link by the fellow mentioned named "Sheldon Brown" and here's what he has to say about...

Breaking in a Leather Saddle

If a leather saddle is not oiled, and especially if it is allowed to get wet with water repeatedly, perhaps even ridden while soaked, it will eventually crack and disintegrate. The low-quality leather saddles that came on inexpensive ten-speeds of the sixties and seventies would also often go out of shape under such conditions.

The easiest and fastest method to break in a new saddle is with a liquid leather dressing, such as neats-foot oil, Lexol, seal oil (a French favorite) or baseball glove oil.. These products are available from shoe stores and sporting-goods stores, and over the Internet. There are probably lots of other liquid oils that would work as well. Race Across America pioneer Lon Haldeman uses SAE 30 motor oil, but his saddles tend to wear out after only 300,000 miles or so (according to Cyclist magazine).

You can just pour the oil on and rub it in by hand, or for a more drastic approach, you can actually soak the saddle. The easiest way to soak a saddle is to turn it upside-down on a sheet of aluminum foil, then form the foil up around the saddle for a snug fit. Pour in a whole 4-ounce can of neats-foot oil or whatever oil you prefer, and let the saddle soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Pour the remaining oil back into the can, and wipe the excess oil off with a rag or paper towel. Install the saddle onto the bike, put on your black shorts, and ride. Even the most recalcitrant saddle (the thick-skinned Brooks Professional) will be substantially broken in within 200 miles or so.

The soaking technique is best for thick, hard-to-break in saddles such as the Brooks Professional. For most leather saddles, the pour-and-rub technique is adequate. A saddle needs baptism by immersion only once. After that, some oil should be poured onto the saddle and rubbed in by hand every few weeks. Once the saddle has become soft and comfortable, it is only necessary to oil it lightly every few months to keep it from drying out.

Paste- or wax-type leather dressings, such as Brooks Proofide, Sno-Seal, and saddle soap will work, but it takes much, much longer to break in a saddle that way. They will absorb faster into the leather if it is warm -- in the sun on a hot day, or in a warm oven. Temperatures up to about 50° C (120° F) are safe. Higher temperatures can cook and ruin the leather.

Here's the link...https://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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Old 05-07-20, 04:47 PM
  #30  
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I did pretty much the same thing OP did when I first got the saddle, ie: slathering it on, letting it all soak in, slathering on some more, etc. till it stopped soaking in in a reasonable time in a warm environment. Every few hundred miles I would slather on some more.

Then I read that this wasn't encouraged, for some vaguely described notion that if the leather got too soft it would stretch out too much. So, I've stopped putting new Proofide on for now, and I'll just have to decide at some point when it might be a good idea to put on some more. That being said, I did what I did, and so far over several thousand miles it doesn't seem to have done any harm.

edited to add:

This is what Brooks says on the subject.
A new saddle should be treated with Brooks Proofide leather dressing to help assist the breaking-in process. Proofide keeps the leather supple as it is specially formulated from natural ingredients to condition, preserve and shower proof your saddle. Proofide is the only substance that should be used to care for your Brooks Leather Saddle. Apply a little Proofide to the finished side of the leather. Allow the Proofide to permeate until dry and then polish off. Proofide should be used several times during the ‘breaking-in’ period and every 3-6 months thereafter. On bicycles not fitted with mudguards, an initial application to the underside of the saddle will be beneficial, this needs not to be polished off. The leather gets its colour during the tanning process and it is possible, therefore, that some colour residues will remain. It is recommended to polish the saddle with a soft cloth before first use.
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Old 05-07-20, 04:53 PM
  #31  
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I did find an online reference on Facebook from a bike shop that includes the following, in its FAQ on Brooks and Proofide. I have no idea if they're up in the night on this or not, but here's what they said:
"HOWEVER, in both of these two cases, it is very important to be mindful of the irreversible damage that can result from excessive application of Proofide. There is a risk that the leather will over soften and then no longer be able to support the rider’s weight."

Whether this is a statement supportable by evidence of it actually irreversibly damaging saddles by over-softening or not, I have no idea. This could just be some of that infamous Internet conventional wisdom for all I know.
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Old 05-07-20, 05:17 PM
  #32  
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Jink..I offered where I netted out after doing rather exhaustive research on the care and feeding of the saddles. I have a number of bikes, which means I need a number of saddles..it can be an investment in short order. I've seen Sheldon's article..entertaining read, but it didn't agree with most of what I read, so it's just one of many data points.

If you're looking for a debate..it'll have to be with someone else..why..debates here are a waste of time..and..I simply don't care. Do whatever you like with your saddle..slather it, dip it in Mobil 1, or nothing at all..makes no difference to me.

Here's a starter on some light reading..enjoy..
https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8070497
https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8070531
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Old 05-07-20, 07:51 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Jink..I offered where I netted out after doing rather exhaustive research on the care and feeding of the saddles. I have a number of bikes, which means I need a number of saddles..it can be an investment in short order. I've seen Sheldon's article..entertaining read, but it didn't agree with most of what I read, so it's just one of many data points.

If you're looking for a debate..it'll have to be with someone else..why..debates here are a waste of time..and..I simply don't care. Do whatever you like with your saddle..slather it, dip it in Mobil 1, or nothing at all..makes no difference to me.

Here's a starter on some light reading..enjoy..
https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8070497
https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=8070531
Neither link worked but thanks for trying and?...I can see your point of how maybe one of the non-laced models could get so supple that it could possibly create problems for for some heavy weight riders but I'm pretty sure a lot of the problems be they long painfully hard breakin periods or saddle breakdowns (blamed n over-conditioning) are extremely subjective experiences depending on rider weight be they 120lbs or 320lbs.

I'm not to concerned...probably more of a common sense judgement call sort of thing on a case by case basis...when I think it's getting to soft?...I'll stop.
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Old 05-08-20, 08:07 AM
  #34  
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Hey Jinks, nice to see you on here again.

Yes, you can put too much conditioner on the Brooks B-17. The leather is meant to be hard and stiff, to help retain it's size and shape. Too much conditioner can let it stretch too much, and ultimately run out of adjustment, while getting too saggy. There are lots of stories of ruined Brooks saddles because of over softening. It just isn't worth the time looking them up again. Take my word for it.

I have a B-17 that is probably about 7-8 years old, and it gets a coat of Proofhide about every 6 months, which equates to the beginning and end of bicycle season around here, and a coat on the underside about every other year.

Mine is quite comfortable (after over 1000 miles of breakin) and a keeper. I have mine on my Crosstrail, and it is a great saddle for that bike.

I also have a Selle AnAtomica NSX on my Sirrus, (about 3-4 years old) and it was comfortable right out of the box, and stayed that way. It's also a keeper.... I love the brooks, but I think I prefer the Selle. I also use Proofhide on the Selle, sparingly.

You wouldn't be unhappy with either one.

I hope you are getting more quality saddle time, than you could in the past.

Phil
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Old 05-08-20, 04:00 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Hey Jinks, nice to see you on here again.

Yes, you can put too much conditioner on the Brooks B-17. The leather is meant to be hard and stiff, to help retain it's size and shape. Too much conditioner can let it stretch too much, and ultimately run out of adjustment, while getting too saggy. There are lots of stories of ruined Brooks saddles because of over softening. It just isn't worth the time looking them up again. Take my word for it.

I have a B-17 that is probably about 7-8 years old, and it gets a coat of Proofhide about every 6 months, which equates to the beginning and end of bicycle season around here, and a coat on the underside about every other year.

Mine is quite comfortable (after over 1000 miles of breakin) and a keeper. I have mine on my Crosstrail, and it is a great saddle for that bike.

I also have a Selle AnAtomica NSX on my Sirrus, (about 3-4 years old) and it was comfortable right out of the box, and stayed that way. It's also a keeper.... I love the brooks, but I think I prefer the Selle. I also use Proofhide on the Selle, sparingly.

You wouldn't be unhappy with either one.

I hope you are getting more quality saddle time, than you could in the past.

Phil
Great to hear you weigh in Phil!

I had to go back and see how long it's been since folks like yourself, Retrogrouch, bruce19, qcpmsame and others helped me out here and it's been nearly 5 years since I last posted here because I had a stroke in Aug. of 2015.

I tried to ride several times afterwards but every time I'd almost crash and burn within a block due to my loss of balance and coordination where as a result?...I gave my Trek MB away to my Son In-law and sold my Giant OCR3 when just a few weeks ago I was cleaning out the garage when the thought hit me that I need to either ride or sell that last bike of mine (Crosstrail Disc) and blew up the tires and took her for a ride and?...here we are...discussing the legendary saddle I always wanted to try! LOL!

I guess I owe fishboat an apology cause it sounds like your concise explanation concurs with fishboats expressed concerns so?...sorry fishboat and thanks for trying to look out for me.
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Old 05-08-20, 07:10 PM
  #36  
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This is the 3rd Brooks I've owned,all have been great....I proofhide the bottom when new and proofhide once a year never had an issue and it's the only saddle that I would own
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Old 05-09-20, 07:19 PM
  #37  
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That's like mine. I had to lace the wings, to get them off my thighs, and it's perfect! I do love the brown on a dark bike!
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Old 05-10-20, 09:19 AM
  #38  
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Well after yesterday's 16.97 miler I was surprised at how good a shape my legs were in this morning and felt good enough to seriously consider maybe going for a 20 miler today but that all changed with the weather....scattered rain off/on style.

Then I thought if it weren't for this Brooks saddle?...I'd probably be down to weather the weather but I love my Crosstrail (and the new Brooks) so I started shopping FB marketplace with the thought....

"If I come across a sweet deal on an upscale beater?"

Next thing I knew I was drooling over a fully suspended Giant Trance (for about 2-3 X;s what I was looking to spend) so I figured I better occupy my time focusing on what I have and there were some mounting/adjusting improvements that could be made on my B17 so off it came and to the kitchen table it went becaaaaaause?....

1. I was in a rush mounting it up the first time and noticed a problem where the lacing was in conflict with my seat stem and I couldn't get the seat to it's most rearward position (where I needed it to be) because the lacing was conflicting with the seat stem mount and?...

2. During the latter part of yesterday's ride I noticed the beginnings of some hot spot/chafing developing on either side of my groin frontal area hinting that the front of my saddle needed a bit more "Tuck & Duck" (sides laced tighter/nose down)

I had to get creative with the lacing pattern but managed to lace my way around the problem and got the nose real tight and low and bingo...and it feels so good even with just shorts on I want to ride...and I dunno...I just might! LOL!


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Old 05-10-20, 07:01 PM
  #39  
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It got Christened tonight...

https://www.strava.com/activities/3432491737


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Old 05-12-20, 03:05 PM
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Should be a non issue with all that proofhide on there.......

Hey Jinks, aren't you out of the Army, too? MOS? I was a Medic.
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Old 05-12-20, 05:34 PM
  #41  
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I never had a break in period with my first B-17. I used proofhide until it almost ran out of the leather. I had purchased a can of it and kept rubbing it in then heating it with a hair dryer. I did that off and on for weeks. It was never that hard and I think somewhere I have a set of cycling shorts but don't use them. Riding six days a week I guess I'm hardened in and the B-17 is broken in. On my Verve+2 I installed the Brooks with springs on it . Then I got out the Obenauf's leather oil. I soaked the saddle until it would take no more and then wiped it off. Ask a fireman about Obenauf's leather treatment. One recommended it to me. I use it on all leather goods. Got some new duty boots a year plus ago and treated them with the Obenauf's. They broke in with two days of 19 hours total, walking on concrete all day in a prison. I believe in two things with my experience; Brooks saddles and Obenauf's leather treatment. Be Well, Bluesfrog.
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Old 05-12-20, 08:46 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Should be a non issue with all that proofhide on there.......

Hey Jinks, aren't you out of the Army, too? MOS? I was a Medic.
USMC...6062...Egress & Environmental Systems Tech...VMA-214 (Blacksheep SQDN)...MCAS El Toro

and yeah...The water just beaded on it like a RainX commerical! LOL!
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Old 05-13-20, 02:43 AM
  #43  
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I have a few Brooks saddles and have ridden on them for years. I prefer the Pro but also have a B17 . I use Doc Martens treatment for them and they stay nice if I treat them every month or so depending on how much I ride that particular bike.
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Old 05-13-20, 09:28 AM
  #44  
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I bought a Brooks B17 Imperial a few years ago intending to put it on a stationary bike my wife and I use..........rarely.

Instead, a few months ago I decided to put it on my 83 Trek 760 that I've owned since 83. I have about 150 miles on it now and it's already more comfortable. I remember the 1st ride the saddle felt hard and slippery, but now I don't notice the saddle so that's a good thing! I decided to start breaking in the B17 so I can have it ready for future Eroica bike events.


I recently purchased a Brooks Swallow with copper rivets.for another vintage bike and just bought a seatpost off eBay so I can swap saddles on my bikes to try to break in the saddles depending on the bike I'm riding. I also have a Brooks Swallow on a vintage De Rosa that I've only put 100 miles on. I've put the proofhide on the saddles when I got the saddles and will probably re-apply every 3-6 months


I never wanted a Brooks before because of the weight, but I don't care about the weight anymore. I decided to see for myself what riders around the world have been raving about for decades and am now into riding for enjoyment. I'm just about 62 now and plan to ride for quite a while so comfort is a priority. I also want to retain the vintage look on my vintage bikes.



83 Trek 760 with Brooks Imperial and 28mm Panaracer Pasela tires. Very comfortable.



New Brooks Swift with copper rivet next to my Brooks Imperial with 150 miles on it.



Brown Brooks Swallow on my De Rosa SLX.
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Old 05-13-20, 11:13 AM
  #45  
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Having had black Brooks saddles on my bikes in the 1960s and on various bikes since then I'm waiting for my first blue B17 to arrive for my Lockdown project restoration French bike. Silver framed, blue cork handlebar tape, cables and soon, the saddle.

They were seen as the best many years ago and once converted, always a fan.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:41 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bluesfrog View Post
I never had a break in period with my first B-17. I used proofhide until it almost ran out of the leather. I had purchased a can of it and kept rubbing it....
Pretty much did the same with mine minus the hair dryer and from ride #1 my B17 was more comfortable than my $119 Specialized Toupe...I started Strava the same day I took my first ride with the B17 and only have 35 miles logged so far in 3 casual local rides and I'm just now seeing the slightest hint of sit bone dimples beginning to form but I think this is different for everyone and very subjective based on rider weight, position and what sort of terrain they traverse...I'm 200lbs on a Crosstrail seated somewhere between road bike drops and bolt upright and?....I do a lot of hopping off and on sidewalks along with the occasional crossing of clumpy grass mediums...flyweights on roadbikes gliding super smooth surfaces?...probably gonna take a while to get theirs where mines at already.
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Old 05-15-20, 02:25 PM
  #47  
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Proofide

I've heard that Brook's "Proofide will help in the break-in. I'm am not sure of that. I just brought a B-17 and it is hard as a rock. funny thing, with each ride it becomes a little bit better.
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Old 05-21-20, 10:49 AM
  #48  
camjr
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I installed my first Brooks B17 saddle a few days ago and took my first ride on it yesterday after work. I had already treated with Proofide when I received it before I put it on the bike along with the Brooks Microfiber bar tape. I did just under 20 miles due to time constraints, and took a wrench with me to adjust the saddle on the seatpost if needed. I had to make one slight adjustment, but I found the saddle comfortable out of the box. Of course, I'm 225 pounds, so I may have helped it flex and start the break in process quicker than some of you lightweight guys! Apart from the comfort, I think it really looks sharp on the '76 Motobecane Grand Touring.

Cheers.




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Old 05-21-20, 05:15 PM
  #49  
Wanderer
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You are right - it does look sweet!
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Old 05-22-20, 06:50 AM
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Man falls in love with, and marries a saddle.
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