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Brooks saddle advice

Old 02-21-07, 07:32 AM
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Brooks saddle advice

So, I just got my first Brooks (B 17) and I plan to put it on my fixie. When I use my fixie, the majority of the time it will be for commuting and I will have no chamois. So should I break in the saddle with no chamois on? Will the chamois affect how the saddle forms to my body? How long would you estimate it takes for the Brooks to form fit? Thanks!

~Trent

P.S. I know I was the guy who about 4 months ago posted saying "Derr...I'd rather sit on wood, herr herr..." but after reading all of the great reviews of these saddles (I've never heard a bad review from anyone who has ever used one) I just decided that there must be something great about them, and I got one for my birthday.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:36 AM
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I wouldn't worry about how a chamois will break in the saddle but it may make you more comfortable. Once broken in though you can wear what ever you want. On cool comfortable days I ride my commuter with a B17 to work in my casual dress cloths no problem.

BTW I was one of those, "I'll never put a 'Bricks' saddle on my bike" too. Now I have two of them a B17 and a Swift.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:41 AM
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I wouldn't worry about how a chamois will break in the saddle but it may make you more comfortable. Once broken in though you can wear what ever you want. On cool comfortable days I ride my commuter with a B17 to work in my casual dress cloths no problem.

BTW I was one of those, "I'll never put a 'Bricks' saddle on my bike" too. Now I have two of them a B17 and a Swift.
Ok, that's what I thought, I was just worried that the chamois may distort my actual shape a bit.

Actually, that kind of makes me curious how many of us there are that did a complete 180?

Do you know how long it takes to get it to form fit?
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Old 02-21-07, 07:45 AM
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Formula that has always worked for me: initial proofide treatment, miles and butt sweat. The B17 is comfy for me out of the box and only gets better. YMMV.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:45 AM
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The B17 took me about 300 miles. I weigh about 190 - 195LBS so if you are lighter it may take longer. The swift took about twice that. I also used Proofide for the first 2 month about twice a month.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:09 AM
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1) This saddle needs to be clamped near the middle to work right.
2) Usually the nose needs to be tilted up a millimeter or two.
3) Ride it a few times.
4) If it needs some breaking in, this is what I do. Warm the saddle GENTLY with
a hair dryer; use the dryer to melt the Proofide at the same time. Use a paper towel
or rag and put some on. Keep the saddle just warm enough so the Proofide stays liquid,which will let it soak in. Once you start applying, the soaking takes no more than a minute; don't worry much about the edges, you want it under your sit bones.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by late
1) This saddle needs to be clamped near the middle to work right.
2) Usually the nose needs to be tilted up a millimeter or two.
3) Ride it a few times.
4) If it needs some breaking in, this is what I do. Warm the saddle GENTLY with
a hair dryer; use the dryer to melt the Proofide at the same time. Use a paper towel
or rag and put some on. Keep the saddle just warm enough so the Proofide stays liquid,which will let it soak in. Once you start applying, the soaking takes no more than a minute; don't worry much about the edges, you want it under your sit bones.
Since when? What are you basing this comment on?

I put proofide on once and then just rode the bike. Don't over treat the saddle. Break in time is different based on your weight. Like Chip, I found the saddle comfortable right out of the box.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:25 AM
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I love my B17 on my mtb. I hated it on my road bike.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:33 AM
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Formula that has always worked for me: initial proofide treatment, miles and butt sweat. The B17 is comfy for me out of the box and only gets better. YMMV.
Ok, I need some help here. What's proofide?
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Old 02-21-07, 08:34 AM
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The B17 took me about 300 miles. I weigh about 190 - 195LBS so if you are lighter it may take longer. The swift took about twice that. I also used Proofide for the first 2 month about twice a month.
Oh! That's about my weight, so I guess that makes sense. Thanks!
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Old 02-21-07, 08:38 AM
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Proofide is the saddle treatment recommended by Brooks to protect the saddle.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:39 AM
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1) This saddle needs to be clamped near the middle to work right.
2) Usually the nose needs to be tilted up a millimeter or two.
3) Ride it a few times.
4) If it needs some breaking in, this is what I do. Warm the saddle GENTLY with
a hair dryer; use the dryer to melt the Proofide at the same time. Use a paper towel
or rag and put some on. Keep the saddle just warm enough so the Proofide stays liquid,which will let it soak in. Once you start applying, the soaking takes no more than a minute; don't worry much about the edges, you want it under your sit bones.
1) Moving it forward or back a millimeter doesn't change the shape of the saddle, so how does it not work right if it isn't in the center? Sorry, I'm new to the hard leather saddle experience.

2) Is that just for you? I don't have any experience with Brooks, but with any other saddle, it's needed to be parallel to the ground or I feel like I'm either straddled over a railing or falling over the handlebars
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Old 02-21-07, 08:41 AM
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Proofide is the saddle treatment recommended by Brooks to protect the saddle.
Oh! So can I get that at any LBS? Or should I have ordered that from them? What happens if I don't use it?
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Old 02-21-07, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Cot Du Trent
Oh! So can I get that at any LBS? Or should I have ordered that from them? What happens if I don't use it?
If your LBS sells Brooks saddles then they should have Proofide. You can also get it online. It doesn't cost much and a can will last forever. Well, that is if you choose to use it sparingly.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:55 AM
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Nothing. It might take a little longer to break in. I didn't use it on my B17 and it worked just fine. I did use it on my Team Pro but this was because it is a thicker leather. Anyone think road bikes look stupid with a Brooks? I'm struggling with taking my Fizik Arione off and putting my Brooks Team Pro on... It's a '98 Eddy Merckx TiAX. Sorry to hijack your thread.....
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Old 02-21-07, 08:59 AM
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If your LBS sells Brooks saddles then they should have Proofide. You can also get it online. It doesn't cost much and a can will last forever. Well, that is if you choose to use it sparingly.
Thanks very much!
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Old 02-21-07, 09:02 AM
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Nothing. It might take a little longer to break in. I didn't use it on my B17 and it worked just fine. I did use it on my Team Pro but this was because it is a thicker leather. Anyone think road bikes look stupid with a Brooks? I'm struggling with taking my Fizik Arione off and putting my Brooks Team Pro on... It's a '98 Eddy Merckx TiAX. Sorry to hijack your thread.....
Oh that's good to know! I'm a bit of a cheapskate, so maybe I'll just go without and live with the longer break in time.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:04 AM
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I have & had many Brooks saddles over the years. Some did just fine with no treatment at all, (one I had recently was a 1964 B17 that appeared to be untreated) some were used & appeared to have prior treatment to speed the breakin process. I have one B17 special edition with heavier than normal leather & it is breaking in more slowly than others. I use proofide only once or twice a year.

All but 1 saddle are very comfortable, the 1 exception is a fairly new, Honey B17 that received to much Proofide by prior owner. The leather was very dark & discolored on the top mid to rear portion and was deeply indented by sit bones. Leather is much softer & more flexible than any other Brooks I have ridden. It is still comfortable for shorter rides but it has sagged & over time the exaggerated hammock effect puts more pressure on my "sitter" which gets uncomfortable. I am a light rider (150-160 pound range) & I'm sure this softer saddle wouldn't work at all for a heavier rider, so be careful with the proofide & other saddle treatments, all my other Brooks saddles conformed to fit me after a while but the leather remained harder & stiff which seems to be the key to their comfort. Don
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Old 02-21-07, 09:05 AM
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Proofide is ten bucks for the big can.

http://www.wallbike.com/brooks/saddlecare.html
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Old 02-21-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cot Du Trent
1) Moving it forward or back a millimeter doesn't change the shape of the saddle, so how does it not work right if it isn't in the center? Sorry, I'm new to the hard leather saddle experience.

2) Is that just for you? I don't have any experience with Brooks, but with any other saddle, it's needed to be parallel to the ground or I feel like I'm either straddled over a railing or falling over the handlebars
Adjustment of saddle position is THE most important factor when it comes to your comfort (more important than the saddle itself). Adjust the height, fore/aft and tilt to fit you and your riding style/position, not someone's rule of thumb.

You'll find that the Brooks doesn't have the same range of fore/aft positioning as other saddles, due to the rails. Some folks end up with seatposts with more setback to compensate, other's, like me are fine. Also, some of my Brooks are tilted up slightly in front, others are level. Again, tweak it to what works best for you.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:10 AM
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Adjustment of saddle position is THE most important factor when it comes to your comfort (more important than the saddle itself). Adjust the height, fore/aft and tilt to fit you and your riding style/position, not someone's rule of thumb.

You'll find that the Brooks doesn't have the same range of fore/aft positioning as other saddles, due to the rails. Some folks end up with seatposts with more setback to compensate, other's, like me are fine. Also, some of my Brooks are tilted up slightly in front, others are level. Again, tweak it to what works best for you.
That's what I figured! Thanks much!
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Old 02-21-07, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Cot Du Trent
1) Moving it forward or back a millimeter doesn't change the shape of the saddle, so how does it not work right if it isn't in the center? Sorry, I'm new to the hard leather saddle experience.

2) Is that just for you? I don't have any experience with Brooks, but with any other saddle, it's needed to be parallel to the ground or I feel like I'm either straddled over a railing or falling over the handlebars
I said NEAR the middle. The saddle acts like a hammock, with the rails bending in
the middle. Move it too far, the rails don't bend and you are sitting a brick.

No, a lot of people tilt the B17. Remember a mm is 1/28th of an inch. Although
I have seen other people use crazy amounts of tilt.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by knobster
Nothing. It might take a little longer to break in. I didn't use it on my B17 and it worked just fine. I did use it on my Team Pro but this was because it is a thicker leather. Anyone think road bikes look stupid with a Brooks? I'm struggling with taking my Fizik Arione off and putting my Brooks Team Pro on... It's a '98 Eddy Merckx TiAX. Sorry to hijack your thread.....
Proofide is to protect the leather, not to help with break-in.
Despite what Harris Cyclery says on their site, according to Brooks, the Team Pro is not thicker leather.
I think my road bike looks sweet with a team pro.
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Old 02-21-07, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Proofide is to protect the leather, not to help with break-in.
To quote Sheldon... Life is too short. You know, I got my wife ( 110 pounds ) a Brooks Finesse as a present. She did not take it well at first. So we would ride, she would complain, and I'd add more proofide. About the 3rd or 4th time this happened I started applying it to the underside in the area of the sitbones.

Now we laugh about it, at least the parts of me that were left intact
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Old 02-21-07, 09:45 AM
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Ok! Thanks!
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