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Brooks- the secret is out

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Brooks- the secret is out

Old 12-13-05, 06:01 PM
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Brooks- the secret is out

Now I know the secret- why a Brooks saddle relieves a sore rump: your hind end slides around so much that no one part of your posterior anatomy stays in the same location for more than a nano-second! It doesn't have a chance to become sore! I've read that this 'feature' will lessen over time, but I believe my experience would be a more pleasant one if I could 'plant' my rump in one spot and leave it there until I decided to move it (not the saddle). I've only proofided once, out of the box, and I'm not too eager to do it again.

Some tips I've tried so far:
1) Adjusted the horn/nose upward from level, and that helped comfort greatly and somewhat reduced the sliding forward (not much, though). My preference on the previous saddle (WTB team V) was nose down from level to alleviate pressure points. I could try more of an incline, but I think that will shift too much weight onto my forward anatomy

2) Lowered the seat post about 3-4 mm

3) Adjusted the saddle forward such that all available travel is used (likely affects my KOPS, but I can come back to that later). My stem is already a 9 cm, and 'looking' down from the cockpit I see the front hub about 1 inch in front of the handlebar. If anything I'm more forward than I have to be, but again, I think that can be revisited later after I adjust to the Brooks.

1) Not comfortable out of the box, for me, but with many micro adjustments it's do-able
2) I don't experience numbness anymore, and can go an entire ride 'in the saddle' whereas before I'd have to stand every so often
3) I don't 'feel' my 'sit bones' on the Brooks when riding, like I've read others state. I do feel chaffing/rubbing at the perineum ('taint), likely from the on-going motion of automatically sliding forward and manually sliding back to where I'd like to remain
4) It seems that my lower quality cycling shorts rub less, while the high end (ypro3 castelli) that worked wonders on the previous saddle don't do as well comfort-wise on the Brooks

I've logged about 100 miles so far, so it's quite early, but thought I'd 'share' my experience with the experienced.

My steed is a Novara Express, a hybrid that I've modified somewhat such that she now has road handlebars, D/A bar-end shifters, Freddy Fenders, Performance rear rack and T-42 Arkel's. Nice bike for a daily commuter.

Thanks for all the good reading here- I appreciate it,
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Old 12-13-05, 06:05 PM
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The sliding feeling will go away. I forget exactly when, but definitely before the 800 km point.

And I've only proofided mine twice in the year and a half I've had it. You don't need to do it a lot of times.
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Old 12-15-05, 05:15 AM
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You should break in a Brooks with gentle riding for a few weeks. Avoid any epic rides. The dimples will gradually appear and that sliding feeling will vanish.
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Old 12-15-05, 09:56 AM
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Mine was slippery at first but after some serious sweat and a ride in the rain that disappeared. Proofride seems to bring back the slippery feeling though. Still, this is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden.

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Old 12-16-05, 01:45 PM
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Mine was slow to break in. On a trip though we had an 80 mile day in pouring ran.

At the end of the day, my butt impression was well defined on the seat.
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Old 12-16-05, 02:31 PM
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I had all the problems you had and they NEVER got any better. The Brooks fore-aft adjustment range is minimal, the nose-up position put pressure on my perineum, the "dimples" quickly appeared and then the saddle began to sag!

I dumped my Brooks (BOTH of them - the B-17 and the B-72) and bought a Specialized Milano - Perineal groove for reduced pressure, padding for bone comfort, and it keeps my rump in place until *** I *** choose to move it.

I know I'm a minority, but IMHO, Brooks SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS!
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Old 12-16-05, 05:04 PM
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Yes proofide will definitely make it slippy for a while, but the effect on a saddle thats worn in shouldn't be too great. Wouldn't swap my Champion Flyer for anything.
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Old 12-16-05, 05:17 PM
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i have a specialized milano that i dont like, but i have never ridden a brooks either. i have a Leather Ideale that i ride that i love. but everybody has a different build and a different A. i think i will always be looking for that perfect saddle. so far the "Ideale" is it!!!
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Old 12-16-05, 09:38 PM
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The slipperiness (is that a word?) was one of the things I liked about Brooks when I first got one. When I went back to one of my other bikes, it felt like I was glued in place and I didn't like it at all.
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Old 12-16-05, 09:56 PM
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I like the slipperyness too. Occasionally I put a Velox saddle cover on (when it's raining) and the added grippiness of the cover bugs me. I have gotten real used to being able to alter my position just by sliding around. With the cover on I have to lift and then move.

San Francisco, California
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Old 12-16-05, 11:00 PM
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The secret to owning a Brooks is to let someone else buy it new, almost break it in and then sell it to you on Ebay. You will save $20-30 dollars, It will be comfy with-in a 100 miles and you didn't have to break it in.
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Old 12-22-05, 05:59 PM
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I think it is important to keep the Brooks tensioned after break in & keep the nose slightly elevated. Tensioning should be limited to 1 flat at time until you feel increased turning resistnace. The Brooks spanner is great for this.

John Hawrylak
Woodstown NJ
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