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Brooks curious

Old 12-14-07, 01:57 PM
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MMACH 5
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Brooks curious

I'm only a touring wannabe, but I figure you guys know more about Brooks saddles than just about any other forum here.

I'm think of getting myself a Brooks B-17 for Christmas. (The more I read about them, the more I want one.)

However, before I commit to it, I have two questions:

1. A used Brooks? I've seen a couple on ebay that are used. Doesn't that mean they are already contoured to someone else's tush?

2. Riding in the rain. We don't get an exorbitant amount of precipitation here but I would say I probably commute in the rain at least five times a year. Will this have a detrimental effect on a Brooks?

Thanks
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Old 12-14-07, 02:19 PM
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I would think that a used brooks would be a perfect fit... for the person that broke it in! I'm not sure why you would sell a used brooks unless it's sagging like a hammock - in that case, it's of no use to anyone.

Rain... if you can keep the bottom dry (fenders) then it should be fine. You will be sitting on top so that should keep it dry. If you are the type that gets out of the saddle, then you can buy a waterproof saddle cover (I have one- it works well) or you can use the plastic grocery bag. It hasn't been a problem for me - I commute in the rain sometimes five times a week.
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Old 12-14-07, 02:23 PM
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No worry, they've been made in England for 100 years, and I hear they tend to get a little rain over there now then
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Old 12-14-07, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I
2. Riding in the rain. We don't get an exorbitant amount of precipitation here but I would say I probably commute in the rain at least five times a year. Will this have a detrimental effect on a Brooks?
I've heard that some people just don't worry about it. I do, so I carry a plastic shopping bag in my seat bag. When it rains I cover the saddle with it. No problem.

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Old 12-14-07, 04:55 PM
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I prefer the Champion Flyer over the straight B17, YMMV.

I can think of several reasons for used saddles on FleaBay. Someone tried it didn't like it, bought a bike that came with one and didn't want it, or is stripping out a bike for parts to sell.

Most if not all of my bikes have fenders which will keep the underside dry, and I goop the underside once a year with Proofhide, and the top every few months under normal use. I also carry a plastic bag in the seat bag just in case.

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Old 12-14-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I'm think of getting myself a Brooks B-17 for Christmas. (The more I read about them, the more I want one.)

However, before I commit to it, I have two questions:

...snip....
Don't bother committing at all - just order your Brooks saddle from www.wallbike.com and you have 6 months to try it out. If you don't love it just return it for a refund - you can't get much more risk free than that!

BTW - I've got two Champion Flyers and I really like them. I notice the springs working for me and I'm only 160lbs.
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Old 12-14-07, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
Don't bother committing at all - just order your Brooks saddle from www.wallbike.com and you have 6 months to try it out. If you don't love it just return it for a refund - you can't get much more risk free than that!
+1

And I've ridden in more than my fair share of rain, and it hasn't been a problem for my Brooks.
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Old 12-15-07, 03:07 AM
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In fact, Wallbike sells the returned saddles on E-Bay. There is no reason a used saddle cannot reform to another's tush. It's just leather, not concrete - even tho some people swear otherwise. Same cautionary notes apply: Do not "soak" it in oils. Do not attempt to "speed up" the process. Apply very little of the Brooks product, Proofide (or anything even somewhat like it), and just ride it.

Carry the ubiquitous plastic bag under the saddle for cover when off the bike in the rain. You can smear a ton of SnoSeal under the saddle if you want to, without any concerns at all. That'll do a decent job of protecting the underside if you insist on not using fenders. Re-apply whenever you feel like it - SnoSeal cannot soften leather hide, no matter what they say - even in the SnoSeal adds.

Don't apply it to the top as it can become a bit sticky in the heat.
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Old 12-15-07, 06:09 AM
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I once bought a used bike already equipped with a Brooks B-17 saddle. It was broken in to someone else's sitter, but that has never been a problem. By now it probably fits my sitter, or our sitters are remarkably similar in geometry, anyway.

I expect some people return a leather saddle because the break in period is longer and more difficult than they thought.

I also think perspiration will do more damage to your saddle than will occasional rain. Keep it oiled and perhaps consider a cover to keep perspiration from getting at the leather.
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Old 12-15-07, 07:47 PM
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Perspiration will indeed damage the leather - after many happy years of riding. I would say that covering the saddle with a waterproof/sweatproof cover totally negates the greatest benefits of using a leather saddle altogether.

Those being:
1) Moisture (sweat) wicking away from the rider's skin, which leads to a very real reduction in sores.
2) ...which results in a drier, frictionless ride - another sore preventive characteristic of a solid leather saddle.

Reasonable care and treatment of your Brooks will keep it healthy for a good twenty years or more. Use fenders, cover it while parked in the rain, and use sensible leather treatments periodically. If you don't like fenders, use a generous coating of SnoSeal on the underside only. Apply it a couple times during winter.
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Old 12-15-07, 07:54 PM
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As stated above, you can carry a plastic grocery bag stuffed up under the seat between the leather and the rails to protect the bottom-side of the saddle in the rain - your tush will protect the top in the rain. When you get off the bike, if you're going to leave the bike parked outside in the rain, then drag the plastic bag out from under the seat and tie it over the top.

Actually, I find the seat bag that I carry my flat-fixing stuff in probably covers the bottom of the seat pretty well all by itself.

(Really, just don't worry. It's leather. It used to be a cow. Cows stand outside in the rain all the time.)
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Old 12-18-07, 10:53 AM
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Or if you are lucky you could find it comfortable straight away like i did! And just think it will get even more comfy. Great saddle and only 30 so get a new one in the colour you want.

Marc.
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Old 12-18-07, 11:32 AM
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Just get it over with, sticky a brooks thread since we seem to have a new one everyday anyway
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Old 12-18-07, 11:37 AM
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Yeah just buy it, switching to Brooks exclusively was among the very best things i did for my cycling. If you give it a fair go, you are very unlikely to regret it, au contraire. Plus Wallbike's got you covered. so stop posting and start ordering!
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Old 12-18-07, 02:07 PM
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The B67 did not work out at all for my road bike. It's on my commuter and it's great. I put a b-17 on my road bike and it was very comfortable from the first ride.
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Old 12-19-07, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by v1nce View Post
...so stop posting and start ordering!
Okay, okay.
Funds are a little tight, right now, (gotta spend it all on the kids' presents) but I'll be ordering my black, B17 Standard in about a week!

I can't wait.
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Old 12-24-07, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
I would think that a used brooks would be a perfect fit... for the person that broke it in! I'm not sure why you would sell a used brooks unless it's sagging like a hammock - in that case, it's of no use to anyone.....
Au contraite mon amie...

I have purchased 3 different Brooks B17 saddles on e-bay and all 3 have hardly been used. I bought them for myself and my 2 boys, but only I presisted with the bicycling/touring. The sons have other interests right now - but the Brooks are waiting for them to mature and change their ways......

The 3 saddles were hardly used at all, which makes me think that the original owners became ticked off with the break-in period.... Lets face it, breaking in a Brooks takes some Proofide and some riding - but if you just wanna quick fit then the Brooks ain't gonna work .... and you will probably think about getting rid of it.

I took mine on a 6 week tour on northern Australia's outback and a LOT of sweat certainly helped the breaking in process. It was not broken in when I started the tour, but it certainly was after a couple of weeks and 700 km of travel. When riding, by mid-morning the leather was damp, but my butt did not feel any worse for wear. In fact on some hot days I felt a certain "coolness" shall I say ;-)
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Old 12-24-07, 11:02 AM
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Given the conditions that you stated, 5 rainy commutes a year is all, I agree with the majority that a cover is not needed. If you are going touring, though, you may be talking about major wetness and for that, to me, it would make sense to protect your leather saddle from the wetness. I have always slathered Sno-Seal on the underside of the seat and had a good sturdy full coverage soft plastic cover for rainy days and overnight.
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Old 12-24-07, 11:17 AM
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what is this "brooks" you speak of?
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Old 12-28-07, 02:18 PM
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I bought a honey, B17 Standard. I placed the order at about 6:00am and hope they get it shipped today.
(This is going to be a long couple of days...)
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Old 12-28-07, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I bought a honey, B17 Standard. I placed the order at about 6:00am and hope they get it shipped today.
(This is going to be a long couple of days...)
You think it's gonna be a long couple of days now! Just wait 'till you put that sucker on your bike and start breaking it in!

Seriously, though, a Brooks is a great saddle. I have about 250 miles on mine, and sometimes it's so comfortable that you forget it's there. I seem to get a little sore after about 15 or 20 miles, but I'm still making adjustments. I'm getting close, though.

Remember, when you think you have the nose tilted up too much, just tilt her up some more and you might be getting into the ballpark. Brooks saddles really feel better with the nose way up there!
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Old 12-29-07, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
I bought a honey, B17 Standard. I placed the order at about 6:00am and hope they get it shipped today.
(This is going to be a long couple of days...)
Well done. There is no guarantee that it will work for you, but the odds are pretty good. Don't hold your breath for delivery, though... I know of one Brooks that was ordered from Wallbike, and it took several weeks to arrive (I am not being negative, just realistic). It would seem that the weak US dollar compared with other currencies around the world has suddenly made buying bike parts from the US much, much more attractive, and companies like Wallbike have been a little swamped with orders. Gotta love that prime mortgage market disaster

Oh and I am jealous simply because I couldn't source a B17 in honey on the spot in England in August and had to settle for another black one.
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Old 01-07-08, 06:39 PM
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My wife just called, (I'm at work) and said UPS dropped off the saddle at 5:30.

This is going to be the longest ride home ever...

(Does it sound like I'm making a big deal out of this? That's probably because this is going to be the most expensive item I've ever put on my bike--including the bike itself--LOL)
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Old 01-07-08, 09:21 PM
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B67 for touring, way better than the B17 butt buster!!!
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Old 01-08-08, 10:49 AM
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I installed the saddle and took the bike out for a spin.

When people say that a Brooks is hard, they aren't kidding! It's hard to imagine that this torturous piece of cruel leather & steel will transform itself into the "most comfortable saddle I've ever owned."
I can't even fathom riding it without padded shorts.

I hope that I will become one of the Brooks evangelists that frequent these forums, but for now it just feels like I've been sold a bill of goods.

This is all just my first impression so I'm not going yank the saddle and send it back.
I've only put a few miles on it and I realize that patience is required for proper break-in but it will have to feel considerably different than it does now.
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