Brooks Saddles: Hard/Soft?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by (PeteCresswell), Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Seems like there was a thread on this sometime last year, but I cannot find it.

    I've got three B-17's that I've had for varying periods of time.

    None of them required what I'd call "break-in". Yes, they got a little more
    comfy with use, but all 3 were reasonably comfortable on Day 1.

    Right now, I'm trying a new B-17S. Supposedly 7mm wider and somewhat shorter.

    "Ass Hatchet" is probably too strong a word, but this thing is *Hard* -
    something in the vein of http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html.

    It almost seems like they've impregnated the leather with some kind of resin to
    make it stiff. On my other Brooks saddles, I can wiggle the skirt where the
    Brooks logo is stamped and it's fairly pliable. On the new saddle, it's like
    wood.

    It's also extremely slippery - seemingly in support of the impregnation notion.

    Before I send this thing back, I thought I'd try to troll up some other people's
    experiences.

    Anybody been here?


    --
    PeteCresswell
     
    Tags:


  2. Steve W

    Steve W Guest

    I would say that's normal. My new B17 fits that description, hard!!

    SW


    "(PeteCresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Seems like there was a thread on this sometime last year, but I cannot
    > find it.
    >
    > I've got three B-17's that I've had for varying periods of time.
    >
    > None of them required what I'd call "break-in". Yes, they got a little
    > more
    > comfy with use, but all 3 were reasonably comfortable on Day 1.
    >
    > Right now, I'm trying a new B-17S. Supposedly 7mm wider and somewhat
    > shorter.
    >
    > "Ass Hatchet" is probably too strong a word, but this thing is *Hard* -
    > something in the vein of http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html.
    >
    > It almost seems like they've impregnated the leather with some kind of
    > resin to
    > make it stiff. On my other Brooks saddles, I can wiggle the skirt where
    > the
    > Brooks logo is stamped and it's fairly pliable. On the new saddle, it's
    > like
    > wood.
    >
    > It's also extremely slippery - seemingly in support of the impregnation
    > notion.
    >
    > Before I send this thing back, I thought I'd try to troll up some other
    > people's
    > experiences.
    >
    > Anybody been here?
    >
    >
    > --
    > PeteCresswell
     
  3. (PeteCresswell) wrote:
    > Seems like there was a thread on this sometime last year, but I cannot find it.
    >
    > I've got three B-17's that I've had for varying periods of time.
    >
    > None of them required what I'd call "break-in". Yes, they got a little more
    > comfy with use, but all 3 were reasonably comfortable on Day 1.
    >
    > Right now, I'm trying a new B-17S. Supposedly 7mm wider and somewhat shorter.
    >
    > "Ass Hatchet" is probably too strong a word, but this thing is *Hard* -
    > something in the vein of http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html.
    >
    > It almost seems like they've impregnated the leather with some kind of resin to
    > make it stiff. On my other Brooks saddles, I can wiggle the skirt where the
    > Brooks logo is stamped and it's fairly pliable. On the new saddle, it's like
    > wood.
    >
    > It's also extremely slippery - seemingly in support of the impregnation notion.
    >
    > Before I send this thing back, I thought I'd try to troll up some other people's
    > experiences.
    >
    > Anybody been here?
    >
    >
    > --
    > PeteCresswell


    My 5 year old, in service only the past 2 years, Brooks Pro is still
    hard after about 5,000 miles. Feels slick to the touch. But its still
    comfortable and I don't seem to slide off the saddle.

    To solve the hardness you could saok the thing in neatsfoot oil. And
    the slickness can be cured by using some sandpaper, lightly, on the
    leather.
     
  4. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On Mon, 09 Jan 2006 17:19:07 -0500, "(PeteCresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Seems like there was a thread on this sometime last year, but I cannot find it.
    >
    >I've got three B-17's that I've had for varying periods of time.
    >
    >None of them required what I'd call "break-in". Yes, they got a little more
    >comfy with use, but all 3 were reasonably comfortable on Day 1.
    >
    >Right now, I'm trying a new B-17S. Supposedly 7mm wider and somewhat shorter.
    >
    >"Ass Hatchet" is probably too strong a word, but this thing is *Hard* -
    >something in the vein of http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html.
    >
    >It almost seems like they've impregnated the leather with some kind of resin to
    >make it stiff. On my other Brooks saddles, I can wiggle the skirt where the
    >Brooks logo is stamped and it's fairly pliable. On the new saddle, it's like
    >wood.
    >
    >It's also extremely slippery - seemingly in support of the impregnation notion.
    >
    >Before I send this thing back, I thought I'd try to troll up some other people's
    >experiences.
    >
    >Anybody been here?


    Leather varies. That's one of its disadvantages. This one is the sort that
    everyone was talking about with the break in drill.

    Ron
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, PeteCresswell
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Seems like there was a thread on this sometime last year, but I cannot find
    > it.
    >
    > I've got three B-17's that I've had for varying periods of time.
    >
    > None of them required what I'd call "break-in". Yes, they got a little more
    > comfy with use, but all 3 were reasonably comfortable on Day 1.
    >
    > Right now, I'm trying a new B-17S. Supposedly 7mm wider and somewhat shorter.
    >
    > "Ass Hatchet" is probably too strong a word, but this thing is *Hard* -
    > something in the vein of http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html.
    >
    > It almost seems like they've impregnated the leather with some kind of resin
    > to
    > make it stiff. On my other Brooks saddles, I can wiggle the skirt where the
    > Brooks logo is stamped and it's fairly pliable. On the new saddle, it's
    > like
    > wood.
    >
    > It's also extremely slippery - seemingly in support of the impregnation
    > notion.



    Of my two B-17s (s is for plural), the second more fit your description
    prior to break-in: I found myself sliding around on the smooth finish
    (since worn to a grainy texture a la my other Brooks); and break-in
    seemed longer than the first B17. However, I wouldn't describe either
    saddle as *hard* - nowhere near as firm as my Pro, for instance.

    This may have a bearing: My first B17 was manufactured prior to Selle
    Royal buying the firm (that saddle's metal plate states "Brooks,
    England"), and the second, following the buyout (nameplate simply says
    "Brooks"). Perhaps the inconsistencies can be attributed to differences
    in manufacturing and finishing processes following the change in
    ownership, as well as model designs. Do you have access to a new
    standard B17 that'll serve as a reference?

    Luke
     
  6. Strayhorn

    Strayhorn Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "(PeteCresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    in re: ass hatchet Brooks B17S

    > Before I send this thing back, I thought I'd try to troll up some other
    > people's
    > experiences.


    As the liner notes for the Woodstock album say, imperfections are proof
    of authenticity. I'm a big fan of leather ("Kinky!" I can hear the
    assembled multitudes cry out) and it does have a wide range of quality
    even with items from the same manufacturer. One rack of jackets by
    Cooper will be soft and pliable, the next rack will be stiff as a board.
    Brooks seems to be the same way, but I do think that improper storage
    sometimes contributes to hard leather. (*)

    You can always track down some of Brooks' Proofide or try neatsfoot oil.
    I've had much better luck with a product called Lexol Leather
    Conditioner, a dressing that doesn't darken the leather or make it prone
    to stretching. It's very popular among the antique auto crowd as
    neatsfoot will eventually cause seat or facia covers to stretch and sag,
    and Lexol also doesn't leave a residue that will stain your clothes. I
    get it locally at Jin's, a shoe-repair guy. The Wilson's Leather chain
    stores carried it at one time, don't know if they still do. You might
    find it at a saddle (horse, not bike) shop. Of course, it's sold at a
    bazillion places online. Lexol also sells pure neatsfoot if you insist.

    I'm on my third Brooks B17, I've tried a dozen saddles including a few
    ultra-expensive superfantastic types and nothing else fits my tush. It
    is something of a weight hit, but I'm not a racer. Two were soft out of
    the box, my current saddle was a bit hard but I rubbed it with Lexol a
    couple times and it softened up.

    (*) I went to a closeout sale of an LBS a couple years ago and found,
    still in its box, a saddle by the "Belt Leather Company" of Tokyo. As
    near as I could tell, it was an early-70s clone of a Brooks B17. It had
    been stored on a shelf all that time and had dried out. Hard as a rock,
    but it hadn't cracked yet. I soaked it in neatsfoot for 30 minutes just
    to get things started. Then, every day for about two weeks, I'd rub in
    some Lexol *by hand* (using a rag just makes a mess, trust me on this)
    on the top and bottom. After that, I mounted the saddle on a bike I have
    set up as a trainer. I'd rub some more Lexol onto the saddle about ten
    minutes before my usual evening "ride" while watching the news.

    After a month or so of this, the saddle is as pliable and comfortable as
    a brand new Brooks. Not bad for something that cost $2.

    --
    Strayhorn

    "Excuse me, brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?" - F.Z.
     
  7. Per Strayhorn:
    >near as I could tell, it was an early-70s clone of a Brooks B17


    Did it measure 170mm? I've got this obsession about how come, given a normal
    distribution of butt widths, why they don't make at least an 18 a 19 in the same
    shape.
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
  8. Strayhorn

    Strayhorn Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "(PeteCresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Per Strayhorn:
    > >near as I could tell, it was an early-70s clone of a Brooks B17

    >
    > Did it measure 170mm? I've got this obsession about how come, given a
    > normal
    > distribution of butt widths, why they don't make at least an 18 a 19 in the
    > same
    > shape.


    Sorry, missed your query due to overwork here at the salt mine. I'll
    measure the saddle (and post a few pics if I have any batteries for the
    camera) and let you know.

    One thing is different from a Brooks - it's almost level from the nose
    to the rear, doesn't have the upsweep that the rear of a Brooks has.

    --
    Strayhorn

    "Excuse me, brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?" - F.Z.
     
  9. Strayhorn

    Strayhorn Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "(PeteCresswell)" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Per Strayhorn:
    > >near as I could tell, it was an early-70s clone of a Brooks B17

    >
    > Did it measure 170mm? I've got this obsession about how come, given a
    > normal
    > distribution of butt widths, why they don't make at least an 18 a 19 in the
    > same
    > shape.


    In all respects, it's a clone of a B17. I measured it fore-and-aft and
    across the back, and in three places across the "nose". Everything was
    within a mm or so.

    I don't have a very accurate scale but they seem to weigh the same as
    well.

    The only difference was the logo - which was stamped in the same place
    that Brooks stamps their logos. It's an oval, across the top is "Belt
    Leather Company" and across the bottom is "Tokyo". There is a graphic
    device of some sort in the middle but I can't tell what it is.

    --
    Strayhorn

    "Excuse me, brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?" - F.Z.
     
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