My first Brooks saddle - impressions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Baka Dasai, May 2, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Baka Dasai

    Baka Dasai Guest

    I've been riding a Brooks B17 for 3 weeks now (other than stopping for meals etc :). Here's my
    mini-review.

    Before using it I gave it a good coating of Dubbin on the underside, and a very light coating on the
    top. The Dubbin completely soaked into the underside, but stayed sitting on the top surface until I
    wiped it off.

    Upon riding it, my first impression was "It's hard", but after about 30 seconds I realised that it
    actually wasn't uncomfortable. In fact it felt pretty damn comfortable straight away, even though it
    was hard. One thing I liked was the slipperiness of it - it made it very easy to adjust position,
    especially when sitting back down after unweighting the saddle for bumps.

    I soon noticed that the slipperiness was causing me to slide forward, putting extra weight on my
    hands. A bit of extra upwards tilt on the saddle fixed that.

    After just a couple of days I noticed that I already had caused significant depressions in the
    saddle underneath my sit bones. They weren't small depressions - they were quite large. After 3
    weeks these are now quite pronounced. The saddle now has two big depressions under the sit bones,
    while the centre of the saddle remains as smooth and high as it was originally. I can feel some
    pressure under my crotch which never used to be there. So far it doesn't cause pain or numbness, but
    it might if the depressions underneath the sit bones get much deeper.

    I did a small experiment where I felt the underneath of the saddle with my hand while I was riding.
    When my foot was at the top of the pedal stroke, my sit bone was making a very noticable depression
    into the leather. The saddle was really taking quite a hammering from my butt, 80-90 times a minute.
    It's no wonder that the leather was stretching/softening so quickly.

    Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more comfortable than I thought it would be,
    but the rate at which it is stretching and sagging is very worrying.
    --
    "Naturally, the common people don't want war. But, after all, it is the leaders of a country who
    determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. All you have to do is
    tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing
    the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    - Hermann Goering
     
    Tags:


  2. Belij3

    Belij3 Guest

    >the centre of the saddle remains as smooth and high as it was originally. I can feel some pressure
    >under my crotch which never used to be there.

    This is why I quit using mine. I always got the crotch pressure from the center portion. B
     
  3. kh6zv9

    kh6zv9 Guest

    Belij3 <[email protected]> wrote:
    :>the centre of the saddle remains as smooth and high as it was originally. I can feel some pressure
    :>under my crotch which never used to be there.

    : This is why I quit using mine. I always got the crotch pressure from the center portion. B

    You don't want that pressure. Tilt that saddle down a bit. Get a micro adjust set post.

    --------------------------------
    Bob Masse' [email protected]
    --------------------------------
     
  4. On Sat, 03 May 2003 01:01:13 -0400, Baka Dasai wrote:

    > I've been riding a Brooks B17 for 3 weeks now (other than stopping for meals etc :). Here's my
    > mini-review.
    >
    > Before using it I gave it a good coating of Dubbin on the underside, and a very light coating on
    > the top. The Dubbin completely soaked into the underside, but stayed sitting on the top surface
    > until I wiped it off.

    [snip]

    > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more comfortable than I thought it would be,
    > but the rate at which it is stretching and sagging is very worrying.

    I'd worry too, if I were you. What is "Dubbin"? Certainly nothing Brooks recommends. I have five or
    6 Brooks saddles in service right now, all but one B17s. The oldest saddle is a Brooks Pro I started
    using in 1991. None of them are sagging like yours.
     
  5. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> writes:

    > I'd worry too, if I were you. What is "Dubbin"?

    It's a traditional leather treatment, closer in effect to neatsfoot oil than to saddle soap. I think
    maybe all the above treatments are really more suited to thick-leather cowboy boots, than to bicycle
    saddle leather. If I had a Brooks, I'd be inclined to stay with tried-&-true Proofide.

    > Certainly nothing Brooks recommends. I have five or 6 Brooks saddles in service right now, all
    > but one B17s. The oldest saddle is a Brooks Pro I started using in 1991. None of them are sagging
    > like yours.

    IIRC, there's some sort of tightening nut under the saddle? I seem also to recall seeing/hearing
    advice about "shoe lacing" the underside, to drum-tighten them; maybe that's a sort of last resort
    improvisation(?). Maybe a Google search on: "Brooks saddle sag" would cough-up some info? I
    wouldn't be surprised if a Sheldon Brown link turned up in the results. That'd be one I'd home-in
    on, for sure.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  6. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Sat, 3 May 2003 16:57:18 -0700, [email protected] (Tom Keats) wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >> I'd worry too, if I were you. What is "Dubbin"?
    >
    >It's a traditional leather treatment, closer in effect to neatsfoot oil than to saddle soap. I
    >think maybe all the above treatments are really more suited to thick-leather cowboy boots, than to
    >bicycle saddle leather. If I had a Brooks, I'd be inclined to stay with tried-&-true Proofide.
    >
    >> Certainly nothing Brooks recommends. I have five or 6 Brooks saddles in service right now, all
    >> but one B17s. The oldest saddle is a Brooks Pro I started using in 1991. None of them are sagging
    >> like yours.
    >
    >IIRC, there's some sort of tightening nut under the saddle? I seem also to recall seeing/hearing
    >advice about "shoe lacing" the underside, to drum-tighten them; maybe that's a sort of last resort
    >improvisation(?). Maybe a Google search on: "Brooks saddle sag" would cough-up some info? I
    >wouldn't be surprised if a Sheldon Brown link turned up in the results. That'd be one I'd home-in
    >on, for sure.
    >
    >
    >cheers, Tom

    Sheldon Brown's web site recommends a serious oiling for breakin.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

    My experience with a couple of Brooks, one in 1976 and one in 1999, involved no oiling like he
    suggests. I went along the lines as recommended at the Rivendell site:

    "Go easy on the proofide (the leather conditioner Brooks recommends for its saddles), because
    despite what you may hear at the local hangout, too much proofide will cause the leather to soften
    too much. At that point it will sag and the saddle won't be so comfortable. So use just a little,
    rub it in well, and apply it only once a year, unless you live in an extremely dry climate."

    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/saddles_accessories/11007.html

    Two very different approaches, Brown and Rivendell.

    My first Brooks, which I used for touring and riding for ten years until it was stolen, had a little
    Proofide applied every year or so, and needed a little tensioning once after seven years. The new
    one had a little mink oil applied to the bottom, and gets Lexol every eight months or so on top- a
    light coat, wiped off until dry after ten minutes or so. It took a few days to get the angle tuned
    in just right, to not get numb and to not slide forward.

    No oiling worked for me. Lots of oiling has obviously worked for Brown over the years, and he has
    seen and sold and broken in more Brooks saddles than most anybody else here, I imagine. Go figure...
    He acknowledges the different approaches on his own site.
     
  7. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Steve Palincsar wrote:

    > On Sat, 03 May 2003 01:01:13 -0400, Baka Dasai wrote:
    >
    > > I've been riding a Brooks B17 for 3 weeks now (other than stopping for meals etc :). Here's my
    > > mini-review.
    > >
    > > Before using it I gave it a good coating of Dubbin on the underside, and a very light coating on
    > > the top. The Dubbin completely soaked into the underside, but stayed sitting on the top surface
    > > until I wiped it off.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more comfortable than I thought it would
    > > be, but the rate at which it is stretching and sagging is very worrying.
    >
    > I'd worry too, if I were you. What is "Dubbin"? Certainly nothing Brooks recommends. I have five
    > or 6 Brooks saddles in service right now, all but one B17s. The oldest saddle is a Brooks Pro I
    > started using in 1991. None of them are sagging like yours.

    Your reply rings a bell. "Dubbin" is a waterproofing boot grease. Used to use it on hiking boots
    about 25 or so years ago. It was not that great. Makes the leather stretch and get a little too
    soft, imho. Also was not durable enough to be a good waterproofer. Brooks sells something else as a
    saddle treatment, no? Bernie
     
  8. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    --
    Robin Hubert <[email protected]> "Dan Daniel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 3 May 2003 16:57:18 -0700, [email protected] (Tom Keats) wrote:
    >
    > > In article <[email protected]ienna7.his.com>,
    > > Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> writes:
    > >
    > >> I'd worry too, if I were you. What is "Dubbin"?
    > >
    > >It's a traditional leather treatment, closer in effect to neatsfoot oil than to saddle soap. I
    > >think maybe all the above treatments are really more suited to thick-leather cowboy boots, than
    > >to bicycle saddle leather. If I had a Brooks, I'd be inclined to stay with tried-&-true Proofide.
    > >
    > >> Certainly nothing Brooks recommends. I have five or 6 Brooks saddles in service right
    now,
    > >> all but one B17s. The oldest saddle is a Brooks Pro I started using in 1991. None of them are
    > >> sagging like yours.
    > >
    > >IIRC, there's some sort of tightening nut under the saddle? I seem also to recall seeing/hearing
    > >advice about "shoe lacing" the underside, to drum-tighten them; maybe that's a sort of last
    > >resort improvisation(?). Maybe a Google search on: "Brooks saddle sag" would cough-up some info?
    > >I wouldn't be surprised if a Sheldon Brown link turned up in the results. That'd be one I'd
    > >home-in on, for sure.
    > >
    > >
    > > cheers,
    > > Tom
    >
    >
    > Sheldon Brown's web site recommends a serious oiling for breakin.
    >
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
    >
    > My experience with a couple of Brooks, one in 1976 and one in 1999, involved no oiling like he
    > suggests. I went along the lines as recommended at the Rivendell site:
    >
    > "Go easy on the proofide (the leather conditioner Brooks recommends for its saddles), because
    > despite what you may hear at the local hangout, too much proofide will cause the leather to soften
    > too much. At that point it will sag and the saddle won't be so comfortable. So use just a little,
    > rub it in well, and apply it only once a year, unless you live in an extremely dry climate."
    >
    > http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/saddles_accessories/11007.html
    >
    > Two very different approaches, Brown and Rivendell.
    >
    > My first Brooks, which I used for touring and riding for ten years until it was stolen, had a
    > little Proofide applied every year or so, and needed a little tensioning once after seven years.
    > The new one had a little mink oil applied to the bottom, and gets Lexol every eight months or so
    > on top- a light coat, wiped off until dry after ten minutes or so. It took a few days to get the
    > angle tuned in just right, to not get numb and to not slide forward.
    >
    > No oiling worked for me. Lots of oiling has obviously worked for Brown over the years, and he has
    > seen and sold and broken in more Brooks saddles than most anybody else here, I imagine. Go
    > figure... He acknowledges the different approaches on his own site.
    >

    http://www.indygear.com/contacts/pecard.shtml tells you about oil and leather, specifically
    neatsfoot.(scroll down to "Why not Neatsfoot oil?").
     
  9. Baka Dasai

    Baka Dasai Guest

    On Sat, 3 May 2003 16:57:18 -0700, Tom Keats said (and I quote):
    > IIRC, there's some sort of tightening nut under the saddle? I seem also to recall seeing/hearing
    > advice about "shoe lacing" the underside, to drum-tighten them; maybe that's a sort of last resort
    > improvisation(?).

    There's no sag in the front-to-back direction, so the tensioning nut won't help. There's a fairly
    deep and large depression in the leather under each sit-bone. This leaves the centre of the saddle
    relatively higher.
    --
    "Naturally, the common people don't want war. But, after all, it is the leaders of a country who
    determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. All you have to do is
    tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing
    the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    - Hermann Goering
     
  10. Iain Lang

    Iain Lang Guest

    .
    >> > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more comfortable than I thought it would
    >> > be, but the rate at which it is stretching and sagging is very worrying.
    How does one tell when a B17 needs tensioning?
     
  11. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

  12. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Iain Lang" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > .
    > >> > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more
    comfortable
    > >> > than I thought it would be, but the rate at which it is stretching
    and
    > >> > sagging is very worrying.
    > How does one tell when a B17 needs tensioning?

    See cautions about tensioning a Brooks saddle from Sheldon Brown:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html

    Sheldon also has a model that never sags or needs tensioning or conditioning:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html
     
  13. "Iain Lang" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > >> > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more comfortable than I thought it
    > >> > would be, but the rate at which it is stretching and sagging is very worrying.
    >
    > How does one tell when a B17 needs tensioning?

    My first B-17 has quite a pocket in it now from about 7-8 years of use, but still quite comfortable.

    But I too was thinking perhaps it is time to do the unthinkable...retension the saddle a bit.

    Cautions are to do so very, very carefully. It is easy to overstretch the leather and then it's
    pretty much ruined.

    One alternative idea that I am entertaining, is to simply punch a hole or two on each side of the
    saddle edge and tie a string between them. Sort of like lacing up a shoe. This will stiffen the
    saddle somewhat, and you don't even have to fiddle with that difficult to access nut at the saddle
    nose, for tensioning.

    My latest, one year old Brooks, is now broken in and riding most comfortably. A great saddle!

    SMH
     
  14. The concern about stretching on a new B17 is a bit confusing. You want a little stretching as the
    sag in the middle is what keeps your prostrate from being pressed. The sag where you sit is where
    your sit bones create small indents. These help distribute the pressure over a larger area so you
    are sitting on your but rather than just these bones.

    Adjusting the saddle is easy if you have the special wrench and a problem if you don't. I like my a
    little loose.

    --
    Alan C. Acock [email protected] [email protected] http://www.orst.edu/dept/hdfs/acock/
    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Iain Lang" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > > >> > Overall I have mixed feelings about this saddle. It's more
    comfortable
    > > >> > than I thought it would be, but the rate at which it is stretching
    and
    > > >> > sagging is very worrying.
    > >
    > > How does one tell when a B17 needs tensioning?
    >
    > My first B-17 has quite a pocket in it now from about 7-8 years of use,
    but
    > still quite comfortable.
    >
    > But I too was thinking perhaps it is time to do the
    unthinkable...retension
    > the saddle a bit.
    >
    > Cautions are to do so very, very carefully. It is easy to overstretch the leather and then it's
    > pretty much ruined.
    >
    > One alternative idea that I am entertaining, is to simply punch a hole or
    two
    > on each side of the saddle edge and tie a string between them. Sort of
    like
    > lacing up a shoe. This will stiffen the saddle somewhat, and you don't
    even
    > have to fiddle with that difficult to access nut at the saddle nose, for tensioning.
    >
    > My latest, one year old Brooks, is now broken in and riding most
    comfortably.
    > A great saddle!
    >
    >
    > SMH
     
  15. Baka Dasai

    Baka Dasai Guest

    On Fri, 09 May 2003 05:29:47 GMT, Alan C. Acock said (and I quote):
    > The concern about stretching on a new B17 is a bit confusing. You want a little stretching as the
    > sag in the middle is what keeps your prostrate from being pressed.

    And the problem is that there is zero sag in the middle. The middle is still firm and high.

    > The sag where you sit is where your sit bones create small indents. These help distribute the
    > pressure over a larger area so you are sitting on your but rather than just these bones.

    These indents aren't small. They're quite large, and quite deep, and appeared within 10 minutes of
    riding the saddle for the first time.

    Perhaps the Dubbin ruined the leather?
    --
    "Naturally, the common people don't want war. But, after all, it is the leaders of a country who
    determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. All you have to do is
    tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing
    the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    - Hermann Goering
     
  16. Glenn D.

    Glenn D. Guest

    "> Perhaps the Dubbin ruined the leather?
    > --

    No doubt about it. That saddle would have lasted many thousands of miles before it needed
    tightening. It's destroyed now. You need to start over again with a new one and a can of proofide.
    Brooks saddles are worth the investment in time it takes to break them in.

    Glenn
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...