Author Topic: Brooks saddle break in period  (Read 23396 times)

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Offline MTNGator

Brooks saddle break in period
« on: August 28, 2009, 07:48:10 pm »
Hello All - How long until my Team Professional becomes the most comfortable touring saddle ever??? It has 550 miles on it already and still hurts in the sit bone area after 18-29 miles each ride. Thanks, Ed

Offline whittierider

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 07:58:43 pm »
I know a lot of people really like Brooks saddles, and the leather does indeed form itself over time to your particular rear; but I rode one thousands of miles and it never got comfortable.  Finally it cracked and I had it re-leathered, and then it was even worse.  If your rear is not in shape though, nothing will be comfy.   The saddle I'm on now is the narrowest, hardest, lightest, and almost the cheapest of any I've ever used, and is also perhaps the most comfortable for century and longer rides.

Offline danacf

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2009, 02:56:54 pm »
The Brooks Pro I bought in the spring started feeling real nice at about 550 miles.  How much proofhide have you applied to it?  I have broken in several Brooks saddles over the past few years using the following methodology:  First check the tension.  I thought my Brooks Pro was over tentioned right out of the box.  There was about 6-7 mm of threads showing, so I backed it off a few turns.  You can always re-tighten after it starts to break in.  Then apply a liberal amount of proofhide on both the underside and topside and let it sit about two days.  The first application is like putting primer on bare wood - it soaks right in.  Then I give it a second coat and let it sit a day or two.  You won't need nearly as much the second time.  Then start riding it.  After about a month I'll put a light coating on top in the sit bone area.  The proofhide takes a lot of stiffness and dryness out of the leather.  I also try to help it along by working the nose area with the heel of my hand and the sit bone area with my thumbs and even my elbow.  It's kind of like breaking in a baseball glove by pounding your fist in the pocket and the objective is the same, that is, to end up with an item that is flexible but retains its shape.
 

Offline KDC1956

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 08:07:22 pm »
Good old saddle soap will help a lot too.Saddle soap will let it get soft quick.
Or it did help out on my brooks b17 saddle.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2009, 09:34:19 am »
Adding to this good advice, try doing most of the softening right under the perch-bone depressions. The rest of the saddle needs little or no re-shaping, and there is no sense in letting it stretch.

Fred

Offline MTNGator

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 12:55:03 pm »
Thanks all for the responses - I have used liberal amounts of Proofhide (and nothing else) since I started using the saddle. I will try the other hints suggested and give it a go for a few hundred more miles. Ed

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 04:15:24 pm »
Thanks all for the responses - I have used liberal amounts of Proofhide (and nothing else) since I started using the saddle. I will try the other hints suggested and give it a go for a few hundred more miles. Ed

A Team Pro has really hard leather.  I used to have one, and it took all summer to break in.  I also have a two B-17 Standards and a Conquest (shorter and narrower than a Flyer).    They had softer leather and broke in in about 8 hours of riding.

I just got a B-17 Imperial.  It has a hard leather, and reminds me of the Team Pro.  It is not that the hard leather is uncomfortable, it is just that your rump slides around a bit because it has not created any pelvic dips.  The B-17 Imperial is supposed to be a B-17 Standard with a prostrate friendly cut out, but I am not finding it to be quite that.  I only have 5 or 6 hours of riding on the Imperial.

So I guess you might want to know why do I have so many saddles?  I started to have prostrate issues, had to retire the Team Pro and the Conquest.  One of the B-17 Standards was purchased via Tom Milton, who used to resell B-17s with a cut out of his own design.  Now he has a saddle of his own design.  I just retired my orriginal B-17 Standard as I now need cutouts on all of my saddles, and this is being replace by the B-17 Imperial.

You have not said why you have a Team Pro or what you want to do with.  Why did you pick this particular Brooks saddle?

A Brooks saddle will eventually deform to match your "back side".  This is what makes it comfortable.  I have met people who never can survive the Brooks saddle break in process.  Tom Milton's saddle uses a different technology.  The two halves of the split saddle hammock so to speak.  I don't like it myself, but I have two friends that prefer it.
Danno

Offline MTNGator

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 06:36:10 pm »
The Team Pro (in green) was standard equipment on my fairway green, 2005 Cannondale T2000.

For many miles I thought I had it, and my backside, "on the same page" - unfortunately cancer kept me off my bike from October 2006 until mid-2008. I trying to get back where I was before diagnosis/treatment/recovery from treatment. including felling okay on a great looking British saddle.

Ed

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 06:10:34 am »
As I remember, a Team Pro has somewhat flat top.  It would be a good saddle for a more aggressive riding position, like that found on a critereum bike.  I had my Team Pro on a Paramount Series 3, and I would still be happily riding with it had I not developed a prostrate  issue.  The saddle had broken in, which to me meant dent that lined up with my pelvis.  What about your Team Pro do you find uncomfortable?

I think the suggestions about using Proofhide (a leather dressing) to condition the leather, and the spanner wrench to detention the saddle, are good suggestions.  Both are available from Wallingford Bike, www.wallbike.com.

If the Team Pro does not pan out for you, a Brooks B-17 might be a better leather saddle for you.  The B-17 is wider and a little more rounded, and works well with the more relaxed riding position of a touring bike.  Wallingford should be able to get one for you in green.
Danno

Offline biker_james

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2009, 07:42:25 am »
I have a Brooks Team Pro that I put on my Cannondale T800, and love it. I used Mink Oil when I first got it. I bought it second hand, but really unused, and didn't have any Proofide at the time. I think the mink oil (meant for boots) softened it up more than proofide does. My wife also has gotten a Brooks Team Pro, and has only put proofide on it. It has not softened or reshaped nearly as much as mine has, although she still finds it very comfortable. Since the initial breakin, I am only usibng proofide, not the mink oil, as I'm not looking for any more softening of the leather.

Offline MTNGator

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 10:35:51 am »
I am used to narrow saddles - my favorite (that got away from me) was a Selle Prolink Gelflow (older style) that was sold with another bike I had. Should have kept that saddle. Anyway, at that time the Brooks felt like it was starting to work for me - I could usually get 20-25 mile in before the sit-bone area started to get sore (not so bad that I got saddle sores but the area was sensitive for a day or so). I don't think I had over 100 miles on the Brooks at that point.

Like I said in an earlier post, I'm going to try to work with what I have for a bit longer - the mink oil, saddle soap, working the sit-bone area with my hands to soften it up all are great suggestions. I have a Brooks spanner and I checked the tension yesterday - the bolt is backed all the way out so nothing I can do there - and I have used a good deal of Proofide on the saddle over the years. It probably comes down to spending more time on it and that is exactly what I plan on doing.

Thanks again for all of the replies. By the way, I am already a customer of Wallingford Bike and I know what great touring-related stuff they carry so I appreciate the referral!


Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 10:36:55 pm »
Brooks Pros can take a thousand or more miles to break in but then last for decades if you take care of it. B-17's often feel good within minutes.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 03:08:16 pm »
Hi guys does anyone know where to buy a fleece saddle cover - I have used one years ago and really helped in the hot (dry) weather to keep me comfortable.  Can't track anyone who makes them down.  Just got a new Brooks so need a bit of comfort to start with!
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2009, 06:57:05 am »
Hi guys does anyone know where to buy a fleece saddle cover ...

Amazon stocks a couple of models made by Derriair.

Fred

Offline MTNGator

Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 03:39:06 pm »
I picked up some 100% Neatsfoot oil from Velo Orange and applied it sparingly to the underside/rear of the saddle, just in the sit-bone area. The leather took the oil in fairly quickly and the resulting softness was noticeable (I don't plan on using any more oil - don't want to overdo it). The first ride out since this treatment went very well so I think this just might be what I was looking for from the beginning.

Again, thanks to all who contributed to this discussion.