Author Topic: Brooks Saddle help  (Read 9546 times)

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Offline 2riders

Brooks Saddle help
« on: November 21, 2012, 08:13:03 pm »
Have been reading alot about how great the Brooks saddles are.  I am looking at  a B17 aged and I have a few questions.  Everyone talks about the break-in period where it breaks in to form to the sits bone (not sure if I have that correct).  I now ride with padded rider shorts (baggy pair) and was just wondering how much more comfortable it is riding a Brooks with the shorts.  I am not sure that most reviews I read on the Brooks are those of riders who wear shorts or not.  I know the topic of saddles comes up often but was just curious if you seasoned Brooks riders do wear shorts.  Thanks. 

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 10:42:10 pm »
Yes we do. Good shorts help prevent chafing in addition to some padding.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 09:38:33 am »
Good shorts help prevent chafing


There's not much that's more personal than saddles and shorts. You just have to find what works for you.

I have a bunch of padded cycling shorts in my wardrobe, so I wear them. But when I buy new, I buy UA compression shorts and wear a pair of athletic shorts over them. I've found the padding doesn't do anything for me, even on long rides.

I never experienced a "break in" period with my Brooks. It was comfortable from day 1.

Offline big blue cat

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 09:42:18 am »
shorts do help. i couldn't imagine riding a bike for very long without them. i wonder how i was able to ride all day long, day after day, in blue jeans when i was a kid.
something else i do to my brooks is i put a good coat of saddle soap. that protects & soften the leather. i do it about 8-10 times/year.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 03:48:06 pm »
I agree that good quality shorts make a huge difference. That said, however, I spent a month touring Wales this past summer wearing a pair of merino wool boxer briefs and nylon shorts. My Brooks saddle was ridiculously comfortable with this setup.

As it was previously said, you have to find what works for you. On tours I prefer non-bike specific clothing since there is so much more to do than just ride. On daily rides,  I'll usually wear good cycling shorts as I tend to push harder on those rides and a little bit of padding is never a bad thing.

Of course, YMMV...

ACA Life Member 368

Offline AdventureRide

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 08:04:28 am »
All my bikes (5) sport B-17s.  On long, long rides everything else may hurt, but never my backside.  The leather on the B-17s is not quite as thick as on the Professional models.  The 17s break in much faster.  It was the most comfortable saddle I ever sat right out of the box and just got better from there. 
You have to be careful not to overdo saddle maintenance.  The Brooks website does not recommend saddle soap.  They say use their proprietary product - Proofide - to maintain the saddle.  I bought a tin with my first Brooks years ago and I've still got some left.  A good application of the stuff - its a little like shoe polish - top and bottom when saddle is new and then maybe annually thereafter is all you need, unless your saddle has been abused by neglect (left outside for weeks in the rain and sun, etc). 
A Brooks saddle is a hammock.  A piece of leather suspended at each end. It will stretch over time and use.  That's why it has the adjusting nose cap, so you can take up the stretch if the saddle gets too saggy.  If you oversoften the leather you accelerate the stretching process and reduce the life of the saddle.  Also, don't get too aggressive with the nose cap stretching as you can literally tear the front rivet out and ruin the saddle. 
B-17s.  They're the Bomb.

Offline danieljndube

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2012, 09:44:39 am »
I've ridden a Brooks B-17 Narrow extensively since 2007 both with running shorts over completely unpadded sports underlayer, and with CW-X triathlon shorts that have limited chamois. For four years prior to that, I was riding stock saddle (and am lucky still to have my reproductive organs, we can be sure).

I wore the running shorts/unpadded underlayer (the combination being even less thick than basketball shorts) when the saddle was new and that was far and immediately superior in feel and endurance to wearing standard cycling shorts on a stock saddle. I purchased the CW-X's BECAUSE they have limited chamois while offering other characteristics that I enjoy, not because I found padding to be necessary on the B-17, even in its narrow form.

More important than break-in I found is getting the perfect seat-angle with a Brooks. I now have mine just ever so slightly rearward. Using a carpenter's level helps.

I love, love, love Brooks, but Selle Anatomica is also worth checking out, one has to admit. Best of luck.

Offline bikeguyrich

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 09:55:55 pm »
The aged b-17 will take less time to break in. Proof-hide it before you use it, make sure to get the underside.  There are so many diffferent shorts out there I can't make a knowledgeable comment other than get the right size and the more padding does not mean more comfort. Good luck.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Brooks Saddle help
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 07:33:03 am »
Don't assume that the Brooks is automatically better for you.  Many love them and I am not knocking the Brooks line for folks who they work out well for, but it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone.  My personal experience was that the Brooks was OK when it was brand new, but I hated it when it broke in.  Since it was only OK even when new it and was worse after a year or so it definitely was a poor choice for me especially since it weighed a good bit more than any of the other saddles I have used and also cost more than most of them.

Personally I always advise giving whatever saddle comes with your bike a good chance before trying something else.  I have found that any of the saddles that came with my bikes were fine for a multi month tour once I broke in to it.

If you are really serious about the brooks, buy it from somewhere that will let you return it for a refund.  I think that Wallingford will let you return it up to 6 months after purchase and REI will take it back pretty much forever.