Author Topic: B17 in the wet  (Read 5716 times)

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Offline StuartB

B17 in the wet
« on: March 26, 2018, 05:35:47 am »
Hi all,

So I have just purchased my first Brooks saddle, its still in the uncomfortable "breaking in" stage  :)

Anyway, as I'm new to these, i thought I'd ask what people thought about riding in the wet. Can i damage my saddle, do i need to cover it, do i need fenders!? Not really too keen on biking long distance with fenders.

Thanks for your replies.


Offline michael b

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 08:18:40 am »
great article on sheldon brown's webpage on brooks saddles.  Can't remember how much if any it addressed the "wet issue". Keeping a good coat of proofide (I use snowseal) on the underside should help with spray from the tires.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 09:50:49 am »
A heavy rider can kill a Brooks in just a couple of wet rides, so be ready to deal with it.

Now the wet rides I'm talking about aren't riding through a shower.  They're the all day steady rains when everything gets soaked, or the hot humid ride where the rider is dripping with sweat for hours on end. 

Proofide is the first step towards protecting the saddle, of course.  Second step is fenders, or stuffing a plastic grocery bag between the saddle rails to keep spray off.  The final step is a waterproof saddle cover; Aardvark makes an excellent one.  After the first half hour of rain or dripping sweat, if it doesn't look like it's going to let up, slap the saddle cover on and keep riding. 

Does it work?  After I killed my first Brooks on a darn hot and dripping humid century, I rode the replacement across the country with all those protective steps, and it held up fine.

Offline hikerjer

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 12:45:52 am »
Definitely invest in some kind of rain cover for yoursaddle. After all they don't exactly give Brooks saddles away. So if you're going to pay that much, protect it.  A plastic grocery bag will work but a regular saddle cover is nicer. Fenders, for me, are a definite must on a tour. Not just for your saddle's protection but for you and your bike.  Not everyone agrees, of course, but that's my take.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 12:02:34 am by hikerjer »

Offline RonK

B17 in the wet
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 03:39:53 am »
My Brooks never got wet enough to cause as by damage while I've been sitting in it, even in the worst if weather.
In fact many owners swear a good soaking is the best way to break them in.
When I'm off it, I cover it with a disposable shower cap - complimentary at many accommodation places.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline staehpj1

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 06:29:09 am »
I found that my first and probably last Brooks was just okay when new.  Not bad, but also nothing special that would justify the extra weight.  Then as it broke in it got worse and worse until it became my least favorite saddle before it was a year old.  I am not sure how much of that was because of riding in the wet and how much was just that the Brooks didn't suit me well.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2018, 12:36:10 pm »
I almost destroyed a Brooks saddle in a single wet ride. Chances are the that your body will properly shield the top of the saddle while you are riding it.  If you are not riding it, then cover up the saddle.   You have to moisturize the saddle with Proofhide, or else there will be a  host of bad consequences, but if your rear tire sends a stream of water up to the underside of the saddle, then no amount of Proofhide will protect the saddle from that.  I was on an event ride during a heavy and sustained rain shower, when I waterlogged the underside of a saddle.  I got lucky, in that there was enough tension capability left in the adjustments to correct for the stretch my saddle took.  This was a Brooks Imperial variant, so the only lasting scar of the whole wet experience is that my saddle as a peculiar curl up in the center where apparently my butt also curls up.

A fender will protect the underside of the saddle from stream of water.  If you don't want to do a fender, then I would use a non leather saddle.  Brooks has its Cambium line of rubber saddles that are impervious to weather.  I have them on my two bikes that do not have fenders on them.  I find the Cambium saddle to be a bit of a harsher ride than a leather saddle, but so far they are still on the two bikes.  I can't comment on any other brands of saddles.

Offline John Nelson

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 12:58:48 pm »
Just another data point, but I've ridden all day on many days when it rained all day, I do not have fenders, and after several years, my Brooks B-17 saddle seems to be exactly the same as it was on the day I bought it. I do use Proofide generously.

Offline StuartB

Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2018, 08:46:59 pm »
Thanks for all your input everyone. Some useful insights.

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: B17 in the wet
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 07:56:38 pm »
Maybe if the British had more experience with rain, their saddles would handle it better