Author Topic: Brooks Saddles  (Read 12371 times)

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Offline giantrider

Brooks Saddles
« on: January 03, 2006, 06:19:56 pm »
I have just purchased a new bike for touring. I was wondering if I could get some opinions about Brooks leather saddles. I have heard people sing praises about these. Are they good for touring? Does it take a lot of breaking in? Would you recommend the seats with springs? Or unsprung but use a shock type seat post? I have always just used the standard saddles that came new on the bike, and have been satisfied, but would like to equip my new bike with good stuffTextText


Offline RussellSeaton

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 11:47:15 am »
I'm a big fan of genuine leather saddles.  Used an Ideale 90 from 1985 until about 2004.  Then put a Brooks B-17 on the bike.  Brooks Swift on one road bike.  Brooks Pro on another road bike.  Brooks Pro to go on the not yet built road bike.  Brooks Flyer spring saddle for the mountain bike.

However, if you are comfortable with your current saddle, then put it on the new bike or get another one just like it.  Only change saddles if you have problems with the one you are using.

I'm not a fan of suspension saddles on road bikes.  I prefer to be sitting solidly on the bike while pedaling.  Too much effort is wasted fighting against a suspension seatpost.  OK for short mountain bike rides where the cushion against bumps will reduce overall fatigue.  But on the road I like to be efficient with my energy.  If I need to burn more energy, I can always ride faster.


Offline wanderingwheel

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2006, 04:47:35 pm »
Saddles are a very personal choice.  If your current saddle gives you no problems then I would be hesitant to change it, but my favorite touring saddle is a Brooks Pro.  For slighly more spirited riding, my favorite is a Brooks Swift.  I have not used a srung saddle or a suspension post, so I can't comment on those.  Brooks saddles fit me straight out of the box, no break in required.  I too have heard horror stories about 6 month break in periods, but I guesss I'm just lucky.

The only down side to leather saddles is that they require a little bit of care while riding in wet weather.  If you want to try a Brooks, try getting one from a place such as Wallingford (www.wallbike.com) that will readily take a return or exchange.

Sean


FredHiltz

  • Guest
Brooks Saddles
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 08:23:41 am »
I am also a fan of leather saddles, using Brooks Pro. Mine have taken perhaps two weeks (500 miles) to become as comfortable as an old leather shoe.

A hint I picked up years ago: tape a small damp sponge--not soaking wet--under the leather seat below each of your perch-bones for the first few rides. This will help the leather form the necessary slight depression more quickly.

Sean is right. Carry a shower cap to put on the saddle before it ever gets wet or it will stretch out of shape.

Fred


Offline OmahaNeb

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2006, 01:58:13 pm »
I've had one Brooks Pro saddle for over 30 years and a newer B-17 for 3 years.  I broke my saddles in by turning the saddle upside-down, pour Needs Foot Oil into the upside down saddle.  Rub the foot oil onto the underside leather of the saddle.  Put the saddle in a plastic bag upside down and place the saddle and bag in a closed up car's rear dash during a summer day.  The day long heat will open the leather pores up for the oil to penetrate.  The oil will soften the leather.  The oil will also discolor the leather and cause a oil stain on any shorts you use when riding.



Offline giantrider

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2006, 11:43:37 pm »
Thank you for all your responses. I have decided on the B17 and have ordered it from Nashbar. Thanks, Greg


Offline urbancoyote

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2006, 08:21:31 pm »
Wallingford (www.wallbike.com) has a waterproof seatcover that fits Brooks B17 saddles. I put mine on if there is any chance of rain.



Offline giantrider

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2006, 09:03:40 pm »
Thanks, I will check that website out..Giantrider


Offline ptaylor

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 05:10:05 pm »
I had a Brooks leather saddle once...about 30 years ago, and I have no idea of a model number. I beat it with a bat, rubbed it with soothing oils, and prayed that it would some-day be comfortable. I lovingly covered it while parked at the commuter station with one of my wifes shower caps. Alas - no success. Finally the bike it was on was stolen, thank God, and then it became the thiefs curse.

Seriously, I dont see how these saddles can compete with todays lightly padded contoured saddles, with synthetic leather covers.



This message was edited by ptaylor on 2-5-06 @ 1:25 PM
Paul

Offline richc

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2006, 01:35:56 pm »
I'm in agreement with PTaylor - I had more than one of these things. Quite literally a pain in the butt to break in and I always had to have a plastic bag with me in case it rained. I'm wondering when this nostalgia trend will produce the discussion of wooden rims.


Offline dknapp

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2006, 01:45:44 pm »
I had good luck with my Brooks (not sure what model) until it went away with the rest of my stolen bike.  However, I wonder why everyone is concerned about getting their Brooks saddles wet.  Don't these guys sweat when they ride?  What is a little rain added to the mix of perspiration, body oils, road spray mud, etc.?  I never took any precautions with mine and I remember it as very comfortable, but that was 20 years ago and maybe I have forgotten any problems.  Still, if it can't take a little rain, then it sure can't take a sweaty heinie for long.  


Offline ptaylor

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2006, 10:07:25 pm »
DKnapp:

I covered my Brooks during a rain because the company recommended it. I don't think the issue was a little dampness or even riding in the rain - I think the concern was leaving the bike out in the rain all day while parked at the commuter train station.

Gramps
Paul

Offline dknapp

Brooks Saddles
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2006, 09:36:27 pm »
With all the talk about shower caps, I wonder how people stop from having a sweaty behind when they ride?  Certainly body oils, salts and sweat are much tougher on the leather than a bit of rain.  After a while the saddle will get impregnated with that stuff and I doubt that much rain would soak in.  Plus, every time you ride in the rain water from the road spray will hit the underneath side of the saddle and give it a a good soaking.  A shower cap seems like a waste of time.  I had a Brooks of some sort on a late, great Raleigh road bike. It was comfy if I remember 30 years ago correctly, but, alas, it was stolen.  I never did a thing to care for it and it never stretched out that I remember. I guess if it did get a bit slack you could use the bolt underneath to take up the slack, but I never had any trouble.  Enjoy.


FredHiltz

  • Guest
Brooks Saddles
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2006, 08:13:34 am »
A shower cap seems like a waste of time. Sorry, D. K., but my experience has been quite different. Brooks' caution is justified. I have seen two examples of leather saddles so stetched out of shape after an unprotected rainy day that they could not be ridden. Not for any distance, that is. Now I wish I had a camera.

That motivated me to use the shower cap, which has worked well since I started riding leather in 1967. All those years of sweat seem not to have hurt. Annual Proofide on the bottom surface has protected against what little road spray reaches that high (I do use fenders, though).

Sheldon Brown has a good summary of the pros and cons at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html, for those who are still listening .

Fred