Author Topic: Brooks saddle damage  (Read 11657 times)

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Offline driftlessregion

Brooks saddle damage
« on: March 18, 2009, 11:13:20 pm »
I got caught in the rain on a century last June and my new Brooks Pro, which should take years to show any wear, broke down (sagged) under my sit bones. Anybody have any experience reversing the damage?


  • Guest
Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 07:30:38 am »
You can tighten a slightly stretched saddle with the nut under its nose, which takes a special wrench. If it is badly stretched, though, it is toast as far as I know. I do not know where that special wrench is found, but some searching on the web and at your LBS should turn it up.

Having ridden Brooks Pros since 1978, I have seen a few such cases--fortunately none of mine--and have never seen a return from the dead.

Please let us know how this turns out.


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 08:32:19 am »
I have never used a Brooks leather saddle. I have read about them. Brooks saddles are supposed to be the most comfortable saddles on earth after they are broken in, or so their advertisers would have us believe. I once read an article about breaking one in before using it. If you are caught out in rain and cannot get the saddle under shelter, you can slip a plastic or other kind of waterproof cover over it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2009, 12:02:23 pm »
The tensioning wrench should be available from Wallingford Bicycle (  They are really nice people to deal with.  They might be able to tell you what else you should do to salvage your saddle.

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 06:21:27 pm »
Once you get the wrench, just make sure you don't over tension the saddle.  You can only stretch it out with the bolt so far, and after that point the saddle is done for.  Tension the saddle like you would tension spokes, make small adjustments, and check the progress.

Offline biker_james

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 07:06:08 am »
There is some sagging with the breaking in process-only you know if it is excessive or not though. The shape of my Brooks has altered quite a bit over the time I've owned it, but my wife's looks nearly identical to a new one still. They have both been wet many times. We do try to cover them when off the bike (dispoable shower caps from hotels are great), but don't worry much about them while actually riding.
I've never tensioned my saddle, but from what I read, its pretty easy to overdo it, so be cautious.

Offline cyclebum

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 12:51:43 am »
The special wrench is nice, but not having one, I was able to tension with a standard box end. Bit tedious, but doable. I abused mine during the break in trying to hasten the process. As a result it sagged too much and required more tensioning than is recommended. Worked, but I'm sure has shortened it's life considerably, and it certainly doesn't look pristine anymore. 3 years and 6000 miles old now. I try to take reasonable care of it, but don't get consumed. Will just buy another when the time comes and be more careful with the break in. For me, Brooks is the lesser of the evils.

Offline bar_end_shift

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2009, 02:56:36 pm »
same thing happened to me on my B17 in my pre-fender life.  In the driftless region, in fact.  In the middle of the night.     

It was pretty saggy looking with deep impressions under the sit bones and I thought it was shot.  when I pushed on the top, I noticed that the sides flared a lot.  so I took it to a cobbler and punched some holes in the side skirt ($2) and laced the sides together with a shoestring.  that improved the situation alot, but i could still feel the back part of the frame when I was sitting.   So, I put a couple of turns of the tensioning bolt until the seat was pretty stiff, and I was in business.  I've put another 2k or so on the saddle since then, and have had to retension the bolt one other time, but I expect to get a lot of miles on it yet.  good luck.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks saddle damage
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2009, 05:17:20 pm »
I tried tensioning last year but it didn't help as the problem is deep depressions under the sit bones. I may try to soaking it and putting some kind of weight under it to push out the dents again. FENDERS! If I had had on fenders 6 hours of rain wouldn't have splashed the underside of the saddle because I did have a cover on. I've learned that for $75 Brooks will recover it, plus the cost of shipping to England.
I'll put back on my 35 year old Brooks which is still in better shape than the new one.