Author Topic: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry  (Read 7080 times)

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Offline bsweet

Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« on: January 11, 2011, 01:00:23 pm »
Hi,
So do I really need to be worried about keeping my (new) brooks saddle dry?
Heading out on a 9+ month tour.  I can't imagine being paranoid about a saddle
during long days of rain, stopping for breaks, at night etc.
I treated it with the wax they provide, but do I have to cover it?

What do you think?
Brian Sweet

Offline rvklassen

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 01:07:51 pm »
We have these fancy covers for our saddles we carry with us.  For a brief shower they don't come out, but for an extended rain, or when we aren't riding they do go on.   They came from some hotel or other that provided free plastic shower caps.   ;)

Offline aggie

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 02:27:09 pm »
The only time I cover my Brooks saddle is if I'm not riding and the bike is sitting in the rain or when I pack and ship the bike.  Since I have fenders I don't worry about it if I ride in the rain. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 04:45:42 pm »
So do I really need to be worried about keeping my (new) brooks saddle dry?

I treated it with the wax they provide, but do I have to cover it?

Short answer, IMHO, yes.

Long answer, it may depend on your saddle, your weight, where you ride, how long it rains, etc.  I have fenders which help greatly with water from the bottom, and my personal bottom is large enough that I don't worry about brief, light showers.  Given a long day of soaking rain, or high heat and humidity that makes my sweat overpower the sponge, I mean artificial chamois, in my shorts, and the saddle can stretch.  You can re-tension it with the Special Brooks Spanner (which you should take for a long trip), but you don't want to do that too often, or too vigorously.  Crossing Missouri and Kansas, I needed to re-tension every 7-10 days, mostly from the aforementioned sweat.

I recommend the Aardvark saddle cover for the B-17.  You can get it on-line several places, including <http://www.lickbike.com/productpage.aspx?PART_NUM_SUB=%271005-00%27>.  I like this one because it's stretchy (aka easy to put on), waterproof (at least when new), and you can ride with it (which, unfortunately, impacts the "when new" bit). 

Cover the saddle at night, or when stopped if it looks like rain.  Takes 5 seconds with the Aardvark (plus the time it takes to pull it out of its hiding place).  You can also use a plastic bag -- if it's waterproof enough, and large enough, it can cover your saddle bag, which keeps metal things in there like multi-tools from rusting.  It's surprising how much water the thing can absorb during a heavy dew at night, so I learned to cover it any time it spent the night outdoors.  It also rains without notice, even in the west.  I've replaced one B-17, although after my cross-country ride I wonder if I could have simply re-tensioned and kept riding. 

After a few weeks' touring, you'll look at the saddle one day and think, "That looks sort of dry or thirsty."  That's when it's time for another round of Proofide.

You'll find people who say they've used the same Brooks Pro for 30 years without covering it, and those who forget to cover it driving in a thunderstorm and say it's stretched so much it's ruined.  My experience, described above, is in the middle of those two extremes.

One last thing -- a worn-out, leaking Aardvark saddle is great for securing the cheap, waterproof plastic bag on the saddle when you're hauling the bike on a car rack.

Offline cara2u

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 06:29:46 pm »
   We always carry our saddle covers on tour and stop to cover them up when the slightest rain commences. On my last tour my Brooks brand saddle cover had a small hole in it which allowed rain water to leak through during an overnight storm. Without realizing the saddle was soaked I got on and rode for forty miles before I noticed my saddle had stretched out to the point where it was ruined. After that experience I now use after market covers instead.
James

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 08:03:26 pm »
I agree that fenders on a tour is essential to protect a leather saddle. I put on a cover when it is going to rain for a long time because despite me sitting on the saddle it will still get soaked otherwise. I thought I ruined a new Brooks Pro Ti riding without fenders or a cover. I fixed it by later soaking the saddle in a bucket of water and stuffing two tennis balls between the saddle and the rails. Good as new!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 01:07:22 pm »
Brooks makes a saddle cover.  I have one, and have been underimpressed with it.  Mine was more like water resistant thant waterproof.  I have since treated it with a spray for revitalizing tents.

I also cover my bike up at night.  REI will periodically have garage sales with orphan tent footprints as one of the featured items.  I have one that I bought on the cheap that does a great job of covering the tent up.  Given its dark color, I think it reduces the visibility and steal me factor of the bike.
Danno

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 10:32:15 pm »
Agree that the Brooks cover isn't great. There are others including one by Serfas and one called the Aardvark sold by Rivendell.
by the way, slathering the bottom of the saddle with something like SnoSeal might be helpful too if you don't have fenders.

Offline humunuku

Re: Brooks saddle: keeping it dry
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2011, 07:31:34 pm »
has anyone tried the saddle cover sold by adventure cycling (its made by jandd)? I'd like to by my stuff from them, if its decent