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  1. #1
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    B17 owners, breakin time?

    I have always been in love with the look of the Brooks B17 leather seat.
    I have never tried one mostly because I have heard they are quite uncomfortable
    until they are broken in.

    Please be honest.
    How long did it really take you to break in your Brooks saddle?
    Did you treat the leather to help the break in? If so what?

    Thanks

    04 Azonic Saber
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  2. #2
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    I bought mine about a month before I

    started the Tour Divide. I gave it a good coating of Snoseal, my favorite boot waterproofing.
    I have well over 4000 miles on it and can honestly say I have only had 1 uncomfortable ride on it. And that was when it was over a month old. More important than break in is getting it properly adjusted. You sit in the seat, not on it. Just a slight tilt either way makes a big difference. Every time I look at mine it looks wrong bur feels right. Enjoy, Harry

  3. #3
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    I honestly cannot remember if I had a "break-in" point as such as my B17 have been pretty good to me straight out of the box. My Team Professional on the other hand is taking way to long.

    Andrew

  4. #4
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    My experience is similar to Aushiker's.
    I had used a B17 special on a surly long haul trucker for thousands of kilometers of primarily road and dirt road and it was great right out of the box. I did not treat it with anything, never have. I rode it in really wet conditions as well, I live in Vancouver Canada, with no issues.

  5. #5
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    I have a b17 on a vintage road bike that is mostly ridden around town with non-bike pants or shorts. Even so, it was pretty comfortable right out of the box. I'd say within the first 200 miles or so it was nicely broken in to my sit bones. I followed Brooks' suggested Proofide treatment schedule.

  6. #6
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    I treated it once with the Brook's sealant before putting it on my bike and it's been comfortable from the first ride.

  7. #7
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Thanks everyone I really appreciate your posts, you've convinced me I'm going to give one a try.

    Does anyone remember if a tin of the waterproofing/breakin cream comes with a new saddle or must be purchased seperately?

    04 Azonic Saber
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  8. #8
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    No

    It is extra

  9. #9
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    I love my Brooks and the character it has gained over time. Even bad scuffs in the leather can also be re-pressed using a nail file and some water and a stainless steel spoon, and buffed out with patience. I'd have them on all of my bikes if it weren't for the weight issue (or the price of the Swallow ti models).

  10. #10
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    I bought mine used for about half of retail. A bit of adjustment and it was ready to go.

  11. #11
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    B17 out of the box.
    Swift, never, sold it.
    Swallow, 1 month of sweat on the trainer over the winter.

  12. #12
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    I have had a B17 on my Surly LHT since 2008 and love it. BUT breaking it in took me 3-4 months and about 800 miles. I almost gave up several times. I kept coming back to the B17 because nothing else seemed to work any better. My break in regimen involved several applications of saddle cream and riding. When my butt got too sore for the B17, I'd switch out saddles. The other saddles hurt different parts of my anatomy, but gave the B17 sores time to heal.

    Mind you, I think this had more to do with the fact that I was getting back into serious cycling after a 15 year hiatus than the saddle itself. I used to ride a B17 in the 90s and I do not recall having a hard time breaking one in the first time. Back in the day, it seemed like I could ride anything without a problem. These days, my anatomy is far more particular. Other than my well broken in B17, the only other saddles that work for me are WTB's Speed and Pure models, which work for me right out of the box.
    The older I get the better I was...

  13. #13
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    I understand the Brooks saddles have a leather tightness/tension adjustment that is adjusted with this special wrench that comes with a Brooks tuning kit.

    Has anyone adjusted the leather tension to help with fit or breakin?


    Thanks again everyone for all your posts.
    I'm becoming a Brooks expert(haha) pretty fast with your help.
    I found a B17 with Ti rails from BikeSomeWhere for 279 free shipping.
    Will post some picture once it arrives and I get it installed.

    04 Azonic Saber
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  14. #14
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    From everything I've read, the tension nut should only be used to re-tension a very used and sagging saddle. Once you reach the end of the screw (about an inch) the saddle is shot. Considering a well-cared for Brooks should really last a lifetime, that's some pretty infrequent tightening. I'd like mine to last that long, and that's why personally I'd shy away from trying to break it in (break down the leather) quicker than your butt naturally does, but that's just me.

    I've got maybe 800 miles on mine and haven't touched the tensioner.


    Also, in case the inevitable happens (mine fell over onto concrete once) and you scuff that pretty saddle that you've put hard-earned miles on, I used the following method on mine and it worked very well. Save the link or take note of the process

    Refinishing A Scuffed Brooks Saddle

  15. #15
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    I have a B-17 that was aged (already broken in). I received it on a Thursday, and raced the Dirty Kanza 200 that Saturday, with no problems at all. If you're really worried about it, the aged saddle might be something to look at.

  16. #16
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    My experience has been that once I got the seat angle right, it was comfortable. No real extended break in period. I have the wrench for tensioning the saddle, but have used it maybe once on my saddles in 8 years.

  17. #17
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    Recently got my first B17 and it's been comfortable out of the box. Only have probably 200 miles on it so I know it still has some breaking in to do. Longest ride so far was 56 miles with about half that on old railroad tracks and dirt roads I was was comfortable.

    Looking forward to it getting used to my bones for some 100+ mile days soon.

  18. #18
    AZ
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    Proofide the wee out of it and ride it.

  19. #19
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    mine felt pretty good out of the box also, but after about 3-4 months of commuting 1.5 miles each way, it is really starting to feel good and I now understand why everyone raves about these saddles.

  20. #20
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    My B17 S (short) was good to go out of the box. The B17 narrow broke me, bruise my sit bones, bad. Took about 4 months of regular use to make it comfortable. Have a new B17 of my Fargo and it was good after a few proof hide application, I'd say it perfet now.
    “Singlespeed, build character, destroy ego”

  21. #21
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    I probably should have asked the in my first post.
    How many are using a B17 without padded bike pants?

    04 Azonic Saber
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    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  22. #22
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    I do. Since the bike I have mine on is for around town use, I am almost always wearing jeans or cargo type shorts. Its probably the most comfortable saddle I've used for that.

  23. #23
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by breckenridge View Post
    I do. Since the bike I have mine on is for around town use, I am almost always wearing jeans or cargo type shorts. Its probably the most comfortable saddle I've used for that.
    Cool thanks. I'm putting this seat on my bikepacking bike and I usually wear REI nylon hiking pants with the zip off legs. Saves me from packing long pants once the riding is over.

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  24. #24
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    You should be fine, I'd just do your breaking-in with un-padded pants too, so it can soften up in the right spots. I've never gone farther than 20 miles on mine, but even in jeans its never bothered me at all.

  25. #25
    wants a taco
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    Mine has been pretty good out of the box but just gets better with time. I do not touch the tension although I do have less than 1k miles on it but I have noticed it is very sensitive to the angle it is mounted at. Cheapie seatposts without fine adjustment could make setting your brooks up much more difficult.
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