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Thread: brooks saddle

  1. #1
    wjh
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    brooks saddle

    I just bought a B17 yesterday. What do you recommend to treat the leather with? They were out of the Brooks product
    Thanks

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    AZ
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  3. #3
    Master of the Face Plant
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    Get the brooks stuff and only use the brooks stuff.
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
    ^^^Best Bike Shop of MTBR 2008^^^

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    It's leather so neatsfoot oil or any blend used on horse tack would be good. Just as good or better than special "Brooks" oil.
    Don't forget to do the underside to help keep it clean and dry. A saddle bag is good for that too. I usually keep a small plastic bag in it in case it starts pouring rain. Great saddle and very durable too, just can't get it too wet too often.
    Last edited by theMeat; 03-01-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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    Follow the instructions that came with it exactly. Do no follow the instructions of the people that tell you other things to do.

    Those people are concerned about making the saddle soft. Making it soft will ruin it and make it uncomfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Follow the instructions that came with it exactly. Do no follow the instructions of the people that tell you other things to do.

    Those people are concerned about making the saddle soft. Making it soft will ruin it and make it uncomfortable.
    Yeah following the instruction could work too, lol. The tension screw is what makes it hard or soft. One of my brooks was 20yo when it was given to me 15 years ago and still going strong. So some of "those" people must be doing something right.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  7. #7
    AZ
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    Soooooooooo, you're one of those people?

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    The tension screw puts tension on the saddle. Leather softeners break down the bonds in the leather and make it supple. You do not want a supple saddle for a two major reasons:

    -you will run all the way out of the tension screw far before a properly cared for saddle (which makes it a very expensive paperweight), which segues into point two:
    -a supple saddle is not what you want for sport riding (or riding of any distance at all). You want a stiff, supportive saddle. Supple implies that it has softened, which will cause all manner of pressure issues on your [ahem] undercarriage.

    Saddle soap is an okay substitute for Proofide if you absolutely don't want to spend the extra money on it. Bear in mind that a (large) can of Proofide will last for a few years, longer or shorter, depending on your climate. You just don't use much of it after the first application--typically a few grams bi-yearly. Brooks will not warranty your saddle if you turn it into a pile of spaghetti...but they will happily attach a new leather top to your saddle (for a modest fee, plus shipping over the pond).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty $anchez View Post
    Soooooooooo, you're one of those people?
    I guess sooooooooo
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

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    Recently purchased a Brooks Colt for my road bike. I conditioned mine with Saddle Soap. With only 100 miles on it, it's still rock hard. Looking forward to it softening up a bit.

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    Just stick with the proofide and use it sparingly. Posts 2,3,5 and eight is what I'd agree with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandmangts View Post
    Get the brooks stuff and only use the brooks stuff.
    +1
    I gotta make this line my signature, it's a law!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IowaBadBoy View Post
    Recently purchased a Brooks Colt for my road bike. I conditioned mine with Saddle Soap. With only 100 miles on it, it's still rock hard. Looking forward to it softening up a bit.
    It will take much longer to break in with any saddle soap, brooks proofide, or sno-seal. Out of these choices idk which would help soften/break in the best, but sno-seal by far lasts the longest and seals/weatherproofs the best.
    For a new saddle I'd use neatsfoot oil very liberally, let sit a day or few, then wipe off the excess before my next ride.

    Guess if you use oil, conditioners, or softeners too much or too often you may run into problems. I sparingly use neatsfoot on both top and bottom once, twice, maybe thrice a year, and I'll let it dry and do it right after if it gets wet.

    check this out LeatherSaddles from the late great Sheldon Brown. Who I'd guess knew a thing or two about leather saddle from a time when that was the standard and the norm.

    Or you can follow the sheeple
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Who I'd guess knew a thing or two about leather saddle from a time when that was the standard and the norm.

    Or you can follow the sheeple
    Love Sheldon for most things bicycle. Not for this. Brooks have been around for way longer than Sheldon (whose now dead Dog rest his soul). Way longer!!!! They dont talk neatsfoot. Seriously the above posts explain why that may not be the best idea. What your suggesting has the potential to if not ruin then to seriously shorten the life of a Brooks saddle. Take this risk yourself by all means but please dont trumpet that to anyone else as worthy advice as (IMHO) thats just wrong. Suggest to the OP that they ask Brooks opinion on alternatives by all means but Brooks are pretty explicit about what to put on their product. They say proofide and it just may be for a reason. Taking risks yourself is one thing and I applaud your endeavour but I think its just not right telling people to go against the manufacturers instructions if your not offering to foot the bill if it turns to custard.

    "Back in 1865, John Boultbee Brooks left his hometown of Hinckley in Leicestershire with just £20 in his pocket.

    He headed for Birmingham, where in 1866 he established a business in horse harnesses and general leather goods in Great Charles Street under the name JB Brooks & Co. In 1878, the unfortunate death of Mr Brooksí horse led to a stroke of inspiration. Unable to afford another horse, he borrowed a bicycle in order to commute to work. He found the seat so uncomfortable that he vowed to do something about it.

    On 28 October 1882, Mr Brooks filed his first saddle patent. Waddling cyclists everywhere rejoiced and the new product was a roaring success."
    Around for this long!!!
    BROOKS ENGLAND LTD. | OUR HERITAGE
    BROOKS ENGLAND LTD. | NEAT'S FOOT OIL OR PROOFIDE?
    Last edited by rifraf; 03-03-2013 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Clarity

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    I'm sorry rifraf I had no idea it was so critical or should even be "the Law". I've just been following the advice given to me by a person known as the "Bikeguru" in many circles. Who gave me a 20yo saddle 15 years ago. Hmm, maybe that's why my saddle looks used. I had no idea that Mr Brooks was the only one who figured out the only way to care for leather. I'm also shocked that a man so wise as Mr Brooks would suggest you only buy his product.
    Thanx for the history lesson and yes, when in doubt follow,..... the directions that is.
    Last edited by theMeat; 03-03-2013 at 07:46 AM.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    I'm sorry rifraf I had no idea it was so critical or should even be "the Law". I've just been following the advice given to me by a person known as the "Bikeguru" in many circles. Who gave me a 20yo saddle 15 years ago. Hmm, maybe that's why my saddle looks used. I had no idea that Mr Brooks was the only one who figured out the only way to care for leather. I'm also shocked that a man so wise as Mr Brooks would suggest you only buy his product.
    Thanx for the history lesson and yes, when in doubt, follow,..... the directions that is.
    No need to be sorry and mine is just an opinion (like your own) and not worth more than anyone elses. Mines expressed perhaps too strongly because I see the potential for failure leaving the OP is a worse state than had he not tried your advice. Using the manufacturers advice at least leaves him/her open for a warranty claim if things go wrong. I dont care which one of us is right or wrong as to whether neatsfoot oil has a place in leather saddle treatment. I am however familiar with how hard it is to claim a warranty with regards to this nature of saddle. I apologise for any offense from my post however I stand by its content for the benefit of the OP and others following in his tyre prints.

  17. #17
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    No worries and thanx for showing me I too sometimes forget why I love this place, and that reason is sharing the knowledge and love of cycling.
    Cool Beans
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

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    Happy spinning Best wishes to you and yours.
    I'll try harder to make my observations more palatable for general consumption

  19. #19
    wjh
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    I got the brooks product. Small tin will last a lifetime at the rate I applied it. I could apply 500 times for all I used, doing top and bottom. A little goes a long way

  20. #20
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    Rifraf, please don't conform on my behave.

    Happy trails
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

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    You probably do want a lot on the bottom as that layer protects from moisture.

    Also, make sure not to proofide it when the saddle is damp or wet.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh View Post
    I got the brooks product. Small tin will last a lifetime at the rate I applied it. I could apply 500 times for all I used, doing top and bottom. A little goes a long way
    Doing the top a small dab goes a long way, on the bottom you're not using enough. It'll last longer on the bottom or at least till you get it real wet, so you shouldn't have to do it as often, but to get it even use more. Especially when new or very dry.
    Last edited by theMeat; 03-07-2013 at 01:27 PM.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

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    When caring for a $100+ saddle I would like to keep for a couple decades, I figure a $10 tin of the mfg recommended goop is worth it... even if I am pretty sure any old goop would do the trick.

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