Brooks B-17 users, how long till it doesn't hurt- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brooks B-17 users, how long till it doesn't hurt

    So I got my new B-17 and slapped it on the Cross-Check, did all the tips Sheldon Brown said using glove oil etc., I've got the back of the seat slightly higher than the front, but I get 8 miles down the road and my sit bones get really sore. Granted I'm skinny, and not much of a rear on me, but how long till it begins to stop hurting. Feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Really I am that slow
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    Mabe...

    Did you lower your post a bit as brooks are a bit taller then most saddles. Also i would say it takes a good 50 miles before break in. It's hard those first few miles but it is well worth it.



    Keep the rubber side down!

  3. #3
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    It depends

    I have two Lepper saddles for my Brevet bikes and the saddles just fit. I sat down and had no pain or break in period. I have tried three differnt Brooks saddles and have yet to find on that doesn't hurt my behind. It just may not fit you correctly. I know that the saddle is supposed to take shape after a while but for me the shape the Brooks took were just not comfortable. Ed

  4. #4
    paintbucket
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    Does Sheldon really advise setting it up nose down? I usually go level like any other saddle or even very slightly nose high.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  5. #5
    Single Speed Junkie
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    I found the B-17 fairly uncomfortable and never really took to it that well. Then I tried the swift and what a world of difference. The first few miles were a bit sore, but after that it has been the best saddle I’ve ever owned, in fact I bought a second one to replace the first when it dies, like so many others.

    Fast forward a few years (from 99) and the saddle is still going strong, no signs of breaking down in the near or distant future leaving me with an extra saddle. Any one interested in a new brooks swift at cost?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    I found the B-17 fairly uncomfortable and never really took to it that well. Then I tried the swift and what a world of difference. The first few miles were a bit sore, but after that it has been the best saddle I’ve ever owned, in fact I bought a second one to replace the first when it dies, like so many others.

    Fast forward a few years (from 99) and the saddle is still going strong, no signs of breaking down in the near or distant future leaving me with an extra saddle. Any one interested in a new brooks swift at cost?
    Not to hijack the thread, but I'm thinking about getting a Brooks and have a couple of questions. First, what's the difference between the B17 and the Swift? Which most closely resembles my current saddle, a WTB Laser V?

    Second, what are the maintenance requirements for Brooks saddles on mountain bikes? Do you have to be totally anal about keeping it clean and in condition, or do they stand up pretty well to kicked-up mud, sand, dust, etc.?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    No Pain on B-17

    As everyone knows, saddles are peculiar to your anatomy so what works for others may not work for you. That said, my B-17 was comfortable from the moment I sat on it.

    However, thinking I needed to do something special to it, after a few weeks of riding it I also followed Sheldon's instructions with neatsfoot oil (not glove oil) and utterly f**d up my saddle. I posted my experience on the iBOB list at the time (1998) and noted that Mr Brown's disclaimer about doing that oil prep at your own risk appeared soon afterwards. My B-17 soon sagged and I had to tighten the saddle very carefully to restore the supportive shape, but it hasn't ever been as comfortable as before I oiled it. I personaly would not recommend the oil prep. Just ride it with some proofide on it.

    I also ride a Swift and find that it takes a little to get used to if I've been off it for a while but is comfortable after my seat gets used to it again.

    A B-17 is wider and I find it fits me better out of the box (I'm 6'2, 200) than the narrower Swift. But, the Swift is mucho lighter and looks better and it's on my road bike where I think I coast less and have less weight riding directly on the saddle. I find that my WTB SST.98 is in between the B-17 and the Swift as far as width goes.

    So, my personal recommendation is that if the B-17 is not comfortable for you, perhaps it's too wide (sounds like you're a smaller guy) and you might be better off on a Pro or a Swift.

    Good luck,
    B

    ps. Also I've had no maintenance probs other than my initial dork-up. Just follow the instructions, let it dry naturally, wipe on some proofide every now and then and ride lots.

    pps. I also ride my Brooks (and all my saddles) level. You should set up the Brooks no different than your previous saddles (presuming they were set up comfortably). Same saddle height, level and cockpit length.
    Last edited by 03bart; 10-18-2004 at 08:33 AM. Reason: added maintenance info

  8. #8
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    Commuting on a Brooks?

    I often wear Kaki trousers to work and am worried about the honey colored stain bleeding into the seat of my trousers. Is this a problem? Iv'e heard that the black saddles bleed like mad.

  9. #9
    Manos arriba!
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    "break-in"=BS

    I've been riding the Brooks Pro Select (now the "Team") saddle since the '80's and love them.....

    WRT Brooks, or any quality leather saddles, either it fits or it doesn't. It should take no more than 100 miles to know if it "fits" or not... It is more of a matter of your @ss Once you find a shape and size that does fit, you are set for life... You just need to test out a few to find one that is "just right", hopefuly without purchasing a lot of them.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    Any one interested in a new brooks swift at cost?
    What do you want for the Swift? I've been contemplating a Brooks for a while, but have not committed the $ yet... (tomdotchowathrccdotondotca)

    Cheers,

    Tom

  11. #11
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    one of the reasons i don't have a brooks on my commuter yet is cause i gotta ride it in the pouring rain sometimes.....

    if you do all the proof-hiding correctly, will it be OK to ride in the rain occasionally without it getting all stretched?

    i got an OLD imitation brooks at a garage sale a few years back and though it was comfy as hell, it had to be retired in under a year cause it just kept saggin more everytime it got wet.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill
    one of the reasons i don't have a brooks on my commuter yet is cause i gotta ride it in the pouring rain sometimes.....

    if you do all the proof-hiding correctly, will it be OK to ride in the rain occasionally without it getting all stretched?

    i got an OLD imitation brooks at a garage sale a few years back and though it was comfy as hell, it had to be retired in under a year cause it just kept saggin more everytime it got wet.
    I have never owned one, but couldn't you use some kind of beeswax boot sealant on the underside of it to protect from the wetness? I figured you wouldn't want that stuff where you are sitting
    "Life is a [email protected]#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.

  13. #13
    Map Maker
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    Brooks saddles

    Quote Originally Posted by MqtRider
    So I got my new B-17 and slapped it on the Cross-Check, did all the tips Sheldon Brown said using glove oil etc., I've got the back of the seat slightly higher than the front, but I get 8 miles down the road and my sit bones get really sore. Granted I'm skinny, and not much of a rear on me, but how long till it begins to stop hurting. Feedback would be appreciated.

    My saddle felt better after just a few rides. I would not ride it "nose down" though. My preferred set up is just ever so slightly nose up. also check your fore and aft postion of the saddle - sometimes if you push your butt too far back your sit-bones are acutally up on the steel rear rail not the suspended saddle leather.

    I LOVE my brooks saddles (I have two B-17) - I have them on my "all"mountain bike with 5" of travel front and rear and my roadie commuter.

    I take just a bit of motor oil on a rag and wipe the underside of the saddle when I first get it to condition it for water from puddles etc.
    then its proofride ever couple of months or so.
    I also bought the tensioning wrench - I have adjusted my saddle 2 to 3 times a year AT MOST. little and not often is key to this procedure. usually just a 1/4 turn or 1/2 turn and wait 6 months. I actually write the date and how many(fractional) turns I've done on my wrench. I just wipe it off and write a new date etc. when I tighten it again.
    It might take a bit of care but the pay off is immense.

    I don't think the honey color bleeds I thought it was more of the black.

    Try rubbing the saddle with proof ride really take your time and rub it in good as you watch T.V. or listen to music. Concentrate on the spots where you sit bones hit the saddle - this should be apparent after just a few rides.

    One last thing if your butt is sore or brusied from your old saddle it takes a bit of time to heal.
    I got a brooks saddle after a nightmare month of saddle pain on an old vetta saddle. I was limping with both legs - my sit bones were bruised and beaten and took about a month to recover. So I was dealing with that as I Broke-in my new Brooks saddle and I can say it wasn't that bad.
    Chris
    Richmond, VA
    Ra-MORE mtb club

  14. #14
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjohn78
    I often wear Kaki trousers to work and am worried about the honey colored stain bleeding into the seat of my trousers. Is this a problem? Iv'e heard that the black saddles bleed like mad.
    Would recommend to wear only black pants with a black leather saddle. With the honey you should be ok after breaking it in with proofhide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    Not to hijack the thread, but I'm thinking about getting a Brooks and have a couple of questions. First, what's the difference between the B17 and the Swift? Which most closely resembles my current saddle, a WTB Laser V?

    Second, what are the maintenance requirements for Brooks saddles on mountain bikes? Do you have to be totally anal about keeping it clean and in condition, or do they stand up pretty well to kicked-up mud, sand, dust, etc.?
    Never had a problem with riding conditions and my brooks, but It does not get ridden on recently salted roads is the only restriction I have determined. Personally I think that they stand up better than the plastic saddles out there and will last considerably longer if you take care of them. (Proofhide both top and bottom ~6 months depending on conditions)

  15. #15
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    I've been commuting on the B17 for about 3 years now. The saddle started out on my road bike where it was unbelievable uncomfortable.

    So I switched it out to the commuter and after a month or so of 5 mile commutes it broke in and has become very comfortable.

    A couple of comments:
    - I find that I like the nose pointed slightly upwards, but whatever works for ya...
    - Never had a problem with it staining my pants/shorts - but then on the other hand I've never put any oil on it.
    - Water/getting it wet: I don't worry about it - they're made in England, where it rains a lot. When I occasionally lock my bike up outside in the rain I put a plastic bag over the saddle.

  16. #16
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    Second the Pro

    My new Brooks Team Professional is the most comfortable seat I've ever had, right out of the box. I think its closer in profile to the Swallow (narrower than the B-17) but a lot cheaper. I just put some proof ride on both sides before the first ride, and will repeat a couple of times and then just lightly every 3-6 months as Brooks recommends. I've got maybe 100 miles on it so far and it already feels softer and *better*, but that's an added improvement over what was pretty comfy to start with. BTW I have it pointed nose ever so slightly down.

    Last thought - would have to check but this might also mean the Pro is the closest in width to the WTB saddle someone mentioned.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjohn78
    I often wear Kaki trousers to work and am worried about the honey colored stain bleeding into the seat of my trousers. Is this a problem? Iv'e heard that the black saddles bleed like mad.
    Yup. I really noticed it after I oiled up that first saddle, it stained my pants for a looong time. Subsequent Brooks (no oil treatment) haven't bled unless it's a soaking rain or I've just put on some Proofide.

  18. #18
    newbie boobie.
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    I have the Swift Ti... haven't ridden it but once, hurt after awhile. But, am waiting for another frame. I got it used for $40, practically new - but the dude fell and scarred one side.
    I need to rub some oils on it and make it happy leather.
    It ain't easy being human.

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