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Thread: Brooks question

  1. #1
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    Brooks question

    I am considering making the jump to a Brooks saddle. My big concern, multi-day events and 24 hour races.
    What is going to happen if the saddle gets wet, and it can't dry before the next day, and it gets ridden again, and it gets wet and can't....
    You get the idea?

    Is my Brooks saddle gonna turn into a wet noodle? Will it end up ruined? If it got wet for hours and hours during a 24 hour race and stayed wet would it be a goner? I would be plunking down a lot of $$$'s for a high end lighter model so I want to know before I jump into the world of the most comfortable saddle.
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  2. #2
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    A Brook's saddle will NOT endure that kind of torture. You can either run a different brand, or take an extra Brooky with you and change 'em out when they get wet.

    A wet Brook's, ridden steadily.....will indeed become a "wet noodle" in no time at all.

    Plastic grocery bags are a wonderful thing!

    (I'm currently running five Brooks saddles on five bikes, but avoid wetness like the plague..)

  3. #3
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    meeehhhhhh

    Quote Originally Posted by xrmattaz
    A Brook's saddle will NOT endure that kind of torture. You can either run a different brand, or take an extra Brooky with you and change 'em out when they get wet.
    A wet Brook's, ridden steadily.....will indeed become a "wet noodle" in no time at all.
    Plastic grocery bags are a wonderful thing!
    That was what I was afraid of. I can't see plastic bagging a saddle for a 24 hour period or a 8-9 hour day in the saddle. I definitely wouldn't wanna buy two saddles. I don't think I am up to selling a kidney.

    Stimied! I really wanted to try the Brooks, but I don't want to get used to riding something really nice only to race on a piece of plastic.
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  4. #4
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    Wink adendum

    I'll be doing the 24 Hrs. at Old Pueblo on a Brooky, as will momma.

    If they get wet, they get wet. Brooks makes a nice cover for the topside, and if'n it's raining/wet, you'll be running a rear fender anyway, right?? Should keep the saddle more or less dry.

    IMO, the level of comfort afforded by any of these saddles far outweighs the negatives of 'em getting wet.

  5. #5
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    best investment i made!!

    I run a brooks for 24 hour racing. 2 years ago I got stuck in a monsoon during the race here in Hawaii, and I thought I ruined it. But the time I took to proofhide it before hand, AND not putting direct heat on it to dry it out saved it. I am still running it. I use a Swift w/ Ti rails.

    I can understand the concern, but I can't stress enough, make sure you prep the saddle before hand, and like the guys above me stick the cover on when in the pits (just in case).

    --spicoli

  6. #6
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    ... and if we just ... Prep

    Preparation of a new Brook's saddle is also important IMO. I don't do it by the book

    When I get a new Brook's saddle, I apply a generous amount of "Proofhide" to the underside, and goop it up around the metal bits that connect the leather, then put it upsidedown in the oven on "warm" (250 degrees) until the Proofhide melts and saturates the leather. I figure once the leather has been permeated by the oily goop, it's much less likely to soak up H2O.

  7. #7
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    I have never had any trouble with years of running brooks on all three of my bikes - road and MTB.
    The saddle can be wiped on the underside with a little common motor oil , that will help it repel water alot. You'll be sitting on the top of it and that should keep it mostly dry. Run a small fender if you are really worried. the only time I bag mine is if it is going to sit out in the rain by itself - like on the roof rack etc.

    use the proofide to condition the leather and that helps repel water as well.
    I would only be worried if it sat out in the pits in pouring rain. Just bag it when you are not sitting on it if its raining and run a fender and conditon it a bit and you'll be all set.
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  8. #8
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    Best saddles ever!!

    I too will run my swift at Old Pueblo and have run it at WP Kona 24 hour. Soak it in Linseed (sp?) oil for two days once a year and tie a string around it to bring the sides in...and I hope you like brown cause the honey will go that way. If this is done the saddle will last.
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  9. #9
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    Rich Rich Rich...
    Just do it. Erinna's Adventure race team mate runs a B17 that looks like a hammock and he swears by it. Think of all the Tours des Frances where racers were on Brooks. And wet? Dammit man! They're made in England! It rains a bunch there, I'm told. Proofide the bottom once and put a saddle bag under there with a tube in. Proofide the top, when it needs it.... It'll tell you when. That's all I've done to mine and it has held up fine. I'm not doing 8 day rides but... I get my time in.
    I'm almost a year in on my Team Pro on the Walt and just got a B17 for the Torelli. If you're worried about it becoming a noodle then I would suggest the Team Pro. It's marketed as the saddle with the thickest leather. It goes without saying though that it takes the longest to 'break-in'. I lucked out there, the team pro was as comfy as my WTB on the first ride. It's only gotten better since.

    I'll let you test ride mine on Saturday. There's a DuPont ride shaping up for Sunday, too.
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  10. #10
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    there is supposedly a cheaper one called 'persons saddle'?? a guy who used to work there makes themor something?

    I would like to try these saddles, but they seem too high maintenance and expensive. One good wipeout and its torn and you are crying. I like a bike that can get wet. road or offroad.

    doesnt that proofhide come off on your shorts on a long ride?

    they sure look cool, though. i like the selle italia storika saddle.

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  11. #11
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    Good job!

    A Brook's owner carefully chooses the colour of his shorts!




    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    there is supposedly a cheaper one called 'persons saddle'?? a guy who used to work there makes themor something?

    I would like to try these saddles, but they seem too high maintenance and expensive. One good wipeout and its torn and you are crying. I like a bike that can get wet. road or offroad.

    doesnt that proofhide come off on your shorts on a long ride?

    they sure look cool, though. i like the selle italia storika saddle.

    website for persons
    http://www.permaco.com/en-us/dept_7.html

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahproductions
    I'll let you test ride mine on Saturday. There's a DuPont ride shaping up for Sunday, too.
    I could do Du Pont. I don't mind riding there when I am following some one who knows where they are going.
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  13. #13
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    Good job! Brooks..

    Brooks saddles are like any good leather product. If you look after them, they will look after you.

    Brooks recommend a good application of Proofide to the bottom of the saddle when it is new, and then an application of Proofide to the top as needed.

    If you are thinking of using a *new* Brooks saddle for a long race, then I wouldn't really recommend it.

    You are likely to regret that decision because the saddle will not be "broken in" and will more than likely break your butt.

    Some saddles from Brooks that I have ridden are still breaking in after 6 months, others break in much more quickly. It all depends on the leather and the amount of use.

    You can short-cut the break-in period by using the 'soaking in neatsfoot oil or warm water' trick, but I prefer to do it in the time-honoured tradition as advised by the Brooks craftsmen...that is, over a period of weeks / months by riding on it.

    If you do decide to use the break-in Neatsfoot oil short-cut, Sheldon Brown has it on his site.

    Whatever you decide, a Brooks saddle will serve you well. They are the only saddle that conforms to your sit bones to become like a mirror-image of your butt over time and retain that impression in the leather.

    No plastic based saddle will do that.

    If you purchase from Wallbikes in the USA, they offer a fantastic warranty with the saddles.

    As far as getting the saddles wet, I personally use a plastic bag over mine, but it doesn't rain much here in Oz where I ride. A fender or under-the-seat toolkit helps to keep rear wheel spray off the bottom of the leather, and your butt mostly keeps the top dry.

    Good luck, I hope that this has been some help..


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by xrmattaz
    A Brook's owner carefully chooses the colour of his shorts!
    Yeah! Why do you think most of us wear black shorts anyway? We're closet traditionalists that don't want our proofide stains to show!
    No but seriously, I've only seen stains on a pair of khacki shorts that I rode around in on a wet saddle. I've taken some serious spills with the brooks, too. I don't worry about it tearing. You have to remember to be gentle when the bike is flipped upside down and working on it, but that's the only time that I worry about doing anything bad to the leather.
    Go for it dicky.

    Email me or call about this weekend. Can you do both days? say yes say yes say yes..

    Erinna and I will get the dog hair off the futon, you can sleep there!

    ~E

    p.s.
    'If you purchase from Wallbikes in the USA, they offer a fantastic warranty with the saddles.'
    I agree. I got mine from there. Unreal warranty. They're in New Orleans, too. Help a brother out!
    Last edited by pisgahproductions; 12-08-2005 at 04:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahproductions
    Yeah! Why do you think most of us wear black shorts anyway? We're closet traditionalists that don't want our proofide stains to show!
    No but seriously, I've only seen stains on a pair of khacki shorts that I rode around in on a wet saddle. I've taken some serious spills with the brooks, too. I don't worry about it tearing. You have to remember to be gentle when the bike is flipped upside down and working on it, but that's the only time that I worry about doing anything bad to the leather.
    Go for it dicky.

    Email me or call about this weekend. Can you do both days? say yes say yes say yes..

    Erinna and I will get the dog hair off the futon, you can sleep there!

    ~E
    I will email you. Doubt I could swing two days of riding, but maybe an over nighter with drinking and such.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    I will email you. Doubt I could swing two days of riding, but maybe an over nighter with drinking and such.
    Great! Your choice: Louis and Clark or guided DuPont. Drinking after or drinking before...
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  17. #17
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    neatsfoot

    Neatsfoot oil, in addition to speeding the break in, wil also condition and protect the leather for a long long time. Proofide is pretty sticky stuff and it won't soak in as much.

    I rode horses as a kid, and we always used neatsfoot oil a few times a year, then saddle soad, with leaves a parafin film. Every so often used a proofide type waterproofing on them, but more often, just kept em clean, let em dry when they get saturated, and condition it with neatsfoot oil maybe once a year if its getting wet regularly.

    They are awful comfy. after a while. I regret selling my old commuter withthe Brooks on it, and I am going to use one on my new 29er, which will get wet, if the riding requires it.
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  18. #18
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    i can't believe no one thought of this....... keep in the pack for when things get wet.....

    http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=SA2041

    http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=SA2091

    sure, ruins the aesthetics for the wet duration, but i can't see how it wouldn't do the trick.......especially if you treat the leather properly as well.
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  19. #19
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    I have Brooks saddles on both of my road bikes (a fixie and a cyclocross) and I love them. But it took over 600 miles for the first one to start feeling like it was conforming to my anatomy. The second one seems like it is taking about the same number of miles as well. On my single speed I only sit down maybe 20% of the time. So that would mean about 3000 off road miles just to get that initial break in! No thanks, I'll keep my WTB on the mountain bike.

  20. #20
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    Good job!

    You need to think about it.

    If you have two Brooks saddles already well on the way to being broken in, then why not use one on of those on your SS, and break in the new one on the roadbike?

    That way, your butt can enjoy the SS even more..


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  21. #21
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    My idea exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    You need to think about it.
    If you have two Brooks saddles already well on the way to being broken in, then why not use one on of those on your SS, and break in the new one on the roadbike?
    That way, your butt can enjoy the SS even more. R.
    I figured I would put it on my work bike to break it in as fast as possible and then move it to my SS. If I throw down $175 on a saddle I will probably get a Brooks seat cover.
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  22. #22
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    Make the jump with caution

    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    I am considering making the jump to a Brooks saddle. My big concern, multi-day events and 24 hour races.
    What is going to happen if the saddle gets wet, and it can't dry before the next day, and it gets ridden again, and it gets wet and can't....
    You get the idea?

    Is my Brooks saddle gonna turn into a wet noodle? Will it end up ruined? If it got wet for hours and hours during a 24 hour race and stayed wet would it be a goner? I would be plunking down a lot of $$$'s for a high end lighter model so I want to know before I jump into the world of the most comfortable saddle.
    I did just what you say you want to do and bought a whack of beautiful Brooks saddles for my bikes. What I didn't do was check out how long the rails were and how they would change my saddle position on the bike. SERIOUSLY check this out before you put the big dollars into them. The Swift I bought effectively dropped the rear of the saddle to handlebar measurement by two inches on my singlespeed in place of my old Titec or new Gobi. The B-17 does exactly the same thing.

    As cool as they are, these saddles are useless to me unless I have a custom bike built around them with 26.5+ inch top tube. If you have you seat pushed back on your seatpost, or are used to running longer saddles like Gobis or Beserkrs, they just won't work with your current stem bar set-up.

    Just my experience.

  23. #23
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats
    I did just what you say you want to do and bought a whack of beautiful Brooks saddles for my bikes. What I didn't do was check out how long the rails were and how they would change my saddle position on the bike. SERIOUSLY check this out before you put the big dollars into them. The Swift I bought effectively dropped the rear of the saddle to handlebar measurement by two inches on my singlespeed in place of my old Titec or new Gobi. The B-17 does exactly the same thing.

    As cool as they are, these saddles are useless to me unless I have a custom bike built around them with 26.5+ inch top tube. If you have you seat pushed back on your seatpost, or are used to running longer saddles like Gobis or Beserkrs, they just won't work with your current stem bar set-up.

    Just my experience.
    A set back seat post might solve your troubles -instead of a custom built frame with super long TT.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    Brooks saddles are like any good leather product. If you look after them, they will look after you.

    Brooks recommend a good application of Proofide to the bottom of the saddle when it is new, and then an application of Proofide to the top as needed.

    If you are thinking of using a *new* Brooks saddle for a long race, then I wouldn't really recommend it.

    You are likely to regret that decision because the saddle will not be "broken in" and will more than likely break your butt.

    Some saddles from Brooks that I have ridden are still breaking in after 6 months, others break in much more quickly. It all depends on the leather and the amount of use.

    You can short-cut the break-in period by using the 'soaking in neatsfoot oil or warm water' trick, but I prefer to do it in the time-honoured tradition as advised by the Brooks craftsmen...that is, over a period of weeks / months by riding on it.

    If you do decide to use the break-in Neatsfoot oil short-cut, Sheldon Brown has it on his site.

    Whatever you decide, a Brooks saddle will serve you well. They are the only saddle that conforms to your sit bones to become like a mirror-image of your butt over time and retain that impression in the leather.

    No plastic based saddle will do that.

    If you purchase from Wallbikes in the USA, they offer a fantastic warranty with the saddles.

    As far as getting the saddles wet, I personally use a plastic bag over mine, but it doesn't rain much here in Oz where I ride. A fender or under-the-seat toolkit helps to keep rear wheel spray off the bottom of the leather, and your butt mostly keeps the top dry.

    Good luck, I hope that this has been some help..


    R.
    All sage advice. I used to employ the soaking in water method for breaking in baseball gloves and once suggested it here for the Brooks but after discussion with Rainman I defer to his expertise completely, he's without a doubt the foremost authority on Brooks saddles we've got here on MTBR. The only thing I can add is to take a look at the Carradice saddle bonnets(covers) made specifically for the Brooks. Rivendell also sells one as well, not sure of the manufacturer but basically the same.

    Truly a wealth of useless information.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbchess
    A set back seat post might solve your troubles -instead of a custom built frame with super long TT.
    Thats exactly what I did on one of my bikes...used a Thomson setback seatpost with the Brooks.

    With my SS, the Brooks works perfectly because the TT was a fraction long, so when I fitted the Brooks it worked out very well..

    The Rails on the Brooks are a little shorter than most other 'plastic seats', so you need to keep in mind that you may not have the same range of fore and aft adjustments.

    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  26. #26
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    British racing green

    How's it end up looking after a few months? I picture a leather couch in a Dr's office, or I could just go with typical honey brown....
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  27. #27
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    Good job! Depends

    On the colour choice of "your" shorts. BRG doesn't look too good even against a black background, but does fine if'n your shorts are camo, as mine are.

    The saddle itself will reveal it's loveliness.....BRG is kewl, and gets better with time.

    I don't currently own a BRG Brooky (but had one!).....and will have another one day.




    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    How's it end up looking after a few months? I picture a leather couch in a Dr's office, or I could just go with typical honey brown....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I have Brooks saddles on both of my road bikes (a fixie and a cyclocross) and I love them. But it took over 600 miles for the first one to start feeling like it was conforming to my anatomy. The second one seems like it is taking about the same number of miles as well. On my single speed I only sit down maybe 20% of the time. So that would mean about 3000 off road miles just to get that initial break in! No thanks, I'll keep my WTB on the mountain bike.
    Do you want to break in your Brooks in 1-2 rides?
    Here's a trick I learned about 25 years ago to speed up the break-in process. Take a washcloth and get it wet, wring about 2/3 of the water out of it, fold in 1/2 lengthwise and repeat (to get 1/4 of the width total), drape crosswise over the rear portion of the saddle that's going to bear most of your weight, and let it sit for two - four hours. I avoided wetting the nose of the saddle.
    After this, use your thumbs to knead the area where your butt-bones will contact to "over soften" these two points, cover with a plastic seat cover, take for a long-ish ride to initiate the custom-forming. Let it dry, then initiate the typical leather treatments.
    It worked! I haven't used a Brooks in a long while myself, but after reading this thread may dig in the garage to see if one's still out there.

  29. #29
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    A much less nuanced approach...

    all the Brooks I've ever owned were used so i had to re-conform them to my butt but the were already soft so I have never personally tried this method.
    But...
    At the shop I work at we smack the saddle a couple of times with a rubber mallet before we send the customer out the door. I don't think it helps contour the thing to your butt but it softens it to make the breaking-in miles more comfortable. At any rate I don't think it hurts anything.

  30. #30
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    Break in shcmeak in

    My ass can handle a break in. Here's what I have been riding at work.

    Yes, it is a Flite with no padding and holes drilled into it.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    My ass can handle a break in. Here's what I have been riding at work.

    Yes, it is a Flite with no padding and holes drilled into it.
    You must have a NICE chamois!

  32. #32
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    Not really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    You must have a NICE chamois!
    Chamois wear out too quickly so I just wear Under Armor in the winter and go commando in the summer. You get used to it.
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  33. #33
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    Smile ..s'funny..

    ..I never wear chamois, I havn't for years now.

    I find that I just don't need 'em at all. I usually just wear baggies or nics with thin briefs underneath.

    I tried wearing chamois nics a couple of times, but found that the padding was a pita.

    I might try again one of these days, as I think that the current nics are waaay ahead of the ones that I tried a few times before.

    I'll probably end up with 26 pairs of nics hanging out to dry in the bathroom, and "She Who Must be Obeyed" will freak..


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

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