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Leather Saddle

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Leather Saddle

Postby HOMOsapien » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:14 pm

My rides are going further and further into the countryside. I decided to go Brooks.

How long did it take your saddle to become pliable and begin forming to your darier? Should 2 coats of saddle dressing be enough before the first ride? I went black for aesthetic reasons; how long before I can wear a clothing color besides black or dark blue?

Just curious. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby dave esmond » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:40 pm

I've got a Brooks on one of my 3 speeds. It looks great on there and works fine for what I use that bike for.

I'm not a Brooks hater. I love the things.

They've got some serious downsides however.

I've known exactly one person who managed to ride enough to get his Brooks to form up and ride as comfortably as a modern saddle. It truly was an awesome thing. That was the guy who owned the bike shop I worked at in the '80's,

I took well over 1000 miles. He rode ALL the time.

There's a reason they went out of fashion 20-30 years ago for people who ride more the 3-5 miles at a time.

The only way to get there is the same way as a good pair of leather shoes. It just takes time. Lot's of time. Resist the urge to use anything that will "soften" that bad boy. All they do is ruin 'em by making them too soft. That might be fine for a baseball mitt but it's not what you want in a bike seat.

The Brooks saddle dressing protects the leather, it won't really soften it.

Padded shorts and a modern saddle is gonna be so much more comfortable if you ride more then 5 miles at a time, but not as hip. But when I ride for more then a minutes miles I just want comfort....screw being hip.

Oh yeah. The black dye ought to stop coming out sometime after it's good and soft...if you're lucky. Now you know why cycling shorts used to only come in black.

Good luck. If you're one of the folks who can make a Brooks work for them you'll have a saddle that ought to last a lifetime. If not I like Fizik. Finding the right saddle can take a while, but it's so worth it when you get the right one.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby HOMOsapien » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:13 pm

Does anyone else have anything to say about their leather saddle?
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby Dairylander » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:35 pm

Between your user name and the title of this thread I was expecting a very different topic.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby minicat » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:45 pm

I got a replacement Brooks this past x-mas for my vintage Raleigh, which I picked up a couple falls back. Started the seasoning/leather protector process a couple weeks back, but before I could put it on the bike the frame broke.

I will not be buying another used bike from Budget. RIP Raleigh.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby Right Bower » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:51 pm

I'd suggest getting it broken in before this naked bike ride I keep hearing about.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby Zapela » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:06 pm

I got a Brooks saddle last August for my commuter bike. I typically ride 4-5 miles a day to work and back plus errands now and then, so nothing major. I had some soreness after the first few miles (bruised sits bones), which lasted maybe a week. After that, it's been comfy as can be. I didn't ride all winter, so I would say I've put fewer than 500 miles on it and there are now definite indentations from my sits bones, but honestly, it didn't take that long to be comfortable. I only applied one coating of proofide at the beginning, so I didn't do anything much to make the break-in process faster. It just wasn't that bad. I've read elsewhere that the leather they use nowadays isn't as firm as in the old days, so they're easier and quicker to break in (I guess the flip side is that they don't hold up as well), so I think a lot of the horror stories are outdated. So, my advice would be to give it a try. I hear that if you order from Wallingford Bikes you get six months to test it out and can then return it, no questions asked. I'd prefer to support a local business, but hey, if being able to return it convinces you to try it, I say go for it.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby dave esmond » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:32 pm

A lot is gonna depend on how far you want to ride at a time.

Pretty much any seat feels fine for 4-5 miles.

They're great seats. I just don't want to ride 40 - 50 miles at a time on one again anytime soon.

There's not much that looks as good as a well worn in one too.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby dave esmond » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:28 pm

I don't think it's much of a problem here yet but maybe others know better.

In a lot of bigger cities an untethered Brooks is gonna get stolen pretty much instantly. Anyone know if it's something we have to worry about yet ?

I'd hate to have a nice broken in Brooks stolen.
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Re: Leather Saddle

Postby HOMOsapien » Fri May 07, 2010 3:47 pm

I used the saddle for the first time last night. Its fine. But, I only rode 12 miles on it. I have no idea what my ass will feel like post a 45 mile ride.

The surface is still pretty smooth. How long will it take for the saddle to get ruffed up in order to create some friction?
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