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Brooks and Velo Orange saddle owners - a question for you

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Brooks and Velo Orange saddle owners - a question for you

Old 07-25-11, 05:37 PM
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kiltedcelt
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Brooks and Velo Orange saddle owners - a question for you

What is the nastiest stuff you've been through with your saddle? Since touring is the stronghold of leather saddle users, I've decided to ask you all your opinion. I'm considering a Brooks or Velo Orange saddle. I ride in a variety of conditions and all year around so a saddle would be exposed to rain, snow, and should I do some cyclocross racing, mud. A guy at Velo Orange said as long as the saddle is protected with Proofhide on the underside and is cleaned off should it get excessively dirty, it should last a long time. He reasoned that early bicycle racers would've used similar saddles during races like Paris-Roubaix or the Tour De France and so they would have been exposed to all kinds of inclement weather. My main concern is the saddle getting frequently wetted down in the winter time. I know fenders can help a lot but they're not going to eliminate road spray or flung-up mud. Also, I don't know how good of an idea it is to try racing in muddy conditions with fenders, unless they're the type that don't sit so close to the wheels. I really like the idea of the leather saddle and the comfort factor but I'm also really leery of the long term durability issue with lots of inclement weather riding.
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Old 07-25-11, 05:58 PM
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I'd put another saddle on for your Cross races, as there is considerable weight to be saved
and less damage to be done.. Cinelli Unicantor , all elastomer and the steel rails,
so nothing in the saddle, to screw up significantly when the bike gets pressure washed ..

MY Brooks Pro Lived inside a couple heavy plastic bags on a long wet tour of the British Isles..

I have 2, one 30 years old , one 20 ..
I heated the saddle, 100F, to have it absorb a bunch of Proofide ,
and its been fine ever since..

Living in a wet climate, now , I use other saddles on my daily riders now..


Fenders, beneath and keeping your backside on it, would go a long ways
to covering it, .. But riding in rain gear I just left the plastic bags on the saddle.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-25-11 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 07-25-11, 06:00 PM
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I sometimes park my bike outdoors at work and I always cover the leather saddle with a helmet cover I keep on the bicycle. You could probably get away with one of those shower caps from Walmart.

I can't imagine that a steady downpour over 8 hours would do anything good for a leather saddle.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:06 PM
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LeeG
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Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
1. Since touring is the stronghold of leather saddle users,

2. I ride in a variety of conditions and all year around so a saddle would be exposed to rain, snow, and should I do some cyclocross racing, mud.

3.I really like the idea of the leather saddle and the comfort factor but I'm also really leery of the long term durability issue with lots of inclement weather riding.
1. nope
2. look at what racers use in training and racing
3. comfort is where you find it, leather saddles can last a long time, so can leather/plastic/foam/etc. saddles.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:15 PM
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Yan 
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I've used a Brooks Team Pro on my main bike for three years. I try to keep it covered with plastic bags when it rains; nevertheless is has been completely soaked about a dozen times. I've tied the skirts of the saddle together and tightened the tension bolt at the nose of the saddle by about a third of its length.

Don't use a leather saddle for racing.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:49 PM
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kiltedcelt
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Yep, sounds like I'll be going with a non-leather saddle.
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Old 07-25-11, 08:59 PM
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I've used V/O and Brooks saddles for six hour rides in heavy rain without problem. Good fenders do indeed protect the underside of the saddle from road spray and mud. If your fenders don't then you need better ones!
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Old 07-25-11, 09:34 PM
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I wax the underside also, to keep the rain out. I have done long wet tours. It isn't a problem, I tie a handle bag over the saddle. I find the saddle doesn't really get wet anyway since my butt and rainpants are on it. But it would get wet the moment I dismounted. I don't find rain a problem, but I wouldn't want to get it all muddy.
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Old 07-26-11, 12:05 AM
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My Brooks Champion Flyer is semi-permenently covered by a Serfas waterproof cover ( I got it at REI). Mostly, it remains covered to disguise the Brooks from opportunistic theives. (I also ditched the quick-release seat binder years ago). The saddles stays dry in downpours, but the fenders really keep things nice on the underside. The steel railed leather saddle has been in use for more than a century- I think you may be worrying too much.
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Old 07-26-11, 06:40 AM
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I've never had a problem. I've ridden with Brooks (and now VO) saddles in all kinds of weather, gotten them soaking wet and filthy and they work just fine. I've always used mink oil paste as protection and tried not to ride them if the were soaked through.A waterproof cover would probably be a good idea, I've just never bothered.

Marc
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Old 07-29-11, 04:00 PM
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I got caught out in a MO toad-strangler rainstorm a few years ago and feared the worst for my Brooks. Amazingly enough, it survived the storm without the tensioner bolt needing to be touched. One reason for this might have been that it is regularly treated with a dab of Proofhide on the top of the saddle. I put a thick coat of it on the bottom side when it was new. I'm going to get one of those Walmart shower caps to cover it with from now on.
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Old 07-29-11, 05:26 PM
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I use leather saddles on most of my bikes, predominately Brooks, but I also have Wright's and Ideale. I heavily treat the underside with Proofide at least once a year and keep the tops covered if they are exposed to weather. FWIW most of my bikes have fenders which I am sure helps. For saddle covers I use free shower caps from hotels, plastic shopping bags (Target's are the best) and I actually have a couple of honest to god Brooks saddle covers, probably because they came with the saddle.

My bikes get ridden in any weather at any time regardless.



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Old 07-31-11, 04:38 AM
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I had a sprung Brooks on my commuter/tourer, and took it on my year long tour as well. It's still very comfy, having gone through all kinds of weather (hot & cold rains, snow & well bellow freezing). I treat it with proofhide as needed (whenever I feal like it).

When I leave it out in the rain, I try to put a plastic bag on it.
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Old 07-31-11, 06:26 AM
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If you've treated the saddle then you needn't worry about riding it in all weathers, with or without fenders. When leaving the bike outside and rain is possible I simply cover the saddle with a shower cap, which I tuck under the saddle when riding so it's always available. But I do this more to make sure the saddle is dry when I get back on the bike than because I'm worried about durability. These saddles last and last.
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Old 07-31-11, 01:28 PM
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While I try not to ride through mud, fenders keep everything else off the bottom of my B-17s.

For parking outside in the rain, I'll try to cover them with a plastic bag.

For long riding in the rain (without a jacket), or in hot humidity where I'll start dripping with sweat after an hour, I'll cover the saddle with an Aardvark cover and keep riding.

If it gets soaked anyway, I'll try to use another bike for a day or two so the saddle can dry out. Learned to keep the bike inside or covered after riding on tour, so that didn't happen.
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