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Worn Brooks Saddle

Old 09-22-21, 04:42 AM
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Colorado Kid
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Worn Brooks Saddle

My ten year old Brooks saddle now has two spots that you can feel (in the back) where I sit. The funny thing, you can't see them but you sure can fell it. Is there anything I can do to fix them or is it trash?
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Old 09-22-21, 07:35 AM
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A couple of questions to clarify what you mean...

(1) Is it a B-17?

(2) Are you certain that you have the nose angle correct?

(3) Do you mean to say that the pressure created by your sit bones within those divots makes the saddle un-rideable?

(4) Is there any outward deflection of the saddle skirts when you're seated? Have you considered lacing the skirts to prevent this.

(5) Where is the tension nut set?

(6) Can you provide photos that would help to explain the problem?
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Old 09-22-21, 07:40 AM
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^ What he said, plus: Has the saddle ever gotten soaked while you were riding?
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Old 09-22-21, 08:16 AM
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It's supposed to do that
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Old 09-22-21, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
My ten year old Brooks saddle now has two spots that you can feel (in the back) where I sit. The funny thing, you can't see them but you sure can fell it. Is there anything I can do to fix them or is it trash?
Congratulations, it has "broken in." That's what is supposed to happen.
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Old 09-22-21, 04:11 PM
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While it’s not a Brooks…this is a broken in leather saddle and what they should look like
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Old 09-23-21, 04:31 AM
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I had the LBS check out the seat. Everything is where it should be. (Angle etc.) I could drown the poor thing and hope I can remold it. Amazon had "used" B-17 for $65.00. I ordered a new seat. At that price, it's worth starting over.
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Old 09-23-21, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
While it’s not a Brooks…this is a broken in leather saddle and what they should look like
This is a broken in Brooks B72, OEM on my 1972 Raleigh Sports, last used on a bike in 2012 in Afghanistan





This is a Brooks B66, OEM on a 1976 Raleigh Superbe, still in use after being transferred to and from several commuter bikes



Treated with nothing but sweat, very comfortable still.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-23-21 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 09-24-21, 11:24 AM
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It takes quite awhile to break in a standard hard Brooks saddle, most people are used to sitting on them hard and consider them worn as they start to 'bucket."
But they are supposed to do that. Thats when they become comfortable. I myself have an "aged" flyer on one of my bikes. Its made of thick leather and all, but is is pliable from the start.
When the seat starts to bucket, the sides will start to wing out. That is why some older seats have been drilled for wing gathers and the new "aged" seats from Brooks come with them. Tyeing the side together underneath helps to maintain shape and also is another means of adjustment as it buckets.
If you notice, there is no bracing under the leather of the seat. It is supposed to eventually become a cradle of sorts that you then tension to your liking with the front tension nut.
A fully broken in B.72 - 66 - 67 etc, is a ride that Comfort seats cant match, but few people get to that point and think of their old seat in that way.
A lot of folks want things to look crisp and new and they get to sit on a hard seat.

Last edited by macstuff; 10-10-21 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 09-24-21, 02:38 PM
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For me Brooks was most comfortable out of the box. As mine aged and 'bucketed' it stopped providing support at my sit bones and instead increased pressure on my crotch area. I eventually got a plastic saddle which doesn't sag as it wears so the comfort does not change.
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Old 09-27-21, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I had the LBS check out the seat. Everything is where it should be. (Angle etc.) I could drown the poor thing and hope I can remold it. Amazon had "used" B-17 for $65.00. I ordered a new seat. At that price, it's worth starting over.
Sounds like you've decided what to do. FWIW, though, when a leather saddle becomes a bit less comfortable, that's my cue to tension it up a little bit.
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Old 10-05-21, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
For me Brooks was most comfortable out of the box. As mine aged and 'bucketed' it stopped providing support at my sit bones and instead increased pressure on my crotch area. I eventually got a plastic saddle which doesn't sag as it wears so the comfort does not change.
I 100% agree. New B-17 is really comfy, it gets less comfortable as it ages. I've given up on them, they don't last more than a year or two before they start getting way too soft.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I 100% agree. New B-17 is really comfy, it gets less comfortable as it ages. I've given up on them, they don't last more than a year or two before they start getting way too soft.
It's said that Brooks uses thinner or softer leather on B17 Standards because that flexy "easy to break in" characteristic is expected from them now. Whether that's true or not, the narrower or shorter models seem less prone to this. Pros are famously hard, and I've been pleased by the firmness of my B17 Narrow models. Ditto for the B17S (standard width but shorter) models on my wife's bikes.
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Old 10-08-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
It's said that Brooks uses thinner or softer leather on B17 Standards because that flexy "easy to break in" characteristic is expected from them now. Whether that's true or not, the narrower or shorter models seem less prone to this. Pros are famously hard, and I've been pleased by the firmness of my B17 Narrow models. Ditto for the B17S (standard width but shorter) models on my wife's bikes.
Meh. I'm on Fabric Scoop right now, have no issues. All the narrower models seem to be about twice the price, I'm probably done. My wife has taken my B-17s now anyway.
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Old 10-09-21, 07:17 AM
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Everyone's ass is different.
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Old 10-10-21, 11:34 AM
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Something else to consider is peoples style of riding.
A lot of people put a B.17 on a tour bike but a B.17 is not made as a touring saddle. A person is not supposed to be sitting on it, as much as against it.
Although, what you use something for is its ultimate purpose.
Racing a bike, a saddle is a place to put your butt on a downhill, otherwise you are perched and the saddle is used by your inner thighs for control.
The reasoning that saddles like the B.15 Swallow and B.17 narrow have been common choices for racing saddles in the past.
In todays environment, the Brooks saddle is an icon, a mainstay and a baseline. More of an Eroica throwback that a modern cutting edge accessory.
Modern day racing bicycles use 3oz. seats and Brooks doesn't offer any actual racing seats anymore.
If the seat has springs, it is meant for more of an upright riding stance. The seat is a pivot point rather than a brace

I guess the OP has solved the issue with a new saddle but did I read anywhere where the saddles adjuster got used to tighten up the top?
That is one of the best features of these old saddles. Right off-hand it seems those depressions could possibly be stretched out with the adjuster.
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Old 10-11-21, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
While it’s not a Brooks…this is a broken in leather saddle and what they should look like
I wouldn’t say that Brooks (or nonBrooks) saddle should all have divots. Mine have never developed divots of any kind. The brown one on the right is 20+ years old and the one on the left is of a similar age. The brown one has about 20,000 miles on it and the black one about 500 (or less). The brown one is actually broken as in the frame is broken (since repaired).




This one is newer (2015), has 5000 to 6000 miles on it and no divots.

On the bike





Bike on the edge of White Fish Bay.



And this one, a B17 Narrow, was on my touring bike previously. About 8000 miles on it all totaled.

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