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Leather saddle care

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Crackle, 10 Dec 2007.

  1. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    **Mickle do not read - no shiny technology**

    Well My B17 Narrow arrived in the post today, looking very classy in the flesh. It also came with a tin of the Brooks saddle thingy stuff but I didn't get a spanner. Should I have got the spanner? And What's the recommended methods for treating, break-in and continuing care? At the moment it feels intimidatingly hard!
     
  2. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    I haven't got a spanner either and haven't missed it for the three years I have had a B17N.

    The recommendation is that you put a thickish coating of proofide on the underside (less critical as you have mudguards) and leave on. Apply a think coat to the upper surface, leave overnight, wipe off.

    The description I liked best about applying proofhide to the top therefater was that it is like sex in marriage. To start off do it regularly, dropping off over time to virtually never.

    TBH I think proofhide does little to soften the leather and speed up the breaking in process so you could just apply if you think the leather looks dry. I now only apply proofhide once in a blue moon.
     
  3. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I'd go with the above. Just a few times over the first few months then maybe once a year depending on how often its used.
    I mostly neglected my first Brooks and it lasted over 20 years.
    I'm not treating my new one any better and nearly 2 years on it's great.

    I've always found mine comfy straight from the box, no breaking-in required, just a gentle "getting to know each other phase" transpires.

    Get a spanner...then it can lay around unused for eternity like pretty much all Brooks spanners :tongue:.
     
  4. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Do either of yours ever get 'wet' i.e. should I be considering one of these saddle covers?
     
  5. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    To be honest, I avoid cycling in the rain where possible! But with my fat arse on top of it and with mudguards then I can't see it getting wet with me riding it. If you leave your bike out in the rain unattended then a plastic bag would be usefull. You can just stick it under the rails.

    I don't get the impression that you would particularly easily soak the saddle unless you were careless.
     
  6. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    As above ^ :tongue:.
     
  7. ratty2k

    ratty2k New Member

    I'd also like to chip in and say "Thanks!"
    I'm currently building an old steel road frame back up and looking at some period (ish) parts.
    It'll have modern brakes mechs etc- but all polished alloy to look a bit older, a campag aero seat post topped off with a brooks B17N.....
     
  8. piedwagtail91

    piedwagtail91 Über Member

    are you sure you need the spanner?i got a newish brooks from a mate and it tightened using an allen key in the front.
     
  9. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    No this one's a nut. Knowing Brooks it's probably AF rather than Metric and no one has AF spanners lying about, though I used to have.

    Thanks chaps - I'll rely on my own fat arse as well when I'm riding :tongue: (I also melt in the rain :tongue:)
     
  10. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    I recently bought a cover as I reckon that, although my Brooks has been rained on loads this year without any apparent harm being caused, rain can't be too good for it over many years. No idea if there is any substance to this, but as it only cost less than 4 quid I don't mind having bought one.

    And I'm sure it would annoy mickle, so worth every penny...
     
  11. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    I have a Brooks saddle cover and never leave the house without it. :tongue:

    As all the above, but with a slight caveat re: Proofide. Apply *once* and once only. The more you do it, the softer (and hence, more worn) the saddle will become. If you have the Brooks Arse (like me and FF) then you're in luck. Don't even think of playing with the nose bolt, because you'll most likely wreck the saddle. My first Brooks got Proofided regularly to the point that it went saggy. I played with the bolt, the saddle died....

    Oh and anyone telling you to dip the saddle in neatsfoot oil is damned, damned and thrice damned and will burn in hell where they belong.:tongue:
     
  12. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Right it's currently proofing on top of my current saddle which looks a bit sad in its presence. I shall ride it a bit and see how things go. Hopefully it shall be fitted tomorrow and fiddled with while the bike is on the turbo.

    Chuffy, Noodley do you cover the saddle when you're riding or is it for cafe stops and things?
     
  13. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    I only bought it a few weeks ago (ordered it pre-injury, delivered post-injury) so I have not used it yet. I have ridden with a few people who ride with it on, others I know only put it on when they get off the bike. This is all getting to sound like an "underground" activity - spoken in hushed tones in tea shops across the country. :tongue:
     
  14. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Right, <wink, wink, nudge, nudge, displays left nipple, followed by funny handshake>, Understood.
     
  15. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    Location:
    Barnet,
    I have only had to tension my B17n once, and that was about a year ago after two years of use. It was quite saggy so I gave it a turn and every thing was back to being really comfy.I have got a spanner, but I think a 15mm spanner will fit. I haven't got a Brooks cover but I do use a plastic carrier bag to cover it when I have to leave it outside in the rain. My saddle feels like a comfortable armchair, Although some people still ask how I ride a bike with an old leather saddle?