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Lifelover
06-03-2008, 01:47 PM
Will my new Team Pro ever be as soft as my B.17.

I got them both from forum members but I think the B.17 had been used a little. The Team Pro was unused.

The B.17 has 500-1000 miles on it from me and is nice and cushy. I can press the leather and get it to give just a little.

The Team Pro only has about 100 miles on it and is ROCK hard!

Will it soften up like the B.17 or will it always be stiffer?

CNY rider
06-03-2008, 01:57 PM
I have a Team Pro on my Mariposa which I got last fall.

I applied Obenauf's twice before riding it.

I rode it for about a month in October then put it away for winter.

Have now been back on it 2 months, I'm guessing 1000 miles or so total. I should add I'm all of about 148 pounds, or as my judo instructor used to say "150 pounds soaking wet with a pocket full of rocks."

The saddle is a total brick. Surprisingly comfortable for how hard it is but it has about as much "give" as cement. I haven't put even the slightest dimple in it yet.

We'll see what the future brings.

palincss
06-03-2008, 01:58 PM
Will my new Team Pro ever be as soft as my B.17.

I got them both from forum members but I think the B.17 had been used a little. The Team Pro was unused.

The B.17 has 500-1000 miles on it from me and is nice a cushy. I can press the leather and get it to give just a little.

The Team Pro only has about 100 miles on it and is ROCK hard!

Will it soften up like the B.17 or will it always be stiffer?

My Spectrum has a Brooks Team Pro I put on it in 1991. It took 1,000 miles for that saddle to break in, compared to typically 150 miles for a B.17. But it's been nice and cushy for the past 17 years.

That could have been in part because the saddle had been a display item on the wall of a bike shop from 1983 or so until 1991 (and when you knocked on it, it sounded like a piece of wood).

WadePatton
06-03-2008, 02:30 PM
Thing about cowhide is that every cut is different. I've always thought, haven't owned one yet, that the pro was cut from a slightly thicker hide. So yeah, it'll take more time breaking in, but last longer--as if 17's don't last long enough.

A full oil soak will tenderize a really dried out and brick hard saddle. I resorted to this with a NOS 1970's B5N.

rsl
06-03-2008, 02:46 PM
I've been wondering the same thing about my Swift. I've never ridden a Brooks before, but I've got about 3,000 miles on my swift, and it doesn't seem to be any different than the first ride. It's still super hard.

It's not uncomfortable, but it hasn't made me into a Brooks-a-phile like I thought it would.

goonster
06-03-2008, 02:51 PM
The Team Pro only has about 100 miles on it and is ROCK hard!

100 miles is hardly anything, but my experience indicates the Pro will always be harder than a B17.

Here's the thing though: If it works for you, count yourself lucky. Several longtime Brooks Pro riders are complaining that saddles from newer production runs are sagging and wearing out too quickly.

fiamme red
06-03-2008, 02:52 PM
No, not with Proofide:

http://www.billbostoncycles.com/brooks_pro.htm

Ken Robb
06-03-2008, 03:11 PM
a couple more thoughts: The same leather will feel softer if it's stretched over a larger area so the skinnier saddles wouldn't feel as soft even with identical leather. Then too, the guys who use skinny sadles tend to have more agressive positions on the bike so their "sit-bones" aren't putting such direct pressure on what should be the softest part of the saddle. The there is that old bovine to bovine variation isn't there?

goonster
06-03-2008, 03:13 PM
http://www.billbostoncycles.com/brooks_pro.htm

Do you, or anyone you know, actually do this? With the steel wool, and such? :confused:

fiamme red
06-03-2008, 03:48 PM
Do you, or anyone you know, actually do this? With the steel wool, and such? :confused:I've never done it, but I'm tempted, because my B-17N's fit me pretty well, except that they are still as hard as rocks. :)

Lifelover
06-03-2008, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I love my B.17 and I'm hoping a grow to love the Pro as well. As of now it starts to hurt after more than 2 or 3 hours on the bike. Not so bad that I can't stand it but enough that I notice it if I'm not pushing hard.

I'm 250lbs so I'm hoping it will wear in a little quicker than normal.

I may try the water option.

thejen12
06-03-2008, 05:06 PM
I don't have a Pro, but I recently got a B17. I'm about half your weight, so I backed off the tension screw to help break it in. Brooks even said, in the directions, to back it off a little at first (I think it said about 1/2 turn). I backed it off just about all the way (4 full turns) before I felt much difference in the saddle. After it started feeling not-quite-hard-as-a-rock, I retensioned. When retensioning, I found that at first the tension screw turned easily, then it got harder. I stopped when it got harder. After doing this a few times (with 25 miles or so on the saddle between each retension), I'm back up to about the original tension and the saddle feels great. I reached this great feeling after about 300 miles total on the saddle. Now I have about 500 miles on it and it still feels great and I haven't had to fiddle with it any more.

It seems to me that the tension bolt provides another method to customize saddle comfort to your liking. Surely the same tension is not necessarily the best for every rider? Can we even be sure that each saddle is tensioned the exact same amount before leaving the factory? Why not play with it, just a little? (These are just questions that I asked myself as I adjusted to my new saddle.) At any rate, I decided it sounded less destructive to play with one of the options designed into the saddle than some of the other ideas like soaking it in oil or riding it when wet. It worked for me (so far!).

Jenn

Ken Robb
06-03-2008, 09:09 PM
I don't have a Pro, but I recently got a B17. I'm about half your weight, so I backed off the tension screw to help break it in. Brooks even said, in the directions, to back it off a little at first (I think it said about 1/2 turn). I backed it off just about all the way (4 full turns) before I felt much difference in the saddle. After it started feeling not-quite-hard-as-a-rock, I retensioned. When retensioning, I found that at first the tension screw turned easily, then it got harder. I stopped when it got harder. After doing this a few times (with 25 miles or so on the saddle between each retension), I'm back up to about the original tension and the saddle feels great. I reached this great feeling after about 300 miles total on the saddle. Now I have about 500 miles on it and it still feels great and I haven't had to fiddle with it any more.

It seems to me that the tension bolt provides another method to customize saddle comfort to your liking. Surely the same tension is not necessarily the best for every rider? Can we even be sure that each saddle is tensioned the exact same amount before leaving the factory? Why not play with it, just a little? (These are just questions that I asked myself as I adjusted to my new saddle.) At any rate, I decided it sounded less destructive to play with one of the options designed into the saddle than some of the other ideas like soaking it in oil or riding it when wet. It worked for me (so far!).

Jenn

yep, but if you don't have the Brooks spanner to do the adjusting it is a frustrating chore. I heard a rumor that newer Brooks can be adjusted without the special tool but my saddles are all oldies.

Mike748
06-03-2008, 10:38 PM
After trying my normal B17 "Proofhide and ride" method on the Pro I bought for my CSi... and suffering, I followed Sheldon Brown's advice... he said a Pro won't break in without serious soaking because the leather is so thick.

I soaked a rag in Lexol and applied it to the sit bone area of the saddle only, then covered that with plastic wrap and let it sit for the night. Next morning I went for a long ride and it started to conform. Next ride after that it started feeling pretty good. Now after 500 miles it feels great.

Bought a second Pro for my Fierte and did the same procedure. Worked like a charm.

My soak the sit bones area only method is intended to keep the center from sagging too much. We'll see if that works out.

sam.g
06-04-2008, 05:25 PM
+1 on the overnight Lexol soak.

I just sprayed the underside of my new B17 with Lexol and let it soak in over night, then went for a ride the next day. Followed the same proceedure with a Pro and NOS B5N with postive results.

Sam in Cincy

Ahneida Ride
06-04-2008, 06:20 PM
Please .... Loosen the tension screw ...

Meltonian #1 Neutral is a great substitute for Proofhide.

Proofhide both sides ...

SoCalSteve
06-04-2008, 06:42 PM
yep, but if you don't have the Brooks spanner to do the adjusting it is a frustrating chore. I heard a rumor that newer Brooks can be adjusted without the special tool but my saddles are all oldies.

The Ti railed versions work with a 6 mm allen key. Very easy to tension-untension.

Just sayin'

Steve

Ahneida Ride
06-04-2008, 06:45 PM
So Cal turned me on to the B17 Ti version.
It's real comfortable ... Thanks again Steve ;)
I ride in cotton shorts ...

SoCalSteve
06-04-2008, 06:57 PM
So Cal turned me on to the B17 Ti version.
It's real comfortable ... Thanks again Steve ;)
I ride in cotton shorts ...

My pleasure.

Its all about cyclist helping other cyclists...All this drama has really taken away from that. We NEED to get that back and more!

Just sayin'

Steve

Ken Robb
06-04-2008, 07:40 PM
The Ti railed versions work with a 6 mm allen key. Very easy to tension-untension.

Just sayin'

Steve
I have oen of those on my Rambouillet but I've never had to adjust its tension so I never noticed the adjuster. So the rumors are fact !! :banana:

SimonC
06-05-2008, 02:49 AM
Mine was pretty comfortable from the get-go, but really broke in (deep indentations from my sit bones) after a 200k in torrential rain. I've only proofided it once, to bring back the colour on the top when it went a bit grey from my shorts rubbing it.

RudAwkning
06-05-2008, 04:01 AM
Ironically enough, I broke in my brand new ti-railed Brooks Pro on a 119 mile ride, the first 6 hours of which were in the rain. Had the brooks saddle cover on but it still soaked through. Since then, it's been the only saddle I've taken on rides longer than a century.

My other two Brooks Pros are still hard as rocks, but have never seen rain and probably have no more than 4 or 5 hundred miles on them.

As a disclaimer, I don't recommend this treatment.

bumpin
07-31-2009, 05:58 PM
After having a look through most of the Brooks threads I couldn't find anything on how frequent the bolt needs to be re-tensioned ?

Riding a swallow I'm wondering if the nut is backing off with it showing slackness after every 150 -200 miles or is it maybe a different issue of riding in the heat with the saddle staying wet and stretching pretty much every ride.

Just wondering if anyone's been here with this one, thanks.

fiamme red
07-31-2009, 06:07 PM
After having a look through most of the Brooks threads I couldn't find anything on how frequent the bolt needs to be re-tensioned ?

Riding a swallow I'm wondering if the nut is backing off with it showing slackness after every 150 -200 miles or is it maybe a different issue of riding in the heat with the saddle staying wet and stretching pretty much every ride.

Just wondering if anyone's been here with this one, thanks.I've had the same problem recently. My Swallow has sagged a lot after 700 miles. I tightened the nut yesterday by quite a few quarter-turns, and the leather is fairly taut again. I'll see if it holds up.

I've never had this problem with any other Brooks saddle (I've ridden a B17, two B17N's, and a Pro).

dave thompson
07-31-2009, 06:54 PM
I've had the same problem recently. My Swallow has sagged a lot after 700 miles. I tightened the nut yesterday by quite a few quarter-turns, and the leather is fairly taut again. I'll see if it holds up.

I've never had this problem with any other Brooks saddle (I've ridden a B17, two B17N's, and a Pro).
The Swallows will stretch faster than the other Brooks saddles simply because there is more LBS per square inch riding on it. (some folks here would call that a higher wing loading :D )

Louis
07-31-2009, 06:59 PM
(some folks here would call that a higher wing loading :D )

You talking to me? ;)

palincss
07-31-2009, 08:03 PM
After having a look through most of the Brooks threads I couldn't find anything on how frequent the bolt needs to be re-tensioned ?


It's strictly "as required."

Smiley
07-31-2009, 08:48 PM
I ride in cotton shorts ...
Too Much Personal Information :)

PSC
07-31-2009, 09:33 PM
Here is advice from one of the masters, scroll to the bottom and read his advice about Tensioning Adjustment.

http://sheldonbrown.com/leather.html


Wall bikes have good info under:

http://www.wallbike.com/content/butchering.html

I have a "butchered" B-17N and when the time comes I will end up using the tied method instead of the tension bolt. I have over 3k with no real saging.

Good luck

bumpin
07-31-2009, 10:51 PM
Wall bikes have good info under: http://www.wallbike.com/content/butchering.html

I'm liking this option with large acknowledgment to Chuck Schmidt's craft. No disrespect to Mr. Brown but if mine were left untensioned the saddle would have been ruined as I was becoming perched on the back support platform and not too comfortable.

Many thanks for the post - a well received find. . .