Brooks Saddle Treatment, Pre-aged

Mike Smith

Active Member
Anyone else here riding a Brooks pre-aged saddle? I have the B17 S pre-aged saddle and am looking for others with similar saddles for ideas to treat it with conditioners. I have not used anything on it yet but know I will need to condition it soon. I have Proofide from Brooks as well as Obenaufs oil and conditioner and want to know if anyone has experience with these with Brooks saddles. Brooks recommends using only the Proofide on these saddles and then only on the underside, but I have read different websites that recommend using Obenaufs oil and conditioner on both sides of the saddle. I want to start conditioning it soon and any experienced insight would be appreciated. Just a last note, the Brooks pre-aged saddle and the BodyFloat are an amazing combination. Never thought it would work until I tried it and there's no looking back from here.
Thanks Amigos
 

GatorBob

Member
I'm having the same experience with the large ThudBuster and the Brooks aged saddle. I love the combo.

Because I did not RTFM, in my ignorance I broke Brooks Rule by soaking the brand new saddle inside and out with Lexol "new style" Neatsfoot Oil. It darkened the saddle to medium brown (which is OK with me) but did no harm I can determine. After a few weeks, I switched to Proofide. So far, everything looks and feels just fine.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Go with what Brooks advises, especially if you're not having any issues with your saddle.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Mike Smith

I don't have a Brooks pre-aged saddle and it's been years since I rode Brooks. I did just purchase a new B17 and it will be on my bike within days. I have some experience with leather though, it being one of my hobbies (Harley saddles & accessories). As I'm sure you're aware there are a lot of chemicals involved in leather prep, tanning and finish and even more with distressed leather, which the pre-aged saddle is distressed. The chemicals soften the leather by breaking down (ever so slightly) the leather, making it more pliable and soft. Think meat tenderizing. Further treating the saddle on the surface will break it down even more and treating any leather on both sides can cause delamination of the hyde (hide). Treating leather from both sides can lock the moisture in and leather needs to breath.

I'm very aware there are all kinds of reviews and videos of folks treating both sides of Brooks saddles, I just don't agree. Just an educated opinion, that and $4 can get you an espresso. I would follow Brooks directions and treat the underside and if you must use something on the surface a very thin coat of pure beeswax would keep the dirt out and still allow the leather to breath. Good luck!
 

GatorBob

Member
I wholeheartedly agree I should have followed the Brooks Rule. I was just saying that in my ignorance for the first 2 weeks I shredded The Brooks Rule into little pieces and -- so far -- my saddle is holding up OK.
 

Reddy Kilowatt

Well-Known Member
I ride a B17 Special and I think that it's best to use Proofide as Brooks recommends, but do so sparingly. I had a B17 on my old Trek 720 (the real Trek 720 with the Cinelli bars, etal,) and I knew that I wanted to ride a Brooks again when I got my good eBike.
Now that I've been riding for nine months, I've noticed that I've got to draw the tensioner bolt up a wee bit as the saddle is beginning to sag just a touch. I don't know if my arse or the Brooks saddle has gotten broken in, but things are getting pretty comfy now that I've ridden this beautiful piece of work for over 900 miles.
I just use Proofide and am careful not to overdo it. I apply it sparingly to the top of the saddle every couple of months, let it soak into the leather overnight, then buff it to a fare-the-well before I ride the next day. A little dab'll do ya'.
It's also imperative to cover the saddle when it might get wet. If your saddle came with the Brooks rain cover use that. If not, put a plastic grocery bag over it in rainy weather. A soaking is not a good thing for a nice piece of leather.
If you take good care of a Brooks saddle, it will take good care of you. I expect this one to outlast me, but I'm pretty much as old as dirt. Seriously, a well-cared-for Brooks saddle should last a quarter century given a little attention from time to time (unless someone steals it).
Allen
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