Why are Brooks Saddles known for comfort?

Oscar56

Active Member
Just ordered a Brooks B17 Imperial yesterday fro my Giant Phantom hard tail eBike. My LBS says their supplier has them in stock but Covid-19 is doing weird things to delivery schedules.

I have had my Phantom for 3 weeks. I new that the relationship between my butt and the existing saddle would rely on my butt adjusting, not the plastic/rubber saddle. But after 3 weeks this is not going well. So I got on the LBS website and started shopping for saddles. Hmmm...more selection than I anticipated. But what is this Brooks? Seems familiar.

Checking with Mr. Google and Ms. Wikapedia reminded me that this is a leather saddle from England, and that in 1962 Raleigh Cycle bought Brooks. Ah Ha! That's where I heard of Brooks. In the early 1970's 10 speed bikes came into vogue in Canada with the two non racing and affordable lines being Raleaigh and Peugot. If it was Italian it was out of my price range but pretty to look at. I bought a Raleigh 10 speed in ~1973 and it cam with a Brooks saddle. Not until this week did I know the storied history of Brooks.

If only I had kept that saddle form 1973...
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Any of you Brooks riders use/hear of speeding the break-in process by soaking the saddle in warm water for 5 minutes or so and then riding until dry? Here's the typical approach; this guy's method is a bit more involved.

This was a popular way of breaking in heavy leather boots during my Boy Scout days many moons ago, but I can find as many opinions against this idea today too (concerns about excessively shrinking the leather). My ebike doesn't get hundreds of miles of month to ease a break-in, so anything to speed that up a bit would be beneficial.

When I was a kid some 75 years ago I read in a comic book how the cowboys would urinate in there new boots, put them on and then go for a long ride to break in their new boots, I always remembered that.

Many years later I was telling this story while intoxicated standing around the campfire with some friends and several student nurses we had invited to a wiener roast. Needless to say I was talked into demonstrating this trick and of course I did it to a round of cheers from my friends but needless to say not from the nurses. When I woke up the next morning all I had was cold feet and smelly boots, my friends were impressed but not the nurses and the boots went in the garbage at the urging of my mother who wouldn't tolerate the boots in my parents house. Mmmmmm, I wonder if it would work on the Brooks saddle on my Watt Wagon?
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
You could always cover it with something soft like foreskin, then if it is still too hard or small rub it a few times and it will grow for you;). Course you don't want to stroke it too much or you'll end up with a banana seat:).
 

Jaxx

Well-Known Member
You could always cover it with something soft like foreskin, then if it is still too hard or small rub it a few times and it will grow for you;). Course you don't want to stroke it too much or you'll end up with a banana seat:).


Gulp!!!
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
You could always cover it with something soft like foreskin, then if it is still too hard or small rub it a few times and it will grow for you;). Course you don't want to stroke it too much or you'll end up with a banana seat:).

What about human rights? Think of all the humans that would have to be slaughtered so a few people could have a comfortable seat. You must be a woman right, you wouldn't suggest this if you were a male?
 

Oscar56

Active Member
My B17 Imperial arrived today. Unfortunately the tin of Proofide is on back order. So I applied the small sachet of Proofide to the top of the saddle and Kiwi brand Dubbin to the underside.
 

Jaxx

Well-Known Member
My B17 Imperial arrived today. Unfortunately the tin of Proofide is on back order. So I applied the small sachet of Proofide to the top of the saddle and Kiwi brand Dubbin to the underside.

You're lucky to receive it. Just had mail from Brooks. There storage is in Italy, just closed warehouse down for the duration.
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
I used whatever Brooks supplies with their seats. I have the tin also. Neither the small packet or tin are not enough, think it is a British sense of humor thing. The stuff they provide has something like wax in it, this seals the leather, not what you want to do and makes it difficult to apply anything in the future. Leather has to breath.

Get a container of the 100% neatsfoot oil. Lot of them are mixed with something, get 100%. Make an initial large application, the leather is real thick and will soak it all up. Use your fingers or sponge brush. Don't bother applying any to the top, or hair side, it won't really soak it in and you'll end up wiping it off later. Set it in the sun or you can put it in an oven on about 120F til it is all gone, either way won't take long. The leather will soak it all up, then you can apply another coating, this time not as much but don't be afraid to make a good application. Then take it for a ride and use it. If later you find it is not soft enough, apply some more to areas where it is still bothering you, sit bones or down the middle. You don't have to make an application to the whole seat. That should take care of it for life. Later if it starts to dry out you can make another application, but it doesn't take much, depends on the wetting and drying amount and evaporation of the oil. Also put the leftover neatsfoot oil in the fridge when you're done with it. Like any other oil, it can go rancid.
 

CCroft

Member
Not sure where you're at, but I bought one of these 'damaged' tins from an eBay seller from UT. Arrived in a few days and the tin itself looked fine; maybe it ordinarily comes with some other packaging that is missing with the tin, but the tin/proofide was fine and the price was right :)

My B17 Imperial arrived today. Unfortunately the tin of Proofide is on back order. So I applied the small sachet of Proofide to the top of the saddle and Kiwi brand Dubbin to the underside.
 

Oscar56

Active Member
i put a 27km ride on today with the new Brooks saddle. It was only one ride but already felt more comfortable that the basic Giant saddle that came stock with my bike. One obvious reason for that is the Brooks has a wider butt than the Giant in the order of 20mm wider.

And as rigourous testing and science has shown, red bikes are faster than any other colour. So I needed to replace the black lace that came installed on the saddle with a red lace.
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Toomanycats

Active Member
I have read many posts on this forum saying that Brooks Saddles are the most comfortable out there, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why. They feel hard as a rock. What am I missing?
Its a long process, but once your pelvic bones conform to the shape of a Brooks saddle, there’s nothing like it😀!
 

Yamahonian

Active Member
Just an update that I have been riding my B17 special for a few weeks now and it is far more comfortable than any other saddle I have ridden.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Do you guys that ride Brooks saddles worry about them being outside when it rains?

If I leave the bike outside I generally wrap the seat with a plastic bag and tie it off with a rubber band. I also like to wrap the seat if I'm going to be off the bike for more than a week or so to keep it from drying out.

While riding I've only used a seat cover during a torrential hosing downpour.
 

E-Wheels

Well-Known Member
Leather = cow hide. Cows around here get rained on. 🌂
Are Brooks saddles really made from a single piece of genuine leather hide?
My Brooks B17 doesn’t have a grain as real leather does
It appears to be made of reconstituted leather or a composite, press formed to shape