Author Topic: Brooks seat cover: are you supposed to ride on it?  (Read 5729 times)

Pavel

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Re: Brooks seat cover: are you supposed to ride on it?
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2014, 06:15:01 PM »
Seems to me putting the cover on when it rains hard is a small price to pay for not having to break in anohter saddle.

Andre ... I'm saying that from my experience that getting a Brooks wet does nothing over six or seven years but make it more comfortable.  This has been blown waaay out of proportion imho.  Those horrid looking saddles, sagging and destroyed looking, are the most comfortable things to sit on ever.  Those nice shiny and kept spiffy Brooks - are mostly torture. Letting my saddle get soaked (about five or six times so far) and riding it ... seems to have helped shape it towards a bit more comfort but so far I don't consider mine to be broken in.  Not even close, in fact.  And the black saddle as well as the green one I have for backup seem to me to take more time to start to wear in than the natural one on the bike.  The green one is the worst. Just doesn't seem to change. Could be my imagination though.

And even if I'm terribly wrong and my memories and experience thus far are faulty ... buying a new saddle for the cost of a set of decent tyres is well worth the fuss free cycling and quicker comfort gained by letting the saddle take nature as it comes.  :)

I have the rain cover btw.  I would not ride on it but may put it on occasionally after the saddle is well worn in.  Lastly, my thinking is that the split hide of the bottom is likely much more suseptible to penetration by water than the top.  I've not tried putting the proofing on the bottom, but those with a different philosophy to mine may want to try.  Brooks does state however that the proofing should not be applied excessively.

Andre Jute

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Re: Brooks seat cover: are you supposed to ride on it?
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2014, 10:11:51 PM »
Andre ... I'm saying that from my experience that getting a Brooks wet does nothing over six or seven years but make it more comfortable.  This has been blown waaay out of proportion imho. 
....
Brooks does state however that the proofing should not be applied excessively.

You misunderstood me, Pavel. I'm with you. I think it is amusing when people treat a bicycle saddle like an heirloom. I've in the past written, probably on this forum as well, about the swaybacked Brooks saddles I saw as a boy in Africa that had seen neither Proofide nor cover nor shelter from subtropical rains and relentless sun for tens and hundreds of thousands of miles over the decades, and that were considered extremely comfortable by their owners.

My point was somewhat different. I soaked my new Brooks saddle in neatsfoot oil -- which by itself gave the Brooks groupies on RBT an apoplexy -- and then rode it until it was just right. Now I put on a light layer of Proofide once or twice a year to protect it in light rain. But in heavy rain I put on the cover because I'm happy with the saddle as it is now and don't want it further shaped. It's no hardship: it happens only about once or twice a year, as my time is so much under my own control that I am rarely faced with the choice of riding in heavy rain or not riding at all. And I just ride on the cover when necessary, and avoid the tiresomeness of putting it on and taking it off; I don't mind if it wears out.

Note to those who don't yet have a Brooks saddle: Mine is the B73, a heavy duty touring saddle for semi-sporting and upright seating postures, distinguished by having double rails and triple helical springs, one at each corner. It is often said to be the most confortable Brooks straight out of the box, and the quickest to break in because the spring arrangement makes it the one that requires the least breaking-in. It is certainly the most comfortable saddle I've ever owned. The typical B73 owner has his handlebars set at the same level or higher than the saddle nose on his bike; it is not a suitable saddle for bikes with drop bars. It is built with pretty thick leather that will clearly last a long time, and that will shrug off the abuse of touring in rough places; scars give it character.