Author Topic: Brooks Conquest springs  (Read 285 times)

Andyb1

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Brooks Conquest springs
« on: May 13, 2024, 09:04:13 pm »
I am sorting out my Sherpa to take to India this next winter and am wondering what saddle to take.  I have a Brooks Conquest (sprung) or a B17.   The B17 is lighter and perhaps stronger but the Conquest will soften the ride.   The slight worry I have about the Conquest is that sometime in the long distant past, maybe 20 years ago, it had a spring break.   Maybe a one-off, but I know a few people here use the Conquest, has anyone else had this problem?

martinf

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2024, 07:21:56 am »
I've used sprung Brooks saddles (B66 Champion, Conquest, Champion Flyer and B67) for about 115,000 kms and Brooks B17 (steel and titanium rail versions) for about 127,000 kms.

I have had two B17 saddles destroyed in crashes, but never had a B17 break in normal use.

After about 50,000 to 55,000 kms use, part of the frame on my B66 Champion broke and I replaced the twin rail frame assembly with a single rail frame (probably Flyer), keeping the springs, which are the older type, which have a smaller cross section than the modern springs and are therefore softer.

Otherwise I have not yet had any problems with Brooks sprung saddles. 

JohnR

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2024, 08:42:30 am »
I would expect rider (plus any baggage hanging from the saddle) weight to be a factor in the risk of breaking the springs or rails. If the saddle is second-hand then had the previous rider given it a hard time? Is there also the risk of long term corrosion?

Andyb1

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2024, 08:15:00 pm »
I have had it from new, no corrosion, I weigh 74kg, never hung baggage from it (no saddle bag eyes on it)………so it has had a pretty easy life.
I guess the spring failure, which happened early in it’s life was a one off then?

JohnR

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2024, 08:48:51 pm »
I guess the spring failure, which happened early in it’s life was a one off then?
I agree. That's not a big load and suggests defective from new as I would expect failure to be from metal fatigue after a hard life.

in4

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2024, 11:42:43 pm »
It maybe entirely unrelated but I twice snapped the seat post bolt on my Conquest, fitted to a MK1 Nomad. I weigh 80kgs and rode my Nomad with vigour but certainly not to any extreme level. I’m minded to think over tightening the said bolt may have caused the failure but I couldn’t say for certain.

mickeg

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2024, 01:25:30 pm »
I weigh between 80 and 85kg.

Have never broken a spring or a Brooks rail, but I am aware that others have.  I think Dan has.

Before I decided which to take, a B17 or a Conquest, I would decide which one is more comfortable.  The B17 is a bit wider and flatter in back.  Both have parts that can break, but the shape is different and I think the feel on long days in the saddle is a more important factor to consider than the potential of a broken part.

If I was going to ride more of an upright position, I find a B17 feels pretty good.  The Conquest and Brooks Pro have a nearly identical shape.  I find that when I use the drops on drop bars, the B17 (or its sprung equivalent, the Flyer) does not feel right for me, for using the drops I prefer the shape of a Pro or Conquest.

***

I recently put a Redshift suspension seatpost on my light touring bike.  That bike has tires that are 37mm wide, so it can transmit the bumps to my hands and bum more than bikes with wider tires.  The Conquest has rails that are far from horizontal, the seatpost did not have enough range of seat angle to use the Conquest, so I put a Pro on that bike.  So far I have only about 25 miles (~40 km) of riding with it, but so far I like that suspension seatpost.  Their instructions gave a setting by weight for "comfort" or "performance"  I set mine up for performance and am quite happy with that setting. 
https://bikepacking.at/media/pdf/a2/29/0b/Instructions-ShockStop-Seatpost-Rev-1.pdf

The Redshift is not cheap.  I got a 25 percent discount on a limited time sale.

If you consider a suspension seatpost, Dan has much more experience than I do.

Andyb1

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2024, 09:41:39 pm »
I rode 78 miles yesterday to the South coast and back on the Sherpa to check it all out - great until the last 20 miles when the gearing went wrong and I could not use the big chainwheel.   Looking at it today the ‘Strong and Light’ 42/34/24 chainwheel set I had fitted had somehow gone eccentric, with about 1/4 inch run out of the big cog.  I had been powering up a few steep hills, but it seemed it was neither Strong nor Light and had lasted only 300 miles from new.  An old Shimano CT92 was hiding on the shelf so I have fitted that.  It must date from the 1990s but has had little use and the alloy web from the cranks holds the sprockets much better than the design of the failed crank.
The Conquest was comfortable over Somerset and Devon’s potholes, with 1.75 front tyre and 1.5 rear tyres giving some additional cushioning so I will stick with that.
I rode without mudguards and discovered how much their loss slowed me down as I seemed to be constantly braking when riding through shallow flooded sections of roadway that I would have whizzed through if the mudguards had been on.   So bikes with mudguards are faster!

mickeg

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2024, 11:43:52 am »
Sounds like the Conquest is it.

Bummer about the Stronglight crankset, I thought those were good.  I am surprised how non-concentric it went.  I would definitely contact Stronglight, or the dealer, or both with photos on how bad their product is.  If it was defective, they may offer to make it right.

I did a 43 mile (~60 km) ride yesterday on my light touring bike with the Redshift seatpost.  At the same time I installed it, I installed a Kinekt suspension stem that I had bought used on Ebay.

Very happy with both.  The stem is about 3 years old, there is a bit of play in it, I assume that is wear from the previous owner, but that does not bother me.  Initially one of the pins was not held in tightly and it started to slide out, I had to disassemble part of it to find the loose setscrew.  Used some removable threadlocker on all four set screws that hold the pivot pins in to make sure that does not happen again.  That is one downside of buying used.

Most of my miles were on a rail-trail, former railroad grade converted to a gravel bicycle path, only difference between that and a tow path is the converted railroad grade trails often have a shallow slope.

I found I was less careful about hitting the bumps than I normally would be, which suggests that my bike now will be subjected to more shocks on bumpy trails than before.  And I suspect that when I get on one of my other bikes that there will be a steep learning curve to avoid bumps.

***

I like the Conquest for the springs, but I find that the springs do not really help much on bigger bumps, I think they take the buzz out of rough roads and nothing more.  The suspension seatpost has much more travel, thus the bigger bumps are less noticeable with it.

I have toured with and without fenders (mudguards) and the fenders are definitely the way to go.  Their downside is that I can't fit them into my luggage when I fly somewhere, which is why I have toured without them sometimes. 

JohnR

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2024, 12:52:13 pm »
Regarding mudguards/fenders I've been using some SKS Velo https://www.sks-germany.com/en/products/velo-47-trekking/ (other sizes available) with a mudflap made from 2mm sheet rubber to extend the front one and this has kept the bottom bracket failry clean on filthy English winter roads. They are small enough to possibly fit into baggage. There are optional stays but I've found that they aren't necessary although the end of the front mudguard does move a bit from side to side.

Andyb1

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2024, 11:42:40 pm »
Agree with what you have written Mickeg about the Conquest only taking out the buzz of rough roads, not helping much with bigger bumps, but that improvement in comfort is worth having.  When I had a hardtail MTB I was amazed how well it ran over corrugations downhill but at most other times I kept the forks locked to improve control and to make the bike more efficient when pedalling.   I have ridden other people’s bikes with suspension in the seat stem but I found them awkward to get on and off and felt I could fall over too easily.   So while the Conquest improves things only a little I think I will stick with it.

The Stronglight chainset that failed was a cheap steel chainwheel / alloy crank set up riveted together with little bracing in the central area.  Nothing like the good quality chainsets that Stronglight (used to?) make.

mickeg

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Re: Brooks Conquest springs
« Reply #11 on: Today at 01:19:53 am »
...
The Stronglight chainset that failed was a cheap steel chainwheel / alloy crank set up riveted together with little bracing in the central area.  Nothing like the good quality chainsets that Stronglight (used to?) make.

I think all of the ones I have seen were bolted not riveted, so you have seen some lower budget ones that I was not aware of.

Thanks for clarifying that.