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 Post subject: Proofide
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:21 am 
Pumpy's Bear
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:03 pm
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Location: Hereford
This is likely a dumb question, but can the sort of wax/proofing used on leather walking boots e.g. Nikwax also be used on a Brooks saddle instead of Proofide? Or has Proofide some super secret formula that, when heated to a certain temperature by the heat of your buttocks, renders the saddle supremely comfortable?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
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There was an old thread about this on LFGSS.

The upshot seemed to be, 'Proofide's not that expensive, so why bother
messing about with other products that might bugger up your saddle'.

I would imagine products for walking boots are intended to soften leather more
than proofide is, so you might end up with a floppy Brooks. Same seemed to go for the other alternatives people mentioned on LFGSS, e.g neatsfoot oil (whatever that is).

Johnny


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:08 am 
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 6:08 pm
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Location: U K
Im afraid I just use the dubbin Ive got in the cupboard and smear it on top and bottom leave it overnight to soak in etc - seams to work fine. After two wet years the saddle is still like new.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:26 am 
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This is, as John's answer suggests, a perennial (and divisive) question.

Brooks owners seem to fall into two camps: those who argue that as a tin of Proofide should last the lifetime of a saddle, there is little to be gained, and much to be lost, from using cheaper alternatives.

The other camp argue that Proofide is simply dubbin, albeit Brooks' own recipe, a product which has been used for at least 500 years to treat leather (such as horse saddles) and that regardless of the "cost per application" there is no need to pander to the rampant profiteering and scaremongering of multi-national corporations (Brooks was bought by Selle Royal in 2002).

Can you guess which camp I belong to?

All the stories I have read of leather saddles being ruined are as a result of at least one of the following: becoming soaking wet and being incorrectly dried; over-tightening of the adjuster bolt; excessive application of leather treatment.

PS If I remember correctly, when doing my own research on the subject, Neatsfoot Oil was one of products about which I read bad reports.


Last edited by ScillySuffolk on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:33 pm 
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I had this conversation a few years ago with a friend, who's family have run a saddlery business for 60 years. When I showed him a tin of Brooks Proofhide and told him the price, I guess its best to say he was most amused! :lol:

He swears there's only one product worth using on leather which is Ko Cao Line Leather Dressing. I've used it ever since and I've yet to come across even the most neglected Brooks saddle that it can't transform.

http://www.greatenglish.co.uk/item.aspx ... 4b7cfed613

I think the going rate for Brooks Proofhide is about £6 for 40g (of their secret formula :lol:), Ko Cao Line is £9 for 225g. As pointed out above a vast profit for Selle Royal!

Ko Cao Line is also by appointment to the Queen, so if its good enough for her corgi collars, its good enough for me :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Thanks for that, Rob, I have been thinking the same as the OP myself, now having 3 bikes in the garage with Brooks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:56 pm 
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I've used clear shoe polish and it shines up nicely but doesn't soak into the leather very well. I've used dubbin and it soaks in very well and will buff up to a shine after a few days to a week, depending how much you put on. I'm sure Proofide is great, but it's very expensive compared to dubbin and dubbin works well for me, but I do mean to try it at some point. This is all on a well-used Brooks B17 dated 1979.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Jonny69 wrote:
I've used clear shoe polish...


Be careful with shoe polish, cheap varieties use ingredients which, in the medium term, actually damage leather in order to give a superficial shine.

That said, even a good quality brand isn't intended to do what dubbin does and shouldn't be used either.

PS I spent a long time spit & polishing boots and have tried most of the tricks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:32 pm 
Devout Dirtbag
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Location: Lancaster
Johnsqual wrote:
e.g neatsfoot oil (whatever that is).

Neatsfoot oil is a by product of meat production so not suitable if you are a Vegetarian or Vegan. You used to be able to buy it from the Tripe stall in Preston Market. Not sure if they still have it but it was sold for 30p in recycled pop bottles. I still have some somewhere. It smells absolutely rank and sets if it gets cold. It can also go mouldy if you put too much on or don't buff it up thoroughly. The stuff sold commercially is probably treated somehow or maybe has additives to stop it stinking but is also much more expensive. If you have a local Tripe/Offal store ask them if they have any, although personally I wouldn't bother!

Ian.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:32 am 
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tiermat wrote:
Thanks for that, Rob, I have been thinking the same as the OP myself, now having 3 bikes in the garage with Brooks.


If you can get hold of some Ko Cao Line its impressive stuff. It looks like red Swarfega, first time I used it I thought it didn't look right for leather use. But the results were impressive, wish I'd taken the before and after pics.

If you have a Charlies store anywhere near you, I picked up a 225g tin for £4.95.


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