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 Post subject: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Location: daaan saaaf
Does anyone else use a traditional, Brooks style leather saddle?

I have one on two of my bikes and I'm pretty impressed with them. I've had a Brooks B17 Narrow Imperial on one of my bikes for a couple of years now:

Image

I found it fairly comfortable from the outset and it's got better with time and miles. However, I do worry that it's started to sag a bit and it may eventually get too "hammock" like and need replacing.

Recently I bought a Spa Cycles Aire: http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 0s204p2669

Image

I found this pretty comfortable from the start too and it should get better with more time and miles. Given that it's considerably cheaper than a Brooks, especially the B15 Swallow to which its very similar, I'm really impressed with the build quality, if anything I'd say it's better finished than the Brooks. Where the saddle loops and metal parts on my Brooks are rather rough and sharp in places, the Spa saddle is smooth, as if the metal parts have been sanded after stamping, prior to being chromed.

I tried several modern light weight plastic saddles prior to the leather ones, including a Specialized Toupe, Selle Itallia Gel Flow something or other and a Madison Flux. All of them are OK for a while, but I'd start to get uncomfortable on longer rides after about 15 to 20 miles.

The only real drawback with the leather saddles is the weight, at 500g or more, they're 2 or 3 times the weight of modern light weight saddles, but, for me, the weight penalty is worth it for the comfort they offer.

Spa Cycles also do two other, cheaper leather saddles: http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s204p0, so if you've never tried one, they're a lot less of a gamble than a similar Brooks saddle should you decide you don't like it. Be warned though, you might never go back and your inner weight weeny might curse you for trying one. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:04 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Just breaking in a 60 year old brooks B17 and have been pleasantly surprised.

See viewtopic.php?f=23&t=259880 for rebuild thread.

Softened it with neetsfoot oil. To be sealed with ranopur.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:10 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:28 pm
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Location: The Admiral Benbow
I recently got a B17 for a vintage build I was doing, after a few times round the block to try it out im considering using it on my MTB. surprisingly comfy. though im a bit concerned about the wet getting the underside soggy and it sagging or rotting. I was going to treat it with dubbing or nikwax. is this normal?


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Location: daaan saaaf
Quote:
im a bit concerned about the wet getting the underside soggy and it sagging or rotting. I was going to treat it with dubbing or nikwax. is this normal?


I used Brooks Proofide on both my saddles and applied it the same way as I do when I wax my walking boots, rubbing it in with my hands so that the warmth of your hands helps it penetrate the leather. However, I still don't think it provides complete protection when it's wet and you have no mudguards. I was thinking of making up a small under the saddle guard out of a sheet of plastic, when I find something suitable, similar to those clip on mudguards, but made not so much to provide a sticky out bit to protect my backside , but to more closely fit the saddle to protect the underside.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:30 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:26 pm
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Post you result. Will be interested to see your solution. I was also told to buy a shower cap so I don't come back to a wet saddle!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
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Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
If it starts to sag then adjust the tension screw before it gets too bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:56 pm 
Classified Mod
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:34 pm
Posts: 12710
Location: Fife in Scotland
Chopper1192 wrote:
If it starts to sag then adjust the tension screw before it gets too bad.


Just what I was gonna say :)
And use your brews and potions sparingly you can kill them with kindness.


B17 owner ..............


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:06 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:28 pm
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Location: The Admiral Benbow
how do I tell the difference between a B17 and a B17 narrow, im not sure which I have


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:33 am
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Location: daaan saaaf
Quote:
how do I tell the difference between a B17 and a B17 narrow, im not sure which I have


The width, the standard is ~175mm, the narrow ~151mm.


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saddles
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:20 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
A few hundred grams is nout really, not when you consider the beauty and functionality of them.

Certainly interested in that cheaper option, thanks for the link!


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