I really do have the so-called “Brooks bum” – they work for some and not for others. Peli, for example, didn’t get along at all with the one we tested for her and prefers her Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow.
In a attempt to speed up the “riding in” time of my Brooks I added some proofide and soaked it in water for a short time, (having heard reports from a friend that the best way to quickly break in a Brooks was to ride it in the rain). It made the leather nice and soft right away, and I had the Brooks dimples within 30 miles. It’s funny that it was the right seat bone dimple that appeared first. I must “dress” to the right. :)
Because of the pre-softening treatment I’d done, and the many times my B17 had got soaked to the frame in the rain, I had to use the tensioning bolt rather a lot. This action showed its stress on the rivet at the back, and the three holes in the middle became more oval than round.
Over the last few days I had been thinking that it was time to give the tensioning bolt a few turns, since my Brooks was starting to look like a hammock saddle like on Jensen bicycles. On the little pootle we had on the weekend I was waiting outside a snack stop and I was caressing the beautiful craftsmanship of the B17 (as you do) only to find that the tensioning bolt had cracked. Bugger.
That explained the soreness in my right leg and hip which I suffered over the last 10 miles or so. We ordered a new one at our local Evans Cycles, where I stood (sat?) the best chance of getting one quickly. It would hurt me too much to do a tour of LBSs in the hope of finding the right one. Best of all, Evans price matched Wiggle, so I saved a few quid too, which was duly spend on some cake right after.
Today I got a call from Evans to say my new saddle had arrived: a Honey Brooks B17 Special on copper rails, what a beaut! It looks so good on the olive green Surly Long Haul Trucker. I will not be playing around with any “skin so soft” pre-treatment this time, and I’ll definitely be protecting it from the elements with the cover that came in the box.
I have send an email to Brooks to hear if they can save my old black Brooks B17 Special. I will keep you posted on that.